Hiking with your Dog

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Everything You Need to Know About Hiking With Your Dog.


Hiking with your dog is a paw-some way to bond and get some fresh air together.

But before you hit the trail, follow these tips for keeping your best friend safe:

Start slowly

You wouldn't attempt a 10-mile hike the first time out; neither should your dog. Also, consider your pooch's suitability: Breeds with short noses such as bulldogs and pugs overheat easily so they're not the best hiking buddies. Small dogs can hike but need help around obstacles. Senior dogs may not be as spry as they once were, so plan shorter trips. Ditto for overweight dogs. Don't forget to bring water and snacks for both of you.

Be prepared

Pack a doggy first aid kit, and programme your vet surgery’s number into your phone.

Suit up. 

Keep your dog current on vaccines and flea and tick protection. Light- or short-coated dogs can get sunburned, so ask your vet for recommendations on canine sunscreen because some human sunscreens are toxic if your pet licks them off. To make him/her more visible, outfit your dog with a brightly coloured bandanna or jacket. Make sure he/she is wearing ID tags and that his/her microchip information is up-to-date.

Practice good pet-iquette. 

The excitement (and the smells!) of a hike can make even the most obedient dog go a little wild, so keep your pet  safely on the lead especially when crossing farmland. In fact, may sites require leashes these days. In places where off-leash hiking is allowed, don't let your dog out of your sight. Call him/her back when approaching other hikers because not everyone wants a dog nosing them. If your dog goes defecates, pick it up and carry it out. Or dig a "cat hole" six inches deep and cover it (put not the plastic bag). And never let your dog harass wildlife or farm animals. It may seem like great fun to him/her, but it is not safe.

Do a post-hike inspection. 

Look for burrs, paw pad injuries, and ticks. Bathe your pet if he/she went swimming to prevent waterborne illnesses such as leptospirosis.

 

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