There’s nothing better than heading outdoors with your four-legged best friend. Whether you’re tackling a local hike or going on a week-long backpacking trip with your pup, it helps to be prepared.
To help make your time outside with your dog safe and fun, check out these 8 essential pieces of outdoor gear for dogs.
While collars are great, harnesses allow our pups to explore without experiencing any strain on their necks. If your canine pal isn’t the best leash walker, a harness is even more essential. Since you’ll be out all day, look for a harness that is padded and adjustable for the most comfortable fit. Another great detail is reflective elements that let you and others see your dog during the night.
Pro tip: look for a bright orange color so your pup is safe during hunting season.
Our pick for the best go-to harnesses for outdoor dogs? Ruffwear.
While some dogs love to run free in the outdoors, not every area is safe for off-leash dogs. Even if your dog is friendly, other pups might not be! Plus, you want to make sure your dog is safe from wildlife and that they stay on public property. Waist wrap leashes are great for hikes since they allow you to have your hands free while keeping your pup at a safe distance. Another great option for outdoor lovers are leashes made from old climbing ropes, such as those from Mountain Dog Products.
Portable Water Dish
You’re not the only one who gets thirsty on a long (or short) hike! A portable water dish is a convenient way to keep your dog hydrated on the trail. Plus, the collapsable and lightweight design provides an easy fit in your pack.
Pro tip: When you’re packing water for camping or hiking, make sure to account for how much both humans and pups will drink.
We know that packing light is essential for an enjoyable, comfortable hiking trip. While your dog’s supplies may not seem like it will weigh that much, canine food, water, and camping supplies can quickly add on to the weight of your pack.
To help your dog carry their own weight, opt for a dog backpack. Just like with humans, it’s essential that your pup has a properly fitting pack. Make sure to find a brand that has multiple sizes and adjustable straps. When it comes time to load up, make sure you never put more than 25% of your dog’s body weight in their pack.
Another bonus of dog backpacks? It gives your dog a job to do. Many dogs will actually feel more relaxed knowing they have a task to complete.
If you’ll be out in the cold with your dog, you might need to look into a coat for your furry friend. While some types of dogs thrive in cold temperatures (huskies, newfoundlands, akitas, etc.), many dogs could use some extra warmth.
Depending on your dog’s heat tolerance and the temperatures you’ll be out in, you have a few different options. Fleece jackets are great for adding a bit of warmth while down coats are perfect for those extra cold days
Speaking of keeping your dog warm, it's important to remember that they have proper warmth during bedtime Yes, dogs receive some natural insulation from their fur - but don’t be mistaken! Their fur alone does not necessarily provide enough warmth when the temperature drops. While some breeds are suited to cold temperatures, many dogs get cold even when temperatures dip below 50°F. This is especially true at night when pups stop moving and the sun sets. If you see your dog shivering, they definitely need a sleeping bag.
These bags are specially shaped to keep your dog cozy. Another benefit of these bags? You won’t have a sleepless night as your dog tries to snuggle into your sleeping bag.
If you’re looking for a sleeping bag to try, check out the ones from WilderDog.
You may not think dogs need shoes, but in rougher terrain it is probably a smart idea to protect your pup’s pads. Just as blisters can ruin our hikes, pad scrapes can dampen a dog’s day too. Dog booties protect dog paws from harsh elements such as snow, hot pavement, and sharp rocks.
Just like with your own boots, you’ll need to choose the correct size. If your dog isn’t used to wearing shoes, make sure to gradually introduce them to these lil’ booties.
While your dog probably has a bed at home that they love, it isn’t practical to bring their favorite giant pillow on a hike or camping trip. That said, your dog will still appreciate a comfy and warm spot to relax.
Portable dog beds are lightweight, and they roll up for easy transport. Along with keeping your dog cozy, they also help keep them warm by forming a barrier between you pup and the cold ground - Think of them as doggy sleeping pads. These beds were made for adventurous dogs!
After you’ve gathered up your gear, you can head outside with your dog in style. Both you and your pup will be ready to have a good time no matter what adventure lies ahead.