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Dog Hiking Gear: What You Need to Take Your Big Dog on Hikes

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Dog hiking gear can be something super fun to invest in for your dog. Hitting the hiking trail is a great feeling, but it’s even better when you’ve got your furry friend with you.

Getting your dog accustomed to hiking will go quicker and smoother if you have the right gear for dogs.

DOG HIKING GEAR

Does your dog love adventuring as much as you do? If so, you’re going to need to make sure you’re both prepared before heading out on the trail. From a backpack and leash to first aid supplies and paw protection, here’s a list of must-have gear for hikes with your dog.

DOG BACKPACK

A dog backpack is essential for hikes that an owner may want their dog to carry its own items. You’ll want to pack water, food, treats, and any other doggy supplies your pup might need. We recommend some options like this one from Outward Hound because they come with plenty of storage space and is made with comfortable neoprene fabric. 

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DOG LEASH

A good dog leash is key for any hike. Keep a leash on hand even if you are hiking in an off leash area.

FIRST AID KIT

No one ever wants to use a first aid kit, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Be sure to pack supplies for both you and your dog, including bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, and hydrogen peroxide. 

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PROTECTION FOR PAW PADS

Overgrown nails can cause pain and make it difficult for your dog to walk on rough terrain. Be sure to trim their nails before hitting the trails and consider packing booties or paw balm to protect their pads from rocks and abrasions. 

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WATER BOWL OR WATER BOTTLE

Dehydration is a real danger on any hike, especially in hot weather. Be sure to pack enough water for both you and your pup and consider bringing along a bowl or collapsible water bottle for easy drinking access. 

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Going on a road trip? Be sure to read our guide.

LIGHTWEIGHT HARNESS

A harness is a must-have if your dog tends to pull on the leash or you’ll be hiking in areas with lots of obstacles (like roots and rocks). We recommend the Ruffwear Front Range Everyday Harness because it’s comfortable for dogs of all sizes and has reflective trim for low-light visibility. 

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DOG POOP BAGS

Last but not least, don’t forget the poop bags! Be respectful of other hikers (and yourself) by packing out whatever your dog leaves behind. 

FOOD AND SNACKS OR DOG TREATS

Depending on how long your hike will be, you may want to bring along some food and snacks for your pup. If not, be sure to pack plenty of their favorite treats to keep them motivated on the trail. 

DOG TOYS IF NECESSARY

Some dogs just can’t hit the trails without their favorite toys. If that’s the case with your pup, be sure to pack them along. Just be sure they’re lightweight and won’t take up too much space in your backpack! 

With this gear in tow, you and your furry friend will be ready for anything the trail throws your way. Happy hiking!

HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOUR DOG WHILE HIKING?

Hiking with your dog can be a great way to bond and explore the great outdoors together. But it’s important to be prepared before you hit the trail, especially if you’re hiking with a big dog. Here are some tips on how to protect your dog while hiking.

HIKING GEAR FOR DOGS

Just like humans, dogs need the proper gear for hiking. outfitted with a dog backpack, your four-legged friend will be able to carry his own supplies, including water, food, and toys. A collar is also a must – make sure it’s fitted properly and has ID tags in case your dog gets lost. And don’t forget a leash! Even the best-trained dogs can get excited when they’re out in nature and might take off after wildlife. If you’re hiking in an area with lots of brush or long grass, consider outfitting your pup with reflective strips so he’s easier to spot.

GIVE YOUR DOG PLENTY OF WATER AND BRING A WATER BOTTLE MEANT FOR DOGS

Make sure your dog stays hydrated by bringing plenty of water – both for him to drink and to use for cooling off if he gets too hot. A lightweight, collapsible water bowl is easy to pack and will save you from having to carry water for your dog in your own backpack. And speaking of backpacks, make sure the one you choose is sized appropriately for your dog and doesn’t weigh more than 10% of his body weight when fully loaded.

