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Camping with Dogs – Alangus Mini Aussies: A Dog Blog
Sep 022013
 
Three Aussies

Morning Nylabone Ritual in Motorhome

We just returned from 21 days on the road in our motor home with three of our dogs, Izzy, Rosie and Swagger.   It was both an educational journey along the canals of the northeast and a fitness journey along the bike trails. If you’d like to read where we went and see a few pictures, the blog is posted at PACK EM UP.

Our three smallest travel well and don’t take much space.  We did start out the trip with Swagger not feeling so well.  He has struggled off and on lately with stomach issues and I am doing trial and error to determine the trigger that is playing havoc with his digestion.  I am slowly adding and deleting from his menu to determine the culprit of what seems to be Irritable Bowel Syndrome, either brought on by stress or what he eats or both.  When I had his last bloodwork done, his liver enzymes were a bit elevated and the vet recommended putting him on Denosyl, a supplement which helps the liver to do its work properly.  By the way, we ruled out all the parasitic causes of diarrhea first.

My old standby for dogs with diarrhea is boiled chicken and rice for a few days but in Swagger’s case, that seemed to make him worse so I changed to  lean hamburger (rinsed and drained) and rice.  When I made that change and he improved overnight, a light bulb went off and I started to consider that he might not be tolerating chicken or chicken dog food well.  Surprisingly, many dogs are “allergic” to chicken.  Over the course of a few days, when I would add in a tad bit of chicken or a rich dog treat, he would start to have symptoms again.  As always, I carry a variety of food with me when traveling, so along with the burger/rice mixture, I also gave him some canned lamb dog  food (Solid Gold) which he tolerated well.  I slowly moved on to Solid Gold Bison kibble and he was as good as new.  A couple of weeks into a red meat only diet, he is feeling spunky and eating like a little Trojan, something he hasn’t done for awhile.

I am continuing the Denosyl as recommended by the vet because as a supplement, it is a plus for dogs with or recovering from IBS.  I also read on Dog Aware  that probiotics are best given in the evening to help stomach flora replenish themselves overnight and prevent empty stomach nausea.  I had always given them in the am, so I also made that change.  For several years, I have used Dogzymes Digestive Enzymes from Nature’s Farmacy with my dogs and also with pet sit client dogs that had stress diarrhea when their owners were traveling.

It is certainly too early to make a definitive diagnosis of intolerance of chicken or chicken products and may just be circumstantial, but for now, I’m playing it safe and letting him put on some needed weight with alternative protein sources.  I’ll keep you posted on the long term outcome.

Jun 262012
 

Puppy in Bicycle Basket

Our favorite vacations are to take the dogs in our motor home and ride our bikes, non-motorized, on a scenic rail to trail. This summer our choice was the Katy Trail spanning Missouri east to west. There’s always beautiful nature since the old rail lines ran through the countryside and often along waterways.  This trail is no exception.

After a slow start and a poor choice of campground for our first night, we landed in Hermann, MO in the middle of Mssouri wine country. The little town with obvious German heritage  was a neat place to relax. The city park had shaded campsites just half mile from one of the wineries with tours, tasting and a nice German themed restaurant menu. Poor planning delayed getting our rental car a couple of days, but once we were mobile to get to a trailhead, helmets to the wind. 

Although the trail is over 100 miles long stretching from St. Charles, MO to the west, we only had time to ride in 10 mile segments because of the heat of midsummer with daytime temperatures approaching 100 degrees F.  We hit the trail very early in the morning for our ride and if possible stoppwd at a local diner in one of the little depot towns for a hearty breakfast. The first morning’s ride took us from McKendrick east to Rhineland, MO with acres of flat cornfields with some hills in the distance.

This trip we traveled with Izzy, Rosie and Swagger our 3 mini Aussies. Ike and Fancy stayed home to be cared for by the lady that works for me in my pet sitting business. I bought a bike basket just for dogs on Amazon and this was our debut. Swagger LOVED IT!!  He has his face to the cool morning breeze and was a happy rider. Rosie and Izzy got in a morning nap back at ground zero.

 Posted by at 9:52 pm
Mar 222012
 

This is Rose’s first outing in the motorhome and she’s all about it!  Nothing more fun than grandbabies and puppies 🙂  We’re babysitting for a couple of days at Kentucky Horse Park, which by the way is a very nice state campground in our area.

I was thinking yesterday as my almost 3 year old granddaughter  and I were walking Rose to the playground and letting her meet everyone along the way, that this should be on my “to do” list for all the puppies that I sell.  There is no better place for socialization than in a campground environment.  People of all ages, lots of children, noisy playground and other dogs with a safe place to walk and practice our new obedience commands provides lots of wonderful experiences.  Same goes for the ball park!

Izzy, our little pregnant mama, tagged along on this trip too.  Even though she’s been grumpy with Fancy and Ike, she’s quite tolerant of the two girls.  Of course, I always provide a place for her to get away when the baby crawls toward her face to face, but so far she just jumps onto the dash for higher ground!

 Posted by at 7:36 pm
Oct 072011
 

New River Trail ShoalsRailroad TrestleHiking with the DogsNew River TrailFries New River RV Park

There is just nothing more fun than camping in the mountains and hiking the trail with our three little Aussies.  One of our favorite times away is to take our motorhome and camp at Fries New River RV Park at the trailhead of New River State Park in Virginia.  The trail is just gorgeous the first week of October, so tranquil running along the New River for over 50 miles.

Fries is a small historical mill town and when the cotton mill closed, the railroad spur was turned into a linear state park by the state of Virginia.  It meanders alongside the New River through the little mountain towns with a number of entry points.  This is our fifth time to come here, but the first time we have rented a car so we could ride our bikes on different portions of the trail.  So far, our favorite rides are from Fries to Gambetta and from Ivanhoe to the Shot Tower.  Both trips are about 15 miles there and back, which is my limit to ride in an afternoon.

Fries RV Park is owned and operated by a retired couple originally from Winston Salem and it is impeccably maintained and “just right”.  Private, but not lonely, with full hookups.  The sites are fairly large and easy to access.  Just across the street and down the hill to the river is a flat public grassy area the size of two football fields that is perfect for Frisbee time with the dogs.

It is so nice to have mini and toy Aussies because they are so easy to travel with.  They aren’t finicky and love to hike, but will also hang out well when we leave them behind.  I have bought a Walkie Dog to let them run alongside our bike, but ordered it too late for this trip.  The reviews are really good on Amazon, but I’ll do my own once we try it out.  I’m predicting my girls will absolutely love it.  Ike, our male, might prefer to relax in the camper.

This is the good life, beautiful fall weather, a comfy campsite, and hiking with our furry friends.

 Posted by at 7:02 pm