Outdoor Safety for you and your Pooch

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by Meagan Karnes on March 20, 2011

With daylight savings gifting us with an extra hour of sunlight each day, and with the incredible San Diego weather, getting outside for some exercise with your pooch has never been better! In San Diego, there are hundreds of hiking trails you can explore with your pooch. But what do you need to know to be safe?

First Aid First

On all of your outdoor adventures, bring a first aid kit with supplies for both you and your dog. For your pooch, make sure the kit inlcudes some bactine, some gauze, a thermometer, and some cloth sports tape among the rest of the first aid supplies. It’s highly recommended that you take a Pet First Aid class to learn how to deal with any situation that arises.

Remember, an injured pet can become aggressive if he or she is in pain. Before examining any major wounds, you should muzzle your pet for your safety. Cloth sports tape can be used to create a makeshift muzzle if you don’t have one on hand. Approach an injured pet calmly and with care. And remember, always consult your veterinarian at the first sight of any major injuries.

Heed the heat

Dogs can be sensitive to heat and it may be tricky to tell when your pup has had enough. Make sure to always have fresh water for your pooch (and for you too!) and offer it often. Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms of heat stroke. If you feel your pet is starting to overheat, take action immediately. Wrap in dampened towels and apply room temperature water to your pet’s underside. Call your vet immediately as heat stroke can be fatal.

Snakes and other Critters

If you plan to hit the trails with your pooch, understand that you will likely encounter wildlife. Rattlesnakes are a common phenomenon in Southern California and can be dangerous for you and your pet. Rattlesnake Avoidance clinics are available throughout Southern California and can help you teach your dog to avoid these nasty critters. If you plan on having Fido off leash, make sure you have given him solid obedience so if you do spot a snake, you can call him to you without incident.

Snakes aren’t the only wildlife you may encounter. Coyotes are also prevalent in Southern California so if you plan on hiking, its best to go in groups with two or more dogs. More people and more dogs becomes too overwhelming for coyotes to approach and is typically a great way to ward off any unwanted hiking buddies.

The Collared Scholar dog training can help you get your pooch ready for his outdoor adventures. They offer Rattlesnake Avoidance Clinics, First Aid Classes as well as obedience training to proof your pooch for the trails. They also offer group hikes off the trails in Poway. For more information, visit their website or call 619-916-8710.

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