Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hiking Safety for Dogs: Why Are Dogs in Danger in the Columbia Gorge?

It seems like there are quite a few dogs who go hiking with their owners in the Columbia River Gorge that end up falling, some as much as 100 feet or more! That is really scary. Here's the latest report - two in one week! So what do we do about hiking safety for dogs? Aren't we more sure-footed than humans? Apparently not.

So I've been hiking and haven't fallen. I think it's because I usually hike on fairly flat terrain and I always have my leash and harness on. Many dogs don't. I see them on the trails. Their owners think it is fun for them to run along the trail as free as a coyote. BUT IT IS DANGEROUS!
Here's some humans hiking with their dog who only has 3 legs. This is a tough hike.
I wouldn't go!

I've been reading about hiking safety for dogs like me. Here are some tips for hiking with your owner:

1. You must be well-trained and come when called. If you can't do that, wear a harness and leash.
2. If you are in a hilly area, are going to do climbing or are hiking a narrow trail, WEAR THAT HARNESS AND LEASH! You can fall. Dogs do it all the time in the Columbia River Gorge where I live.
3. Always have water. If you are not used to carrying water in your own backpack, have your owner carry it. A hike is not the best time to practice with a dog pack.
4. Always have identification on you. If you are microchipped, that is great but a collar with license and name and phone number is even better.
5. Have a first aid kit. Sites such as have a information about dogs, including articles about first aid. Petco and the Red Cross offer first-aid classes. You never know when we might run into something WILD on the trail!
6. Don't hike unless you are able to. Some dogs can't tolerate the cold. Some dogs can't tolerate the heat (ME!), so make sure your owner knows what is possible for you. (Humans don't like to carry dogs down a trail!).
7. Last but not least, make sure your owner cleans up after you. Have good trail manners.
Here's those same humans realizing they can't climb rocks with their dog.
And, someone has to help him down!

I think what is so dangerous in the Columbia River Gorge is that there are narrow trails and drop offs. Humans think ahead and see these things. But we dogs, follow our noses, follow squirrels and birds. We just don't think of our own safety!

Here's my simple, flat woodsy trail. No danger here. Besides, I have my leash and harness on!
I'm an urban coonhound. I just prefer simple, safe trails. In fact, my owner prefers that type of hiking too!

Love, Safety Cinnamon

1 comment:

  1. I've never really been hiking, but when I've gone places like da Grand Canyon or up in da Berkshires, I had my harness on.


Thanks for your comment. Love, Cinnamon