Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dog Avalanche Beacons

The last few weeks have been pretty scary for avid backcountry enthusiasts, especially in Colorado. Since December was riddled with sunny skies, warm temperatures and no snow, the big dumps of January have made avalanche conditions very, very sketchy. Natural and human-triggered slides have occurred on a daily basis since the first big storm two weeks ago.

Yet, regardless of the conditions, venturing into the backcountry should always necessitate wearing a beacon. You never know what could happen, so it's always good to be prepared. And if you go out with your four-legged friend, the same should apply. Good thing Pieps has them covered.

Fitting comfortably in a custom made dog collar, the Pieps TX600 receiver is a mini-beacon designed to help save a dog if buried, and also to not interfere with human avalanche search and rescue, since it omits a different frequency than that of a normal avalanche beacon. The only drawback is that solely Pieps beacons will pick up the frequency of the TX600. But, for those who have one, being able to rescue your pooch in an avalanche scenario is definitely worth the cost.

Either way, if you plan on venturing out into the backcountry with your dog, please be safe.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Few New Year's Resolutions For Dog Owners

This year, instead of trying to keep that one New Year's resolution for as long as possible, why not focus on a few resolutions that apply not only to you, but also to your four-legged companion? Since most personal resolutions are abandoned after three or four weeks, having one that applies to both you and your dog could be a lot easier to maintain than some of the traditional, dietary ones.

Obviously, walking your dog at least once a day is one of the easiest ones to keep. Not only is the exercise great for your pooch (maintaining a dog's weight is key to a long life), but also it is great for the dog owner. Additionally, trying to get your dog out into an open-air environment once a week, such as the mountains, the beach or the plains, is a great resolution to strive for. Fresh air and open spaces makes almost everyone happy, including your dog!

High quality food for your dog is almost as important a resolution as daily exercise. A dog owner should be as cautious about their pooch's food as they are of their own. Research the ingredients and strive to purchase food that is organic, natural, or at least not heavily processed. It may cost a bit more than grocery store kibble, but allowing your dog to have a longer life justifies the cost.

Lastly, take the time to play with your dog, groom your dog and, of course, train your dog. Those three things may seem straightforward, but its easy to neglect your pooch after a long day of work. Dog's love attention in any form, and giving them what they want will create a stronger bond between you and your four-legged friend.