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Hiking Safety For Dogs

November 17th is Take A Hike Day! We suspect that many of our canine patients would love to go for a hike. Fido is a great trail buddy! Just be sure to put your dog’s health and safety first when hitting the trail. Read on as a local Pleasanton, CA vet offers some tips on hiking with dogs.

Preparation

Before taking Fido hiking, you’ll need to make sure he is microchipped, wearing ID tags, and current on vaccines and parasite control. Your pooch should also obey basic commands, like Sit, Stay, Come, and Lay Down.

Endurance

If Fido is out of shape, you’ll need to build his endurance up slowly. Start by alternating walking and running, or just by taking short hikes. Keep an eye on your furry friend, and be careful not to overexert him. If your pup is panting and/or lagging behind, take a water break, and then head for home.

Get The Green Light

Not our canine pals are cut out for hiking. Dogs that are very large or small may get tired out too quickly. Senior dogs, puppies, nursing mamas, and pets with medical issues may also be more comfortable staying home and taking a nap. Check with your vet before taking Fido out on a hike.

Safety

We recommend keeping Fido leashed at all times. You can use a retractable leash, though bear in mind that these can become problematic if the mechanism jams.

Paw Care

Hiking can be rough on your canine pal’s paws! Use paw balm or wax to protect Fido’s furry feet. Also, keep his nails clipped. Otherwise, they could snag on things and tear.

Gear

Bring plenty of water along for Fido. Don’t let your furry buddy drink from open water, especially standing water: it could be contaminated. You’ll also want to bring food, snacks, and a first-aid kit. Stronger dogs may be able to carry their stuff in doggy backpacks.

Curiosity

Dogs are very curious by nature. This is adorable, but it can also get them into trouble. Keep your four-legged friend away from potentially-dangerous areas. This includes riverbanks, places with steep cliffs, and anything that looks like it may appeal to a snake or another wild critter. Also, don’t let Fido sniff dangerous plants, like foxtail grasses.

Please reach out to us, your local Pleasanton, CA vet clinic, anytime. We’re dedicated to offering great care!

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