October 14, 2009
Safety Tips for Hiking with Your Dog
What better way to spend a fall day than hiking with your best friendyour best canine friend, that is! Sure, the fall season is a great time for hikers to get outside and enjoy the beauty of changing colors, but it’s also the perfect way to spend quality time with your pet. Dogs love to explore our country’s vast natural beauty as much their two-legged counterpartsnot to mention, hiking is great exercise for all. But remember, a hiking trail isn’t your average walk around the block. There are some real dangers associated with this seasonal pastime, including heat exhaustion, potential falls and the possibility of getting lost.
Lucky for you and your pooch, our experts have come up with a list of safety tips to keep your hikes safe and fun.
Here’s a sneak peek:
Use Proper Leashes
Extending leashes are great for wide open spaces, but if your romp is taking you through wooded areas, it’s best to leave the flexi-leads at home. Otherwise, you’ll probably spend more time untangling your dog’s leash from trees and brush than you will enjoying your walk!
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Both you and your pooch need to stay hydrated, so bring enough water for two. Don’t allow your pup to drink from puddles, ponds, lakes or streamsthey may contain parasites or toxins that could cause harm.
Whether you’re using a leash or not, don’t forget IDs, please! Always make sure that your current contact information, including your cell phone number, is attached to your dog’s collar or body harness. If for any reason your pet gets lost, a collar and tags and a microchip will increase the likelihood that he or she will be returned to you.
Keep Vaccinations Up-to-Date
You never know what you may encounter on a hikeso before setting out into the wilderness, check your pet’s veterinary records and make sure his vaccinations are up-to-date.
Read our complete list of hiking safety tips!