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Trekking the Great Outdoors with an Emergency Rescue Dog - Sally Perkins

Trekking the Great Outdoors with an Emergency Rescue Dog
Face it, we all need to get away from work and enjoy the great outdoors. Working dogs, like those on emergency rescue teams, are no exception. They need time for play, and a hike is a perfect escape. Here are four tips to trekking with your search and rescue dog.
1. Make sure that there are no restrictions on hiking with a dog.
If you are planning to camp with your pup, stay in an RV park, trek several miles to an idyllic area to pitch a tent, be sure that you know the rules and regulations regarding dogs. Call the park office to inquire whether dogs are allowed at the campground and on trails. Also, ask about leash laws and whether you have to scoop their poop.
2. Protect your pooch.
Heartworms are only one of the tick and flea-borne illnesses that could affect your dog. Be sure to protect your dog from these harmful pests. Ask your vet about vaccinations for both Lyme disease and heartworms. Take the opportunity to make sure your dog is up to date on rabies shots, as well. Apply an adequate amount of flea and tick medication beforehand, so it has time to become active. Brush your dog before and after hikes. Be sure to check behind their ears, under their collar, and armpits.
3. Fit in some refresher obedience training.
Your emergency rescue dog is well trained already. However, it is always a good idea to go through some basic training techniques as well as focus on dog socialization activities.
4. Pack a backpack just for your dog.
These dogs love to help. They will enjoy the opportunity to carry their own gear. The pack should include all the essentials such as food stored in resealable plastic bags or airtight containers, water bowls, K-9 first aid kit, essential grooming tools, an extra leash, favorite toys, and poop bags. Other items to include are:
  • dog-safe sunscreen
  • LED collar lights
  • terrain booties
  • high-visibility vest
  • frisbee or another retrieving object.
  • treats
5. Make sure that your dog is wearing current ID tags.
Not only to prove her vaccination status but also to alert you if she becomes missing and later found.
Most emergency rescue dogs love trekking and camping companions, and all dogs love to be outdoors. But there are issues to consider. Make sure to keep an eye on your dog, paying attention to her demeanor, energy levels and cues such as panting which may indicate she is overheating. Remember if you are feeling thirsty, your dog is also. With a little planning and preparation, trekking with your search and rescue dog can be a great opportunity for you both to bond while getting some needed R&R.