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Dogs are the perfect hiking companion— they listen to you, they’re cuddly, and super appreciative for the time in the great outdoors! With the right training, safety guidelines, and preparation, taking fur babies to dog-friendly destinations across the country can be overall quite rewarding. Before setting out, you will want to acquire some basic essentials, some of which you might already have. While there may be some things specific to your pup that you would like to bring along, we’ve come up with a list of suggestions for hiking gear a dog might need.
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Reflective Leash or Light
Whether it be when letting them go to the bathroom, or just if finishing up after dusk, a reflective collar adds much-needed visibility for you and your dog. Clip-on lights are also available, and can easily be clasped onto a harness or other gear, adding even more visibility and overall safety.
Spending money on a good harness is a sensible investment. Overall, they aren’t very expensive in general, and the right one could add ease to the outing. The no-pull harness from Amazon has both a front and a back clip, and the front clips prevent energetic dogs from pulling too hard on the leash. This pick is also padded, for extra added comfort.
Rucksacks or backpacks are more than just something super cute to put on a dog (still stinking adorable though). They actually serve a purpose and will be the optimal place to store food that your pup will need on the journey. We love the look of this tactical pack, which is somewhat naturalistic looking, and just really precious. Be sure to balance the weight on each side when prepping.
Packing both a water bottle and collapsible bowl takes up more space than this clever contraption. Water goes into the base, and with a gentle squeeze will flow into a bowl that sits on top. When hiking, lugging around loads of stuff isn’t that fun. But you want to have all necessities, and this is an example of something that’s vital, yet thoughtful when it comes to space.
We know, this is another item that seems simply superficial. But when your pup is traversing a trail with possible thorns and rough terrain, they’ll be thanking you that you have protected their little feet. Definitely start training dogs several weeks before actually expecting him or her to wear them on the trail because it’s going to be weird at first. Kurgo’s dog shoes are durable and will prevent any sore paws.
Rain can be miserable and cold for dogs too, so just like you would bring along protective rain gear, having a simple coat for them is important as well! This pick is simple but effective. You don’t need something ridiculously elaborate, just something that’s going to repel the water.
First Aid Kit
Chances are, if you hike frequently with your dog, there will probably be a need for antiseptic and some gauze. Bringing along a simple first aid kit is absolutely essential, and the more rigorous the hike, and the more treacherous the area, you may want to get something a little bit more elaborate. But this basic kit will provide the most likely things one would need, and it’s lightweight and small.
In addition to food, bring along treats that provide quick energy, such as something with protein. Kind of like humans need trail mix or jerky, dogs will appreciate something special too. Merrick Power Bites are grain-free and natural. However, it could be fun to make some treats at home, with dog-approved ingredients.
Poop bags are a must because it’s just bad manners to leave any steamy surprises on the trail. Earth Rated bags are biodegradable, unlike plastic bags. So they’re a bit better for the environment, while you’ll still want to find a trail trashcan. The bags are in a handy dispenser that can clip on a leash or a backpack. So when the time comes, it’s easy to grab a bag and grab the dirty business.
Clean Up Kit
Things can get messy when traversing muddy trails and other outdoor terrains. A few simple items will help keep your pup clean while saving the interior of your vehicle. Opt for a fast-drying, high absorbent towel to bring along – one for you both might not be a bad idea. So if your pup wants to take a swim, or runs through a puddle of mud, cleaning won’t be terribly difficult. Some simple wipes can be good for scrubbing paws quickly or cleaning off other sediments.
Swiss Safe Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets
Both humans and pups need to have an emergency blanket in the packs when hitting the trails. Not only can they serve as a source of protection against cold, but the shiny material can also aid a signal for help, provide shelter, and can even be used as a solar oven. If ever caught in a situation where you were stuck on the trail, having a separate one for your dog would be helpful.