For most pet owners, the safety of our furry friends is a top priority. In the summer months, when they join us outdoors on hikes, camping trips, picnics and other outdoor activities, the number of risks they’re exposed to increases. But, if you’re like Bruin (the Graduate Pest Solutions k-9), you’re not going to let a little something like a tick get in the way of your hiking, swimming and other outdoor activity.
These 5 tips will help keep your pets safe while enjoying the great outdoors:
- Keep those bugs away! We know a lot about bugs. In fact, our owner Glenn Olesuk has a Degree in Entomology! But it doesn’t take a college degree in bugology to know that ticks and pets don’t mix. Here in New England, most dog owners that take their four legged family friend into the woods. It’s important to take fleas and ticks seriously. If you’re not already, consider using a quality topical such as Frontline or Advantix to keep these parasites at bay. We find the Advantix product to be very effective for Bruin. If we miss finding a tick during our after-hike check, we usually find it ‘dead’ later on. Internal parasites (heartworm, intestinal worm) are also commonly picked up by canines exploring the great outdoors. Be sure to work with your vet in identifying the appropriate preventative treatments for the activity you’re planning with your pet.
- Tick Removal Tool – Having a tick removal tool isn’t just for you! Making sure you check your dog for ticks is always important. But if you find one, you want to make sure you have the tools needed to safely and effectively remove those ticks!
- Hydrate! Dogs don’t sweat and often shed excess body heat through panting. Not only can this be challenging on a hot, dry day, but they get pretty thirsty while they pant. Ensure you have copious amounts of water not just for you, but for your furry friend as well. Collapsible dog bowls are a great way to feed them water comfortably. You can also use the water to cool them down externally. If you’re going to be out for more than an hour or two, don’t forget to pack some food.
- Lighted Collar – Sometimes you don’t make it back from a hike before sunset. It happens. Having a lighted dog collar can help you find your hiking partner if he or she chases an errant squirrel after the sun goes down
- First Aid – Have a pet friendly first aid kit with you. It’s easy to think about humans being injured while outdoors, but we don’t often think about a pet who might step on something sharp, be bitten or fall from a ledge or other high place. Check out https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/First-Aid-Tips-for-Pet-Owners.aspx for more informaiton on pet first aid and building a first aid kit for your pet.
If you’re in the Western MA area, there are a number of Dog Friendly Hiking Trails. Bruin really enjoy these:
- Peaked Mountain – Monson, MA
- Goat Rock – Hampden, MA
- Minnechaug Mountain, Hampden, MA
- Rice’s Nature Preserve, Wilbraham, MA
- Mount Tom, Holyoke, MA
- Seven Sisters Range, Holyoke, MA
We hope to see you all on the trail!