Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are annoying little creatures most dog owners are aware of. Consult your veterinarian for information on the many commercial products available to protect your dog against these little beasts. Check your dog after each hike to make sure she has not picked up any unwanted companions.
Fleas are found in western Canada, although they are more prevalent in British Columbia than Alberta. They do not seem to like the cold Alberta winters. They are tiny, blood sucking pests that will attach to your dog for a free meal. In British Columbia, they seem to be more prevalent in coastal and lower mainland areas. It would be wise to have some kind of insect protection for your dog. If your dog starts scratching more than usual after you have been traveling or hiking through the country, he has probably become infested and a trip to the vet may be needed to get some relief.
Ticks are prevalent in the mountains, especially in spring. They are tiny spider like creatures with a triangular body and 8 legs. They like to hang on low lying vegetation, especially in areas frequented by sheep and attach to warm blooded bodies as they pass by. Their nourishment comes from sucking the blood of their host. They have been known to transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease but this is extremely rare in species found in the Canadian rockies. To remove one of these little beasties, grab it and slowly pull it out of the skin, making sure to remove all the mouth parts. To avoid getting them yourself, keep your pant legs tucked in your socks and always check yourself and your dog thoroughly after your hike.