Paw injuries sustained by our furry friends are easy to identify and, at times, are spot on. However, the diagnosis of many other canine problems may be difficult to "you can't truly know" until you take them to the veterinarian for a thorough checkup . In contrast to your other traveling companions, dogs are unable to communicate with you when they are in pain. Get yourself familiarized with some fundamental first aid procedures before you go out on the trail with your four-legged friend. Here are several things you could need.
The general rule of the thumb according to vets is that an average dog should drink one ounce of water each day for every pound that it weighs. This indicates that a dog weighing 45 pounds requires around 1.5 quarts of water every day, and much more when the temperature is high. Pinch a small area of the skin on your dog's upper back to check for signs of dehydration. If the ball does not rapidly rebound after you let go of it, your dog needs to drink some water. Eyes that seem to be sunken and a dry mouth are further signs. You may carry water in a foldable or collapsible dish that you can attach to the outside of your backpack. This will provide a good amount of water supply to you and your fur buddy as well.
PAW WOUNDS & INJURIES
Longer excursions and harder terrain need conditioned canine paws, much like human feet. Dog booties made of nylon or rubber-soles will keep your pet safe from prickly cacti and jagged pebbles. With sweat glands on their paw pads, dogs should have their booties taken off every several hours to let air cool it. If an event such as a cut or a deep scratch had happened on your dog's paw, administer first aid like you would on your own feet by cleaning and applying bandage to your dog's wounds the same way you would treat a wound on your own foot.
Apply an over-the-counter tick prevention product to your dog throughout the spring and summer. Also, it is best to keep your dog away from areas with extensive vegetation or densely wooded regions, wild ticks tend to hang and attach themselves to grass and tree trunks while waiting for a host to latch on. If you detect a tick on your body during your nightly check, you should remove it by carefully gripping it with tweezers as near to the skin as possible, and then dragging it out. The area around the wound should be treated with an antibiotic ointment or a disinfectant.
Smaller canines have a harder time maintaining their body temperature and ending up losing their body heat faster. Signs that your dog is hypothermic include pupils that are dilated and persistent shaking. If your four-legged companion is huddling with you, it's probably because he's chilly. What you can do is, you can bring your dog inside your sleeping bag at night or if you happen to know how to properly start a fire, make yourself a campfire, let your dog stay near the fire and let the heat do the rest. Remember to practice the leave no trace principle every time you'll start a campfire.
In reality, dogs have fewer sweat glands than people do, that is why they rely mostly on their nose and tongue to release excess heat, which makes it more difficult for dogs to cool themselves than it is for us. On hot days, they need consistent access to fluids, shade, and relaxation. Dogs who are overheated pant excessively, seem lethargic, and get disoriented. Check to see whether your dog's lips and nose are dry. To cure a dog that is overheated, you should locate some shade and apply cold water on its tummy and legs. These are areas where blood gathers and will easily be able to cool as they pass through the skin that you had recently wet with water.
There you have it, a few useful first aid tips for your furry friend. Head out there and keep the hikes coming! Cheers!