By Mel Lee-Smith
Published: 02/12/2021, edited: 10/25/2022
Hiking is one of the most exciting activities you can do with your dog and a great way to get exercise. Feeling the fresh mountain air on your face, seeing all the fauna and flora, and then you reach in your bag to get the — where is it?! Don't get caught without your hiking essentials. Here are the top 15 items to bring for your dogs on your next hike.
Collapsible water bowls are a "muttshave" when hiking with doggos. They're easy to store, lightweight, and beat wasting water trying to hydrate your pup with water bottles. Store these in your bag for when you and your pet need to wet your whistles.
If you're cold-weather hiking or traversing rocky terrain, dog booties are the way to go. Sure, they take some getting used to, but they will protect your pet's feet from abrasions and the harsh cold.
Bottled water is a given, but it's also one of the most common essentials forgotten in a hiking bag. It's easy to go through your water supply faster than anticipated when hiking. Keep some water purification tablets in your bag to restock when you see a stream.
Cooling vests are a necessity during the dog days of summer. Cooling vests are pieces of fabric that you drench in water and drape over or velcro onto your dog. The special material retains water to keep your pup at the "pawfect" temp. These are so important for preventing heat exhaustion during those hot, humid days.
The last thing you want is for your dog to get away from you while hiking. Take affirmative action by investing in a GPS tracking collar to help you locate your dog if they wander off. These range from $50 to $130 but are well worth it in the long run, especially if your dog has unreliable recall or a tendency to explore.
If you don't have a harness by now, you need one. Harnesses give pet parents more control than collars and prevent neck injuries from pulling. Harnesses are also more challenging to get out of, particularly if your dog has a stout neck or is prone to wriggling out of a collar.
Reflective gear alerts others to your presence and will help you locate Fido easier if they run off. You can buy all sorts of reflective gear, from leashes to pet vests, at any pet store or hunting shop.
ID tags are crucial if your pet gets lost. Make sure all the information on the tags are current and that you have multiple forms of contact engraved on them.
Keep the trails nice by bringing along poo bags or a collapsible shovel. We recommend a collapsible shovel for longer routes so you don't have to carry smelly waste bags for miles.
If you plan on hiking in the winter or through the desert, a sweater is essential. Deserts can be dangerous since they're scorching during the day and freezing at night. Even if you're not sure about the weather, it's best to bring a dog sweater just in case.
Medical kits are so important when hiking with dogs. Keep bandages, instant ice packs, sterile water, alcohol, antibiotic ointment, and your pet's medications inside. Hopefully, you won't need it, but you should have one on deck just in case.
Hiking with dogs can get "ruff". If you have a small or medium-sized dog, you should definitely consider getting a dog sports backpack to carry them if they get tired — it's way less taxing than holding them in your arms.
You won't need a paw washer while walking, but you'll be wishing you had one when you get back to the car. Prevent stained seats with this little container that fits around your pup's paws and cleanses them.
Towels are always handy, and you never know what you'll need them for. They're great for relaxing on and toweling off a wet dog. Plus, they have the added benefit of covering your back seat when ferrying messy Mike back home.
Food is a basic need and an essential hiking supply. Bring high-protein treats for yourself and Fido. Low-sodium jerky, homemade dog treats, and kibble are all great for Fido. Make sure you pack some trail mix and jerky for the "hoomans", too!
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