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Taking Fido To The Mountains

May 16 2023

Do you enjoy going hiking? Man’s Best Friend can make a great trail buddy! Exploring a pretty trail with Fido can be a great way to get away for a while and unwind. It’s also great exercise for both you and your pooch. However, there are things to keep in mind. A Martinez, CA vet offers some advice on this below.


First things first: Fido should be microchipped, wearing ID tags, and current on his vaccinations and parasite control. You may also want to get him some GPS tags.


Bring a small back along for Fido. This should contain food, water, waste baggies, collapsible dishes, and a pet first-aid kit. Stronger dogs may be able to carry their own gear in a harness. As for the water, consider getting a portable doggy water bottle with a dispenser. 


Before taking your dog on any strenuous hike, make sure he’s up for it. If your pup isn’t very active, build his endurance up slowly before taking on a tough trail. Hiking won’t be suitable for all of our canine companions. Very small dogs and very large dogs may both tire out fairly quickly, which is something to consider. Seniors, puppies, nursing mamas, and pooches that are sick or injured are also best off staying at home. If you aren’t sure whether Fido will be a good trail buddy or not, check with your vet. 


Fido is naturally very curious. This is cute, but can also be dangerous. Don’t let your furry friend sniff around in areas that could be housing snakes or other wildlife. You’ll also need to be careful with plants. Foxtails are a major concern, as they have sharp seeds which can burrow into your pet’s skin. The ASPCA has more information here


Training can go a long way towards keeping your canine buddy safe. Make sure that Fido obeys simple commands, such as Sit, Stay, and Come.

Mount Diablo

Planning to take Fido to Mount Diablo? Dogs aren’t allowed on the trails or fire roads. You’ll need to keep to the dog-friendly areas, which are generally the developed areas. You’ll also need to keep your furry buddy leashed during the day and in your tent or vehicle at night.  

Our Advice on Taking Fido To The Mountains

What precautions should be taken before hiking with your dog?

Before hiking with your dog, ensure they are microchipped and wearing ID tags for easy identification. Confirm that their vaccinations and parasite control are up to date to protect against disease and pests. It’s also wise to have a vet check your dog’s overall health to ensure they’re fit for the hike. Bring essentials like water, food, a leash, waste bags, and a pet first-aid kit. Consider the trail’s difficulty and your dog’s fitness level; start with more accessible trails if your dog isn’t used to strenuous activity. Be aware of the local wildlife and terrain to avoid potential hazards.

What essential items should you bring for your dog on a hiking trip?

On a hiking trip with your dog, essential items include a leash and harness, water and a portable bowl, dog food and treats, waste bags, and a pet first-aid kit. If the hike is long, consider a dog backpack for carrying their supplies. Also, bring a tick remover and flea comb for post-hike checks. Protective gear like booties can safeguard your dog’s paws if you’re venturing into rough terrain or for an extended period. Always have current ID tags on your dog, and consider a GPS tracker for added safety. These items ensure your dog’s comfort and safety during the hike.

How can you assess your dog’s readiness for a strenuous hike?

To assess if your dog is ready for a strenuous hike, consider their current level of physical activity and overall health. Gradually increase their exercise intensity over time and observe their response. Dogs should be able to handle moderate walks comfortably before attempting more challenging trails. Watch for signs of fatigue, discomfort, or reluctance. It’s essential to ensure they are in good health, so a veterinary check-up is advisable, especially for breeds with known health issues or older dogs. Dogs with joint problems, heart conditions, or respiratory issues may not be suitable for strenuous hikes. Assessing your fitness level and consulting your vet can help determine if your dog is ready for challenging outdoor activities.

What types of dogs might not be suitable for hiking?

Dogs that may not be suitable for hiking include young puppies, seniors, nursing mothers, and dogs with health issues like heart conditions, respiratory problems, or joint pain. Brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed, like Bulldogs or Pugs) often struggle with strenuous exercise due to breathing difficulties. Large breeds prone to hip dysplasia or tiny dogs that tire easily might find hiking challenging. Each dog is unique, so it’s essential to consider individual health, breed characteristics, age, and stamina. Consulting with a veterinarian can guide whether a specific dog is suited for hiking.

What are some safety concerns for dogs while hiking in the mountains?

When hiking in the mountains with dogs, safety concerns include encountering wildlife, which can be dangerous for the dog and the animal. Uneven or rough terrain can lead to injuries, such as cuts, bruises, or sprains. Dogs may also be exposed to ticks and other parasites, which carry diseases. Dehydration or overheating, especially in warm weather, is a risk, as is hypothermia in cold conditions. Plants like foxtails can be harmful if lodged in a dog’s skin or paws. Keeping dogs on a leash, carrying a first-aid kit, and monitoring for signs of fatigue or distress are essential precautions. It’s also important to ensure dogs are well-trained and responsive to commands in unpredictable outdoor environments.

Do you need to make an appointment for your furry friend? Contact us, your local Martinez, CA animal clinic, anytime!

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