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High Altitude Hiking

It's no surprise we love a good mountain adventure and it's always even better when we get to bring along our furry friends. With that though you need to be aware of how high you will be hiking and how it will effect your dog!

Did you know dogs can get altitude sickness just like us?! When hiking typically higher than 5,000 feet above sea level or higher your pups can be at risk for altitude sickness. So what are some things you need to watch out for when hiking in high altitude?

  • Your dog's hydration.

  • Activity Level

  • How long you let your dog acclimate to the increased elevation.

Just like people it can sometimes be difficult to tell when a dog might get altitude sickness, even when preventative measures have been taken such as allowing the dog to acclimate slowly and keeping them hydrated.

Possible symptoms of altitude sickness in your dogs include:

  1. Vomiting

  2. Excessive Panting

  3. Coughing

  4. Staggering Movements & Lack of Coordination

  5. Quickened Pulse

  6. Excessive Drooling

  7. Gums that appear paler than usual.

  8. Swelling of their face and feet.

  9. Lethargic/Loss of Energy

  10. Diarrhea

If you know that you are taking your dog to high altitudes, make sure you check your dog's gums on a regular basis when at home and on other hikes so you get familiar with their normal color. This will make it easier to recognize if something is wrong while hiking in higher altitudes and be sure to check them frequently. Reduce physical activity and take plenty of breaks when you know you will be heading into higher than usual altitudes. Monitor your dog's behavior carefully and turn back immediately if you notice any of the warning signs we listed.

In all we recommend following these steps and you and your pup should be just fine!

  1. Keep your dogs hydrated.

  2. Take short acclimatization walks.

  3. Limit the amount of exercise you do with your dog in higher altitudes.

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