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Tips for Keeping You and Your Dog Safe on Outdoor Adventures

Updated: Sep 5, 2023

A mother dog and her puppy taking a break on a hiking trail

Having dogs and being able to take them on adventures is amazing! There's so much you and your pup can do together. Hiking, camping, surfing, and running are just a few paw-some adventures that you and your dog can both participate in. However, before you embark on any journey, you should always take the proper precautions to keep your dog safe wherever you go.

Some things to keep in mind are: making sure your dog is up to date on all their vaccinations, bringing along plenty of water and food, and being aware of any potential hazards in the area. If you take the proper precautions, you and your dog will be able to enjoy many amazing adventures together.

A Clean Bill of Health

Small fluffy dog at the veterinarian's office

The first step to keeping your dog safe is making sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations and has a clean bill of health from the vet. This will help ensure that your dog is protected from disease and able to stay healthy. Vaccinations help protect your dog from potentially deadly diseases, such as rabies, distemper, hepatitis, etc. Make sure you talk to your veterinarian about which vaccines are right for your dog, based on their age, health status and lifestyle.

Choosing the Right Gear

If you're going to be spending any amount of time going on adventures with your dog, it's important to make sure they have the right gear. This includes a collar or harness that fits well and is comfortable to wear. Your dog's comfort should always be a top priority, so take the time to find gear that won't rub them the wrong way.

There are a variety of different collars and harnesses on the market, so do some research to find one that will work best for your dog. Remember, your dog is counting on you to keep them safe and comfortable, so choose their gear accordingly. With a little effort, you can find the perfect setup for walks, hikes and/or runs that are enjoyable for both of you.

Plan Your Adventure

It’s important to do research on the location you plan on visiting beforehand. Some important aspects to consider are the number of other dogs that are going to be there, leash laws, weather, access to facilities, etc… Most destinations that are dog-friendly have a website and there are typically rules and safety precautions posted there that should always be observed.

Take the Heat into Consideration

It’s been an unusually hot summer in the U.S. this year! With that, it’s also very important to take the heat into account when planning an adventure with your dog. A hot street or sidewalk can burn your dog’s paws and it can also make them tired and dehydrated more quickly. You should always avoid hot ground with your dog. While dog shoes do offer protection, it’s important to note that dogs need time to adjust to wearing them.

Check out the San Diego Humane Society's website for 10 Tips to Help Your Pet Beat the Heat.

First Aid Kit for Dogs

In order to best keep your dog safe, a first aid kit for your dog should be a must in any household where there is a dog and should definitely be brought with whenever taking your pup on an outdoor adventure. Dogs are susceptible to the same injuries and illnesses as humans, so it's important to be prepared in case of an emergency. A basic first aid kit for dogs should include gauze pads, adhesive tape, scissors, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, cotton balls, antibiotic ointment, hydrogen peroxide, and instructions on how to perform CPR on dogs.

Knowing how to use this equipment is just as important as having it on hand. Make sure you are familiar with the instruction manual so that you can act quickly and efficiently in an emergency.

Plenty of Water and Food

No matter how short of a period you plan to leave the house with your dog, you should always have water and food on hand for them. The particular adventure you are planning will also dictate how much food & water to bring. Naturally, running, hiking, and beach trips will demand more treats, water, and food.

Extended Trips with Your Dog(s)

Just like with us humans, extended trips (like overnight or multi-day camping) with our pet means packing for them as well. First and foremost, pack their favorite toys so they can play and stay entertained in the great outdoors. You'll also want to bring along some food and water bowls, as well as enough food and snacks to last the entire trip.

ID Your Dog

Jack Russell Terrier on a hiking trail

Tags on the Collar

We never want to think about it, but there is a chance a dog could get off leash and run away. It’s a horrible feeling, but having the right identification with contact information affixed to your dog can drastically increase your chance of getting them back safely. And even if your dog doesn't stray from your side, ID tags can come in handy if they ever need emergency medical care and you're not around to provide information about their history or allergies.


Microchipping adds another layer of defense against losing your pup, especially if their collar slips off. Microchips are helpful in identifying dogs that have been lost or stolen. They provide critical identification information to shelters that aid in returning pets to their owners. While required by law in only 12 states (and the District of Columbia), most animal shelters will scan for microchips, thus greatly increasing the odds of getting your dog returned.

Create Lasting Memories that are Fun While Keeping Your Dog Safe

Small white dog on a hike in Sedona with red rock hills behind

They're family members, and we do everything in our power to keep our dogs safe and happy. While this may seem like a lot of steps to take to enjoy some outdoor time with your dog, once you get the groundwork established and do it a couple of times, it becomes second nature. The more you go out with your pup, the less work it becomes. Trust us when we say that the amount of effort it takes for these precautions is nothing compared to the feeling of joy you and your pup will share on these paw-some adventures together.

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