A final note on pet safety: Be aware of the risks for your dog.
HEAT: The main risk to dogs whilst they are running is overheating and dehydration. Always take water and a bowl with you and stop to let your dog have a drink every 1-2km and whenever he needs to. Hong Kong can be extremely hot, be sure to check the weather and plan your runs very early morning or late in the evening when the temperature and sun are not so strong. Plan your runs on trails which are shaded by trees and always carry plenty of water with you.
If your dog shows any of the following signs: vigorous panting, struggling to run, collapsing, vomiting, looking for shade, laying down, white sticky saliva (it should be runny), STOP; find shade, give lots of water to drink, saturate your dog or place them in water and contact your veterinarian for advice.
LEPTOSPIROSIS: This serious disease is very common in Hong Kong during summer. ‘Lepto’ is a bacteria which is found in slow moving or stagnant water such as rock pools and streams in Hong Kong. It can enter the dog via the gums, eyes or any small wounds. Although there are vaccines against it, there is a different type seen in Hong Kong and the vaccines are not available. So prevention is most important. Prevent your dog from drinking or swimming in any rock pools or streams when on Hong Kong trails. Always carry your own water to keep you both hydrated and cool.
PARASITES: You need to be especially vigilant about checking your dog for ticks and other small hazards after every run. Check inside the ears, around the head, under the belly and between toes for ticks and remove them. Ticks in Hong Kong carry ‘tick fever’ parasites which can cause serious problems. Ask your family veterinarian about tick preventatives.
BAITS: Take head of warnings on trails and areas where it is known for baits to have been laid. Using a harness and bungie-type lead will allow you to always be in control of your dog and prevent him/ her consuming anything hazardous. If you do see your pet consume anything during a walk, and show any of these symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, breathing difficulty, convulsions, collapse take it to a veterinarian immediately.
CHECK FEET: be sure to check your dog’s toe pads and nails carefully after running for any cuts, cracks, blisters, or dirt stuck between the toes. If necessary, wash the feet and dry them carefully before checking them over. If you see any wounds, check with your veterinarian for care instructions.