Springing Into Gear: What Do You Need for Hiking With Your Dog?

The Most Useful Gear for Hiking With Your Dog

girl hiking with dogs

Bye-bye winter blues. Spring is officially here! Even though Punxsutawney Phil might disagree. Springtime means one thing in many places: hiking season has begun! It’s time to spring into gear and ensure that you and your canine hiking companion have everything necessary for a safe adventure.

Whether you and your pup are headed to a national park, the woods in your neighborhood, or a lake-side spot, water isn’t the only essential you need to take with you when hitting the hiking trails. In this post we’ll tackle everything on your outdoor adventure checklist from first aid kits to poop bags.

Remember that when it comes to hiking with dogs, be respectful of state park laws. Check the rules ahead of time to find out if that park has dog-friendly trails, if your dog needs to remain leashed, as well as basic trail etiquette. National park websites will usually list what wild animals you could run into (remember: coyotes are not playmates for your dog) and where you can find water sources. Always make sure your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Once you’ve taken those preventative measures, it’s time to go out and have some fun in nature! Don’t forget to clean up! Respect the environment and be sure to leave no trace of your dog’s waste or discarded food.

Layer Up

durango dog coat for hiking with your dog

Getting an early start? If you’re one of those hikers who likes to get going before sunrise to beat the crowds, it’s going to be chilly out there! You’ll want light layers to keep you warm until the sun comes up and your heart rate gets going.

We aren’t the only ones who like it warm, our dogs do too. Keep your dog comfortable with the Durango Ultralight dog coat, for example. This coat is for active dogs on cool weather adventures. Featuring water resistant, stretch knit fabric, adjustable leg closures and full neck coverage, it’s the ideal high-performance dog coat.

Your best friend can help carry the load!

dog backpack hiking with your dog

Why should you do all the heavy lifting when you can get a dog backpack for Fido? Hiking with your dog has a new meaning with the Outward Hound Crest Stone Explore Pack. This compression saddle bag works great for dogs and their humans that love day hikes.

The mesh within the backpack keeps dogs cool on sunny days. The high visibility green color looks awesome and has the added bonus of allowing your dog to be easily spotted on the trail if they go off-leash. Large pockets on the dog pack help hold all the essentials so your dog can carry their own water bowl, dog food, and drinking water. Compression webbing helps to balance the load. Dual D-Rings also assist with leading or following while keeping a secure handle on your pup.

With a doggie backpacking with you, a true adventure can begin! Browse our selection of dog packs to find the perfect fit for you and your pooch.

Bring the right pawtection

hiking with your dog

Going for a particularly long hike? Your dog’s paws will need protection if they’re going to spend all that time on rough terrain. Consider dog booties that will protect their paw pads from hot asphalt, sharp rubble or ice. If you don’t have booties, dog owners should add an effective paw balm to their first aid kit in case of a boo-boo.

Speaking of protection, bring a dog life jacket along if there’s a swimming hole at your destination. Depending on the depth of the water a lifejacket is an important safety consideration. According to VetMD, a dog-adapted safety vest is the best way to prevent drowning, which can happen to any dog regardless of size.

For short hikes with your dog

hiking with your dog

For short hikes that don’t require a lot of extra stuff to carry, a good waist pack is the perfect hands-free accessory. We created a fanny pack with an upgrade. Our Hipster Waist Pack features a detachable storage pack to store essentials, along with a water bottle holder. Since you can attach the shock-absorbing bungee leash to the belt, it eliminates the jolting that comes with being attached to a dog on a hike or trail run.

hiking with your dog water bottle

Another great space-saving, non-bulky item to bring when hiking with your dog is a 2-in-1 water bottle and drinking bowl. The 2-in-1 Bottle & Bowl is a simple solution for water on the go. Simply detach the dog bowl from the water bottle, fill with water, and both of you can have a drink anywhere. When finished, dump excess water, attach it back to the bottle, and off you go!

Outdoor dog toys

hiking with your dog
Shop The Outward Hound Soft Fetch Flyer By Clicking On The Image Above

Experienced pet parents know how dog energy levels can fluctuate. Even after hikes, dogs will somehow still have energy! Bringing along some compact and outdoor toys will allow your pooch to have the maximum amount of fun. Since you’ll be out in nature with a nearly unlimited amount of play space, the Comet Fetch Ball and Soft Fetch Flyer are perfect to bring to go hiking with your dog.

Playing in the water? Planet Dog toys float! Its vivid coloring prevents it from getting lost in the wilderness or sinking to the depths of a lake.

To shop our massive selection of high-quality toys, click here!

Together, and with proper dog safety gear, you and your pup will have the best hikes of your life!

Editor’s note: This post has been updated as of March 2021 to reflect the most pup-to-date information.