There’s nothing better than hitting the trail with your favorite adventurous pup! Spending a day together outdoors while getting plenty of exercise is always a blast (even if it requires carrying a bit of gear around with you). Speaking of gear, are you making sure to pack gear for your dog when you go for a hike?
It might seem as if your dog won’t need much while out and about other than water and a snack, but there are actually several dog hiking gear essentials you should always bring along. Below you’ll find the top items you need to make sure your pup has an amazing (and safe) time exploring the world with you.
Walking and Identification
It doesn’t matter if your dog is the best in the world at obeying voice commands and staying with you while off-leash—you should always have a leash with you, just in case. You might go hiking somewhere that requires dogs to be leashed, or you could run into a situation where it’s safer for your pet to be leashed, so always remember to bring this item!
2. Collar and Harness
Both collars and harnesses can help you identify your pet if it runs off (especially if these items are colorful or have unique patterns). Better yet, you might opt for a collar with GPS tracking, just in case the worst happens and you need to track your pup down. And having a harness will make the hike more comfortable for your dog. Just be sure neither collars or harnesses are so loose they slip off!
3. ID Tag
While a microchip is likely the simplest way to ensure your dog will be returned if it gets lost, then found, an ID tag will also get the job done. (And even if your pup is microchipped, having an ID tag provides extra insurance for getting it home again.) Just put your dog’s name and your number on the ID tag and make sure it’s securely attached to your pet’s collar or harness.
4. Reflective Collar
If you’re planning on being outside after dark, then not only do you need light to see and something reflective so others can see you, but so does your pup. You could go with many options for your pet, such as a reflective or light-up collar.
5. Waste Bags or a Spade
Just because you’re out in nature doesn’t mean your dog can go to the bathroom wherever it wants with no clean-up. So, you’ll need to bring a few waste bags to pick up your dog’s poop. Or you can carry a small spade with you, so you can dig a hole to bury your dog’s waste in. Either one will work; it just depends on what you’d rather carry along.
Food and Water Necessities
6. Collapsible Bowl
You can never guarantee there will be water near a trail you’re hiking (or that the water will be clean), which means you need to bring water along for your dog. And that means you’ll also need to bring a bowl to put that water in. But who wants to carry a bowl around with them while out in the woods? No one, which is why there are collapsible bowls that are lightweight and easy to pack up that you can bring with you!
As we mentioned above, you’ll need to bring water for your dog on your hike since you can’t ensure clean water will be found on the trail you’re exploring (and your dog needs to stay hydrated, just like you!). But you’ll also need to bring food and snacks, particularly if you’ll be out and about for several hours. Your dog will be expending plenty of energy on the trail, which means more calories burned, so it will need at least a snack at some point.
First Aid Supplies
8. Doggie First Aid Kit
Unfortunately, accidents and injuries can happen while you’re off adventuring, so bringing a first aid kit with basic supplies is essential, just in case. Technically, you can carry a human first aid kit and tweak it a bit to fit your dog, but investing in a doggie first aid kit is probably the better option. Ensure it includes items such as hydrogen peroxide, bandages, tweezers, and antiseptic so your pup is fully covered in an emergency. Hopefully, the first aid kit will never be needed, but better safe than sorry!
9. Canine Sunscreen
You wouldn’t think it considering they’re covered in fur, but dogs can get sunburnt just like us! Especially if they have short hair, white hair, light-colored noses, or no hair at all. That’s why you should put sunscreen (pet-friendly only!) on your pup before heading out. You’ll want to put it on areas like the tips of the ears and the bridge of their nose (then make sure your pup doesn’t lick it all off) before hitting the outdoors.
10. Insect Repellent
Dabbing your canine companion with a bit of insect repellent before you join the insects and bugs outside is advisable, too. Do be aware, though, that some pups might have adverse reactions to certain repellents, so you’ll want to do a spot test sometime before a hike to see how your pup reacts. If you see lethargy or nausea, that’s not the repellent for your dog!
11. Emergency Carrying Harness
You’ll need this item in a worst-case scenario—one where your dog has cut up its paws so much it can’t walk, tore a ligament, or gotten into a fight with another animal and been injured. There are many ways your canine companion can get hurt enough to be unable to walk while outdoors. And if your pet is on the bigger side, you’ll need a way to carry it back to your car so you can get to a vet for treatment—but how? With an emergency carrying harness! The best part of this item is that it can fold to be super small and lightweight, so it won’t add much weight to the rest of what you’re carrying.
Extras and Additions
12. Doggie Backpack
Going on a longer hike means you’ll be carrying more, so why not let your dog help? Split the load between the two of you and let your pet take some of its own gear in a doggie backpack (working pups will greatly enjoy this!). Just be sure to keep the pack light, and don’t put a backpack on dogs under the age of one.
When traversing rough terrain that could injure your dog’s paws, it’s wise to bring along some boots for your pup to wear. These can prevent scrapes, scratches, and more, as well as keep bandages secure if your pet hurts a paw while not wearing boots. Some pups might be averse to the idea of boots, but if your pup will tolerate them, bring them along with you!
Hiking with our dogs is a great time, but it requires a bit of equipment on our part. When adventuring with your canine companion, you’ll need to remember to bring along all the essentials for your pet. This includes items such as food, water, collapsible bowls, boots, first aid kits, and harnesses for emergencies.
As long as you’re fully prepared before heading out, though, you and your dog will have an amazing time exploring the world!
Featured Image Credit: Thirdman, Pexels