Hiking With Your Dog
My Australian Shepard Luna and I took a trip up the Pacific Northwest for some out door hiking and nature adventures. Along the way I discovered there are some strict dog restrictions on certain hiking trails and state parks. We had an amazing time together outdoors. Here are a few tips for you and fido if you are planning to take the two of you or your family hiking.
Before you go anywhere it is important your dog has a collar or body harness, tag, current on vaccines, and has flea and tick protection. Microchipped is highly recommended.
It is important to know if your dog is healthy enough for an outdoor adventure. Check trails and state parks to see if pets are allowed on the trails you plan to hike. Many state parks do not allow dogs.
Does the trail you plan to hike have rest areas or water stations?
Check weather on any trail alerts before you begin your hike.
Pack and Prepare for the Trail
Hydration is most essential. If water is not available you will want to pack enough water for both you and your dog and plenty enough to last your entire trip. Collapsable food and water dishes are great tools to take and enough treats to keep Fido energized.
Obey the leash rule and a body harness for your dog is highly recommended. The rules are for your safety, your dog’s safety, and the safety of other people and dogs. Your dog may be well trained and not the problem, but it is always smart to prepare for unpredictable pets or animals, or other factors you never even dreamed of on the trail. Be aware some people are afraid of dogs.
On the Trail Safety Tips
Bring a First Aid for you and Fido. There may be minor irritations along the trail and prepare if more serious accidents occur. There are many small kits available at sporting good stores.
Always pick up you dog poo. Dog poo is one of the most common carrier of parasites like tape worm, round worm, and bacteria like salmonella. Bring baggies, dog poo does not bio degrade like wild animal poop. It doesn’t belong out there and it is awful to step in when your out walking.
To prevent dehydration from occurring, stop for water breaks often and sit in the shade. Watch for signs of heatstroke. Your dog’s internal temperature should not go over 109 degrees. Signs of heatstroke are deep rapid panting, bright red tongue, red or pale gums, thick sticky saliva, weakness, vomiting, dizziness. Know your dog’s limitations, don’t allow them to over exert themselves. If you see any of these signs you should get into the shade, stop, and wet their armpits. For severe cases get to the vet immediately.
It’s important to plan ahead and know your dog’s limitations. Be prepared for whatever may come across your path. Most of all have fun! Take lots of pictures and enjoy a day out with Fido.