The idea of working remotely and traveling the world at the same time has become increasingly popular in recent years. However, for pet owners, this can be a bit of a challenge. It’s important to take into consideration your furry friend’s needs and well-being when making the decision to become a digital nomad. Here are some tips on how to become a digital nomad when you have a pet.
Learn Laws Concerning Pets
Before setting off on your travels, it’s important to understand the laws regarding pet ownership and travel in the countries you plan to visit. Some countries may require certain vaccinations or paperwork before allowing pets to enter. Others may have strict rules about pet ownership. Doing your research beforehand will ensure that you’re well-prepared and won’t run into any issues later on.
Vaccinate and Microchip Your Pet
Ensuring that your pet’s vaccinations and microchip are up-to-date is crucial when traveling. It’s important to have proof of vaccination with you at all times, especially when crossing borders. A microchip can also be useful in case your pet gets lost while on the road.
Feed Your Pet Healthy Food
Feeding your pet nutritious food is crucial for their overall health and well-being. If you’re a dog owner, opting for grain-free kibble can help alleviate allergies and digestive problems in your furry friend. This could help ensure your pet stays healthy and happy throughout the journey.
Find Pet-Friendly Lodging
When planning your accommodations, be sure to look for pet-friendly options. Many hotels and hostels allow pets, but it’s important to double-check beforehand. Airbnb and other vacation rental platforms often have filters for pet-friendly properties. If you plan on camping, make sure to research campsites that allow pets.
Look for Capable Veterinary Care
It’s always a good idea to research veterinary care options in the areas you plan to visit. In case of an emergency, it’s important to know where to go and who to contact. You can also ask for recommendations from other pet owners in online communities or social media groups.
Explore Way to Make a Consistent Income
Becoming a digital nomad requires a stable source of income. Freelancing, starting your own business, or finding a remote job are all viable options. It’s important to have a plan in place to ensure that you can support yourself and your pet throughout your travels.
Design Business Cards
Impromptu networking is an excellent opportunity to connect with other digital nomads and potential clients. In such situations, having business cards with your contact information and skills can be incredibly helpful in making a lasting impression. To design and print your business cards, click here to find templates you can customize with your own images, colors, and copy.
Seek Out Helpful Tools and Technologies
As a digital nomad, mastering essential tools and technologies is crucial for success. Video conferencing software, project management tools, and cloud storage services enable efficient communication and collaboration with clients or coworkers, regardless of location. By utilizing these tools, digital nomads can stay productive and connected while working remotely.
Becoming a digital nomad with a pet may seem overwhelming at first, but it is certainly achievable with some careful planning and preparation. It is important to familiarize yourself with the various rules and regulations surrounding traveling with pets, as well as to network to find work opportunities. Additionally, it is essential to prioritize your pet’s nutrition and well-being while on the road. With these considerations in mind, you can embrace the freedom of exploring new places with your furry companion by your side.
Reconnect your pup to nature with hiking trips with Adventure Pup.
If you know anything about me, you know that I love dogs. I love all non-human animals, but I have always had a very special connection to dogs. My entire life I have been learning, building, and growing in order to become the most well rounded dog-person I could be. I have worked in several shelters, vet clinics, daycares, and boarding facilities. I’ve taken classes in training, behavior, nosework, medical care, first aid, cpr, and energy work. I only feel normal when I am with dogs.
So, naturally, I decided to start my own dog care business, so I could spend my days with dogs, teaching them all I know while learning even more from them. When I started Adventure Pup it was just a side job. I was working as a manager at a very busy dog daycare, as well as in the Animal Medical Learning Center at the Oregon Humane Society, and didn’t have a lot of spare time, but friends kept asking me to help with their dogs. And then friends of friends. And then complete strangers. It started as a weekend job, walking dogs around their neighborhoods and working on easy training. Then the daycare I was working at sold to an… ahem… indecent human who focused solely on money. I had to take step back and reevaluate what I wanted to do in the dog world. At the same time I had everyone around me telling me to go into business for myself. I’ve never wanted to own my own business, it was so daunting and seemed like too much work, but there was something about running a dog care business that seemed right, and somehow not so scary. So just like that, I did it.
I researched prominent dog towns, and looked into what areas might benefit from more guidance, education, and fun and thus relocated to Bend, Oregon.
