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safe dog
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Joe Pascale
(hewalkstoomuch) - F
safe dog on 05/29/2011 22:11:35 MDT Print View

Hi everyone! I'm new, so I hope this question is posted in the right place. I want to take my dog on an overnight hike with me in the Salmon River Mountains of Idaho. Note* I'll research where dogs are allowed, and obey all laws, but this is the general area I'm looking at. My dog is a boxer. She has hiked with me before, but always back East. She carries her own pack with her food and a small synthetic doggy bed. Her pack also holds a chew toy. I carry some benadryl in my first aid kit for her. I allow her to drink from my water bladder regularly. She is kept leashed at all times. What else do I need to keep her safe? In September, will she need her own blanket to keep warm at night? If so, what are some cheap solutions? Thanks a lot for any help

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: safe dog on 05/29/2011 22:44:21 MDT Print View

You could use a small synthetic vest for her insulation at night. I use a section of a closed cell pad(ridgerest) for my dog to sleep on.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
Doggy gear on 05/30/2011 00:32:20 MDT Print View

I carry a piece of closed cell foam and cover my pup with my poncho or jacket if needed. The dog I took last year does seem to stay warm easily as she always shead the covers and sometimes didnt even want to lay on her pad. I bring low dosage asprine and some second skin and steptic powder for pad cuts as I was advised to do dealing with sharp granite,but I have never had a pad problem with three different dogs Ive brought through the years. My dogs drink some pretty discusting water around here on occation and I dont worry about treating their water on the trail but might depending where I was hiking. Last year I had my usual altitude problems and I think my dog did as well she didnt want to eat and really didnt drink much. Lucky I was around a lot of lakes overpopulated with small trout cause she ate those just fine and I salted them a bit to help her drink. I bring a brush or rake to clean her up if needed. She packs everything she needs and I throw a little more of my food in her pack I let her carry 1/4 of her weight. I found some dog ponchos years back and will use them if it gets really cold and nasty. My dog I still bring is a border collie and she is from good working lines and has a good coat. She adapts well to the mountain climate. You might want to consider getting or making a jacket for a boxer as they dont have a lot of coat

Edited by mtmnmark on 06/02/2011 22:40:24 MDT.

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
dog gear on 05/30/2011 00:43:42 MDT Print View

I just noticed your other thread on gear lists I think I would go for the tarp with a dog over a hammock

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Wildlife on 05/31/2011 22:16:35 MDT Print View

How is your Dog with wildlife? Does it fight to get off the leash and chase it? Have you encountered larger animals with your dog? (Deer, Moose, Bear)

If your dog doesn't have experience with large animals or reacts badly to them make sure that you have a really good leash and harness combination that it can't get out of. Usually something with a full harness rather than just a neck collar. I also wouldn't count on just becuase your dog acts well around other dogs or people that it will react well around large animals.

The worst case scenario is your dog gets of leash and runs off trail and meets a Bear, agitates the bear and then runs back to the trail with the bear chasing it. Then you are in a dangerous bear encounter.

With deer and other herbivores the risk is more your dog getting kicked.

Just something to think about if you haven't had animal encounters before.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - MLife

Locale: The SouthWest
Re: Safe dog on 06/02/2011 22:37:19 MDT Print View

I would suggest leaving the toy at home - after a day or two on the trail, your pup will be pretty tired and I can't imagine it wanting to play. As for food, my dog also loses a little bit of appetite at altitude so I mix in some crushed dried beef liver treats (her favorite) with her normal food and try to feed her at least 50% more than I would at home. I also feed her a little bit throughout the day. I've heard puppy food is actually good food for hiking dogs because it's got more calories, but I've never tried it.

I think a good pair of dog booties is also very helpful. I bought mine from Woof Hoofs - they're the only ones that will stay on my dog's paws. I only make my dog wear them if I notice her paws are starting to get raw or if the ground is too hot (this happens in AZ). Just last weekend I ran into a SAR team that was carrying out a dog whose paws were completely shredded. Its owner got lost and they spent the night roaming. A pair of dog boots could have saved the dog a lot of pain.

The dog jacket is a good suggestion for keeping your dog warm. There's no way any type of sleeping bag would ever work for my dog. I just throw down a small pad and a blanket for her. The first night I backpacked with my dog, she was pretty nervous and played "watchdog" all night. I don't think she slept at all. We were only sleeping in a net tent. The next time I put the rain fly on and she slept all night. You might have to experiment with what shelter works for you and your dog. Some people prefer floor-less but I like fully enclosed since I prefer not having to leash my dog to something for the night. Then again, I pretty much never have to deal with a wet dog.

Kenda Willey
dog boots on 10/14/2013 07:45:30 MDT Print View

I've never used dog boots on my canine hiking companion before, but she does get cuts and thorns in her paws. Also, she'll be going winter hiking with me for the first time this year.
My main concern is dog booties hindering her when climbing over rocks, coming off or getting entangled in the brush, or just generally interfering with her sure-footedness.

Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Paw/Pad protection on 10/14/2013 09:00:02 MDT Print View

Try Musher's Secret to protect your dogs pads. I've never had a problem with my dogs' pads as we live in the same terrain we backpack in and they get plenty of training miles so their pads are pretty tough. But I still want to do what I can to make sure they don't have a problem. I've heard good things about Musher's Secret but mostly up here it was from people who were protecting their dogs feet in the winter. But I have read about others using it for walking on rough or hot surfaces and they were happy about it. I decided to take it along when we went to the Winds this year where they would be plenty of hiking on rocks. I put it on before we left and once during the trip. It's hard to tell how much it helped since he hasn't had a problem before but for the small amount of weight it was worthit to have a little insurance. I'd love to here how it does for someone who does have issues with their dogs pads. I also use Bag Balm on my dogs' pads about once a week for general care and to keep them strong but supple. I think that helps as well.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: safe dog on 10/14/2013 10:13:01 MDT Print View

A dog will keep going trying to be with you long after they are dangerously overheated or dehydrated. Keep a close eye on that and give them lots of opportunity for water.

Some dogs are not safe around cliffs.

You may need a handle on the back of the dog pack to lift them in boulder fields.

Simple canvas booties, homemade, with athletic tape around the top to keep them on, keep toenails and pads safe.
Also some walks on asphalt prior to the trip can toughen up pads. Don't overdo it, a quarter mile downhill run on pavement can blister a dogs pads.

Duct tape works on rock bloodied toenails.

Snow blindness at altitude on granite or snow can occur. A bandana over the eyes and a short lead if that happens. Stay on the trail then.

Kenda Willey
Re safe dog on 10/15/2013 18:01:39 MDT Print View

Randy, thanks for the tip about Musher's Secret. I've asked at the animal supply places in my small town, but they have more stuff for horses than for pets, so I'm going to order it online. For more regular maintenance of the paw pads, a friend told me about hair conditioner as an alternative to bag balm.
Dave, you mention duct tape for rock-bloodied nails. Do you wrap the tape just over the nail, or around the paw?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: safe dog on 10/15/2013 18:09:03 MDT Print View

"Snow blindness at altitude on granite or snow can occur. A bandana over the eyes and a short lead if that happens."

A famous California mountain guide had invested a lot of money in getting his dog trained for snow avalanche rescue. Then he got concerned for the dog's eyes. So, he had the dog fitted with Vuarnet sunglasses with a special dog head strap.


Sharon J.
(squark) - F

Locale: SF Bay area
sunglasses on 10/15/2013 21:38:27 MDT Print View

A cheaper alternative would be

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: sunglasses on 10/15/2013 21:44:32 MDT Print View

Doggles... with prescription lenses?


David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: dog boots on 10/15/2013 22:49:27 MDT Print View

I look (amazed) at and see dog booties for $50-$70-$90 / set. I thought I saw some for $10/set, but they were dog bootie LINERS!!!

Up here, where dog mushing is the state sport and I know 8 Iditarod mushers, mushers use home-sewn booties of nylon with a simple velcro closure. If they don't sew them themselves, they buy them for someone who does for $1/each ($4/set).

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
cheaper dog booties on 10/16/2013 15:23:15 MDT Print View

A client of mine did a survey of dog booties available in our area, trying to find the best booties that would stay on his old dog's paws and provide traction. He thought the Cabela's dog booties were the least expensive for the best value.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: paw care on 10/16/2013 15:55:57 MDT Print View

I do carry duct tape for first aid if my dog does some damage to a paw. I would try putting it back-to-back for most of the coverage so it doesn't rip hair and all loose trying to get it off. I'm sure Leukotape would help in a pinch. You could get pretty fancy with it and make claw holes, etc.

The other day he went flying off the front porch which has deck style planking and he got a claw stuck between the boards, ripping it loose when he jumped. It was left hanging by a thread and he was oblivious to any pain. I found out when I noticed the bloody footprints on the floor. The vet cleaned it up and took a couple stitches. He had a bandage on for a couple days and was dull normal from there on.

I did try booties on him. Watching him walk around with them the first time was hilarious, with him lifting his feet high off the ground with each step-- like a drunk mime on all fours. He didn't like them and he could throw one off too often when tearing around at high speed. I might have made a better effort if we lived around cactus and such, but I gave up.

Lou Z
(lugee) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Dog on 10/17/2013 10:55:05 MDT Print View

On summer nights, I throw a jacket (either a soft shell or down jacket over her and it keeps her warm.
On winter nights, she uses an old synthetic sleeping bag. I wrap her like a burrito, tie up the ends, and she sleeps like that all night (she's a short coat).

I check her paws regularly throughout the trip to make sure she doesn't have any cuts on her paws. She also carries some simple nylon booties in case of injury or on rough/hot/cold trails.

Because I use trekking poles, I use a carabiner and clip her leash (max 6ft) to my pack. This frees my hands and also maximizes my movements, while keeping her in check.

Edited by lugee on 10/17/2013 10:55:52 MDT.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Re safe dog on 10/17/2013 11:03:03 MDT Print View

Do you wrap the tape just over the nail, or around the paw?

Just the paw. We used pretty blue on our girl.

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
stretch tape on 10/18/2013 16:34:54 MDT Print View

I always carry the stretchy cloth sports tape that is lightly adhesive. It is about 3" wide. It can be used to wrap cut or hurt paws and will stay on.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
It's Called "Vet Wrap" on 10/18/2013 17:04:32 MDT Print View

That stretchy self-adhesive tape is called vet wrap, and it's MUCH cheaper if you buy it in a pet/feed store; if you buy it as "sports tape" in a pharmacy or sports store, it's about 3 times more expensive...and it's exactly the same stuff (only the vet wrap comes in funkier colors, as well as fleshtone).