Snack time for your dog – HundEnergy. Bars

We discovered the HundEnergy. Bars last year when we were kindly donated some for all our Tri Dog competitors and the K9 Trail Time team got to sample them. We spoke to Sarah at HundEnergy. and asked her to share a bit about the Bars so our active dog owners can see for themselves why they might want these handy little snack bars for their dogs.

HundEnergy. is a brand for active dogs and their owners and our flagship product is the HundEnergy. Bar. This nutritional snack uses only ingredients that are beneficial to a dog after an extended period of exercise and is completely plant-based.

What’s inside HundEnergy. Bars?

At first you may think having a snack that’s plant-based goes against the more traditional food you currently feed your dog, however a dog thrives of a high protein diet made up of both meat and plant based matter.

When to use?

Humans need additional nutrients during or after exercising to replenish those that are lost, and to also aid with recovery. The same rule can be applied to your dog. Each dog has its specific daily exercise requirements depending on age and breed, however we can assume all dogs require extra nutrients after a long period of exercise. That is where the HundEnergy. Bar steps in.

HundEnergy. Bars contain natural ingredients that either aid in recovery and build, such as raw peanuts or give quick release energy such as gluten free oats.

This makes them the ideal snack for your dog when taking part in activities such as Canicross or any other type of Canisport.

Each Bar is individually wrapped meaning they can be kept in a handy place such as a kit bag, or backpack ready to give to your dog when they need it the most. As the ingredients are all completely natural, one bar for one serving will be suitable for any type of dog, they can even serve as a nutritious snack in-between meals.

If you’d like to find out more information or to buy HundEnergy. Bars you can find them here: https://www.k9trailtime.com/other-activities/walking/hundenergy-bar.html

Why rainbows?

We’ve recently launched the K9 Trail Time Rainbow shirts and vests and now this week the Rainbow Range of Canicross and Walking Lines. Our followers might be wondering ‘why all the rainbows’? so I thought I’d explain…

It all started with my beloved horse Merlin who meant the world to me, I’ve always liked the idea of ‘Rainbow Bridge’ where all your animals wait for you to join them when they’ve passed on. I’m not a particularly religious person and so to have the comfort of thinking they are waiting for you, might not be for everyone but certainly helped me with my grief when I lost Merlin in 2014.

Merlin in his field with a rainbow in the background.

I think the whole idea of Rainbow Bridge has just stuck with me ever since and when I lost Tegan my older husky cross in 2019, the idea of it again just provided me with comfort when I was heartbroken over her loss.

I also LOVE the bright colours in a rainbow and people who know me will know I have always run in the brightest, most colourful leggings I could find, so when I started to think about designing products for K9 Trail Time it made sense to me to keep the rainbow theme in my mind.

The rainbow colours that can be found in the sky are so beautiful and I’ve always loved bright colour in my life!

I felt I needed to design something for our customers which represented the spirit of the K9 Trail Time brand but at the same time, wasn’t just our brand colours, as the red, black and white doesn’t hold the same meaning to people as the colours of the rainbow might, in the same way they have for me.

So the first thing that was launched this year was the K9 Trail Time Rainbow shirts and vests!

The K9 Trail Time Rainbow Shirt
The K9 Trail Time Rainbow Vest

It also happens that 2020 has turned into a year of rainbows, with rainbows being drawn in windows and on posters supporting the NHS, which is a fantastic reflection of how much rainbows have meant to us as a nation through a difficult time but not actually the reason I had decided to use rainbows in the designs.

The new Rainbow Range bungee lines we’ve just launched are also going to come in the wide variety of colours found in the rainbow, we’ve started with red and blue but the rest will follow as and when we can get the webbing produced.

The Rainbow Range of lines will be updated with more colours

I’ve found that more you look for rainbows, the more you notice them and this year in particular I’ve spotted some pretty spectacular rainbows on our travels.

Rainbow over us in February 2020 on the beach in Scotland

I really hope that helps to explain in a little more detail about the design choices you’ve been seeing from K9 Trail Time and I also wanted to share with our followers the reasons behind choosing the rainbow. It’s been a personal experience to set these products up and to me, they represent the influence of all the animals who have been in our lives and are sadly no longer with us, as a celebration of the colour and joy they brought.

The rainbows in our designs represent the colour that animals bring to our lives

K9 Trail Time A-Z of Canicross – D is for Dogs

Dogs are unquestionably a key component to canicrossing and I’m often asked which is the best dog for taking part in canicross. My answer is always the same, ‘any dog that wants to run’! When I first started canicrossing I expected there to be lots of the dog breeds I’d traditionally associated with running, such as huskies, participating in the sport. It just so happened my dog was a husky collie cross so I was fairly sure we’d fit in. I found however, that the variety of dog breeds taking part was much, much wider than I would have imagined and people were running very quick times with some very little or unexpected dog breeds. So I quickly realised that it’s not necessarily the breed that determines the dogs’ ability in canicross, (although natural athleticism obviously helps) but whether or not the dog has the right mental attitude towards the activity. Generally speaking it’s the dogs’ work ethic that determines whether or not they are going to excel in the dog sports and any dog who considers their canicross session a job to be taken seriously will put 100% effort in for you. Many people are now favouring hound type dogs for canicross because they are physically built well for covering the ground quickly and are also from working backgrounds, so seem to really thrive on running in harness. I still maintain though that any breed of dog within reason can enjoy the sport of canicross and that any dog who is fit to run may enjoy the partnership created when you run with your dog in harness. So my letter ‘D’ in the A-Z of canicross, is for ‘dogs’, of any shape or size.