Every day I work on furthering my own knowledge, while sharing what I know with the people that want to learn. I spend all my time focusing on what’s best for each individual dog, and how I can give them everything they need to be the best dog they can be.
Each outing is tailored specifically to benefit the dogs I am working with. Every dog is different, and they are treated as individuals. Adventure Pup utilizes training games to make learning fun for every dog, and then we further their education by giving their humans guidance on how to best enjoy time with their dogs.
On Hikes we walk as a Pack. Dogs are mostly off-leash, but some leash guidance is offered to those that benefit from it. We work on trail manners, discover play boundaries, and practice basic training exercises. Throughout our Hike we strengthen our skills on recall, sit-stay’s, leave-it’s, and drop-it’s. We also work on things that each individual Pup might be struggling with. If someone is having a hard time walking on leash, we will work on leash guidance. If someone is focused on eating non-edible trail treasures, we will work on redirecting them to better behaviors and only eating what’s given to them. If someone has an intense play style and only has fun when terrorizing others, we will work on boundaries and explore other ways to share fun. We do what’s best for each individual, as well as the Pack as a whole. We keep Packs small so everyone is able to enjoy themselves without feeling crowded or overwhelmed, and so the Human Adventure Guide can keep an eye on everyone at once.
On Walks we work on everything from basic manners to reactivity. We try different tools to find the right one for each individual, and different guidance activities to reach each personality. Since walks are done one Pup at a time, or one household at a time, they are more specialized and tailored than Pack Hikes. Each walk we can focus on what most benefits that Pup at that moment. Walks are a great way to get your dog out and moving while giving them confidence, teaching structure (which dogs thrive on), and strengthen their leash behaviors. Being on leash does not equate to not having fun. Pups can find great enrichment on leashed walks and a tether between dog & human can work as a bonding tool, to help your Pup feel connected & safe. Long leads are often used on walks to give Pups extra room to roam & sniff. Sniffing is a major focus on our walks, as it helps Pups decompress, gather information, learn, & explore. Dogs rely on their sense of smell first and foremost, so sniffing is an essential activity for every Pup.
On Dog Park Outings we work on off-leash guidance and socialization exercises. We also work on basic cues with lots of distractions, which is great for puppies and dogs that haven’t been in your family for long. Dog park outings are a great way to prepare dogs for being off leash in the real world. It’s a great way for a Pup to feel freedom and explore smells off leash.
I do not listen to music, podcasts, or utilize phones during our Hikes except to take photos of the dogs. We practice mindfulness and find being present with the dogs is the safest, most enjoyable way to spend time together. Every Pup is very important to me, thus they deserve all of my attention when in my care. Any moment that I am with a Pup GUIDANCE, BONDING, & LOVE are being exchanged. Whether it’s on an off-leash Pack Hike with a group of familiar friends, a leashed walk with a dog I just met, or quietly sitting on my couch with my own dog, I am guiding and loving the dog I am with, and I am being guided by and loved by that dog. We form a bond that’s unique, and every Pup I spend time with stays with me forever.
Treat testing is a fun and beneficial activity for you and your Pup! It helps you hone in on what will work to keep your Pup’s attention and keeps them always coming back for more!
Do you have a dog that is really food motivated and will eat anything?! Setting up a treat tasting will help you both learn what treats rank supreme and which ones are just ok, as most dogs have a preference. Or you might even learn that anything edible will get their attention, which is great! If you have a dog that seemingly has no interest in treats, presenting them with a treat test will help you both discover the joys of food and might result in them becoming more food motivated! If you have a Pup that is downright disinterested in food rewards, try rewarding them with affection, games, or praise… but I bet if you try hard enough, you’ll find an edible treat they love!
You can pop into your local pet store and pick up things that you think your best friend would enjoy. You could even bring them along and let them sniff something out on their own. Anything your dog doesn’t like can be donated to a friend, family member, neighbor or a local shelter. You can also set up a “treat exchange” with friends- each of you buy two packs of treats and get together for a treat tasting extravaganza!
When you get home with your new treats, try them out by doing some easy training exercises in your living room and see what your dog is the most interested in. Perhaps they enjoy the crunch of a chicken liver, a moist peanut butter chew, or the or the stickiness of a salmon skin. Every dog is different, so go into this test without any expectations.
