Back on Track Travel Mattress

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I have two Back on Track Dog Travel Mattresses, size small (19”x24”) and medium (31”x39”). The small fits great inside their Gunner Kennels (Medium and Intermediate). Packs down into a stuff sack, making it great for travel. Recently, I got the medium mattress. I have been using this in Kona’s crate that she sleeps in at night.

She has been suffering from a shoulder injury, and it’s been a process trying to manage and heal. When I use the Back on Track Mesh Rug, I can see a noticeable difference. She will occasionally sleep in it at night and you can see a difference in the morning from the nights she wears it to the nights she doesn’t. However, some nights it’s quite hot during these summer months and I don’t want her uncomfortably warm. To prevent this while still helping her find relief, I have put the Dog Travel Mattress in her sleeping crate. It provides extra cushion and the same muscle and joint relief from the Welltex science. Using these products in addition to natural supplements to her raw diet, such as Goat Milk and Bone Broth, along with monitored and controlled exercise I have seen significant improvement in her shoulder issue. 

To date (September 2018), and using the Back on Track products consistently over the summer, Kona has had no signs of a limp or discomfort for going on 3 weeks now.

The photos below show a comparison of the small and medium BoT Travel Mattress with Kona and Cali, plus a photo with them packed down in their stuff sacks and next to a water bottle to give you an idea of size. Then I tried to best show how the small BoT Travel Mattress fits perfectly in the medium Gunner Kennel. I also wanted to show what the small Mat looks like in the Intermediate kennel. The last photo is to show the medium BoT Travel Mattress in the Intermediate Gunner Kennel. You can see the Mat is much larger, and curls up the sides of the kennel. That Kona is a smaller dog she still has room, and it only provides her more cushion.

Back On Track Mesh Rug

I was seeing the Back on Track brand when I was at agility trials. I was curious, wondering how could this possibly help? With nothing to lose, I gave it a try. First, I used the Back on Track Rug for Cali. I followed the directions for use. For weeks, she would wear it before runs, in between runs, and after runs. She wasn’t looking stiff, sore, or weak. Still not knowing for sure how this would help her, I started using the Back on Track Back Brace for myself after my hikes, after trials, even during long car rides. The relief I got from it was incredible. I’m not one for medications, so to find something like this was most ideal. Being able to feel the difference when I used the back brace, I am confident, my dogs feel the same relief from any potential sore and stiffness from their long hikes, runs, or long weekends of trials. 

To read more about how the products work and see the line of products, check out the Back on Track Canada website. 

 

Wilderdog Sleeping Bag

Product: WilderDog Sleeping Bag

Price: $49US

Function/Purpose: Sleeping bag for dogs when camping, or an extra bed at home.

Fit: Measures 36" x 28" laid out flat, and 16" x 10" in the stuff sack, and weights 29 oz.

Quality: Made from rip stop fabric.

Features: Has a zipper that goes 3/4 around the bag allowing to have zip closed for added earth to your dog or unzipped creating double the space for your dog to lay on. 

Likes: Cali immediately took to this bed. It's plush making it a nice comparison to a luxury bed. While camping, as soon as it was bed time, she went in the tent and straight to this sleeping bag, where she stayed the entire night. 

Dislikes: I highly recommend the Wilderdog Sleeping Bag for car camping trips. Unfortunately, it does not pack down small enough for us to be able to take backpacking.  

Rating: 4 out of 5 Simply because we wouldn't be able to take this backpacking. Aside for that, Cali has shown how much she loves this bed, meaning this is a great product!

Ruffwear Polar Trex Boots

Product: Polar Trex Boots

Price: $50-$100 based on a 2pack or 4pack.

Function/Purpose: Paw Protection.

Fit: Varies depending on your dogs paw size and shape. 

Description: Boots made for colder conditions. Boots are a "high top" if you will. 

Features: Rubber traction bottoms. Velcro adjustment. Zip close upper. 

Likes: I like the zip upper fabric. Being able to cover the velcro strap portion is great for keeping water and debris out which causes the velcro to come undone or even loosen up. Boots are well made, and sturdy. The soles are rubber with traction. 

Dislikes: As of the times I've had both dogs wear these boots I haven't found anything I don't like. Boots can be a bit tough at times to get on, but what can you expect when you are putting boots onto a dogs paw. Both dogs at one point in the hike and snowshoe had one boot come off. Boot came of after a solid amount of time on, meaning, over an hour in. I don't know what boots stay on for an entire outing and on every outing. 

Other: I use the Ruffwear Socks (Bark'n Boot Liners) with the boots. I find it helps prevent chaffing, and covers over the dewclaw. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Gunner Kennels

Product: Gunner Kennels - G1 Intermediate

Price: $499.99

Function/Purpose: Multi-purpose. Vehicle safety. Anxiety relief. Sports. 

Fit: I can fit 2 G1 Intermediates side by side in the bed of my truck. I can fit 1 in the back seat of my truck. 

