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Hiking with Your Dog

August 01, 2014

Your dog will likely love the new smells, sights, and sounds of a wilderness hike. Just make sure he stays safe on your next excursion! Use your Dutchess County vet’s tips, listed below, to keep your dog safe and sound the next time you head outdoors for a hike.

Identify Your Dog

Step number one: make sure your dog is properly identified. While you never expect your dog to run away or get lost, you simply never know what might happen. It’s best to be prepared by having your dog wear updated ID tags, a microchip, or both. This way, your dog stands a much better chance of being returned to you quickly and safely than if he isn’t wearing any identification at all.

Make Sure Vaccines are Updated

Are your dog’s vaccinations up-to-date? Don’t forget about the various critters waiting to take a bite out of your pet outdoors, including ticks, fleas, and heartworms. Year-round preventative medications are the best way to avoid infestations or infections, so check with your vet if you aren’t sure about your pet’s meds. He or she can tell you what your pet needs to stay healthy.

Bring a Leash

Even if your dog is well-trained and doesn’t need to spend time on a leash constantly, it’s a good idea to have one with you. You simply never know when your dog might dart after a squirrel or drift towards the road. Plus, leashes are good for keeping your dog away from stagnant puddles, tangled underbrush, or other hikers and pets that don’t necessarily want your dog to say hello!

Clean Up After Your Pooch

Bring plastic bags to pick up after your dog. It’s both rude and unsanitary to leave your pet’s droppings lying about for other passerby and pets to run into. In addition, it’s illegal in many public hiking areas! Check the area’s regulations to see about other requirements you and your dog will need to follow.

Bring Fresh Water

Bring at least two water bottles, one for you and one for your pooch, and let him sip from it regularly. Never let your pet drink public water from streams, lakes, rivers, ponds, or puddles, as you don’t know what sort of bacteria or chemicals could be in it.

These aren’t the only great hiking safety guidelines. Talk to your Dutchess County veterinarian to learn about more!

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