Family Fun – Camping… Backpacking… Hiking… Regardless of the activity, each can be a lot of fun, great exercise and a bonding experience. Bring your favorite canine along and the whole event is raised to another level.
In addition to companionship, your dog may help you discover new sights. Always keep him on a leash when hiking or backpacking.
As he leads you, he will naturally explore unfamiliar sights and smells. His attention to those areas will pique your interest also, allowing you to discover otherwise unnoticed scenery.
Prepare your human and canine family for the outing. Licenses must be current. Check with your veterinarian to confirm that your pet is in good health and that these outings won’t be too strenuous for him. If your canine needs medication or special food, be sure to bring them with you. Also, be sure to check with your vet to make sure all of your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Never leave home without your canine first aid kit.
Hired To Eat! What A Concept! – The federal Bureau of Reclamation used an innovative technique for vegetation control on Tiger Island in California, using about 1,600 goats on the project to clear the area so authorities could inspect it for a variety of defects. This was the most environmentally friendly method for clearing the land.
The goats did not belong to the Bureau,. They were eating on independent contractor status, rented from a local farmer.
Let’s do a little math, shall we: There are 5.8 acres per mile. It is a 26-mile levee. The 1,600 goats munched an average of about 1.5 acres each day. It took these goats about 100 days to clear the levee!
California is not the only state to use goat-power. They have been used in Washington, Idaho, Oregon… in fact 39 of the 50 states have reported success with this eco-friendly ground-clearing.
Goats have been used to clear blackberries and overgrowth for generations. Before chemicals were developed to clear weeds and other unwanted vegetation, pulling and digging were the most often methods until the voracious appetite of the goat was found to be less work for humans and much more effective.
Unusual Conversations – Prairie Dogs are new as pets and not widely accepted yet, but scientists have been studying them in the wild for a very long time. Researchers have determined that Prairie Dogs can talk. They use over 100 different “words”, most of which are used to announce intruders and warn of predators. These animals are able to communicate amazingly complex information through a relatively sophisticated language. Although the basic language is the same, each Prairie Dog colony has its own dialect. It is also believed that they can remember a specific person for up to two months.
Mirror, Mirror On The Wall – When cats see their reflection in a mirror they try to touch it with a paw, or even hiss at it and seem to be fooled into thinking it’s another cat. What excites the cat about his reflection is the motion he sees. Each time the cat moves, so does the reflection. (What matters most is how you see yourself.)
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
Run, romp, and play daily.
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t pout. Run right back and make friends.
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
Be loyal. Never pretend to be something you're not.
When someone is having a bad day, sit close by, nuzzle gently.
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body!
Fun Facts… The Hound group features the Treeing Walker Coonhound which barks up to 100 times per minute.
The Working Dog group the Samoyed is known for the Samoyed smile. His “smile” dominates his cute face with his white fur and black mouth and eyes. In addition the Samoyed is also famous for his almost cat-like self-grooming habit of keeping its coat clean. The Komondor was bred to guard sheep by looking like one. Their fur is long, heavy, white cords that make him look like a huge mop!
Herding dogs include the Puli. Owners of this breed describe washing a Puli as much like washing a sweater. “It can take several days to dry naturally, and several hours with a hairdryer.” By the way, the plural of Puli is not Pulis, but Pulick.
In the Non-Sporting Group, there is a Coton du Tulear, the royal dog of Madagascar. The name is very descriptive: Coton meaning cotton, refers to their coat that feels like cotton and is one of the most unusual canine fur textures; and Tulear refers to an area of Madagascar, their place of origin.
Just a Thought – I wonder if my dog always follows me into the bathroom when I have to go potty because I always follow him outside when he does and he just thinks that’ how it works!
Dog Bites – Each year up to one-million people require medical treatment for dog bites, and millions more bites go unreported. Dog bites are the number one public health problem of children.
Any type, size, or age of dog can bite. There are several steps dog owners can take to work with their dog and help avoid biting situations, regardless of the environment:
Socialize your pet. The more comfortable he feels around people and other animals, the less stressed he will become.
Train your dog to understand and obey the basic commands. “Sit,” ”Stay,” and ”No” will help you control his actions.
Don’t allow your dog to be teased or taunted. Aggression often occurs when animals are harassed.
Obey leash laws. In addition to potential fines for unleashed pets, dogs roaming freely are obviously not easily controlled.
Keep your dog healthy, fleas under control, and vaccinations up-to-date. Dogs may become agitated when they are ill, and certainly are stressed when fleas take over.
Old Dog, New Favorite - Known as the American Gentleman among canines, the Boston Terrier is again gaining in popularity among dog lovers. This canine was originally called a Bull Terrier. He is the product of the English Bulldog and the White English Terrier, creating a high spirited dog with a pleasant disposition.
Effortless – The Chameleon’s tongue is sort of a cross between a slingshot and a No-Pest Strip, unfurling at 13 miles an hour, so the chameleon can dine without lifting a claw. Even drinking is a no-brainer. All the animal has to do is breathe in some moisture-rich air or inhale a dewdrop.
Walk On The Wild Side – Spring… Summer… Fall… Winter… Regardless of the season, outdoor activities are fun for the entire family, human and animal alike. Heading for the hills this spring and summer with your dog can be a wonderful experience allowing you to spend some quality time together. Simple planning can make your hikes safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Use A Leash – Even areas allowing dogs usually require they be kept on a leash. Keeping your dog on a leash is safer for your pet.
Water – Not all water is safe to drink. Your dog is just as susceptible to illness from bad water as you are. Bring plenty of water for your outing. Remember, exercise creates thirst.
Visit The Vet – Hiking can be strenuous exercise. Check with his veterinarian to make sure your dog is in good physical shape. Your vet can also help customize your pet’s first aid kit.
Check If Dogs Are Allowed – pets are not allowed in all areas. Check with local rangers and other appropriate officials for the rules in the area you will be hiking.
Identification – An ID collar is always important so that your dog can be easily identified if he gets lost. Capsule tags are available for his collar with room to write a temporary contact while away from home.
Clothes - Not a frivolous matter. A bright orange vest on your dog while hiking will stop an accidental shooting by a hunter. Your dog can also be seen from a greater distance wearing that bright color.
Light Weight – Doggie backpacks are popular, but don’t weigh him down with a heavy load.
Keep Cool – Heat Exhaustion can affect everyone in your hiking party, animals included. Give him plenty of water and lots of opportunities to cool off in shady areas.
Shape Up – If your dog is not used to much exercise, begin conditioning long before your hike to get him in shape. Your vet can suggest an effective program.
Snacks – Exercise burns calories. In addition to your munchies, be sure to bring snacks for your dog.
Rushing Water – Rivers and fast running streams can be treacherous for animals. Even in shallow water, the current may be too much for him to maneuver. Definitely put your dog on a leash when crossing streams.
Bugs – Fleas and mosquitos can bother your dog as well as you. A pet-safe repellant should be included in your first aid kit. Ticks are always a threat. A good brushing each day should eliminate ticks before they have a chance to transfer disease. After arriving home, a thorough mild bath and combing is best. If you find ticks and are unable to remove them completely, take your dog to the veterinarian to do the job. Ticks can cause serious illness, including potentially fatal Lyme Disease.
Touchy Toes – As the weather turns warmer and outdoor activities increase, it is important to remember canine sensitivities, especially their footpads. Hot pavement can work like a blast furnace. Walk your dog in the morning or evening when the ground is not as hot. Carry your small dog over hot pavement to a grassy area. Walking over coarse gravel or on a running track can also damage footpads.