Texas is blessed with some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. A lot of people in the Lone Star State love taking their dogs out on these trails to enjoy time outdoors. As fun as that may be for us and our dogs, there are some hidden dangers that veterinarians are trying to get the word out about this summer.

Cute Fuzzy Caterpillar, Or Potentially Painful Encounter For Your Dog?

According to the website TrustedHouseSitters, one of the lesser-known dangers lurking on hiking trails is a tiny fuzzy caterpillar. It's commonly referred to as the wooly bear caterpillar or salt marsh caterpillar. If your dog gets a hold of one of these little wooly bears, it could end in your dog having an incredibly bad time.

These caterpillars can cause skin irritation for your beloved four-legged friend. The crazy part is that all your dog has to do is touch the thing. If your dog is the kind that likes to put everything in its mouth, the encounter could be a real bad one.

Be Aware Of All Potential Risks To Your Pet During Hikes In Texas

The best thing to do is pay attention to what's going on around you when you're out on a hike. If you spot one of these cute fuzzy caterpillars, don't let your dog mess with it. Distract Fido with a stick or something; or use the classic "What's that over there" method of misdirection. That's the best tip the experts have; don't let your dog get near it.

Other things to be mindful of when out on a hike are ticks and fleas. Make sure your dog's flea and tick collar is up to date before heading out on a hike. Also, be mindful of where snakes might be hiding out along trails. That's a good bit of advice for you and the dog.

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Gallery Credit: Sarah Clark

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