The arrival of the beautiful spring days often pushes us to extend our outings with our dogs, and leads us to walk in the forest. The good times (for us humans, and for our four-legged friends) can be tainted by the more or less visible dangers that lurk in our forests.
We have summarized for you the most important points to watch out for, during your next sunny outings!
Hunting or breeding season
Before you leave, make sure you check the regulations in force. The period from March to June is often accompanied by a ban on walking your dog without a leash, because of the breeding season.
The hunting season (mostly in autumn) also requires some preparation.
Behavior of the dog
If the time of year allows it, and you want to walk your dog off-leash, make sure that your dog has learned the recall command. Also make sure that your dog behaves properly when meeting other hikers, other dogs, cyclists, cars or other animals!
It is important not to lose sight of him too much and especially to avoid running after him!
Dogs are known to have a very good sense of smell, but unfortunately they cannot recognize edible mushrooms from poisonous ones.
If you are in an area where your dog can walk off-leash, make sure you can check what he is doing and that he is able to stop if you ask him to.
Ingested toxic mushrooms can cause vomiting, collapse and other serious intestinal problems.
If you recognize a toxic mushroom that your dog may have ingested, contact your veterinarian immediately and describe the type of mushroom ingested.
You have probably seen them since the end of winter, ticks are back and in large numbers.
Fleas are also present and can cause infections, allergies or transmit worms.
To prevent any problem caused by parasites, it is absolutely necessary to treat your pet on a regular basis (pipettes, anti-parasitic tablets, etc).
A thorough check of the coat after the walk is also highly recommended.
Insects, snakes or toads
In the forest, you will come across insects, mosquitoes, wasps, hornets and any other type of stinging insect.
You may also come across processionary caterpillars that can cause serious injuries if touched. Beware of the paths you take!
Depending on your location, you may also come across vipers or toads. We recommend you to be very careful about this. Viper venom can be life threatening for your pet. Toads, if licked or ingested, can cause serious intestinal, cardiac and even neurological problems.
Choose existing paths and avoid tall grass when walking. The natural environment can cause lesions on your dog's paw pads, or small injuries.
We recommend that you brush your pet after your outing to remove anything that may have gotten stuck in its hair, as well as to check the condition of the pads.
Prepare for your outing
Even if you're only planning a short walk, make sure you take the bare minimum with you: a leash or a lead for your dog, water (for the dog and for you!), bags to pick up after your pet, and anything else you think you might need for the duration of your walk.
In the event of strong heat, privilege the exits of early morning or at the end of afternoon, to avoid the heat strokes and still more benefit from your exit.
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