Fall is so close we can almost taste it, and here in Phoenix, AZ, that's a big deal. You leave the cocoon of your air-conditioned home that has sheltered you from the scorching temps and venture out into nature for the first time in months. Every summer, we ask ourselves why we live here, and then paradise comes as the seasons change, and we remember. Our family loves to be active outdoors in the fall, and one of our favorite activities to do together is hiking. We live in the desert foothills, just steps from a maze of fantastic hiking trails. Whether we want to go straight up the mountain or take a leisurely stroll at the base, we have options. Our dog, N.A.S.H.A., loves to hike with us.
This post is sponsored by Pinnale and the BlogPaws Professional Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping create awareness about Pinnacle's Newly Formulated Grain Free Dog Food, but Well Minded only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Pinnacle is not responsible for the content of this article.
Before embarking on a hike, we all fuel our bodies with nutritious food that will sustain our efforts. This is especially important when it comes to N.A.S.H.A. Though large as a lion in spirit, her body is a mere eleven pounds, so I estimate she takes at least eight steps to each of ours when we hike. It's important to us that she eat healthy food without artificial additives. Proper pet nutrition is essential to a healthy, active pooch.
So what do we feed her?
I'm a big fan of rotational feeding (would you want to eat the same thing every day for years?), so we feed her several types. That being said, it is essential that the food have high quality ingredients. We prefer grain-free varieties with limited ingredients. As with the food I put into my children's bodies, if I can't pronounce it, we don't let the dog consume it.
Pinnacle® is a great example
Pinnacle® Pet Food is top-notch. As part of our overall approach to holistic health, Pinnacle fits in beautifully. Why is Pinnacle pet food so great?
• high-quality ingredients that are great fuel for your pooch such as quinoa, sweet potato, pumpkin, sea kelp, and cottage cheese
• natural, healthy recipes
• high-quality proteins
• antioxidants that support a healthy immune system
• fiber to promote healthy digestion and stool
• helps with joint health and overall muscle tone (great for those long hikes)
Pinnacle Pet Food is made right in their California plant, which eases my mind. I'm that overprotective doggy mama who stresses about where N.A.S.H.A.'s food comes from. Don't judge. I still kiss my kids in front of their friends, too.
Proper canine nutrition is one of the most important things so sustain N.A.S.H.A. on our fall hikes, but there are several other things to consider when venturing out with your pooch.
top 7 things to think about when hiking with your dog
1. Proper Hydration. It is essential that your dog drink plenty of water before, during, and after your hike. There are collapsable bowls that can fit into your backpack or pocket, and there are even water bottles with built-in bowls or drinking attachments just for dogs.
2. Pause and think of the paws. You have hiking boots, but your dog doesn't. What is the weather like? If it's too hot, your pet's paws may burn. If it's too cold, your pet's paws could freeze. Also, consider the terrain. Paw protection such as booties are a great idea, but may make it difficult for your dog to hike over rocky or uneven surfaces. Make sure nails are properly trimmed, as well. Consider all factors, and always take your pooch's paws into consideration.
3. Always keep your pet leashed. I know, this one is a bummer, but it's so important. Especially when venturing in the great outdoors. You may encounter other dogs on the trail, or your dog may be tempted to stray off the trail after a rabbit or other enticement. No matter how well you think your dog responds to commands, still, use a leash.
4. Patrol the poo. Always bring poo bags on a hike. Biodegradable ones are best. On our local trail, there are a lot of dogs, and most of them poop within minutes of the start of the hike (so we can enjoy carrying their droppings all day, I presume). We often place our poo bags just off the trail so we don't have to hike with them, but can pick them up on the way out. There are also poo carriers your dog can wear, but I think that's kinda mean. In any case, don't be a jerk and leave your dog's poop on the trail.
5. First aid first. You don't think anything will happen, but that's just when something happens. A basic pet first aid kit can be a lifesaver, and many of the items can be used for both humans and dogs. Throw it in your hiking backpack before you depart.
6. Phone with GPS. I know...the point is to look up from your phone and get in touch with nature, but keep your phone with you in case of emergency. And your phone's GPS can help you if you get lost. Take a couple of selfies with your pooch, while you're at it.
7. Proper Nutrition. I can't stress this one enough. As I mentioned, Pinnacle Pet Food is a great one to try if you are interested in holistic nutrition for your active pooch. Set your dog up for a successful grand adventure by providing him the proper fuel.
Do you hike with your dog? What outdoor fall adventures do you enjoy together?
Next month we'll be checking out Pinnacle Pet Food in detail and sharing the findings with you, so be sure to check back!