Since January is Walk Your Pet Month, we wanted to provide you with a handful of helpful tips for keeping your pet happy and safe when adventuring out of the house. Walking your pet is a great activity that is both healthy for your pet and creates a deeper bond between the two of you, no matter what time of year.

Microchipping Your Pet

Pets get lost when out on adventures, and that’s a fact. Nobody means for it to happen, and it’s not something you plan on when you walk your pet. That’s why we’re huge advocates for microchipping your pet, in case they get away from you by accident. A microchip means that even if your pet slips out of their collar and loses their I.D. tag, there will be an additional way for rescuers to find and contact you. A microchip is very small and placed just under the skin, usually between your pet’s shoulder blades. Pets are scanned for microchips when taken to a veterinarian or shelter, and this teeny microchip contains your contact information. This is also why it’s of the utmost importance to keep your microchip registration current and up-to-date, with your current address and phone number.

Your Pet’s Social Behavior

woman walking dog on pretty grassy path

Good behavior and listening to verbal commands are important for your pet, especially when taking your fur baby on outings. If your pet doesn’t listen to your directions, runs away, or is aggressive, adventures with your pet can get stressful very quickly. If you’ve been working with your pet on commands and proper walking techniques before walking your pet, this will make walk time so much better for everyone. It’s important to practice the skills and tricks at home in the safety of your yard before taking Fido on walks–where he could easily get overexcited due to other pets and people.

Vaccinations are Important

If your pet will be out and about and socializing with other pets, additional vaccinations may be needed to prevent him or her from getting highly contagious illnesses. If your pet is a homebody and rarely exposed to other pets, these additional vaccinations may not be necessary. But just like human viruses and colds, pets can easily transfer illnesses to each other, the same way as kids on a playground. If your pet is an avid adventurer and likes to hang out at the dog park, for example, it’s easy to contract Kennel Cough or the latest version of Canine Influenza.

Pet Clothing and Shoes

cute dogs in sweaters

While our Texas weather doesn’t get too chilly, protecting pets from the elements is just as important as anywhere else. A good rule to keep in mind is that if it’s too hot or cold outside for you, it’s too hot or cold for your pet. Many folks have the misconception that just because furry friends have fur and paw pads, they’re protected from the elements. Hot sidewalks and pavement will burn paw pads, and freezing ones will hurt, too. Touch the ground with your hand and if you wouldn’t walk barefoot on it, we suggest getting some pet booties or “shoes” for your pet.

Nature Walks Versus City Walks with Pets

When planning an adventure with your pets, no matter what season, be sure to consider the terrain. What things might you encounter? People? Animals? Cars? Sharp branches? Cactus? Be sure to prepare your pets with gear they might need, the same way you would when going on a lengthy hike.

If you have any questions about going on more pet adventures and walking your pets, be sure to ask us during your pet’s next wellness visit here at Bayside Animal Hospital in Kemah, Texas.