New Dog Owner? Avoid These First Time Mistakes

There is something about new dog owners that you really love and that is their unabashed affection for their newly found pets. However, becoming a pet parent does not come with an owner’s manual and like most new dog owners, there is a learning curve to overcome. If you are considering owing a pet dog for the 1st time here are some important pointers for you to consider.

Not Being Hands-On

Without a doubt dogs will require a lot of handling all throughout their life. Visiting the vet, a groomer, kids, neighbors and strangers. They require their teeth cleaned and nails trimmed and sometimes take some type of medicine. According to dog boarding kennel Clearwater MN experts, the best means of prepping your pet for all of these is to get him used to having all parts of his anatomy handled.  It is important that he allow you touch him anywhere and this includes the paws and the more private areas of his body.

To do this, try practicing this each day. If he is lying next to you or on your lap begin grasping firmly but gently his paws. Look inside the ears and give it a sniff or two. Lift the tail and inspect the behind. Gently stroke the belly and give the groin section a once over. Check the lips and the teeth. This is a good way for you to learn what is normal as well as determine his body condition and detect health issues early.

They do not Measure Food

New dog owners tend to give their pets so much love and affection and this often translates to the amount of food they get. Too much food is bad for your pet as this can lead them to grow very quickly causing undue strain to the developing puppy musculature. If this goes unabated, bone problems may affect him later when he gets older.  Dog kennel Otsego MN experts recommend that you consult a vet to know what types of food is best for your specific breed of dog.  Big breeds for instance benefit from diets that allow slow but consistent growth while smaller breeds require energy dense nutrients to keep up with their energetic nature.

How to Ensure Your Pet has a Long and Happy Life

Every loving dog owner aspires to provide the best for their pet. This is a given. However, there are certain habits and activities we believe are acts of love for our pets but in actuality serve to shorten their life.  Sometimes, our busy schedules also may be the cause for us to overlook some important measures to ensure that our pet stays in the pink of health. Here are some tips to ensure your pet has a long, happy and healthy life.

Correct Unchecked Weight Gain

Sure, he may look cute and cuddly but according to dog boarding kennel Otsego MN specialists, approximately 53% of dogs are actually overweight.  What is more disturbing is that ninety-five percent of the owners surveyed believed that their pets were still at their optimum weights.  Letting your dog become too heavy not only can shorten his life but also affects the quality of life your pet leads.  Not many people know that even an ounce of cheddar cheese  can wreak havoc on a dog’s diet and weight. One ounce of it is actually equivalent in calories to humans as eating 1.5 hamburgers and around three chocolate bars. 

Solution

Ensure that you limit the amount of food you provide as well as those given by others. Also, to avoid obesity it is important that you increase your pet’s exercise routines . If the weight is still not getting shed, it might be best to talk to your vet as he could offer a special dietary program to help trim the pounds.

Take Care of Canine Teeth

According to dog kennel Rogers Minnesota specialists, there is a large incidence of periodontal disease found in pet dogs.  As a matter of fact , around 85 percent of dogs five years of age do suffer from the disease. This usually happens when food and bacteria begin to accumulate along the gum line and create plaque. Build up of this problem not only is bad for your pet’s oral health but also can lead to complications such as heart valve disease and also kidney infections.

Solution

Grab a pet toothbrush and begin scrubbing your pet’s teeth as much as you can.  Apart from the tooth brushing you can also give chew toys and bones that help in minimizing plaque formation or water additives that contribute to the overall oral health of your pet.

Foods that You Should Never Allow Your Dog to Eat

It is not uncommon for your pet to raid any food stocks in your home.  Be it the pantry or some left over food on the table or the fridge it is not wise to allow your pet to just eat anything they want with abandon as some foods may cause problems later on. Here are some foods that you should never allow your dog to eat.

Garlic and Onions

If you are fond of using onions and garlic in your meals, do save the leftover for your own or throw them away instead of giving them to your pet.  Garlic and onions have a substance that can breakdown red blood cells in dogs causing them to become anemic.  Garlic for example is quite toxic to dogs and onion powder commonly found in baby food may also cause problems.  If you see your pet sluggish, has no interest in food and has episodes of vomiting, bring him to the vet immediately as these are anemia symptoms,

Yeast

If you are fond of baking bread in your home do not allow your pet to grab food from the table or leave any rising bread dough unattended. According to dog kennel Montrose MN experts, yeast in any form prior to being baked is quite dangerous for your pet owing to the fact that once ingested it may cause stomach pains or may cause intestinal obstruction. Moreover, it could also leave your pet drunk as the by-product produces ethanol.

