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Saturday, November 14, 2009
GeoCaching with Animals - How Do You Do It?
If you have ever seen my GeoPuppy Emily in either my GeoSnippits Videos or on the blogs you know that she loves to walk the trails while I geocache. She is not too keen when I actually stop and start searching for said geocache but loves to walk.
I have found that when I take my geopooch geocaching it changes the experience quite a bit. I have to pay way more attention to her as we drive from geocache to geocache making sure that she doesn't jump out of the car before she is supposed to. I make sure that she frequently has water, food and potty breaks which takes time. Depending on the geocache situation there are other factors such as can she be hurt somehow or run into a critter or other nasty. All in all I feel that I cannot relax as much in my geocaching adventures when my canine best bud is with me and I wondered if other geocachers had the same issues. So of course I asked them on the Geocaching.com forums.
Within a week I received many really nice replies from the forum and below is a summary. I hope you find it helpful.
Ticks - When it comes to our canine cachers it is extremely important to make sure they are current on their flea and tick meds. If you geocache in an area where you have to do regular tick checks for yourself then your pooch is more than doubly so. The most common places to look is their paws, groin, leg pits, neck, ears, eyes and nose. Many suggest using repellent instead of the spot-on pesticides. Just watch those vital areas.
Burrs - Same as for ticks. They can be extremely painful and also can transfer into your house after you get home.
Critters - If your geopooch is off the leash be sure to make sure you keep an eye out for snakes and other animals that could hurt your best friend. Skunks, porcupines, snakes, spiders and other pests are out there and you need to be aware of them.
One geocacher wrote in telling about how their dog ran into a porcupine recently. It was off leash and scampering through the woods when it had the encounter. $450.00 dollars later at the vet...
Hunting Vests - Lets face it, when hunting season rolls around wearing an orange vest, hat and possibly hand flares is not a bad idea when geocaching. Same goes for your dog. There are orange vests you can get for your dog to help the Elmer Fudds out there from taking a pot shot at your pooch. Be extra careful geocaching during hunting season.
Doggie Boots - Not the greatest fashion statement but it can make the difference to and a lot less pain for our dogs. You can get shoes or socks for dogs feet. Check your local Pet supply store and save some paws.
Water and Cheeseburgers - For sure water is an absolute must when taking your geodoggie out on the hunt. They get thirsty just like us and keeping a bottle of water and that portable bowl is always a good thing. As far as the cheeseburgers go, my Emily demands them before we head out and I read several other posts saying the same thing ;)
While investigating animals while geocaching I was pleasantly surprised about the number of geocachers who go out via horseback. The more I thought about it the more I really liked the idea. From what was stated many of the horses love to just go up to the cache area and graze while we are off looking for the geocache. It gives them needed rest breaks and a place to munch.
I can imagine you can have a complete backpack setup to carry more equipment if needed as well.
Snakes or other Dangerous Places -
Just like dogs you also have to be careful of the critters out there when on horseback. Snakes are always a threat on the trails and also are areas where your horse may fall.
Okay No, I didn't actually receive any posts of people taking their felines geocaching but I did receive several really cool photos of their kitties helping them at home with their geocaching stuff. So honorable mention for the puddy cats.
Summary - Using common sense when taking an animal with you while geocaching is always a good thing. Keeping our pets safe should be our number one concern when out on the trails.
Well I hope some of these suggestions prove useful to you and help your pet have a long and fun time out geocaching.