Category Archives: camping

Safety Tips for Hiking or Camping with Your Dog

camping fab4chikyBy Linda Cole

When heading out for an afternoon of hiking or a camping trip that includes your dog, some planning is needed to make sure the outing is safe and fun for everyone. Being prepared for the unexpected by packing important items, and remembering some simple safety tips can help create a worry-free adventure for you and your dog.

Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are sure to be lurking in the grass or around water. Make sure your dog has been treated with flea, tick and heartworm protection, and that his vaccinations are current. Ticks climb to the top of tall grass and weeds to wait for a warm body passing by so they can attach themselves to it. When hiking or camping in areas where ticks are common, bring a tick removing gadget so you can safely remove them if you find them on you or your dog.

On camping trips, it’s a good idea to add a temporary ID tag to your dog’s normal tags on his collar. On the tag, write the name of the park you’re visiting as well as the number of your assigned campsite. If you aren’t camping in a park or there are no assigned campsites, write the phone number of the nearest ranger station. If there isn’t a ranger station nearby, write the phone number of a family member or friend who knows how to contact you. You should also have a standard ID tag on your dog’s collar that includes the dog’s name, your name and phone number. Even if your pet has a microchip, an ID tag can be read without a scanner.

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Ara and Spirit: Our Home [s]

By Ara Gureghian

The floor was hard this morning as Spirit romped around, his usual self being the Daily Clown. That is what Pits do. It’s vibrations through my own steps I felt, and no, it was not “parquet,” it was frozen dirt from this ongoing winter. Crunch… crunch. Frozen mud. Unfamiliar spaces for me, it takes me at least 24 hours to get the lay of the land, this mental “I am here” feeling while the tent is pitched near a fire ring. It takes Spirit seemingly only a few minutes to be “at Home.” He lives in the moment, definitely more accomplished than myself.

We have been on the road full time camping for a bit over 6 years now. Time has flown by, and every day is more exciting than the previous one. Our Home has become more mental than anything else. Of course Spirit has his familiar spaces where he feels more comfy than others, such as in his sidecar and his spot in the tent. That is it.

Hard to explain. Home is our togetherness. 365/24/7. Not a moment less. It is the two of us making one. Words too well understood, eye glances saying it all, imperceptible gestures leading the ways to our own dance through this Life of ours together.

There is no beginning and no end in his mind, and what a wonderful way to live as I have taken many lessons from him. Some laugh at that notion. We are after all humans, they are animals. How can that be? It is. Spirit is as I call him also my Pawsome Human and I don’t “own him.” We cohabitate. There is never a complaint toward the lack of walls, a fence maybe, a gate, a room dark at night where the stars would not glow. We are in the Wild at most moments but far from being wild. I have never trained him as my previous two Buddies in my Lifetime while I am approaching myself 65. It is more of a “mutual understanding” so much based on Love and respect, and much natural communication.
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How to Have Safe Summer Fun with Your Dog

By Julia Williams

Warm, sunny days are here at last! Though many dogs do enjoy romping in the snow, the pleasures of summer are hard to beat. Canines and humans alike shed their heavy winter coats and head outdoors, unencumbered and ready to play. With that in mind, I’ve compiled some ways to have safe summer fun with your dog.

Sports for the Four Legged

Whether your dog is endowed with natural athletic prowess or doesn’t seem to have a competitive bone in his body, you can both still enjoy participating in sports created just for dogs. They will have a good time regardless, because dogs simply don’t worry about such things like winning or losing – they just enjoy the activity for what it is, and they’ll get much-needed exercise too. CANIDAE sponsors many fine canine athletes, in disc dog, dock diving and other fun dog sports.

Disc Dog is an exciting sport that’s been around since the mid-1970s and continues to be popular today, for participants as well as spectators. Using flying discs, teams comprised of dogs and their human handlers participate in “toss and fetch” events or choreographed freestyle routines. Although sometimes referred to as Frisbee Dog, the preferred name is Disc Dog since Frisbee is a trademarked brand. If organized sports aren’t your thing, you and your dog can still have fun with flying discs at the park. Dogs love chasing the discs, and you can try teaching them a few tricks too.

