Thursday, 28 October 2010

Outdoor Dog Beds Choosing Tips


If you are keeping a big dog or having a dog which enjoys being outdoors, then it is important for you to know that your dog will appreciate the idea of having an outdoor dog bed from you. Since your dog is one which loves spending his entire time outside, it is necessary to make sure that your outdoor dog bed can cater to the different requirements of your dog of which these include sleeping in a comfortable place, feeling warmed and secured and being truly happy.
Material Is Vital
It is very essential for you to know the kind of materials used for the making up of outdoor dog beds. At the same time, you will have to check out the location of youroutdoor dog bed and make sure that the bed is in an enclosed area or under some kind of sheltering where it will not get wet or be exposed under any kind of weather. You also need to take care that the ground where the outdoor dog bed is being placed on is even and dry, thus not causing any harm to your dog. Once all these aspects have been looked into and taken care of, the next step is to start choosing your dog bed.
You need to monitor the temperature during the nights in your place of living so that you know exactly the kind of materials you require for making the outdoor dog bed. To make sure that this bed provides enough warmth to your dog, you will need to fill the bed up with sawdust, hay or any kind of material that will allow your dog to make his so-called nesting and find warmth in it.
Or you may choose to own a self heating outdoor dog bed if the place you are living in is of extremely cold climax. A self heating outdoor bed would mean that the dog bed has a heating pad in it or that the bed has a self heating function. It does not matter which method you adopt as long as you pay close attention to minimize the possibility of a fire hazard and that the location of your outdoor dog bed is in a place where your dog can get away easily if he feels ‘overheated’. Actually, it is advisable not to get a self warming outdoor dog bed for your dog; the dog just needs to be able to walk away from his bed once he feels too warm in it.
After you have located a suitable are to place your outdoor dog bed and that your bed is made up of the right type of materials, then the last important step is to make sure that your dog can have the accessibility to move in and out of the bed with much comfort and ease. Once all these steps have been taken care of, your dog will then be able to enjoy his outdoor dog bed for a long period of time.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Monday, 25 October 2010

HybridLife pet, 5 takeaways from Ruffwear CEO & Founder


1) Dogs make you physically and mentally healthier. That’s not just my take on it, it’s science people!
2) Dogs can accompany you on a whole lot more than a walk. Apparently, they can go kayaking. Thanks for the heads up Patrick.
3) Kids that read to their dogs do better in school. Thanks to Heather for that one.
4) Just like humans, dogs can do some pretty extreme stuff. Also like humans, they benefit from having the proper gear.
5) Dogs ensure that you go outside; they must be walked and taken to the bathroom frequently. If you have a dog you’re guaranteed some fresh air, and the opportunity to clean up after something other than your kids.

And if you want the best, use the best. Ruffwear products on ScruffMacDuff

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

One Happy Customer



Cloud Chaser Black Soft Shell Jacket

Sierra Extreme Backpack 


Thanks to Lawrie for sharing with us those photographs. 
Products from ScruffMacDuff.co.uk

Friday, 15 October 2010

Make sure your boating experience is safe for your pet as well.


On what modes of water travel are people taking their dogs, and how does the dog ride or stay in the vehicle? 
Dogs are joining us while sailing, power boating, rafting, kayaking, hiking along rivers, house boating and water-skiing. As for keeping the dog secure, that is a tough call. DO NOT AT ANY TIME secure your dog to the craft with a leash. Tying a dog to a craft is almost certain death should the boat flip or sink.
What are some basic things you need to keep in mind when putting your dog in a motorboat, canoe, kayak, raft, sail boat, etc.? 
The world of watercraft is completely different than the conditions found on land. With wet surfaces, footing can be unstable or downright slippery. The pitching and rolling of boats as well as the sudden movements in whitewater can also present a challenge. Humans have seats and pads that create a comfortable and secure place. Animals are rarely insulated from the cold wet bottom of a canoe or sea kayak and often have no secure place to wedge in and "hunker down" to minimize being tossed about on rafts, powerboats or sailboats. Provide a secure "seat" for your pup and consider using footwear (Bark'n Boots) that will allow your dog to walk around on fiberglass decks, raft tubes and other slippery surfaces without sliding and scratching or marring surfaces with sharp claws. A life jacket is key not only to assist your dog in staying afloat should he/she fall overboard, but also to give you a way of lifting them from the water. (Note: make sure you are using the proper size flotation device.)
The flotation device should fit snugly, provide your pup with enough buoyancy which is placed evenly along the dog's torso to float them in a natural horizontal swimming position and will not allow your dog to slip or fall out of the flotation device. With a few simple steps in the planning process and being aware of your pup's needs, outings can be made safe, comfortable and rewarding experiences for all.

