Rafting with Dogs in Colorado
The ski season may be coming to a close but summer is knocking on the door as the sun is out more and more and the weather is finally breaking out of the 30’s. As the snow begins to melt and the water starts flowing down the canyons and creeks of Colorado, rafting season is soon to follow. This year’s water predictions look great, with the snow pack for some of Colorado’s most popular rivers above 100% of the average. With the water looking like it may get higher than last year’s incredible flows, now is when you want to consider who is going to be allowed on which trips this year.
The kids have grown up and are all great water men and women at this point, so they will be joining most of your trips, but what about rafting with your dog? Having your pooch on the water is a dilemma a lot of us find ourselves in but there are definitely guidelines on which trips are and are not appropriate for your pup. Quite a few dog breeds are great swimmers naturally but this does not mean they are ready to tackle the Class V Pine Creek trip. Keep in mind dogs do not have river awareness that you and I may have, so the only appropriate trips will be the lower class trips such as Class II and Class I. Class I and II may not be much for some dogs but you do not want to put them in over their head; make sure you bring a life jacket in case the dog tires before they can make it back to the boat. Additionally, if you are camping make sure you keep an eye out for them if they are off leash, as you never know how the hiker around the corner will react to Spike jumping out of a bush all slobbery.
As long as you keep your pup’s safety in mind, dogs are a great addition to a river rafting trip. For those interested in getting a jacket for your pooch check out Ruffwear jackets. For those who will not be rafting with their pups, remember to stay safe and have a great season!