Exercise and recreation are vital for both you and your hound’s health and wellbeing. Hiking with your dog can be an excellent way for you both to enjoy the great outdoors, no matter your fitness or hiking style.
Whether it’s a day walk in the countryside, advanced trails, multi-day hikes, or even summit hiking, prepare your dog with the right hiking gear as you would yourself.
Hiking gear for dogs, suitable for your hiking style, will ensure every hiking adventure is safe and enjoyable for everyone, including others you may encounter on the trail.
Thinking beyond just nutrition and hydration. We’ve put together some of the best hiking gear for dogs, whether with hiking with small dogs or large athletic hounds, to help you and your dog enjoy more adventures outdoors, even if you have the ideal breed for hiking off-leash.
Best Hiking Gear For Dogs
Harnesses & Leads
Depending on where you hike, you may always have to keep your dog on a leash. Regardless, it is wise to always keep a leash with you. It’s considerate to restrain your dog when encountering other people or dogs on your hike.
A good dog harness is an excellent bit of hiking gear for your dog as it offers so many benefits:
- A harness is a more comfortable anchor point for the leash as opposed to pulling at the neck.
- Allows for quick and easy restraining
- Offers easy grab points for assisting your dog on steep or climbing hikes
- Provides additional visibility for safety
- Some come with very worthwhile hiking additions such as pockets, cooling inserts or packs.
Hiking Dog Harness
The Front Range Harness is the perfect all-round harness for everyday adventure. Padded, easy to put on and comfortable to wear it has two leash attachment points – Centre back for everyday hounds and front chest for hounds that pull.
An ID pocket keeps dog tags quiet, and reflective trim and light loop for The Beacon™ boost visibility in low-light conditions.
Harness for Climbing Terrain
Secure, comfortable, and supportive, The Ruffwear Web Master Harness is a multi-purpose harness designed to assist in manoeuvring dogs up and over obstacles. A good dogs hiking harness for those who like scrambling. It has five adjustment points for a secure fit with padded chest and belly straps for added comfort. It also has two small zip pockets for your dog’s essentials.
Hiking Dog Leash
Zero Shock Technology ( a dog leash shock absorber) greatly reduces the impact and strain from the pull of your dog, which makes hiking on a leash so much more enjoyable for you and your dog.
Neoprene, wetsuit rubber in the handle adds comfort and durability. The Zero shock leash also comes in a hands-free version – The Road Runner leash and has an extension for a longer leash.
Hiking Coats & Dog Hiking Packs
Depending on the climate and terrain, a dog coat for outdoorsy adventures is a great addition to any hound’s wardrobe. There are loads of great coats to keep them protected from the elements.
From cooling coats for hot climate hikes, insulated coats for warmth, rain, and abrasion protection or lightweight waterproof coats. These are some good all-rounders for all climates.
Dog Hiking Coats
A fabulous harness coat combo, The Overcoat Fuse offers dogs who typically layer their coat and harness a seamless solution for outdoor activity in cool weather or light rain. It also provides abrasion protection for off road runs.
The leash attaches directly to the coat either on the back or chest, and two small zip pockets offer storage for your dog’s essential items such as snacks and poo bags—a fantastic all-around coat for all activities.
A handy add on to your dogs harness for hot-weather hikes or high-intensity activity. The Ruffwear Core Cooler™ is a harness add-on that cools using evaporative cooling to pull heat from the dog’s core.
Wet the Core Cooler, wring it out and attach to your dog’s Ruffwear harnesses or packs using hook-and-loop sleeves. It also offers additional support when lifting your dog and provides additional stabilisation for dog packs and dog harnesses.
Give your dog protection from the sun and heat using the evaporative cooling technology of The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler jacket. Much like the Core Cooler™ harness add on, wet the Swamp Cooler and wring out.
The light colour reflects the sun, and the jacket pulls heat from the dog. A leash portal allows leash attachment when worn over a harness.
Dog Hiking Pack
A versatile dog pack, the Ruffwear Approach Pack is made for independent and adventurous hounds. 5-litre carrying capacity allows your dog to carry their own water pouch, snacks, and essentials when you go hiking.
