How to safely adventure outside with your dog – PLAY

By Indiana Lee on June 27, 2023

There are few things in life more rewarding and exciting than spending time with your dog outdoors. You and your pup can do almost anything together and you’ll have a blast. Time spent outside also creates an opportunity for bonding and allows you and your dog to get the physical activity you both need and deserve.

However, if you are planning an exciting adventure, you should also keep safety in mind. Even though they act like best friends, dogs are still animals and they can get into trouble or get hurt if you don’t watch them. That said, before you head out on your next expedition, keep these tips in mind.

Tips for Hiking with a Dog

Hiking is a great activity to do with your dog because it’s an opportunity for both of you to see more of the outside world and the many plants and animals that make it great. Although hiking may seem like a simple activity at first, there are plenty of precautions you need to take to keep your pup safe. Before you go, research the trail to make sure dogs are allowed and that it is not dangerous for your pet.

The most important accessory to bring for your hike is your dog’s leash. It’s very likely that you share the trail with other hikers and want to keep your dog away so as not to cause an incident. Pair the leash with a harness to provide additional protection. It’s a good idea to keep a leash in your car at all times in case you decide to take a hike to a random destination. Some trails only allow dogs if they are on a leash and you want to be prepared.

It can also be hot on the trail, so it’s important that you bring enough water to both avoid dehydration. Check the weather in advance and stay home if it’s too hot that day. In general, try to avoid hiking on days when it’s 100 degrees or hotter. Also remember that your dog will also burn more calories than at home, so you need to bring enough food so he can eat and stay energized.

Bigger Adventures

If your hike turns into a larger adventure, such as a mountaineering expedition or a hunting trip, then you will need to take appropriate precautions to keep your dog safe. To begin with, if you are going on a trip with other people, you will also need to respect their situation. Not everyone is as comfortable with dogs as you are.

It’s also important to remember the triggers that can make your dog stressed or anxious. For example, dogs are often nervous around loud noises like gunshots and loud music, so keep your pet’s mental health in mind.

If you are traveling deep in the forest or another area where you might encounter wildlife, you need to be prepared. Again, keeping your pet on a leash will prevent him from running away and chasing animals. Keep in mind that some animals that you think may not pose a threat may still pose a danger, such as deer, which will not be afraid to attack a dog during its rutting season (mating season).

When spending time in the woods, it is also important to be aware of the parasites like fleas and ticks. Scrub your dog several times during the trip and if you notice a tick, remove it immediately to avoid further damage. You can also use an anti-tick spray to protect your dog.

Practice water safety

Finally, if any of the adventures involve water, safety is especially important. First, make sure your pet feels comfortable around water. Dogs know how to swim, but some are generally not interested in doing so, while others are not good at swimming in the first place. Assess your dog’s abilities, then make appropriate adjustments.

When your dog swims, it is important to give them your full attention, even if they are good swimmers. Some dogs can swim across a lake or pool, but have difficulty getting out, so give them a helping hand if necessary.

When your dog comes out of the water, it’s a good idea to rinse him off if possible. Some swimming pools contain chlorine which can damage your dog’s skin. Additionally, if they lick their fur, then they may have chlorine in their system. Even lakes and ponds can contain high levels of bacteria that can be harmful to dogs, and you don’t want to leave anything to chance. Finally, be aware of the dangers of blue-green algae, which is toxic to dogs. If you notice that your dog is having seizures, excessive drooling or vomiting after swimming, then it is possible that he has ingested blue-green algae and you should consult the veterinarian immediately.

There are many precautions you can and should take before taking your dog on your next big adventure. Consider the tips mentioned here and you can have a fun and safe time with your four-legged friend.


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