Description: Double-wall rotomolded dog crate. This kennel has been tested to withstand over 4,000 lb. of force, a 12-gauge shotgun at 7 steps, a 200+ foot cliff drop, and 630 lb. dropped from 8’4” – and earned the industry's very first Center For Pet Safety "5 Star Crash Test Rating" certification. - Gunner Kennels

This gives me the peace of mind that when riding in the truck they are safe in the event of an accident, because no matter how safe of a driver you are, you never know about the others on the road. 

Features: Top features include the double-wall construction which protects against UV rays, humidity, and chill. Crate has water-repelling windows, elevated feet, escape-proof door, drainage system and stainless steel hardware. 

During an agility match Cali was laying comfortable inside while outside was a warm and sunny.

Door has lock notches on the top and bottom, as well as, a key to lock at the door handle. 

The drainage system is one of my favourite features. Makes washing this crate so easy. See video here. 

Likes: Where to start. I am obsessed with these crates. Making sure my dogs are safe if the most important thing on my mind and knowing I can feel assured that in case we were in a car accident they have the best chance of not only surviving but coming out with little to no harm or injuries. 

Something I hated about past crates I've had are parts falling off, breaking off, and being hard to clean. Gunner Kennels are built tough. There aren't many pieces, just 3 main pieces and some bolts to hold the top, bottom and door together. Yes, you need tools in order to get everything on tight, but that beats the hand screw on's on the cheap crate you get from chain pet shops. 

Not having a ton of free time for things like cleaning kennels, these kennels have a drain plus at the back. Unscrew the plug, use a soapy mop and hose it out. Done! As noted above, see video here. 

Dislikes: The closest thing to dislike would be the weight of the kennel. It is on the heavy side. The only reason why this doesn't bother me is because I know it's because the main focus on these kennel is safety and I'm more than ok with that. I put this here in dislikes because I can see this being something others may not like. If you are the type to use the kennels for activities like travel or 4x4ing, you won't mind this. 

Other: Something I do when going to agility, locally, is put the kennel onto a cart to wheel into the barn along with my gear bag. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

Ruffwear Climate Changer

Product: Ruffwear Climate Changer

Price: $59.95US

Function/Purpose: Quick drying fleece for cold conditions.

Fit: Great fit for longer bodied dogs. Slight stretch making it fit a good size range within one size. Zipper closer on the size. Kona and Cali both wear a size S.

Quality: Made from recycled materials and polyester fleece. Breathable. Light weight.

Features: Reflective strips along the side and light loop on the top. This can be worn under the Ruffwear Quinzee.

Likes: This is a great item for warmth. My dogs wear this or the Fernie on every camping trip we go on, for freezing days and cold days, and cold agility practice nights while waiting between runs. I absolutely like this fits the length of my dogs. Something I have struggled with, however, Ruffwear has done a great job having items that fit longer bodies for excellent coverage.

Dislikes: This Climate Changer is the previous version and my only dislike was that there weren't more colours. Recently, there has been an update with new colours!

Rating: 5 out of 5. 

Ruffwear Approach Pack

Product: Ruffwear Approach Pack

Price: $79.95US

Function/Purpose: Backpack for dogs.

Fit: Comes in 4 sizes, XS to L/XL

Quality: High quality packs that withstand tough trail use. 

Features: Large and small zipper compartments on either side. Padded, adjustable straps on the front of the chest, bottom of the chest just past the armpits and stomach. Top handle. Leash attachment. Plus additional attachment, which I clip a bear bell to. 

Likes: The Approach pack has always been my favourite. This 2017 version is no exception. I find it to be pretty much identical to the previous years pack. It fits the dogs really nice, causing no strain or chafing. 

Dislikes: I would in the future like to see a waterproof pack. However, Ruffwear does have saddle covers which do the trick. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 

Pike and Arrow Tags

Product: Pike and Arrow Tags

Price: $18-$28CAD

Function/Purpose: Pet name tag

Fit: Different shapes and sizes to suit any size dog. 

Quality: Stamped brass metal.

Features: Unique shapes and stamps. Custom.

Likes: I love these tags. I have a few for Kona and Cali. All my K9 Adventure Hike harnesses have these tags stamped with Heeler Pack and my phone number for additional reassurance if any dogs got lost from the group. Tags have held up through daily wear, rain, mud, and the salty ocean. 

Dislikes: There have been no dislikes. 1 tag out of over 10 tags of mine broke off and it was replaced with no hassle. That tag that broke off had a different ring attachment that is no longer used and has been updated to something stronger. 

Rating: 5 out of 5

Ruffwear Commuter Pack

Product: Ruffwear Commuter Pack

Price: $99.95US

Function/Purpose: Backpack for dogs.

Fit: Comes in 4 sizes, XS to L/XL

Quality: High quality packs that withstand tough trail use. 

Features: Large and small zipper compartments on either side. Padded, adjustable straps on the chest and stomach. The harness style of this pack is that of the Front Range Harness. Inside the main compartment are small mesh pockets. There is a top handle, leash attachment, plus additional attachment, which I clip a bear bell to. 

