girl and dog on top of the mountainWhether you have an interest in getting ready for the popular winter sport of skijoring, or you simply want to get outside in the summer sunshine, you and your pet are in for a special treat this summer. Billings – and all of Montana – has some pretty spectacular outdoor opportunities for everyone, and our summer weather is second to none. Summer fitness for your pet should be a priority number one, and we hope to add to his or her health with the following ideas and guidelines.

Gadgets Galore!

Your lucky pet may have all the required accoutrements for your backyard agility course or cat maze and, if so, right on! Looking for some ideas for full-body conditioning and toning? Try the seriously fun Balance Disk or the K9 Fit Bone. Likewise, a user-friendly pet treadmill used in the coolness of your home’s AC cultivates stamina and endurance needed for next year’s hunting or skijoring season.

If you’re training for longer, steeper hikes, you could ride to the trailheads on your bike while your pup rides behind you in his or her dog trailer.

Tagg is probably one of the coolest pet fitness gadgets out there because it tracks your pet’s activity from his or her collar. Tagg “points” add up throughout the day to give you a window into your pet’s daily exercise level and duration – together and apart. This device also tracks your pet’s location through GPS and, in case he or she travels away from you while on a hike or away from home, you’ll know where to find your fitness friend.

Packing Out

If you and your pet are conditioned and ready to explore some of Montana’s trails and backcountry, you certainly have your work cut out for you. It’s always a good idea to bring your four-legged friend to see us so we can assess overall health, approve of summer fitness for your pet, and make specific recommendations regarding his or her hiking capabilities. We can advise you on:

  • Adding calories to your pet’s meals to account for the energy expended on the trail
  • Administering the rattlesnake vaccine (as well as others that may need updating) if trails in the high desert are a part of your plan
  • How much weight your dog can appropriately handle carrying (typically, a younger, healthy dog can work up to one-quarter of his or her weight)
  • Saddlebags and Other Stuff

    Your dog can be outfitted in all manner of outdoor gear that will hopefully add to his or her enjoyment and capability:

  • Saddlebags – If your dog can handle the weight, consider allowing him or her to wear a fitted, harnessed dog pack. Not only do many dog packs have pockets for collapsible water containers, you can store necessary food or treats, and waste bags (provided you won’t be burying it 200 feet away from trails or water) inside his or her own pack! Plus, crossing waterways, approaching ledges, or restraining your dog around others is made super easy by a top handle for you to grip on the back of the pack.
  • All Terrain Paw Wear – Protective foot gear can make a big difference in comforting your pet along rocky or hot trails.
  • Kool Collar – Or a cold, wet bandana add to your pet’s comfort
  • GPS locator – Again, Tagg is pretty great, or another similar GPS offers peace of mind should your hiking pal run off.
  • Summer Fitness For Your Pet (And You!)

    We can’t wait to hear all about your adventures this summer, and hope that your pet remains safe and happy. Remember to keep your pet cool, hydrated, and protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

    Please let us know how we can support additional summer fitness for your pet, and encourage more memory-making activities under our big sky.