Camping Without the Crowds

By: Breanna Harmer

Choosing the correct time of year is crucial.

Think a little outside of peak season when camping.

I’m personally a fan of mid-May and September.

Two Medicine, Glacier National Park in September

Consider backpacking. Yes, it is a bit more work but it is also 100% worth it.

Waking up to a backcountry sunrise is an unbeatable feeling.

I would highly recommend the Grand Tetons in August, especially if you’re a fan of wildflowers. It is still chilly so pack your warm gear!

Get your backcountry permit early! It is surprising how quickly these go and there are limited sites. If you’re unlucky and don’t get a permit you might be forced to find a different hike or abandon your backcountry plans altogether.

Check out apps like AllTrails

We went backpacking in the Mission Mountain Wilderness on the 4th of July and it was one of the best ideas we’ve had. There weren’t many people, the weather was perfect, and we were away from the National Park chaos.

Holidays like Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day are major camping holidays. Opt-out of the beer and think whiskey and backpacking. Look for trails that are more under the radar. There might be some like-minded people like you on the trail but far less then if you were to try to claim your stake on Seeley Lake or Flathead.

Be flexible! If a site seems too busy, don’t be afraid to look for a different one. Some of my favorite camping sites have been found after leaving a less exciting one behind.

Checking a map for a water source is a good way of finding a good site. Chances are that if it’s near a river or lake that it’ll come with a view as well.

Avoid geotagging on social media. If you like a site because there weren’t many people there, don’t expose it.

This might be controversial but I really do believe every little bit helps in preserving the things we love. It’s one thing to tell a few friends but if you have 1,000 followers on Instagram, you could possibly be telling around 1,000 people about this newfound gem. Mum’s the word

Don’t worry, he wasn’t caught. Just an expert fence climber!

I also think part of the joy of camping comes from discovering new spots on your own. It has become too easy to look everything up, it’ll mean more to you if you find it yourself.

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Tips and Tricks to Keeping Your Dog Busy

I have always had dogs in my life and believe strongly that a good dog is a tired dog. In these videos I have outlined some tips and tricks that have helped me accomplish my daily goal of tiring out my dog. I hope you enjoy and feel free to comment below with any questions!

Himalayan Dog Chew  

Picking out the perfect chew for your dog. This can be tricky at times when some have been shown to be harmful and others fall apart very quickly. My favorite for the past 3+ years has been the Himalayan yak milk bones. They last anywhere between 1-2 months depending on the dog.

Antler Chews – incase you don’t live in Missoula

Antler chews are great for both puppies as well as adult dogs. They are a natural chew and beat your dog gnawing on something they are not suppose to. I would recommend supervising your dogs with these though because they can chip their teeth on them if they chew too hard.

Kongs

Kongs are a classic toy that is a staple in most dog-parents lives. I choose to use mine as a way to give Cash her daily meals or snack time. We like freezing them because it takes her longer to get through it. There are tons of kong “recipes” online if you are feeling like getting creative with your pup as well.

TJ Maxx has some of the best toys for your pup and they tend to be almost half the price of the ones at pet stores. They carry an abundance of types for all sorts of chewers and their inventory is always changing. It is a great place to go if your pup is a shedder and you’re in need of new toys all the time.

Waggn‘ indoor dog park
Summit Pups – If you choose to use them, let them know that you were referred by Breanna and Cash to get a discount!

Missoula, MT is full of activities and places to tire out your pup. My two favorite companies to use are Waggn’ indoor dog park and Summit Pups. Both offer full or half day care and are great for socializing.

If you just got a puppy there is also Puppy Playtime at Sit Happens for $5 on Sundays!

Thank you so much for watching. Feel free to comment below with any questions or other tips and tricks that help you tire out your dog. I love hearing suggestions from others!

For pictures of Cash, click here!

