This time of year it’s fun to head out on the water with our pets in tow. If you’re planning to take your dog boating, rafting or paddle boarding, take the safe route and make sure your pet is wearing a floatation device like those made by Ezy Dog. We have these in the store and can help you with sizes and fit, but here’s a video from Ezy Dog to explain it too:
One of the best ways to keep your dog out of trouble at home is to make sure he or she gets plenty of exercise. Outdoor play keeps dogs’ minds active and alert. It also keeps them from getting bored and into trouble at home! Here are several fun activities for you and your pet:
1. Walking – Even a walk around the park is better than no exercise at all for Fido. Here in Grand Junction your park choices are numerous and include Canyonview and the popular Sherwood Park. One lap around it equals one mile! Walks give your pet a chance to meet new friends and work on their social skills too. When walking with your pet make sure to be aware of other dogs and owners around you and to keep your pet on a leash. While he may be super friendly, other dogs may not be as well socialized. Also, make sure to grab a few complimentary bags to clean up after your pet too.
2. Fetch – While you’re at the park, or even in your own backyard, spend some time playing fetch with your pooch. Fetch recalls your dog’s instinct to hunt and the praise they receive from retrieving a toy makes them want to do it again and again. If you’re looking for great new fetch toys, stop in today and check out our great selection! We have frisbee discs, KONG toys, chuck its, new products from Hagen and many more.
3. Hiking/Backpacking: If you’ve got a dog with lots of energy and the strength for a long day (or more) out, take him hiking or backpacking. These nature hikes allow dogs to encounter all sorts of interesting wildlife and natural wonders, like rivers, woods and high alpine meadows. To protect your pet, make sure to take a collapsible water bowl, or if you’re backpacking, give Fido his own pack to carry a water bowl and plenty of food for the trip. You’ll also want to have a leash with you and to make sure and use some sort of flea and tick control before heading out. Finally, if your dog has sensitive feet, or if you’re going into very rocky areas, like 14er terrain, consider some durable shoes for your pet as well. In the photo below, Autumn and her owner set off on a hike in the Uncompahgre National Forest. Because we knew the trail well and knew it was soft dirt most of the way, Autumn didn’t need shoes this time around.
4. Water sports! Here in Colorado water sports are plentiful and dogs love to cool off in the water just as much as we do. (Well, some of them…) Now you can use great fetch toys like those from KONG in the water too! Take your dog to the lake or even out for a day of paddle boarding on the river. Make sure to protect your pet (especially on the river) with a pet life preserver though. Even if they are good swimmers, it’s best to help keep your dog’s head above water in case anything goes wrong.
5. Agility Parks: Here in Grand Junction the new K9 PowerSports Dog Agility Training Center gives you the chance to work on your dog’s agility skills year round. They are an indoor center with many classes and opportunities for helping your pet get a fun workout while leaping hurdles, balancing, running through tunnels and more. You can find out more about them here: http://www.k9powersports.com
No matter what sport you choose for your pet, make sure to give him or her plenty of water and a snack afterwards. Just like we work hard and need nourishment afterwards, your pet does too. Exercise is important for your dog’s mental and physical health; getting outside is a great way for the two of you to stay in shape and bond!