Likes: This pack has a different appearance than the others with a more box-like shape. The capacity is less than the Approach, however, I found it holds all the same essentials we take out with us, whether hiking for a couple hours or a multi-day backpacking. One thing I really like about this pack, is the front clip for the leash, making it easier with a dog that prefers to pull. 

Dislikes: Like other packs, I would like to see a waterproof pack with all the rain we get. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 

Ruffwear Fernie

Product: Ruffwear Fernie

Price: $59.95US

Function/Purpose: Technical fleece sweater for cold conditions.

Fit: Great fit for longer bodied dogs. Slight stretch making it fit a good size range within one size. Zipper closer on the size. Kona and Cali both wear a size S.

Quality: Knit fabric with fleece inside. Quick drying. Light weight.

Features: Reflective strips along the side and light loop on the top. This can be worn under other Ruffwear coats. 

Likes: This is a great item for warmth. My dogs wear this or the Climate Changer on every camping trip we go on, for freezing days and cold days, and cold agility practice nights while waiting between runs. I absolutely like this fits the length of my dogs. Something I have struggled with, however, Ruffwear has done a great job having items that fit longer bodies for excellent coverage.

Dislikes: Kona and Cali both wear size S in both the Fernie and the Climate Changer, however I find Kona fits the sizes S of the Fernie a little better while the Climate Changer size S fits Cali a bit better than the Fernie. This isn't a dislike just a point to be noted that while very similar, the Fernie I find runs slightly larger than the Climate Changer. 

Rating: 5 out of 5. 

Odd Dog Co Travel Set

Product: Odd Dog Co Travel Set

Price: $52.32CAD

Function/Purpose: Food bag and collapsible water bowl for dogs on the go. 

Fit: Compact.

Quality: Outdoor canvas outer with a waterproof lining. 

Features: Roll down with clip for the food bag. Snap closure for the water bowl. 

Likes: I love the snap clip for the water bowl. This keeps it folded together and kept small in your pack. Both food bag and bowl are easy to clean. Both items are perfect for travel and camping. 

Dislikes: There isn't anything I don't like about either product. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 

Hurtta Torrent Coat

Product: Hurtta Torrent Coat

Price: $75.00US

Function/Purpose: Rain and wind protection with maximum coverage and freedom of movement.

Fit: Lots of coverage, long length fitting slim around the body with a wide range of adjustment.

Quality: Made from outdoor fabric.

Features: Adjustable strap around the waist. High collar. Tail loop snap. Back leg loops.

Likes: I love how sleek and fancy this raincoat looks. Best part for me is it fits the length of the dogs and covers lots of the back end, chest and shoulders. 

Dislikes: While the jacket looks cool, the function and purpose are lacking. There was an older model of this coat that I had some issues with. The updated version was no different. We get a lot of rain on the coast and I have found the underside of the coat tends to get a bit damp after being in heavy rain. The inside of the coat is a mesh fabric and I have found it holds onto odour. Unfortunately, one of the coats ripped within minutes of the dog running off the trail.

Rating: 2 out of 5 

Hurtta Slush Combat Suit

Product: Hurtta Slush Combat Suit

Price: $88.00US

Function/Purpose: To protect dogs fur from environmental debris such as rain and mud, also including road debris, such as salt. 

Fit: Full body suit, fitting semi-loose

Quality: Made from outdoor durable fabric. 

Features: Drawcord to cinch suit closer to the dog for a more snug fit and block out wind. Two adjustable snaps around the cuffs to provide a more custom fit around the legs.

Likes: The full coverage to seep dogs dry and mostly mud free. 

Dislikes: I do not recommend this suit in deep snow. First day of snow shoeing, the dogs wore their Slush Suit, everything was great. We were on somewhat groomed trails. Next day wearing them, we made our own trails in deep snow, the dogs kept getting their legs out of the back sleeves and Cali even ripped her jacket. Think this would be better suited for dogs in the city on pavement walks, not for the ruggedly active dogs. 

Rating: 2 out of 5

Ruffwear Bivy Bowl

Product: Ruffwear Bivy Bowl

Price: $24.95US

Function/Purpose: Packable bowl that can be used for water or food.

Fit: Compact and lightweight. Can hold 1.6L of water.

Quality: Waterproof seal, holding liquid inside. Bottom is made up of a non slip material. Mine has even had water left in it overnight in the truck, freezing to ice, and has not done any damage to the bowl. It's been used often daily, but always weekly for a year and have had no issues with it falling apart or losing it's structure. 

Features: Loop on the bottom in order to attach a carabiner to easily clip to a backpack. Not only collapsible but you can bend and twist this bowl to fit into smaller pockets of a pack. 

Likes: I like that this bowl is sturdy. The walls are stiff enough to hold the bowl upright and water in without becoming too heavy and water pouring out. It has made for a great water bowl on hikes, as well as, food and water bowl for backpacking and camping trips. 

Dislikes: For what this product is, I do not have any dislikes. 

Rating: 5 out of 5