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                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

Help your dog stay afloat in all water conditions.





Aren't all dogs natural swimmers? When do you decide what water conditions warrant a flotation device? 
Most dogs are excellent swimmers. When given the chance, many dogs will run around on shore and jump into the water to fetch and play. When a dog swims from shore, the dog chooses how far away from shore he/she will swim. But many of us are taking our four legged friends along on adventures that go beyond the dog's comfort level, swimming abilities and stamina. Our desire to share the experience with our pups places them in conditions with moving water, distances from shore or water temperatures that test their ability to survive. Using a K-9 Float Coat™ anytime your dog is around water just makes sense. There are instances where a dog has jumped in from a dock but was not able to get back up, a potentially life threatening situation had a human not been there to assist. On another occasion a Shih Tzu entered a small creek, caught up in chasing a duck. Within four feet of river, the dog was pulled to the bottom, overcome by its long hair and river current. Again disaster was avoided because a human became involved. Exposure to a potentially life threatening situation for both humans and dogs could have been avoided with a life vest.
Is hypothermia an issue for a dog? How do you know when the dog has exceeded this point? 
Yes, hypothermia is definitely a concern. Very young and very old dogs are more susceptible to hypothermia. Keep a close eye on your dog throughout the duration of exposure. A tail, which is not held high and utilized as a rudder, is one of the first signs of fatigue and a stressed dog. Shivering, decreased heart rate, dilated pupils, pale or blue mucous membranes, stupor, unconsciousness or coma are all signs of hypothermia. Here again a life vest can assist in more ways then the obvious. By assisting your dog in floating, your dog can utilize energy spent on trying to stay afloat and use that energy for staying warm. Additionally the closed cell flotation of our K-9 Float Coat provides insulation from the cold.
How do you safely rescue a struggling dog from the water? And how do you know if your dog is struggling? 
Use the handle placed along the back of the dog flotation device to assist the dog to safety. In the event the dog is not wearing a flotation device gently lift the dog by his/her body. Do not pull on legs, head or tail. If the dog has suffered some sort of trauma (broken bones), place the dog on a board and lift him out of the water gently. A good indication your dog is struggling is to watch for the rudder indicator. If the tail is dropped and not being used as a rudder, that may be your first sign of a fatigued, struggling dog. Choking, gasping for air and climbing on top of other swimmers are also signs of a struggling dog.
How do you decide what water medium is okay for your specific dog (i.e. reservoirs, rivers, lakes, etc.)? 
Personal experience, knowing your abilities and the abilities of your dog and being familiar with environmental conditions are just a few common sense approaches to understand the limits of you and your dog.
How do you know if you are asking too much of your dog in a water environment and possibly putting him at risk? 
Any time you venture out into a new environment, you are exposing yourself and your dog to a new learning curve. By acknowledging this you can be attentive to your dog's needs and your dog will understand your needs. After several outings both you and your pup will be well accustomed to the activities.




                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

How to Help. Administer First Aid while in the field.



