Wilderness and Pets

Man hiking with his dog in Colorado
3Neus, Flickr
Hiking trails with your dog is a great way to spend time in nature, but doing so can impact both the land and your pet.

When hiking in the wilderness with your dog, consider these seven tips:

  1. Make sure Fido is wearing identification tags. Every dog owner’s nightmare is losing their pup in the woods.
  2. Keep your pup up-to-date on all vaccinations and other medical requirements. Your four-legged friend could contract diseases and parasites out in wilderness.
  3. Be a responsible master and learn the rules. Depending on who manages the land you’re exploring, there can be an array of dog-related regulations.
  4. Practice Leave No Trace. Strive to leave only paw prints on the trails.
  5. Condition yourself and your dog before a trip. Don’t assume that because Fido runs around the yard a million miles an hour he will be able to hike upwards of 10 miles a day.
  6. Let Fido carry his own provisions. If you’re worried about the weight of your hiking gear in addition to carrying food and water for your pup, consider purchasing a dog pack.
  7. First aids kits aren’t only for humans. You may want to carry these just in case: tweezers for pulling out ticks or thorns in paws, adhesive tape and a sock to wrap an injured paw in and a disposable razor for shaving fur around a wound.

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