04 May 2009

Happy Trails: Tips For Hiking With Your Dog

As the weather heats up, Arizona's Valley residents will be heading up north to enjoy the cooler climate and the great outdoors. Many dog owners will take their four-legged friends with them for a day of hiking and exercise.

But before you hit the trails, Melissa Gable, Friends of Animal Care and Control, there are some important safety tips to remember.

1. Determine which hike is best for your dog. Toy breeds with short legs cannot go as far or as fast as larger dogs. It is unfair to force a small or young dog to walk many miles; especially on rough terrain. Even if you have a large dog, don’t attempt a long hike immediately. Just like us, some dogs need to work up to longer distances.

2. Before you head out on a hike, make sure your dog’s nails are trimmed. Long nails can be extremely painful for a dog.

3. Make sure your dog is properly licensed and educate yourself on the rules and regulations of the area where you will be hiking.

4. Make sure you keep your dog away from holes and rocks – poisonous snakes, spiders and scorpions can all be harmful to your pet. And don’t forget to keep Fido away from cactus! Having your dog on leash will help prevent any accidents.

5. Bring LOTS of water (for you and your dog). There are many different types of collapsible water bowls for your pooch. Don’t expect your dog to drink from a water bottle – always have a bowl handy.

[Source: abc15.com]