This activity can be done in one afternoon, but is best spread out over several days. You can try out your new treats in a variety of locations with different distractions and see how they respond and which treats they respond to best! This will help you discover what treats will keep your dog interested and listening to you, especially when they are learning new behaviors or cues. Having them skip a meal may be beneficial to you, as most dogs are much more interested in food rewards when they’re hungry. You can either use their breakfast as their reward, or feed them when you are done with the treat test and back home.
Imagine if every time you did a “desired behavior” you were presented with your favorite treat… say every time you get home from a long day of work someone hands you a Butterfinger. The first day home you’d probably be excited “Oh my favorite candy bar! All I did was go to work and do my job and I get a Butterfinger? Awesome!” Going to work might become more exciting, knowing you’re going to get a Butterfinger when you get home (I know, this is a silly analogy but you have to pretend like you have the mind of a dog!) After a few days you’d probably get sick of a Butterfinger as your reward, but then BAM! Day four you get home and someone hands you fresh French fries! “Oh! How exciting! I was getting bored of Butterfinger but now you’ve switched it up and surprised me with a totally different treat! I should keep going to work so I can find out what my treat is at the end of the day!” Switching up the treats, and knowing what your Pup’s favorites are will keep them engaged and interested!
One very important reminder: the more expensive the behavior you are seeking, the more payoff should be rewarded for the behavior. If your Pup is a pro at sitting when asked, you wouldn’t give them an entire wheel of cheese just for performing a sit in your quiet living room with no distractions would you? So then on the other side of the spectrum, would you give your Pup a piece of everyday kibble for recalling to you in the midst of chasing a rabbit? The reward has to match the effort of the behavior!
And one side note: you may hear some trainers say that treat rewards are lazy, but building a relationship based on positive reinforcement helps your Pup feel safe and creates a trust between the two of you, so they are much more willing to do what’s asked of them. Using positive reinforcement means you are always on the lookout for those positive behaviors and keeps you involved in your Pup’s life, which makes your bond much stronger.
Some treat examples (these may be deemed low or high value, depending on the individual Pup):
Moving your pet to a new place is not the easiest thing to do, especially if you’re unsure what your new town has to offer your pet – and if it’ll keep them happy. Fortunately, most pets are generally easy to please; give them plenty of space to stretch their legs and explore in, and you’re already halfway there.
Purchasing the Ideal Home
You’ll have to consider a pet-friendly property first and foremost when choosing a property.
If this is not possible, find a doggy daycare center that will help to nurture your pet when you aren’t able to.
Do what your pet likes or would appreciate, such as taking them to a doggy day spa or exercising together.
Keeping your pet happy when moving should be easier when you are more in tune with your pet. So, work on strengthening that bond before you leave, and your pet should be more confident with the transition.
Running Adventure Pup means I spend a lot of time on the trail with my pups! We hike up mountains, through forests, across deserts, and around water. We’re outside in the heat, in the rain, and in the snow. Over the years we have experimented with a lot of tools and have found some we love and others we could do without. Below is a list of the tools we can’t live without! I have added some link to specific brands, but you’’ll be most successful if you find things that work specifically for you and your pups needs. Keep in mind their breed, build, limitations, and personality. Think about how the two of you interact with each other and the natural environment.
Collars, Harnesses, & Leashes
It’s always smart to keep a collar with an ID tag & licenses attached when you are outdoors with your pup. Anything can happen when you’re on on the trail, keeping up to date contact info on your pup will help keep them safe if they get away from you. I prefer dog tags that jingle so I can hear my pup wherever they are, but if the noise bothers you, you can get a tag that slides onto the collar and lays flat. Or you could get a collar with your number stitched right in. It’s always smart to keep your pup’s license and rabies tag on them as well, to avoid any tickets or fines.
When on the trail I prefer that Link wear a comfortable harness. It’s not only more gentle on his body than a collar while on leash, it also offers more control and is a safer option when an emergency occurs. If your pup slips down a hill, or gets stuck in the river, a harness offers a handle for you to help them out, rather than just tugging on their neck. I like a harness that offers even distribution across the body. Something with a wider chest and back plate are a little more comfortable than a simple nylon strap harness. I prefer a harness with a front and back clip for more versatility and control.
