Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Take a Hike

Nature Dog
Summer is one of the best times to go hiking with your dog. It's ideal exercise for a dog because the rough terrain gets the pooch in touch with their primal side. There are hiking trails all over the country. It's a great way to destress in nature and get some fresh air. Still, whenever you hike with your dog, you need to take some precautions:

1. Be sure your dog is on a leash. Some dogs are trained well enough to be off-leash but the minute they catch sight of a wild animal, they could bolt off.

2. Bring adequate water for the both of you. There are some great dog water bowls made for active dogs. They are made of nylon and have a waterproof liner. They cost around $ 5 to 15 USD. You can get a glimpse of one here.

3. Build your dog up slowly. Hiking is more of a physical challenge than walking for humans and their canine counterparts. Pace yourself at first. Dogs only cool themselves through their paws and by panting. With all the fur, they are can tire pretty quickly if they are not used to a lot of exercise.

4. Bring a first aid kit and a cloth to clean off their paws. It's possible for the bottom of their paws to get really scraped up walking on the rough terrain. Personally, I like Bag Balm. It was originally created for horses, but is great for helping cuts on pets to heal. Also, Neosporin works but is not as thick. Really, it's about what works for your dog.

5. Take a dog in the early morning or after 3pm in the afternoon. The heat and sun won't be as strong.

6. Be prepared for fleas and ticks. If you don't have a preventative on your pet like Frontline or Advantage, you may want to at least bring some flea and tick spray and a pair of tweezers to remove ticks.

7. Some people like dog backpacks to use on their walks. Make sure the backpack is in proportion to the size of your dogs. I think backpacks are best for dogs such as Golden Retrievers.

If you like to learn more about hiking, you may want to check out these websites:

K-9 Trailblazers

or these books:

Hiking Dog
If hiking is not your thing, you may want to take a look at these other posts about dog activities:

As always I'd love to hear from you guys, please feel free to leave a comment and have a great day.

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