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Acclimatize My Dog?

If I take my dog on a high-altitude excursion with me, should I acclimatize Fido as well as myself before we go?

Question:

If I take my dog on a high-altitude excursion with me, should I acclimatize Fido as well as myself before we go?

Submitted by - Jason, Vaneat, OR

Answer:

A good question and, unfortunately, one with almost no research behind it.

We know healthy dogs do well at high altitude, although they experience increased heart and respiratory rates, just like humans. Based on limited observations, some canines appear to get a doggy version of acute mountain sickness. Nothing out there, info-wise, tells us if dogs acclimatize as humans do. On the other hand, there is no harm and perhaps some good from giving your dog time to acclimatize.

We are sure dogs dehydrate, something more likely on higher ground—so keep water available.

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