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Pet friendly travel – Arizona off the beaten path

Off the beaten path – Arizona pet-friendly travel

Tuzigoot National Monument

 

Arizona — ghost towns, prehistoric ruins, the Grand Canyon, cacti forests, Joshua trees and petrified logs from a prehistoric forest. If you are traveling with pets, you may want to visit between October and May — the summers in Arizona are sizzling.

  1. Tuzigoot National Monument – Tuzigoot is an Apache phrase that’s been translated as “crooked water”. It refers to Pecks lake which is beyond the flat to the Northwest.
    PETS: Due to the extreme temperatures experienced in the park, dogs are welcome on the trails at Tuzigoot National Monument. If you visit during the summer months, please do not leave your dog in your parked vehicle. Even with the windows rolled down slightly, temperatures inside a locked car can climb to over 140 degrees! All dogs must remain on a leash (no longer than 6-feet) and under control at all times. Pet owners are required to clean up after their dogs and prevent them from harming park plants and wildlife. Dogs are not allowed inside the visitor center at Tuzigoot.
  2. Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park – The Arboretum was founded in the 1920s by mining magnate The Arboretum was founded in the 1920s by mining magnate Col. William Boyce Thompson. In 1917 he served as co-leader of a Red Cross mercy mission to Russia, where he learned the importance of plants as the ultimate source of a large portion of mankind’s food, clothing, and shelter. It was then, that he determined to use his great wealth to improve the use of plant resources. The Arboretum is one of his legacies.
    PETS: Leashed and well-behaved pets are welcome! Pets must be on a leash no longer that six-feet and under physical control of the owner. Pet owners are responsible for cleanup. Please do your part to preserve this privilege.
  3. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument – Mysteries of Sonoran Desert life are slowly revealed and abundantly displayed at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. This International Biosphere Reserve, is an ecorich collection of plants and animals in a surprisingly diverse geological landscape.
    PETS: Pets are welcome on the Palo Verde Trail, Campground Perimeter Trail, and all roads open to visitors, including the paved campground areas. They are not allowed on any other trails or in the wilderness and must be leashed. Temperatures can soar well above 110 degrees in the summer time, and over 90 degrees even in the winter. Just as you should drink water all day, make sure your pet has enough water to keep them well hydrated and cool. Pets should never be left alone in a vehicle. Please keep your pets on a leash for their safety and the well being of the wildlife. Even good dogs under voice control might stumble onto a wild animal without warning. Watch for cholla along any of the roads and trails. Carry tweezers to pull spines out of paws and noses. Pavement and rocks get very hot, avoid walking your pets during the hottest parts of the summer days, paws will burn. Please be a good pet-owner and clean up after your pet.
  4. Chiricahua National Monument – A “Wonderland of Rocks” awaits at Chiricahua National Monument. The 8-mile paved scenic drive and 17-miles of day-use hiking trails provide opportunities to discover the beauty, natural sounds, and inhabitants of this 11,985 acre site. Visit the Faraway Ranch Historic District to discover more about the people who have called this area home.
    PETSPets are permitted at Chiricahua National Monument. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and not left alone. You may walk your dog on the lower canyon trails between the campground, visitor center, and entrance station on the Silver Spur Trail, Faraway Ranch Trail, and the campground. You may not bring your pets on any of the other park trails. This is for the safety of your dog and protection of the wildlife.

Do you know of other pet friendly places in Arizona that are off-the-beaten-path? Be sure to share them in the comments.

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Pet playtime precautions

Minnow the Chinook and Pauli the Dalmatian photo by Riley http://bit.ly/RileyFlickr
Minnow the Chinook and Pauli the Dalmatian photo by Riley http://bit.ly/RileyFlickr

Most dogs like to play, and they’ll do pretty well as long as all the dogs in the play group are about the same size.

If your dog is small (picture under 25-pounds) they will be safest playing with other dogs that are about the same size or smaller. Playing with similar playmates also keeps dogs from accidentally getting into each other’s personal spaces.

Does this mean big and small dogs shouldn’t play together? No. Different sized dogs can have fun together, but the dogs are safer playing with companions that are similar to their own size.

Picture a large dog running after a toy, or big dogs wrestling and roughhousing. In both these scenarios, a little dog may get bowled over by accident and could easily be injured. Small dogs often look like prey animals too — and other dogs may run after them when they are running around or running after toys.

Best to play it safe and keep similar sized dogs playing together.

Do you have a tip or review to share? Let us know so others can benefit from your knowledge. Email us anytime, and tell us your story.

Thanks for stopping past. Be sure to visit our web site PetFoodEtc.com and “Like” us on Facebook for exclusive offers and contests.

Fun things to do with your dog in Aitkin County Minnesota

Wolf Lake Boat Launch photo courtesy MN DNR
Wolf Lake Boat Launch photo courtesy MN DNR

Take your dog on an outing in Aitkin County by visiting Savanna Portage State Park.

