What Causes Diarrhea in Dogs

What Causes Diarrhea in Dogs?

There are very many things that can cause diarrhea in your dog but it is your responsibility as a dog owner to keep your dog away from the causes. The most common way for a dog to get diarrhea is through ingestion. It could come from his dietary needs not being met; he ate something from the garbage, or got into something that caused bacteria to inhibit in his stomach. You must understand it is not your dog’s fault; they are scavengers naturally and instinctively get into things.

Other causes can be infections, allergic reactions, or even organ diseases. Older dogs have issues with their kidneys or their liver which can cause diarrhea. Stress is also a large cause of diarrhea in dogs and is hard to understand. Most dogs have a very simple life: sit at home and wait for you to come home and play with them and feed them. Their daily activities and environment don’t change that often. So if you are making changes to your home, or moving, this could stress your dog out. Meeting new people or pets, or even losing them can cause a dog to stress out. It is important to help your dog adjust to change by making sure to spend time with them.

What are Symptoms and Effects of Diarrhea?

Some of the more common symptoms are loose/liquid stools and bowel eliminations. Flatulence is common in dogs with diarrhea, also blood or feces with mucus in them are symptoms. Diarrhea can cause stunting to the growth of a puppy and can affect the general wellness of an adult dog. It can affect their appetite and energy levels and cause them to want to lay down and rest all day; rather than run around and play.

Treating Diarrhea

There are many ways to treat your dog’s diarrhea but first it is important to know what causes diarrhea in dogs. If your dog’s dietary needs aren’t being met, change their food immediately. It is important that you know the difference of feeding your dog people food and preparing your own dog food. If your dog is constantly stressed out, find the cause and fix it.

Common home remedies can be very effective and will come highly recommended with dog lovers. A very common method is to fast your dog for 12-24 hours. This will clear out their entire system and all of the things they have eaten recently. However this method isn’t a cure for all causes of diarrhea. If your dog has kidney or a liver disease, it will not work to cure their diarrhea. If the cause is their diet or they are allergic to something in the house, it won’t work.

The method I recommend most is adding carrot supplements to their meals. Carrots contain many natural vitamins that are very healthy for your pet. However feeding raw carrots will not give you the same effect as a carrot supplement. Naturally, dogs cannot digest carotene which is in the carrots. The best way to feed them the carrots is through dehydrated carrot supplements. These are prepared by rehydrating the carrots and adding oil before mixing it into your dog’s food. So instead of getting a crunchy raw carrot, they are getting a pudding like substance with all the benefits of the carrot mixed into their food. Adding the moist carrot supplement will also help your dog’s digestive process if they are typically fed dry food. Adding the moisture helps your pet digest faster and more smoothly.

The carrot supplement is a great way to treat diarrhea, but are also a good supplement to add into your dog’s food at every feeding. There are many other benefits to the skin/coat, immune system, their organs, digestive systems. It can also help to prevent worms which are a leading killer of dogs.

 



How to Keep Your Dog Exercised

There is a simple truth about dogs – an exercised dog is better behaved. It doesn’t matter if you have a working class dog or a toy dog, keeping your pooch exercised will lead to better obedience, better training, and a better relationship between the two of you. After years of experience I know this with absolute certainty. So what are some of the most effective means of exercising your dog? Stick around and see!

Walking Your Dog

This is the most important form of exercise for a canine, but not just any walk will do. Train your dog not to be the leader, but to follow you on the walk. This creates the learning and experience that you are the pack leader, and places you in the position of leadership. There are numerous references on how to undertake this training by various professional trainers such as Victoria Stilwell or Ceaser Millan – to name a few. No matter what training method you use, get this training underway!

With the walk being done properly, or attempting to do so, your dog will experience wonderful amounts of mental stimulation as well as physical. This is due to the focus your dog will put on paying attention to the surroundings and to you. Before I owned dogs I may have thought this to be silly, but after walking many dogs this just works. In the end you will have a dog that is more content and obedient. The additional benefits for dog owners are that they are getting exercise. Yes, this is one of the reasons why the tale is told that dog owners live healthier and longer lives. Simply, they are exercising more often while walking or having some sort of adventure with their dog.

Fetch For Your Dog

This is one of the most classic dog activities. Sadly, fewer dogs play fetch than most people realize. If someone throws a ball for my boxer, Sophie, she won’t bring it back until she has chased it, tossed it, gnawed on it, and repeated the process half a dozen times. That sure doesn’t sound like the fetch  seen in movies, because it isn’t. Typically working dogs are the fetch dogs, and to be more specific it is the working class dogs that are bred for hunting and retrieving (or a mixed breed of such.)

