Dog Altitude Sickness

Before I moved to FL from Colorado, I took a trip to St. Marys Glacier. St. Marys Glacier sits at about 10,000 ft. I had to prepare for the trip before hand due to altitude sickness that could make its self present with Toro and Lily. Yes, dogs too can get altitude sickness although it doesn't happen as often as with humans.

Altitude sickness for animals can become a problem above 8,000 ft. What causes it? Reduced air pressure and lower oxygen levels at higher altitudes.

Altitude sickness side effects:

  • vomiting

  • headache

  • fluid build up around lungs and brain (extreme cases)

  • Shortness of breath

  • Racing heart

  • lack of appetite

  • pale gums

  • drooling/panting/coughing

You should immediately descend to a lower evaluation if your pet exhibits any of the above symptoms.

Preliminary precautions you can take:

  • Keep your pet hydrated, they will require more water than usual (soak their dry kibble in water every meal for added hydration)

  • Limit pets physical activity at higher elevations

  • Start out a lower elevation for 24 hours - 48 hours to allow them time to adjust

  • Give your pet electrolytes regularly

Can your pets ears pop upon ascending?

YES. Try giving your pet something to chew on, this will help.

Should some dogs avoid high altitudes?

YES! Dogs with certain medical conditions or specific breeds should avoid high altitudes.

  • Flat faced breeds (pugs, Boston terriers)

  • Dogs with pulmonary edema

  • Dogs with heart disease or murmurs

  • Senior dogs