Taking Your Dog Hiking – What To Bring?

Dog HikingThis is Part 2 of a 2 Part post: Click here to go to  Part 1: Taking Your Dog Hiking

Now that we know all the particulars about taking our dog hiking, what do we need to pack for our pooch?

What to Bring:

  • Dog Tag: Make sure your dog has a tag with either your home information (address, phone number, vets name and phone number, the dog’s name).  Some people will even make temporary dog tags with the campsite location and “contact ranger” on the tag.
  • Water: Just like you need water, make sure you have plenty for your dog.   This includes bringing them a water bowl.  There are
    collapsible lightweight bowls available.  Also, just like humans, dogs can get sick from parasites and chemicals in water.  Don’t let them drink the water from lakes and streams.   Bringing a water filter is a good idea for both you and your dog.
  • First Aid Kit: There are many dog first aid kits on the market.  Make sure to have these;  adhesive tape, disposable razor for shaving around a wound, antibiotic cream and tweezers or pliers for pulling out thorns.
  • Leash: Most parks require a leash when taking your dog hiking.  Be aware of the parks leash law before getting on the trail.  Many parks require a 6 foot leash (non-retractable).  A 6 foot leash is better anyway, because I find that retractable leashes tend to be on the flimsy side and when put in an emergency situation might break.
  • Food: Bring adequate food.  Keep in mind that they are exercising more on the trail and will probably need more.
  • Baggies or Trowel: If you are going on a day hike, make sure to pick up after your dog and double bag it (pack it out).  If it is a multiple day hike, you must bury your dog’s waste just like your own.
  • Doggie Backpack:  Doggie backpacks are great.  You can have your pet carry their own supplies.  Backpacks come in all styles and sizes.  Here is a comprehensive article on Doggie Backpacks.  Before taking your dog hiking, you must get them used to the pack.  Start by putting it on them and let them get used to the feel of it.  Then take them on short hikes with it on and slowly fill it with weight.  You might want to start with a short day hike to make sure they are acclimated to it.
  • Muzzle: If you know your dog is aggressive to other dogs, a muzzle is warranted.  This is not being mean to your pet, it is allowing it to hike with you while keeping it and others around you safe.
  • Bedding: What you bring for your dog to sleep on depends on the nighttime temperature and your pet’s coat.  At the very least, it is good to have a pad for your pet to sleep on.  If the weather will get below 40 degrees, a sleeping bag, a dog coat or your coat would be necessary.  I am saying all of this with the assumption that your pet will sleep in the tent with you.  If it does get cold at night and the dog is to be sleeping outside your tent, I suggest not bringing them.
  • Booties: If your hike is going to have snow, ice or rocky terrain, have your dog wear a set of booties.  Just like the backpack, they will take some getting used to.
  • Vest or Coat: Depending on the temperature again, you might want to pack a coat for your dog.  If hiking through snow, make sure that your dog’s belly is kept warm and get a coat that covers it too.
  • Bandana: This can have many benefits.  You can soak it in water and on a hot day let the water evaporate and keep your dog cooler.  If it is a bright color, it will make your pet more visible to yourself and others on the trail (this is also a good idea if you are hiking in hunting area).
  • Flotation Device: (a life vest)  If you are planning to take your dog hiking near a lake or stream and they love to play in the water, bring a life vest for them.
  • Towel: This will help keep your pet dry and clean.
  • Harness: For a more technical trail or climbing.

There may be other items that you can think of when you bring your dog hiking with you.  Maybe their favorite chew toy or blanket.  Hiking with your dog can be a great experience.

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One Response to “Taking Your Dog Hiking – What To Bring?”

  1. Pet Dog Tags says:

    ooh thanks for the information. i would definitely bring everything that’s necessary for my and my dog’s comfort and safety. xD