Grapes and Raisins

According to dog boarding kennel Monticello Minnesota experts, the toxic substance found in grapes and raisins have not yet been identified but whatever it is it is lethal enough to cause kidney failure in dogs. It is for this reason that it is absolutely necessary not to give either grapes or raisins to your beloved pet.

Alcohol

It could be quite amusing or even funny to see a drunken pet.  However, alcohol exerts the same toxic effects to pets like they do in humans but much more potent.  In fact it does not need an exorbitant amount of alcohol to cause permanent liver damage.  Therefore, avoid this completely.

Common Skin Problems that Affect Rottweilers

Known to be fearless and vicious, Rottweilers are actually very loyal and good-natured pets. According to dog kennel Buffalo Minnesota specialists, this breed normally has few health issues.  However, they are quite prone to developing hip dysplasia because of their enormous size.  With regard to skin issues, all dog breeds can have it and the Rottweiler is no exception.  If you are contemplating of owning one yourself, here are some of the most common skin problems that affect this particular breed of dog.

Allergies

Skin disease caused by allergies can develop in a Rottweiler. They can be allergic to either food, shampoos or even fleas. The result is a big lumbering dog that frequently scratches or tries to seek other means of getting rid of the irritation.  If fleas may be the cause, talk to your vet to know which flea treatment solution is the best.  If food is suspect, read the label and see if there are too many ingredients. The more there is, the more likely there is an allergen hidden there somewhere causing the itch.  If your pet is allergic to dog shampoo, oatmeal shampoos made specifically for dogs can help reduce the inflammation and itching.

Fungal Disease

It is not unusual for Rottweilers to get in contact with fungal organisms. The most common for this breed are yeast and ringworms. If it is the latter you will notice red circles with white centers on his skin. If it is the former then the lesion is scaly red that looks a bit greasy.  If you smell something bad, chances are a yeast causes it. Talk to your vet to get proper diagnosis and treatment.

Bacterial Disease

According to dog boarding Elk River MN experts, the most common bacteria that cause skin infections in Rottweilers is Staphylococcus intermetius.  If it is a surface infection then a lesion would appear as a hot spot or a skin fold rash on the skin’s surface.  On the other hand, a superficial folliculitis can look as whiteheads, scabs and crusts on the skin. If it is severe, some hair loss may occur.  Deep infections caused by the bacteria appear as lesions usually on pressure points like the feet.  Have a vet see your pet if you notice any of these symptoms.

Rottweiler’s – Cutely Furry or Scary-Scary

When one hears the breed Rottweiler, one automatically assumes a big lumbering dog with bad habits and a nasty temper. It is no secret that back in the 1980s, they have gained a bad reputation for being vicious guard dogs.  However, this is very far from the truth as these dogs are known to be quite affectionate and very intelligent animals. According to dog boarding kennel Albertville MN experts, their deep affection towards their owners and their desire to please them above all else often is the cause why they sometimes get into trouble.

Breed History

The Rottweiler breed is known to have descended from another large dog breed, the Italian Mastiff. Since the time of the Romans, they have bred and trained this dog to be an all-purpose anima fit to serve in Caesar’s army.  The breed was refined somewhere in southern Germany in an area called Rotweil, where it got its current name.  However, in the 1800s the breed almost disappeared but by 1910 slowly recovered its numbers.

Best Use

This breed is bred to perform a lot of work around the farm such as pulling carts and even collecting livestock to bring to market. They are also menacing guard dogs to protect the farm from intruders. By the 1900s they were fit to serve in the army or in the police. They were bred specifically to look menacing than they actually are.  According to dog boarding Big Lake Minnesota specialists, currently they are best used as therapy and companion pets as well as still police and guard dogs. Some Rottweilers have even made it to the big screen as acting dogs.

Appearance

Rottweilers are large and muscular breed of dog that has large eyes and a semi-floppy ear and an ever lolling tongue.  The head looks a bit more like a Mastiff. They come in mostly black with some rusty-tan areas at the belly, face, feet and eyebrows.  The coat has a medium length and quite simple to look after.  The median size is just a little over 2 feet tall.  Rottweilers weight in the range of seventy five up to one hundred and ten pounds.