Everything set aside, if your dog is a fetch dog, then you are in luck, because you just have to find an open space and go throw a ball over and over again. The most creative fetch story I have heard was from a friend of mine who was teaching his young son to play baseball. He also had a very energetic dog that loved to play fetch. To kill two birds with one stone he would spend part of their baseball practice time with his son throwing the ball for their dog, then he would have his son practice hitting the ball while his dog continued to fetch the balls that were hit. By the time they got to playing catch with one another the dog would just lie down and watch the concluding events.

Dog Parks

This is the exercise solution that allows you to relax and socialize with other dog owners, while your dog plays, wrestles, runs, and mingles with other canines. Please keep in mind that time and effort should be put into training your dog to not be dog aggressive so visiting dog parks can be fun and enjoyable for all involved.

Not all dog parks are created equal. Keeping my boxer exercised has required many visits to various dog parks, and while not all Utah dog parks have been filled with the most incredible amenities we have gotten our feel for a lot of variety and fun. Keep in mind that some dog parks may be large tracks of land that allow for off leash adventures, just like you were out in the wilderness. While others are filled with swimming pools, tunnels, shaded picnic benches and so on. This also leads to the fact that you man have to pay to use some of these parks, as great effort goes into maintaining features and amenities. In the end the dog parks you visit most will come down to personal preference, but researching a dog park before making the trip for a visit is always a must so you are aware of any specific rules, schedules, payment, and so forth.

Conclusively there is a never-ending list of ways to keep a dog exercised, so try every one out that you can. This list holds the essentials to keep any dog owner out and about and enjoying their pet.

 



Picking Out Good Dog Food

Many premium products are on the market today, making good dog food choices an even harder decision. Along with those is a host of brands featuring inferior ingredients. Puppies require different nutrients than adult canines and senior pets have their own nutritional needs. Beyond that, owners will find soft foods, hard kibble and in-between products with various enticing flavors.

The good news is that many good dog food brands provide clear labeling with regard to age. Some take it a step further to address specific health issues such as kidney function and weight. Vet-specific dog foods, purchased only at a professional facility, offer customized canned and dry diets for animals of every age. On top of that, organic products and raw diets are additional options.

Choices are still not simple. Different breeds have specific recommendations as well. Smaller canines that are highly active may require a higher calorie food. Some breeds with known allergies or sensitivities may need to avoid corn and pork products. Products formulated for larger breeds may include nutrients to enhance bone structure. Some dogs will simply display their own taste preferences. A first rule of thumb is to start with the best type of product you can afford. That means a look at the ingredient list, which is also a reflection of quality. It should lead off with one or more proteins such as chicken, beef or turkey. Eggs, vegetables and fish near the top also are a good sign. Grains, minerals, fiber, fats and vitamins should follow.

Some debate exists whether to feed canned, semi-moist or dry food. Again, that depends on the animal. Dry foods help keep teeth in better condition but may not be the best for aging animals. Canned foods offer more bulk and may be easier for dogs with urinary issues to digest. Semi-moist foods tend to contain more sugars and may be best served as treats.

Active breeds require a higher caloric content food. Known health issues should also affect the food selection. Beginning early with foods that contain preventative ingredients may reduce the risks of related conditions in later years.

really good dog food means one that is best for your pet at its particular stage in life, not simply a general good dog food that comes with a recommendation. With age, adjustments may require subtle or major changes in diet choices. The right feeding routine to maintain perfect weight, balanced with proper nutrients, will help keep a pet healthier and happier much longer.



Benefits Of Exercise For Dogs And 10 Exercise Ideas

the black box relevation:I think I like youDogs need exercise to ensure a healthy mind and a healthy body. No matter what breed you might have adequate amounts of exercise are essential for the dogs physical, emotional and mental well being. Different breeds require different levels of exercise so make sure to check with your vet or a dog book to be sure how much your dog requires.

Benefits of Exercise

  • In terms of general health, exercise is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. And yes weight gain is a concern for pets as it is for humans and this is where regular exercise really can make all the difference in the world.
  • There might come a time when your dog becomes frustrated, sad or depressed and this could very well be due to a lack of exercise.
  • Exercise supports a long and healthy life for the dog.
  • Builds muscle.
  • It is an essential part of development for puppies: mental, physical and social.
  • Supports bonding and quality time with their owners.
  • Makes dogs happy and facilitates playtime which is essential for their development.
  • Exercise facilitates healthy aggression release. This can really he essential for dogs that like to take their aggressions out on owners belongings.

