Hiking with your dog isn't just another walk in the park. Being out in rugged terrain with just your dog means you'll need to be prepared with apparel for both you and your canine friend. Enjoy a fun and safe hike with your pup with these eight pieces of dog hiking gear.
Even though many trails allow dogs to hike off-leash, some require dogs to always stay on a leash. That's where this Tuff Mutt bungee leash comes in. 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.
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.
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 boasts that it 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.
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.
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!