Recommended Food for Your Camping Trip

The challenge when it comes to going camping is to prepare meals that are not only palatable to the taste but also nutritious enough to provide the higher energy requirements of campers.  If perishable foods is out of the question and you are not willing to bring a cooler along here are some recommended food items for your planned camping trip.

High Energy Snack Foods

Your camping food should never be without high-energy snack foods.  One  of the most popular options are granola bars or energy bars that are not only lightweight but can help provide the energy you need on your trip.  If you like to nibble or need some flexibility to offer kid-sized snacks without ruining their dinner appetite then go for raisins and peanuts which are not only tasty but are incredibly nutritious as well.  Other options would be apple, banana chips, cranberries and blueberries.

Choose High Impact Foods

Bringing cans along on your trip is not a good idea owing the extra weight they bring however if you need to bring canned food along then choose high impact food items instead.  For instance, canned bacon is perfect for any long-term trip which can make any breakfast tastier.  Canned chicken can easily brighten up any bland meal and if you do not want to spend a lot of time prepping dinner then canned chili or other pre-made meals are your best bet.

Prepped meals are quite convenient as most of them are available in boil-in-the-bag portions which makes them lighter than cans and quite convenient for camping or hiking trips and wherever water quality may be an issue.  All you need to do is drop a few pouches in boiling water and next thing you know dinner is ready.

Carbs & Dehydrated Food

If the camping trip is strenuous with lots of hiking and other physical activities then it is a must for you to have carbs on the diet such as uncooked pasta, rice and oatmeal. Dehydrated camping meals are considered one of the most pack-friendly camping items you can bring.  All you need to do is add hot water and you are done.  Dehydrated meals are not only nutritious but they taste great as well.

How To Get the Proper Sleep When Camping

So you’ve planned the day trips, the sights you see, the activities you’ve intend to do,  have you also planned on getting a good night’s rest out in the wilderness? If you think that getting shuteye out in the wild is easy as it looks, think again. If you cannot get a good night’s sleep the next day’s itinerary will be affected as lack of energy an inability to focus can have a deleterious effect on your camping experience

Get a Good Sleeping Bag

Do not rely on the ratty old sleeping bag that you’ve always had since time immemorial. Along with ensuring you are comfortable, you need to ensure that the sleeping bag you bring is appropriate for the weather in the camping site.  Mild, wet weather environments will require a different set of gear while frosty and arid climates will require an entirely different category.  Aside from nutritious camping food, the appropriate sleeping bag is the other most important item you need to have on your trip.

Make Sure Your Sleep Environment is Optimum

Do check the weather forecast before your trip and pay special attention to nighttime lows. While it is  good to know how hot it will be during the day but it will be quite a nuisance if you keep waking up simply because you are either too hot or too cold.  Your sleepwear should be dry and free from sweat and long underwear and socks are a must.  A good tip to follow that veteran campers do when it is a bit cold is to warm up a hot water bottle before bedtime and then tucking it down on the sleeping back. If placed properly near the core area of your body such as the abdomen, this will warm the air pockets in your bag and the result is a much warmer and more comfortable sleep as a result.

Wild animals are quite skilled when it comes to finding food as they need it for survival and campgrounds are a veritable buffet for these animals. These animals range from the very small like a raccoon to a hulking bear. Make sure you stow correctly your camping meals as any exposed food will emit a scent that can be smelled for miles around.  If you do not want to wake up to a hulking bear in the middle of the night then make sure your food is stored where it should be.

Backpacking 101

Backpacking is all about personal freedom and independence. Most do it in their younger years especially when they go to college or take breaks in between. If you like to experience the great outdoors and want some time to get to know yourself, backpacking is one of the best activities you can do.  Here are some tips for a truly fulfilling backpacking experience.

Planning

As in everything in life, good planning can make anything worthwhile or a living hell. 

  • Select a destination that is within driving distance so you can easily reschedule if there is bad weather
  • While backpacking is all about exploration however if you are a novice better stick to well-marked routes on your map, with easy terrain, campsites and a good source of water
  • Hike not more than 5 to 7 miles a day
  • Bring lots of dehydrated backpacking meals if you intend to go for multi-day trips
  • Let someone at home know where you are and inform someone if there is a change in your plans so they know where to look for you in an emergency

Gear

In the past, it is almost impossible to go backpacking without a slew of supplies, not to mention the heavy gear available at the time. Thanks to modern technology a typical backpack loaded with a weekend’s worth of supplies would weigh no more than thirty-five pounds.

