Whether they are healthy, sick, happy, or hurting, we always have the best intentions for your pets. We treat them in our animal hospital so that they can live an enjoyable, happy life at home and wherever you go with them. Dogs, cats, and even goats can be terrific hiking companions, provided that some basic needs are covered. Here are some tips from your Charlotte veterinarian for hiking with your four-legged companion.

Consider The Surroundings

Will the hike be sunny or shady? Are there steep inclines or narrow impasses? What’s the weather forecast? Being prepared to meet the conditions of the trail is an absolute necessity, not just for your pet, but yourself as well. Dress appropriately, consider the fact that fur-covered animals tend to overheat in direct sunlight, and use a map to plan your hike.

Bring The Necessities

Hydration will be important for both you and your dog. There are convenient bottles with fold-out water dishes on the market that are great for giving your pet water while on the trail. Also make sure you have a snack to give your animal — hiking along the Catawba River or in Crowders Mountain State Park requires a lot of energy! You may be able to let your dog roam free, but always have a leash in case you need it. And always respect the natural beauty of your surroundings; don’t forget the poop bags!

In Case Of Emergency

If you or your animal are injured out in the middle of nowhere, a rapid medical response might make all the difference. Make sure you bring a cell phone with stored doctor and veterinarian contact information. You can reach West Ballantyne Animal Hospital by calling 980-272-4882.