What to know before going to the mountains with your dog

Trips into nature in the company of a four-legged friend represent rare moments spent together and strengthen the agelong human-dog friendship. See where you can go with your dog and what you shouldn’t forget to take with you. Mountain hiking will be a reward for your pooch, so do not hesitate and plan your trip into nature.

Tip: The current situation keeps us at home, but it’s good to collect some inspiration for future trips. You will be ready and know where to go with your dog. Of course, even now you can go to nature, where there are not many people around.

Hiking is not for every dog

A dog is a creature that needs daily movement to live. Nevertheless, mountain hiking is not suitable for every dog. You shouldn’t “drag” your pet on challenging hikes if it has health problems. You should leave your dog at home if it suffers from arthritis, heart disease or other serious illnesses. Excessive strain on the road to your destination can lead to a worsening of their health. If you want to be 100% sure that your dog will not get hurt, ask your vet. Also, don’t take your dog for long walks if it is not used to the longer movement. First, start slowly, with shorter routes, take longer routes when they get in better shape.

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Did you know? Movement of dogs on sidewalks in the Tatra National Park has been a long-discussed topic. Dogs can go to the Tatras, but they must be put on a leash and wear a muzzle. Stricter conditions apply in protected areas with a fourth and fifth degree of protection – free release, guiding and carrying of dogs is prohibited.

What to pack in your backpack?

Before you head out to nature with your dog, you must think carefully about what to bring on the hike. You are not going alone, but with your dog, which can’t go without some things.

  1. 1. Leash and muzzle, if required by the hiking trail. Even though the dog is friendly and harmless, the rules must be followed, and we need to be tolerant of tourists who may be afraid of dogs.
  2. Food: For you and your dog. Also, you should reserve some space for their favorite treats in your backpack.
  3. Water and a bowl for the water which is a necessity on the hike.
  4. Special shoes: Not only for you but also for your dog. If you have shoes designed for your four-legged pet, be sure to pack them. Special footwear protects their paws in difficult terrain.
  5. First aid kit: Injuries can happen to both humans and dogs, so it is good to have a kit for basic treatment – bandage or disinfectant at hand.
  6. Bags: You are responsible for cleaning up your dog’s waste. It is not okay to leave it behind.

Three hike tips with a four-legged friend

Easy hike: Štrbské Pleso – Popradské Pleso

Hike from Štrbské to Popradské Pleso is one of the Tatra classics. It is especially praised by dog lovers. You, as well as your four-legged friend, can make this gentle hike without any problems. The hiking trail is popular in every season because it is well-groomed and wide enough to take a break. In the destination of your hike, you can enjoy a wonderful environment of Popradské Pleso and refreshments at the cottage of the same name.

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Tip:Staying the night with your dog is a whole separate chapter. While some dog keepers swear by sleeping under the stars, especially in the warm summer months, others prefer the comfort behind the hotel walls. The number of hotels that accommodate you with a four-legged friend is increasing. You will find dog-friendly hotels, as they are called, scattered throughout Slovakia and they provide the highest possible comfort for dogs as well as for their owners. You are guaranteed a pleasant relaxation in the alpine environment and top care for your dog companion, for example, in the Hotel FIS in Štrbské Pleso, which is the first dog-friendly hotel in the Tatras.

Moderate hike: Šumiac – Kráľova Hoľa

The popular and legendary Kráľova Hoľa is one of the most visited hills of the Low Tatras. Tourists are attracted not only by beautiful views but also by the springs of the largest Slovak rivers (Čierny Váh, Hnilec, Hornád and Hron). The easiest recommended ascent route is the mountain road from the village Šumiac. The hike will take you about 3 hours.

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Source: hikemates.com

Castle ruins

Take a trip with your doggy and get to know the history of Slovak castles. Most of the places where history was written are now ruins and are also accessible to four-legged friends. You can visit “Pustý hrad” above the city of Zvolen, “Čierny hrad” in the Tríbeč Mountains, the “Kapušanský hrad” (Kapušany Castle) in Slanské hills and many other ancient gems in Slovakia. If you pack a piece of bacon to your backpack, you will surely find a reserved place near the historic ruins where you can roast it and treat yourself.

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