  • Don’t shortchange yourself with cheap shoes that will give you blisters. Get lightweight boots that are a bit larger than your usual street shoes and match them with some wool hiking socks
  • Pack clothes for a 24-hour period, on trail and in camp, and wear the same clothes for the weekend.  Give your feet some extra love with an extra pair of socks
  • Choose a sleeping bed that is 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches thick and with enough dimensions that will not leave your limbs dangling.
  • Do not be afraid to sneak some luxury items like a good book, camera gear or a deck of cards. Just make sure you have enough space for all that backpacking food you intend to bring

Hiking & Camping Food Tips

Nutrition is one of the most important aspects that you need to keep when you are out and about hiking or camping. According to dehydrated camping meals experts, there is a lot to consider than just simply grabbing a few energy bars and some water bottles. Here are some helpful tips to keep your energy up so you think better and move faster while out and about in the wilderness.

Begin with a Plan

It is a known fact that your food and water requirements would be much higher than normal on activity-based excursions. Do put some extra love when packing fluids especially in preparation for hot weather conditions.  Some of the important things you need to pay attention are:

  • How long the trip will be
  • Type of food and drinks you can carry
  • How you will drink and eat
  • Is bringing along a cooler a possibility
  • Determine what food-related tools you need to have

Hydrate Always

You can go without food for a week but without water, in 3 days you are dead.  This is how important staying hydrated is. Before any trip pre-hydrate yourself by drinking at least four cups of water. A good rule to live by is to plan 2 cups of water for every hour of hike.

Day Trips

If you are going camping or hiking that will last just the day you can definitely bring some perishable items along like sandwiches. Make sure you have a cold source such as an ice pack in order to keep the foods chilled to less than 40F. The more you keep in your backpack, the harder it will be for you to hike so stick to mostly non-perishable items that are nutrient dense, lightweight and therefore easy to carry such as:

  • Energy bars
  • Trail mix
  • Granola bars
  • Nuts, seeds, nut based bars or nut butter packs

Multi-Day Excursions

Definitely, no perishables and if you do want to bring some make sure to consume them on the 1st day or make sure you bring along the necessary items like coolers and ice if you can carry them.  Important items on your backpack should include:

  • Dehydrated hiking food
  • Ready-to-eat cereals
  • Fruits and vegetable puree in squeezable pouches (baby food)
  • Marshmallows for dessert
  • Whole grain pasta, rice-mix, pancake mix
  • Canned fish or poultry

Cheap Travel Tips for the Practical Backpacker

When we think of backpackers what immediately comes to mind is a vision of  a young person with tattered well-worn jeans, frazzled backpack, facial hair and infinite endurance. However, backpacking is not just for college kids taking a year off. Backpacking is for the adventurous and the independent and well one of the cheapest ways to go on a trip.  If backpacking is in your itinerary here are some cheap travel tips to consider.

Use Your Feet

As a rule, backpacking requires a good deal of endurance and strength. However, if you are not the type to scale the arctic or swim across a huge lake to get to the other side, planning a series of walking excursions is a good way to challenge yourself.  Bring along some backpacking meals and you are good to go. Mix car and train travel wit long walks so you can get a good and personal view of where you are. Scenic coastlines, historic castles and National parks are best experienced on your, not from the comfort of a vehicle.

Pack Light

If you want to travel like a backpacker you better pack like one. Walking long stretches is virtually impossible with a suitcase or carry-on. By traveling light you will be able to move faster and go longer while at the same time avoid those extra baggage fees. How does a backpacker spend months traveling all over the world with only a few pounds of gear? The answer is multi-function items such as pants that can be converted to shorts or shampoo and conditioner in one bottle. Choose a backpack that is light but designed to hold more but weigh significantly lesser. Use breathable clothes that are quick drying.  Packing light means you have extra space for hiking food.

Travel Alone

The philosophy behind backpacking is all about personal freedom and exploration which does not require a mindset that needs a companion or friend along. If you are worried you won’t be able to share any of your experiences, worry-not as backpackers meet a lot of backpackers wherever they go and their shared experiences on their trips is more than enough to fill any void.