10 Exercise Ideas For Dogs

1. One of the best ways to exercise dogs is by providing toys and playing fetch. There is a huge variety of toys available for sale that include fun squishy toys that make noise, which dogs really enjoy. Dogs also love tennis balls and frisbees, especially the hunting breeds, and of course you can just use a plain old branch stick as well. When you throw the toys it encourages your dog to fetch, which in turn makes the dog run and stimulates thier minds as well. This is essential for puppies that like human babies and toddlers need toys for stimulation and healthy development.

2. Take your dog out for a walk in a park or around your neighborhood. Walking and letting the dog explore its environment will ensure a healthy well being both physically and mentally.

3. If you have a nice yard let your dog out to play often and not just for bathroom breaks. Go outside with your pet and play, after all, humans need exercise too.

4. Dog parks are very popular and useful, especially for dogs that live in small apartments and do not have a yard to play in. In this setting dogs can run and play without a leash and also they can socialize with other dogs. Make sure to read the rules of the park you go to and abide by them at all times. Of course, owners with aggressive dogs should consider this activity carefully.

5. Some dogs love to do tricks. If you have a dog that is easliy trained and is very playful you can teach him to jump through a hula hoop, and this can be done right in the house. This is a super fun activity and if you video tape it and post it on YouTube your best friend might just go viral and become famous!

6. Dog racing competitions are great options for dogs that love to run and compete. Hunting breeds will enjoy this activity immensely. A number of pet festivals take place all over the world.

7. Biking with your dog is another good idea for getting your dog some exercise and getting them to run. Of course, this is not for all breeds, and it’s important to remember that this can be risky, especially for dogs that tend to run off. Always make sure that you have a safe place to do it, not on or near a busy street.

8. For dogs who love water, and there are many breeds that do, swimming is a great way to get your dog to be active. Of course, this means you have to have your own pool, but for those that do, this is a great option. If you live in a more rural area there might be watering holes where people go to swim and where a dog can swim with you as well. Just be careful and make sure the water is not polluted.

9. Going to the beach where dogs can run or walk with you or even swim is a great day outing for both you and your beloved pet. Here you can also throw toys and sticks to play fetch, let the dog run free and have fun.

10. Hiking trips are a great idea for many larger breeds, like Labradors and hunting breeds and is usually best reserved for larger dogs that are very active. Hiking is a great way to play, relax and exercise fo both you and your pet.

Bottom Line

No matter which activity you choose just make sure to get your dog active at least a few times per week. Remember that exercise is not just for physical health, it also stimulates their mental development, helps with socialization and behavior and also allows for the invaluable quality time that all dogs need with their owners.



Dealing with Dog Aggression

The deciding factor in whether a dog is considered “good” or not is their aggression level. A dog that shows aggression on any level is automatically considered a dangerous dog. This is for good reason; after all, dogs are strong creatures with powerful jaw muscles. They can do major damage to their target. If your dog is showing signs of aggression the time to take action is now, not after something bad happens. Dog training will help you get a handle on your dog’s aggressive tendencies and teach the dog what is expected of them.

It is important that you recognize the first signs of aggression. One of the earliest signs of aggression is your dog is lowering its head and staring upward when being petted. This can progress into showing teeth, growling, and then snapping. Another sure sign of dog aggression is a dog with the hair on the back standing up with their eyes locked on the target. More obvious signs that you have an aggressive dog are biting, nipping, growling, and snapping.

If you notice the above aggression signs in your pet you need to take action immediately. The biggest mistake an owner can make is ignoring signs of aggressive behavior. It will not go away on its own; your dog will not grow out of it. If your pet is displaying only very early, subtle signs of aggression you can try to deal with it through home training. However, if your dog has bitten anyone or is aggressive towards you should consider contacting a dog trainer to handle the training for you.

If your dog is aggressive towards people, it is probably out of fear or protection. Some dog breeds are natural guard dogs, and curbing this behavior can be very difficult. Before you purchase a puppy, research the breed to determine typical aggression levels. If you have a breed with a natural tendency towards aggressive behavior, start training early. Puppy training classes can help your puppy socialize and familiarize themselves with other dogs. A dog that is aggressive towards people needs to be handled very carefully. Start by slowly introducing them to new people, but make sure that it is done outside of your home. A dog view’s their home as their territory, and territorial aggression is the worst form.

