Summer in Colorado is the time of year when pets and their humans head to the great outdoors. So whether it's hiking, running, camping or just a trip to the dog park, here are some tips to help you keep your four-legged friend safe wherever you go.
Know your pet's limits - Consider the age and health of our pet when deciding what activities to include them in. If your pet does not normally get a lot of exercise, they will fatigue easily on an intense run or hike. Consider "training" your pet beforehand; starting out with small walks and working your way up to more strenuous activity. When exercising your pet, make sure you give them time to rest to avoid fatigue.
Water, water, water - Your pet can easily get dehydrated on a warm day. Make sure you bring plenty of safe drinking water and offer it often. Dehydration becomes a bigger factor at higher elevations, as does fatigue. Don't let your pet drink ocean or river water as this can be contaminated with parasites that can lead to big problems. This is especially the case in Colorado's mountain streams.
Know the rules - Make sure you are aware of the regulations regarding pets wherever you are. There are some trails and camping areas that do not allow pets; check signs in the area to make sure your pet is welcome. Obey "clean-up" and leash laws and have your pet in sight at all times, as wildlife or others using the area may be disturbed by an unattended pet. Most importantly, make sure your pet has identification! A collar with tags or a microchip I.D. can help return your pet if they become lost. Also, know the area that you will be exercising in. Be aware of the hazards and obstacles that may exist, including weather, terrain, wildlife and pest populations. The best tool you can equip yourself with is knowledge. Your pet will thank you!