Dock Diving is one of the most beginner friendly dog sports there is. Dogs jump from a dock that is usually 40 feet long into a pool with distance markers that is also 40 feet long. The dogs run down the dock and into the pool to retrieve a toy tossed by the handler. To learn more about this sport, read Getting Started in Dock Diving by Dan Jacobs of the CANIDAE-sponsored “Team Missy.”

Flyball is an international sport that features teams of four dogs competing against each other in relay races. Two teams compete at a time – the first dog jumps over four hurdles and then steps on a spring-loaded box to release a tennis ball. The dog catches the ball in his mouth and races back over the 51-foot-course to the starting point. The second dog then begins the course. The dog team who finishes first without any errors is the winner.

The sport of Dog Agility involves directing your pooch through an obstacle course in a timed race. As they run up ramps, snake through tunnels and race across balance beams, you’ll need to be guiding them every step of the way, which means that you both get lots of exercise in the process.

Water Fun

Most dogs love getting wet, and many are natural born swimmers. If you have your own backyard pool, let Fido practice his dog paddle, or throw floating toys into the water for him to fetch. If your dog doesn’t like to swim, he can still have fun in the water. Buy a kid’s wading pool and designate it a “doggie pool” that your four-legged friend can splash around in to cool off on hot summer days.

When the weather heats up, a dog-friendly beach is a great place to go for a family picnic. Or, teach your dog to surf so they can “hang twenty” in the ocean like the famous surfing-for-charity canine Ricochet, or CANIDAE employee Diane Matsuura’s dog Hailey, who recently competed in the Loews Coronado Resort 5th Annual Surf Dog Competition with 65 other canine surfers.

Vacations and day trips

Hiking is great exercise for people and dogs alike, and there are many state parks across the U.S. that welcome leashed four legged hikers on their trails. Dog friendly national parks are harder to find, but they do exist. You can research them online, but be sure to confirm with the park directly before you go to avoid disappointment.

Camping with your dog can be a wonderful experience. Camping offers lots of new sights and smells for your dog, as well as some stress-reducing peace and quiet for you. As with the hiking, be sure to confirm that your chosen campground allows dogs before setting off for your rugged outdoor adventure.

If hiking and camping aren’t really your cup of tea, you can still have outdoor fun with your canine best buddy by taking him to the local dog park. He can run and romp freely, and socialize with other dogs while you chat with their owners.

Most dogs love riding in the car, and travel with ease whether you’re going on a road trip vacation or just taking a little sight-seeing jaunt around town. A road trip with your dog can make for a fun and memorable family vacation, provided you seek out pet-friendly lodging. Thankfully, there are plenty of motels, cabins and vacation rental homes that allow dogs.

Now that you have some ideas for summer fun with your dog, isn’t it time to shut off the computer and head outdoors?

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Camping With Dogs: What to Know Before You Go

By Julia Williams

Most dogs enjoy spending time in the “great outdoors,” and taking them on a family camping trip can be a lot of fun. You can go for a hike in the woods, go swimming in the lake, or just relax together at the campsite. However, before you go camping with a dog, there are things to consider and precautions to take. Careful planning will help keep your dog safe and ensure that the experience is pleasant for everyone.

Guard against fleas and ticks. These nasty pests can be found anywhere, but they’re particularly plentiful in wooded areas. Though it’s important to have some type of flea and tick protection for your pets at home, it’s vital if you take your dog camping with you. Whether you choose to use a chemical based topical flea control or natural flea control products is up to you. Your vet may also recommend the Lyme disease vaccination. Speaking of vaccinations, before you take your dog camping, make sure their required shots are up to date. It’s wise to carry your certificates with you in case park officials ask to see them. While camping, inspect your dog frequently for ticks and if you find one, remove it immediately.

Identification is a must. Make sure your dog wears a collar with an i.d. tag that has your cell phone number on it. If your dog should get lost, either at a campsite or rest area, identification will allow you to reunite quickly.