Never hold your dog back while they are meeting someone new. It can make them feel trapped. Also, never muzzle your dog with a cloth muzzle or your hands. If your dog wants to walk away from the situation let them. Your pet should never be forced into a situation that makes them uncomfortable. It will only lead to more aggression. A good example of this is Kyle Dyer. This news anchor from Denver, CO was bitten in the face on live TV. The dog was clearly displaying signs of being uncomfortable with the situation, but the owner had ahold of the collar so the dog couldn’t leave. Also, Kyle grabbed the dog’s face and turned it towards her while she was trying to kiss the dogs face. All of these things add up to a bad situation.

If your dog is showing signs of aggression it is your job to stop it. Get your dog into obedience and behavior training early to prevent the possibility of accidents.



A Summary of Basic Information about Dog Hip Dysplasia

Dog Hip Dysplasia is a serious condition that is sometimes neglected by few pet owners. We see some people who do not seem to be bothered at all looking at their pets having difficulty rising and walking; considering it to be just a simple illness that the dog can live by. However, when not treated immediately, this would make the dog cripple. When that happens, some owners would have the feeling of regret for having a dog that they could not play with. Therefore, as a pet owner, you must realize that just like humans dogs can be prone to some illnesses that would need immediate care and attention. Any abnormality observed in the dog’s hind legs calls for a thorough examination by a veterinarian.

Causes
Major cause of hip dysplasia in dogs is genetic in nature. Obviously, when the dam and sire have a history of hip dysplasia, then its puppy will be born with its disease. Sometimes, it shows as early as 5 months old, while others develop it towards adulthood.

While genetics is a key factor of dog hip dysplasia, environmental factors will also increase the risk for such disease. Since large breed dogs are prone to this, it is mandatory for pet owners to ensure that their dogs refrain from having a diet extremely rich in protein, fats, and calories. It is also essential that the dog follows a regular exercise routine, or simply energetic activities outside the home to avoid obesity.

Signs and Symptoms
The most obvious signs seen in dogs with hip dysplasia associated with pain or malformation of the hip joints are:

  • Bunny hopping
  • Side sitting
  • Sway walking
  • Limping
  • Abnormal Lying Position
  • Overdeveloped torso
  • Underdeveloped Hind Quarters

Breeds Prone to Hip Dysplasia

  • German Shepherd
  • St. Bernard
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Great Dane
  • Beagle
  • American Bulldog
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Rottweiler
  • Shih Tzu
  • Bloodhound


How to Avoid Bad Obedience Dog Training Classes

The majority of obedience dog training instructors are experienced and compassionate – but some obedience schools use techniques that might not be right for your unique pooch. Every canine has different training needs and needs to be trained with an approach that fits. It may take a few phone calls and observation sessions with the training centers in your area, but persistence will pay off with better behavior from your faithful companion.

Questions to Ask on the Phone

Asking questions about the obedience dog training program on the phone beforehand can save you time and money on visits to incompatible trainers.

It is extremely important that you find out about a dog training class before taking your pup in for a visit. There are no “one size fits all” types of classes out there no matter what the facility claims. Factors like class size and composition are important – for instance, if your pet hasn’t had much experience with strange dogs you’d want to go with a smaller class of gentle canine pupils.

You’ll want to describe your canine’s current behavior progress and your future goals – but be honest. A dog may be encouraged to take private lessons if they are aggressive, have a disability, or are not yet potty trained. Find out what the trainer is equipped to handle to prevent your dog from enduring unnecessary obedience dog training hardships.

And the most important question of all: do the trainers stick to positive reinforcement methods? Even if the answer is “yes”, you might want to dig a bit deeper – ask about corrections and avoid any form of punishment-based training.

Observing an Obedience Dog Training Class

Do you like what you hear about the obedience dog training techniques being used?  Ask the training supervisor or trainer if you can stop by to observe a session. Whenever you get a chance, make sure to ask the other students about their experiences – do the other owners like and trust the instructor? While class is in session look to see if the instructor answers questions and accepts comments; it is important that you are able to effectively communicate with the teacher and assistants.

You can learn a lot about an obedience dog training class by looking at the canines – are the happy? Energetic? Canines that look afraid of the trainer are not having a good experience. If you see anything that makes you uncomfortable, do not be afraid to walk out the door without looking back. A single bad training experience can create bad habits that take years to unlearn.

