Walking the Dogs


I have three terrific dogs, a high-energy American Dingo boy and two lively Beagle girls. We’re so happy to bid farewell to brutal winter and relish pleasant spring. Now we can return to our long walks during the week and vigorous hikes on the weekends. These pups and people relentlessly seek activity, fresh air and tranquility as we amble in nature.

As a responsible (tad paranoid) pet parent, I also prepare my dogs for our walks with the right gear and accessories. I want them exercised, happy and safe. Here are a few products we tested that help my dogs perform well. We give thumbs up and tail wags to these new offerings.

Every walk starts with a sturdy and comfortable leash. A clothes horse myself, I want my hounds fashionable too. The just launched Pup Crawl Light-Up Leash™ has become our favorite leash because it is both functional and stylish. It is totally useful because it lights up (even blinks like holiday lights) at the touch of a button. This is an important feature since we often walk during dawn and dusk – I feel safer because there’s no way cars and bikes can miss us. LED lights run the entire length and all around the reinforced nylon leash, and is visible from a ¼ mile away in the dark. In addition, when the leash is lit, I can better see the terrain ahead of me. I trip on uneven sidewalks, fallen branches and cross paths with an occasional raccoon (no coyotes yet!). So I expect better luck this year because of the product.

The leash comes in seven cool neon colors. With an extension of up to six feet long, it accommodates dogs at all energy levels. (My slower chubby Beagle vs the faster American Dingo are equally content.)

I also want to highlight the Pup Crawl Light-Up Leash because it supports homeless animals across the country. My beautiful dogs were all once homeless, so this is a cause dear to our hearts. When you buy the fashion-forward and affordable leash, $3.00 goes directly to a local animal rescue or shelter group or to Pets for Life NYC, a surrender-prevention program of the Humane Society of the US.

The Pup Crawl Light-Up Leash is available online at http://www.thepupcrawl.com/leash.
Shipping is free when you purchase five or more leashes. That’s even nicer news for these hikers.

We’re also fans of trendy, super hip Buckle-Down collars and leads made with mini seat belt buckles. When I harness my dogs with these, I’m taking them to the next level of pup couture. These collars and leads are attention-grabbers and conversation pieces. With over 500 funky patterns and graphics to choose from, we can go from looks such as Sweet Girlie, Retro Punk, Motorcycle Chic, Flower Child, and more, depending on
our mood.

Buckle-Down collars and leashes are also functional. The buckles are recycled and refurbished. They lock securely and release with the push of a button. Nylon straps are thick, sturdy, and silky to the touch. These products are available at PETCO stores nationwide and online at http://www.buckle-down.com.

My dogs are furry fashionistas. Can I keep up with them?

During and after our hikes, I give my pooches Nulo™ Energy Snacks to replenish their energy and satisfy their hunger naturally. My dogs love the two heart-shaped varieties, Cranberry and Yogurt, and Peanut Butter and Honey. The treats are oven-baked using only wholesome ingredients like barley, brown rice, natural peanut butter and honey. Like with my active kids, I’m relieved when the dogs eat and actually enjoy healthy treats.

Nulo Energy Snacks are available online at http://www.nulo.com and later this year at New York Whole Foods.

To carry those Nulo treats and much needed water on our walks, the Woof Woof Water Bottle from Sport + Store™ is a novel new product. The bottle has a sizable unique storage reservoir that can hold small items like biscuits, balls and waste bags for dogs, or money, ID, and more, for me. The bottom compartment also doubles as a water dish so gal and pups never go thirsty. The bottle holds 20 oz. of H2O.

This fun water bottle is reusable and made from durable recycled aluminum. Just like I want no BPA in my kids’ cups and toys, there’s none here either! The design is also lightweight, sleek and easy to hold with a non-skid base and twist top where keys can be attached. Colors available include white, chrome, blue and black. So now I won’t need to stuff everything in my pockets. Visit http://www.sportandstore.com to order.

Celebrities are carrying this bottle. I was lucky to snag one since it’s just come on the market.

Finally, hiking with my dogs also means bathing them more often. I need to because they always find questionable substances to roll and jump in. By the time I’m able to pull them away, the dirt sticks and the
stink lingers. Also, my Beagles are short so their white bellies and paws get muddy a lot easier than my tall American Dingo.

TheraNeem™ Organix Pet Shampoo is my solution to safe and frequent washing. This vegan, lightly candy scented shampoo cleans gently and lathers richly. I’m relieved that no harsh chemicals, soaps or synthetic waxy thickeners are used in the formula. Skin and coats are protected, nourished and moisturized organically. After those rugged sweaty walks, we welcome a good bath. And we all want our hair looking and feeling marvelous.

Although not new to the market, TheraNeem Organix Pet Shampoo remains a trusted brand. It is available at some Whole Foods and online at http://www.organixsouth.com.

Time to strap on those sneakers, my dogs are waiting for me by the door. Ready, set, walk.

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