4 Things You and Your Dog Should Never Go Into the Wilderness Without
Having a four-legged activity partner adds a whole new dimension of fun to outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, and boating. But many people erroneously believe that all you need to pack for your furry friend is a couple of dog treats and they're good to go. However, mishaps can and do happen when enjoying the great outdoors, and it's better to be prepared than to be in need of something when you're out in the wilderness. Fortunately, just a little advance planning can help ensure a pleasant trip for both you and your canine companion. AFter all, you don't want to end up at an animal hospital in the middle of your outing. The following are four things you should never leave home without, even if your outdoor adventure is only scheduled to last for a couple of hours.
Pair of Tweezers
You should be checking your dog for ticks every time you stop to take a break, especially when you're hiking or biking on wooded trails. Ticks are a huge problem this year, and the sooner they're removed from your dog's skin, the safer your dog will be from contracting any tick-borne diseases.
Always bring enough food so that your furry friend won't go hungry if you're inadvertently delayed. For instance, if you're hiking and end up injuring your ankle and have to wait for help, your dog will appreciate having something more substantial to eat than just a few treats.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that your dog can get its drinking water needs met through any streams, rivers, and lakes that may be in the vicinity -- drinking from natural water sources may not be safe for your dog. This water may contain harmful bacteria, algae, and chemicals. Bring along plenty of fresh, potable water instead, and consider investing in a small water filtration system designed for trail use.
Small rocks, sand, and occasional bits of broken glass can wreak havoc on the bottom of a dog's paws -- and surfaces such as sand can become unbearably hot when the sun's beating down on them directly. Slipping a pair of booties onto your dog's paws when the terrain may cause damage to your pet's feet will help it remain comfortable during your outing. They are also good to have in the event that your dog gets a cut on it's foot -- simply bandage the wound after applying an antibacterial ointment, and then slip on the booty.
You could also carry a canine-specific first aid kit, but chances are your own first aid kit will be adequate for anything that comes up. Also, consider getting a doggy backpack so your furry friend will be able to carry its own supplies.