The Happy Beast - Blog - Exercise

Change a Pet’s Life Day

Here are four ways for us to change an animal’s life for the better this year (Which will ultimately make our lives better too!)


The motivation behind Change a Pet’s Life Day is to help animals in shelters and rescue groups find their forever homes. is an awesome site that lets you search for animals by breed, size and age or you can browse through all the dogs and cats in your area. You can find puppies and kittens or older animals who already have some training. Providing a great home for an animal in need is the ultimate way to change their life!


If you’re not ready to commit to keeping an animal for the rest of his life, consider fostering! Most rescue groups are based solely in fosters homes and many shelters rely on fosters for animals who are stressed by the shelter situation. Dogs in foster homes tend to find their forever family faster than ones in shelters because they’re out and about meeting friends and neighbors! (Be warned: many foster families “fail” the process and end up adopting their foster pup! It’s a happy accident!)


We’ve made a friend at The Happy Beast who volunteers for the Colorado Rabbit House Society in Broomfield- a rescue devoted entirely to bunnies! She told me they are always looking for volunteers to feed the rabbits, clean the cages and to take care of daily chores. How fun would it be to spend an afternoon with a whole bunch of rabbits??

Check out to find opportunities to volunteer with animals in your area. We can put you in touch with our favorite rescue groups too!

Exercise & Train

Behavioral problems are the most common reasons given when people drop their animals off at a shelter. While most of us can’t imagine giving up our pets, providing them with a balanced and active home can make sure we’re never faced with that dilemma! Make sure your pets get plenty of mental and physical exercise. Play with your cats and give them a variety of toys. Walk your dog, take him on hikes and teach him new tricks.

Alright, now get out there and change some lives!

3 Super Simple New Year’s Resolutions for You and Your Dog

Sticking to resolutions can be hard, but everything’s easier with a buddy. This year, let’s make New Year’s resolutions for you and your dog! Here are three easy ideas for you and your pup to do together.

  1. Exercise
    You don’t have to join a gym or start training for a marathon. To get started, take your dog for a walk around the block. Getting out for a ten minute walk promotes healthy blood flow, allows you to soak up Vitamin D from the sun and helps boost your mood, altogether protecting his you from stress and disease. Your dog will benefit from the mental stimulation provided by the ever-changing smells in the environment and the relationship-building power of leashed walking. (Read more here!)
  2. Eat Fresh Food
    YOU: Grab a salad for lunch or replace your afternoon sugar snack with an apple.YOUR DOG: Add a little life to your dog’s food! Dogs fed mostly kibble miss out on all the awesome nutrients and enzymes found in fresh foods. Adding a dehydrated food like Sojos or The Honest Kitchen is an easy way to provide the benefits of home cooking without having to do all the work.
  3. Take a Fish Oil Supplement
    Omega 3s reduce inflammation, joint pain and promote healthy skin, fur and hair! This one’s easy. Keep your dog’s fish oil next to yours, and when you take two, he takes one (or two if he’s a big guy.) I’ve been giving my dog the awesome Omega 3 supplement from InClover called Glow. She LOVES these little treats, and reminds me to give her one every day.

Happy New Year’s to all you happy beasts and good luck with those resolutions!

New Off-Leash Dog Laws for City of Boulder Open Space

Your dog’s GREEN “Voice and Sight Tag” will expire on December 31, 2014 and a new BLUE tag will be required for off-leash dog hiking in the new year. The City of Boulder program that allows dogs to be walked off-leash on designated open trails is going through a few changes. If you’d like to continue taking advantage of their awesome off-leash dog trails, here’s what you need to know.

1) You have to take a class.

Classes meet in Boulder and are offered every day (with lots of evening and weekend options!) It’s only an hour long and covers the expectations and requirements of the program as well as tips for having a successful off-leash experience with your dog.

Sign up here.

2) There are added fees for additional dogs and guardians.

The fee for one dog and one guardian is $13 for City of Boulder residents, and $33 for Boulder County residents. Additional dogs in your household can be registered for just $10/dog. Additional guardians must take the aforementioned class and pay a $5 fee.

3) Your dog must be vaccinated and registered.

  • You’ll have to submit your dog’s rabies vaccination records.
  • If you live in Boulder, you must register your dog with the city.
  • Boulder County residents who do not live in the City of Boulder do not have to be licensed to qualify for the program. (Most cities do require a license. While not required for the Voice & Sight Program, this would be a good time to make sure your dog’s license is up to date!)

4) You can register online!

Click here to register online.

Currently, requests are taking about 5 days to process, so expect to wait at least a week for your tag to arrive in the mail.

5) You have to follow the rules.

The motivation behind the updated program is to reduce conflicts between people, dogs and wildlife.

Here’s a sampling of the rules you will learn in class:

  • Your dog must always be within your sight and must immediately come when called
  • Your dog must not chase, charge, jump on or show any aggression towards people, wildlife, livestock or other dogs
  • Your dog must wear his Voice & Sight Tag
  • You must always carry a leash

Have more questions? The City of Boulder has all the details here!

Best Off-Leash Dog Hikes Around Boulder

We love hiking with Loki around Lafayette and Boulder, but we have even more fun on trails where he can off leash. Visit Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks website for dog regulations by area and to get information on the best off-leash dog hikes where you and your pup can both run free. You can also check out a full list of Boulder OSMP hiking trails or get other hiking/walking ideas on, which is a great resource for all kinds of pet-friendly travel and accommodations.

Finally, just a friendly remember that to be off-leash in Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks you need to have your current dog tags for the voice and sight control program. The program changed in 2015, and now requires a new tag each year. Check out their website for the latest info.

A few of our favorite off-leash dog hiking trails:

  • Gregory Canyon /Saddle Rock (City of Boulder link)
    Great trail with tons of water that starts at the creek and winds through mostly shady trees until the first steep climb. You can take the Amphitheater Trail for an even more uphill workout.
  • Mount Sanitas (City of Boulder link)
    A Boulder classic known by all. Take the Valley Trail or Dakota Ridge on the North side for a nice warm-up before the main hike or just charge the South side for a rockier, but shadier climb to the top. Just beware the crowds.
  • Enchanted Mesa (City of Boulder link)
    A nice, wide service road trail that can accommodate kid strollers as well as energy-filled dogs. A deceiving and consistent climb makes this trail a great choice for a good workout. And because the trail is wide enough for ranger trucks, Enchanted Mesa is also a perfect hiking trail for strollers, even a double-wide one like ours.
  • South Boulder Shanahan Ridge Loop (City of Boulder Info)
    We used to live in South Boulder so we may be biased, but this awesome loop trail is seldom crowded and always a dog-pleaser, including a couple of muddy ponds along the way. You can even use the North side of the loop for access to the trails up to Bear Peak.
  • Bobolink Trail (City of Boulder info)
    Right off Baseline Rd. on your way into Boulder, Bobolink is a flat trail that runs right along South Boulder Creek and has plenty of dog-friendly swimming spots. Dogs aren’t allowed south of the gate past South Boulder Road so we typically just turnaround when we get to that point and head back to the Baseline parking lot. Bobolink is a great choice when you’re looking for an easier hike, or don’t want to head all the way to the Flatirons.
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Do you have any favorites that we missed? Let us know in the comments!