Fall outings with your dog

Now that the hot weather has receded, is the time to exercise your dog before the ice on the pavement makes walks precarious. But a few things to be cautious about:

  • Burs – this is prime time to get stickers in your dog’s fur so restrict them from the trailside plants and check their ears, paws, and fur for stickers. Use a comb to remove most stickers and don’t wear fleece where you could get burs, or you might look worse than your dog.
    Dog covered with burs.

    Dog covered with burs.

    • Bidens are very common – these occur in wetland areas, but can totally cover your clothes or your dog. These have two little burs that stick to your clothes.

      Bidens burs.

      Bidens burs.

    • Burdock is also very common. These are large burs that stick to each other and usually are easily removed.

      Burdock burs.

      Burdock burs.

    • Cockleburs hurt! These can be fairly large and they hurt your dog and your hands. They are especially painful between the dog’s pads.

      Cocklebur burs.

      Cocklebur burs.

    • Tick trefoil – these look like small, flat pea pods. These are easily removed.

      Tick trefoil burs.

      Tick trefoil burs.

    • Avens – These tiny green balls can easily cover a dog’s fur.

      Avens burs.

      Avens burs.

  • Ticks – yes, they are out again! Here is a good chart to identify ticks at different stages, their active months, and the diseases they are known to carry. http://www.tickencounter.org/tick_identification

So with all this in mind, enjoy the fall colors and a hike!

Buffy and Chipper on a hike at the forest preserve.

Buffy and Chipper on a hike at the forest preserve.

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