You are here

25 Apr 2024
Related Items: 

Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, Summit County offers a vibrant escape perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Known for its world-class skiing, stunning scenery, and charming Main Street, Summit County is a haven for adventure seekers – but what about their four-legged companions?

We say paws up for bringing your pup! Summit County boasts many dog-friendly trails, parks, and shops, making it a fantastic destination to travel with your canine bestie.

We adore our dogs like family, but planning a mountain vacation with them can bring some challenges. Colorado has specific requirements that pet parents should know before hitting the trails with their furry explorers. These regulations might seem like hoops to jump through, but they're in place to ensure everyone's safety, including your dog's.

This blog will outline the essential guidelines for bringing your dog to Summit County, CO.

Think of the following information as your "mountain adventure" checklist! Once you've ticked all the boxes, it's time to unleash some fun for you and your furry friend!


Summit Dog Checklist & Documents

Before hitting the trails with your furry friend in Summit, it's important to ensure you have the proper documentation to enter the state of Colorado with your dog. Here's a breakdown of the documents you'll need:

  1. Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI)

    This document, issued by an accredited veterinarian within 30 days before you arrive in Colorado, confirms your dog's health and freedom from rabies exposure.

    Important Note:

    PACFA Licensed Facilities: If you plan to use boarding facilities, doggy daycare, or visit specific national parks in Colorado, they might require a CVI issued within 10 days of entry.

  2.  Proof of Rabies Vaccination

    To enter Colorado from another state, all dogs over 3 months old must have proof of current rabies vaccination. Your veterinarian typically provides a Rabies Vaccination Certificate at the time of vaccination, the information of which should also be included in the CVI.

Understanding the Two Documents

Note that these are not the same documents. While both play a role in your dog's health and travel, they serve different purposes.

The Proof of Rabies Vaccination is a simpler document, typically a certificate provided by your vet at the time of vaccination. It details the vaccine itself -— date administered, type, and expiration. Essentially, this document proves your dog has received the rabies shot.

Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) is a more comprehensive health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within a specific timeframe that goes beyond just rabies, performing a broader check-up on your dog's overall health and confirming they're free from contagious diseases. While the CVI might include information about the rabies vaccination, it serves as a more thorough assessment.

Carrying both documents with you ensures your dog enters Colorado in good health and hasn't been exposed to rabies.

Traveling Back to Colorado with Your Dog

If you're returning to Colorado within 30 days of departure, you don't need a new CVI. However, if your return takes longer than 30 days, a new CVI will be required upon re-entering the state. 

Additional Considerations

While not required by the state, some airlines or pet-friendly accommodations might have specific pet policies and require additional documentation.

Online Resources

For further inquiries or specific facility requirements, check the website of the Colorado Department of Agriculture. It's also a great idea to consult your trusted veterinarian for advice and any exemptions related to vaccinations for older or sick pets.

Why Going Through the Trouble?

Ensuring proper documentation ensures a smooth and worry-free trip for you and your furry companion. With all these documents sorted, it's all about enjoying your adventures in Breckenridge!


Leash Laws for Dogs in Summit County, Colorado

While we've covered the essential documents your dog needs for travel, Summit County has leash laws in place to ensure everyone's safety. Here's the scoop on keeping your furry friend under control:

  • Leash Required: Summit requires all dogs to be on a leash within town limits. This applies to public areas like streets, sidewalks, parks, and trails.

  • Leash Length: There's no specific leash length restriction mentioned in the town code, but a 6-foot leash is a common standard to maintain control of your dog.

  • Off-Leash Exceptions: Breckenridge does have some designated off-leash areas.  However, wherever you go, it's always best to double-check signage and local regulations before letting your pup run free.

Responsible Dog Ownership Beyond Leash Laws

Being a top-notch dog owner goes way beyond just obeying leash laws. Here are some other ways to keep your pup under control:

  • Voice Control: Even in allowed areas, keeping your dog under voice control is a good idea, especially in crowded areas.

  • Respecting Others: Be mindful of people who might be uncomfortable around dogs.

  • Clean Up After Your Dog: Always clean up waste to maintain a clean and enjoyable environment for everyone. More on this below.

And since we are at it…

  • Don't forget the essentials: Pack a leash, collar with ID tag, and waste bags for a smooth and enjoyable adventure with your furry friend in Summit.


Pooper Scooper Scoop on Colorado

Colorado takes a strict and responsible pet owner approach to waste management. Here's what you need to know:

  • Statewide Pooper Scooper Law: There's a law requiring dog owners to immediately pick up and dispose of their dog's waste in any public area, including trails, parks, and sidewalks.

