Hit the trails!

Hiking season is upon us!

We’re all coming out of hibernation to enjoy the paved and off road trails all around the region.  For many of our dogs, it’s a time to get out and explore with their owners.  Keep in mind they’ve been cooped up, like us, all winter long and may need a refresher course on how to be a good citizen.

Here’s a few tips to keep your outings enjoyable and safe for all involved.

Identification- it may seem like a no brainer, but check your dogs collar and make sure their ID tag is up to date and readable.  The majority of people check for ID first before calling the shelter

Vaccinations – be sure your pup is up to date!  Rabies is not the only risk in public.  I’ve heard there have been a number of cases of Parvo in our area as well as Kennel Cough.  Your vet will be able to check your records and let you know if your pup is due for any vaccines.

Treats -Keep a handful of treats to reward your dog for good behavior.  Don’t wait until she’s gone crazy at seeing a bicycle.  Reward when there’s nothing going on and she’ll be more likely to respond to a cue when she sees another person or dog  enjoying the trail. Treats are also useful if someones off leash dog is coming towards you that may not look so friendly.  You can throw a bunch of treats away from you and the dog will more than likely go find the treats.  This allows you time to put some distance between you and call animal control.

LIONS AND TIGERS AND BEARS OH MY!!  Well, it’s not all that bad but we DO have quite a few snakes and bees around that may cross your path. If your pup gets stung keep an eye on them for any severe allergic reactions.  If she’s so unlucky as to encounter a snake and get bit, contact your vet immediately to find out what medical treatment is advised.

Trail manners – Cyclists are supposed to alert people on the trail that they’re going to pass. However, we know that’s not always the case.  Our busy paved trail system is not the place to have your dog on a long flexi lead.  Please keep your dog and others safe by having them on a 4-6 foot leash and stepping aside for faster trail goers.  This prevents injury to all parties involved.

Clean up – it’s not just unsightly, it can spread disease.  Pick up after your dog. Most trails have trash bins throughout the trail.

Training – don’t forget to practice your leash skills!  If you need help getting a well mannered pup just give me a call and we can get your skills ready to hit the great outdoors!