Caution! It's Getting HOT to hike with our pets! 7 Tips to avoid problems.
This sign is displayed at the entrance of Lost Dog Trail - A great trail very close to All-Star Grooming, Boarding and DayCare. Please read this sign carefully.
Hiking is a wonderful way to enjoy time with our pets. We are lucky to be able to get out on our beautiful, close local trails together and experience some good bonding between us and our beloved dogs. In addition, we can both benefit from the exercise as well.
However, it is important to be prepared for this outing and at this time of year, hiking can become a little bit more challenging for our pets. Before setting out, here are 7 important recommendations:
Be sure to research the trail to see if pets are allowed on the paths. Also, check that the terrain and length of the hike is one that is a good fit for you and your companion.
Check that your dog's ID tags and chip information is all up to date. Bring and use a sturdy leash.
Don't choose a hike that could be out of your dog's league. If hiking is new for your dog, start slow and build up to longer walks as your pet becomes more fit. They are just like humans in that regard.
Check and be prepared for wildlife encounters. This would include common animals here in AZ such as bobcats, coyotes, and reptiles.. Here is a link that might help with wildlife: https://www.gopetfriendly.com/blog/hiking-safety/. This link is specifically for snakes, which can be common in our area: https://smalltownplussize.com/2021/04/27/easy-ways-that-will-keep-you-and-your-dog-safe-when-hiking-with-snakes/
Heat stroke can be deadly for dogs! Bring clean water and a collapsible bowl. Head out early before the high heat period of the day. My Pet Market suggests checking the forecast for the day by hour. That way, even if a hike is taking longer than expected (more rugged then anticipated, trail is busy, more unexpected smells and stops), you can have a set time you need to be back at the car even if you have to turn back. This could be life saving!
Put sunscreen on yourself and your dog before heading out.
Bring poop clean-up bags, treats and if possible, a first aid kit. You may also want to consider dog booties. These items as well as collapsible water bowls and paw balms are conveniently available at My Pet Market locations nearby and throughout the valley. https://www.mypetmarket.com/copy-of-locations There are many dangers and possibilities of dogs getting hurt or injured. We also have cacti needles here that could present medical problems as well.
These preparation tips and cautions should make hiking here in AZ a fantastic experience to enjoy with our pets. It is best to skip wearing headphones to avoid distractions and possibly miss dangers. Instead, just enjoy our great outdoors and the bonding time together.