Dogs are some of the boldest and most playful creatures on earth, which makes them ideal companions for going on adventures. They’re so quick to do almost anything to make their humans happy that they will clamber for any opportunity to bond with you. There’s nothing wrong with taking your dogs to try new things and go on daring exploits. Just make sure to keep these tips in mind so they are safe and having fun during your adventures.
Be Extra Prepared
Outdoor adventures can be the most fun and enjoyable activities to embark on with your pets. The change of scenery can be incredibly refreshing and relaxing, and there are a lot of new things your dogs can discover—new smells, tiny moving creatures, and unlimited fetch toys (a.k.a., branches).
However, with the new and exciting things also comes unpredictable events. For every adventure, you should come prepared with the knowledge, skills, tools, and attitude to handle any situation, especially emergencies.
Even if you think you’ll have everything in your destination, you can’t foretell what will happen along the road. Before leaving on a trip, ready your itinerary your dogs’ vaccination records, food, water, toys, grooming supplies, and first aid kit, among other essentials.
Do your research too. Know if the places you’re planning to visit are pet-friendly and if there are veterinary hospitals and services nearby. Getting a full idea of what you’re getting into by adventuring with your dogs will help you anticipate and prepare for possible problems you’re going to encounter.
Preparedness will give you the confidence and peace of mind to enjoy the outdoor adventure with your canine best friends, not to mention keep them happy and comfortable.
Keep Your Dogs Hydrated
Dogs have a different physiology than that of humans (no matter how much they love to eat the same food as we do). While the adult human body is composed of 60 percent water, a dog’s body is made up of 80 percent of it. Water is crucial to Fido’s bodily functions, including blood circulation, digestion, and excretion. With that said, you should know how important water is to ensure the health of your canine best friends.
Prevent dehydration by giving your dogs access to water at all times and keeping an eye for warning signs of dehydration, such as dry nose and mouth, sunken eyes, loss of appetite, and lethargy. Symptoms of dehydration can sometimes be hard to identify without an expert eye. That’s why you have to examine your dogs from time to time when you’re going out.
Elderly, pregnant, and sick dogs are especially prone to dehydration. If your dogs have been active for some time, you take breaks and give them water from time to time.
Check the Weather and Temperature before Going Out
Just like when you’re going out with your fellow human beings, you also have to schedule adventures with your pups on a day with nice weather (not too cold and not too hot). Dogs are people too. They can get cold, hot, and sick after being exposed to harsh elements.
They’re especially sensitive to the heat, getting hyperthermia or overheated when left to languish in extreme temperatures. Hot weather combined with high humidity can cause your dogs to have heatstroke.
Always check the weather before going out with your dogs. If it’s too hot outside for you, it’s absolutely unbearable for them. Dogs are generally okay under 85 degrees Fahrenheit as long as they can rest under a shaded area and have access to drinking water at all times. Anything higher than that, you should reconsider going out unless you’re taking a dip on the pool or going somewhere cooler.
Also, check the ground before heading out on a sunny day. Place the back of your hand on the ground for five minutes. If you can’t bear the heat, your dogs’ pads won’t be able to take it as well.
Never ever leave your dogs inside the car even if you’re only doing a quick run to the grocery store or wherever. Temperatures inside a car can increase at an alarming rate in a short time. In warm weather, it can go from 85 degrees to 102 within 10 minutes even with the windows partially rolled down.
During wintertime, it’s best to confine your fun and adventure indoors when the temperatures dip to 32 degrees and below. Going out can cause your dogs hypothermia or frostbite.
Have Them Wear Tags and Safety Collars
There’s always the chance of accidents happening when going outdoors, especially with how adorably clueless and careless dogs are. You may not be able to stop unforeseen events from happening, but you can prepare yourself to respond to them accordingly and minimize the harm.
For example, you can quickly treat the injury in your dogs and prevent it from getting worse if you know how to apply first aid and take a kit with you when you travel.
Aside from getting injured, straying and getting lost is one of the likely accidents that can happen to your dogs when you go out. Even if you keep your eyes on them all the time, dogs are impulsive creatures.
They can forget themselves and chase after a wandering animal or whatever has caught their eye, disregarding their owners completely. That’s why, if your dog isn’t trained or well-behaved enough, it’s best to keep them on a long leash so you have a way to stop them from bolting suddenly.
In addition, make your dogs wear LED dog collars to make them easier to spot in the dark in case you’re camping or going out in the evening. They also have their identification tags, with your name and contact details, with them at all times.
Keep an Eye on Them at All Times
For your dogs, the outdoors is filled with fun and interesting things. They can’t wait to “investigate” everything with their nose and mouth, which, more often than not, gets them into some form of trouble.
If you know your pooches well, then you know they’re bound to get into mischief sooner or later. That’s why you should keep them within sight at all times, especially when you are outdoors.
Let your canine friends explore and discover new (and stinky) smells, but place a reasonable limit to their freedom to keep them out of trouble. As a responsible pet owner, you should be able to anticipate your pets’ responses to things and behavioral cues. If you’re not confident that they will stick to your side or come when you call, it’s better to keep them on a long leash to reduce the risk of them straying and getting lost.
Moreover, you should prevent them from eating and picking up random things (e.g., poop, trash, bees, dead animals, etc.) that can harm and injure their body.
Ready the Treats and Toys
Have you noticed that your dogs respond faster when you bribe them with treats or toys? That’s because dogs are very reward-motivated. You can take advantage of this quality to keep your outdoor adventures safe and fun.
Giving your dogs their favorite toys to distract themselves during car rides can prevent unruly behavior, like jumping out of the window and barking at passers-by incessantly. Dogs also respond very well to treats, so if they refuse to go to you when called, you can use these to keep them glued to your side and avoid getting into trouble.
Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun!
Your dogs will do anything to have fun, but sometimes their antics will land them in trouble or result in injuries. As a responsible owner, it’s your duty to make sure they stay safe and happy, indoors or out. Doing your research, preparing supplies, and making your dogs wear safety collars are some of the ways you can ensure both, especially during your human-dog outdoor adventures.
What are your favorite outdoor adventures with your dog?