It’s common to bring pets on short hikes. However, if you’re looking at a trip that will have you going higher or further than usual, you will need to be careful. This doesn’t mean that you can’t take your pet—simply that you might need to make a few adjustments.
The most important thing you may have to do is allow your pet to adjust to the higher altitude, particularly if you will be climbing higher than you normally do or if you start out from an already high altitude. Pets can react to changes in altitude just like people can, so you need to take this into consideration. You may need to start out slowly, and increase your altitude gradually.
The next thing you will need to do is determine if there is the chance that weather extremes can occur. Even at a few thousand feet, it may be several degrees cooler than the lower elevations, so you may need to pack an extra blanket or other protection for your pet.
Is your pet going to be walking and climbing with you, or will you be carrying it? If it’s the first, make sure your pet’s paws are in good condition, especially if the terrain is rougher than what they are used to. If you will be climbing high enough to encounter snow, remember that pets’ paws can become frostbitten just like human extremities.
Don’t forget to carry plenty of water. The thin air at higher altitudes can sometimes lead to increased thirst.
Before you leave, make sure your pet insurance is up to date, or take some out if you haven’t already. This way, you will have coverage should your pet become injured while mountain climbing with you.