When it comes to exercise, it’s good to mix things up.
Nobody – including your dog – wants to go on the exact same walk, day in and day out. To spice things up, try taking some hikes.
Remember to go out when the sun’s low, bring plenty of water and you might want booties for your dog if the terrain is on the rough side.
And don’t forget your holistic first aid kit…
Hiking First Aid Kit For Dogs
#1 Colloidal Silver
Antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal, a high-quality colloidal silver product is a must-have for any first aid kit. The submicroscopic silver particles suspended in a liquid base are so tiny, they are thought to penetrate cells and kill pathogens. If your dog scratches his nose on a bush or nicks his paw on a rock, grab the colloidal silver and clean out the wound using a cotton swab.
For more information on this powerful immune-booster, click here.
Whether it’s a cut, burn or insect bite, calendula is known as the ultimate healer, soother and antimicrobial. It’s a very safe herb, but avoid using it for pregnant animals, cats and open wounds that need to drain. To use topically, add a few drops of calendula tincture to a spray bottle and spray your dog or soak a cotton swab and apply to the wound.
The homeopathic remedy Arnica is another great addition for any hiking first aid kit. It’s a good go-to in cases where there is stiffness from overexertion and soreness, especially in the muscles and soft tissue. Pick up the remedy at your local health food store (a common potency is 30c) and the next time your dog is acting pained while hiking, dose him with a few pellets. It’s also the first remedy to use for any trauma, so give it right away if your dog gets an injury.
We have more handy homeopathic remedies, here.
Most of us are familiar with the benefits of aloe vera when it comes to the skin – especially beach-goers with sunburns. Indeed, aloe can also offer topical relief for skin irritations, wounds and bug bites on your hiking dog. Not only is it soothing to the itch, but it’s antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory as well. Find aloe that is at least 99% pure, organic, free of preservatives, sweeteners and flavorings, human- and food-grade, and also important, make sure it contains the inner leaf juice or gel only, and not the whole leaf.
#5 Flower Essences
Similar to homeopathy in that they work energetically, flower essences are a set of gentle and nontoxic remedies designed to help rebalance dogs on an emotional level. Calm Flower Essence is a five-flower remedy specific for high-stress situations. So if your dog injures himself on the trail and he’s scared or anxious, try giving him some Calm Flower Essence while you’re treating his wound or injury. Put 2-4 drops (depending on your dog’s size) of the remedy on a treat and give it to your pet. Repeat as needed.
#6 Slippery Elm
The inner bark of the slippery elm tree is nutritious as well as great for digestive woes like acute diarrhea. If your dog comes down with the runs while on a long hike, give him a bit of this powder with some food or in canned, organic, 100 percent pure pumpkin, another tummy soother you can bring along in your pack. According to holistic veterinarian Lisa Brienen, you can give a ¼ tsp of powder for every 10 lbs of body weight. Though it’s generally safe, avoid use in pregnant pets and dogs who are allergic to it.
We have a great article on slippery elm, check it out here.
#7 Cedar Oil
This pleasant-smelling oil is also a powerful bug repellent and killer. When you’re out on the trail, you and your dog will more than likely come into contact with a fair share of mosquitoes and ticks. Keep them off your dog by spraying him before the hike with a natural and nontoxic, cedar oil-based product. Avoid use on cats unless the product specifically says it’s formulated for felines.
If you’re looking for more information on natural mosquito repellents for dogs, click here.