Senior couple out hiking with their dog

Getting outside and exploring all that nature and the wilderness has to offer can be an incredibly fun and special bonding experience for you and your dog. In fact, your pup just might be the perfect hiking companion — but only if you’ve packed all the essentials necessary for a safe, comfortable experience!

Hiking Must-Haves for Your Adventurous Pup

We visited our friends at Mutt Life to help us make our selections. If you don’t have a Mutt Life near you, you can purchase any of these items online or look for them at your local pet store.

1. Dog Backpack

Dogs are capable of carrying 10 – 12% of their body weight. This means a 50 – 60lbs dog can carry an extra 5-10lbs. Your dog can help carry some of their gear if physically able. You will want to look for water-resistant, durable, and breathable bags. It’s also important to make sure the backpack fits properly and is balanced.

Shop at Dog Packs by Ruffwear


2. Foot Leash with Carabiner

This is the ultimate leash for taking your dog on every outdoor adventure. A rope leash is incredibly durable and strong, and the carabiner attachment allows you to clip the leash around your waist or secure your dog around a tree during a rest or break stop.

Shop Knot-a-Leash by Ruffwear


3. Water Proof Collar

A waterproof collar is essential if your dog is a water lover and will venture through any wet terrain on your hiking trail. They are easy to clean and won’t smell or harbor bacteria. Look for one in a bold, bright colour with a reflective strip for visibility and an attachment for ID tags.

Shop Collars at Ruffwear


4. Dog Boots

Protect your dog’s paws and pads from hot pavement, rocky alpine trails, snow, and more with all-terrain boots. Your dog may be a little uncomfortable at first, and it may take them a little getting used to, but they'll be happy you provided them with some extra traction and security for when things get 'ruff'!

Shop Boots at Ruffwear


5. Bear Bell

A bell is a great safety item for you and your dog when exploring the outdoors. Bear Bells will alert wildlife that you are approaching to avoid any surprise encounters, allowing them to steer clear of you and your dog. They attach easily to a collar or backpack.

Shop Bear Bells on Amazon


6. Pet First-Aid Kit

Cuts, scrapes, torn nails, and allergic reactions can all occur while hiking or through rough terrain. Building your kit or purchasing an already-made store-bought kit is the best way to ensure everything is customized to your pet’s needs and active lifestyle.

Shop Pet First-Aid Kits on Amazon


7. Collapsible Water Dish

Perfect for hikes, road trips, or an occasional trip to the park, a collapsible dish makes traveling and packing easy and keeps your dog full and hydrated!

Shop Dog Bowls at Ruffwear


8. Treats and Kibble

If you need a snack, chances are your dog does too! Depending on how long your hike will be, keep your dog energized with some extra healthy treats, kibble, or dehydrated food.

Shop Treats at Zukes


9. All-Natural Bug Repellant

Mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks can be a real annoyance for your dog. It's a good idea to have an all-natural spray on hand that is safe for you, your dog, and the environment. Plus, you won’t feel guilty about giving your dog or you a mist throughout the day or after swimming.

Shop Bug Repellant on Amazon


10. Poop Bags

The best practice for hiking is to pick up your dog’s poop and carry it out if there are no garbage bins along the way. You can also pick it up using a compostable bag and bury it in a hole six to eight inches deep away from the trail and any water sources.

Shop Earth Rated Poop Bags


Watch the video to see what we picked out!

Is hiking right for your dog?

Determining whether or not you have a dog that is up to an outdoor hiking challenge is the first step to enjoying some outdoor adventures. If you’re unsure whether or not your dog is physically active enough to handle a hike with you, it’s best to first discuss any challenges with your veterinarian.

Once your dog is given the ‘good-to-go,’ start slow — practice by taking your dog for a series of small hikes first to build up some endurance.

Remember, accidents happen. No matter how hard you try to help your pet avoid trouble, they sometimes find it anyway. Accident coverage ensures you are ready for the unexpected. Learn more or get a quote:

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