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Friday, February 3, 2012

Weekly Wag #6: Taking a
Woodsy Hike with No Sweat!

by Carrie Boyko, CEB
© Boyko
Tanner Carries Water and Trail Mix
Winter hikes are a wonderful time to explore the outdoors without the worry of getting overheated. Quite the opposite, in fact, for much of the country. Although I live in a warm climate, we do occasionally enjoy a cold spurt that allows me to experiment with proper attire for a cold day's walk.

© Boyko
Even Tanner who always appears eager to be outdoors, gives the impression of no apparent need for warmth. On two occasions, though, I have caught him shivering slightly, so I recently acquired a jacket from a Petco review and he has warmed up nicely to the idea. 

A couple of times I have placed the fleecy coat on him, only to remove it half way through the walk when he began to look a little overdone. I have to learn that he is not like Oliver, my little one that is always chilly when outside on a cold day.

As Tanner approaches his sixth birthday he is showing signs of adulthood. That's not a complaint, mind you, just an observation of relief. When he was a pup, he had the energy of 6 Goldens and I had my hands full! It was then that we picked up a doggie backpack and I quickly discovered the magic that this tool could work on slowing him down when we took a hike.

I now realize that the backpack was not just a way to give him an extra job, by carrying our water bottles, but it also helps to contain body heat just a bit, in the area around his midsection where the most important organs reside. We've lately taken to using the backpack again, as a way to assure that he has adequate warmth on our generally not-so-cold days. It's working quite well for us in this climate.

Trail Mix Good at Home Too!
So, back to the Weekly Wag. Get out and take a hike in a new place this week. Take Fido to a park, a National forest, a lakefront or beach area, a local festival, farmers market, or just somewhere new. You'll find that new scenery and smells will noticeably perk up his attitude and enthusiasm for the walk.

Don't forget to pack some water and a snack. Sometimes a long hike means you need some extra calories for quick energy. Your pup may even enjoy our recipe for trail mix, Fido Style:

Tanner's Trail Mix, by Carrie
  • Fresh Julienne carrots, organic
  • Dried all-natural yams or sweet potatoes, chopped
  • Dried cranberries, organic
  • Peanuts (unsalted), organic
  • Carob chips (all-natural), only if weather is cool enough not to melt them
  • Dried all-natural Turkey Chips from Dog Pack Snacks, chopped
  • Organic kibble 
Have fun this weekend!


melf said...

Thanks Carrie! I'll be hiking with my dogs this morning in fact! I don't have the vest, but usually Jasper and Daisy do just fine (unless below zero) so I think we'll be okay.
I love the trail mix recipe! Gonna pin it so I an save it and make it later. Awesome idea!

Carrie, with Tanner and Oliver said...

Hi @melf! Tanner and Oliver do luv their trail mix. It's great to carry along anytime we're doing a high-energy activity for longer than a couple of hours. They perk right up!

Jen said...

I like the backpack! Elka would, I think, like the trail mix!

Rumpydog said...

Mmmmm.... that trail mix sounds so good!

Prudence said...

We love our long walks, the backpack is a great idea and the Trail mix recipe sounds like a keeper, thanks!

When I Grow Up I Want to be a Vet said...

Good hiking tips! Walks with dogs are so much more fun than walks alone! I love the trail mix idea!

cdmtx said...

We hiked today with the dogs and tried out your Trail mix recipe and the pups loved it ! thanks for the tips :)

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