There is nothing better than spending a beautiful day out with your favorite pet enjoying all that nature has to offer. However, when you and your dog head outside to enjoy this weather and become explorers on a hiking trail there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind.
Be Mindful of the Leash
Naturally, dogs are explorers. If you hit the hiking trails with your pet you may want to keep them on a shorter leash. This will give you more control of your pet, especially if you are in a wooded or high-brush area. If you are in a wide-open space and feel comfortable having your pets go off-leash you need to make sure they respond to commands and don’t run too far from you. Remember to also be respectful of others. Not everyone loves dogs as much as you and they may be nervous or anxious if they see a dog off-leash. Always have your leash close by so you can put your dog on the leash at any given moment.
Stay Up-to-Date on Vaccinations
You never know what your pets will encounter on a hiking trail. From other dogs to wildlife, it is important to have your dogs up-to-date on all of their vaccinations before you venture into the great unknown. This will keep your dogs safe and protect them from any potentially harmful things around them.
Respect Your Surroundings
Even in the wild you should be respectful of your surroundings. Although it’s not the most luxurious part of owning a dog, cleaning up your dog’s waste is a necessity that all dog owners must do. This shouldn’t be ignored because you are in the wild. Use the same rules as a dog park and clean up after your pets so the trails can remain clean for others to enjoy. Make sure to keep a few baggies with you on all hikes.
Make sure that before you head out on the hiking trails you grab a bottle of water for you and for your pet. Keep an expandable bowl in your pocket for your dog to drink from. Don’t allow your pets to drink from puddles, streams or creeks. There may be bacteria in these areas that could harm your dog more than hydrate them.
Inspect Your Pup
After your hike is over, you want to do a quick once-over and check your dog for any ticks or other creepy-crawlies. Pay close attention to crevices or skin folds along with their stomach and ears. If you find anything on your dog, remove it immediately.
Do you have a question for Brian? E-mail him at AskBrian@hsdayton.org. Brian Weltge is the President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. The Humane Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to building loving relationships between people and pets. Founded 113 years ago, it is the largest and most established no-kill animal welfare agency in the area. It focuses on pet adoptions, eliminating pet overpopulation, providing education and ensuring the humane treatment of animals. For more information about the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, call (937) 268-PETS (7387) or visit www.hsdayton.org.