Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Taking Your Dog Into The Great Outdoors

Braving the wild with your dog? Read this to make sure you've got all the pooch necessities. Is your dog properly conditioned? If your dog is accustomed to twenty-minute walks and you have a five-hour hike planned, your dog might not be ready for it. Training is the key. Start going on longer walks weeks before the hike, increasing the distance as your dog becomes conditioned.

Be sure your dog is getting a complete and balanced diet. A good diet goes a long way in helping your dog keep up his or her energy. To prevent an upset stomach, don't subject your dog to strenuous exercise directly after eating a full meal. Save mealtime for after the hike when your dog is rested and cooled down.

Avoid heat and humidity. On those hot and/or humid days, hike in the early morning or in the evening when it cools off. Dogs with dark or heavy coats tend to overheat quickly.

Be sure there's plenty of water. Here's how to calculate: Your dog needs 12 ounces of water before the hike, 12 ounces every half hour during the hike, and the same amount afterward.

Watch your dog's paws. Hiking in the woods can cause footpad injuries such as cuts and scrapes. Remember to bring along a first aid kit and attend to any problems immediately. Keep your dog's nails trimmed so they don't get caught in grass, which could cause serious injury.

Leash your dog. It's really the only way to maintain control at all times. This is especially important in the woods where you want to keep your dog away from other animals and dangerous plants like poison ivy.

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Obinna Heche: Los Angeles- California

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dotbar said...

I'd love to take my dog, Leo, on a hike. Thanks for the info.

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