on the Portage Bike Hike Trail
irst plan to make your trip safe, before you get started know your limits and know your pets limits; don't take an old dog on a long walk on a hot day. Think, the distance you and your pet have now walked will now have to walk back and the two of you are tired from the walk out. Don't over due it.
Look at the local weather for the window for your planned walk. Hot, cold, rainy, lightening, high winds are all good reasons to put off a walk. Err on the side of safety. In cold weather you can wear a coat, so can your dog. On a hot day, take shorter walks early in the morning, get back before the sun is high and you and your pet will get exercise but not get overheated.
Bring the things you and your pet need:
Water and something your pet can drink out of. A hiking dish from a camping store is handy or a small plastic dish that can fit in your pocket. Waste Bags; clean up after your pet. A good collar and leash, that you your pet are used too. Loss of control of your dog could be extremely harmful to your pet and others. Distractions on the trail can cause your pet to bolt. A child, rabbit, bike or another dog can set off even a normally calm dog. A fully charged cell phone, if something goes wrong you can summon help especially if you are aware of your location on the trail. For longer walks bring some snacks, nothing sets off an enjoyable experience more than a nice break to reflect on your outing.
Extra items that count:
A small first aid kit, it can also serve double duty for you and your pet, being familiar with the items in the kit, this can serve you well in an emergency. A walking stick or staff is a great item, most useful if your dog is timid or small. You can hold off a more aggressive animal that is off lead while its' owner retrieves it.
Note: Do not put you hand between two dogs that are fighting, you will get bit.
Dress properly for your walk:
Shoes that are comfortable for walking, a coat in colder weather, light color clothes and a hat in sunny warm weather. Your dog, if it chills easily, may need a coat or a sweater. Wearing the proper things make for an enjoyable outing for both you and your pet.
Keep your dog on a leash at all times. There are animals: skunks, coyotes, raccoons, as well as trains and cars that can turn your day into a tragedy.
Be Safe & Have Fun!