Your dog can be the perfect hiking companion, but only if you’re prepared and take with you some key essentials! Getting outside and exploring what nature and the wilderness has to offer can be an incredibly fun and special bonding experience with your dog.
We visited our friends at Mutt Life, to help us select our top 10 essentials for hiking with your dog:
1. Dog Backpack: Dogs are capable of carrying 10 – 12% of their body weight. Which means a 50 – 60lbs dog is capable of carrying an extra 5-10lbs. Your dog can help carry some of their own gear, if physically able. You will want to look for one that is water-resistant, durable and breathable. It’s also important to make sure the backpack fits properly and is balanced.
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.
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, won’t smell or harbor bacteria. Look for one in a bold bright colour with a reflective strip for visibility, as well as an attachment for ID tags.
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'!
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.
6. Pet First-Aid Kit: Cuts, scrapes, torn nails and allergic reactions can all occur while out on a hike or through rough terrain. Building your own 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.
7. Collapsible Water Dish: Perfect for hikes, road trips, or an occasional trip to the park, a collapsible dish makes traveling and packing easy, as well as keeping your dog full and hydrated!
8. Treats and/or Kibble: If you need a snack, chances are your dog does too! Depending on how long your hike is going to be, keep your dog energized with some extra healthy treats, kibble or dehydrated food.
9. All-Natural Bug Repellant: Mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks can be a real annoyance for your dog. Having 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.
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.
Watch the video to see what we picked out!
Links to all of the products featured in the video can be found below.