The weather is warming up! Or trying to, at least. Hiking season is soon upon us and we have some great ways to keep it fun and safe for your pup.
Secure your equipment
Check collars and leashes both for fit and for wear. Hikes usually include wildlife and even the best trained of our furry friends sometimes gives in to temptation to chase or decide they needs to protect us from other animals. A properly fitted collar and leash that are free of wear can help to keep them from getting themselves into sticky situations.
Bring water for yourself and bring some for your pup. Water can also be used on pads and ears to help cool down your pet if it's a warm day. Picking up a collapsible water bowl can be a handy way to provide water to your pet without adding weight to your hiking gear.
Keep an eye on pads
Hikes can be rough on paw pads. Rocks, pine needles, thistles and rough terrain can cause roughness or small tears or cuts. Sunny weather can heat rocks and harder surfaces, causing burns on pads. Check pads when you take breaks and consider picking up a balm to help soothe and protect your pup's paws. BowDog's BB Balm (Better than Boots) has soothing elements in it and can be picked up in a convenient stick form.
Be aware of pests
Mosquitoes, ticks and other biting bugs can plague our pets as much as they do us, if not more. Consider a dog-safe bug repellent and some after-care items designed to discourage ticks and other pests from making a home in your pup's hair. BowDog's Take A Hike, Ticked Off and Ticked Off Bed and Coat Shake are designed for this.
The best hikes are the ones with your dog. Here's to a great coming summer!
It's that time of year. The weather is warming and things are melting and all that was hidden in mounds of snow is coming out. It gets muddy and messy and the dogs love it! A few things become quite important this time of year. Let's look at those.
Grooming is important as everything melts. In multi-coated dogs the change in weather also triggers a change in coat and shedding begins in earnest. Baths and brushing help to get that loose hair out to keep your pet comfortable and to prevent matting.
The damper, dirtier conditions tend to cause matting in all coats so grooming can help to prevent hot spots as it reduces the chance of damp hair being trapped against the skin. Regular baths are also helpful in general as everything in the snow is released as it melts so mud also carries some of the smellier, less pleasant things that get trapped in the winter.
Health and Safety
Dogs sniff everything and many will put most things in their mouths. Remember that as the snow melts, everything that was in it comes out. When out for walks, especially in the city where there is more exhaust, spills, and general detritus, don't allow your pups to drink from puddles. Keep an eye out for small items (broken glass, sharp rocks, bits of metal) that the snow might reveal that can get caught in pads. Booties are still a good idea this time of year to help prevent damaged paws before everything gets cleaned up.
As the weather warms we get closer to bug season. It's a good time to stock up on preventatives like bug sprays and tick prevention. Lice and ticks are very contagious and can spread from dog to dog, or dog to another surface (grass is a huge culprit) and then to another dog. If you like to take hikes or go to dog parks or other significantly outdoor activities, it's a good time to check your kit and restock on your bug sprays and the like. Good news! BowDog carries a line of bug sprays and other deterrents made for us by All Things Jill. Come check it out!
Owning a dog can often mean being in a small room with them while other people and animals are present. Veterinary waiting rooms, doggie daycare lobbies, public transit, elevators, the list could go on of the various spaces you and your dog will likely have to wait while other people and animals are present. This presents a rather unique environment for our four-legged friends which can cause them to react in ways they may not usually act.
Spaces where many people and animals have been, and currently are, can provide a lot of stimulus all at once for a dog. There are tons of unfamiliar smells, sounds, sights, and situations for them to process. Socialization can, in these cases, be very helpful to get them accustomed to these environments but not all dogs have that benefit or opportunity and some will never quite get used to it. The fact that owners are present and dogs are on leash can also complicate the situation for some pets.
The unknown in these spaces can cause some dogs to become fearful or anxious. Some might guard their owners or their space. The following are some tips to make the "waiting room" experience easier and more pleasant for all involved.
• Keep Your Dog On Leash Even if your dog is comfortable with the situation, not all dogs - or people for that matter - are. Keeping your dog on leash helps set everyone else at ease and can prevent unwanted greetings.
• Give Others Their Space To expand on the last point, make sure you're keeping your pup close to you and giving ample space between yourself and the next dog owner to keep everyone comfortable. This is especially true if it's clear another owner has put space between themselves and everyone else. Their dog likely needs that space to feel okay about the situation. If your pup is the one who is uncomfortable, there is nothing wrong with waiting in a back corner or even outside of the room if that's what will keep your dog content. Most dog spaces understand completely and will be happy to come to you when it's your turn.
• Avoid Greetings We all love it when our dogs have friends but waiting spaces aren't the best places for friendships to form. Due to the factors mentioned above, many dogs go on high-alert and can give confusing signals to one another. Dogs who would get along in any other situation might not in this space. Setting your pet up for success in new greetings means making sure the environment is appropriate for them to engage in.
• Exude Peace Dogs take their cues from us. High energy and anxiety in us tells our pets that they should either be amped up or anxious as well. Being calm and confident with your pet helps to reassure them that everything is all right. Keep a loose leash if you're able and speak in calm, even tones. Avoid speaking to your pet unless you need to give a command as they might read your words as affirmation (Yes, I should be scared) or become too excited.
• Avoid Common Walkways This sounds like common sense, but sometimes we forget to watch where we're standing. Staying clear of entries and narrow paths to said entries until it's your turn to use them helps to reduce the stimulus our pets are receiving. It also allows space for those who may currently be using those walkways.
We hope that you found these five tips useful! May we never have to wait too long and, when we do, may it be peaceful and pleasant.