When you walk the Savanna Portage Trail, you and your dog will be traveling a historic trail used by fur traders, Dakota and Ojibwe Indians, and explorers more than 200 years ago. The historic trail required a six mile portage across marsh, swamp, and forest which took an average of five days to reach the West Savanna River. Today, you’ll be able to hike a large portion of the Savanna Portage Trail. Currently the eastern 1.6 miles of the trail is minimally maintained.

Savanna Portage State Park has 15,818 acres of rolling hills, lakes, and bogs and the Continental Divide marks the great division of water: water to the west flows into the Mississippi River; water to the east runs into Lake Superior. Visitors can hike the Continental Divide Trail and see forested vistas.

During the summer, enjoy swimming at Loon Lake. If you are a bike enthusiast you can pedal on roads, or on dirt trails designated for mountain bikes. There are four fishing lakes and a river in the park and you are likely to catch panfish, trout and bass.

Winter activities include snowmobiling on about 32 miles of trails. This park is a favorite among cross-country skiers too, with 14 miles of trails, and an additional 6.4 miles available at Remote Solitude, 1 mile south of the park.

Wildlife is plentiful in this park and while walking trails you are likely to see deer, bear, skunk, wolf, moose and coyote. The bog areas of the park attract many small animals and songbirds, especially warblers – is this your “big year” birders? The lakes are home to migrating loons and numerous other waterfowl.

Some pet and horse tips for Minnesota State Parks:

State Parks: Pets

Pets are welcome in Minnesota’s state parks but must be kept on a leash of not more than six feet and must be personally attended at all times. No pets other than hearing or seeing-eye dogs or other service animals are allowed in state park buildings, lodging, cabins, camper cabins, on tours, or in beach areas.

Horses

Except on state forest roads or forest road right-of-ways, anyone riding a horse on land managed by the DNR—including state parks, state recreation areas, state trails, and state forests—must have a valid horse pass in their possession.

While you are in the area, check out McGregor Minnesota Tourism and see what local flavor tickles your fancy.

Do you have a tip or review to share? Let us know so others can benefit from your knowledge. Email us anytime, and tell us your story.

Thanks for stopping past. Be sure to visit our web site PetFoodEtc.com and “Like” us on Facebook for exclusive offers and contests.

Trees for pets on Arbor Day

Image http://bit.ly/RileyFlickr
Image Riley

From the Arbor Day Foundation comes the Trees for Pets program.

Remember the great times you have shared with your devoted companion, the creature whose unconditional love you never questioned? Now you can do something special that shows just how much your pet has meant to you.

Strong, healthy trees are important to all living creatures who share the Earth. From environmental gains to the social advantages we enjoy when admiring their beauty in our landscape, the benefits of trees touch each of us daily. Yet they face serious challenges, challenges like fire, disease, and insects that can destroy stands of trees that have taken decades to grow.

Trees for Pets – Arbor Day Foundation from Ryan Cole on Vimeo.

This is a video we produced for the Arbor Day Foundation to promote their “Trees for Pets” program to honor a pet by planting a tree.

 

Do you have a tip or review to share? Let us know so others can benefit from your knowledge. Email us anytime, and tell us your story.

Thanks for stopping past. Be sure to visit our web site PetFoodEtc.com and “Like” us on Facebook for exclusive offers and contests.

Don’t complain. Train!

Minnow the Chinook photo by Kathleen RileyIMG_0388_cropped
Minnow the Chinook photo by Kathleen Riley IMG_0388_cropped

Every dog needs basic manners because this ensures his safety as well as giving you peace of mind. Basic training also provides the framework for more advanced training work and helps your dog reach his full potential.

When Should I Start?

You should start immediately by teaching your dog the rules that apply in your home. This is really important because if there are no rules in place, your dog will makes up his own set of rules. Good or bad, the training starts the instant those feet come through the front door.

How Often Should I Train?

Shorter session spread throughout the day work best, but do what you can given your schedule. The biggest key is being consistent and spending time every day training your dog. Remember, even a few minutes is beneficial for your dog’s development and if the sessions are short and fun with lots of praise, he’ll look forward to working with you.

Daily training sessions help with learning and are a great chance to practice skills. If you really want to make it easier on yourself, incorporate these new skills into his daily life too so the training is reinforced and it becomes a good habits.

How Long Should the Sessions Last?

Short and sweet will help your dog be more successful. Several 5-minute sessions through the day is ideal, but if you can do 10 to 20 minutes at a time that works too. The shorter sessions are far better than drilling the dog endlessly on commands. If you are working with a puppy, keep your sessions between 3-5 minutes, spaced throughout the day with at least a half-hour break in between – their little brains do best with shorter work times with more breaks and more fun. No matter what age your dog, more frequent sessions with shorter periods of time will give you better results.

Once you see how much you and your dog enjoy this time together those shorter sessions will start appearing when you have a few spare minutes. Before you know it you’ll be adding in extra sessions and your dog will be improving even more quickly.

