Hiking With Your Dog
Perhaps one of the absolute best summer activities anyone could enjoy with their dog, hiking provides active stimulation for both parties no dog owner should miss out on! On the flip side, there are also safety measures vital for a good experience.
Keeping cool and preventing heat injuries is one of the most important factors to consider when hiking with your dog.
- Plan your routes ahead of time.
- Consider hiking either in the mornings or evenings, when it is cooler.
- Bring a rubber foldable travel water bowl for your dog, as well as plenty of fresh water.
- Allow your dog to take breaks in shaded areas.
Don’t Shave a Double Coated Breed
To a human’s reasoning, a smaller coat and less fur equal a cooler dog, right? After all, a heavy winter coat wouldn’t make a person feel cooler during the summer. Sadly, this rationale leads to countless needless heat injuries every year.
Many dog breeds have evolved, in diverse climates through thousands of years, a thick double coat of fur meant to serve several functions. Not only does this thick coat keep them cool during the winter, but the topcoat helps trap in cool air during the summer, guard against harmful rays from the sun, and protect from insect bites.
Shaving the topcoat (the first coat of fur cut) will remove these protections and increase the likelihood of heat injuries.
- Offering a shallow ‘kiddie pool’ in your backyard is a great, safe way for your dog to cool off!
- Wet dog food contains more moisture than dry, and is a good way to offer additional means of hydration.
ID Tags & Microchipping
ID Tags will help others identify your dog if he/she does happen to run off, as well as offer methods of contacting you (the owner) so you can find your pup. Most pet stores will allow the simple self-creation of these tags for as little as $5.
- Contact Number (phone- YOURS, not the shelter you got your pet from)
- Home address
- Rabies vaccination tag
Simply inserted right beneath your pet’s skin and completely pain-free, microchips can be scanned at any vet clinic or animal shelter your pet may end up at, instantly providing that worker your full contact information, as well as a wealth of information about your pet (at least what you choose to provide).
Swimming with the Dog
Swimming is both a fantastic summer playtime bonding experience and a great way for your pets to cool off! Believe it or not, Grey wolves are and always were, very comfortable among the water. Since today’s domesticated dogs are descendants of Grey wolves, many retain the water-resistant double coats and are naturally good swimmers (although they may not realize it at first).
On the other hand, some aren’t. Short nose, barrel-chested breeds like variations of the bulldog lines, many like breeds or descendants, and Pugs (as well as several other small breeds) are notoriously poor swimmers and should avoid large bodies of water unless closely supervised. Consider researching your breed, and whether or not he was meant for water activities.
- Make sure to follow beach pet rules.
- Always supervise your dog around water like you would a child to avoid accidents.
Don’t forget, enjoy the outdoors (safely) with your dog!