What do you do if your dog stops breathing? Is CPR an option? 
Yes, CPR is a very real solution. We know of one dog that was successfully brought back to life after her heart and respiration stopped from smoke inhalation in a house fire. The procedure is different then the procedure used in resuscitating humans and the worst time to learn CPR is when you need to perform it. An excellent source for becoming familiar with the procedure is Ruff Wear's Quick Guide to Animal Emergencies.
What do you do if your dog is choking? 
It is best to learn and know the proper sequence in which to respond to a choking incident before the actual event. Familiarize yourself by reading a quality pet first aid guide to be prepared before the need arises. Performing the Heimlich is a good option but only once you have ruled out the possibility of a foreign object lodged in the throat that may be accessed and removed through the mouth. Again there is no substitute for a good pet first aid guide to provide you with a step-by-step procedure
What's the best way to remove a tick from a dog? 
Wearing gloves you should grasp the entire tick with tweezers and remove the complete tick by holding firmly and pulling gently, making certain to remove all the mouthparts. You may want to save the tick for identification by your vet to confirm if the tick carries any diseases. Apply a disinfectant or antibiotic ointment to the bite.
How can you calm an injured dog? 
Even if the dog is your best buddy, always approach an injured dog with caution. Assess the situation and consider a muzzle to restrain a pet that is in pain and possible shock. A traumatized pet will often snap or bite. In more extreme conditions a blanket may be dropped over the animal until a muzzle can be applied. Dogs are very intuitive so any panic or cause for alarm by the caregiver will raise the fear factor for the pet. By remaining calm and being prepared you will be able to reassure the animal and not cause additional anxiety.
It's up to you! 
The best way to reduce the possibility of a pet sustaining an injury is prevention. Be aware of your surroundings and potentially hazardous plants and animals with which your dog may come in contact. Be prepared with a first aid kit that matches the duration of your time away from immediate assistance as well as your exposure to the elements. Remember, the worst time to learn about assisting an injured pet is when your dog sustains an injury. Become familiar with the kit and the information provided so that you will know how you may assist before the need arises.


                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

Common Injuries. Recognize common pet ailments in the field.



How do canine first aid needs differ from human needs? 
Dogs have a higher metabolic rate than humans. Their respiration and heart rates are considerably faster. Performing CPR on a dog differs from the procedure used on humans. Many over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be fatal for pets so becoming aware of these issues and others are key. However, some over-the-counter medicines can be very useful in alleviating discomfort and restoring health to a sick or injured dog. Knowing which over-the-counter drugs are beneficial and the proper dosages is extremely important, once again due to the dog's higher rate of metabolism. Also bandages for pet specific wounds will require different size dressings due to their fur and body configurations. Additionally, the types of wounds most often sustained by pets are quite different than the type of wounds sustained by humans.
How do Ruff Wear's First Aid Kits differ from a typical human first aid kit? 
Ruff Wear's First Aid Kits are specifically designed to address the needs of pets. The contents of a human kit are basically useless on fur and information that may be provided in a human kit does not apply to animals. Any first aid kit is only as good as the information provided or the knowledge of the caregiver. All of Ruff Wear's First Aid Kits contain our Quick Guide to Animal Emergencies. This excellent guide was written utilizing information provided by several veterinarians as well as search and rescue personnel. Their input allowed us to create a first aid kit that is informative, addresses the most common ailments, and contains a wide array of dressings allowing the care giver to treat everything from a split toenail to broken bones.
How can I be best prepared before heading out with my dog? 
Just as you would educate yourself on human first aid before the need arises, you should familiarize yourself with the contents of your Ruff Wear First Aid Kit. Read the enclosed Quick Guide to Animal Emergencies thoroughly prior to heading out, and keep the first aid kit with you when on the go with your dog. Anytime you are out of range of a vet, you need to be prepared to treat your dog. The following questions and answers give you an idea of the type of medical situations you may encounter while exploring the great outdoors with your four legged friend.


                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

Proper preparation and First Aid kits.



