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Summer is officially here. For many, it would not be summer without a family vacation of some kind, hiking, or picnicking with family and friends. Since most Americans consider their furry friends to be members of the family, that means bringing them along to these events. Here are some ways to ensure your companion stays happy and healthy all summer long.

First, make sure your vacation destination is companion friendly. There are many places which do not allow companions, such as certain hotels and some of our national parks. Secondly, get your companion used to car rides well before your trip. If your furry friend already loves road trips, great! If this is the first big trip she will be going on, however, you will want to get her used to being in the car for an extended period of time. Always bring along plenty of fresh water and her favorite toys, and plan on making many pit stops along your way for potty breaks and so your companion can stretch her legs. Make sure your companion has a collar with current information on at all times, and if your furry friend is not microchipped we strongly suggest getting it done.

If you love to go hiking, you may want to take your dog along with you. This is a great idea as long as you follow some guidelines to keep them safe and happy. Make sure the trail you want to hike is dog-friendly and always stay on the designated trail. Staying on the trail not only keeps wildlife and native foliage safe, but it also keeps you and your companion safe as well. Off trail is where you are more likely to encounter snakes and dangerous foliage such as cacti. Flea and Tick prevention (such as Nexgard) is extremely important to give every 30 days, even if you don’t go hiking. This year Colorado has seen an increased incidence of fleas and ticks in all areas. As always bring along plenty of fresh water so your pooch can stay hydrated and do not go farther than your companion can tolerate, or you may end up carrying your furry friend back to the car.

Picnics are another great summer activity for the whole family. If you bring your cat or dog along you will want to make sure they do not get into any harmful foods. Some harmful foods include: Grapes, raisins, Corn cobs, pits of large fruits such as peaches, any products containing xylitol (such as gum), chocolate and avocados. Click here for a list of harmful foods for your companion and descriptions of symptoms your companion may experience if ingested.

We have said it many times before and we will say it again, have a secured window screen in every window of your home! Cats love to sit in window sills in the summer, and without a secured screen, the danger of your companion falling out and hurting herself is very high.

Have a collar with current information on your companion at all times, even at home. And if your companion is not microchipped we strongly suggest getting it done. Companions are more likely to escape during the summer months, and without proper ID the chances of them coming home are less likely than if they had proper ID.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding the safety or well-being of your companion call us at 719-481-3080.

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