By Nan Talleno

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As the temperature becomes cooler and crisper, many people like to hit the hiking trail to take in the fall scenery and many times they bring along their canine companions. It’s a good fit too because dogs love the outdoors, they love to walk and they enjoy exploring. If you are planning such a trip, there are a few things to keep in mind before venturing out.

First, take into consideration the health and age of your dog. Make sure that your dog is in good health first. Senior and ailing dogs may find it too physically challenging. If you do take an older dog, make sure to keep the walk appropriate to what he/she can handle by making it shorter and taking it slower.

The ASPCA reminds you to make sure that your dog has a collar and ID that is always up-to-date. Even if your dog is microchipped, it’s still important to have a collar ID for quicker identification.

Bring plenty of water (for both of you!) to stay hydrated. Make sure to have your dog on flea and tick medication prior to your outing as fall is still prime time for such parasites until the first frost. Always check your dog for fleas and ticks afterwards, especially in hiding places around the ears, in the folds of the skin and in the belly area.

Once you’ve followed a safety checklist first, enjoy the bonding time together with your best friend.

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