Keeping Dogs Safe While Hiking

Dog Safety pic
Dog Safety

Nicole Zwirn, a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, received her bachelor of science in environmental studies and ecology and environmental biology. Currently pursuing a career in the energy sector, Nicole Zwirn also takes time for such health-focused pursuits as yoga and hiking with her dog, Jade.

Dogs make excellent hiking companions. The new sights and smells on the trail can provide a dog with almost endless joy and stimulation, but the same trails may have hazards of which the owner needs to be mindful.

Hiking trails can present surface hazards that may cut up a dog’s paws, so owners should revise pads often for cuts or debris. Dog boots can serve as an alternative to this type of regular inspection, if the dog will tolerate them and the owner is willing to make the investment.

Owners must also check regularly for ticks or poison ivy rashes, both while on the trail and after coming home. Dogs should be up-to-date with their tick, flea, and heartworm preventive medication, though certain parasites may still be a threat if a dog drinks from streams. If this happens, the dog should undergo testing for giardia and similar parasites.

Finally, owners should take care that their dogs are adequately hydrated, warm, and well-fed throughout the hike. Experts recommend a quart of water per three miles of hiking and enough dog food or treats to keep the dog fed whenever the owner stops to snack. A dog coat is essential if temperatures will be low, particularly if an overnight trip is involved.


Hiking with Dogs Helps to End Destructive Behavior

Hiking with Dogs pic
Hiking with Dogs

Nicole Zwirn most recently held the position of wind and energy intern for Siemens in Boulder, Colorado. In this position, she worked with engineers to write site procedure manuals. Outside of her professional life, Nicole Zwirn likes to hike with her dog.

Hiking with one’s dog has been found to produce several benefits for the pet, such as the ability to stop destructive behavior and increased interest in outdoor activities. Dogs who are kept inside for long periods of time may start to become bored. Boredom can lead to a dog tearing apart a home or apartment, no matter the size of the animal. By taking them out on regular walks and exposing the animal to a different terrain, they can enjoy new smells and explore a location they would not otherwise see.

Dogs who might not generally seem entertained by the outdoors may be open to visiting a new park or trail. Having a large area to run in can help them gain interest in joining their owner for longer treks to different places. Being able to explore a forest or the ocean, for example, may satisfy their curiosity more than just walking around their neighborhood does.

Save the Bees Offers Good Bug Blooms to Encourage Pollination

Save the Bees pic
Save the Bees

As a wind and energy intern for Siemens, Nicole Zwirn assisted technicians in maintaining wind turbines, and was responsible for writing site procedure manuals. In her free time, Nicole Zwirn supports the Save the Bees campaign.

Save the Bees is committed to preventing the honeybee population from going extinct, a threat arising from pesticides and a lack of awareness among the general public of their harm to bees. Save the Bees encourages supporters to plant organic gardens using the insects’ preferred flowers.

Save the Bees offers Good Bug Blooms, a packet containing seeds for bee-friendly annuals including cosmos, zinnias, flax, and cornflower. All the blooms are colorful, which attracts the insects. For every three packages of seeds sold, $1 will be donated to the Save the Bees fund, helping to raise further awareness and promotion. Supporters can choose to beautify any number of places bees might congregate, including their yard, the local park, or even shared urban gardens or community spaces.