I also like to carry two different leashes, a five foot leash and a longer leash. The length of the longer leash depends on the trail. If there are a lot of trees and bushes to get tangled in, I will use a 10 foot lead. But if the trail is wide open I will use a leash as long at 30 feet. A long leash gives your pup more room to roam and sniff, and helps avoid pulling.
I think hiking packs are the item I have gone through the most. So many uncomfortable and impractical option out there, it’s been a difficult journey to find what works.
I’m going to be real, most backpacks and fanny packs have been created for a man’s body. They sit uncomfortably on a women’s shoulders and hips. I have chronic back pain from ill-fitting packs. If you try to look for women’s hiking packs, you’ll come up with a lot of pinks and purples, but no difference in structure. It’s important to find a pack that properly fits your unique body shape, and having more than one option will help alleviate fatigue. I like fanny packs that you can wear around various parts of the abdomen and hips so I can shift it around when my body needs a break. I also like fanny packs that I can carry as a shoulder bag when I need to shift the weight. I prefer a backpack that has across the chest straps to keep the weight evenly distributed across my shoulders. I also like one that has a lot of room for adjustment, one that you can wear up on your middle back or down on your lower back.
Other than a proper fit, it’s important to have room for all your trail needs. You’ll need your regular human things; wallet, phone, keys, etc. You’ll also need room for water, a first aid kit, any emergency supplies, treats/snacks, dog supplies, and any extra gear you like to bring along.
You can also get a pack for your pup to carry. If they aren’t used to carrying weight, start them off with an empty pack and slowly add weight as they get used to it. Make sure the pack fits them so it’s snug enough that it doesn’t slide all over when they walk, but not too tight to rub and chafe. You’ll also want to pay attention to where your leash attaches to the backpack to make sure it works with you and your pup’s walking habits. It’s always a good option to try on different packs before you settle on one.
Clothing & Shoes
Clothing depends on the weather and environment. If it’s hot out you’ll want to consider some practical shorts and a top, but if you’re in an area with snakes, ticks, or poisonous plants you’ll want to either wear pants or high socks to protect your legs. If it’s cold or wet out, consider wearing a base layer under your clothes to keep you warm and dry. An extra pair of socks is always recommended in case your feet get wet, and bringing a light jacket can come in handy in a variety of situations. A hat and sunglasses will keep the sun, rain, and slow out of your eyes. If you get a hat with a neck flap you’ll be protected from the weather and the bugs. A bandana or neck wrap can also help with this, and soaking one in water will keep you and your pup cool on hot days
Shoes always depends on who’s wearing them. I have gone through a lot of hiking shoes. Boots, runners, sandals, you name it. I appreciate a shoe that supports my ankles and protects my toes, since I am never walking on even ground. I do not like mesh fabric or stretchy spandex material, as it deteriorates very quickly. I have also found that elastic shoelaces break after just a few outings, so I always replace them with heavy duty boot laces. I have a pair of hiking sneakers, a pair of water sandals, and two pairs of hiking boots; one that goes over the ankle and one that goes below. I like to have a few options for every season so I can switch footwear and avoid blisters and discomfort.
Clothing always depends on the wearer. I like a loose-fitting shirt with a comfortable neckline. I’ll bring a flannel, sweater, or jacket along in case the weather calls for it. Long sleeves protect against sun, rain, snow, wind, bugs and tall bushes. The same with pants; something loose-fitting that protects against the elements. If it’s hot out, I like shorts with high socks. I am a big fan of pockets. Even though I always carry a hiking pack, I like to have easy access to certain items, so pockets are a must.
Bright colors or reflective gear will ensure others can you see, and will keep you extra safe during hunting seasons. This goes for your pup too.
Food & Water
Water is a must, but I am also a big fan of carrying snacks along, for both me and my pup. Be sure to bring more than enough water for you and your pup to have throughout your outing. You’ll want to have extra, in case of an emergency. Water is necessary for hydration, but it also comes in handy when it comes to flushing out wounds or irritated eyes. I like to carry a water bottle for myself and one for my pup. I also like to keep a whole lotta backup water in the car. Be sure to get a hiking pack that allows you to carry enough water. You could get something with a water bladder and add as many extra water bottles as you need.
