Keep Your Dog Healthy While Hiking

Here are a couple tips to keep you dog healthy while hiking this summer (or anytime for that matter).

Start with your regular brand and portions size, advises Michelle Richardson, vet at the Alpine Animal Clinic in Helena, Montana-increasing the amount by up to 50 percent based on his fitness, typical exercise, and the hike's difficulty. (Rule of thumb: one cup of food per 20 pounds of dog per day). Give him a small serving aout an hour before hiking for extra energy.

Use your own thirst as a guide and offer water when you stop to drink - every 15-30 minutes, depending on trail difficulty and temperature. And yes, dogs can get Giardia. In high-risk areas--lots of cattle or campers--limit drinking from lakes and streams with a leash, voice commands, and a ready supply of treated water.

Build up to longer trips (with both adult dogs and puppies) with a series of shorter hikes to toughen pay pads and develop stamina. Richardson advises waiting until your puppy has received all his shots (about 5 months) before taking him on the trail, and keeping hikes shorter than one hour to start.

Pack bandages and an antiseptic (such as iodine) for wounds, a liquid bandage (such as 3M Pet Care Spray-On Liquid Bandage: $9, for split or cut paws, and tweezers for tick removal (check your dog every night).

Happy Hiking with your best Buddy!

Don't assume that only older dogs need a good orthopedic dog bed! Active dogs appreciate the comfort and support a good memory foam dog bed provides. Plus a good supportive orthopedic dog bed helps the aging of the joints for your active dog.

Source: Backpacker Magazine