Make sure the campground allows dogs. The website lists dog-friendly destinations in the U.S., along with pet rules and policies at all State and National Parks and Forests. To avoid disappointment and/or incurring fines, you should also confirm the pet policy with your chosen campground directly when you make your reservation.

Campground “pet-iquette.” Don’t allow your dog to run loose at your campsite, on hiking trails or during walks around the campground where they could encounter (and chase) wildlife, people or other dogs. If your dog causes problems, you could get kicked out of the campground, so keep your dog under control at all times. Clean up and properly dispose of all doggie doo at the campsite and while hiking or walking your dog around the campground. Don’t leave your dog unattended at your campsite, because they might bark out of boredom, fear and/or loneliness. A constantly barking dog greatly annoys people who cherish the peace and quiet a campground offers, and they may complain to the park ranger if your dog makes too much noise.

Store pet food safely and securely. Seasoned campers know how important it is to keep bears, raccoons and other forest critters from getting into their food rations, and that goes for dog food too. Clean up as soon as your dog finishes eating, and if you’re tent camping, suspend the dog food from a tree limb with your own food, or lock it in your vehicle in a sturdy storage container.

Keep your vehicle clean. Cover your seats with sheets or blankets to protect them from pet hair, dirt and muddy paws. Bring along extras in case those get soiled and there are no laundry facilities. You should also pack a clean soft blanket that you can spread on the ground for your dog to lie down on at the campsite.

Additional supplies for camping with dogs:

* Dog food to last for the duration of your camping trip plus a few extra days just in case.

* Bowls for dog food and water. Collapsible bowls are convenient and nice to have, and they’re usually small enough to fit into your backpack so you can take them along on hikes.

* Bring enough bottled water for everyone, humans included, since you won’t know for certain if the water supply is safe to drink.

* Dogs can get dirty on camping trips, so pack some dog shampoo and towels, and waterless shampoo in case you won’t have a place to wash him.

* A pet first aid kit is handy to have– you can buy these at pet stores, or make your own.

* A regular (not retractable) 6-foot leash for hiking and walks around the campground.

* Tie out cable and tie out stake, and/or portable fencing.

* Dog toys for playtime.

* A collapsible dog crate, in case you need a safe and secure way to confine your dog.

If you plan ahead and pack smart, camping with your dog can be a wonderful experience. The fresh air, exercise and peaceful surroundings will do wonders to rejuvenate you and your dog.