Snacks are up to you, but be sure to bring something for both you and your pup to enjoy! I like bringing high-value treats along on a hike, like cheese/chicken/hotdogs. High-value treats help me keep my pup’s attention and I don’t have to compete against chipmunks, deer, smells, etc. My favorite human treat to bring along is a snack bar that doesn’t melt or freeze, and a small piece of fruit like an apple or nectarine. If I’m on a long hike I like to bring along a freeze-dried snack to provide me with more energy.
You should always have an emergency first-aid kit on you while on a hike. There are a lot of options out there, but I recommend getting a kit that has supplies for both you and your pup. You can get a kit and add anything you need, and you can adjust your supplies depending on your outing. The further you are from your car, the more supplies you should bring along. Bandages are one of the most used items in an emergency situation, so make sure you have plenty of gauze and vet wrap.
An emergency lift is a great way to get peace of mind when you’re on a long hike. If you travel far from the car and your pup gets injured, you’ll have to carry them back to the trailhead. With an emergency lift you’ll be able to hoist a dog of any size onto your back and carry them back down the trail.
A good whistle will come in handy in an emergency. It will help your pup find you if they’ve ventured off the trail, and it can help others find you if you get hurt and can’t continue your hike. I like a whistle that can give off a variety of pitches. Keep in mind that three sharp, high-pitched blows on a whistle indicates that you are in an emergency situation and need help.
I recommend carrying along an animal deterrent spray on every outing, no matter how long or short. I would steer clear of bear spray (unless you’re in an area with bears) because if you accidentally spray yourself or your pup you’ll be in a whole other emergency. A simple citronella spray will deter most other animals. An air horn works better, but it will effect both you and your pup’s ears so be aware. It could frighten your pup off and if they aren’t leashed you could lose them. A citronella spray will keep other dogs away from you, as well as some wild animals. If you want to make a loud noise, I recommend using your voice.
The most important thing to keep in mind in case of an emergency is where your closest vet clinic is. Whenever you go on a hike, do a quick Google search to see where the closest clinic is to the trail. Be sure that they are open during the hours of your hike. Covid has greatly changed the hours of vet clinics, and a lot of clinics are not open during their normal hours. Jot down their phone number so you don’t have to worry about stumbling around the internet on your phone while on the trail in an emergency situation. It’ll save you a lot of grief in an already very stressful situation.
The gear you carry is completely up to you. I like to be prepared, and prefer having too much gear to not having the necessary gear. Whenever you go out without an item, you’ll most likely find that you need it so it’s always best to bring all the essentials. I always recommend testing out new gear on short neighborhood walks before you take them out on the trail. That way you’ll know what works for you and what doesn’t. There are a lot of hiking companies out there, both for humans and dogs, so you’ll have endless options to chose from. Getting recommendations from friends and dog care professionals is a better option than getting them from social media or Google. Thrift stores are great places to find used gear that you can test out for less money. You can find brands and styles that work for you under a budget, and then you can spring for brand new items once you know what you like.
Weeds are plants that people find undesirable in a particular location. Cheatgrass is a weed I find undesirable in any location! It’s invasive, grows like bamboo, spreads fires, and can injure you and your pets!
Cheatgrass was brought to North America by European settlers. It’s now found in almost every state, covering about 70 million acres of land, but is most prevalent in the Great Basin areas like Oregon. And although it hasn’t gone away over the last two unseasonably warm years, it normally grows at the beginning of spring and dies away in the winter.
Cheatgrass takes resources away from native plants, aids in the rapid spread of fires, and reeks havoc on wildlife. Why should you care about any of this? Because Cheatgrass can get into your pets systems and literally rip them apart from the inside out! It grows among regular grass, and can easily be ingested by your pup or cat. The seeds are small and lightweight, so if an animal rubs against them ever so slightly, it could send seeds into their eyes, ears, and respiratory systems. Seeds scattered on the ground can get trapped in paw pads and work their way between toes. If left unnoticed, these seeds will twist, spin, and wiggle their way further into an animal, resulting in open sores, infections, organ damage, and even death.
What can you do to avoid this? Keep your yard free of Cheat to limit exposure. Keep your pup on leash when in areas with high levels of Cheatgrass. Keep cats indoors if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of Cheat. Perfect recall and the “leave it” cue to keep them from munching on this horrible weed. Keep coats short, and keep fur between toes even shorter. Check your pet over after every outing, and then recheck them again several hours later. Having another set of eyes is always helpful.
