Looking at Morro Bay from Cerro Alto

Joe in the Ventana Wilderness

Joe in the Ventana Wilderness
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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cerro Alto is dog friendly

Warm weather is happening and hiking with dogs 
requires some extra planning .

Bellow is Sierra , my daily hiking companion .  This is her fourth summer hiking season . We have met many dogs in our daily hiking adventures and have witnessed many injuries and heat  strokes to dogs . In the last week I have given water to several dogs that were suffering from insufficient hydration on Cerro Alto . It breaks my heart to see dogs hiking with lack of water which usually happens because their hiking owners don't understand the the hydration needs of their dogs . My experience is when temperatures at the trail head warm up past 75 to 80 degrees on Cerrro Alto dogs suffer . They need plenty of water , pound for pound , they need more water than humans . Remember they are wearing a fur coat . Often dogs are not nearly as strong as their human companions and thus suffer more . The temperature is 15 to 20 degrees hotter on the exposed part of Cerro Alto than at the trail head which is shaded .
Tips :
  • My dog weighs 81 lbs. and she drinks 25 to 36  ounces of water in hot weather when climbing Cerero Alto .
  • My dog carries two 18 oz . bottles of water and a plastic bowl .
  •  If your dog over heats , ( insists on laying down , seeking shade or vomiting ) cool it off with water on their pads and body . Allow the dog to cool off in the shade as much as possible until breathing , panting , normalizes .
  • Many dogs have soft pads as they are not regular mountain hikers . Check their foot pads often can suffer cuts and damage easily . 
  • We carry a first aid kit which includes boots for the dog . ( two weeks ago my dog cut her foot while backpacking in the Ventana Wilderness  . I cleaned her wound , applied antibiotic cream and we continued to hike out 7 miles to the Jeep . )

snakes are active now , if your dog is not snake trained , keep it on a leash and keep your eyes open looking for snakes . Hikers often hike in groups and loose focus due to conversation .

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