How To Exercise With Your Dog

Written by Jessica Stewart

If you’re like me, you’re probably spending every free moment outside enjoying everything our beautiful region has to offer! We have lakes to swim and paddle board in, mountains to climb, forests to trek through, rivers to cross and an ocean to explore. Exploring these areas with your dog by your side is even more rewarding!

Dogs have been running alongside humans since the dawn of man. They are eager to run, play and explore, just like us! Here are some tips to keep your dog included in your outdoor exercise activities to help keep them happy and healthy!

Have Fun

I love taking my dog hiking and mountain biking with me in all types of weather. He is a herding breed so his instinct is to run, and run FAST! What kind of breed is your dog? Check on your dog’s background and you can determine the best activity for them. Remember, dogs aim to please and would LOVE to be included in your outdoor exercise routine.

Is he a working breed? Get him a doggie backpack and have him carry some gear while you hike. Swimming breed? How about a jog along the beach or a nice swim in a lake! You and your dog will both come home tired and happy. Also, the bond that you already have will grow stronger and deeper than ever. I love the excited look on my dog’s face as I reach for my mountain bike. He knows he is coming along for fun on the trails!


Pack Your Bag

Water: My rule of thumb for packing water is however much I think I need, I double it. Remember that you are going to be active, sweating and sharing water with your pup. Bring along a travel dish for your four legged friends and give water freely, especially in the hot weather. Don’t forget to pack treats as well! They are a great caloric boost. Plus, they work great for behavioral motivation and for light training!

Safety Essentials: A small first aid kit can not only come in handy for you in case of a fall, bee sting or another minor injury. It can also help with pet injuries. Pack a small first aid kit along with your regular gear. Do you plan on being out on the water with your dog swimming or paddling? Don’t forget to bring a life vest for your dog! Your pup may be an avid swimmer but we must remember to put safety first. Dogs can get tired like us and planning for the worst can save a life!

Leash: Your dog may be a master at recall but when out in the woods or on a running path, a leash is essential. You may encounter other dogs or wildlife that can stir your dog’s excitement and lead to a stressful time in the wilderness. There have been many cases in Washington just this summer of missing dogs out on hiking trails due to falls down hillsides, or due to running off chasing a squirrel. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Also, please pick up after your dog! You can help keep our state one of the most beautiful in the nation by following “Leave No Trace.”

Be Attentive: If you notice your dog slowing down or acting fatigued during your exercise, stop or slow down. We don’t want them to sustain an injury or become too fatigued. Make sure you’re exercising in the mornings or evenings when the heat of the day isn’t too high. If a midday hike, walk or run is your only option, be sure to take plenty of breaks and try to stick to shaded areas. Pavement can get excruciatingly hot so make sure to take care when deciding to take your pup out for a run.

Follow Up

You and your dog just had a wonderful time out exercising and playing in the great outdoors. You might want to take a nap right away but first, we have to make sure our pups didn’t get overworked or sustain an injury. Check their paw pads for cuts and scrapes upon arriving back home. Checking your dog for ticks is very important if you have been out in the woods. Be sure to look between their toes, behind their ears and armpits and around their tail immediately following time in the forest. Make sure your pup stays hydrated during and after exercise. Give them a few treats for being so good ☺

Have you been having fun in the sun with your pups? We would love to see your photos! Send us your pet’s photos for a chance to be highlighted on our Instagram page! You can send us your pet’s photos via email or Facebook messenger.  


4 Ways to Take Better Pictures of Your Pet

You cherish the photographs you have. As you look through them, your memory lights up with each moment and you feel the joy of puppy adoption, the pride of graduating from the first manners class, the peace of hiking on vacation, the hilarity of the first big mess that you just had to see to believe, and the ease of napping in the sunbeam that hits the living room every afternoon.

Even if you had the budget for it, a professional photographer isn’t likely to capture all of those for you because they are spontaneous. They just happen, and you can’t plan for them all to happen in the same one-hour block of time when you have your annual family pictures. Well, you can. You’ll be really disappointed.

You are the best photographer for your family. The photographs don’t need to be perfect in order to move you – they need to exist. I’ll share a few tips here that will help you improve your photography without getting technical. It doesn’t matter if you are holding a smart phone, a point-and-shoot, or a DSLR. The photographer creates the photographs, not the camera (much like a writer, not the computer, writes books).

The handsome gent in these photos is Rhys, a 10-year-old Great Dane. I used an iPhone 6 Plus for these images, which have not been edited in any way, to prove you don’t need a spiffy camera or processing to create interesting photographs.


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Get Close

Whether you use a zoom lens or zoom with your feet, get close enough to your subject to fill the frame. Get closer than you think you need to. Get really, really close.

Closing in on your subject leaves no mistake about what is important in the photograph. It’s your job as the photographer to direct the viewer to what you want her to see. When you leave no room for distractions within the frame of the photograph, what you want to say with the image comes out loudly and clearly.

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Change Your Perspective

Photographs that come from the human’s eye-level are interesting once in a while. What about seeing the world from your cat’s point-of-view? What does the world look like from your dog’s favorite napping place? How much more intimidating does your Chihuahua look when the camera looks up at him instead of down?

