Dogs love getting outside with you, and many dogs love hiking! Your pooch gets to run around in the woods with you and burn off some extra energy with you. If you’re ready to take your pooch on a fun hike, then you’re in luck! We have some great tips and products for you to make your next hike, the best one yet. From travel bags to water bottles, and even tips on how to keep your dog safe on long hikes. After all, what’s better than spoiling your pup and saving money.
Hiking is great exercise, the consistent hills, and uneven ground are great for your whole body. Your dog will like the challenge, but you do have to keep in mind that their paws can’t always handle what your feet can. We’ll point out some of the hazards to look out for that may not be second nature to you. From sharp rocks to poisonous plants, and hazards such as bugs.
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hiking safety tips
Hiking can be loads of fun if you’re prepared. Whether you’re hiking the entire Appalachian Trail with your pooch, or taking them for a 10 minute hike around town, it’s better to be prepared. We’ve gone on hikes with your pooch, and we know what things you’re going to regret not taking with you, why? Because we’ve made those mistakes ourselves.
Additionally, it’s important to learn about safety tips before you take to the mountain with Fido. The first thing to consider is that your dog is not wearing shoes when they hike like you are.
If you know the trail is going to be rocky and awkward, it may be best to purchase a pair of booties for your pooch. Of course, if you can, try to let your dog walk on the flattest part of the trail on either side of you.
Sometimes we forget that our dogs need to take breaks for snacks and water, too. We’ve learned that anything we think we must pack for ourselves, we should at least consider for our pooch. Throwing a granola bar in your bag? Maybe that means you should throw a baggy full of treats in your bag, too. Likewise, if you pack a water bottle, you should make sure you pack enough water (and possibly a water bowl) for Fido.
Additionally, there are some hazards to look out for when you’re in the woods; including, toxic plants, fleas, ticks, other animals. We will cover all of these hazards and other ways you can prepare both mentally and physically for your dog’s next hike!
plants to look out for
In general, you shouldn’t let your pooch eat any plants unless you know whether or not they’re healthy. Unfortunately, your dog’s mouth is pretty much at ground level, and when you’re in the woods, there are plants all around. We try to keep our dogs on the main trail out of the tall brush.
To the right you’ll see four plants that are very common in the woods that both you and Fido should avoid if you see them. For obvious reasons, poison ivy and poison oak are two plants you should both stay far, far away. Additionally, Devil’s Weed and Autumn Crocus are seemingly harmless, yet toxic to dogs.
Ticks can attach to both dogs and humans, and are quite tricky to remove. Unfortunately, due to fur, ticks are hard to identify if they latch onto your furry friends. Ticks are actually alive through out all seasons, but during the spring and summer months when they’re outside, they seem to be just about everywhere. Unfortunately, ticks thrive in the woods, and are going to inhabit some of your favorite hiking trails.
It can be hard to check your dog over for ticks after every hike, especially if they have thick fur. Fortunately, their are hundreds of products on the market designed just to keep ticks away from Fido. Below you’ll find one of our favorite flea & tick collars, you can also check out our full tick guide here.
Tick collars are an easy way to protect your dog when you’re out in the woods. They’re cheaper than monthly treatments, and not as sticky as sprays. The Seresto collar will kill and repel ticks without contact, your dog won’t even know it’s there. It’s easy to use, and has a non-greasy formula that won’t get all over your dog’s coat. Because this collar works for 8 months at a time, you can easily put it on your pup and not think twice about it.
The Seresto Collar has a polymer matrix design that constantly provides two active ingredients; imidacloprid and flumethrin. The collar will continuously replenish your dog’s skin and coat with these active ingredients for the entire 8 months. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about getting the formula all over their coat and worrying about your dog licking it off. As soon as you put the collar on your pup it will quickly kill all fleas within 24 hours, making flea & ticks a problem of the past. The collar is available in two sizes, making it suitable for dogs of any size. We definitely recommend this collar to those of you that will be deep in the woods for extended periods of time.
If you’re going for a long hike, or even just a brief walk around a park, it’s ideal to have a designated ‘dog bag’ for all of your pup’s necessities. Just like you wouldn’t leave the house without a diaper bag for a child, you may not be able to leave the house without your pup’s doggie bag.
Struggling to fit all of your dog’s necessities into your purse or pocket? This bag holds everything you’ll need, and more. Store all of your treats, keys, your phone, poop bags, toys, and water bowls. It also has a built-in dog poop holder so you can easily dispense the waste bags right from the bag.
You can wear this fun pack a variety of ways; it has a 48″ adjustable waistband, removable shoulder strap, and metal belt clip. The material is lightweight, waterproof, and durable. It’s the perfect way to ensure you always have Fido’s necessities when you leave the house.
If your hiking trail has uneven or rough terrain such as rocks, slippery areas, or water, your pooch may need a pair of booties. Dog booties will give your pooch the grip they need to climb with you. Additionally, if there are any hazards such as glass or prickly plants, they’ll protect their paws. The Ruffwear All-Terrain shoes have the best paw protection we’ve tested. Made with durable materials and innovative technology, you can trust these shoes to last a life time and protect your pup from the elements. The Grip Trex Boots have a breathable mesh design that give your pup’s paws great ventilation while keeping dirt and debris out of their shoes. The reflective trim will also help you keep an eye on your pup, night or day.
