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Tips & Information

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Safety Tips While Hiking or Camping

Pet and owner safety while hiking or campingHiking and camping with your best friend is great way to spend your summer vacation. While most wild animals will steer clear of humans and dogs, it’s important to look out for potentially dangerous encounters in the great outdoors. 

While potential animal encounters can be dangerous, you also need to make sure you and your pet are well hydrated. Make sure you carry enough water and snacks in airtight containers for both of you when you head out of town.  A dog who isn’t used to lots of exercise may not know how pace himself appropriately in the excitement of running  free.  If you see your pet continuously panting while at rest, slowing down suddenly, or if you notice any changes in gait, these might be signs of an injury or heatstroke

Make sure you’re prepared with a small first aid kit in your backpack if you’re planning on venturing deeper into the woods, away from “civilization”.  A walking stick may come in handy in the rare circumstance that wild animals get too close for comfort to either you or your dog. Waving the stick or making noise against a tree are more likely to be helpful than using it in actual self-defence.

The type of wildlife you may encounter depends, of course, on your region, but while bears, cougars and other large animals are common concerns, many smaller animals can present a different kind of threat to your dog. Skunks, for example, can seem just the right size for your dog to chase, but in addition to their built-in defence method (which means a lot of work for you in the odour removal department), they also carry the risk of rabies. Similarly, porcupines are frequently found in many of Canada’s wooded areas, but can cause some damage to your pet with their quills, which will require a trip to the vet. 

Hiking and camping can lead to wonderful bonding experiences between you and your dog but safety is always the most important factor.  Make sure to be prepared!

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