In central Maine, there is nothing better than when spring and summer finally arrive, and people are able to enjoy the great weather. Whether it’s taking your dog for a swim at the local lake, or hiking your favorite trail with your pet, there are tons of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors this time of year. Today, we’re discussing some important do’s and don’ts when it comes to hiking with pets, in order to keep them safe.
Ensure They Remain Hydrated
Although your dog can most likely outrun, and out hike you, it’s important to remember they need to stay hydrated during your outdoor activities. Hiking requires a lot of energy, from navigating steep hills to avoiding dangerous areas on the trail. Especially as temperatures rise, be sure you’re stopping frequently along your hike and offering your dog water.
To prepare for your hike, we suggest packing a backpack that includes a plastic, foldable water dish and a couple bottles of water. Don’t make the mistake of leaving the water at home for you or your pet, or you’ll risk possible dehydration.
Consider Their Physical Limitations Before Hiking
Although your pet may be in good shape, if you’re setting out for a rigorous hike, stop and considering the following factors:
- Is it safe for your dog to be out in higher temperatures? For example, short-nosed breeds are not appropriate hiking buddies, generally speaking. Keep your English bulldogs and pugs at home unless you’ve consulted with your vet, first.
- Is your dog young enough to handle the hike safely? If you have a senior dog, it’s important not to overexert them with a challenging hike. Like humans, older dogs slow down with age and may not be up for a long, strenuous hike.
- Consider your pets medical history prior to hiking with them. If your dog suffers from hip dysplasia, joint issues or muscle conditions, it’s probably not a great idea to hike with them as it may cause them discomfort. Instead, consider a less demanding summer activity such as swimming at a lake.
If you’re not sure whether or not your dog would make a good hiking partner, give our team a call and we would be happy to look over their health records and offer our opinion.
Always Obey Leash Laws
Lastly, it’s important to abide by all state leash laws when hiking with pets. Oftentimes, leash laws are clearly outlined on a state park’s website, or at the hiking site itself. If you’re not sure whether or not there is a mandatory leash law in a specific area, err on the side of caution and keep your pet leashed during your hike.
To find out more about dog leash laws in Maine, explore this helpful article from the Maine State Legislature.
At Hometown Vet, we would love to answer any questions you have about pet safety during spring and summer. We would be more than happy to offer our advice on the topic of safely hiking with pets.
Feel free to give us call us at (207) 453-7387 or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to speaking with you!