How do canine first aid needs differ from human needs? 
Dogs have a higher metabolic rate than humans. Their respiration and heart rates are considerably faster. Performing CPR on a dog differs from the procedure used on humans. Many over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be fatal for pets so becoming aware of these issues and others are key. However, some over-the-counter medicines can be very useful in alleviating discomfort and restoring health to a sick or injured dog. Knowing which over-the-counter drugs are beneficial and the proper dosages is extremely important, once again due to the dog's higher rate of metabolism. Also bandages for pet specific wounds will require different size dressings due to their fur and body configurations. Additionally, the types of wounds most often sustained by pets are quite different than the type of wounds sustained by humans.
How do Ruff Wear's First Aid Kits differ from a typical human first aid kit? 
Ruff Wear's First Aid Kits are specifically designed to address the needs of pets. The contents of a human kit are basically useless on fur and information that may be provided in a human kit does not apply to animals. Any first aid kit is only as good as the information provided or the knowledge of the caregiver. All of Ruff Wear's First Aid Kits contain our Quick Guide to Animal Emergencies. This excellent guide was written utilizing information provided by several veterinarians as well as search and rescue personnel. Their input allowed us to create a first aid kit that is informative, addresses the most common ailments, and contains a wide array of dressings allowing the care giver to treat everything from a split toenail to broken bones.
How can I be best prepared before heading out with my dog? 
Just as you would educate yourself on human first aid before the need arises, you should familiarize yourself with the contents of your Ruff Wear First Aid Kit. Read the enclosed Quick Guide to Animal Emergencies thoroughly prior to heading out, and keep the first aid kit with you when on the go with your dog. Anytime you are out of range of a vet, you need to be prepared to treat your dog. The following questions and answers give you an idea of the type of medical situations you may encounter while exploring the great outdoors with your four legged friend.



                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

The Boots


Prevent paw damage and extend your adventure with dog-specific boots

Why would dogs ever need to wear protective boots? 
Humans are increasing the rate in which they incorporate pets into their activities. Thanks to dog-specific gear that allows dogs to keep up with our own gear-enhanced activities, mans best friend can now accompany us on our adventures. Pets are exposed to situations and conditions that they may not confront on a daily basis. These new ever-changing environmental conditions can cause pads, which are perfectly conditioned for one environment, to become blistered and cut in the new environment. Critters that are adapted to mountainous regions often suffer paw lacerations when asked to perform in lower elevations. Conversely, the lower elevation dwelling dogs will often have difficulty in mountainous and snow environments. Hot asphalt, decomposing granite, shale, lava, scree, chemicals (snow-melters), abrasive sand, grain stubble, ice and snow are just a few of the conditions that can keep your dog out of action for several days.
How can booties improve a dog's performance? 
Ruff Wear's product developer, Patrick Kruse recounts lessons learned during the boot development process: I have taken my dog mountain biking on several occasions before we were making Bark'n Boots and at that time thought dog booties were unnecessary. In the product development stages of our Bark'n Boots I soon discovered that my Australian Cattle Dog, Otis, would be ready to go again within about 30 minutes of rest when wearing the boots after a 17 mile run. This was a considerable difference when compared to running him without boots. Otis would often stay off his feet as much as possible for up to three days when he wasn't wearing boots! I always thought that Otis simply had sore muscles from the run but the Bark'n Boot product development testing brought to light the positive impact that booties have against stone bruised and sore pads. Look at the technology in human footwear and how specific shoes allow us to perform at the top of our game for specific activities. Humans rarely head out on any adventure without footwear and yet we often drive our dogs to a new environment and ask them to keep up with us without the benefit of paw protection.
How do you size dog booties? 
Size does matter. Incorrectly sized booties will not perform well. We have created a paw sizing chart specific to our Bark'n Boots to assist you. Available on the back of every header card that accompanies our set of four boots is a sizing chart that will get you close. Once you have selected the size based on the chart we always suggest actually fitting the booties on the dog to make certain of a good fit. We also have a sizing chart available though Ruff Wear (by mail or online) or authorized Ruff Wear dealers free of charge so that you may take the chart to the dog if it is not convenient to bring the dog into the shop.
How do you get a dog used to new booties? 
For most dogs, footwear is a new concept. The first time your dog tries on a pair of Bark'n Boots it will be difficult not to laugh, as the dog will do a little dance, this is normal. Once you have the booties in place go out and engage in your pup's favorite activity: chasing a ball, catching a flying disk or just running. After about 15 minutes double-check the closure on the boots and adjust. This is considered the "break in" period where the Cordura® upper softens and conforms to the dog's paws. After the break in period you and your buddy are ready to explore. Use common sense and allow some time for your dog to become accustomed to the booties on daily walks. Just as you would never go out on a big hike with new hiking boots, start off on easy hikes and work into the big ones with your dog's new footwear.


