Friday, June 27, 2014

FitDog Friday: Hiking Fun

One way that Chewy stays a fit dog is by going hiking. It's like walkies, but better, because there are so many different smells! We like to go to nature preserves and national parks to explore (and sniff) their hiking trails. They are usually nice and clean with well-maintained paths, so I don't have to worry about Chewy being tempted by some smelly garbage along the way, or cutting his paw pads on broken glass or bottle caps.

Reading some trail pee-mail

Hot on a scent!

One way to get even more exercise on a hike is to look for obstacles. Chewy likes to climb boulders, logs and stairs. Sometimes, we need to show him the best path for getting on/off, or else he just stands there looking helpless.

I'm king of the world!

We also practice jumping over logs in campfire areas that people usually use for sitting. He usually needs a running start before a jump, otherwise he just stops short.

Obstacles make the hike more fun and interesting, adding excitement and variation to a regular stroll.

Changing pace can also make the hike more enjoyable for your dog. Chewy loves to feel the wind in his fur, but sometimes likes to slow down and smell the flowers. Be sure to watch out for things you might trip over while running- some places will mark them with bright paint.

Always remember to bring water (and a doggy bowl) on your hike to keep hydrated, especially in warm weather.

Be aware of the signs of overheating in your dog, which may include:
- heavy panting
- excessive drooling
- staggering
- bright red tongue
- increased pulse + heartbeat
- elevated body temperature

Staying hydrated and taking breaks in the shade will help prevent overheating. Do not force your dog to keep walking if he/she wants to rest. Chewy will seek out a shady spot to lie down if he wants to take a break, and sometimes will dig a shallow hole to make the ground even cooler. A quick way that Chewy cools off is by lounging in water at the beach or pool, but you can also pour some cool (not cold) water over your dog.

Don't forget to clean up after your dog. It will help keep the trails clean, and won't attract poop-scavenging animals to the area.

Following the rules

Lastly, do a tick check after a hike to make sure none of those buggers have latched onto your furry friend for a free meal. Ticks can spread lyme disease, which may become very dangerous for your dog. Consult your veterinarian for proper prevention, treatment and evaluation of tick bites.

Happy (and safe) hiking!

In other news, we recently won a male vs. female doggy guessing game over at SlimDoggy and received a SlimDoggy bandana! Here is Chewy modeling it:

I look so fresh and so clean!

A close-up...I probably should have pressed out the creases from shipping first, huh?

Epic drool! (Because of meatball bribe)

Thanks, SlimDoggy, for the super cute bandana! It is going back in the cabinet until summer is over, because Chewy + summer = swimming and rolling in the grass/dirt all day, and it would turn black! Or smell like wet dog forever.

We are joining the FitDog Friday hop hosted by SlimDoggy,
Peggy's Pet Place and To Dog with Love.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

#FuelTheCure with Zuke's!

This week, the great and powerful Oz the Terrier and pet-fueling Zuke's are teaming up for the #FuelTheCure fundraiser to help fight the battle against pet cancer. For every entry into Oz's special blog hop, Zuke's will donate $5 to the Dog & Cat Cancer Fund, a non-profit organization that provides grants to needy families for pet cancer treatments.

[Click for the contest & fundraiser rules!]

And without further ado, here is Chewy's collage of him loving life, in the fresh summer grass! He loves to feel the wind in his fur and the grass between his toes, and that luscious green stuff also doubles as an excellent back scratcher!

We hope all you blogging doggies out there will join in on the hop and show us how YOU'RE loving life!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend Road Trip

This past weekend, we took a quick trip upstate with Chewy and hiked part of the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail traverses the Appalachian Mountains and spans 2,184 miles from Georgia all the way to Maine. We went through just a teeny tiny portion within Clarence Fahnestock State Park in upstate New York.

Chewy was very pleased with the trail. The terrain varied nicely, including rocky paths, dirt paths, gravel paths, and stone steps. There were fallen leaves to roll in and some mud to step through. His tail was wagging happily for the entire walk:

He stopped often to smell the flowers, plants, and probably pee-mail.

And we found some funky-looking flowers along the way:

Chewy's new favorite thing is walking on logs. He put his front paws up at the end of this log and waited, as if to ask permission to climb it. Once he got the OK, he gleefully pounced down it and back.

We spent the night in an Extended Stay America, where the pet fee was $25/night instead of $100 like at some of the other hotels nearby. Chewy spent a good deal of time hanging out under the table. I guess it was a good den size for him.
Chewy head                                                                                      Chewy butt

He also liked to stay in the little kitchen area because it had a tile floor that was cooling for his belly. And, of course, because there was food there. He supervised the whole dinner-making process and got some boiled salmon at the end.

Can I help make dinner?

On the way home, we stopped at Harriman State Park, which also contains a segment of the Appalachian Trail. However, we couldn't figure out where to park the car near the trails, so we just walked around a lake picnic area. Chewy enjoyed climbing on all the boulders, and sniffed out lots of deer poop. He managed to grab a mouthful of it, but thankfully spat it all out of his own accord.

We had lunch at a dog-friendly BBQ restaurant with picnic tables for outdoor seating. Chewy camped out under the shade of the table, and we gave him some apple that I got for 75¢ each at a farm stand. I thought it was quite expensive for apples, but they were extra delicious! I wonder if Chewy noticed their superior quality.

After a weekend of car-riding and excitement, Chewy has been napping extensively since we got home. He recharges enough to play tug and shake his toys for a few minutes, and then it's right back to resting.