Hiking with your dog in hot weather

When taking your dog along on hikes, please ensure you bring enough water not only for yourself, but your best friend as well. The hike doesn’t need to be very long or with steep ups and downs, it can be short and flat – it’s all about the sun, (hot rocks will burn their pads), temperature and humidity. Maybe even consider NOT bringing your dog. There is a wealth of information available so do your homework about the trail, the weather conditions and time of day before you head out. For general first aid information: American Veterinary Medical Association

Below is a report from last year of a NYS DEC rescue involving a distressed dog on a hike and is provided here in it’s entirety. So please, think about the consequences before you go out.

Town of Keene
Essex County
Pet Distress Reminder: On June 21 at 2:45 p.m., DEC’s Ray Brook Dispatch received a call from a hiker advising that they were coming down Giant Mountain when their 75-pound Golden Retriever collapsed about one mile from Chapel Pond parking lot. The hiking party had started their trip at approximately 7 a.m. up the Ridge Trail and neglected to bring enough water for their dog. About halfway up the trail, the dog began to struggle and the group turned around to head back down. The dog collapsed from heat exhaustion just above the junction for the Ridge Trail and Giants Nubble. An Assistant Forest Ranger working in the area was notified and quickly found the distressed dog. The dog was carried to the Washbowl waterhole and placed in the water. After cooling the dog and giving it time to rest and rehydrate, the dog was able to make it back down the trail without further assistance.

Every summer DEC’s Forest Rangers receive calls for dogs in distress on hot summer days. Pet owners sometimes overestimate their pet’s physically fitness and capacity to walk on scalding hot rocks. DEC warns pet owners to avoid bringing dogs hiking with them in the summer. Dogs are at risk of heat exhaustion and death. If a dog collapses from exhaustion, owners are advised to get the animal to a shaded area as quickly as possible and cool their feet, which is the most effective way to help an overheated dog.