Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Heat is ON

One of our biggest challenges is hiking in the heat. Dogs just don't do well when the heat is on! Although dogs have sweat glands like humans, they do not use them to cool their bodies off. Dogs cool their body off by panting.

Dogs do not do well in the heat! I cannot say it often enough. During the summer we like to get our hikes in before 11 am and we don't hike when the temperature exceeds 90 degrees. Being a Trail Patrol Volunteer for the Open Space District I have encountered numerous dogs with symptoms of heat stroke on the trails. When talking to the owners most never go hiking and often decide to take their 10 year old dog on a hot day for a little stroll. Believe me, I have seen and heard it all.

What happens with your dog when he is having a heat stroke?

When heat gain exceeds the body's ability to break down the heat. The high temperatures cause chemical reactions in the dog's body that break down body cells which eventually lead to dehydration and blood thickening. The strain on your dog's heart is extreme and it causes blood clotting that may result in death.

A dog's body temperature is usually between 101 - 102 F. If your dog receives a body temperature higher than that the risk of heat stroke is inevitable. It happens in matter of minutes. Some dogs recover from heat stroke but may have permanent damage of vital body organs.

What are the symptoms of heat stroke?

  • rapid and frantic panting
  • wide and glazed eyes
  • thick saliva
  • excessive thirst
  • bright red tongue and/or gums
  • vomiting
  • staggering
  • weakness and collapse
  • unconsciousness
  • temperature of 104F and up
  • diarrhea (sometimes bloody)

What do you need to do when your dog is suffering from a heat stroke?

Take your dog to the vet immediately. In the meantime you can do the following: Cool your dog off! Rinse your dog off with cool (not cold!) water to gradually reduce the heat in the body. If you have airco close by put your dog in the cool area! Place wet towels on the following areas: head, neck, belly and between the dog's legs. These are the most effective areas to help cool down a dog. Cooling too fast and/or too much can cause more problems.

Dog breeds with shorter snouts like boxers do much worse in the heat. I have noticed that these breeds have a much harder time cooling their bodies off.

What to do with your dog on a hot day?

Adjust the activity level of your dog! If  your dog needs exercise keep it in the shade, include water, a  doggie pool anything that is fun but keeps their body temperature down. Avoid the mid day walks. Hike early in the morning or in the evening. Feel the underground with your own bare feet or the inside of your arm. If it is too hot don't walk. You can burn your dog's pads. Don't leave your dog in the car. If you are using a professional dog walker/hiker ensure that the van is fully air-conditioned and that it stays on during pick up or drop off or that the walker has the possibility to park in the shade.

What temperature can it be outside to leave my dog in the car?

If the temperature is over 60F it is too hot to leave your dog in the car. Cracking the window does not make it safer.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Dog Hiker Position

This could be your office view!

Dog Hiker Position

BeyondCompanions is an established dog hiking service doing business as The Dog Hikers ( in the South Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. We are currently looking for a part time dog hiker to support our team by providing dog hiking services in the following areas: Cupertino, Saratoga, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Campbell and parts of West San Jose. We are currently looking for a dog hiker to provide services Wednesday through Friday.

The Dog Hiker job:
We are specialized in group dog walks and depending on the group and the location of pick up/drop off, you may hike 3 to 6 dogs at one time. The hikes last one to two hours depending on the weather and trail conditions. In the job you can combine your love of the outdoors with the love of dogs. The job is physical but provides you the opportunity to enjoy what California has to offer in nature. The job includes pick up of client dogs, a hike and drop off. All of our adventures are on-leash and take place rain or shine.


·         You must have dog handling experience either as a group dog walker or in a dog day care surrounding. Knowing about and understanding dog body language is a necessity. Being a graduate of DogTec Dog Walking Academy, SFSPCA or Marin Humane Society graduate is a big plus.

·         You are pet first aid certified or willing to complete certification upon hire.

·         Availability: Wednesday-Friday, 10am – 4pm

·         You are physically fit and have the possibility to hike two one hour or one two hour hikes per day.

·         You must be comfortable of handling dogs of all sizes and breeds and lift up to 120 lbs.

·         You are able to hike dogs rain or shine and have professional gear to suit the job.

·         You are able to wipe down the dogs and provide a brush down if necessary.

·         You have a cell phone and daily internet access

·         You must have a reliable van, truck with camper shell or SUV that enables you to transport up to 6 dogs safely.

·         You must have proof of health insurance.

·         You must be at least 18 years old, hold a valid CA Driver’s license and show proof of insurance with a good driving record.

·         You must be able to pass a criminal background check.

·         You live in or near our service area.

·         You are responsible, reliable and honest.  You must be friendly and be able to provide customer service on a very high level.

·         You must be able to make a minimum commitment of 1 year after a two month probation/training time.

·         You are able to continue your training by attending seminars and trainings throughout the year.

This is an independent contractor position. There are also opportunities for boarding and dog training (if dog trainer requirements are met). Payment is based on experience.

We have built an excellent reputation by offering exceptional service to our clients and their dogs. We have a high standard of ethics and we expect the same from anyone that works with us. We are a professional business and we have distinguished ourselves from those who are not. Professionalism including discretion is a must.

How to Apply:
If you are interested and feel qualified for the job please send us a cover letter  and resume to info at beyondcompanions dot com. You must provide us with at least three references and provide us with the type of vehicle you are currently driving. Please no phone calls. Thank you!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Another 5 star review - Thank you!

This is what Jamie's mom had to say. Credit goes to Tammy, Rottie expert and prior owner, who has been enjoying Jamie's participatio in our hiking pack.

"I have a puppy Rottweiler and she is very active. I had been taking her to a dog day care a couple of times a week and thought she was happy but when I found the k-9 hiking group, I thought it would a good adventure for her... I signed up mid January and have to say on the days of the hikes, when I return from work my puppy is very happy and mellow.

I have stopped taking her to the day care because I feel like this service is awesome for her and she seems much more settled.

Thank you Beyond Companions!!! ~ Jamie's mom"

Thank you! We've had a blast with Jamie. Goofball extraordinaire and fun to have in our pack!