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Move around with the camera in hand. Stand on something and look down. Lie on the ground and look up. Get on eye level. Your companion looks very different from each of these perspectives.

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Look for the Light

I promised I wouldn’t get technical, and yet I wouldn’t be doing you any favors if I didn’t talk about light. Light in a photograph sets the mood, establishes detail, and dictates the intensity of colors. It’s important.

For now, I invite you to look for the light that shows in your companion’s eyes. It’s called a catch light, and it’s the little bright spot that you see that comes from your light source (the sun, the overhead light, a window). A catch light instantly brings life to eyes; eyes without these twinkles look dull.

Here Rhys has a teeny, tiny catch light. His eyes look empty.Screenshot 2017-08-19 00.38.33


The following image is darker and yet because one of Rhys’s eyes caught the light, he looks much more like himself.

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Understand Your Intention

So let’s say you don’t remember any of the three guidelines above. Not to worry. You can save the image with intention. What do you want the photograph to say? How do you want to feel when you see it? What’s the story?

In this moment, Rhys approached me in the living room and indicated that he’d like to walk around the neighborhood. He looked at me, looked at the front door, and looked at me again. When I looked down at our feet I knew I’d remember the moment in detail with the help of a photograph.

Screenshot 2017-08-19 00.38.45

In the digital age, it’s common to burn through gigabytes of memory in creating images without a thought, and that’s a recipe for crummy photographs. By all means, create many images if you feel you must and do it with intention. When you have in mind what you want to capture and express with your camera, you can’t help but connect with your subject. That connection and your intention come together to create beautiful stuff that will speak to you later.


Written by Shannon MacFarlane from Slobbered Lens 


6 Ways to Prevent Your Pet from Getting Lost

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We all love our pets and want the best for them, which includes them being safe and secure with us at home, right? About 10 million pets get lost each year due to multiple factors, such as missing identification, environmental factors, non-secure perimeters, etc. We at Spoiled Rotten want to ensure the safety of each pet, even if they are not under our care. With July being National Lost Pet Prevention Month, we wanted to bring awareness to preventing pets getting lost and staying safe at home.


  1. Proper I.D

Microchips and identification tags are amongst the most popular and useful identification tools pet owners can get for their pets. These useful tools can hold owner’s contact information (such as phone number, address, etc.) that others can use to contact the owner of the recovered lost pet. Microchips can be implanted by any shelter or veterinarian at the pet owner’s request for a fee. Identification tags attach to the collar and are purchased at many pet stores, feed stores, or through pet supply companies.



  1. Safely Secured

Animal are indeed intelligent creatures! They can escape at a moment’s notice if they get scared or curious if they see access to a place to escape frighten things or uncharted boundaries. To secure your house check for 2 areas: 1) check for holes in the yard and fence or any other areas in the yard where a pet can squeeze through. 2) Close all doors, gates, and windows and lock them. Basically, secure any access points where pets could potentially escape!


  1. Properly Sized Collar & Leash

Pets can easily slip out of and escape from collars and leashes that are either too big or too small for them. Fitting pets with the proper collar and leash can eliminate dogs from getting lost when on a walk or traveling from place to place. Generally, a properly fitting collar is when you can fit two fingers between the collar and the pet’s neck comfortably, but not more than 2 fingers. Leashes should be restricted to about 6 feet if pets are going for walks, errands, and other events. Leashes that are shorter or longer have the potential to slip through the owner’s hand or make it difficult to manage. Additionally, harnesses can make it more difficult for dogs with stocky necks, like the bully breeds, escape as it is easier for them to pull out of their collars, even if they fit well.


  1. Proper Traininghuman-738895_1920

Proper training your dog to not bolt out the door, pull on walks, or even not to be scared about certain things can be a life saver not only to prevent from pets getting lost but can be helpful in other scenarios. If you feel like your pet needs training in certain areas, seek out animal trainers or seek a veterinarian’s advice.


  1. Safe Transport

When transporting your pet to the vet, errands, or really anywhere that involves a vehicle, it is very crucial to make pets are secure within a crate, proper fitting collar and leash, and the vehicle itself. For many pets, traveling in the car can be very stressful and the pet’s flight or fight response can be heightened. With that said, a pet’s reactions during transport can be unpredictable. This is where accidents and mishaps can happen the most! Scared pets can panic and bolt out of the car and run into the street. This all can be avoided with proper fitting collars and leashes and secured crates. Additionally, if your pet is very anxious in the car pet owners can use calming sprays and prescribed medications from the vet to help calm the pet down.


  1. Hire a Pet Sitter

Sometimes pets can get stressed out when their owners leave them home alone and they can dig or break out of the house or yard. If they are secured in the house without access outside, they can cause damage in the house and could harm themselves. Hiring a pet sitter to step in for the pet owner during their absence can be a relief for not only the pet owner but for the pet too! Having a pet sitter with your stressed pet can reduce their stress levels and keep them safe while keeping your house and yard in tack. Not only that, your pet will receive positive attention, affection, and care from a caring individual. We have a team of highly trained, qualified, and professional sitters who would love to spend time with your pets and are ready to assist.  If you’d like to hire us to care for your pets, click here.


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