Your dog is the perfect hiking companion. Regardless of the type of trail that you may have plans to trek across soon, you may be eager to get your dog some much-needed exercise and to enjoy time communing with nature with your furry friend by your side. While hiking can be a healthy activity for your dog, there are some dangers that you need to be aware of as well. If you intend to hike even a short distance with your dog, look out for these dangers.
Poisonous Snakes and Predators
Many snakes and other predators will hear you and your pet walking down the trail and they may quickly scurry away. However, when you surprise a snake, there is a good chance that the snake will act aggressively. Because dogs are usually in the lead when you are hiking, they may be more at risk of being struck by a poisonous snake. Some predators, such as hawks, may also see smaller dogs as prey. Be aware of your surroundings, and remember to see medical attention immediately if your dog is injured or attacked by a predator or a poisonous reptile.
Signs of Dehydration
Dogs can become dehydrated just as people can. Plan ahead by bringing a small bowl for your dog to drink out of, and always bring enough water for both of you to share. You should pay attention to your dog’s physical symptoms for signs of dehydration. Remember that older dogs may become dehydrated or fatigued more easily. Dehydration can become a serious and even life-threatening issue.
Foot and Leg Injuries
It is easy to assume that your dog can easily handle the impact of a walk across a trail, and this may be particularly true if your dog is younger and otherwise in great condition. However, dogs’ paws may not be hardened enough to withstand the impact of walking across sharp rocks or very hot surfaces. Some dogs have even had the paws on their feet completely peeled or burned away by unsuspecting and well-intentioned pet owners. Choose the hiking conditions carefully, and keep your pet at home if there are any concerns about the impact on their feet and legs.
Taking your dog with you on your next outdoor adventure is a great idea in many cases. However, you should be aware of your dog’s health needs and plan appropriately. Seek medical attention from your trusted veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog is injured outdoors.