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USE DOG SUN PROTECTION

Dogs are just as susceptible to sunburn as humans, so if you’ll be hiking in sunny weather, be sure to apply sunscreen to any areas of your dog’s skin that are not covered by fur. You might also want to consider investing in a protective shirt or jacket for your pup. Dogs with short or thin coats are especially vulnerable to sunburn and heatstroke, so keep an eye on them during warm weather hikes.

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With a little planning and preparation, you can make sure both you and your dog have a safe and enjoyable time on the trails. By following these tips on how to protect your dog while hiking, you can rest assured that your four-legged friend will have a fun – and safe – time on your next hike together!

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WHAT TO TAKE FOR A DOG ON A HIKE

Taking your dog on a hike is a great way to get some exercise and spend time with your best friend. But, before you head out on the trail, you need to make sure you have the proper gear for your dog. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack and see if it’s the right fit for your next hike.

RUFFWEAR APPROACH DOG PACK

The Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack is a great option for hikes with your dog. It has two back compartments that are perfect for carrying water and food for your pup, as well as a front harness that will keep them comfortable and secure. The padded straps make it easy to carry, even when your dog is wet or muddy. And, the reflective trim ensures that you and your dog will be visible in low-light conditions.

If you’re looking for a dog pack that has everything you need for a hike, then the Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack is a great option. It’s comfortable, easy to carry, and has all the features you need to keep your dog happy on the trail.

SHOP HERE:

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BEST DOG LEASH

One of the most important things you’ll need for your hike is a good leash. You’ll want something sturdy that won’t break if your dog pulls. You might also want to consider getting a harness, as it will distribute the weight of your dog better and make it more comfortable for them to walk. 

DOG BOOTS / DOG BOOTIES

If you have a small dog, it is much easier to find booties that fit well for an outdoor adventure. Big dogs, however, have a harder time finding boots that may fit.

Most dogs will try to take their boots off, especially if they are new to wearing them. Be sure that the boots you select have a good grip and fit snugly around your dog’s leg without being too tight. You can find some great options for big dogs

Pawz Dog Boots: These boots are made of a rubber-like material and they slip right over your dog’s paws. They are great for keeping your dog’s paws dry and protected from the elements, but they can be a little tricky to put on.

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BEST HARNESS

When looking for the best dog hiking gear, every dog owner needs to consider their own dogs before looking at outdoor gear.

For some dogs, a hiking pack or harness will be great and they can expect their pup carry their own dog hiking packpack. For small dogs or other dogs, a day pack would overwhelm them or wear them out while hiking.

Researching the best hiking gear comes with a responsibility, as not all gear for dogs will work equally for each dog!

DOG WATER BOTTLE

Another important thing to take on your hike is water. Dogs can get dehydrated quickly, so it’s important to bring enough water for both you and your dog. A good water bottle will help make sure you don’t run out. 

The Highwave Water Bottle is a great water bottle for hiking adventures with your dog. Made with dogs and dog owners in mind, this water bowl is perfect to add to your hiking essentials for your dog.

SHOP HERE:

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Going on a road trip? Be sure to read our guide.

FIRST AID KITS / ADVENTURE MEDICAL KITS

You should also bring a first aid kit, in case either you or your dog gets injured on the hike. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Finally, if you’re hiking in an area with lots of rocks or other rough terrain, you might want to consider getting some dog boots or booties to protect your dog’s paws. 

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CLIMBING ROPES

Climbing ropes can be a good thing for dog owners to consider as apart of their own gear, especially if they are hiking with a big dog. If you have strong dogs or heavy dogs and you come across an emergency situation, climbing ropes can give you the added security to help get your dog out of a tough spot.

For example, let’s say you’re hiking with your dog and he somehow gets injured and is unable to walk on his own. If you have a climbing rope, you can easily fashion a makeshift harness and carry him back to the car. This could be a piece of equipment that you can easily strap onto your backpack for outdoor adventures, and it might save the life of your dog one day!

PROTECTION FOR YOUR DOG’S PAWS

A dog owner can never be too careful with their dogs paws and outdoor adventures. As the paw pads on a dog are sensitive to different textures, it’s worth considering some form of paw protection for your dog when hiking.

