With the leaves changing color and the air getting crisp, it’s a great time to take a nature walk with your dog. Our friends at Discovery News have tips for keeping hikes fun and safe for everyone. Here are a few of our favorites (read all eight tips here):
- Make sure your trail is dog-friendly. Some parks are dog-friendly throughout; some have designated trails for people with dogs; and others don’t allow dogs at all. Also, be sure to check the park’s leash rules; even if off-leash walks are permitted, you may want to keep your dog leashed in case you come across wildlife or a dog who is not dog-friendly.
- Make sure your dog stays on the trail. Your pup might be tempted to run after a squirrel, but off the trail he’s more likely to run into larger animals (such as bears and coyotes), not to mention poison ivy, poison oak, fleas and ticks.
- Pack a water bowl and extra bottle in your bag. Dogs can be just as sensitive to water-borne illnesses as humans, so don’t let your dog drink from streams or lakes. Instead, bring enough water for both of you and take frequent water breaks. You may want to also bring a snack for your dog if you plan to be out all day.
- Just in case, bring a first aid kit. Styptic powder can help stop bleeding if you dog’s paw pad or nail gets injured, and sterile gauze bandages can help you handle larger cuts. Find out what else to include in your dog’s first aid kit.
- Dispose of poop properly. Respect other hikers and the land — bring pooper scoopers and don’t leave any waste behind. (Here’s why it’s so important to scoop your dog’s poop.)
Tell us: Do you hike with your dog? Where?
More on this subject:
Discovery News: 8 Must-Read Tips for Hiking with Your Dog
Animal Planet: Top 10 Dog-Friendly Hiking Trails
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