Up a Creek? Outdoor Pet Safety You Can Count On
Pennsylvania has some spectacular natural wonders that thrill many local owners and their pets. With cooler weather rolling in, it’s a great time of year to take advantage of the fact that it doesn’t take very long to be completely immersed in the Pennsylvania wilderness. Autumn is a great time for hiking, camping, or even hunting alongside your pet. Since the wilderness is so close, this means that if you ever need help, you’re not too far from it. But it’s important not to be lulled into a false sense of security while on these outdoor adventures with your pet. Indeed, without careful preparation and a nod to outdoor pet safety, you could be – literally and metaphorically – up a creek.
Scope it Out
Before getting out there, do your due diligence to ensure you and your pet aren’t surprised by a variety of nature’s obstacles. Weather can turn quickly, temperatures can change, winds can pick up, wild animals can appear, and even rain can soak a pet’s coat in no time.
Likewise, terrain can be unpredictable depending on where you’re going. Be prepared to handle all sorts of trails in order to have a successful, rewarding experience with your furry friend.
How to Plan
Outdoor pet safety can be achieved easily when you have the right gear. Always bring plenty of water for your pets to drink, as dehydration can be a major threat to your pet while you’re out and about. Going to be near water? Invest in a personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket, for your pet. Similarly, rain jackets, vests, and pet boots can help protect your pet from the elements. Always think ahead by checking the weather report, checking status updates for parks and paths before you go, and preparing for just about anything you might encounter yourself.
First: First Aid
A major component of outdoor pet safety is, of course, a pet first aid kit along with you. Having one and not needing it is better than needing one and not having it. Whether it’s an injury sustained from the conditions or your pet has a wildlife encounter, having a kit (and knowing how to use it) can make all the difference between life and a life-threatening situation. Be sure to include basic and pet-safe items such as gauze, adhesive tape, cotton balls, scissors and rubbing alcohol.
Speaking of Wildlife…
Depending on where you go, your pet may have any number of potential run-ins with these wild animals:
- Peregrine falcons
- Wild turkeys
- Copperhead snakes
- Timber rattlesnakes
Believe it or not, we even have bears and elk in Pennsylvania. Do not approach wildlife or feed them. Not only will you risk an attack, but wildlife can pass diseases to you and your pet.
Research the location before you head out and be prepared with bear spray and other deterrents like a “bear bell” on your pet’s collar, if needed. Even better, it may be ideal to keep your dog on-leash when you’re out and about on certain trails to keep him or her from running off.
A Word on Parasites
Before taking your pet to the mountains, woods, or riverways, be sure his or her parasite prevention is at 100%. With colder weather, it’s easy to assume that all bugs have died off, but ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas can still cause problems throughout the cooler season.
If you have additional questions about outdoor pet safety, we invite you to let us know. We’re always here for your pet and hope your adventures are safe and enjoyable!