15 May 2013

Warm Weather

 
 

The snow is gone, and now your dog and yourself are craving a good trail run.   No-Snow-Weather opens up more possibilities for you and your team to get out there and explore some new trails!

You don't need a groomed trail to run, scooter, or bike on with your dogs!  So there are more options!

Water, Water, Water


Soak your dog's kibble the night before, pack some baited water for the trail head, and also for rest stops along the way.  You can't bring too much water for your dogs, or for yourself.   I always water my dogs at home, at the trail head, on pit stops, and when we get back to the truck.  

New Dangers


If you have been running your dog in the winter, you have no doubt enjoyed the relative peace and tranquillity of the trail.  Many other trail users were off hibernating.  With the warmer temperatures, you will need to share the trail with more users, both two legged and four.  Expect to see more animals, loose dogs, hikers, horses, etc.  We even ran into a wedding party having their photos done once fall day!  

Expect the unexpected, and be in control of your dogs at all times.


Ticks


In some sections of the country, ticks are a growing concern.  Check your dogs when you get home, and a few hours after you get home as well. Fell for any small bumps or lumps that weren't there before.   Remove any ticks you find, and keep an eye on the area you removed the tick from for signs of infection. 

Heat Stroke

Dogs can and will overheat very quickly, leading to heat stroke, or even death. Signs of heat stroke can include:

  • Rapid panting
  • Dark red gums
  • Thick saliva
  • Tacky or dry gums
  • Lying down and unwilling (or unable) to get up
  • Collapse and/or loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness or disorientation

  • If you even THINK your dog has heat stroke, call your vet right away!  In the meantime:   move the dog to a shady or air conditioned area.   Then begin to cool the dog's body down, by pouring cool, not cold, water on the head and feet.   Offer your dog fresh water to drink.  Seek medical attention.

    Don't run your dog on hot days. 

    Paw Damage


    Please, do not run your dog on pavement.  You are risking damage to the pads, from wearing them down, to ripping them off altogether.  Nails can become torn and cracked.  The dogs joints will also be at risk from pounding the pavement.  It is simply not worth it. 

    In addition, pavement holds the heat.  So even if the air temperature seems cooler, it's much warmer on the pavement for your dog.  

    The last danger with running a dog on pavement is cars and other traffic.  You do not know how your dog will react in every single situation, a poorly timed squirrel and a truck might mean spell disaster for your dog and yourself.  

    Running on pavement leads to increased injuries and heat stress.

     

    Before You Go


    Before you run your dog on any trail, be sure to walk it first.  Scouting for possible obstacles on the trail like downed trees, logs, holes made by horse hooves, wet patches, or sections with lose rocks.  Fix parts of the trail which are dangerous, and make mental note of those sections you can't fix.  


    Always wear a helmet.