Thursday, March 20, 2014

6 Safety Tips for Dog-Friendly Outdoor Adventures

I know a lot of friends cannot wait until Spring finally settles in.  Spring means lots of outside time with the family - whether it be playing in the yard, a visit to the park, a big hike in the woods or a long weekend camping. 

We dogs love any type of adventure and we trust our humans will keep us safe from injury and illness while exploring the great outdoors.  With that in mind, I wanted to share some of our top tips for having a safe outdoor adventure with your dog.

Stay Healthy
Before you travel to your latest adventure, locate the nearest vet to where you will be/be staying;  this way, if your dog needs any kind of medical attention, you know where to go right away.

Carry a Pet First Aid kit with you for minor emergencies.  The ASPCA Online Store offers a pre-made Pet First Aid Kit for around $30.00.

Make sure your dog is updated on his/her vaccinations and has adequate flea and tick prevention.

Florida Fact:  If hiking, boating, canoeing or camping in Florida (especially South Florida) during the warmer months, you may want to talk to your vet about adequate mosquito repellent for your dog, since those suckers form armies down here.

Stay Leashed on Hikes and Walks
I know many dogs are great on off-leash walks and hikes however we like to stick with leashed hikes and walks here in Florida.  On our adventures, I am always leashed because there are so many strange noises, new scents and wild animals that could cause trouble or harm.  Ma and Daddy-dog don't want to lose me in the woods while I am chasing down something wild and crazy.

Florida Facts:  It may not be "lions, tigers and bears" that scare, startle or attack you here in Florida but it surely can be "panthers, (poisonous) snakes, wild boar and bears"...none of which would be good for me to run into while exploring off leash! 

Also, we have fire ants, which I have stepped in before: those critters swarm on you and then bite/sting all at once!  Ouch!  Many people and dogs are allergic to their bite/sting; they are painful and can cause a lot of swelling.

Stay Afloat
If you and your dog enjoy boat or canoe rides together, you may want to invest in a dog life vest.  I can assure you from personal experience that not all dogs can or like to swim.

Florida Fun Fact:  If canoeing or kayaking in Florida, it is always a good idea to have a life vest that has a handle for your dog to wear.  Why?  Alligators and Water Moccasins.  If your dog falls into the water, you need to be able to grab them out of the water quickly lest they get bit by a poisonous water snake or become a mid-morning snack for some giant gator.

Stay Hydrated and Nourished
Just as you would for yourself, no matter what your adventure bring plenty of water and food for both you and your dog. 

We always have more than enough bottled water for all of us and Daddy-dog always has my travel bowl at the ready.  I am never allowed to drink out of any river, stream, puddle (etc.) because there could be bacteria (or other icky things) in it that would make me sick.

We always have plenty of healthy, energy-boosting snacks with us as well, whether we are in the campsite, hiking or canoeing.  On our last adventure, Ma brought my Zuke's Power Bones which contain fast-burning carbohydrates and antioxidants, to keep me fueled during our 5+ mile hike.   We also love to have Zuke's Supers on hand during an adventure since they are chock full of antioxidants.

Florida Fact:  We have lots of edible plants down here like coconuts, cocoplum and citrus fruits some of which you may see growing wild.  During our last camping trip, there were orange trees growing in the campground.  They were thin and spindly, not like what you would see in a citrus grove, but they had fruit...and Ma and Daddy-dog tried one!  It was a sour orange. 

Stay Together
Don’t leave your dog unattended at your campsite even if they are on a leash or in a crate.  Dogs also shouldn’t be left inside of the car if you decide to go on a hike or other outing without them.  And please:  allow your dog to sleep in a tent with you to ensure they stay safe.

Florida Fact:  In Florida State Parks, where we camp, it is required that dogs walk on a 6' leash at all times and when in the campsite, must be on a tie-out.

Stay Alert
Whether hiking, canoeing or in the campsite...always be aware of your surroundings!  Staying alert to what is around you is the best way to ensure everyone has a great time!

I hope you will have some great adventures soon!

A special thank you to Zuke's for Fueling My Camping, Hiking, Canoeing and Biking Adventures!


  1. Great tips Oz for the start of Spring and let us hope good weather for being out and about and for safe adventures. Have a tremendous Thursday.
    Best wishes Molly

  2. Great post, Oz! All very important information and tips!

  3. PAWsome Oz :-) It's important is to be alert ... how about those alligators. Loving your bed in the tent, WOW! One thing you forgot is to also protect your paws from dangerous ground elements. Happy Camping. Golden Woofs

  4. Wonderful post Oz! Can't wait for the snow to melt a little more so we can go camping!!!

  5. Great tips and Florida facts. High Paw!

  6. Always keep your humans at the other end of the leash. That way They won't get into trouble.

  7. Great post. What are some of your favorite places to go camping in Florida?

  8. EXCELLENT ADVICE.... esp. about keeping our peeps on the walkin strings... you KNOW how they tend to WANDER OFF.

  9. Great tips Oz, lovely pictures. Hope everyone has a great a safe spring and summer seasons doing all the fun stuff they enjoy.