Read more articles by Julia Williams

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Camping With Your Dog

If you are anything like my family and I, as soon as the weather turns nice we start planning an escape. At least once a year we escape to the north shore of Lake Superior. While I haven’t tried camping with my dog yet, this year is the year I just may. If you are like me and want to share your passion for the outside with your dog, there are a few things you need to consider before you take your dog camping.
First of all, if this is a fairly long trip you need to make sure your dog won’t get carsick. Your dog’s shot records should be up to date and you should obtain a health certificate from your vet to provide this information in case an official (park or otherwise) needs to see it. Will you be able to be with your dog and supervise them 24/7? This is important and you can get thrown out of a state or national park if you don’t follow all rules and regulations; this includes your dog too. Many parks have “quiet time” rules, after which you should not be making noise that may keep other campers awake. These rules also apply to your dog and a park will not tolerate a dog that barks all night long. While service dogs are allowed in park buildings, regular pets are not. What kind of wildlife resides in the park you want to visit? If there are bears or other large predatory animals, you want to avoid any run-ins with them. A dog bell is a good idea; this will help you hear your dog and might protect them from predators.
Check the rules and regulations of the park before you go: Is your dog allowed in the park you want to visit? Do you need to pay an extra fee for your dog? Some parks do not allow pets of any kind and you should make sure that you find out before you go, so you can avoid any disappointments or fines you may incur by bringing your dog. Check the National Park Service website. Each individual state has a governing body for their state parks, it is usually the Department of Natural Resources, in some cases it is the Department of Agriculture. A number of dog friendly state parks are listed here.
Suggested supplies you may need and should consider when camping with your dog:
  1. If your dog is on medication, enough medication to last for your trip and a few days extra.
  2. Enough of your dog’s regular food to last for the duration of your camping trip and a few days extra.
  3. Consider bottled water, some parks don’t have water available depending on the season.
  4. A collar that fits properly and has the correct identification on it.
  5. Bowls for food and water.
  6. Interactive toys for your dog. You never know you may have a Frisbee champ in the making.
  7. Health Certificate if that is required. Even if it is not, it is a good thing to take with you.
  8. A 6 foot leash for walking. (Note: A retractable lead is not allowed, 6 foot is the limit and is strictly enforced.)
  9. A dog crate if you have one, in case you are going somewhere your dog is not allowed, or need somewhere safe to confine the dog. Many parks want you to be able to contain the dog.
  10. Blankets or bed for inside the crate, if your dog needs to spend time there.
  11. Waterless shampoo for those unforeseen mud puddles.
  12. Flea and or tick spray (depending on the time of year).
  13. First aid kit for you and your dog. (Should include tweezers for picking off parasites.)
  14. Tie out cable.
  15. Tie out stake.
  16. Dog Bell.
Dog coat or sweater, possibly boots (depending on the weather where you are going).
By using your own common sense and abiding by the rules and regulations of the park you visit; camping with your dog can be an enjoyable, fun experience for you both. They get to spend some extra quality time with you, which will make that special bond you have together stronger. You can make some wonderful memories and take home some great pictures of your best four-legged friend.

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

Hiking PET’iquette

If you’re anything like me, you prefer the great wide open to the confines of a dog park and there’s nothing wrong with that. Like me, my dogs also prefer to hit the trail. But, there are rules of etiquette in the wilds, just as there are in the city. Here are a few tips to Doggie Pet’iquette on the trail.
Leashes. Always…
Just because you’re in the wild doesn’t mean your dog gets to act like a wild animal. Especially if you live in the West. Out here, we carry guns and most know how to use them. In the west, there is the potential to run across a rattlesnake (which is no fun when you’re two miles into the mountains and have to carry out a 100 lb dog), and if you’re in the East, you could run across lots of other creatures. So keep your pet on a leash at all times. Trust me – they’ll still enjoy their time! All those smells, new sights, fun things to explore… Yeah, they’ll love it even if on a leash.
Size Matters
The rule is, the bigger the dog, the more of an interred threat. As dog servants, we know that this is not always true, but to the layman, they associate a big Rottie with an eminent attack. Now, if you have a friendly Rottie, you can teach the newbies a thing or two, but never force your knowledge on another. Generally people who fear dogs are fairly unreasonable to begin with, so just show how great your Rottie is by having him sit quietly by your side and letting the person pass by you. Don’t let your big dog off leash – ever. You never know when someone will take their friendly bounds as a sign of aggression and react like prey. We’re all instinctual creatures after all.
Keep small pets off the trail. There has been a recent increase in reports of prey animals (cougars, coyotes, even owls and hawks) snatching small pets from the arms of owners on a trailhead. And just for the record, this is due to human encroachment, not increased aggressiveness on the part of wildlife.
Trail Traffic
Traffic on the trailhead (and you should always be on a trailhead), is largely the same as on a sidewalk. Move to the right to let other people and pets pass, keep a wide margin of error between you and other pets (even if your dog isn’t aggressive, others may be), and if you pass someone who is obviously terrified of animals, put your dog in the sit position and let the humans pass.  The rule is, “dog and owner yield right of way to hikers.”
Clean Up
Be sure that you bring along a lot of plastic baggies and a way to pack out waste. Your dog’s waste can seriously impact the delicate ecosystem and even pass along disease or parasites to the wildlife, but it’s also a matter of having respect for the environment. Be sure your dog is well away from water sources before allowing it to eliminate. 
Additional Resources
Photo Credit: Copyright PetsWeekly, 2001
Stacy Mantle

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.