                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

Dog Paw Wear


Why would dogs ever need to wear protective dog boots?

Is trail running hard on a dog's feet? 
Trail running is hard on everyone's feet. Rocks, roots, mud, snow or ice can be torturous. Generally, dogs' paws become conditioned to run on familiar surfaces after a few weeks but at the beginning of a season, new terrain and changing environmental conditions can cause stone bruising, cuts and blistered pads.
What about running on pavement in urban settings? 
Pavement comes in thousands of textures and can be extremely abrasive. Hot in summer, freezing in winter and often riddled with glass and sharp metal debris. Laced with oils, solvents and de-icing chemicals, this would be the last place I would let my dog run without booties.
Does snow and/or ice pose a problem for dog's feet? 
Yes, certain conditions produce sticky, wet snow. In these conditions the snow will ball up in-between the dogs toes and cause irritation, cuts and tenderness. Dogs often chew at this frozen snow, pulling out fur and in some cases chunks of their pads. Granular or frozen snow on the other hand is equivalent to course sandpaper and is extremely abrasive on pads. As more people take their dogs snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on groomed or hard-packed trails, it is especially important to protect their pads. Another hazard would be razor sharp ski and snowboard edges. I have seen several and heard of many more severely cut paws, pads and ankles from frolicking dogs that venture too close to skis and snowboards.
How much hiking or running is too much on a dog's feet? 
Conditioning is key! Any amount of exercise can be too much if the dogs are not conditioned to the surfaces they are walking or running on. We suggest using protective dog booties anytime your dog is in a new environment. Dogs are accustomed to running around "bare foot" in their normal daily environment. But just as humans are susceptible to hot, cold, sharp, abrasive, or caustic surfaces, so are dogs. Be aware and you won't have to carry a lame dog out of the backcountry.
How can you tell if a dog's feet are sore or injured? 
If you are in tune with your dog's activity level and personality, you will be able to tell that your dog may be staying off his feet or favoring a paw. Of course it is best to be attentive to the details of your dog's actions after any sustained or excessive exercise. Look for the obvious cuts, blisters or in extreme cases a "sloughed" pad. Less noticeable will be abraded or thin pads. In this case look for small wet dots the size of a ballpoint pen or moist areas on the pads. These are areas where the pad has worn down to the capillaries. This condition is painful, as there is very little pad left on which to walk.
What are some tips for treating a dog's bruised or cut pads? 
When treating a cut pad, the first step is to make certain that there are no foreign objects left in the wound. Splinters, gravel and glass are just a few things to look for. Flush the wound with the sterile eye-skin wash found in our First Aid Kit or use a saline solution (1-tsp. salt to a quart of warm water) and dry the paw. You may want to apply an antibiotic ointment then wrap the paw starting with a non-stick pad. A bootie will protect the dressing and keep the area clean between dressing changes. For bruised pads try to reduce activity to allow the pads to heal more rapidly. If left to their own, dogs will often regulate their activity to facilitate quicker healing. Of course the best measure is prevention. Always carry a set of booties so that you have the choice of putting them on your pup before the going gets tough.


                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

On the Trail. Packing your dog's pack for a happy and healthy hike.