As long as you ask plenty of questions both beforehand and during observation, you should be able to find the perfect obedience dog training group. Don’t be afraid to pull out of a class that doesn’t seem to be working, or if you see anything that makes you uncomfortable – you know your companion better than anybody else. Once you find a great obedience dog training school, you’ll be glad that you stuck with your search.



Uses, Benefits And Styles Of Dog Crates – The Complete Guide

A dog crate is metal steel wire or plastic enclosure that comes with a door. Even though some people may regard them as cages, they are not. In truth, they offer tons of benefits for both the dogs and their owners. Crates reflect ancient times before dogs were domesticated and when they roamed free in the wild and had to use dens for sleeping and to keep themselves safe from various predators. These dens were shallow holes that dogs would dig for themselves in reclusive locations. They were fairly small, with just enough room for the dog to turn and lie down to sleep. While years have passed since such practices were necessary and dogs now live happy lives in human homes, the instinct from those wild days still exists in their genetic makeup and the crate satisfies that need very well.

Discipline NOT Punishment
Crating puppies and adult dogs is useful for discipline and socializing dogs and normally has nothing to do with punishment, nor is it intended for this purpose.  It’s a great place to secure dogs while families are working and out of the house, and serves as the ideal opportunity to create passive control by helping to restrict over active animals from destroying property.

A crate is a fantastic training tool as well, when used properly. When crates are over used or used in the wrong way it creates fear and anxiety and it is never recommended to do that to a dog. Each and every dog, and especially new puppies can benefit from crates, as it provides them a safe place to rest and allows their owners to effectively train them in proper and acceptable behavior. More details on effective crate training below.

Negative crate discipline or something that is more reminiscent of punishment is when owners confine dogs for very long periods of time to their crates. Misuse of a crate is never okay, and giving your dog the message that he is a pain and needs to be put out of the way is not okay. Most people use crates effectively, and a dog can be crated for up to 8 hours while you’re at work, and especially when the dog is walked regularly before and after crating.

When making use of the crate for discipline purposes, limit the time the dog spends inside to no more than 15 minutes. You should never yell at the dog when he has to go inside the crate, just be firm. Never leave a dog inside the crate without water and do not yell at them if they should go to the bathroom inside the crate.

Types and Styles of Crates
Crates come in plastic and metal material. The plastic ones are less durable and more prone to damage. While plastic can be cheaper it lacks the longevity of metal, and chewing and wear and tear can make you spend more in the long run. Also, the general quality of the plastic varies. The metal models are more sturdy and more popular with dog owners. As with plastic the quality varies from brand to brand so do the research.

What Size Of Crate Do You Need?
There are several sizes available, small, medium, large and extra large.  In deciding on the proper size verify that your dog will be able to stand up in it, turn around and lay down comfortably inside it. You should also plan on the eventual adult size of your dog when buying a crate for a puppy to save money in not having to buy another as he grows.

Prices For Crates
The prices of crates is anywhere between 50 to 200 dollars. Shopping online can save money versus buying at retail stores.

The Best Crate Accessories

  • Blanket – A nice soft liner for the crate or a dog bed is essential
  • Chew toys
  • Water – Attachments are available for crates for easy and clean water access for dogs

General Uses And Benefits Of Crates

  • Perfect place for them to feel safe, secure and get some privacy.
  • A place to keep them when you have gusts, or repairmen.
  • Travel and taking the dog to different places, like the vet.
  • House training
  • Obedience Training
  • To keep the dog calm and in control
  • A place for them to stay secure while you are away or sleeping, especially useful for dogs that like to chew on everything

More About Using Crates

Crates for Housebreaking
Puppies possess the natural instinct to maintain their areas and keep them clean so they will not pee or poop near their food, toys or blankets. Using the crate for housebreaking is ideal because when you cannot watch them the crate helps to prevent accidents and teach control. Using the crate can eliminate accidents that can destroy your property and makes house training easier.

Crates and Destructive Dogs
Crates can train canines to be much less destructive and are excellent behavior modification tools. When the dog is placed into the crate it calms them down and this protects your stuff and teaches them to stop destroying household items.

Puppies and Crates
The same as playpens for kids, crates are great for puppies. Like little children, puppies have no self control and really need their owners to set limits and teach them right proper behavior. Puppies go through a lot when they are separated from their mothers, and puppies can quickly learn to appreciate that crate for its security and safety. Make use of the crate for the puppy to sleep in, and when you stick to a regular schedule of feedings and exercise, you will have control over their resting times and when putting the puppy inside the crate when they are tired makes them to learn to love it that much quicker.

