Safety Tips for Hiking with Your Pooch This Summer
Hiking is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and many people find their dogs love to join them on the trails. Here are a few tips to make sure you and your pet stay safe on your adventures this summer.
Stay prepared wherever you decide to hike. Here is a list of supplies to bring with you and to make sure you aren’t caught off guard.
Fresh water is as necessary for your dog as it is for you. Bring some extra bottles along with a travel bowl if possible.
Food and treats are important for keeping energy up in both dogs and people on extended hikes. Have a treat or two ready and a way to keep your food dry and safe from wild animals.
Be sure your tags are current and your dog has a solid collar in case they get lost.
A strong leash is key for those times when you need to keep your dog close and away from other hikers or wildlife.
Bring doggie bags for waste on populated trails.
Have a First Aid Kit in case your pup or you get injured.
Cleaning supplies including a trail towel and old blankets will ensure sure your dog doesn’t track mud and dirt into your vehicle on the way home.
Pad protection for dangerous terrain will protect your dog’s feet on rough trails.
Training and Preparations
Remember that your dog will require practice to build up endurance and strength. Start slow before increasing the length and distance of your hikes.
Obedience training will prevent confusion between you and your dog once you are out on the trails. An animal bite attorney recommends your dog knows to come when you call it, and not to chase other people or animals.
Visit your vet before the start of the season for vaccines and flea/tick prevention. When you have finished your hike, you should check your dog before getting back in the car to make sure he isn’t tracking any parasites with him.
Even with the correct equipment and training, there are still precautions you can take to hike with your canine more safely. Avoid hiking during the hottest part of the day. Dogs can get dehydrated and overexerted so be sure to water them frequently. As noted above, pad protection can help protect your dog’s feet but you can keep them safe by watching for hot surfaces such as sun exposed asphalt and other dangers like sharp terrain and plants. Avoid other animals while on the trails. These can injure your pet and some might be sick or poisonous. Know the rules of the trail and follow them to avoid trouble with the authorities and other hikers.
I hope you’ve found these tips useful. Remember, with the proper tools, training, and precautions, hiking with your dog can be both fun and safe.