How much weight can a dog carry in a pack? 
Typically we recommend that a dog carry 25%-30% of their own weight; but this is recommended for well-conditioned dogs. Consider throwing 30% of your weight on your back and that will give you a quick reality check. Start with lighter loads and work into the 25%-30% range. We work with a few sled dog teams in Alaska who can carry up to 50% of their weight in backpacks but keep in mind that these are extremely fit four legged athletes.
How do I carry water for my dog? 
By not carrying any at all! Allow the dogs to carry their own water in a water bladder within their pack. There are many choices of flexible plastic bladders that can carry and dispense a quantity of water without the bulk and discomfort produced by hard bottles or canteens stuffed in packs. Check out the Ruff Wear Palisades Pack! II for an all-inclusive pack and hydration system.
How far can a dog walk with a loaded pack? 
This will depend on the conditioning of your dog, the terrain and the environmental conditions. Typically if you are carrying 25%-30% of your body weight and your dog is carrying 25%-30% of their body weight, the dog will outlast you, paws down.
Besides food and water what else should my dog carry? 
Energy snacks, bedding, leashes, collapsible bowls, first aid kit, booties, K-9 Overcoat (for colder climates). Think about bringing dog toys such as a Hovercraft or Stuffed Wear. Just as you might bring along a book to occupy your free time, you may want something for your pup's free time. Plan on providing shelter for your dog.
How do I pack food to keep it from getting wet? 
Use two zip lock re-closeable bags. By doubling up on the bags it is less likely that food will become spoiled due to unplanned water crossings.
How can I keep critters from getting into the pack at night? 
Just as you would hang and secure your food, you will want to consider this for your dog's food.
Can dogs overheat in warm weather while wearing a backpack? 
Yes, exertion in hot or cold climates can overheat dogs. To safeguard against this condition the dog to carrying loads, make sure your pack uses a mesh back panel for ventilation and allow the dog access to plenty of water. Check Ruff Wear's Quick Guide to Animal Emergencies that is included with our first aid kit for more information on heatstroke.
How do you get a dog used to wearing a backpack and training for long trips? 
Start with an empty pack and fit your dog. Immediately engage in a fun activity that distracts your dog's attention away from this new thing on their back. By engaging in fun and positive experiences while wearing the pack, the dog will quickly make the connection that the pack is an indication of fun times to be had. Increase the load a little at a time to condition the dog. Like humans, some dogs take a little time to get comfortable with a pack, but most are eager to carry the load and step up to the task quickly. Most modern dogs have been bred to perform a task for humans. Pointers, retrievers, heelers, drovers, they all want to do something, by providing them with a pack you give them a task that they are eager to fulfill.


                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

Backpack Basics! Decide which pack and features are essential for a fun foray.

What size pack does my dog need for overnight trips? 
This will depend on the climate, exposure to the elements and activities planned. Pack enough gear to make the experience comfortably enjoyable, but not so much that the gear becomes a burden. Excursions to a friend' s house or to destinations in the mountains or desert will have a direct impact on the gear needed. Plan out the meals and activities down to the last biscuit, with a day or two worth of food for safety and you will not be burdened with extraneous goodies. The lighter load will allow you and your dog to move swiftly while avoiding injury.
What is an assistance handle and why does my dog pack need one? The assistance handle is the handle on the back of Ruff Wear dog packs that allows you to hoist your dog like a gear bag. This is especially helpful when you are carrying your own backpack and your dog needs a little assistance over obstacles. The handle can also be used to restrain the dog from inspecting other hikers, animals or venturing where you would prefer they not go.
What features should I look for when shopping for dog packs? 
Intended use is a good place to start. Will your adventures consist of multi-day forays or simply day hiking. Fit is most important, matching the pack to the dog's size is key. A harness system that keeps the pack secure without the need to over tighten cinch straps, proper padding between the dog and pack, and durable cloth with reinforcement in abrasion areas are just a few of the points to look for. Another key element is a full suspension breathable mesh back panel that disperses the load while providing ventilation. After the pack meets these points look for features that make it user friendly: gear retention cords, self-repairing coil zippers, easy to grab zipper pulls, attachment points for leads. A removable pack with a separate harness that allows the human to fit the dog without the bulk of the pack; additionally the saddlebags may be removed for adjustments to the load during water crossings and rest stops. Reflective trim allows you and others to see the dog in low light situations. There is a reason why hunters wear bright clothing; our four-legged critters running through the bush should be equally visible and not confused with wild game. Also, the reflective properties are reassuring where travels are near road crossings. Reinforced seams keep the gear where it belongs: in the pack. Zipper rainflies keep the dust, dirt and rain out of the bag and protect the zippers from ultra violet and abrasive exposure, reducing premature failure. Compression straps are key on large capacity packs for load stabilization. Get the pack that fits well and carries the load without a lot of unnecessary adjustments.
How tight is too tight when fitting a pack? 
You should be able to get two to four fingers between the harness cinch straps and the dog. A properly designed harness and suspension system will allow the pack to rest on the dogs' back without the pack sliding forward or backward. There is occasionally some side to side movement but this is resolved by balancing the load. If your dog is getting sore or there are noticeable wear areas, the pack is either too tight or too loose.
Can my dog wear an overcoat with a backpack for winter tips?
Yes, all of Ruff Wear's gear may be layered and worn in conjunction with our other body items.