I recommend checking over every inch of your pet, especially if they have long, thick, or curly coats. Doodles are the ultimate prey to Cheat. Get a good Furminator that works well in your pets coat, and then check their ears, eyes, nose, mouth (including back of throat), under the collar/harness, between toes, within the paw pad, and near genitals. Keeping coats short will help keep the Cheat off, and wearing boots and goggles will help keep the eyes and feet clean. If you see any Cheatgrass on your pet that you cannot remove, call your vet immediately. I know a lot of people reading this will be like, “A seed?! Yea right, big deal!” But after spending at least $800 on an emergency Cheatgrass removal you will definitely be singing a different tune.
Cheatgrass loves hot, dry environments, so going into the shady, wet woods is always a less risky option when it comes to Cheat. Keep an eye out for Cheatgrass and call your pup away from it before they get in too deep, and keep them on leash in areas where it’s unavoidable. Become familiar with this evil weed, and take note when you find areas without it.
Check the surfaces you are walking on. Put the back of your hand to the ground and leave it there for five seconds. Grass is the coolest surface, and shade is always welcome!
Watch your pup for overheating or signs of labored breathing. Offer them shade and cool water. Be aware of the signs of heatstroke.
Never leave your pup in the car on hot days. Shade with the windows down is nice for a few minutes, but even that can get over 100 on a hot day. I love this video Grounds & Hounds did on how miserable & dangerous being in a hot car is!
Swimming is obviously a fun water activity, but not every pup enjoys the water. Using toys in the shallows will get them comfortable around water and getting their paw pads into cool water will help them cool down. Kiddie pools are great for those that don’t want to swim!
Sprinklers and misters are fun ways to cool down if your dog is willing. A mister is a little easier to get acquainted with, sprinklers might take some positive reinforcement and some water play on your part!
Toys that you can fill and freeze are refreshing for hot days, and having some on hand will save you when it’s too hot to go outside for enrichment!
Stay Cool Inside & Out
Have your pup wear a wet bandana, shirt, or cooling vest to keep them cool on walks. Shirts and vest also help those who get sunburned!
Get a cooling mat they can lay on. It might take some conditioning to get your pup used to laying on the mat, but once they do it’ll keep them cool!
Keep up on grooming and be sure to brush out those hot undercoats. Remember, not every dog’s coat is meant to be shaved, so consult a professional if you want to take off some of that fluff. Weekly brushings are usually enough to keep the extra weight off!
Have fun mixing up some frozen treats for your pup! You blend up any of their favorite fruits, veggies, or proteins and pour into an ice cube tray to make some pupsicles!
Spring is around the corner, which means life is going to start blooming! Insects will begin stirring, rabbits will multiply, deer will migrate, and everyone is going to be rising from their dwellings to enjoy all the sunshine has to offer! Stay alert and make sure not to miss any of the emerging beauty or dangers. Here are some larger animals that tend to wander in the spring months.
Coyotes- Coyotes are common to see nearly everywhere in Central Oregon. They are around the size of a medium-sized dog and are often gray or brown in color. They do not seek confrontation and will normally run away when they see you, but if they have a litter nearby they will stand their ground. If you see one and it doesn’t automatically run from you, make a lot of noise to scare them off and get the attention of your pup, put your pup on leash and walk the opposite direction. They normally travel in packs, so if you enter their territory and they confront you, it’s safest to just leave.
Wolves- Wolves are larger than coyotes, and usually larger than the largest dogs. Wolves are seen throughout Oregon but it is uncommon to run into them on the trail. If you see a wolf on the trail it is safe to assume it will attack you so make yourself big and back away slowly. Do not run, and do not make any sudden movements. Hopefully you notice them from a distance and can get your dog back to you and back to safety.
Cougars- Cougars are one of the largest cats in the western Hemisphere. They are a reddish-brown color and have powerful teeth and jaws. They have been spotted all over Central Oregon and have been known to attack humans and pets. Cougars usually roam in search of food, and unfortunately your dog is a perfect meal. If you see one on the trail, put yourself between your dog and the cougar, make yourself big, wave your arms, keep eye contact, and back away slowly while speaking in a firm tone.
