We are fortunate to live in a rural area of town, surrounded by rolling hills, somewhat distant neighbors and great walking trails where I take "da boys", Riko and Jasper, for a walk in the afternoons.
Right now, the hills are full of wild flowers and there's still water running into the creeks from the last set of storms, so the visuals and the sounds are amazing.
However, with the beauty comes the beast - Poison Oak. If you live on the west coast and you're not familiar with it, it's a good idea to educate yourself before you go hiking, camping or cycling through the hills. This nasty weed can cause a severe, itchy rash if you happen to get the urushiol oil from it's leaves, stems or roots on your skin.
Should you happen to brush up against the bush, or in many cases, your dog happens to brush themselves against it, try to clean off the oil as soon as possible. While many people believe dogs are not affected by the oil, they do however carry the oil on their fur. So, if you happen to pet them, or they happen to brush against your leg - you're in trouble! So make sure to clean them well too.
Here is a short video on how to clean up after your walk...
Make sure to check out our YouTube video too...
We recommend that you take a shower when you get home to ensure you've removed all the oils from all possible areas. Find out more about poison oak, poison ivy and sumac and how to treat it by visiting http://poisonivy.aesir.com/ and http://www.poison-ivy.org/.