Dogs of any shape or size can enjoy the sport of canicross

Dogs of any size can enjoy the sport of canicross

Dog Running and Depression

There have been many reported cases of increased figures for depression, mental illness and even suicide in the news recently. Whilst I was listening to one such report, I began to think about the positive health benefits associated with running and also in particular, running with your dog. The two things have both been known to reduce stress and anxiety in people and so by combining both, surely this could be a real recipe for an alternative treatment for people who suffer with depression.

Sarah Griff & Dhillon

Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety, especially when you’ve got your best friends for company

Now I’m not an expert in depression but it is defined in simple terms as ranging from low spirits in it’s mildest form, to clinical depression which can be life threatening. There are specific organisations who offer help for anyone suffering with depression and the mental health charity Mind has a particularly good website with lots of helpful tips and advice for those who may need it: http://www.mind.org.uk

One thing in common with all of the advice to be found is the benefits associated with exercise, which is known to stimulate endorphins that improve energy levels and mood. Studies have also shown that pets and animals in general can help with depression too. The effect of physical touch with a dog or cat can be soothing, lowering blood pressure and reducing stress hormones.

There are other positive effects of interaction with dogs such as affection which raises self esteem, dogs are known for reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. Caring for a dog in itself encourages a person to take responsibility, builds relationships, gets a person managing their thoughts and feelings, as they have to think about something which relies on them for health and well being, which can impact on their own health and well being.

Our relationship with dogs has been proved to be beneficial to our health

Our relationship with dogs has been proved to be beneficial to our health

Dogs for Depression is a non profit organisation which has set out to help raise awareness of the benefits to people suffering from depression or anxiety, who may find comfort in the bond that can be formed with a dog. The website provides some (non-scientific) information about how dogs can help someone with depression and offers suggestions for choosing and training a dog as a companion. The website can be found here: http://dogsfordepression.org.uk/home.html

The best combination of the reported benefits from both exercise and interaction with dogs can be found in the sport of canicross and the effect of both these things has been described as underused treatments for depression, with many people unaware of the research which has proved the positive effect they can have on the lives of those suffering with depression.

Running with your dog has benefits associated with both exercise and dog ownership - Photo Courtesy of CaniX and Copyright of Chillpics

Running with your dog has  the benefits associated with both exercise and dog ownership – Photo Courtesy of CaniX and Copyright of Chillpics

Canicross is clearly not a ‘cure’ for depression but I’m of the opinion that if you give someone a responsibility and combine that with a reason to get out and get exercising, then the effect of that on the person can only be a positive one. The biggest limiting factor in getting people out exercising is usually motivation and what better way to motivate someone than to have a goofy, furry face eager to get out and join you!

As I said at the beginning of the blog, I’m not an expert but with the NHS prescribing exercise in cases of mild depression, it would seem logical to me that canicross is a great way to incorporate two factors known to help with depression into a daily routine. What I am sure of is that I always feel my spirits have lifted after getting out with my dogs and I would suggest that anyone struggling with stress or depression try a canicross session to experience the benefits associated with both exercise and interaction with a dog.

There's nothing quite like getting out in the countryside with your dogs for a run!

There’s nothing quite like getting out in the countryside with your dogs for a run!

5 Things You Will ‘Need’ When You Start Running Dogs ‘Seriously’

1. More dogs – it’s inevitable. The amount of times I’ve heard people say ‘one is enough for me’, then comes number two and then three and so on. It becomes addictive and you end up wanting more dogs, not just to enter more classes at events or cover more miles, but also because owning more dogs is more fun!

I started out with one and then rescued another two, dog number four is somewhere on the horizon....

I started out with one and then rescued another two, dog number four is somewhere on the horizon….

2. More harnesses, belts and lines – the more dogs you have, the more kit you need. Your dog will outgrow it’s harness or a newer, more comfortable, brighter coloured harness will present itself on the market that you have to have. You will decide it would be nice to have a racing belt, plus a training belt, in addition to the first belt you got which you decided you’d use for walking instead. We can help with this here:

http://www.k9trailtime.com/shop

This is a small selection of my spare harnesses

This is a small selection of my spare harnesses

3. More trainers – this is only if you haven’t already got a cupboard full of different makes and styles of trainers. The more running you do, the more trainers you will need. You might want to dabble in lighter weight, minimal trainers and then decide actually you were happier with the good old first pair you bought but now you find they don’t make that model anymore, so you have to try a different brand. Don’t fight it, embrace them!

Be prepared to create more space somewhere for the many, many pairs of trainers you will 'need'

Be prepared to create more space somewhere for the many, many pairs of trainers you will ‘need’

4. A van to put all of the above in and drive around to all the social runs / races you will now be attending because you want to be involved in as many of the activities as you can. This will often involve travelling long distances and staying overnight in woodlands or fields with no facilities, so you might want to think about a campervan to save yourself the hassle of upgrading at a later date.

A van will be preferable to home and transport all your dogs, their kit and your kit to and from events

A van will be preferable to home and transport you, all your dogs, their kit and your kit to and from events

5. More cake – as a direct result of increased activity with your dog, you will find that you need more cake in your life. The cake is your reward for having just run/biked/scooted however far and many events have even started catering for this by providing cake made by volunteers.

Cake is a must for self-reward after all the extra activity you're participating in with your dog!

Cake is a must for self-reward after all the extra activity you’re participating in with your dog!

If all the above appeals to you then you’re ready to join the ranks of the thoroughly mad in the world of sleddog sports and all you need to do now is figure out how to pay for it all! 😉