The holidays are just around the corner, and if you would like to get one step ahead of your 2018 New Year’s resolution to get fit, National Take A Hike Day is the perfect time to start. Although sticking to strolling after the health-themed holiday has passed may be difficult, one way you can take steps to keep your commitment is by taking treks with a friend who walks down the road of life with you…your dog!
Observed each year on November 17, National Take a Hike Day offers an opportunity to spend quality time with your canine companion as you explore the great outdoors together. Whether you decide to tackle a few of the 60,000+ miles of trails in the National Trail System or simply take a long walk through your local park, the hours spent with your dog will do your heart, and soul, good.
Before you embark on any lengthy outdoor adventure, go that extra mile to ensure a fun and safe excursion by remembering to:
Find out if dogs are welcome.
Once you’ve determined that your intended destination is dog-friendly, check for any restrictions the site may have in regard to pets. Are some trails off limits to dogs? Is the beach dog-friendly only during particular hours?
Carry clean-up bags.
Leave the landscape as pristine as you found it by picking up your pet’s poop.
Bring water for yourself and your four-legged walking partner.
Dogs can get dehydrated and should stop for a drink every 15 – 30 minutes. Do not permit your dog to drink from any body of water during your hike, as outdoor water may contain pathogens which can lead to diarrhea, liver and kidney damage.
Pack a first aid kit.
Along with supplies for your own use, take along self-cling bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, a blanket, flea and tick protection, pet sunscreen, the phone numbers of your veterinarian and emergency veterinary clinic and copies of any vital veterinary paperwork, such as proof of rabies vaccination and any medical records.