                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

Rest Stop! Offer the right amount of food, water, and exercise while on the road.


What is the best method for food and water management while traveling? 
The best carrying system is one that is convenient for the owner, allowing you to tend to your pet's needs with ease. Food and water are key and not always available along travel routes. Always keep plenty of fresh water in a spill resistant bowl that is accessible to your pet as well as a larger container for refills. Follow your feeding routine to maintain the eating schedule your dog has become accustomed to and stick to the food you use at home. Resist the temptation to feed your dog miscellaneous snacks and road food, you will all be much happier. Ruff Wear has addressed the need for food and water while on the road with our new Growler!" and Growler Cinch Top!" which hold 6.25 quarts or 25 cups of dry food as well as our Original Collapsible Food and Water Bowls.
How often should you offer your dog water while on the road? 
Always! Water is the key to your dog's health. In addition to the obvious health benefits, hydration helps to maintain a normal temperature and proper digestion. Always bring extra water for your dog in addition to your own needs so neither of you gets thirsty. If you suspect that your dog is becoming dehydrated, pull straight up on the skin on the back of the neck and release the skin. If the skin does not immediately fall back into place, chances are your dog is dehydrated.
How often should you stop and exercise your dog on road trips? What is a reasonable driving time before you should give them a break from the car? 
This will depend on the individual dog. A good rule is: if you need a break, so does your dog. When you stop make sure you are safely off the road and away from traffic. Always have a leash on hand if there are cars or other dogs in the vicinity. Also, keep a close eye on them at rest stops or roadside areas. Often these areas have suspect food and water sources or flora and fauna that you want to keep your dog away from.
What are the essential items you need to bring along while traveling with your dog? 
Here's a checklist:
• Food
• Water
• Food & Water bowls
• Collar
• Identification tags
• Dog Bed
• Leash
• Vaccination records
• Training Aids & Toys
• K-9 First Aid Kit™
Additional supplies depending on the destination and activities:
• Kennel/Crate
• Pad or Bedding
• Bark'n Boots™
• Dog Back Pack
• K-9 Float Coat™
• K-9 Overcoat™
If you're traveling far from home should you bring any health information or identification? 
Always keep your dog's collar and tags on. If the dog is lost in unfamiliar territory the tags may be your only hope to reuniting you with your dog. Identification tags should include a phone number that has a local contact if possible or a number where a caller can leave a message that can be retrieved while on the road. Bring along a current health certificate available through your veterinarian. If your journey takes you across borders, become familiar with quarantines that may exist in the countries you will be visiting as well as any quarantines that may exist when returning. Whenever you travel with your dog it is wise to pack along a record of vaccinations. This information can prove invaluable when you least expect it.
After reading all of these suggestions you may think twice about including your pup on your next adventure. Don't despair, traveling with your four-legged friend(s) can be extremely rewarding. With a little common sense, using the information provided here and by developing your own routine you and your dogs will become inseparable traveling companions with stories and tales that will have your friends howling.


                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

Are We There Yet? Ensure the best experience at your recreational destination.

How can you research whether your destination is dog friendly for hiking, mountain biking, climbing and other activities? 
By knowing your dogs' athletic abilities, how they adapt to varying climates and the terrain you will be visiting, you are half way there. Just as you might research a destination and travel route for your personal needs, check the anticipated weather (www.accuweather.com) as well as accommodations with your pet in mind. There are many guidebooks and Internet sites that specifically address traveling and lodging with a pet. National Parks and National Forests have specific rules and regulations regarding dogs. Becoming familiar with these rules before you arrive will reduce potential surprises or a spoiled trip.

