Top 10 Best Hiking Gear for Dogs
Hiking is a rewarding adventure that’s even better when you can share it with your four-legged family members. But you wouldn’t hit the trail without the proper hiking gear, and your dog shouldn’t either. That’s why you need to pick up some of this best hiking gear for dogs.
From a reliable and comfortable leash to keep him safe to the proper waste cleanup items, this list of top hiking gear for dogs includes everything you and Fido need to enjoy your outdoor adventures.
1. Hands-Free Leash
A hands-free leash is one of the most important items you need to bring on your hike for several reasons. First, most trails that allow dogs require them to be leashed.
Second, you’ll likely have your hands full with your trekking poles or simply navigating the terrain. The last thing you want is to be fooling around with a leash as well.
Related: Why You Should Always Use Trekking Poles (Yes, Even on Day Hikes)
Although it’s designed for runners, this Iron Doggy hands-free leash is also outstanding for hikers. The leash uses a bungee system that starts to give your dog some resistance when they to get too far ahead but before you feel any amount of yank that could throw you off balance.
It also has a sliding swivel snap-hook that glides smoothly as your dog moves from side to side. If you need to bring your dog in closer as you’re passing others on the trail, the leash has two easy-to-grab handholds.
Even though it can extend out to 54 inches, you can also adjust the leash all the way back to 30 inches if necessary.
Along with a regular collar, a harness is a helpful piece of gear for your dog to wear on your hike. The Ruffwear Flagline multi-purpose harness is particularly useful because it’s so versatile.
This harness is lightweight and comfortable. It has six points of adjustment for a secure fit and a padded handle that you can use to assist your dog when hiking, crossing a river, rock scrambling, or any other activity where they might need a little help.
It has three leash attachment points so you can get the perfect fit depending on your situation. It also includes reflective trim for extra safety in low-light conditions.
Related: Wildlife Safety Tips You Need to Know When Hiking With Dogs
3. Dog Pack
If you’re heading out on a short day hike, you can likely pack the gear your dog needs in your own backpack. On the other hand, if you’re heading out on a multi-day hike, it’s easier if your pup can carry some of his own gear. That’s when you should pick up a dog pack from Ruffwear.
Related: The Most Comfortable Hiking Backpack for Every Hike
The Approach Dog Pack is one of Ruffwear’s most popular options. It’s available in sizes that range from extra-small to extra-large, so you’ll have no problems finding one that fits your dog.
The pockets are deep enough to hold your dog’s food and related gear, and the integrated harness ensures the pack fits securely and comfortably. It even includes reflective trim that helps make your dog more visible in low-light conditions.
4. Dog Boots
While your dog’s calloused paw pads can easily handle a walk on the sidewalk or through the grass, the rough and rocky terrain on a trail might be another story. To protect those paw pads, pick up a pair of dog boots.
Related: The Best Hiking Boots for Women
Ruffwear Grip Trex Outdoor Dog Boots are made from a tightly woven air mesh that helps keep dirt and debris out of the boot while still staying ventilated and comfortable for your dog. The rugged outsoles provide outstanding traction on every terrain.
Just like we need to break in hiking boots before we wear them, you should give your dog plenty of opportunities to wear their boots before your next hike. The first time you put them on, your dog probably won’t like them. They need to get used to the feeling and learn to trust the boot.
Once they get used to the boots, they shouldn’t mind wearing them at all. In fact, you may even consider using them on normal walks since they can protect paw pads from hot asphalt and broken glass on city streets.
Related: Top 10 Highly Rate Hiking Boots for Men
5. First Aid Kit
A first aid kit is one of the most important survival gear items a hiker can carry. Don’t forget — not only can an accident happen to you on a hike, but one can also happen to your dog.
This Me and My Dog Medical Kit is an outstanding option because it’s equipped with the essentials humans and dogs need for mishaps on the trail. It even comes with a pet first aid manual that details how to treat almost every emergency.
Another important piece of hiking gear for dogs you might want to consider bringing along is an emergency carrying harness. Whether it’s a torn ACL from running too fast or a cut from rocky terrain, there are dozens of ways your dog might accidentally hurt himself.
While you won’t have too many issues carrying a small dog back to the car, carrying a big dog is a whole other matter.
This dog harness and emergency sling offers full body support to help you carry your dog. It can be used by one or two people, and when it’s not in use, it folds down to a small and manageable size that’s easy to stash in your backpack.
6. Kibble Carrier
You know how hungry and thirsty you get on the trail, and your pup is no different! This Kurgo Kibble Carrier makes it easy to bring along food for your dog.
It comes equipped with a hex-weave material and roll-down top that helps seal in freshness and keep out moisture and pests. It’s also PVC free and has a food-safe PEVA liner that prevents kibble oil from seeping out.
Plus, not only can it store up to 5 pounds of dry food, but it also has a zippered side pocket and a zippered bottom pocket where you can stash everything from treats to waste bags.
Related: The Best Backpacking Meals for Vegetarians
7. Collapsible Dog Bowl
Your pup has to eat and drink on the trail, and this set of collapsible dog bowls makes it so much easier for everyone. The set of two bowls is available in small or large.
Since you get two bowls in different colors, it’s easy to make one the food bowl and one the water bowl.
They’re made from safe and non-toxic silicone, which is odorless, durable, and easy to clean. When it’s time to use the bowls, simply stretch them open and fill them up. When you’re done, wipe them clean and easily fold them away until you need them again.
Related: Always Have Clean Water Thanks to These Top Water Filters for Hikers
8. Waste Bags
As we all know, what goes in has to come out at some point. You definitely don’t want to leave that waste on the trail. So make sure you have some of these eco-friendly dog poop bags.
Of course, being a responsible hiker and following trail etiquette means you don’t leave behind your dog poop bags. So here’s a helpful tip you’ll love.
Related: 5 Hiking Rules You Never Want to Break
In addition to bringing the waste bags, you should also carry a wide-mouth water bottle. The wide mouth makes it easy to drop in used poop bags and the thick plastic keeps any odors from escaping.
When you get to a place where you can properly dispose of the poop bags, simply dump them out of the bottle and you’re good to go!
Related: The Right Way to Pee (and Poop!) in the Woods
9. Light-Up Collar
You pack a headlamp so you can see if you’re on the trail after dark. It also makes sense to pack a light that will help you see your dog.
This BSeen LED dog collar is an excellent option because it can slip right over your dog’s regular collar if you need to use it. It’s also rechargeable, so you can use it again and again.
It offers three light settings: steady on, slow flash, and quick flash. You can also use scissors to cut the tube and get the perfect fit for your dog.
10. Cooling Vest
We know how tough it can be to hike in the heat. Now, imagine doing it while you’re wearing a fur coat!
Related: Important Tips on How to Stay Cool When You’re Hiking in the Heat
In addition to making sure you pack plenty of water for you and your dog, consider bringing along the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler. This cooling vest is some of the best hiking gear for dogs because it can help them beat the heat on the trail.
It’s incredibly easy to use. Simply soak it in water, wring it out, and then strap it on your dog. The light-colored fabric reflects solar radiation and the water-activated cooling system pulls heat away from your dog.
The vest also has UPF 50+ protection to shield your dog’s skin and reflective trim for additional safety in low-light conditions.
Hit the Trail With the Best Hiking Gear for Dogs
Hikes are always better when you can share them with the ones you love — and that includes our dogs! To ensure you, your dog, and everyone else has an enjoyable hike, make sure you don’t hit the trail without these top pieces of hiking gear for dogs.
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