Spring is here! The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the flowers are blooming- its the perfect time of year to get some fresh air in the great outdoors with your pup! However, before you hit the trails, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience for both you and your dog. In this blog post, we'll provide you with some helpful tips for spring hiking with your dog that can help make your adventure even better.
Check the trail conditions
Before heading out, make sure to check the trail conditions. Spring weather can be unpredictable, and trails may be muddy, icy, or even closed due to snowmelt. Be sure to check with the park or trail management to get up-to-date information on the conditions.
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Pack plenty of water and snacks
- Just like you, your pup will need plenty of water and snacks to keep their energy up during the hike. Take regular water breaks along the trail! Check out our collapsible canvas bowls that make it easy to keep your pup hydrated on the go.
Protect against ticks and fleas
Spring is prime tick and flea season, so it's important to protect your pup against these pesky critters. Consider preventive sprays, or collars and definitely be sure to keep your dog up to date on flea and tick preventative medicine before entering wooded areas!
After returning home, do a tick check on your dog, paying extra attention to the area around the face and ears. If you are planning to bathe your dog post-adventure, this is a great time to do a thorough check. If you spot any, its important to remove as soon as possible. Pathogen transmission can occur as quickly as three to six hours after a bite occurs, so the sooner you remove the tick, the less chance there is that your dog will get sick.*
Dress for the weather
- Spring weather can be unpredictable, so it's important to dress in layers and bring along rain gear just in case. We offer a variety of dog jackets and raincoats, ensuring that your pup stays warm and dry during your hike.
Respect other hikers and wildlife
- Remember to always respect other hikers and wildlife on the trail. Keep your dog on a leash and clean up after them to help preserve the natural beauty of the area.
- If your dog is off-leash trained, be sure to check that the area you are exploring allows dogs to be off leash before arriving, and make sure your dog has had plenty of prior practice with recall in a safe fenced in area before hitting the trails. Although your dog may be friendly to others, you don’t know that every dog you encounter on the trail will be, so its important your dog will reliably stay close to you on command, even with the excitement of another passing dog. If you encounter another dog along the trail, call your dog over, and attach the leash until they have passed, or until you get the 'ok' from the other owner that they are friendly. Don’t forget to pack plenty of treats!
*Source: American Kennel Club