One of our favorite family activities is to explore the local hiking trails. Hiking is a great way to get outside and still practice safe social distancing. While many of the state parks and trails in New Hampshire have been busy this season, there are still various trails that have remained quieter. Many are dog friendly, as long as your hiking buddy is on a leash. Some even provide waste disposal bags along the trails! With school back in session, we have also been able to resume hiking with both our two and four-legged friends.
We always hike 2-5 miles, and no matter the length, I always pack a bag to ensure that I have all the needed supplies. The pack includes water for both myself and Bruder, which we often share with his buddies.
I also pack a change of socks, waste disposal bags, and a small first aid kit which I put together myself. The first aid kit includes Band-Aids, alcohol wipes, gauze pads, and a tick spoon, among other small items.
I carry these because not only have I fallen while on the trail, but Bruder has also had a scrape or two, and I want to ensure that I can clean a wound quickly if needed. I have found that the most useful and frequently used tool in this kit is my tick spoon. Jason and I each carry one in our vehicles, and we have several in our home as well.
The risk of Lyme disease to both humans and pets is common and can lead to serious complications. After each outdoor adventure, we check Bruder and have found several in his long floppy ears, between his toes and even inside his mouth. These were the most difficult for us to remove!
If you are in doubt of whether or not your pet has Lyme disease, symptoms include:
· Loss of appetite
· Painful or swollen joints
If left untreated, Lyme Disease can lead to damage in the kidneys, nervous system and heart.
If you suspect your pet could have Lyme disease, you should take them to your vet to be tested. It is important to monitor symptoms such as your pet’s temperature to be able to report this information to your vet during your visit.
Getting out with our pups is so beneficial, not only to them but to us as well. Whether it is a hike up a mountain, a stroll through the woods, or a walk in the park, it is always important to be prepared.