11 Top Dog Hiking Gear Picks to Power Up Your Adventures

Make sure you have these dog hiking gear items before hitting the trail with your best bud.

Updated February 15, 2024
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Hiking golden retriever dog with backpack standing on a cliff overlooking a mountain valley

Hiking with your dog isn't just another walk in the park. Being out in rugged terrain means you'll need to be prepared with apparel for both you and your canine friend. Whether you're enjoying a short, leisurely hike or planning a backpacking adventure, these items can help you keep your dog safe, comfortable, and cool. 

Whether you're hiking an on-leash trail, or your pup's voice commands just aren't so great, consider the Tuff Mutt bungee leash. The hands-free design allows you to trek up the mountain without having to occupy one hand with a leash. The waist belt can extend up to 42 inches, and the clip is incredibly secure, so you don't have to worry about it coming undone. You can also use this leash for morning walks when you need your hands free for a cup of coffee when you're not hiking.


There are numerous dog packs on the market, but the RUFFWEAR Front Range Day Pack is the best of the best. It includes formfitting saddlebags that can hold your dog's items or a tracking device, so you can enjoy peace of mind that you'll know your buddy's location. Plus, it doubles as a harness with the same great design and fit featured in their Front Range Harness. You can find it in sizes XS to XL. For those unfamiliar, RUFFWEAR is a well-known and respected brand for its toughness and durability — exactly what you'd want on a hike.

Hiking can do a number on a dog's paws, which is why the RUFFWEAR Grip Trex booties are perfect for adventure dogs. These actually fit securely on your dog's feet and don't slip down. The sole is thick enough to protect against even the most rugged terrain, while the top of the shoe is made with breathable mesh. This design can also be worn in the house on slippery floors to provide your pup with some traction.

Related: How to Pick the Best Boots for Your Dog

Not all dogs will tolerate booties, but that doesn't mean their paws must go unprotected. Musher's Secret is a water-resistant paw wax designed to protect your dog's feet from rough terrain, sand burn, and even snowballing. It's also all-natural and nontoxic, so if your dog licks it off their feet, they'll be just fine. Plus, this brand won't leave a greasy residue on furniture or rugs.


Hikes that involve rivers or waterfalls can be dangerous for dogs, and particularly for breeds that can't swim, like French bulldogs. A dog life jacket is a smart investment for these types of hikes and other water activities. The Outward Hound Granby Splash Jacket has a unique design to keep your dog's head above the water, so they'll be safe until they swim to shore or until you can retrieve them. Plus, the bright colors allow for visibility in and out of the water.

We all know hydration is critical for everyone on the trail, including your pup. The Springer dog travel bottle is a great alternative to traditional bowls because it allows you to offer your dog water without wasting any leftover liquid. Simply squeeze the bottle and let your dog drink from the attached bowl, then secure the bottle and keep hiking. It fits in a backpack side pocket or can clip right onto your pack via the attached carabiner.

Related: 11 Critical Signs Your Dog's Dehydrated

Need help deciding where to go hiking with your dog? Use the AllTrails app to find dog-friendly trails near you or wherever you're visiting. Just use the filter to search for "Dog Friendly," and you're good to go. Better yet, upgrade to AllTrails+ so you can get alerts for any wrong turns you make to avoid getting lost while out with your best friend.


Safety is top of mind when you're out in the wilderness with your dog, and a human first aid kit won't always cut it for your canine companion. This dog-specific kit includes everything you need for any sprains, abrasions, tick removal, and even allergic reactions your dog may have while out on the trail.

Related: Doggy SOS: Dog First Aid Kit Essentials

If you're hiking in areas where others may be hunting, make sure to cover your pup in the telltale orange attire they need. This SafetyPUP Vest is reflective, so it doubles as evening safetywear as well. I like how lightweight it is and that it's water repellant.

It's not uncommon for something unexpected to happen on the trail, including an unknown, unleashed dog running up to you — or your own pup getting loose. Slip lead-style leashes are great for just those moments. You don't need a collar to make them work and their thick rope design holds securely around most dog's necks. (They're not great for tiny-breed dogs, like chihuahuas.) I always carry a second leash with me when I can — and I've used it more than once. 


Any hiker's motto is to always carry out what you bring in — and your dog's poop is no exception. But I've always been afraid to put filled poop bags in my backpack for fear they break, and carrying the poop bags really takes away from the enjoyment of nature. The DOOLOOP is a great solve for this, though. You can attach it to your bag, your leash, or even your doggy backpack and any standard dog poop bag will be carried quickly and easily. 

Set Yourself Up for Success with the Best Dog Hiking Gear

From dog booties to a pet first aid kit, there are several dog hiking gear items you should never leave home without. But before you deck your dog out in their new attire, you should always do a test run. For example, have them wear their booties indoors for short periods, then take them on a walk. New additions can cause unnecessary stress or even spook your dog. So, set yourself and your buddy up for success by choosing the best dog hiking must-haves out there, then practicing before the big hike. This way, you'll both have a great time!

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11 Top Dog Hiking Gear Picks to Power Up Your Adventures