July 18, 2010 (Ramona) – Cal-Fire rescued four dehydrated hikers and a dog, but were unable to save a second dog that collapsed and died on the trail to Cedar Falls near Ramona on Saturday. The group had hiked more than two miles in temperatures over 100 degrees.
The tragedy illustrates the need for hikers to know safety tips for themselves--and their dogs.
“They had a little water, but they didn’t have enough,” Cal-Fire Captain Daryll Pina told ECM news partner 10 News. Three of the hikers (a woman and two teens) suffered heat exhaustion. Over a dozen hikers have had to be rescued along the same trail in recent weeks, including several evacuated by helicopter for medical treatment. Today, over a dozen Community Emergency Response Team volunteers passed out bottles of water and Gatorade to an estimated 50-60 hikers on the popular trail.
In addition to taking plenty of water for yourself when hiking, particularly on steep trails and in hot weather, pet owners should take extra precautions to protect their dogs. East County Magazine’s “Dog Blog” writer Dawn Celapino offers the following advice.
“Make sure your dog drinks plenty of water during your walks and hikes—especially as the temperature starts to rise. Remember that dogs do not sweat like we do—they cool off by panting, and through the pads of their feet and their nose.”
Celapino, who runs the Leash Your Fitness program for owners and dogs, added, “Some breeds are more susceptible to overheating than others. If you are going to exercise, try to do so in the early morning hours before the sun gets too high or later in the evening when it cools down. Remember, always have water ready for your dogs and don’t push them too hard.”
For more safety and fitness tips for your dog, visit East County Magazine's "Dog Blog."