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Tips & Tricks For Exceptional Pet Ownership

Scroll the articles below for regional and seasonal tips for you and your pet. 

Also, visit our Events & Classes page  for even more opportunities to learn!

Hiking With Your Dog Safely

July 1, 2021

1. Make sure your pet is in good physical condition. You don’t want to overexert your dog, especially puppies or senior pets.


2. Be responsible, know the rules and regulations of the area you are hiking in. You want to ensure a good hiking experience with you and your dog so knowing the rules is key. You also want to make sure to follow the rules to allow others to have a good experience as well.


3. Your dog should have proper identification. It is very important in case they get lost!


4. Carry plenty of water for you and your dog. Hydration is very important; in colder weather we often forget to drink enough water which could lead to dehydration.


5. Be courteous to others using the trail. Share the trail with other hikers and those on bicycles, horseback. Having your dog on leash will prevent conflicts with wildlife, other dogs, and other people.


6. Have your dog current on vaccinations. You may encounter other dogs and wildlife as well as their poop.


7. Be alert for native wildlife. You wouldn’t want to lose your pet if they took off after an animal, and you also want to prevent injuries due to contact or conflict with wildlife.


8. Carry a first aid kit that includes tweezers, Benadryl etc. incase of emergency.


9. Be Prepared for weather and terrain. Check the forecast before you go and prepare accordingly. 


10. Check your dog’s pads during and after your hike. You may encounter pine needles, broken glass, stickers, and burrs.


11. Carry all trash and poop out. Leave no trace principles should be followed when hiking, and include your dog.


12. Body check! Check for ticks, fleas, and cactus spines at the end of every hike. Make sure to always look your dogs all over for cuts, scrapes, fleas, ticks etc. 


13. Hike early morning or late evening to avoid overheating.


14. Take rest breaks. It is not only good for yourself to take breaks but for your dog too.


15. Have Fun!

Two dogs playing

Know Before You Go - Unwritten Dog Park Etiquette

June 28, 2021

Author: Megan Brooks

The dog park can be a wonderful social experience for dogs, but many dog owners are not aware of how the dog park should be used. In addition to following basic dog park rules and safety, there are a few unwritten things to keep in mind as well. First of all, the dog park should never be used in place of just exercise. Some dog owners bring their dogs full of pent-up energy to burn it off. 


For the sake of other dogs and their owners, this is not the way to do it. Think of it this way, the dog park is already an extremely stimulating place with many different personalities of dogs. When dogs are brought to the dog park full of energy, it can turn to anxiety, tensions rise, and fights can break out. A better way to come to the dog park would be after a minimum forty-five-minute structured walk or a good game of fetch.


A dog showing too much excitement can easily become a target for other dogs. That sort of excitement would not be permitted in a wild dog pack and the other members would be quick to correct any dog that was bouncing around, barking excessively or otherwise too excited The instinct to want to correct an excited dog can lead dogs to attack.


Another thing that commonly causes fights is possessive behavior surrounding a dog's owner. One of the three main causes of dog fights, aside from food and toys, is often a dog's possessiveness over his people. This can be triggered by another dog coming too close or receiving attention from another dog's people. Often, the aggressor's owner is oblivious as to what is causing the problem. This "overprotective" behavior is a clear indication of the dog's need for stronger leadership. If your dog "guards" you from people or other dogs I recommend following a leadership program such as the one I have designed.


Dogs at the dog park are often left on their own with little supervision while their owners socialize or talk on the phone. Please keep in mind that although the dog park is a great place to meet other dog owners and socialize, that is not the reason why you are there. Many issues could be resolved if owners were more aware of the behavior of their dog. While supervising, dog owners should look out for and discourage rough play and dominant behavior such as mounting or ganging up on a more submissive dog. This, of course, is all normal dog behavior that could lead to trouble at the dog park. Supervision is also key in ensuring that you clean up after your pet after it poops.


So please enjoy the dog park for what it is, a great place to go for socialization and fun (after he has had his daily exercise!) The dog park can be a peaceful place when all dog owners follow the unwritten rules of dog park etiquette.


Megan is a professional dog trainer and member of several canine organizations. She has worked with dogs for over 15 years.