Hit the Trail: 6 Essential Supplies for Hiking With Dogs

There’s nothing like exploring the great outdogs with your woofer. (Ah, fresh air!) Whether you’re going for a quick afternoon jaunt or tackling your first all-day 14-er, here are six hiking essentials to make it the best experience possible. After reading this, you’ll both be prepared to whirl around in the meadow mid-hike like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

Paw Protector
No matter what season you’re hitting the trails, paw protection is a must. Kurgo and Ruffwear offer great bootie options, but if your dog looks uncomfortable (or manages to rip them off in two seconds flat), try Musher’s Secret. The all-natural wax creates a breathable barrier to shield paw pads from rough terrain, chemicals, hot pavement, ice buildup, and more.

Many dogs—especially working breeds like Siberian huskies, Great Danes, and Australian Shepherds—enjoy carrying their own load because they like to feel needed (and don’t we all). For this reason, you may want to consider getting your pup her own backpack to hold items like treats, chilled water bottles, and poop bags. Your vet can help to determine how much weight your hiking companion can carry. Or, you can carry your dog like the baby he is in your heart.

If you’re gonna be out hiking all day, you’ve gotta have noms. Get puppers some of his own trail mix. Or try an easy-to-carry Ruff Bar, available in flavors like turkey, beef, and salmon. They’re high in protein giving your dog an extra boost to keep pace.  

Water Bowl
When it comes to hiking, the less bulk, the better. Instead of lugging your dog’s plastic or metal food and water bowls from home, pick up a couple silicone bowls that collapse for easy and lightweight backpack storing. Also, always pack plenty of water for the both of you—no matter how far you’re hiking. Running into a river or creek along the way is not a guarantee.     

Even if your dog is well-trained off-leash, you should always have a leash on hand. Try a leash with a comfortable padded handle, or free up your hands completely with one that attaches to your waist.

First-Aid Kit
Even if you’re totally puppared, accidents can still happen while hiking. You can purchase a canine ready-made first-aid kit, or pack your own using tips from ASPCA and the American Kennel Club.

Last thing before you go: check out our Good Dog’s Guide to Hiking Etiquette.

(Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash)

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