With most of us currently under stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, one of the few things we can do right now is to get outside. Hiking with your dog can be more than just a good way to escape the stress we are under. It can also be a great bonding experience. Whether you’re heading out for a short walk in the woods or if you’re planning a multi-day camping adventure with your pup, here are a few tips from Train Pro Dogs on how to have a safe pet-friendly adventure in the woods:
Obey the rules
Many National parks don’t allow dogs at all. Others require your dog be leashed at all times. Some allow you to have your dog off leash as long as they are under voice control. Make sure you know the rules and abide by them for everyone’s safety. Just because your dog is friendly, doesn’t mean you won’t come across another dog, or wild animal, that isn’t.
At Train Pro Dogs, we can help ensure your dog is trained in basic commands and is off-leash reliable. Just remember there can be lots of new and exciting distractions in the woods so always be sure your dog is wearing an up-to-date identification tag.
Leave no trace
It’s up to each of us to take care of and respect Mother Nature. Always remember to practice the leave no trace rule. Don’t litter, keep your dog on the trails, pick up and dispose of your dog’s waste and leave everything, plant or animal, exactly where you found it.
Lions and tigers and bears. Oh my.
The woods are filled with wild life. Even the cute harmless ones like deer and rabbits can be dangerous for your dog if they decide to give chase. Know what animals are native to your area that you may encounter and prepare how to respond if you do. Here in Florida, alligators are a real potential threat so even if your dog is well trained, leashes are a good idea if you will be near a river or pond.
Even if you don’t plan to be outside long, make sure you bring plenty of food and water for your dog. Even parks that typically have water stations, may not be filling them right now. Consider letting your dog carry their own gear. Ruffwear is by far our favorite gear for the outdoor dog. Check out their selection of doggie packs.
Health and Home check
A doggie first-aid kit is a good idea to carry as well. And after a day in the woods, be sure to check your dog for ticks, bug bites, or scrapes and cuts especially on their feet. Clean and treat any small wounds but be sure to see your vet for anything concerning.
You and your dog will both benefit from time together outside.