Deer- There are several species of deer in Oregon, the Mule Deer and Black-Tailed Deer are the most common. Deer will do their best to stay as far away from you and your pup as possible, but we do sometimes sneak up on them, and they will defend themselves if threatened. Dogs have been known to chase deer, and the deers respond by kicking with their rear hooves or rearing up and boxing, using their front legs to keep danger away. Male deer will also use their antlers as defense. Deer are more than capable of skinning a dog, breaking their bones, and sometimes killing them. If you see deer, make a lot of noise to warn them that you are near and to get your pup’s attention on you. Leash them up until the and move away from the deer. Their scent will linger so don’t unleash your dog too soon.
Elk- Elk are found throughout Oregon. They are larger than deer, less common to run into, and more dangerous. They have large, powerful bodies and males have long, pointed antlers. They will defend themselves if they feel threatened. If you see one, calmly collect your dog and walk in the other direction.
Moose- Moose are even more rare to run into in Oregon. They are huge, around 6” tall and can weigh up to 1500 lbs. Their antlers are used as threat displays, but can kill a human or pup. Again, if you see one, calmly collect your dog and walk in the other direction.
We share the trails with a lot of other living creatures, so be cautious and courteous. Make sure your pup is fluent in the important cues such as recall, and leave it. It’s important that your pup know to remain close to you and focused on you in dangerous situations. If they haven’t learned these cues, or haven’t built a reliable recall, keep them on leash when you’re out on the trail. A 20ft lead will ensure they are able to sniff and explore, and it will keep them close when things get too wild.
It was raining most of the day today and it got me thinking… I love me a pup in a sweater! A pittie in a hoodie? Be still my heart! A poodle in a raincoat? Swoon! I thought this would be a good opportunity to share some of my favorite dog coats, jackets, and sweaters!
For those with short hair, less body mass, or trouble staying warm, a sweater is always a super helpful (and cute!) option. I like a good base layer option like the one Gold Paw makes. It’s light enough that it can go under a coat or jacket, but made of warm fleece so it’s cozy. My fluffy chow mix wears one in the winter to keep him dry on snowy walks. For something a little more tailored and sturdy, check out Kurgo’s core sweater. This sweater is warm and cozy, and can handle more intense cold. It’s also thin enough that it can fit under a coat. Wilderdog makes a little heavier option that’s great for winter hiking and camping. It’s made of a quick-drying fleece and is thick enough to keep your pup nice and warm, and thin enough to fit under a harness. It also has a turtle-neck style neck, so it’s great for longer necked breeds.
Raincoats are great to keep your pup dry. They’re great for both short and long hair pups on rainy or snowy days. I like the utility jacket from Ruffwear. It’s super light-weight, fleece lined, and well built to withstand the elements. Hurtta makes a parka that is designed specifically with short haired dogs in mind. (These coats are amazing for whippets & greyhounds!) It is meant to keep your pup dry and and warm. It can also be used for those with longer coats in colder conditions.
When it gets really cold out, even longer coated pups might want a jacket. Ruffwear makes a puffy coat for colder weather. It’s insulated and waterproof, and great for winter adventures. It has full belly coverage and small sleeves. For a slightly different style, check out Kurgo’s loft jacket. It’s warm and lightweight, with open arm holes. Carhartt makes the most durable coat I have yet to encounter. It’s made with the same quality as their human coats. It’s thick, warm, and made for the outdoors.
When looking for any dog clothing, keep in mind your pup’s body shape and size, as well as their coat length. One coat wouldn’t fit or look the same on a corgi as it would a husky, a chihuahua, or a ridgeback. Some coats have wide arm cutouts, while others have short sleeves. Make sure your pup can move freely and comfortably in their gear. And be sure to check the body once the garment is removed for any rubbing or rash. You want to be sure your pup is appropriately dressed for their body temp. A short hair dog would benefit from insulated, or fleece lined clothing, but dogs with undercoats don’t usually need the added warmth. Sighthounds such as whippets and greyhounds are often seen wearing full body suits like the ones Hurtta makes. That’s because these breeds are especially susceptible to cold, and often wearing these outfits are the only ways they can successfully be outside in the winter months. On the other side of the spectrum, dogs with longer coats don’t actually need to wear coats or jackets, but humans like the look of them and the fact that they keep the coat dry. Large breeds like Pyrenees, St Bernards, and Newfoundlands should not wear coats. These dogs are literally made for living outdoors in cold weather. Putting a coat on them would just insulate their body temperature and cause them to overheat. That’s probably why you won’t easily find coats in their size in pet stores.
