Tag Archives: hiking

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Dog

Earth Day is coming up on April 22nd. It’s a great time to take your dog for a hike in nature and consider the ways that you as an individual and as a dog-owner can help the environment. Here are a few recommendations from PuppySpot.

1. Follow the 3 “R’s.”

  • Reduce: You can reduce the waste that comes with owning a dog by choosing toys and products that come with less packaging. Opt for products that require little to no wrapping, like stuffed toys, or buying larger bags of food instead of individual servings.
  • Recycle: Did you know that many old plastic dog toys are recyclable? Once Fido is done with them, you can take them to your local recycling center or put them in your home recycling bin. You can also find new toys made from recycled materials from many pet retailers.
  • Reuse: Do you have dog toys or beds that your pup never took a shine to? Try donating them to a local shelter – you can feel good while doing good.

2. Take to the trails.
What better way to enjoy the natural wonders around you than going to the great outdoors? Try a new hiking trail or take a walk in the park where your pooch can discover new sights and smells. Be sure to stop and smell the roses this Earth Day!

3. Pick up after your pup.
Doggy doo-doo isn’t just a nuisance to your neighbors; it can also be harmful to the environment. Dog feces contains millions of bacteria and can sometimes harbor harmful parasites such as giardia and salmonella, which find their way into our waterways. Prevent the spread of disease by picking up after your pup. Bonus points if you use biodegradable doggy bags like these. Better yet, reduce your plastic bag consumption completely by using a pooper scooper or similar non-disposable tool.

4. Modify Fido’s diet.
Both your pup and the planet can benefit from a change to their diet. Just like humans, dogs need a varied diet and can usually benefit from getting more veggies. By feeding your pup a mostly plant-based diet, you can help decrease emissions from resource-intensive meat processing and increase their consumption of vitamins and fiber at the same time. You should always consult your veterinarian when making changes to your dog’s diet.

5. Plant a dog-friendly garden.
To many, Earth Day is synonymous with tree planting. Try planting a tree or one of these other dog-friendly plants in your yard. Increasing the greenery in your yard helps you, your pup, and the planet thrive.

We hope that you and your pup use our above tips to have a fun and fulfilling Earth Day. And remember, the choices you make affect the planet every day, not just on Earth Day!

13 Dog Breeds Perfect for Hiking

If you own a dog, you already know how helpful dogs can be in keeping you fit and active. Hiking is one such popular physical activity to do with your dog, but there are some factors to consider before going on that next trek with your pup. For example, most dogs don’t have the endurance to hike for more than about 3-5 hours, and not all dogs can tolerate all climates. In addition, dogs under the age of one may not be sturdy enough for strenuous exercise. Likewise, dogs in their old age may have a harder time keeping up. The following is a breed-specific list of dogs best suited for hiking.

1. Bernese Mountain Dogbernese-hiking-thumbnail

Big, strong and well-behaved, the Bernese Mountain Dog makes a
great candidate for a hiking buddy—after all, the word “mountain” is in her name! Bernese can carry about 10 times their body weight, meaning she’ll have no problem carrying some supplies on her back if necessary. Because of her thick, furry coat, she loves to hike in colder weather. On the flip side, be cautious taking her out to hike in the warmer seasons. Overall, this easygoing and athletic dog will love hiking alongside you, and acting courteous to strangers along the way.

2. Vizslavizsla-hiking-thumbnail
Since this active dog already requires a lot of exercise, the Vizsla is a great companion to take with you out on the trails. The Hungarian-bred hunter is intelligent and has the stamina to go on long, steep hikes. She’ll come along with you on a hot or temperate day, but make sure to bundle her up when the weather gets breezy.

3. Siberian Huskyhusky-hiking-thumbnail

The friendly and energetic Husky may be a handful to train, but you’ll have a ball with her as your hiking partner. Bred as sled dogs, Huskies are strong, intelligent dogs who can withstand freezing temperatures while carrying heavy cargo. Her furry double-coat won’t serve her well in extreme heat, but she’s fine to spend time outdoors with you in most climates.

4. Australian Shepherdaustralian-hiking

The Aussie is a hard worker at heart and will love to join you for a day of hiking and adventure. She has the strength to hike on even bumpy and uneven terrain, and has plenty of energy to keep going without getting tired. Despite her long coat, she can withstand most temperatures as long as they are not extreme.

5. Labrador Retrieverlabrador-hiking

America’s favorite dog breed is also a hiking favorite for a number of reasons. For one, her easy trainability gives her the right temperament to join you on the trail without acting out. The Lab is also strong, and won’t mind carrying up to 10 pounds of gear. She has the mind of an explorer and will be comfortable in most climates.

6. Portuguese Water Dogportuguese-hiking-thumbnail
Here’s a good dog for those hikes ending in a waterfall or stream. The dog of choice of the Obama family is a perfect pal on land or water. Her waterproof coat and webbed feet make her a great swimmer, so she’ll join you for a refreshing dip in the water after a long, tiring trek.

7. German Shorthaired Pointergerman-shorthaired-hiking-thumbnail
Similar to Labs, the German Shorthaired Pointer is a loving companion with enduring stamina. Just watch out—because of her natural high prey drive, this dog might try to bolt from your grip at the sight of a bird, squirrel, rabbit or other small creature. This dog also tends to be very protective of her owner, making her a vigilant watch dog on the trail.

8. Alaskan Malamutealaskan-malamute-hiking-thumnail
This Siberian Husky lookalike is larger and considered even stronger than her other sled-pulling relative. She’ll brave the toughest, snowiest terrains and coldest temperatures. She’s sturdy, independent and a true athlete. This dog is made for the wild and will have you panting by the end of your hike.

