hiking with your pet

We love our pets, and we love to have them with us when we experience the outdoors.  The good people of Boulder are some of the biggest animal lovers you'll find.  This is evident by just looking around when you are in Boulder.  Doesn't matter if you are in your car at a stop light, at a local micro-brewery, walking downtown, in Home Depot, or on the trails.  You will see man's best friend everywhere.  In Boulder, where we go, so goes our pet.  Boulder even went so far in 2000 to designate people as "guardians" of their pets, not owners.  Yep.

When we hit the trails, Jack, our 10 year-old black Kelpie, loves to go with us.  And he's not alone.  Most of the trails in Boulder allow for leashed pets, and some areas allow for pets off leash if they are registered with the city's Voice and Sight Tag program.  If you are visiting Boulder with your best four-legged friend and want them to enjoy a hike with you, almost 90% of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) trails are also open to them.  Restrictions are in place generally to protect the habitat of sensitive mountain and prairie spaces.  

While we know that no one who brings their pet on a hike would intentionally injure them, we have seen our share of injured pets on the trail.  Bloody pads, overheating, exhaustion, and thirst are probably the most common issues we see.  While our pets are generally in better shape than we humans, they are still susceptible to injury, sun exposure, heat, fluid loss and other issues that affect their well-being.  Remember, Boulder trails are often rocky, our altitude and dry climate can be intimidating, and stream water, plants and wildlife can be dangerous to our pets.  When preparing for your hike be sure to prepare for your pets as well.  Below is a flyer from Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists outlining what to bring on a hike when you bring your pets.  They offer a 24/7 Emergency ER care facility in Boulder at 3640 Walnut Street within the Aspenglow Animal Center, and can be reached at (303) 443-4569 if you ever have a pet emergency. They took great care of our Jack when he had a serious illness late on a Sunday night.

Click on flyer for enlarged image.