The first rule of thumb when heading out for a hike, camping trip, or outdoor adventure with your pet is to always put safety first. Be prepared with the following information.

If you’re hiking in extreme temperatures such as Arizona’s hot summers, invest in a pair of booties to protect your pet’s feet from burns, blisters, or abrasions.

Pack plenty of water and make it available to your pet regularly. Discourage your pet from drinking from lakes or streams which may be contaminated with harmful parasites or toxins. Remember: Heat stroke can be deadly to your pet. Pay attention for signs of heat exhaustion > 

Treat your pet with flea and tick preventative medications prior to your outdoor activity to deter pests.

Know your pet’s boundaries. If he or she is not used to long hikes, stick to short trail walks to avoid exhaustion and over-heating. Read more about heat exhaustion in pets and the signs of heat stroke >

Do your trail research to know what areas allow pets and to be aware of any restrictions.

Keep your dog on a leash for your safety, your pet’s safety, and that of those around you. And remember: snake bites occur most often when pets are off their leash! Read more about rattlesnake safety for your pets >

Make sure your dog has proper identification. An ID tag on your pet’s collar will be helpful if your pet gets lost.

hiking safety with your petWhat to Include in a Pet First Aid Kit

Make sure you’re prepared with the supplies you’ll need plus anything that you may need to aid your pet in the event of a medical emergency. The urgent care veterinarian team at VETMED recommends including the following items in a Pet First Aid Kit:

Pet Supplies:
  • Emergency contact information:
    • VETMED Urgent Care + 24 hr Emergency (602) 697-4694
    •  ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Hotline (888) 426-4435
    • Owner’s name, phone number, and address
    • Friend or family member’s name, phone number and address
    • Family veterinarian information
  • Paperwork for your pet
    • Can include vaccination records, list of medications, microchip information, photo of your pet
  • Extra leash and collar
pet first aid kitFirst Aid Supplies:
  • Absorbent gauze pads
  • Adhesive first aid tape
  • Antiseptic wipes, lotion, powder, or spray
  • Blanket (a foil emergency blanket)
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Gauze rolls
  • Hydrogen peroxide
    • Hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting; do this only when directed by a veterinarian or a poison-control expert
  • Ice pack
  • Non-latex disposable gloves
  • Petroleum jelly (to lubricate the thermometer)
  • Rectal thermometer (your pet’s temperature should not rise above 103°F or fall below 100°F)
  • Scissors (with blunt ends)
  • Sterile saline solution to clean open wounds
  • Tweezers and comb to remove cactus thorns or burrs
  • Nail clippers
  • Plastic eyedropper or syringe
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for allergic reactions
    • Check with your veterinarian to make sure Benadryl is approved for your pet and verify the appropriate dosage amount
  • Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl) to clean the thermometer
  • Ear-cleaning solution
  • Glucose paste or corn syrup (for diabetic dogs or those with low blood sugar)
  • Non-prescription antibiotic ointment
  • Small flashlight
  • Towels

Have a wonderful and safe outdoor adventure with your pet!

In the case of emergency, contact VETMED at (602) 697-4694 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.