Take DogTrekker with you as you travel through the golden state of California. We'll help you find dog-friendly hotels, restaurants, hikes, beaches, wineries and so much more!
Elder dogs still want to have fun, even if the pace is a bit slower. Eyes may be dimmer, joints creakier, and naps longer, but new sights, sounds, and sniffs help keep life interesting—for all of us.
On the path at Lake Del Valle. Photo: Mary Eisenhart
Back in the day, Bosco used to love to join you in long-distance runs and near-vertical scrambles up challenging trails. Now, not so much — but he still needs regular exercise to stay healthy, and hey, so do you. So there's a lot to be said for a nice, flat, paved path, with plenty of scenery and sniffing opportunities to enjoy as the spirit (or the scent) moves you. more »
If you're trying to sniff out a place with scents galore for Snuffy, oil-painting vistas for you, and lots of opportunities to explore at your own pace, head for one of California's many dog-friendly botanical gardens
. There you'll find easy paths for on-leash meandering, plus inviting picnic grounds, well-placed benches, and photo opportunities galore. Spring flowers are especially showy right now, but each season brings its own delights. Now's the time to see spectacular rhododendrons, heritage roses and wildflowers at the Mendocino Botanical Garden
, a perennial reader favorite, and for good reason. Bring a picnic lunch, find a nice table overlooking the ocean, and enjoy the view. (Didn't bring lunch? No worries. Find sustenance for dogs and peeps at Rhody's Garden Café
.) more »
Kayla's first swim of 2015, at Donner Lake
When we asked our readers about their favorite places to share with their senior dogs, The Beach was at the top of the list, and luckily we have quite a few in California
. A tide table is your friend here — depending on your preferred activity, conditions may be better at high or low tide. Especially if your four-legged geezer is not one for crowd scenes and blazing sunshine, plan your outing for the early-morning or early-evening hours. more »
When it comes to traveling with senior dogs, the good folks at Muttville Senior Dog Rescue have accumulated a lot of practical wisdom over the years. So we asked them to share it with us. Here are their tips for making your next DogTrek fun for all.
What to Pack
- License, rabies tag and meds.
- Comforts of home: heir favorite bed/blanket so they feel cozy and secure in the car and at your destination. The cushier the better for those older joints.
- Extra food, so you don't have to switch to something your dog's tummy isn't used to if you have to extend your trip. Also bring plenty of the water he's used to from home to avoid stomach upset.
- A carrier, even if you don't turn out to need it much. If your dogs get restless in the car, for example, they'll be much safer in their carrier, and you won't be a distracted driver.
- An old towel or cleanup wipes; bring an extra sheet to cover the bedspread at your destination. If your dog has incontinence issues, pack extra pee pads. Especially recommended: reusable/washable hospital underpads.
Shelley, Office manager
They may be getting up in years, but senior dogs still want to have fun. Getting out and about with their beloved folks is a big part of keeping them happy and healthy.
Just ask Shelley, who will celebrate her 16th birthday on May 1. She's one of the resident dogs
at the Lily's Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary
, and takes her responsibilities as office supervisor quite seriously. From the time she arrived at age 14, Shelley’s hind legs were a bit wobbly, but it didn’t slow her down. Then, a few months ago, her hind-end weakness reached a point where she couldn't stand up. Shelley became depressed. Luckily, a kind benefactor got her a set of custom wheels, which quickly restored her zest for life and access to the outside world. more »