Hiking with your Dog in Colorado – Higher Altitude Treks
Hiking with your dog in Colorado’s higher altitude treks can be both spectacular and rewarding. If Fido spends lots of time inside, the chance to go out and experience new sights and smells while getting wonderfully exhausted can be a great change of pace. A tired dog is a good dog, after all! If you are lucky enough to be a dog owner living in Colorado, you more than likely possess somewhat of an adventurous spirit – we love it! But this part of the country is notorious for causing problems for hikers and their dogs throughout our beautiful Rockies: altitude sickness, dehydration, sleepiness, unpredictable weather, etc. So what does it mean for your four-legged best buddy if you want to bring him along on a trek?
Higher Altitude Dog Hiking Tips
- Stay hydrated. This is important in any hiking situation, but it is doubly so here. Bring extra water. And then bring some more.
- Vaccinate your puppy against the Parvo virus. The Parvo virus bacteria can be deadly to your pup. Be sure to keep unvaccinated puppies away from standing water, creeks, and streams and seek immediate attention if your dog displays Parvo symptoms.
- Try the switchbacks: those are the trails that zigzag up the mountain, allowing for a slower, less steep climb.
- Be considerate – clean up after your dog and provide space for other hikers to pass while keeping your dog under control.
- Follow leash laws – you don’t want to get fined for letting Spot run off the trail.
- Keep an eye on your companion – if they’re panting heavily or have slowed down, consider hiking back down to camp or your car. Check your pups paws to ensure they are not blistered or cracking.
- Watch out for other wildlife – know what to do if you should meet bears, rattlesnakes, deer, elk, etc. Be sure to keep pets on leash that may become aggressive towards local area wildlife.
- Check your pet for ticks at the end of your hike – ticks carry Lyme Disease, so if you find one, pull it out. If the area starts to swell, get to a vet.
For more information on great trails in the Denver area, check out our staffs’ picks of favorite Denver area dog hikes. And remember, June 6th, 2016 is National Trails Day. Celebrate accordingly!