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Hiking with Your Dog

May 15, 2014

As the weather gets warmer, you may be considering going out for an invigorating wilderness hike. Why not take your dog along? Of course, you should make sure she stays safe. Use these tips from a Niagara Falls veterinarian to do just that.

Use a Leash

Even if your dog is trained to stay by your side, it’s safest to keep your pooch on a leash for the duration of your hike. When a dog spots a squirrel, another pet, or anything else she feels like chasing, she may run into trouble. Plus, you might need to keep your dog away from overgrown areas, stagnant puddles, or passerby.


Of course, it’s best to have your pet properly identified just for the worst-case scenario. Make sure your dog is wearing up-to-date ID tags around her collar or is outfitted with an updated microchip. Microchips are implanted under the skin and contain your contact information, which can then be read by scanners at vet’s offices and animal shelters.

Bring Water for Two

On any hike, it’s important to stay hydrated. This goes for you and your dog! Bring along water for both of you, and let your dog sip from her container periodically. Never let your pooch lap water from puddles, ponds, or public lakes and streams. These bodies of water may contain bacteria that could harm your pet.


Heading out into the wilderness invites a host of ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and other pests to latch on to your dog. Make sure your dog is up-to-date on all vaccinations, immunizations, and preventatives before heading outdoors. These are the best ways to keep your dog from being harmed by warm-weather pests, so ask your veterinarian for more information if your dog isn’t on them already.

Clean Up After Your Dog

Remember to bring a few plastic bags with you on your hike. These are essential for picking up your dog’s droppings. It’s not only rude to leave your dog’s waste in public areas; it may be illegal.

Your Niagara Falls veterinarian can offer further help on hiking safely with your canine companion. Call today to discover more tips!