Written by Jennifer Evans, DVM
I just got back from a road trip through the mountains of Northern California with my 4 year old Lab, Ventana and we had a great time! We started in Mount Shasta then drove west to the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area, and finally home by way of the Pacific Coast. Ventana was raised as a Guide Dog Puppy until she was 9-months-old when she was dropped from the program because she was too small (she’s only about 40# as an adult pure-bred Lab!), so she was especially easy to take on a trip like this. We had a great time hiking in the mountains and even got snowed on a bit! Ventana seemed to enjoy staying warm in her new jacket but the boots we tried were another story!
Dogs can wear holes in their pads of their feet if they walk too far on rough surfaces and I have seen many dogs with this after backpacking trips or long hikes. Ventana has boots I got her this summer but they were a bit too big and though she accepted them, they tended to create raw spots from the straps. Unfortunately, I tried her new set out on a 7-mile hike over rocky terrain. She absolutely hated the new boots! I’m not sure what was different about them but they really stressed her out and we couldn’t keep them on. Thankfully her pads held up for the entire hike and we’ll try new ones out on shorter distances in the future!
It was an all-around fantastic experience and I’m looking forward to the next road trip with my girl!