Dog Hiking Safety: 5 Tips All Owners Should Know

Go outside and take a deep breath, do you know what the great outdoors is trying to tell you?  No, not that it’s allergy season…it’s hiking season and what better way to spend it than with your dog!

So strap on that doggie backpack and get ready to take a stroll but keep these five safety tips in mind at all times.

Learn the canine heat stroke warning signs

  • Wobbly

  • Disoriented

  • Extreme panting with an exaggerated long tongue

  • Elevated heart rate

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Change in color of the gums

  • Labored breathing

  • Anxiety

  • Collapse

Use a leash
It is very nice to own a dog that is obedient and well behaved enough that he/she will listen to your commands sans leash but let’s face it, most dogs don’t fit that bill.  What would your dog do if he/she saw another dog?  Or Horse?  Would you be able to call your dog back to you with these distractions around?  If you are unsure, think safety first and leash your dog.

As friendly as your dog may be, you can run into a multitude of unfamiliar things that may overly interest him/her.  Not all dogs on trail are friendly; you could be inviting a dog fight if your dog runs up to a reactive dog.  While most horses first instinct is to flee from danger (much to the riders dismay), some horses will decide to fight and trust me, your dog will not win this battle.  One kick can kill a dog on impact.  Not to mention, the possible peril that it poses to the rider.

Bring water for your dog
We sometimes forget that our dogs need a drink as well, don’t forget to bring water along for your canine friend.  Collapsible water bowls are perfect for outdoor loving pet people.

Use a tick and flea repellent/preventative
Fleas and ticks pose a serious risk to those who venture outside during the warm months.  Don’t forget to protect your dog from these insects.  Use a holistic or traditional method of tick and flea prevention and search your dog for ticks after each hike.

Don’t forget the dog tags at home
When setting out on trail, make sure that your dog has proper identification just in case he/she gets away from you.  If your dog gets lost, dog tags and a microchip will greatly increase the chances of your dogs safe return home.

So go take a hike!  Have some fun.  Explore the trails and satisfy your dogs natural instinct to walk.

Where are your favorite Maryland hiking spots?


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