An easy way to get some exercise, spend time in nature, and walk the dog is to take your furry friend on a hike. If you haven’t attempted hiking with your dog before, the experience may seem overwhelming. Although you can’t immediately expect your dog to be great at hiking, having the right dog hiking gear can make it easier on both of you while you practice obedience training on the trails and work on your dog’s endurance.
What’s the best hiking gear for dogs?
The best hiking gear is equipment that your dog will use. It may take a few tries to get your dog comfortable with a carry pack or booties. Introduce new gear at home and be patient if your dog is wary or nervous. Always remember to choose the right size equipment when selecting gear such as harnesses or packs; small dog hiking gear may be more difficult to find.
Create a dog hiking gear list with the standard items you should bring on every hike:
- Clean water
- Waste bags
- First aid kit
- LED collar and other highly visible accessories
COMSUN Collapsible Dog Bowl
This collapsible dog bowl is easy to bring along on hikes because it folds down to just 0.5 inches tall. It can be used for food or water and comes with a carabiner to clip it to a backpack or leash.
The non-slip collapsible dog bowl is easy to rinse out or wipe clean as needed. They are BPA-free and made of food-grade silicone.
The maximum amount of water these bowls can hold is about 16oz, so larger dogs will need the bowl to be refilled a couple times.back to menu ↑
BAAPET 5 FT Strong Dog Leash
Five feet long and made of durable rock-climbing rope, this strong dog leash is long enough to let your dog explore while still keeping them under your control.
The reflective threads on this long dog leash keep your dog safe and visible in low light or during night hikes. The leash has a padded handle that gives you a comfortable grip, especially if your dog is large and tends to pull on the leash while walking.
The weight of this leash may be too heavy for smaller dogs, as it was designed for medium to large size dogs.back to menu ↑
OneTigris Dog Pack
This multi-functional dog backpack allows your pet to bring his or her own equipment so you don’t have to. Water, treats, a bowl, or even dog bags can become your dog’s responsibility on hikes, leaving more room in your own pack.
The high-density canvas material does not injure your dog and the color hides dirt. It comes with two D rings where you can attach a leash.
The OneTigris dog pack is meant for medium to large dogs. Some users have complained about the stitching ripping, so be sure to check seams before loading the pack and heading out on a hike.back to menu ↑
RUFFWEAR Approach Pack
Another type of dog backpack, the RUFFWEAR Approach pack is made of lightweight material and features a handle on the bag so you can help your dog up difficult or steep areas.
Non-slip straps and padding intended to distribute the weight of the load make it comfortable for your dog to carry their things. The reflective trim keeps your pet visible in the dark.
While this pack does come in multiple sizes, the pouches are not any smaller on the x-small size bag. Smaller dogs may have a very difficult time carrying this pack on long hikes.back to menu ↑
Rabbitgoo Dog Harness
The Rabbitgoo dog harness comes with two metal leash attachment rings. The chest ring helps prevent your dog from pulling, and the back ring is for casual walks or hikes. Reflective trim on the harness keeps your dog safe at night. The adjustable straps allow for a secure fit every time.
This harness is only recommended for medium to large breeds. Even if it seems like it is a perfect fit, be sure to check your dog for any areas where the harness may have rubbed and caused irritation on your dog’s skin.
When you have the right dog hiking gear, hiking with your pet can be a great experience for both of you. Choose quality material that is sized for your dog, and introduce them to short hikes where you can work on obedience and endurance training.
Dog Hiking Gear Frequently Asked Questions
Can I take my dog hiking?
Taking a dog hiking is great exercise and a great bonding experience. As long as your dog is healthy and is trained well while you are on trails, dogs can be fantastic hiking buddies.
Dogs who are in poor health may not be capable of hiking. Many dogs will try their best to keep up with their owners and this can present a health risk for older or sick dogs. Dogs who get overly excited and cannot follow commands can be a danger to themselves or others on hikes.
How do I start hiking with my dog?
You will need to prepare by taking extra measures to ensure the dog’s safety, such as a LED collar at night for visibility, a bell on a collar in areas with bears, and a waterproof GPS tracker if you are in off-leash areas.
Work on obedience training from a distance, getting your dog to listen to your commands if they are far ahead of you. Be patient and take the experience slowly, only graduating to longer and more difficult hikes when your dog is ready.
How far can my dog hike?
How far a dog can hike depends on breed as well as age, fitness level, and weight. Start with shorter trails and see how your dog handles them. Heavy panting can indicate it’s time for a rest.
- Short-muzzled dogs, such as pugs, boxers, or Boston terriers, are generally unable to hike longer distances and cannot manage hiking in the heat. Short hikes may be tolerable.
- Vizslas, labradors, Bernese mountain dogs, Rhodesian ridgebacks, and huskies are among the best hiking dogs and at peak physical condition may be able to hike up to 10 miles.