Howls and Hikes takes advantage of beautiful day


The Healthy Spot plans Howls and Hikes all around southern California to promote healthy lifestyle and relationships between dogs and their owners. (Matthew Kirkland/ Lariat)

Owners and their dogs enjoyed warm weather and clear skies as Tara Berro, a trail guide and nature specialist, led them on paths along the cliffs of upper Newport on Sunday, Feb. 28.

Many different dog breeds were in attendance on the hike including pugs, chihuahuas, pit bulls and German shepherds. All sizes and shapes of dogs could be seen and the mood was friendly. The hiking group was as diverse as the dogs ranging in age and where the people traveled from.

People came from southern and northern Orange County and some dedicated dog owners, who had hiked with the group before, made the trip down from Los Angeles. The hike can be very rewarding for both the owners and the dogs. Spending time with nature, exercising and meeting new people are all positives that come out of the hike for the people and the dogs.

“I think its just people wanting to get out and socialize in the community, outside, in nature, with people and their dogs,” Berro said. “Its a great thing to do because most people have gotten a little bit stuck behind their computers.”

The hike around the back bay of Newport is challenging, spanning a little over an hour in total time and tiring out most of the dogs, but was completable by all.  Berro and volunteers from, The Healthy Spot, assisted any owners or dogs who needed help on the slightly more treacherous parts of the path. They were able to provide knowledge on both their products and the surrounding area.

The Healthy Spot, a dog wellness company that provides pet owners with organic food and eco-friendly toys, sponsor the Howls and Hikes events and provides volunteers. Their mission is to inspire healthy pet lifestyles by creating authentic experiences and fostering community, one pet at a time.

“The Healthy Spot is basically like the whole foods of dog food,” Berro said. “It is organic, it is whole, it doesn’t have all the crappy byproducts and things that dogs should not be eating.”

Howls and Hikes plans different hikes all around Southern California with dozens of people showing up on average for each location.

“[The Healthy Spot] is getting lots of response to these. So I think last time was about the same, thirty or forty people.” Berro said.

Multiple animal websites and blogs have events all over Southern California aimed at networking dog owners and helping them and their dogs achieve healthy lifestyle.