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November 17th is National Take a Hike Day We may be a little biased, but we think the only way to make a hike more enjoyable is to add a canine companion to your trek.
However, before you hit the trail with your dog, there are a few things you should know and consider. Here are a tips and tricks to make the most of your trail time some of the best time.
Start by making sure your dog is up-to-date on all its vaccinations and attach your dog’s rabies tag to its collar so that it’s visible. Then, clearly tag your animal with your name, phone number and address, and make sure their microchip information is up-to-date. If your dog is currently on any preventative medicines (i.e., for fleas, ticks or heartworms), make sure there are no wounds that could become infected. Also if your dog is accompanying you on hikes often, consider pet insurance to cover accidents or illnesses that result for the time spent on the trail.
As always, if you’re unsure about whether your dog is in good enough health to join you on the trail, a trip to your veterinarian is a good idea to discuss your dog’s specific situation.
Check the Weather Conditions :
Since the weather is becoming colder and there can be significant winter weather events in some locations this time of year, it’s always a good idea to check the weather before hitting the trails. If the weather forecast is predicting inclement weather, the safest option is to stay close to home. However, colder temperatures don’t necessarily disqualify your canine companion from coming along on the hike, in fact, many breeds like German Shepherds, Akitas and Alaskan Malamutes are built for the cold weather. Even if your dog isn’t specifically a cold weather breed, as long as you plan according to the anticipated weather conditions, you can still bring your dog along if you take the proper precautions.
Choosing the Right Trail:
Choosing a dog-friendly trail is important all year long, not just in the winter. But, with winter weather comes additional safety measures that should be taken. Some winter trails are just not appropriate for dogs, even if it’s a dog friendly trail.
Make Sure you Pack the Essentials:
When heading out for a hike with your pup there are a lot of items you could bring, but here are a few we consider essentials:
Be sure to bring along a first aid kit for you pet and yourself. Most of what you need for your pet will be found in your own kit. A styptic pencil will stop most minor cuts from bleeding quickly, and dog-specific aspirin is formulated so it will stifle pain without giving your pet stomach ulcers.
Items to include in your doggy first-aid kit include:
While hiking can be a wonderful activity for you and your pet, accidents can occur on while on the trail. If your hiking buddy becomes injured, make sure you have pet insurance to cover the vet bills and get your canine companion back to hitting the trails as soon as possible. Get a quote for your trail mate in less than two minutes.
Whether you’re heading out on the trail to celebrate National Take a Hike Day or just enjoy getting some trail time on a regular basis, these tips will help you and your pet be more prepared for what the hike may bring. Happy Trails!
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