If you have a fast learner, one session may be enough to teach certain exercises. If that’s the case, use your other sessions to review skills your dog has already learned. Some dogs aren’t quick studies, and you may need to repeat the same lesson 3-4 times a day until he gets the idea. Just remember to stay flexible and remain upbeat. You want the dog to enjoy the training times, not dread them.

Here are five basic commands to work on with your dog:

  • Sit
  • Down
  • Stay
  • Come
  • Heel — or in a less formal moving forward manner, “Let’s Go”

Do you have a tip or review to share? Let us know so others can benefit from your knowledge. Email us anytime, and tell us your story.

Thanks for stopping past. Be sure to visit our web site PetFoodEtc.com and “Like” us on Facebook for exclusive offers and contests.

5 Earth Day pet tips

Minnow the Chinook and Pauli the Dalmatian photo by Riley http://bit.ly/RileyFlickr
Minnow the Chinook and Pauli the Dalmatian photo by Riley http://bit.ly/RileyFlickr

It’s so easy to help your pet tread more lightly on Mother Earth and you can do it in these easy steps.

  1. Poop – Scoop up your poop!  Use biodegradable bags to pick up your dog’s waste.  Ordinary plastic bags can take decades to decompose in landfills.  If your bag meets biodegradability standards (ASTM D6400) they will decompose in just months which is so much better for the environment.  For your cats, there are several environmentally friendly alternatives such as kitty litter made of plant sources or recycled newspaper.
  2. Feed – a high quality pet food, and consider feeding pet foods that are natural or organic to increase your pet’s health and well-being.  The higher quality foods provide minimally processed nutrients and are normally preserved with natural substances.
  3. Become a “localvore” – There are lots of fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market that your pet will love as a tasty addition to their feeding routine. As localvores, you and your pets will be supporting your local economy and eating healthy choices too.
  4. Protecting wildlife.  Keep dogs on leash and cats indoors to help protect your native wildlife.
  5. Conserve Water.  When bathing you pets, use a hand-held attachment that turns on and off to decrease the amount of water used during bath time. Use warm (not hot) water to save energy.  Select shampoos and grooming products that are as environmentally friendly as possible for your pet and for the water that is heading down the drain.

Do you have a tip or review to share? Let us know so others can benefit from your knowledge. Email us anytime, and tell us your story.

Thanks for stopping past. Be sure to visit our web site PetFoodEtc.com and “Like” us on Facebook for exclusive offers and contests.

Dogs and airport security

Dog Vizsla Pups Collage Photos by Kathleen Riley
Dog Vizsla Pups Collage Photos by Kathleen Riley

Have you ever flown with your dog? Was it in the cabin with you or underneath in the cargo hold? Or perhaps you shipped a dog and that is an entirely different scenario.

With any luck, your dog is lying down in the airline-approved pet carrier (these may also be called crates or kennels) and you have your tickets/boarding passes in your hot little hands or on your smart phone, with very limited additional carry-on items. For our purposes, we’ll imagine you are ready to head to the TSA check point.

Your companion will need to be shown to the TSA agents — and not like you present them at a dog show. With small dogs and puppies, you’ll probably be able to carry them through the metal detector, larger dogs may walk through with you. This is where practicing new experiences will pay off! If you have neglected that part and your dog won’t walk through, you’ll be invited to a secondary screening party. Okay, perhaps it isn’t that type of party… If this happens, you can anticipate that the dog will have a visual and physical inspection by the TSA officers.

What about the carrier/kennel/crate? That might go through the X-ray machine, but rest assured that your dog won’t be inside it when that happens. If you have a dog that gets really rambunctious, you can ask to be taken to a private room so your fur family member is less likely to bust out and take a running tour of the airport. If — for whatever reason — you need to be patted down, ask to put your dog back in the crate, no sense asking for trouble in case your dog becomes protective of you and tries to bite a TSA agent.

Traveling with pets is a lot like the Boy Scouts motto — always prepared. Get to the airport early, and that means earlier than you would normally get to the airport. Don’t carry along a lot of extra stuff — trust me here, you will need free hands to get through security and move through the airport easily. I know this part seems like a logical step, but you would be surprised — don’t take your pet out of the carrier until after you have taken off any items that need to be placed in bins to be scanned. I know, seems so easy, but if you are traveling during the Eukanuba or Westminster weekends, I guarantee you’ll see that tip ignored.

This tip is crucial to your success too. Have a leash to put on your dog and loop around your wrist. Yes, I know your dog is the one dog in the universe that won’t get spooked at the TSA check point, but do it for me anyway. This is a place that is confusing and full of people who are terrified of flying — no dog in their right mind wouldn’t notice the tension of airport travel.

Do you have a tip or review to share? Let us know so others can benefit from your knowledge. Email us anytime, and tell us your story.

Thanks for stopping past. Be sure to visit our web site PetFoodEtc.com and “Like” us on Facebook for exclusive offers and contests.

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