There are a few different types of products on the market that can offer paw protection for dogs, such as:

Pawz Dog Boots: These boots are made of a rubber-like material and they slip right over your dog’s paws. They are great for keeping your dog’s paws dry and protected from the elements, but they can be a little tricky to put on.

Musher’s Secret: This is a wax-based cream that you rub into your dog’s paw pads. It forms a barrier between your dog’s skin and the ground, which helps protect against hot pavement, rough terrain, and salt.

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Going on a hike with your dog can be a great experience, but it’s important to be prepared before setting off. Make sure you have a good leash, plenty of water, and a first aid kit before hitting the trails. And if you’re hiking in an area with lots of rocks or other tough terrain, think about getting some dog boots or booties to protect your dog’s paws. By following these tips, you and your furry friend will have a great time out on the trails!

HOW TO ENCOURAGE YOUR DOG TO LOVE HIKING

Hiking with your dog can be a great bonding experience for the both of you. It’s a chance to explore the great outdoors together and get some fresh air and exercise. But before you hit the trails, there are a few things you need to do to make sure your hike is enjoyable for both you and your furry friend. 

GET PROPER GEAR FOR DOGS

One of the most important things you need before hitting the trails is the proper gear for your dog. This includes a harness, leash, water bowl, and plenty of snacks. A comfortable harness is key because it will help distribute the weight of your dog’s pack evenly. You should also get a leash that is long enough to give your dog some freedom, but not so long that they can get ahead of you or wander off the trail. 

A water bowl is essential for keeping your dog hydrated, and snacks will help keep their energy up during the hike. Make sure to bring more than you think you’ll need in case your hike takes longer than expected.  

KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE WHILE HIKING ON AN OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

Once you have all the gear you need, it’s time to hit the trails! But before you do, there are a few safety concerns you need to keep in mind. First and foremost,make sure your dog is up to date on all their vaccinations. This is important because it will help protect them from diseases they could contract while hiking.  

You should also avoid hiking during the heat of the day when it’s hottest outside. The pavement can get incredibly hot during this time and burn your dog’s paws. Early morning or evening hikes are best. Finally, watch out for hazards on the trail like sharp rocks or branches, poisonous plants, and wildlife.  

ENCOURAGE YOUR DOG TO TAKE SHORT HIKES BEFORE THEY BECOME AN AVID HIKER

If your dog isn’t used to hiking, start with short hikes close to home before venturing out on longer adventures. This will give them time to get used to walking long distances and wearing a backpack without getting overwhelmed or tired too quickly. Once they’re comfortable with shorter hikes, gradually increase the distance until they’re able to handle longer hikes with ease. 

DON’T MAKE THEIR PACK WEIGHT TOO HEAVY

You might be tempted to fill up your dog’s backpack with all their favorite toys or treats, but resist the urge! Their pack should only be 10-20% of their body weight so they don’t get too tired carrying it. Otherwise, they’ll quickly lose interest in hiking and it will be harder to get them back out on the trails again.  

Hiking with your dog can be a great way to bond and explore nature together. But before you hit the trails, there are a few things you need to do first to make sure your hike is safe and enjoyable for both of you. Get proper gear for dogs including a harness, leash, water bowl, and snacks. Start with short hikes close by before working up to longer adventures, and don’t forget to pack light!

ARE RETRACTABLE LEASHES GOOD FOR HIKING?

Dog Hiking Gear

Going on hikes with your dog is a great way to bond and get some exercise, but it’s important to make sure you have the right gear. Some gear, like retractable leashes, can be more harmful than good. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at why retractable leashes are not ideal for hiking and what kinds of leashes are best for active dogs.

SOME GEAR FOR DOGS IS MORE HARMFUL THAN GOOD

Retractable leashes have a lot of pros: they’re easy to use, they give your dog some freedom to roam, and they’re relatively inexpensive. However, there are some serious cons to using a retractable leash. First and foremost, they can be dangerous. If your dog is running full speed and hits the end of the leash, he can easily be injured.

Additionally, if you’re not paying close attention, your dog could easily get tangled in the leash and hurt himself trying to free himself.