  • Fines for Non-Compliance: Failure to clean up after your dog can result in fines, so be sure to pack plenty of poop bags for your adventures in Breckenridge and beyond.

Responsible pet ownership goes a long way. By following these simple guidelines, you can help keep Colorado's beautiful landscapes clean and enjoyable for everyone. After all, nobody wants to step in a surprise while enjoying the outdoors!


More Tips for Traveling with Dogs to Summit County, Colorado

Traveling with pets requires careful preparation and consideration to ensure their comfort, safety, and happiness while on holiday. Here are some extra tips to make the experience better:

Pay a visit to the vet before the trip

We already mentioned the importance of carrying the right documents with you when traveling to another state with your pet, and this will most likely require a visit to the vet.

But besides making sure your pet is up to date with all necessary vaccinations, a chat with your vet is very useful before going on a trip for other reasons. For one, they may recommend ways to make your pet calmer and suggest medication and supplements to take on your trip.

Also, this is your opportunity to discuss your pet's health and stress levels, and these conversations might be very revealing. As much as we love bringing our pets with us on holiday, sometimes the best thing for them is to stay at home with a trusted friend or family member or even with a professional pet sitter.

Fido Packing Essentials: Gear Up for the Elements in Colorado

Besides medications, health records, vaccination certificates, and the leash, there are many other things to pack when going on a trip with your pet to a mountainous and snowy region. 

Here are some items you might want to take with you:

  • Dog Coat: Choose a coat based on your dog's breed and the expected weather conditions. Consider factors like windproofing, water resistance, and warmth.

  • Dog Booties: Paw protection is crucial! Booties with good traction will shield paws from snow, ice, and rough terrain.

  • Reflective Vest: Enhance visibility during low-light conditions, especially in early mornings or late evenings.

  • Portable Water Bottle and Bowl: Cold weather can be deceiving when it comes to hydration. You might need to increase their water intake compared to warmer climates.

  • Paw Balm: Snow and ice can cause ice balls, cracks, or irritation. It's always good to apply paw balm after walks to keep their paws moisturized and protected.

  • A comfort item: It's always a great idea to bring along a "comfort item," such as a blanket or toy your pet loves. These items help to provide a sense of familiarity to whatever new surroundings they find themselves in and calm their anxiety (yes, like humans, pets also get anxious when going on holidays).

  • Grooming items: We want our little buddies to look and feel wonderful, don't we? So always pack some grooming items, like nail clippers and a brush, as well as clean-up supplies.

  • Waste bags: Remember to bring along waste bags to ensure you can responsibly manage your pet's waste during the journey. While you may find these available at many dog parks, it's always better to be prepared.

Pet-friendly stays

There are several options for pet-friendly short-term rentals in Summit County. These are stays that welcome pets alongside their owners, often providing amenities such as designated pet areas and pet beds.

Dog-friendly establishments

Besides pet-friendly accommodations, it's crucial to research pet-friendly establishments before you travel with your dog. This ensures you'll discover the best spots to dine and explore that warmly welcome your furry friend. Knowing in advance where your pet is welcome saves you from any last-minute stress or disappointments, allowing you to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Practicing with your dog in advance

If this is your dog's first trip, it's a wonderful idea to practice in advance. You can do this by taking quick trips in the car or on public transport with your pet to help them get used to it.

Reward them with treats, toys, or praise if they behave well and stay calm. This will help them feel more comfortable when on the move. It's also a good way for you to notice if your pet gets anxious or experiences motion sickness, in which case you can ask your vet for advice.

If your dog isn't used to cold weather, gradually acclimate them with shorter walks in progressively colder temperatures before your trip.


The Essential Summit County Checklist for Your Canine Companion

Summit County, Colorado is all set to embrace your trip! Just ensure you take care of the essentials mentioned above and consider the extra tips we provided. Then, it's all about having a blast—a truly unforgettable adventure for you and your furry pal.

Want more vacation tips on Summit County, Colorado? In our destination blog, we've covered extensive information about Breck, including the best coffee shops in town, where to go fishing and hunting, and a guide to local nightlife for some fun libations. And soon enough, more interesting content awaits you with great tips to make your travel experience even better.

How can you make your trip to Summit County, CO even better?

While in town, it's a great idea to stay in style with the breathtaking backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. At Great Western Lodging, we offer a superior selection of luxury properties, ski-in/ski-out options, and downtown lodgings, some of which are pet-friendly.

Staying in one of our properties, we guarantee you'll have nothing less than a 5-star experience during your trip to Summit.