Girl and dog getting ready to hike.

Between rolling foothills in the West and rugged peaks of the High Sierra in the East, there’s no shortage of amazing views in El Dorado County. With the Lake Tahoe Basin right out our backdoors and the desolate beauty of the Eldorado National Forest at our fingertips, most dogs (and their humans) are excited to explore this natural playground. It’s time to take your dog hiking in the El Dorado Hills, and we can help you prepare for a truly memorable day trip.

A Real Evaluation

If your dog is fully vaccinated, skilled at walking on-leash, and responsive to certain life-saving obedience commands (like leave it or come), they are probably ready to embark on hiking adventures with you. Young dogs that are still learning how to properly behave in public can definitely get a lot out of spending time in nature. They may just need a little extra help navigating the sights, sounds, smells, and overall experience of hiking.

On the other hand, an older dog unaccustomed to vigorous exercise or a pupper with a medical condition might not be able to hit all the trails nearby. Start slowly, allow them to set the pace, and take breaks often. A wellness exam could clue you into possible health conditions improved or exacerbated by taking your dog hiking. The more we know, the better. 

Weather Threats

We always recommend checking the forecast and the local news for any pertinent safety information. Storms, fires, and other emergencies are common threats to recreational activities, and might put a crimp in your plans.

Always take a pet first-aid kit with you on the trails, plenty of water, and healthy snacks. Pet sunscreen is a great asset for hikes during the middle of the day, but generally, your pet’s physical exertion is best scheduled in the morning and evening hours. 

Take frequent breaks in the shade, know your pet’s limits, and turn back before they get too tired. If you do end up on or near the water, be prepared with a snug-fitting dog life jacket. 

Take Your Dog Hiking

Folsom Lake Recreation Area is home to numerous activities, including camping, fishing, swimming, hiking, birdwatching, and picnicking. Rattlesnakes can be found here, so extra care must be taken when bringing your dog hiking on the trails.

Dogs are welcome throughout the area, but must remain on leash at all times. Check out these amazing trails, take pictures, and stay hydrated:

Other Nearby Options

The peaceful Sweetwater Basin Wildlife Area boasts the beautiful Sweetwater Trail. Not to be outdone, the Eldorado National Forest offers an eye-boggling range of day hikes along dozens of trails

There are many more local trails to choose from in and around El Dorado. When taking your dog hiking, be sure they are fully vaccinated, up to date on the parasite prevention medication, microchipped, and physically prepared to handle the terrain and weather. 

As always, call us with any questions at (916) 939-1705. Our veterinarians and staff members are happy to help you at MarketPlace Veterinary Hospital.