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hiking with dogs sticker by mike hosier

Sit. Stay. HIKE!

If a dog is a vital part of your hiking pack list, this sticker was made for you!

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Photo: Hannah Overeem

Instagram is full of so much eye candy, we all know that. But one of the leading accounts for people who love dogs and the outdoors is Hiking Dogs of Instagram aka @hikingdogsofinsta. As a long-time fan and follower, it was an absolute pleasure to get to know the folks behind the scenes a bit more while collaborating on our new sticker. Take a look at my interview below and learn more.

What is Hiking Dogs of Instagram?

Hiking Dogs of Instagram is an account that shares the hiking adventures of dogs all around the world. We focus on not only sharing beautiful photos but also listing the location of where the hike took place for others to experience for themselves.

How did this all get started and how long has it been around?

I started Hiking Dogs of Instagram about two years ago as a senior in college. My personal dogs have their own Instagram account and we had so many followers from all over the world, I loved the community I had built with the owners behind the accounts and loved seeing their adventures. I noticed there wasn’t really any hiking accounts out there that shared both incredible photos and information on where you can go experience the trails for yourself while connecting with others in your area, thus Hiking Dogs was born.

What inspires the group to do what you do?

Dogs and mother nature! My dogs have been a huge part of why I love to hike. Without them, it wouldn’t be as fun, and there’s nothing like exploring a new place with a dog and getting to see how they react to the experience. Our followers also inspire us like crazy! We absolutely love to see everyone’s adventures, and each new place and account inspires us to get even more curious about the world we share and the places we can go.

What are some reasons people follow Hiking Dogs of Instagram?

I think some of the reasons people follow Hiking Dogs of Instagram is not only to see great photos of adorable dogs but to connect with others outside of where they are from. It’s such a supportive and fun community, and everyone wants to be able to share that experience with each other regardless of where they live. I think it also gives them a chance to be inspired to get outside with their dogs and take them on epic adventures outside of their norm.

“Our meetups are designed to connect fellow hikers and dog lovers with each other in their area all while enjoying a great hike. Each meetup is different and they happen all over the world!”

I see you have hiking meetups. Please share how this came about, where you meet, etc.

Our hiking dog meetups are the newest project we have happening and are very excited about it. In the new year, we wanted to get more involved and interactive with our followers and wanted to do so in a way that gets us off the phone, outside, and builds a bigger community amongst our followers. Our meetups are designed to connect fellow hikers and dog lovers with each other in their area all while enjoying a great hike. Each meetup is different and they happen all over the world!

If someone wanted to get involved in a meetup, either at the leader level or to join a meetup, how should they go about getting involved?

Our meet up leadership program lasts 6 months and all leaders fill out an application before getting assigned. Each leader is from a different area in the world and their main purpose is to lead meetups for their area, like Southern California or Italy, and connect with the followers we have there. We look for active, friendly, committed, and energetic people and pups for our leaders. Applications open every 6 months, so the next term will start in July and end in December, and applications will open in June, which we will post about and have a link ready for them to fill out.

For those who wish to join in on our meetups, we post about them regularly and have meetups happening every weekend around the world. We post all the info they need to know for the meet up along with the leader they need to contact. We also require that everyone who participates has to sign up and sign our rules and safety waiver.

Photo: Hannah Overeem

Photo: Hannah Overeem

“Dogs help remind you to enjoy the simple, beautiful things we have waiting to be explored just outside our doors.”

Why do you think so many people hike with their dogs?

Not only is it nice to have the company, but dogs tend to see things differently and to have the opportunity to experience the world through their paws so to speak and share those moments is priceless. For me personally, I enjoy hiking so much more when I have my dog with me. They remind me to keep moving, to look up at the view and not at the trail, they allow me to have a different perspective when we are outside looking at the mountains, or in the desert exploring sand dunes. Dogs help remind you to enjoy the simple, beautiful things we have waiting to be explored just outside our doors.

From your experience, what are some of the most popular areas, or types of hikes that people do with their dogs?

It’s no surprise that everyone loves a good mountain trail. That seems to be the most popular kind of expeditions people take their dogs on. I think it’s because of the sheer raw beauty and diversity the mountains has to offer that draws those to explore them.

What sort of gear is essential when hiking with a dog?

Each hike is different and might require more gear and a different variety of gear than others but here are some essentials I always have and recommend others have for their hike.

  • Poop Bags
  • Collapsable water Bowl
  • Water
  • Pet First Aid Kit
  • Boots for your dogs feet
  • Extra leash and collar
  • Treats/ tennis ball (For the toy motivated pups out there!)
  • Dog Jackets (both cool coat for hot weather hikes and winter coat for cool weather hikes)

What advice can you give people interested in getting a dog to hike with, or taking a dog hiking who’s never been before?

Make sure you get a dog that suits your lifestyle and activity level. If you plan on hiking more than get a dog who can not only handle the rigorous exercise but will enjoy it as well. Also, take into consideration the age of the dog you get. If you get an older dog keep in mind they might have arthritis as it is more common in older dogs. Old dogs would do better on shorter, gradual hikes, like short loops rather than long out and backs and try to hike in cooler weather and allow for longer recovery times in between hikes. If you are looking to get a puppy to hike with you need to be aware of how to introduce them to it. We don’t recommend letting your puppy hike right away but you can begin to expose them to various environments and situations. If you wish to take your puppy with you be sure not to overwhelm them and carry them if they start to get tired. The exact age at which your dog is ready for hikes can vary depending on the dog’s breed and or size. Your puppies are still growing and can get injured easily if pushed to their limits. A safe age to introducing hikes is around 1 year old.

For the first time hiking with dogs here are some basic tips to help get you prepared:

  • Pick a trail you know your dog can handle, don’t be afraid to start with something small.
  • Be prepared! Bring plenty of water, poop bags, treats/snacks, booties, jackets, a spare leash, and your first aid kit.
  • Be aware of the weather! Check weather conditions of the area you wish to hike before heading out.
  • Know the rules. Be respectful of any rules the trail may have.

Why did you decide to do this sticker collaboration?

We love the designs that Mike comes up with and thought that our followers would love them too, and wanted to support him and create some epic content.

For someone interested, would you recommend a similar sticker collaboration with Mike?

Absolutely!

Dog Crazy?

What's this Dog Crazy stuff all about? The obvious part, being Dog Crazy means you're a bit wacky about your furry friends. Also though, you choose to live an adventurous life, whatever that may be, doing what you love with dogs at your side.

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