Changing of Seasons

Anyone ready for Spring and warmer weather???  How about your furbaby…does he love the winter with it’s cold and pretty white blanket that makes playtime extra special?  …Or, is he more of a warmer weather, bunny sniffing sort?  Either way, be prepared to move over for Spring!

Spring is a great time to take your favorite canine on a hike.  Not into backpacking?  That’s ok, an afternoon of hiking is sure to please…..provided, of course, you and your companion are in fairly good shape and have the stamp of approval from the health providers!  And let’s not forget to have your dog’s immunizations current and flea and tick preventatives applied.  Along with the beauty of nature, there are the “beasts” you might encounter.  Nothing worse than enjoying the day outdoors and then going home and spending hours treating contact poison, insect bites, or removing fleas and ticks.

If neither of you have kept active during winter, make sure you don’t overdo it.  Start out with some stretches and walk at a slower pace on level or slight inclines and easier terrain.  Not only does the cardio system need time to adjust, but think about your dog’s paws.  Just as you need to change into an appropriate hiking shoe, your dogs paws need time to toughen up.  This won’t happen in just one afternoon.

Hiking is a also a great training opportunity for you and your dog.   Choose games to reinforce “leave it” commands, for example.  Invite friends to come along with their furbabies.  Don’t underestimate the value of early and continued socialization.  Exploring the outdoors can be fun and challenging.  Plan ahead.  Remember to take plenty of fresh water for both of you, healthy treats, disposable bags, and also include a first aid kit.  Rest often and watch for signs of distress.  Enjoying nature keeps boredom from setting in and strengthens the bond between you and your faithful companion.

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