The safety of Dog Adventures Northwest Contractors is paramount. Contractors are asked to keep the following things in mind when engaging in work for Dog Adventures Northwest.
The safety of animals in Dog Adventures Northwest's care is also very important. Contractors are asked to keep the following things in mind when caring for animals as a representative of Dog Adventures Northwest.
INFORMATION ON COMMON PARASITES
INFORMATION ON YELLOWJACKETS
Shared by Cyrus Heiduska 4.28.23. Thank you, Cyrus!
If you hike in the woods, be careful because our little yellow striped buddies have come out of hibernation. I have actual ptsd hearing any sort of bee or horsefly type hum flying around me, after getting swarmed badly by yellow jackets on two different adventures. One of my 3-day-a-week client dogs was terrified of returning to the place where she got stung so badly, so I had to change my entire adventure plan so she wouldn’t freak out and bolt. It took her a year to get over it.
From the research I’ve done, it’s not easy to repel them. Your best bet is to avoid stepping on their ground level buried nests.
Wasp spray works to kill them, but it is also extremely harmful to dogs and to you, so you really don’t want to spray it around you in a cloud. It is meant for spraying directly into a nest, while they’re sleeping. Instead, carry a spray bottle of diluted dish soap! The soap clogs their breathing pores.
You can supposedly use various essential oils to deter them, but I don’t think it works that well. I use a recipe of diluted peppermint, lemongrass, geranium, clove, and thyme oils, and I apply it to my hat, pants ankles, my pits, wrist sweatbands, and the middle of my back where the backpack rides, because body heat and sweat spread out our aromas to the air.
I just got a can of “Maggies Farm Flying Insect Killer” to try this season, it was at Fred Meyer. It’s basically the same essential oil blend but in an aerosol spray can. It says “safe for use around children and pets”. It doesn’t claim anything about wasps, only mosquitoes and flies, but it’s something that might help to spray if you’re worried and not yet under attack.
Both times I got swarmed, we had trodden on an in ground nest. Completely invisible, no warning signs. Where they like to nest is in areas of undisturbed dry dirt, pine needles, dry leaves, among the woods. So your best bet to avoid them is to stay on a well trodden path, or open exposed field, or creek bed. Don’t go off trail into the dry woods.
If you get caught, run. Run away fast, calling your dogs to run with you. Leave behind anything you dropped, go back for it later without the dogs. Don’t stop running until you can’t hear them chasing you anymore. Of course you’ll try to swipe away any yellow jackets that are on you, but be gentle! If you crush them, they release a pheromone that signals all the other yellow jackets to attack.
They cling stubbornly onto dog fur, and they don’t die when they sting, they just sting more, the madder they get. You will be tempted to help the dogs by brushing them off, but be gentle, and don’t stop to do that until you’re a long way away from the nest. I used a stick to try to flick them off the dogs, trying not to kill the bugs or poke/hit the dog. Keep checking each dog over and over, because invariably several more of the bastards will have gone under the fur or in hard to see spots, and reveal themselves later.
Carry Benadryl! It will reduce the risk of anaphylactic shock for anyone who’s actually allergic to the stings, and it will reduce irritation and swelling for everyone. 25 mg of Benadryl per 25 lbs of dog. There is legal risk in medicating someone else’s dog, but there’s also risk in failing to do so. Every time I have told a client that I gave Benadryl following a sting, the parents were appreciative. We’ve had several individual stings apart from the two swarms.
I hope this helps. Bee safe out there!
IN THE EVENT OF ANIMAL INJURY OR EMERGENCY
EMERGENCY ANIMAL HOSPITALS
All Contractors must have the following numbers and addresses readily accessible while caring for animals with Dog Adventures Northwest: