Explore the Great Outdoors with Your Best Four-Footed Friend (and These Safety Tips)

Explore the Great Outdoors with Your Best Four-Footed Friend (and These Safety Tips)

Throughout summer and autumn, there’s no better time to get out of the house and into the great outdoors for some healthy physical activity, exploration, and rejuvenating time enjoying the beautiful scenery around Richmond. Dogs also love romping around in the wilderness, smelling all the smells, and spotting all the little critters. Before you head out into the unknown with your four-footed friends, consider these tips to make sure you both have a fun time exploring.

Outdoor Safety Tips for Hiking and Camping with Dogs

1. Pack Food and Water

Bring enough food and water for both you and your dog; drinking from ponds or streams can make you and your dog very sick.

2. Guard Against Parasites and Disease

Before heading out, make sure your dog’s properly protected from fleas, ticks, parasites, and contagious diseases found in the wilderness. Even with protection, be sure to check your dog for ticks.

3. Watch Out for Blue-Green Algae

Blue-green algae is extremely toxic to dogs. Ingesting or swimming in it can be fatal.

4. Get a Microchip

It’s best to keep your dog on a leash, but a microchip will provide an extra layer of protection and assurance if your dog gets away from you on the trail.

5. Choose Dog-Friendly Trails and Campgrounds

Before you choose a destination, research it to make sure dogs are welcome.

6. Know Your Dog’s Limits

Before setting out on a strenuous hike with your dog wearing a pack, check with our veterinarian to make sure your dog’s healthy enough to handle the activity.

7. Wear Orange

If you’re planning a wilderness adventure during autumn, check to see when hunting season starts in your destination. It’s okay to hike and camp during hunting season, but you’ll need to wear a vest in hunter’s orange and purchase one for your dog, too.

Schedule a Preventative Care Appointment to Update Vaccinations and Parasite Protection

Before heading out into the great outdoors with your dog, we recommend scheduling a time for Capital Home Veterinary to visit your house for a preventative care appointment. We’ll do a physical exam to make sure your pet’s healthy enough for a hike and a romp in the woods. We’ll also ensure your pet is fully protected from parasites like heartworm, fleas, and ticks. Plus, we’ll check that all of your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and potentially suggest adding a few non-core vaccines, like the leptospirosis vaccine, to increase your pet’s safety in the wilderness. Contact us to schedule an appointment before your next big exploration!