Hitting the trail is a great way to enjoy time with your dog and the great outdoors. Summer and fall are particularly popular times for hiking with your dog. Before you hit the trail, here are some dog safety tips to keep you and your pooch safe.
Respect Other Hikers And Dogs
Hiking trails get crowded this time of year. Be mindful of your surroundings while hiking, especially on trails with sharp turns. Joggers, bikers, hikers, and other canines appear around the bend without warning, often giving you little time to react. Many trails have leash laws. Obey the law and keep your dog on a leash. This protects your dog from unfriendly dogs and protects you from legal action.
Pack Water For Your Pooch
Throw an extra water bottle and a collapsible water bowl in your bag for your pooch. You get thirsty on your hikes, and so does your dog. Bringing water along helps your dog stay hydrated and prevents him from drinking out of bacteria filled puddles. It also reduces his risk of heat stroke.
Lions, Tigers, And Bears
You and your dog are not alone on the trail. Bears, raccoons, porcupines, snakes, skunks, birds, deer, insects and a host of other creatures share the woods and fields with you. Some are dangerous, others are endangered. Look ahead and keep your dog on a leash to prevent unwanted altercations. Stay away from brush piles where snakes like to hide and don't let your dog wander out of your sight. If you do encounter wildlife, back away slowly with your dog. Don't intervene directly if your dog engages with a wild animal. Shout and attempt to call your dog back. Keeping your dog on a leash prevents these dangerous situations.
Plan Your Route
Exploring new parks and paths is exciting. Download a trail map to your phone or get a paper print out. Analyze the map for areas that are difficult for your dog. Steep climbs and rocky hikes are hard on your dog's paws and joints. Don't ask too much of your older dog or puppy. When in doubt, explore the trail first before bringing your pup along for the ride.
Hiking with your dog is rewarding and fun, not to mention great exercise for both of you. Keep these safety tips in mind to ensure you have a safe hike. If you worry about losing your dog in the woods or are considering hiking with your dog at dawn or dusk, contact us to find out about our line of LED collars.
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