Top 5 Most Poisonous Human Foods for Dogs

By: Jake Briski

            Dogs are very selfless animals that love their owners more than they love themselves. Unfortunately we can’t share everything with them even though we wish we could. There are many dangerous human foods that can cause minor and major issues with your dog. I myself have two dogs that I treat like family and know how fun it is to share my food with them. Even though I do my best to be careful about what I give them, there have been a few instances where they have gotten into something they cant have. I have researched the top 5 foods that create harm to your favorite furry friend. Many of these foods cause a dog’s body to change certain substances within the food to a toxin after its metabolized. These toxins can then trigger cardiac arrest, low blood sugar and organs to start shutting down. The severity of these issues is based on weight, type of dog, and amount consumed so always contact your vet if you think your dog has consumed any of these foods.

1.  Raisins/ Grapes

            Even a small amount of Raisins or grapes can cause the kidneys to start shutting down.  Raisins are more poisonous than grapes since the drying process creates an increase in the level of the toxic substance. When consumed, this substance, once metabolized, attacks the kidneys in rapidly. Unfortunately I have had a terrifying situation with my dogs eating raisins. They both got into a half eaten granola bar that included raisins.  At first I didn’t think much about it until I started researching toxic food for dogs. Raisins were always high on the list, which made me panic. I ended up calling the local emergency pet hospital for advice. I didn’t know which of the dogs or if both had gotten some of the granola bar. I have one medium dog (Buddy) and one small dog Bella so it’s possible that the large dog didn’t share any of the granola bar. Either way I was advised to induce vomiting to look for the raisins and even after that to call our vet the next day to get a blood test done. To induce vomiting hydrogen peroxide is used based on the dog’s body weight. Even if symptoms are noticeable, kidney damage could already be taking place. With the help of a vet this damage can somewhat be reversed so that the kidneys don’t completely shut down.  Thankfully neither of my dogs had harmful levels of the substance in their system. This was a huge relief but now I know how dangerous raisins can be.

2. Snacks with Xylitol

            Many snacks and dental products include this dangerous substance called Xylitol. The most commonly known product with this ingredient is chewing gum. Others include cereals, sugar-free candy, peanut butter, and fruit snacks. Some people may be wondering about peanut butter being on that list but it’s true. Many manufacturers use this toxic ingredient to sweeten their peanut butter flavor. Make sure you check the labels because there are many options that are in fact a healthy and tasty treat for dogs. Xylitol can cause low blood sugar and liver damage.  I know this blog is about dogs but this substance, in particular, is more dangerous to our feline friends so be careful with all pets.

3. Macadamia Nuts

            Many nuts are ok for dogs to have but this one specifically is very dangerous. A substance in the macadamia causes damage to a dog’s nervous system, which could be permanent. This one, unlike the others, seems to be less researched since we don’t know exactly what happens and why this nut causes so much damage. This is a very good reason to simply keep this snack far away from dogs and other fur friends.

4. Onions

            There is a substance in onions and onion powder that when consumed by a dog causes a decreased ability for the red blood cells to carry oxygen. This triggers a process of red blood cells breaking down which could cause anemia. If anemia becomes acute a blood transfusion may be needed to help replace the bad blood cells. Being a dog owner I know that they are little vacuums so make sure when cutting onions that bits and pieces don’t end up on the floor for your dog to get.

5. Chocolate

            This one seems obvious but I feel it’s worth mentioning. The darker the chocolate the more toxic it is to dogs. It creates a toxic substance that raises heart rate and can even lead to cardiac arrest. Very small amounts may give your dog an upset stomach and diarrhea. Even though milk chocolate is diluted of this substance, dogs shouldn’t have any type of chocolate regardless of its type.

            I didn’t mention the symptoms that come along with eating these foods but many of them include vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, seizures and lethargy. If your dog ever seems out of the ordinary always consult you veterinarian to make sure things are ok. If left untreated many of these toxic foods can cause permanent damage and even death.

Her name is Cash

Written by: Breanna Harmer

If she were a boy, we’d name her Sue…


“A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the trees, or the laws which pertain to them.”

-Mary Oliver

When a puppy naps, it is their gift of gratitude for the day.
A payment to their human for all the chaos they’ve caused.

Cash’s days include sleeping, chasing the cats, licking up anything that hits the floor but, mostly avoiding learning how to be potty trained.

She might be the smallest nugget at puppy kindergarten but she is also the spunkiest.

“Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. “

Johnny Cash

Thanks for always keeping me on my toes, little monster.

For tips and tricks to keep your dog busy, click here!