The air is crisp, the leaves are turning and fall is in the air. What better way to take in the beauty of Mother Nature than going for a hike. Better yet, grab your dog and set out on your adventure. Don’t forget though, this isn’t you everyday trip around the block. Below are a few tips to keep your pet safe and make that hike a little easier.

Visit the Vet: Before setting out on your adventure, make sure that your dog is up to date on all vaccinations. You never know what animals you may encounter.

Wear a Collar: Whether you are heading into the wilderness or a backpacking trip or a short trek nearby, your dog should always wear a collar with their name and your contact information. Having your pet microchipped and updating your contact records are the best ways to ensure your pet returns safely if they ever go missing.

Explore: If you want to give your hiking companion a little time to explore the surroundings be sure the trail allows off- leash animals and that he or she reliably comes when called.

Put them on a Short Leash: Outdoor adventures call for shorter leashes. Extending leashes are very useful, but on a hike they usually mean a lot of time spent untangling Fido from trees and brush every hundred steps.

Hydration: Hiking means you both will need hydration. Never let pets drink from puddles or streams, as you never know what parasites or toxins they may contain. Be sure to bring to bring enough water for two.

Respect Nature: Even though you are in the woods, be respectful of fellow hikers and the surroundings. Bring along baggies to pick up after your dog, every time.

Remember the Treats: Carry a few treats along with you. Call your dog to you and reward them with a treat when passing other hikers and dogs. This little trick will keep them from interfering with passersby.

Check for Ticks: After the hike thoroughly inspect your pet for ticks and other pests. Pay special attention to the belly, ears and skin folds as these areas are their prime home. Remeber to apply monthly flea and tick prevention as well.

Now, get out and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors. Your dog is sure to love it as much as you do!

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