I have 2 dogs who are the love of my life, Addison and Adler, both Australian Silky Terriers. Addison is 6 years old, a retired AKC Champion and Adler is a 9 month old puppy.
I started hiking with Addison back in 2016 when I started spending summers in Cuchara. My friend Pamela and I would wander her property and the pups were always with us. Addison LOVES the trail and I caught this photo the first day she hiked with me in the mountains.
My puppy, Adler, is just learning to hike with me. His first hike wore him out for the rest of the day and we barely went 1 mile. So, I started thinking, there are things you need to be prepared for when you hike with your pups. Pups can get in trouble, just like us, without the right precautions.
Mountain temps can change frequently. What starts out as a beautifully, pleasant sunny day, can turn dangerous in a flash. Lightening, thunder and flash floods in the summer and snowfall in the fall, winter and spring can turn a nice little outing into a nightmare. Be sure you check the weather before you go and take precautions to protect Fido should the weather turn.
LENGTH OF HIKE
“Don’t let your dog’s first hike be a fourteener. It’s important to always be aware of your dog’s stamina and make sure they’re physically fit for a long hike prior to hitting the trail. The recommended length of hike can vary greatly by dog, but prior to any strenuous hike, a number of easier hikes should have taken place already. These other hikes can provide a nice baseline that can help allow an owner to properly access their animal’s abilities.” Out there Colorado
NOT ALL DOGS ARE CREATED EQUALLY
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Some with long hair may get hot quicker than those with shorter hair. Those with short hair could get sunburned, especially at higher elevations. Those with short noses could have more trouble breathing. Take into consideration. Your pups ability, age and experience. Don’t take your pup on his first hike to a fourteener.
BRING EXTRA SUPPLIES
You probably start you hike with a few snacks and maybe a bladder full of water. Keep in mind Fido will need nourishment as well. Humans and animals expend a lot of energy hiking up and down hill, so remember to bring some treats and a water bowl for mans best friend.
HAVE A BACK UP PLAN
If your dog should get in trouble while hiking, like getting something stuck in their foot, or just plain exhaustion, have a plan to get your pup safely off the mountain. Having to carry even a 10 lb dog in your arms down a mountain can be exhausting. Know you and your pups limits and always have a back up plan to get safely back home!