New puppies should not be crated for more than 2 hours overnight. Spend lots of time playing, and giving the puppy attention, but when they are bad use the crate for discipline. The crate should have toys, water and a nice blanket to line it for comfort. Never give into barking, howling or crying when the puppy is being disciplined in the crate or out, or they will quickly learn that that is the how they get what they want.



Military Dogs and Warfare

It’s been a common saying that man’s best friend is his dog, but what many people don’t think of is that dogs are often more than just friends, they are protectors, attackers and rescuers in dire times. For hundreds of years dogs have been used in military operations, wars and search and rescue missions due to the fact that their power, speed and intelligence can prove a valuable asset in these circumstances.

History has many examples of dogs being used in cases of warfare. Henry VIII sent 400 fighting dogs to support Spain in a war. Napoleon made use of dogs for fighting alongside his reserve forces. The Belgian army used canines to pull their heavy artillery to the front of army. There are even ancient murals depicting fighting dogs used in Roman and Greek battles.

Recently dogs have been involved in more than just fighting duties for wars. They’ve been trusted with important messages to be delivered across dangerous territory. Certain dogs have been trained to sniff out and locate snipers as well as to find wounded and lost soldiers, sometimes behind enemy lines. As a side note, many dogs were used as a mascots for the bravery, loyalty and support.

To create an effective military dog aggression training or attack dog training is required. There were many different forms of training for military dogs depending on if they would be used for tracking and detection, as sentry dogs, or to take down enemy soldiers. Some people estimate that sentry dogs saved over 10,000 U.S. Lives in Vietnam. A canine nose is much better equipped to pick out certain smells and alert soldiers.

In the modern age, many law enforcement agencies make use of dogs for their sense of smell and train-ability. Police guard dogs are used to detect illegal narcotics, or too intimidate and sometimes track down criminals. Dogs can also be trained to detect and locate explosives which makes them ideal for preventing crime before it happens.

Dogs have a long and storied history through civilization. It’s estimated they’ve been used for over 2,000 years for companionship as well as for specific duties. They’ve proved themselves loyal over and over again so many times that many shrines and murals have been dedicated to dogs. Some canines have even received military honours, medals and burials for their services. Dogs have long been some of the most courageous and fearless animals and it is always worth the time to appreciate them just a little bit more.



Enjoying California’s Big Bear with Your Dog

So, you and your furry friend have had it with the Los Angeles hustle and bustle and need to get away. The Santa Ana winds are making life miserably hot — even when you’re not the one sporting a 24/7 fur coat! You’ve read that Big Bear Lake is a mere two-hour drive away and decided a four-day getaway in the nearby San Bernadino Mountains is just what you need.

Taking a dog to Big Bear is a great thing to do. First, it’s located high in the mountains, not far from the Pacific Coast Trial, and it is surrounded by a National Forest. There are plenty of outdoorsy things to do that are sure to put a smile on your face or a wag in your tail, as the case may be.

You check into one of the many pet friendly Big Bear lodging alternatives and make Fido comfortable with some food and water. This might be at a standalone cabin or at a Big Bear hotel — there’s no shortage of pet friendly places in Big Bear! The Pine Knot Guest Ranch even advertises “two acres of off-leash exercise area for your dog.” It could be just what the vet ordered!

After getting a place to stay and something to eat, it’s time to venture out. There is a three-and-a-half mile, paved path that snakes along the southern shore of the lake — called the Alpine Pedal Path — and it’s open to dogs. Moreover, all public beaches facing Rt. 36 are accessible from the Alpine Pedal Path, and they all permit dogs. If your dog is like my dog and enjoys swimming, this could seriously be the high point of his/her holiday. You may want to save it for sometime toward the end of the trip.

Most of the other hiking trails up and down Bear Mountain and Snow Summit are also open to dogs, and walks in the spring or autumn are particularly beautiful and fun to share. Remember, though, that this area is remote and surrounded by wilderness. There are coyotes and the occasional wolf, not to mention rare sightings of bobcats, mountain lions and, yes, bears. If your dog sports an overly adventuresome spirit, it may be best to keep him/her leashed.

Hopefully, after the four days of hiking, swimming, resting, eating and breathing the clean, pure mountain air, both you and Fido will be able to return to city life totally reinvigorated by your visit to Big Bear.