These booties have a unique design that gives it a wide opening for your dogs paws. Easily get their feet in and out of the boots with ease. When the shoes are on, simply tighten the top with the hook and loop hardware for a comfortable fit. These booties are a little pricey, however, considering how well they work, we highly recommend them. You can trust that these booties protect your dog from hot pavement, snow, sand, dirt, water, ice, and anything sharp your pup accidentally steps on. We highly recommend these booties for dog parents that need a durable, comfortable shoe for their fur babies.
hands free leash
Hands-free leashes make hiking a breeze. Rather than having to hold onto your pup’s leash while also holding a water bootle or your phone, pick up a hands-free leash. All you have to do is tie it around your waste and your done. If you trip or fall, you don’t have to worry about accidentally letting go of the leash. Additionally, it’s a great core workout!
The TaoTronics Retractable hands-free leash is one of our favorites.
Their hands-free leash easily clips onto your waste for comfort and control. Additionally, the entire leash acts as a bungee chord; if your dog does decide to take off abruptly, you won’t get an abrupt jerk to the waste. The bungees make it much easier to control your pooch, and also puts less strain on you and them. The bungees absorb the jerks and lunges your dog makes.
As you can see in the picture, this leash also has two handles. This gives you so much control when you’re hiking with your pooch. If they stray to far, simply pick up one of the handles and pull them in. When the distraction has passed, you can just let go of the handle.
This leash is ideal for dogs up to 150 lbs. It stretches up to 67″, so they’ll always have the necessary freedom if you prefer to give it to them.
Additionally, this leash has reflective stitching on it. If you ever go for walks in the evening, it makes you and your pooch far more visible.
We highly recommend this leash for active pet parents. It gives you the mobility you need to stay active, while still keeping your dog close!
dog hiking pack
Dog hiking packs are a great way to store all of Fido’s essentials while hiking; especially if you already have a bag full of your own necessities. The Yossoo hiking pack is one of our favorites. Not only is the product great, but the company is great as well. They even offer a 6 month warranty on the backpack if there are any issues.
Their hiking pack is comfortable for your pooch, has tons of storage space, and even makes your dog more visible to others. You can purchase it in either orange, yellow, or pink. All three colors are very bright, and sure to make Fido look stylish during those long hikes. Additionally, all three colors are very durable and keep their color, even when your pooch wears them out in the sun all of the time.
osoo’s pet backpack has a ton of storage for your pooch. It has an external handbag that you can carry around that will match your dog’s pack, perfect for your own belongings. Additionally, it has two storage bags with two pockets on the side for Fido’s things. You can fit your keys, snack bags, small water bowls, poop bags, and more!
Most importantly, this pack is comfortable for your pooch. It fits like a saddle and has an adjustable strap to fit your dog’s stomach perfectly. Additionally, you can attach a leash to this pack. No need to make your dog wear a collar, and the pack at the same time. If you’re worried about ID tags, you can simply slip an information card into one of the pockets to let others know who your pooch is.
We also love that this pack has a handle on the top of it. If you need to lift your pooch up for any reason during a hike, you can simply grab the handle and pick them up. This is great for crossing small creeks, or simply trying to get your pup in the car after a long hike!
The Yosoo pack is made with durable materials; it’s wear resistant, holds it’s color, and doesn’t deform during long hikes. We highly recommend this pack for pet parents that like taking their dogs outdoors for extended periods of time. It holds all of your dogs belongings easily and comfortably
dog water bottle
You should never go for a long hike without a water bottle (or two), and the same goes for Fido! They’re going to get thirsty just like you, especially on hot days. It’s important to make sure they have a source of water while they’re out and about. The Highwave AutoDogMug is a great way to keep them hydrated all day long. It’s easy to use, will fit in your backpack, and holds enough water for them.
Each water bottle holds 20 ounces of water, and is both BPA free, and leak tight. To use the water bottle simply squeeze the bottle, the top bowl will fill up immediately. We recommend holding the bottle at ground level for your dog so they don’t knock it over.
The only downside to this bottle is that you can’t ‘lock’ it closed. If you throw it in your backpack and something starts crushing the bottle, it’ll release water into the bottle. However, if you have it in an outside pocket, you won’t run into any issues.
This water bottle is well-worth the money if your dog is outside of the house for extended periods of time. Whether you’re on the beach, or taking a nice hike with Fido, this water bottle is a life savor. Check out all of the fun colors it comes in on Amazon, and get ready for your net big hike!
Your dog is bound to get hungry on long hikes, especially with all of the calories they’re burning! Etta Says Treats – To Go are one of our all-time favorite portable treats. They come in a cute canister, making them perfect for shoving in your pocket during long walks. These treats are perfect for training and come in a mess-free handy packaging to take with you on the go. They come in an air-tight container, which is not only convenient for traveling, but also helps to keep the treats fresh.
Our dogs flip for these treats, they look (and smell) just like peanut butter cereal puffs, and have a nice, chewy texture that your dog will love. Most importantly however, they’ll keep your dog full and energized. They contain limited ingredients, yet have about 40% protein with each serving.
We highly recommend these treats for your hiking trips. The can itself is only three inches tall and at only 1.3 ounces you can fit it just about anywhere you go with your pup. They also have a shelf life of 18 months so you won’t have to worry about the treats going bad before your pup gets a chance to eat them up; throw them in your car or your purse and you won’t have to worry about leaving treats at home again!
Hiking is a great activity that you can share with your dogs! They’ll love the exercise, and the time they get to spend with you. As long as you’re prepared, you can make hiking a fun, relaxing, and healthy activity for both of you!
If you have any questions about any of the products we’ve covered here, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]