Here you will find items directly related to hiking with a dog. Having hiked thousands of miles with a dog, I feel obligated to help other dog owners put together a small doggy gear list. To be honest, here really isn’t much to all the dog gear. There is tons of it out there, but I’m only going to provide some very basic items that I have personally used, or personally seen in action. If you want to carry an extra shelter/toys/anything…that’s on you on your dog! Literally.
I can’t get Katana to hike in these to save her life, but many other dog owners manage to hike successfully with their dogs in them. If you’re hiking for a longer distance on rough, coarse, or hot terrain; then dog booties are a must. Word to the wise, please do not make them wear the booties for very extended periods of time, as they can begin to rub and chafe the sides of their legs after prolonged use. Ruffwear makes some of the best booties in the business.
Musher’s Secret has become something I take with me on every long hike now. If I know I’m going through tough, hot, icy, freezing, coarse, or dry terrain; I’ll apply it to Katana’s paws in the morning, afternoon, and at night. It can help to create a protective layer on their pads, as well protect in between their toes. In exceptionally hot conditions, it can help to keep their pads moisturized in an effort to prevent cracking. It can also be used to fill in any kind of cuts anywhere on their body to help prevent dirt or germs from getting in. Also, it works as a very mild pain killer.
I’ve tried countless harnesses on Katana, and so far this one is my favorite. It’s simple, durable, functional, comfortable for her, and it looks good. When I need to, I can quickly and safely pick her up or grab her by this harness. I don’t see myself using anything else anytime soon.
I’ve never used a doggy backpack on Katana, but I’ve seen plenty of dogs who hike with them and love it. If you have a larger dog, and you’re a smaller person; a doggy backpack can be a life saver. Let them carry their food, water, and any other supplies. Not every dog should/wants to carry a pack, so use good judgement. Katana is small, so I don’t mind carrying the extra pounds of food and water she requires.
Technically you can use anything as a dog bowl when you’re hiking with your dog (I’ve used my shoe before), but using something specifically made for feeding on the go can make life much easier. I use the Ruffwear Collapsible/Closeable dog bowl because of the ease of use. I pull it out, open the draw strings, set it down and let her eat, cinch it up real quick afterwards and throw it right back in my pack. It’s durable, convenient, and serves its purpose perfectly.
A water bowl can take up quite a bit of space in a pack, much like a food bowl can. This collapsible bowl is easy and convenient to stow away in any pocket, without having to worry about it taking up vital space. Sure you can use anything for a water bowl (and I certainly have), but convenience and simplicity often gets the better of me.
If your dog has short hair and you know you’ll be hiking in fairly cold conditions, you may want to look into a jacket to give them a little extra insulation. My dog Katana is built for the cold, but we’ve ourselves shivering on more than one occasion! Be sure to be careful with the sizing.
I don’t know if you walk with your dog on a leash all the time, or part of the time, but leashes can get pretty heavy when they’re stowed in your pack (depending on what they’re made of). Unless you have an absolute favorite leash that you love and always use; the most practical leash you can make will be out of para-cord. Super light, super strong, and you can make it to any length you want. Use a single strand of Paracord, or weave it into an intricate design like the one above. All that Paracord may come in handy one day in a pinch…