Finally, retractable leashes are simply not built to withstand the wear and tear of hiking. They’re more likely to break when put under stress, which could leave you stranded without a way to control your dog. 

For hiking, we recommend using a sturdy 6-foot leash instead of a retractable leash. A 6-foot leash gives you enough control over your dog while still allowing him some freedom to explore his surroundings. Additionally, a 6-foot leash is less likely to tangle and will be more resistant to breaking than a retractable leash. When choosing a 6-foot leash, make sure to get one that is made from sturdy materials like nylon or leather. And finally, be sure to attach the leash to a comfortable collar or harness that won’t rub your dog’s skin raw. 

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THE BEST DOG COLLAR

The best dog collar is one that pet parents know fits their pet, is safe and comfortable, carries their dog’s information incase they lose track of their dogs, and is stylish. A dog collar should also not choke or rub your dog’s skin raw. A nylon collar is a great option for an all around pet-friendly and durable dog collar that will last you a long time. You can find these types of dog collars at your local pet store or online.

When it comes to durability, comfort, and safety, the best dog collar is one made from a soft material like nylon, cloth or leather. Nylon is a strong and sturdy material that will last you a long time. Additionally, nylon is comfortable for your dog to wear and won’t rub their skin raw. And finally, nylon collars come with a variety of features like reflective stitching and quick release buckles that can come off fast in the event of an emergency.

KEEPING YOUR DOG OFF LEASH ON HIKES

In some cases, it may be tempting to let your dog off leash on hikes. After all, it’s his natural instinct to run and explore! However, this is only safe in certain circumstances—namely when you are in an enclosed area or on a trail where cars are not allowed. If there are cars around or if the area is not fenced in, it’s simply too dangerous to let your dog off his leash. Even the best-behaved dogs can get excited and run into traffic if given the opportunity! So play it safe and keep your furry friend on his leash during hikes. 

If you’re going on a hike with your pup, safety should be your number one concern—for both of you! Retractable leashes may seem like they offer the best of both worlds by giving your dog some freedom while still allowing you to maintain control; however, they can actually be quite dangerous for both you and your pet. A much better option for hiking is a simple 6-foot leash that won’t tangle and will hold up under stress. And finally, resist the urge to let your dog off his leash on hikes—even if he begs you with those big brown eyes! It’s simply not worth the risk.

WHAT IS THE BEST LEASH FOR A DOG ON A HIKE?

Going on hikes with your dog can be a great way to bond and explore the great outdoors together. But in order to have a safe and enjoyable hike, you need to make sure you have the right supplies—including the best leash for your dog. 

HANDS FREE LEASH

Another popular option for leashes is the hands free leash. This type of leash attaches around your waist, freeing up your hands while still allowing you to keep a close eye on your pup. Hands free leashes are great for hikers who want to be able to take pictures or drink water without having to worry about holding onto their dog’s leash. 

3 FOOT LEASH

One of the most popular leashes for hiking is the 3 foot leash. This leash is ideal for dogs that are well-behaved and not prone to pulling. Having a shorter leash will give you more control over your dog and help you keep them close by in case they encounter any hazards on the trail. 

LONG LEAD

For hikers with dogs that like to roam, a long lead may be the best option. Long leads allow your dog to roam freely while still keeping them within a safe distance. This type of leash is perfect for dogs that are well-trained and good at listening to their owner’s commands. 

E COLLAR

An e-collar is a type of collar that gives owners the ability to remotely train their dogs. E-collars are perfect for hikers who want to be able to train their dogs while on the go. These collars allow you to teach your dog basic obedience commands, as well as recall commands, from a distance. 

In conclusion, hiking gear for dogs is something super fun for pet owners and their hiking buddy to explore together.

There are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers as to what is the best hiking gear. But, there are many essentials that you should invest in to keep your furry friends safe while out and about adventuring.

Happy hiking!

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Dane lover and believer in ethical breeding, training and rescue practices. Positive + Balanced trainer, owner of rescue dogs and dogs from breeders. Love the dog in front of you.

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