Squid sniffed the air and glanced up at the thin bit of webbing bonding us together. It was a cool spring morning and his sweet demeanor, on an otherwise normal Saturday Morning, seemed to rub off on me. I glanced up and scanned the landscape for signs that might cause me to doubt his newly-acquired recall abilities. The coast was free and clear with the silence of the woods as we hiked on.
“Alright. You’ve paid your dues my little Squidlet. Here you go”
I unclipped his harness to what seemed like a slow-motion whirlwind of dust and uncertainty. Immediately he pounced across the creek, effortlessly lifting his 50lb mass of muscle that is an American Staffordshire Terrier to the opposite bank. I leaped across the creek to follow and found him dancing with what he presumed to be his new best friend and what was later thoroughly explained to him as an ‘OUCH’. Many hours later he lay sulking at the bottom of the stairs donning the ‘cone of shame’.
Relieved that this was only a minor swing dance with a full-grown porcupine, I was able to calmly transport Squid to the car where we then drove straight to the vet to have his new ‘Quill-jewelry’ removed.
How do we prepare ourselves for the unexpected in the great outdoors with our dogs? The truth is, we can facilitate the safety of our outdoor experiences with our dogs by applying essential tools and knowledge to our everyday excursions. With some planning and forethought, we can prepare ourselves to confidently trot into the unknown and unveil every corner we turn with ease.
Here are some simple tips, tools and suggestions based on our own experiences in the great outdoors:
- In an emergency, phone your veterinarian or emergency clinic to help them prepare for your arrival.
- When planning extended trips, you may want to consider contacting your veterinarian for over the counter medicines and proper dosages for your pet.
- Ask local veterinarians about potentially poisonous plants, animals and environmental conditions that you should be aware of
- Remain calm.
- Stabilize your dog and transport him or her to a veterinary hospital.
For more specific First Aid, we’ve highlighted a few of the most common things to look for whether you’re on your next trek through the hills, or bombing through the powder on the backside of Mt. Bachelor.
In the end, your Ruffwear dogs are thankful for every step you take with them even if means running through the pouring rain after work. Off-season or in-season, get outside!