Keeping Fido Safe On Hikes

Do you enjoy going hiking in warmer weather? Your canine companion would be more than happy to accompany you as you explore some of Virginia’s beautiful scenery. Before taking your pup to Indian River Park—or any other pretty spot—you’ll need to take a few precautions to make sure he’ll be safe on the trail. A Chesapeake, VA vet discusses hiking with your pooch in this article.

Preventative Care

Make sure that Fido is current on his vaccines and parasite control. Your furry pal may very well run into wild animals. Parasites are another concern. For instance, deadly heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes, which are rampant on many of those beautiful trails. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Fido should be microchipped and wearing ID tags. Make sure your contact information is up to date in the chip manufacturer’s database! It’s also not a bad idea to get some GPS tags. Just do your research, as these do vary with things like range, battery life, water resistance, connectivity, and subscriptions.


Be sure to bring plenty of water along. Try not to let your canine buddy drink from ponds, streams, and especially puddles. If camping, follow the same protocols for Fido’s drinking water as you would with your own, and boil or treat ‘wild’ water before offering it to him. 


Be careful with where you and Fido go swimming. Blue-green algae, or cyanobacteria, spreads in shallow, warm lakes and ponds. It can be deadly to dogs. You can monitor Virginia outbreaks here.


Your furry buddy  should have a sturdy leash, one that won’t snap. Retractable leashes are the most popular option, but you do need to be careful. Fido could get wrapped around things, and these can also be dangerous if the mechanism jams. Keep a regular leash with you at all times.


As the saying goes, ‘Leave only footprints, take only memories.’ Don’t forget to bring waste baggies along! Dog feces is a major source of water contamination.


Training isn’t just a matter of petiquette: it’s also important for safety. You need to ensure that you can stop your canine pal from charging off after a squirrel, and that he’ll stay or return on command.

As your Chesapeake, VA animal hospital, we’re happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have about your dog’s health or care. Contact us anytime!

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