Consider carrying your dog when hiking to avoid burned paws, suggest Park Rangers

Smiling man carrying chihuahua on shoulder
(Image credit: Getty)

Carrying your dog, sticking to boardwalks rather than asphalt, and ending your adventure early to rehydrate are all good ways to help keep your pup safe and comfortable when the two of you are hiking together in the warmer months, according to the National Park Service.

Temperatures in many National Parks are soaring to record levels, and Protection Rangers at Yosemite have responded to several incidents over recent weeks where dogs have suffered blistered paws from hot roads and dehydration due to the unusually hot weather.

"The only hot dogs we want to see this summer are those covered in ketchup and mustard, so please never leave dogs alone in cars, and avoid activity in the middle of the day when it’s the hottest," Park Rangers wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. "If you are feeling too hot, it is definitely also too hot for your dog to be out."

If you're not sure, placing your palm on the ground will soon tell you whether it's too hot for your dog's feet.

Exploring National Parks with your dog

Some National Parks are better suited to dogs than others. While you can walk your pup on fully paved roads, sidewalks, and cycle paths at Yosemite, you can't take them onto trails (even if you carry them) or in wilderness areas due to the park wildlife.

If you want to explore a park with your four-legged friend this summer, you might be better off choosing one where dogs are allowed on trails, which are likely to be cooler underfoot and may be shaded from the sun by vegetation. New River Gorge in West Virginia, Congaree in South Carolina, and Wrangell-St Elias in Alaska all allow dogs on hiking trails (and Wrangell-St Elias permits them in the backcountry as well, which is very unusual).

For more tips to help you and your pet have a great vacation together, see our guides to the best National Parks for dogs and hiking with a dog.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.