9. Rhodesian Ridgebackrhodesian-hiking-thumbnail
Bred to be a lion hunter, the Rhodesian Ridgeback is nothing short of mighty. Her apt ability to protect her loved ones from danger makes her a prime companion for exploring the great outdoors. Her paws are tough enough to plow through any terrain, and her sleek, short coat shields her from the heat. This dog needs plenty of exercise and would surely love to accompany you on a nice, long hike.

10. Jack Russell Terrierjack-russel-hiking-thumbnail
Who says all hiking dogs have to be big and beastly? This little pup packs a lot of energy into a small body, and won’t get tired after a long trek through the woods or up a cliff. The playful Jack Russell will run for ages and makes a good watchdog, barking at anyone that comes his way. You won’t have to worry about this little one keeping up!

11. Weimaranerweimaraner-hiking-thumbnail
This dog will have no problem covering long distances with you; in fact, she’ll get a little antsy if she doesn’t get enough exercise! A good watchdog, the majestic gray Weimaraner is intelligent and loves to run and play. Satisfy her demanding exercise needs by taking her on a long hike!

12. Border Collieborder-collie-hiking-thumbnail
The Border Collie is everything you want in a hiking pal: highly intelligent, energetic and eager to please. She loves a challenge and lives to perform tasks, whether fetching your knapsack or following directions to a destination. She loves being outdoors with plenty of space to stretch her long legs.

13. Doberman Pinscherdoberman-hiking-thumbnail
This fierce-looking dog is a loyal and obedient hiking companion with plenty of strength for those tough climbs. She’s easier to train than the Rhodesian Ridgeback, and her attentive nature as a fearless guard dog can provide you with protection when walking alone. Take her on hikes with you to give her a healthy way of expending her abundant energy.

Hiking With Fido: Must-Have Items to Bring

Not only does hiking offer great exercise and beautiful scenery, but an outdoor trek can also be a wonderful bonding activity to share with your dog. Your pup will love the fresh air and all the new smells along the trail. But, as with any new outdoor adventure, adequate preparation is key. When planning a hike with your furry friend, make sure to follow these tips on what to bring with you to ensure a safe, enjoyable experience.

Find a Trail That’s Dog Friendly
Not all trails allow dogs, so make sure you do some research before you head out. The best place to start is by doing general online search for “dog friendly trails” along with your state or location. You’ll likely find a comprehensive hiking guide that will provide you Ffirwith maps and insider tips. If not, try searching for a specific National or State park. While these parks often allow dogs, your pup might only be allowed in certain areas. BringFido.com is also a great resource for finding dog friendly hiking trails in your state.

Assess Your Own Backpack and Determine What’s Relevant for Your Pooch
Consider the items you’re packing for yourself—does your pup need these items too? For example, water is an essential that you’ll want to have plenty of, both for yourself and for Fido. Never assume you’ll come across natural water sources for your pooch as they might be few and far between, or even non-existent. Plus, lakes and streams can be dirty and home to dangerous parasites. While hiking, use your own thirst level as a guide for how often to offer your pup plenty of fresh, clean water. A good rule of thumb is to offer a drink every 15-30 minutes to prevent dehydration.

Bring Sustenance in Addition to Water
Depending on the length of your hike, you may want to pack food for Fido, as well. Especially for all-day or overnight hiking trips, be sure to measure and pack enough food to cover all of your pup’s regular meals. You may even want to increase his servings based on his fitness and the hike’s level of difficulty. Dogs burn calories with exercise just as humans do, and need food to fuel them. Treats might be a good idea as well, especially if you like to use them as a reward for good behavior!

Research Leash Laws and Abide Accordingly
Find out beforehand what the leash laws are wherever you and your pup are going. For example, some state parks require dogs to be on a leash of a certain length. If in doubt, it’s always a good idea to keep your dog on a leash even when it’s not required. Use your best judgment based on your pooch’s level of obedience and your feel for his safety.

Make Sure Your Dog Has a Collar On, Regardless of Leash
If you decide to keep Fido off-leash during your hike, make sure he still has a collar on. The collar should fit snugly (but not too tightly) and should have your dog’s name, your telephone number, and his rabies tag attached to it. If you should get separated from your pup, proper identification will ensure that whomever finds him has a way of contacting you.

Consider Protective Wear
While dog booties can sometimes look a little ridiculous (yet cute of course!), they can be extremely useful in helping your pup navigate difficult weather and terrain. Booties protect your dog’s paws from harsh elements such as cold, salty sidewalks, rocky paths and hot surfaces; not to mention that covered feet can protect vulnerable paws from injury. Your dog might look a little funny when first trying on booties, but once he gets used to them, he will be grateful for the extra layer!

Come Equipped with First Aid Supplies
A first aid kit is another essential, especially if you’ll be taking your pup on a long or multi-day hiking trip. Pack items like bandages and antiseptic for wounds, a liquid bandage for split or cut paws, and tweezers for tick removal. Gauze, bandage scissors, adhesive tape, stop-bleeding powder, and a muzzle are also recommended to be fully prepared for any unexpected incidents.

Take a Load Off (If Your Pooch Can Handle It)
hiking-thumbnailNow that you’re aware of the necessities for hiking with your pooch, you’ll need a knapsack to carry it all in! Dog packs are useful accessories that allow your dog to share some of the load with you. In general, dogs can carry up to 25% of their body weight. Some breeds can carry more, while others can’t carry much at all. Check with your veterinarian to confirm what size load your dog can carry safely. Alternatively, pack doggy supplies in plastic baggies within your own pack, so they’re easy to locate in a pinch, and separated from all the human stuff.

Looks like you and Fido are ready to hit the trails! With these hiking essentials, you and your pup are sure to have a safe and enjoyable hiking trip.