With summer just around the corner, you are probably wondering what to do with your dogs! Are you looking for new places to adventure? Are you looking for a new swimming spot? Or are you simply looking to explore the island this summer with your fur babies? Here are some hot spots that myself, my boyfriend and our dogs go!
Although we haven’t been to many entries of the east coast trail, the few places that we have been are incredible. Last summer, we took the dogs to the La Manche access point on the southern shore for the first time, just before the community of Cape Broyle, and past the actual La Manche Provincial Park (for those heading out for the first time it may be hard to find). The suspension bridge is not that far down the trail from the parking area; in addition to the bridge, there is a swimming hole and a beautiful view of the ocean! The first time we went there, we hiked 12km south (I believe) and ended up as far as Money Cove. The dogs spent their time off leash once we picked a direction to take. We didn’t meet any other dogs, just people, even a group from Germany who couldn’t believe we were hiking with our dogs so close to cliffs/ocean. Our dogs happen to have a fantastic recall, and even though they run ahead of us, our lab Daisy stops and waits for us to catch up/ensure were following her. Baxter also follows Daisy and goes wherever she goes, so we know the risks of anything happening are reduced. However, there are risks to adventuring such places, and proper precautions should be taken to meet your own pets needs.
The second time we went to La Manche, we focused more on swimming! This time we went with some family members who had at the time a 7-month-old Golden Retriever puppy named Jessie. Jessie, Baxter, and Daisy swam in the swimming pool, and also went in the ocean! They absolutely loved it.
Here are some tips for going to these areas for the first time. I had a first aid kit in my pack, which contained sterile wound cleaning supplies as well as bandaging material. Rocks are sharp and can cause injury to paw pads! I also had an inflatable water bowl, an Aquadog water bottle, and towels. I also had protective booties packed for the dogs, as well as cowbells that we use during off-leash walks.
It’s also important to make sure pet is protected for parasites, being fleas ticks and worms. You may have had a recent vet visit and received the new recommendation by your regular vet. In case you don’t know, our province has ticks, and all pets are at risk based on recent sightings/findings, especially those pets that are hikers, hunters, go to the family cabin, or go into wooded areas. There is also a new tapeworm (check out our facebook page for details) that is transmittable to humans and causes life-threatening, long-term impacts on our internal organs! Even then, your pet walking local trails (Manuels River, Bowring Park) can still pick up a tick. Right now my dogs are treated monthly with Credilio (which covers fleas and ticks) and Interceptor Plus (which covers worms, including tapeworm). Coverage is based on a lifestyle perspective, but with new parasites being discovered, and the true unknown of how vast the parasites are spreading like this new tapeworm, it is important pets at risk are covered.
If you’re concerned about parasites this summer, call your regular veterinarian, and an experienced staff member will point you in the right direction! When it comes to hiking, exploring, or adventuring with your dogs this summer, do not let parasites stop you! Not sure where to go? From someone who is not from St. John’s, I tend to visit different parts of the East Coast Trail, visit local swimming holes, or take a hike/bike run into the country. Google may be able to give some ideas, friends/coworkers/family may have some suggestions, and there are groups on Facebook that may have some suggestions as well. Wherever you decide to go this summer, be safe, do research on the area, pack a bag, and most importantly enjoy the sunshine with your fur baby!
Written by: Chelsea Corrigan, VA