Healthy hiking with your dog - KLFY News 10

Healthy hiking with your dog

Keeping your dog with you makes a hike better for you, your dog, wildlife and other hikers who might not be dog lovers. © sxc/cseidler Keeping your dog with you makes a hike better for you, your dog, wildlife and other hikers who might not be dog lovers. © sxc/cseidler
  • From The Dog DailyMore>>

  • The best way to clip your dog’s nails

    The best way to clip your dog’s nails

    Being a dog owner means sometimes taking on tasks that might not be that pleasant -- for either you or your dog. Nail clipping, in some cases, is one of the tasks. More >>
    Being a dog owner means sometimes taking on tasks that might not be that pleasant -- for either you or your dog. Nail clipping, in some cases, is one of the tasks. More >>
  • 5 fun ways to show your dog you love her

    5 fun ways to show your dog you love her

    There are many ways to show your dog that she is your best friend and an important member of your family.More >>
    There are many ways to show your dog that she is your best friend and an important member of your family. From doing activities together to creating a space just for her, these are some easy ways you can strengthen your bond with your four-legged friend.More >>
  • Prepare your dog for guests

    Prepare your dog for guests

    Inviting guests to your home when you have a new or energetic dog can prove to be challenging. Just a little training -- for both your dog and your guests -- will make visits more enjoyable for everyone.More >>
    Inviting guests to your home when you have a new or energetic dog can prove to be challenging. Just a little training -- for both your dog and your guests -- will make visits more enjoyable for everyone.More >>

By Kim Boatman

For years, Doug Gelbert, author of Doggin America: 100 Ideas for Great Outdoor Vacations to Take with Your Dog, and his border collie trekked over trails across the United States. Although his dog is now getting too old for strenuous adventures, the Delaware-based Gelbert still hits the trails with a neighbor dog. "Hiking is simply more pleasurable when there's a dog by your side," says Gelbert.

Hiking with dogs takes some planning and thought. The following checklist will help keep your hike from turning into a misadventure.

1. Understand your dog's capabilities.

Your dog's breed, size, medical condition and age all play a role in the distance and difficulty of a hike. A Labrador can go all day, whereas a smaller dog can go for an hour. Medium- to large-sized dogs should be able to hike at least a couple of hours in a moderate climate, adds Dr. Greg Martinez, a veterinarian who hikes and runs with dogs.

2. Recognize when your dog tires.


How will you know when your dog has had enough? "Almost all dogs want to be ahead of you, with you watching its tail wag," says Gelbert. "If your dog isn't eager to be ahead of you, it's an indication that it's time to rest."

3. Carry plenty of water.

Dogs can overheat faster than we do, notes Martinez. It's important to carry enough chilled water for your dog to drink -- and to even douse your dog with a splash on a hot day. Your dog can be trained to carry its own water since canines adjust easily to wearing travel packs. Before your journey, have your dog practice walking around the house with an empty pack, then add toilet paper rolls for weight. And never let your dog drink from a stream or lake. Even a fast-flowing mountain stream is going to have bacteria that can cause diarrhea.

4. Know environmental risks.


As you plan a hike, research potential threats to your dog. Make sure your dog is protected against potentially deadly parasites before you leave home. Mosquitoes are prevalent in some areas, and ticks are ubiquitous in others. As for heartworm, protect your dog against ticks but still inspect for ticks after your hike. It's a good idea to pack a tick comb for that task. If you're hiking in rattlesnake habitat, ask your veterinarian about a vaccine that protects against rattlesnake venom, advises Martinez.

5. Protect your dog's paws.

Dogs are often left hiking over rough surfaces with tender paws. Notice the terrain and consider its effect on your dog's paw pads. It's easy for your dog to burn its pads on hot surfaces or develop sores in between its toes when hiking on a rocky trail.

