Just yesterday, I was talking with one of my neighbors who had just seen a rattlesnake at his house. Living out in the boonies, keeping an eye out for wildlife is a regular part of our daily routine…but it’s also very important even if you’ll just be out for a few hours on a hike with your dog.
The nonprofit National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) has just issued some important tips to remind pet parents about staying safe on trails. “Taking your furry friend along to explore new trails can be great exercise—but it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers you may encounter along the way,” said John D’Ariano, president of NAPPS. “Keep your pet pal close at all times by limiting his leash length; doing so will ensure safety while out on the trails.”
NAPPS mentions several of the plants the ASPCA lists as most toxic to animals, ones that can be found right outside your door, including:
· American Holly
· American Mandrake
· Arrow-Head Vines
· Baby’s Breath
· Branching Ivy
· Bread and Butter Plant
· Elephant Ears
(And don’t forget sago palms!)
NAPPS also recommends that while hiking with your dog, stay alert and monitor his curiosity; exploring new land will certainly excite your pet and introduce his taste buds to temptations—be sure you’re aware of potentially dangerous plants during your travels.
NAPPS encourages pet parents to build a portable first aid kit that can easily fit into a backpack and accompany you and Fido on all outdoor activities. Suggested items include:
- Gauze for wrapping wounds
- Nonstick bandages, towels, or strips of clean cloth to control bleeding or protect wounds
- Adhesive tape for bandages for securing gauze wrap
- Milk of magnesia or activated charcoal to absorb poison
- Eye dropper to give oral treatments or flush wound
- Muzzle to cover your pet’s head—only if he is not vomiting
The best way to determine if your pet is suffering from an injury or needs medical attention is to evaluate and observe his behavior—when in doubt, contact your veterinarian for their expert opinion.