It has an integrated harness with zippered pockets on both sides, two leash attachment points, five adjustment points for comfort and stability and a reflective finish for low light conditions.
Want a smaller dog pack? The Ruffwear Singletrack Pack offers many of the same features of the Approach backpack but with a more streamlined profile. It also includes two collapsible water bottles and two stash pockets for puppy essentials.
Footwear & Paw Protection
Much like humans, dogs need paw protection on rough terrain or in extreme weather. Whether it’s a hot pavement, a snowy trail or a long day on a rocky track, your dog’s paw pads will thank you for a little paw protection.
These are just some of the ways you can look after your hound’s paws and give them some extra tread on the trail.
Dog Hiking Boots
Flexible and comfortable to wear, the rugged outsole gives your hound excellent traction, and upper mesh provides ventilation while keeping paws dirt and debris free. Hook and loop closure provides a secure fit so they won’t fall off on the run.
Think of them as socks for dogs. You don’t want to wear hiking boots without socks, so why would your dog.
For over 40 years, Mushers Secret has been providing sled dogs with an invisible boot. The paw wax creates a breathable shield for your dog’s paws against harsh conditions such as hot pavement or sand, snow & salt, or rough terrain. Made from natural ingredients, it also nourishes paws to prevent drying or painful cracking.
Sustenance & Hydration
The main thing you need to take on any outing is sufficient water for your dog, especially on long hikes. If you are planning a long hike or strenuous hike, much like you, your dog will also need some sustenance. We recommend only taking natural snacks as some lesser quality snack may contain sugar and artificial flavourings which can make your dog very thirsty.
Lightweight Dog Bowl for Hiking
A collapsible bowl is always handy to have in your car or your daypack. The Drive Takeaway™ collapsible dog bowl is made from waterproof Ripstop nylon, is lightweight and completely compactable. Available in both 1 and 2-litre sizes. Portable Dog Water Bottle
A perfect lightweight water bottle you can share with your dog. Yep, sounds a bit gross but you can drink from the bottle and your dog from the removable bottom.
Always pack some nutritious natural snacks for your friend.
Health & Safety
Keeping you dog healthy and safe is always at the forefront of any dog owners mind. It’s especially true when you are out and about on adventures. Here are a few simple things that will help to keep your hound in tip-top shape and safe on your hiking date.
GPS Dog Tracker
Let’s face it, no one wants to be tethered all day when you’re in the great outdoors. It’s time for a good run and explore. Let your dog run free without worrying where they are.
A simple GPS tracker attached to their harnesses or collar will report back to an app on your phone if you do happen to lose them. It will also monitor your dog’s daily activity, like a fit bit to tell you how their activity measures up for their age and breed. The Whistle Go GPS Tracker is waterproof for up to 3 feet for 30 minutes.
Whether you are walking your dog at night near traffic or will be hiking in low light, make sure your dog is always visible with a light up dog collar.
Tick & Flea Protection
No matter where you plan to hike, it is always wise to ensure your dog has adequate tick protection.
According to Pets WebMD “Not all varieties of dog skin cancer are caused by sun exposure, but sun damage to the skin can be a factor. All dogs have certain areas, such as the nose and the ears, where there is no or little hair to shield sensitive skin from the sun. Additionally, pooches with light-coloured or thin coats are more susceptible to sun damage over their entire bodies.”
Protect your dog’s vulnerable bits with an easy spray-on sunscreen as you would yourself.
You should always stand by an ethos of Leave no Trace in any natural setting. This goes for your pups number two’s as well. And to keep it environmentally friendly, try to opt for an earth friendly poo bag for your clean up.
Keep your poo bags safe and on hand with a RUFFWEAR stash bag. It clip-on or can be worn around your waist, There’s even an internal clip for keeping keys safe.
Keep you, your hound and the local wildlife safe with this simple bear bell. Attach to your dog’s collar to warn animals of you and your dog’s presence. A magnetic strap eliminates the ringing when not in use.