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What to Pack for Your Dog for a Hike in Colorado

July 9th, 2018 by Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

A woman carries a backpack with dog supplies while hiking with her dog.

A dog hiking gear list: From hydration to first aid

Getting ready to head out on the trails with your dog?

Wondering what to pack for your pooch?

Before you head up into the mountains (or just around Castle Rock), here are helpful items to add to your hiking gear list, so you can take good care of your dog.

#1: Water and a bowl

If your dog is new to hiking or you’re hiking on warm days, always err on the side of taking too much water for your dog.

That way, you can safely learn how much water your dog needs.

Be sure to give your dog water every hour, if not sooner. Any time you want a drink, give your dog a drink too!

Tip: You can find collapsible, dog water bowls to fit easily in your pack.

#2: First aid bandages for your dog

Here are the first aid items that Dr. Melanie always packs for her dog:

  • Bandage pads: Gauze pads or Telfa dressing pads
  • Bandage wrap (like Co-Flex or Ace bandages): If needed, you can gently wrap this stretchy fabric around your dog’s entire body or use it as a tourniquet
  • Medical tape: White adhesive tape to secure bandages to your dog

(If you need to improvise bandages, you could use a bandana or a sock.)

Dog first aid bandages for hiking

Examples of dog first aid materials for hiking: Front row – Bandage pads. Back row – Different options for bandage wrap and medical tape.

#3: Contact info for a 24-hour vet in your hiking area

If you’re hiking with your dog in the mountains or along the foothills, you may need to take action right away for wounds or even rattlesnake bites.

Before you head out with your dog, look up the 24-hour emergency veterinarian in the area you’re going to be in — particularly if you go there often.

Tip: Save the name and address in your phone, so you know where to head if you’re out of cell coverage.

#4: Capsules of Benadryl

You may want to take capsules of Benadryl in case your dog gets stung by a bee or bitten by a bug while out hiking.

Before you head out on the trail, call your veterinarian to get the right dosage and make sure it’s safe for your dog.

(If you’re new to the area and looking for a veterinarian, we welcome new pet families.)

A man hikes with his German shepherd.

#5: Tweezers

Ticks live in woody and grassy areas, so yes, your dog could pick up a tick while hiking in Colorado.

If you see a tick on your dog, use tweezers to carefully remove it.

Try not to detach the tick’s head from its body during removal, so the bite area will heal properly.

If you’re nervous about removing the tick, keep in mind that the most important thing is to get the tick out quickly.

Other items to consider packing

  • Dog treats/kibble
  • Baby wipes to wipe down your dog: If your dog has allergies, baby wipes can help you get pollen and dirt off your dog’s skin and paws.
  • A comb: If your dog has been walking in grasses or weeds, comb your dog to look for foxtail seeds.
  • An old towel: You never know when a storm may hit or your dog may take an unexpected swim in an alpine lake.
  • Dog hiking boots: These booties can take a little getting used to, so you may want to have your dog try them in your neighborhood first.
  • Dog hiking harness
  • Poop bags
  • A spare leash 

If you are new to hiking in Colorado…

Make sure you have the right essentials for yourself too. Here are 10 essential items to include in your backpack for a day trip to the mountains from The Denver Post.

Other articles that may interest you


Tips from a Castle Rock veterinarian: 8 tips to keep your dog safe & happy in Castle Rock


Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on what to pack for your dog on a hike in Colorado. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)

© 2018, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic

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