If your dog suffers even a minor pad cut, it may bleed profusely. Wrapping it lightly with medical wrapping tape should help. A small tube of Krazy Glue can also be used to close minor wounds. Make sure you check your dog's paws for mud, debris and even ice that might accumulate between pads.

6. Respect wildlife and other hikers.

Keeping your dog with you makes a hike better for you, your dog, wildlife and other hikers who might not be dog lovers. Letting your dog wander off trail poses risks to both your pal and the environment.

If you keep the above checklist in mind, chances are your dog will be waiting eagerly by the front door next time you pull out your backpack, boots and trail map.

 

Copyright (c) 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.

Kim Boatman is a journalist based in Northern California whose work has appeared in The Miami Herald, Detroit Free Press and the San Jose Mercury News. She is a life-long lover of animals.

  • Today's Celebrity Pet!

    Today's Celebrity Pet!

    GWEN STEFANI The singer and her pup hit the beach for a day of sun and fun in Marina del Rey, California.More >>
    BETTY WHITE The Golden Girl shares a sweet cuddle with pooch Delilah while attending the Saturday American Humane Association's Hero Dog Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.More >>
  • Cat Quote of the Week

    Cat Quote of the Week

    "The more people I meet, the more I like my cat." -AnonymousMore >>
    "The more people I meet, the more I like my cat." -AnonymousMore >>
  • Dog Quote of the Week

    Dog Quote of the Week

    "The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog." -George GrahamMore >>
    "The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog." -George GrahamMore >>
  • WOOFSTOCK! Sunday, April 6!

    WOOFSTOCK! Sunday, April 6!

    COME JOIN US for our 1ST ANNUAL WOOFSTOCK FESTIVAL OF ACADIANA. Acadiana residents and their pooches can now party likes its 1969, when Giles Nissan hosts Woofstock Festival of Acadiana, celebrating canineMore >>
    COME JOIN US for our 1ST ANNUAL WOOFSTOCK FESTIVAL OF ACADIANA. Acadiana residents and their pooches can now party likes its 1969, when Giles Nissan hosts Woofstock Festival of Acadiana, celebrating canineMore >>
  • Thank You from Camp Bow Wow!

    Thank You from Camp Bow Wow!

    Here's a message from the staff at Camp Bow Wow to all those who took part in their recent 5K-9 and Pet Adoption Day: We wanted to thank everyone who came out to our first Camp Bow Wow 5K-9 at GirardMore >>
    Here's a message from the staff at Camp Bow Wow to all those who took part in their recent 5K-9 and Pet Adoption Day: We wanted to thank everyone who came out to our first Camp Bow Wow 5K-9 at GirardMore >>
  • Missing "Special Needs" Dog

    Missing "Special Needs" Dog

    Have you seen this dog? This Brownie, an 8 year old Cocker Spaniel, who is spayed and up to date on immunizations. She is missing from her home on Allen Road in Maurice. Brownie has only one eye,More >>
    Have you seen this dog? This Brownie, an 8 year old Cocker Spaniel, who is spayed and up to date on immunizations. She is missing from her home on Allen Road in Maurice. Brownie has only one eye,More >>
  • Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month"

    Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month"

    Meet Mandy, a young pit bull terrier mix who is our Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month" for October! Mandy had a bit of a rough start to life but is happy as can be now that she is out of theMore >>
    Meet Mandy, a young pit bull terrier mix who is our Camp Bow Wow "Foster Dog of the Month" for October! Mandy had a bit of a rough start to life but is happy as can be now that she is out of theMore >>
  • Could Your Dog Be a TV Star?

    Could Your Dog Be a TV Star?

    Hello, everyone, it's Blue here. I'm excited to announce that as of today, we are starting a special partnership with Camp Bow Wow, who is our newest sponsor of Blue's Pet Page! To kick off this specialMore >>
    Hello, everyone, it's Blue here. I'm excited to announce that as of today, we are starting a special partnership with Camp Bow Wow, who is our newest sponsor of Blue's Pet Page! To kick off this specialMore >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLFY. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.