  10. those are all wonderful tips - Mom always has our emergency backpack in the car - it has everything we might ever need

  11. Great tips Oz! Safety first!

  12. Awesome post Oz! Great tips. Your tent looks really cool, almost like you've actually got a real bed in that thing! I always remember sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags.

  13. Great tips Oz! really good post today!
    I have never brought my dogs camping before, although it is something I would love to do!
    Thanks for the info!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  14. Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding! Oz The Great and Powerful it's me Sweet William ~ after hearing all about the swarms of mosquitos, fire ants, snakes I think I will make my summer really safe and not travel at all. You are just so intelligent knowing all that stuff. You will have to do a post about staying safe and out of trouble at home. Love you as a bro Oz.
    Sweet William The Scot

  15. Those are great tips OZ. When we go camping we are either in a penned area or on our leash. And we always go in the trailer at night with Mom & Dad.
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Greta

  16. All great tips, and ones that we follow with our dogs. Keeping them safe on the trail, and on the water!
    Vermont Paddle Pups

  17. Very good points, Oz. Florida has lots of creepy stuff that could get dogs! I have to disagree on the mosquitoes, though. Have you seen Minnesota Mosquitoes? They claim to be our state bird as they are so bad in the summer with all the water we have. Maybe we should hold a mosquito contest?

  18. Those are great tips, Oz. It sounds like you have a lot of fun camping and adventuring, and stay safe too. We don't go on a lot of adventures these days but I hope to do more in the future!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  19. Great tips! We're very strict about the on leash thing (except for the beach and then woods in winter).

  20. Thanks Oz for the great tips. Sniff ya later.

    Aroo to you,

  21. Those are FABulous tips Oz!!! Sounds like it's all good advice! Now, might I add that the MORE snacks the betters!!!
    Ruby ♥

  22. Oz, thanks for a fantastic list of things that you use to keep you safe. We take a lot of adventures like you do, and we always stay on leash, too. Mom says it's bad enough that national parks aren't dog friendly, we want to do all we can to keep our state parks that way! We have a dream of trying to go canoeing together this year. We'll see how it goes!


  23. these are great trips I particullary like your leash advice. my dogs are not fans of bein gapproached by strange dogs on walks and we often have to deal with dogs running up to them, even if the runner up to is friendly my reaction is not it has caused quite a few problems and it bothers us because we always leash our dogs and work hard to avoid other dos on walks
    retro rover

  24. Fantastic tips! I was so glad to see you included not drinking from streams, puddles, etc. That's a pet peeve of mine and I see so many dogs and other pets being allowed to do that. And I see you wear the same life jacket that Rosie does :-)

  25. Great tips! We bought a new first aid kit for me, the old one sadly got wet and looked messy. It's important to check those kits from time to time :o) Have a great friday, Oz

  26. Thanks for the great ideas Oz! Mom and dad already think it would be a good idea to get the first aid kit before we drive to Vegas. Side note, really glad we don't live in Florida too many scary things! Love Dolly

  27. I wish, I wish the humans in California would follow your tips Oz. Mom and Dad hike in the local open space regional parks...lots of animals, and TICKS...and as soon as the humans walk past the signage for "keep dogs on leash"...they let their dogs off leash. Same thing when they hike in the high sierra soon as they pass the keep on leash sign, off comes the leash and the dogs are allowed to dash around scaring all the wildlife and putting other humans at risk as they push past them on narrow trails with steep drops or cross streams. And first aid kit for the dog? HAH! I doubt any of them bothers. Mom and Dad had 3 Sibes and they never ever were off leash outside our fenced yard.

  28. Excellent tips! I am glad we don't have poisonous snakes here!

  29. Oh, Oz, you make me want to go outside and do more with the dogs. Then I remember that Florida is muggy and the bugs are relentless. Still . . .

    BTW, I love your blog so much that I am giving you the “Sunshine Award” ( for details). I know I don’t comment much (I’m the dreaded lurker) but I wanted to let you know that I do pay attention! Thanks for making me smile. — K

  30. I love these tips - thanks for sharing. Think I'll have to tweet and share!

  31. Excellent post, dude! I always wear a life jacket when we paddleboard because the handle makes it SO much easier for mom to pull me back up on the board when I fall off. Not that I fall off often.


  32. Nice tips, Oz!

    Christie from Life With Beagle

  33. Awesome post! With these tips, I can now go outside with my dogs safely! I will definitely save these reminders and I will also share this to my friends and relatives who have pets. Please keep on updating this one. Thanks!

    Vets Weston Super Mare

  34. That's great information. Thanks for sharing this blog. I did a search and found your blog and glowing review. It's been a big help! Thanx! see more


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Oz the Terrier