There are a lot of options out there. The best thing to do is have your pup try them on before buying them, or getting them from a company that has easy returns. Just like humans, every pup is different. And just like humans, it’s nice to have a few for different occasions.
There are a whole lotta critters out there! And you might encounter one or two while on a hike with your pup! It’s always a good idea to have some basic knowledge of who you might meet on the trail, and who you should avoid. Let’s explore some of the smaller animals found around Central Oregon.
Small Mammals- Chipmunks, squirrels, moles, voles, gophers, and marmots are all very fun things to chase! But if caught & digested they can make your pup very sick. Small mammals can carry parasites, fleas, and a variety of diseases. If ingested your pup could get have a bad reaction. Tapeworms are a very common result to ingesting small animals. Teaching a “leave it” or “drop it” cue can be very beneficial if your pup is into critter chasing. Make sure your pup is up to date on parasite preventatives to keep them protected.
Rattlesnakes- There are two types of rattlesnakes that live in Central Oregon; the Great Basin Rattlesnake and the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake. Both of these snakes are hearty in weight, have stubby tails equipped with jointed rattles, and have triangular-shaped heads. The Great Basin Rattlesnake is tan, light green, or grey in color. The Southern Pacific Rattlesnake ranges in color from dark brown to greenish brown to gray. You don’t have to memorize the differences between them, all you have to remember is not to go near one. Rattlesnakes are not aggressive and will only attack if they feel threatened, but if you accidentally step on one they will respond. It is a good idea to do snake training with your pup so that they never go near one while out on the trail. If you or your pup is bit by a rattlesnake, call an ambulance or haul ass to your nearest emergency vet. There is a vaccination that your pup can get, which helps slow the rate at which the venom travels through the blood and your pup will experience less pain. YOU MUST STILL GO TO THE VET AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Stock photos Left: Great Basin Rattlesnake Right: Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
Skunks- There are two types of skunks in Oregon, the spotted and the striped. They are both black and white, but the spotted is spotted, and the striped is striped. Imagine that. Both of these skunks will spray a acrid musk when threatened, so keep a safe distance if you see one. If your pup gets sprayed check their eyes and flush them with cool water, then give them an outdoor bath to remove the skunk oil from their coat. If you’ve tried tomato juice before you’ll know it doesn’t work very well. Instead try an off the shelf remedy from your pet store or create a mixture of 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of dish soap. Work into your pups fur and rinse thoroughly. Do not leave the solution on for long because the peroxide could bleach their coat. And do not get it near their eyes. Then shampoo them with their normal shampoo, rinse, and dry.
Stock photos of skunks Left: Spotted Right: Striped
Porcupines- Porcupines are found throughout Oregon, mostly on the east side of the Cascades. They live in dens and spend their days munching on tree tops. They are large with short legs and their bodies are covered in bare-tipped quills. It’s a myth that porcupines can shoot their quills, but if threatened they will protect themselves. If your pup tries to kill one and gets quilled take them to the emergency vet right away. It is very dangerous to remove the quills yourself. They could break and get stuck under the skin. As your pup moves around the quills work their way deeper and deeper into their skin, muscle, and bone. Quills could stay in the skin for weeks, and if left untreated could cause serious infections and could lead to paralyzation or even death.
Badgers- Badgers are unusual to come across because they are mostly nocturnal, but that doesn’t mean you might not run into one. Badgers are large and powerful. They have long bodies that are low to the ground, and long, sharp claws. Perfect for digging and self-defense. They will attack if threatened, and their claws can slice open skin like paper. Do not allow your pup to enter other animals homes uninvited. Keep them from sticking their heads in holes and from digging up burrows.
Wolverine- They are rare, but they do exist in Oregon, and you should be prepared for when you might meet one. Wolverines basically look like small bears, with short legs and a bushy tail. They are normally out and about at nighttime, but will emerge during the day if they feel the need. Like most animals, they will only attack if they feel threatened. They are strong and powerful and have been known to take down deer. Don’t let your pups go sticking their noses in animal dens.
With fires blazing and a lot of new people moving to the state, wildlife has been forced to leave the safety of their homes and move out into new, uncharted territory. That means they are moving into human areas and you will encounter them more frequently. Be vigilant and keep your pups close!