Hiking Safely With Your Dog

It’s a lot of fun to include your canine companion on wilderness hikes. Athletic breeds will absolutely love getting out and exploring with their owners! Keep your pet’s safety in mind—follow these tips from a Lafayette, LA vet.

Preventatives

It’s all too easy for your pet to encounter outdoor pests like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and parasitic worms during a wilderness hike. The trick is keeping them up-to-date on proper preventatives to ward off these critters. Consult your veterinarian right away if your dog isn’t already wearing preventative medications against pests.

Identification

Make sure your dog is properly identified before you head outdoors. Dogs can escape or get lost despite your best efforts, and the best way to ensure that they get safely and quickly returned to you in that event is with proper identification! Your pooch should be outfitted with a microchip, ID tags on the collar, or both. See your vet if your dog needs identification measures.

Training Tips

If you take your dog on a hiking trip, they should know a solid recall command like “come” or “heel.” This way, your dog will always come back to you if they venture too far or decide to dart after a wild animal or another hiker. Of course, having your dog know such a command will be useful at home, too! Ask your veterinarian about training your canine companion to learn a recall command.

Proper Hydration

Never allow your dog to drink from public bodies of water like lakes or ponds, and don’t let them sip out of puddles on the ground. This is a surefire way for your dog to become infested with a parasite or bacteria. Instead, bring along a thermos of fresh, cool water just for your dog and offer them sips from it on a regular basis. This way, they stay properly hydrated throughout your hike without any risk.

After-Hike Exam

Once your hike is over and you’re both back in the comfort of your own home, give your dog’s entire body a quick once-over. Check through the coat for any ticks or signs of fleas. Remove any burrs, twigs, or leaves that may be stuck in the coat or lodged between the toes, and let your vet know if you see anything that seems out of the ordinary.

If you would like more information on your dog’s health, visit your Lafayette, LA veterinary clinic.

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