Man with dog

Let’s face it. Chances are, if you live in Billings you do so because you love the great outdoors. Our landscape is unlike any other. From the Pryor Mountains to the south, to the Crazy Mountains to the west and everything in between, the picturesque terrain of Montana is irresistible, for dogs and dog owners, too. 

Taking your dog into the mountains of Montana takes a little common sense and general know-how if it’s going to be done right. Keeping your pet safe in the wild isn’t just a matter of chance.

Safety First

Before heading out with your pet—be it to the dog park, the mountains, or on a cross-country road trip, be certain that your pet is wearing current tags, has his or her microchip information up to date, and is current on all of his or her vaccinations.

Each of these things is critically important to the safety of your pet. Don’t think that just because your dog is wearing tags that microchipping isn’t important, or vice versa. Tags can fall off, and in the backcountry microchips can’t be read. Likewise for your pet’s vaccinations, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when rattlesnakes, heartworm, and rabies are a concern.

Leave No Trace

This guiding principal of enjoying and preserving our environment applies to pets too. Not only is picking up after your pet a common courtesy to other nature enthusiasts, but it’s a matter of safety as well. Just as food attracts wildlife to a campsite, so do the droppings of domestic animals in a wild environment.

Even if you’re just out for a hike, this is an important practice to keep up on. Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, it’s just the right thing to do.

Keeping a Short Leash

Many dog owners may think that the trails and wilds surrounding our community are the ideal place to let dogs explore off leash. But even the most well-trained dogs are still animals at heart, and when they catch an intriguing scent, they will follow it.

Poetics and obedience training aside, there is also the chance that your pet may be attacked by the local wildlife, too. Coyotes and rattlesnakes are just one type of wild animal you and your pet may encounter when on the trail. Mountain lions, bears, moose, elk, and big horned sheep are all realities as well.

Common Sense

Common sense goes a long way in Montana, and that is doubly so when you’re in the mountains. Keep up with the best practices of pet ownership while in the wilds and you should be fine. Remember to bring plenty of water for you both, a little snack for the road, and follow our advice here. And, of course, should you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Happy trails!