A hike can be a beautiful and relaxing experience for you and your pet, but some simple precautions should be taken to keep your pet safe when you hit the trails together.
1. Always keep your pet on a leash. Even if you are hiking in a familiar and secluded area, small animals can often be too enticing for your pet not to pursue. An unleashed, curious pet is also at risk for being bitten by a snake.
2. Just as you would for yourself, always bring an adequate supply of fresh water, as well as a collapsible bowl or doggie canteen. Do not allow your pet to drink from puddles, ponds, or lakes, which may contain parasites or toxins that could be harmful when ingested.
3. Even though your pet will be leashed through the entire hike, always check that your pet’s ID tags are attached to the collar or harness. This should include contact information for you, including your cell phone number.
4. You never know what you will come across on a hike. Always keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date.
5. Don’t assume that colder weather means no more fleas or ticks! Check your calendar and continue to administer monthly applications of flea & tick medicine; this preventative care will help keep pests – and the illnesses they carry - at bay.