Hike Safely with Your Dog This Summer

May 14, 2018 3:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Getting out and going for a hike with your dog is a fun time for both of you. You get a little fresh air, and your dog gets to work off some of his excess energy. But a fun day out on the trail can go awry rather quickly if you aren’t careful out there. Whether you’re going for a short hike through the woods or around town, or heading out for a hiking and camping trip, be sure to follow these helpful tips:

  • Don’t go if your dog isn’t trained: Proper dog training can take months, or even years in some cases. Unless your dog is trained to heel on command, he’s not ready to go out on the trail. The chances of your dog seeing a wild animal on the trail and wanting to chase it are pretty high. Needless to say, that scenario can end up pretty badly depending on the creature. Make sure your dog will stop when called, and you can prevent some serious injuries.
  • Pack your dog up: Depending on the size of your dog, you may be able to just pack him up in a backpack during your journey. Obviously, this won’t work for a St. Bernard or Mastiff, but it’ll work out well if your pup is under 15 pounds. Backpack-style carriers cost as little as $50 and ensure Fido is comfortable throughout your hike if he gets tired or needs a break.
  • Prep for pests: From annoying flies to potentially lethal mosquitos, pests are everywhere this time of year. While bug spray keeps you relatively safe, that alone won’t do for your dog. Be sure that all of his vaccines, especially rabies and distemper, are up to date before you plan your next hiking trip. Once you get home, check the fur for any ticks that may have attached themselves to your dog’s skin. Checking for pests is a top part of pet care in Bolivar, MO.
  • Stay warm: Shorthaired dogs like pit bulls might like hiking just as much as long-haired dogs. Unfortunately, they’re not as well equipped to handle colder temperatures as a Newfoundland. Be sure to bring a doggy sweater to keep your dog nice and toasty during chilly early morning or late evening hikes.
  • Buy footwear: Your dog’s feet may be tough, but you should seriously consider buying your dog some footwear to further protect his paws. Dog booties will protect his feet from rocks and help keep his paws warm on chilly days. Some of these booties are even disposable, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning them after your hike.
  • Test for germs: Your dog will probably want to stop and take a drink anytime you pass by a stream or lake. The only problem is that water can contain tons of nasty germs. Take your dog to a vet to get tested if he does happen to drink water during your hike, particularly if he shows signs of illness afterwards.

Nobody understands pet care in Bolivar, MO better than our staff at Animal Care Clinic of Bolivar. Whether your dog suffered an injury on the trail or just needs a checkup and shots, be sure to bring him in to see us!

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