If you can't take your dog on your recreational activity, what is a reasonable time to leave him behind? 
Ask yourself why you would bring your dog if they were not going to join you in your activities? There are times when it is in everyone's best interest to leave your dog behind. Distance, terrain and exposure to the elements are all considerations. If you do need to leave your dog behind, make sure he is safe and secure so that others don't think that the animal has been abandoned. When using a leash to secure your dog, consider and plan around the possibility that they might become tangled which can strand them in direct sun or keep him from water, cause choking or asphyxiation. Also consider the possibility of people approaching the area your dog is confined to and the potential for the dog to attack. Folks may need to walk by your dog to gain access to a trail or right of way and your pup may think he is on duty, doing his best to protect what he thinks is your area. This can result in some pretty ugly legal situations as well as spoiling someone else's outing. Always provide a source of water and food that can not be spilled and consider the dangers of leaving food. Others animals or dogs might want to eat this food and could fight for it. Remember your dog will be vulnerable if left tied up. As for what is a reasonable time for a dog to be left behind, that would depend on the dogs and humans comfort level and the weather and exposure to the elements. As for leaving your dog in a car, we have all heard the horror stories of dogs and children left in a car in the sun, so exercise caution.
How can I help my dog maintain a low profile and not annoy other travelers, campers or hikers? 
The impact your dog has on others, the surrounding area and other animals will have a direct impact on your enjoyment. Keep in mind that your dog can hear, smell and sense things that you can't. A dog barking may be warning you of an approaching bear, a snake in the bush or perhaps a chipmunk dropping by. In any case the barking has an effect on other's experiences. Find the source of why the dog may be barking and address the cause not the response. Keep your dog under control and out of others spaces. While on the trail maintain control of your dog to reduce the potential of an unwanted greeting. Pick up dog waste. Do not allow your dog to chase other critters and remember other folks may not share the same appreciation you have for dogs. By following a few common courtesies we will all be able to continue to have positive experiences in our shared environment.


                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs

Keeping your canine travel companion healthy, safe and happy while on the road.



Provide the most comfortable experience for you and your dog on the road or in the air.

How can you make your dog more comfortable in the car while on the road? 
By exposing your pet to traveling in a vehicle whenever possible, they will become adjusted and excited to join you on your adventures. The exception to this is when the dog's only car ride is associated with a negative experience such as a trip to the Vet or when the dog is placed in a vehicle without proper creature comforts. Remember your dog is traveling without the convenience of a comfortable seat. Often their response is to wedge themselves into a small space to keep from sliding around, especially on winding roads. Use caution with small pups or highly excitable dogs so that they do not interfere with the safe operation of the vehicle. Consider a kennel or crate if space allows.
Do dogs get car sick, and if so, how can you prevent or deal with it? 
Some dogs do get motion sick but it seems rare. One dog breeder suggests feeding vanilla ice cream to an ailing dog. Ice cream will coat and soothe an upset stomach. Consult with your vet if motion sickness becomes an ongoing issue.
Is it okay to sedate a dog for long drives or flights? Are there other ways to calm my dog emotionally if he doesn't like the car? 
Some humans feel the need to sedate their pets when traveling. You may wish to avoid sedating because of health concerns and want your traveling buddy to be able to run, jump and play if we make a stop to see roadside attractions. Always consult with your Vet before administering any medications to your dog. An alternative would be to expose your pet to traveling several times with a positive outcome. If you are driving get them used to the vehicle, if flying, familiarize the dog with the crate so that it is not a new experience come the day of your departure. Provide a space and place that is familiar to the dog and bring items that remind your dog of home. Toys, bedding or a favorite chew toy are a few examples of items that will console the dog and provide an outlet for nervous or excessive energy.
Is it safe to keep a dog in the back of an open truck? 
Placing a dog in the back of an open truck is unsafe. However, if you choose to travel with your critter in the back of an open truck make certain that the dog is secured in a manner that will not allow the dog to fall out or hang himself should he try to investigate beyond the truck bed. Consider the exposure to weather. You may be inside the vehicle with the heater or air conditioner on but if your pup is outside he may be wet and experiencing wind-chill from traveling down the highway at 60 mph or baking in the heat of the sun. While on the road, bring along a pad or bed that can be moved from the car to camp to temporary accommodations so that the dog knows that this is their space to call home for awhile.


                      Performance Outdoor Gear for Dogs
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