7 things to think about when hiking with your dog #PinnacleHealthyPets #sponsored

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.

7 Things to Think About When Hiking With Your Dog

7 Things to Think About When Hiking With Your Dog

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?

Pinnacle Pet Food is an excellent choice for holistic canine nutrition.

Pinnacle Pet Food is an excellent choice for holistic canine nutrition.

• 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

We always make sure N.A.S.H.A. gets plenty of water to drink before, during, and after our hikes.

We always make sure N.A.S.H.A. gets plenty of water to drink before, during, and after our hikes.

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.

Always keep your pet leashed when hiking.

Always keep your pet leashed when hiking.

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.

Proper nutrition helps N.A.S.H.A. feel great during our family hikes.

Proper nutrition helps N.A.S.H.A. feel great during our family hikes.

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! 

Connect with Pinnacle on Facebook and Twitter.


10 activities to keep your kid and dog occupied this summer

Has summer boredom set in, yet? Are your kid and dog staring at each other looking for something to do? Look no further. Summer is a great time for kids and dogs to play together, and we've come up with some  activity suggestions!

10 activities to keep your kid and dog occupied this summer

1. Enjoy outdoor dining. Whether you choose an at-home BBQ or a pet-friendly restaurant, summer is a great time to take advantage of outdoor dining. Most restaurants that accommodate pets will bring your pooch a bowl of water, and some even have doggie menus! Kids have a great time eating out with their dogs. They can provide each other with entertainment while you wait for your food.

Dogs and kids love to eat out.

Dogs and kids love to eat out.

2. Paint with water. Painting with water is cheap and easy and can provide hours of fun. All you need is a cup of water and a paintbrush. Your kid can go to town on the patio or sidewalk, and your pooch can cool his paws and make footprints. My daughter absolutely loves this activity. And it doesn't make a mess like paints! 

3. Do crafts. Get your dog involved in summer crafts. Decorate a collar with felt flowers or buttons (make sure they are secure). Press your pooch's paw into a clay piece that your child can paint. Decorate a dog bowl with food-safe paints. If you're feeling really brave, roll out a long sheet of paper or poster board, let your kid and dog walk in paint, then make footprints across the paper. You may end up with a framable masterpiece!

4. Make frozen treats. Make popsicles AND pupsicles. Juice and fruit chunks work great for the kids. For your pooch, you can use a regular popsicle mold, a bowl, or even a kong. As for flavors? Chicken broth with kibble chips, plain yogurt with peanut butter, or even water with chicken bits frozen inside make great pupsicles! Your child will have fun making them and reaping the rewards with your pooch.

5. Go hiking or geocaching. In most parts of the country, summer is a great time to enjoy nature. Explore local hiking trails or take up geocaching, GPS-guided "treasure hunts." Your kids and your dog will love the adventure!

Go hiking or geocaching.

Go hiking or geocaching.

6. Go swimming or wading. Kids love swimming, and many dogs do, too! Make sure dogs and kids are both comfortable in the water before allowing them to swim together and aways keep safety first. No pool? Get yourself an inexpensive wading pool and let your kids and fur kids splash around to cool off. 

Chillin' poolside.

Chillin' poolside.

7. Run through the sprinklers. As long as you aren't in a drought zone, running through the sprinklers is an awesome way for kids and pets to cool off together and can provide great exercise, too. Here in Arizona, most of us don't have sprinklers, so we use the garden hose as an alternative. There are even hose attachments specifically designed for this purpose to make things more fun.

8. Find a dog-friendly beach or park. Pet-friendly beaches can be hard to find, but they're out there. Play time by the lake is also a good option. No water nearby? Hit a dog-friendly park. Bring your frisbee and a picnic lunch, and don't forget your doo-doo bags!

Find a dog-friendly beach or park.

Find a dog-friendly beach or park.

9. Go camping. Kids and pets love the adventure of camping, and many campsites are pet friendly. Enjoy day hikes or just hanging out together enjoying the outdoors. Be sure to remember bowls and food for your pet, as well as a place for him to lay both during the day and for sleeping at night. 

10. Vacation at a pet-friendly hotel. More and more hotels are now accommodating pets, some even making special provisions for them such as pet beds and doggie room service menus. Your kids will love being able to vacation with Fido. You'll need to research policies, because some accommodations do not allow a pet to be left unattended in the room, and some have size restrictions. You may incur an additional fee, but living the high life with your pooch is worth it, right?

Here in Phoenix, we have to be careful with ourselves and our pets during the summer months. Temps can rise up to 120° during the hottest part of the day, so we tend to limit outdoor activities to the early mornings or evenings. In other parts of the country, there may be other conditions to think about. Consider your climate when making activity choices, and consider safety. 

safety tips

Always make sure your kids and dogs are well hydrated. Even when swimming, your dog can become dehydrated, so be sure to provide a fresh bowl of water before, during, and after any activity.

Avoid the hottest part of the day, and keep in mind that your dog's paws are sensitive to the hot ground. If it's too hot for you to walk barefoot, then your pet shouldn't, either. 

Wear sunscreen! Kids AND dogs should wear sunscreen when outdoors for a prolonged period. Light-colored and short-haired breeds especially need protection. Special attention should be paid to areas of the skin not covered in fur. Use a pet-safe sunscreen in case your pooch decides to lick the area where it is applied.

Dogs with sort muzzles such as pugs and bulldogs are more prone to heatstroke due to the fact that it is harder for them to breathe. This can be made worse by hot temperatures, so take special caution not to overexert these dogs.

Always supervise children and pets around water.

Please pick up after your pooch. Aside from just being gross, poo left behind is unhealthy. Plus, when people leave their dog's "presents" behind, places are less-likely remain be pet-friendly.

Above all, have a blast summering it up!! How to you plan to keep your kid and dog occupied this summer?

This article, written by me, originally appeared on Brie Brie Blooms and is reposted here with minor changes with permission.