1.) Remember to bring water for your pet and yourself. Staying hydrated in the warm weather is just as important for our four legged friends as it is for us. Although they do not sweat in the same way that people do, dogs pant heavily in the heat, requiring them to drink more frequently to stay healthy. Bringing an extra water bottle for your pet is always a good idea when you head out for a hike.
2.) Periodically check your pet for ticks and other insects. By stopping every now and again to brush your hand over your dog's coat, you will brush off ticks or insects before they have a chance to attach themselves. When you get home, it's always advised to thoroughly check your pet for insects, as dogs can get several insect-borne illnesses that people get. Even if you use a tick or flea repellent on your dog, it's a good idea to still do an insect check after being outside.
3.) Watch out for hot road surfaces. We generally wear shoes, so people are less likely to notice that certain areas are exceptionally hot. While surfaces, like asphalt and concrete may be more obvious sources of heat, beach sand, rocks, and gravel roads can also heat up considerably in the summer. Be aware of the temperature of the materials you are asking your pet to walk on, as exposure to hot walkways, paths, or parking areas can actually burn your dog's feet.
4.) Remember to keep your dog on a leash while you are out. For the safety of your pet, other visitors, and wildlife in outdoor areas, it's usually required to always keep your dog on leash, and under your close control. Your dog may be very friendly, but there are sometimes circumstances that arise which are beyond your ability to predict or control. Having your dog on a leash will allow you to take control of the situation and remove your dog quickly, if necessary, before he gets hurt or in trouble.
Sharing the summer with our pets is one of the great joys of pet ownership. By taking a few precautions, you can have many, many exceptional and enjoyable summer outings this year. Check out the Sheep Pasture trail map online or in downloadable format to plan your next outing.