Dogs can be a wonderful extension of the family. Many dog owners make their homes so comfortable for pets that sometimes they don’t even leave the house at all. However, even the most pampered dog will enjoy a stroll outdoors if you have the time.
Obedience training might be necessary if your dog is unaccustomed to encountering strangers, but once they are comfortable going outside, you can take them with you even on long trips to the beach, or hiking or camping.
Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park (or simply Hanna Park) in Jacksonville, Florida is a beautiful and large outdoor area where you can take your dog to enjoy all three. Here are a few things to be mindful of when planning your trip.
There are some things you should always prepare when taking your dog out, for safety as well as etiquette. Dog food and water are a must for long trips. Make sure you bring a few trash bags or equivalent so that you can clean up after your dog and help keep the surroundings clean.
Take a quick trip to the vet before taking your dog on a long journey. This is to ensure that they are in good health, parasite-free, and up-to-date with their medications and vaccination. As an added precaution, prepare your dog’s ID, relevant papers, and a first aid kit.
Do necessary research on the destination beforehand, including rules and regulations. For instance, Hanna Park requires pets to be attended, behaved, and on a leash of 8 feet or less. Most areas of the park are pet-friendly so long as you observe posted signs.
Hanna Park offers a 1.5 mile stretch of sandy beach, with a boardwalk and sights of wildlife including sea birds and occasionally, dolphins. Your dog may be inclined to chase after anything that moves – just keep an eye out and avoid disturbing others.
There are a few things to bear in mind when walking your dog on the beach. First, it gets hot here – bring an umbrella, extra water, and apply sunscreen to your dog if they are short-coated or shaven. Be sure to use sunscreen on sensitive or exposed areas such as the ears, nose, and paws.
Sand can get uncomfortably hot for both dogs and humans, and abrasion and contact with seawater may cause injury to your pet’s paws. Watch out for any signs of pain or discomfort. You can put on booties to protect the dog’s paws, or carry them somewhere else.
There are over 20 miles of trail in Hanna Park, and you’ll be sharing them with bikers, runners, and other pet owners. Again, stay alert and make sure your dog is well behaved so that everyone can enjoy the trail.
Dogs are definitely going to sniff around and be tempted to go off-trail. If you indulge them, watch where you’re going. Bring extra pest repellent, and see to it that your dog doesn’t drink from any sources of water, or eat anything strange they come across.
The park has plenty of camping space, but you should still be mindful of campsite etiquette. Don’t let your dog wander, and make sure they respond to your commands. Keep them on a leash and tether, or in a portable crate, to forestall any unpleasant incidents.
You can also put a GPS collar or light collar on your dog. This helps you to find them at night in the event that anything should happen.
Pay attention to your canine companion and be considerate of others, so that everyone can enjoy the various attractions that Hanna Park has to offer.