Not all dogs are suited for going on vigorous hikes, especially in hot weather. Senior dogs, puppies, nursing mamas, pets with mobility problems, small dogs, and brachycephalic pooches will likely be more comfortable staying home and taking a nap. Fido’s exercise needs and capabilities will depend on his age, health, and breed, so be sure to consult your vet before taking him hiking. If your furry friend gets the green light, take time to build his endurance slowly before hitting challenging trails.
Before taking Fido hiking, make sure that he is fully trained. The five most crucial commands for dogs to know are Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, and Lay Down. This is very important, as good training will allow you to stop your pup from running off or approaching dangerous animals or areas.
Make sure that Fido is current on his vaccines and parasite control products. He should also be microchipped and wearing current ID tags.
You’ll need to take some basic supplies along, even on a short hike. First and foremost, bring plenty of water, for both yourself and your dog. You’ll also need to bring waste baggies, food and treats, and a first aid kit. Look for collapsible plastic dishes, which are easy to carry.
Some of the early warning signs of heat exhaustion include panting and drooling. If your pup starts panting, give him some water and let him rest for a bit. More serious symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, discolored gums, and trembling. If you notice any of these red flags, immediately give Fido some water and contact your vet.
Walking barefoot on hot surfaces can be quite painful for Man’s Best Friend. Try to keep Fido on soft ground, and use paw balm to protect his feet. We also recommend clipping your pup’s nails before hiking. This will help him get better traction, and will prevent painful claw tears.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Simi Valley, CA animal clinic. We are here to help!