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Hiking Gear for Dogs | Having a dog is one of the best feelings for any dog parent. Apart from their loving and playful nature, they are an excellent resource that benefits us in many ways.
They offer people protection, whether it is for their estate, house, or children, and can be an excellent company in times of loneliness. There is significant proof that dogs are great for their mental health as they can provide comfort and support. These are some of the reasons why dogs were eventually domesticated. One can say that the relationship between dogs and humans is centuries old and continues to evolve with time.
Now, instead of hunting, dog owners prefer taking their dogs on more friendly adventures. One of them is hiking, which is a challenging yet memorable bonding experience between a dog and its owner.
However, if you’ve been hiking with your furry friend, you’d know it entails a lot of planning and preparation. This extends to your dog too, who needs to be trained to behave well on the trail. You also have to ensure your fur baby has all hiking necessities readily available while hiking. Therefore, it is imperative that you can extra care when sorting hiking gear for your dog. Below is a list of items that you should include as hiking gear for dogs.
One of the basic items while hiking is a dog backpack. Just as you carry a backpack with all your necessary items, your dog can also carry a small backpack that can easily store essentials. Since hiking is a strenuous activity, it is recommended that you split weight by letting your dog carry its backpack. However, ensure the backpack’s weight aligns with your pet’s body weight and doesn’t cause an injury.
This item is a no-brainer, but it’s good to reiterate. Always carry your dog’s food with your while hiking, as it’s not recommended to light a fire in the middle of the hiking trail. This is an important part of hiking gear for dogs as, without it, it will be difficult to continue the hike as your pet will need frequent nourishment.
Because you and your dog need to follow the ‘Leave No Trace’ rule on the hiking trail, make sure you carry a collapsible bowl for food. This item can be easily packed and allows your dog to consume food easily, without leaving any traces of it on the trail. Moreover, this is a suitable alternative to plastic and wrappers that may tarnish the beauty of the trail.
Even though a hiking trail may have water resources such as a waterfall or a river, it’s recommended to bring your water bottle. The same rule applies to your pet. Make sure you bring a reusable water bottle with a detachable cup so your pet can hydrate itself easily. You can always refill water through the water resources, but drinking should be from a bottle or a cup to minimize contamination.
One of the essential hiking gear items is a poop bag for your dog. It is important to keep one, whether it is a ziplock or a biodegradable bag. Leaving traces of poop on the trail is damaging to the environment and destroys the beauty of the place. Furthermore, it may put off other hikers in case they accidentally step on your dog’s poop.
To ensure your dog’s safety on the trail, you should invest in dog tracking gear. There are plenty of dog tracking gears available online that can help you trace your pet if they are off-leash. It can be installed on a dog collar in the form of a GPS (Global Positioning System), or it can be included in your dog’s backpack.
A leash is another important item, especially on a hike. It allows you some control over your pet. However, make sure your dog’s leash isn’t retractable or extendable, as it may be an obstruction during control. Moreover, it shouldn’t be too long or too short that it is useless during hiking.
Another way to identify your dog is by putting a dog collar on it. Make sure you include your dog’s name, your name, emergency contact number, and your house address in case of an unforeseen incident, your dog can be easily identified and returned to you. You can also look for reflective dog collars, so it helps locate your pet at night.
Dog gear also includes clothes according to season. If it’s too hot during hiking, make sure you have a cooling jacket for your pet. You can easily use it by dipping it in water and making your pet wear it. However, if it’s winter, then a fleece coat would be ideal for your pet. Make sure you have both these items depending on the season. If the weather is good and you don’t feel your pet needs such clothing, you can carry a reflective jacket instead.
A first-aid box is important for your pet, just as it’s important for you. You can purchase a full-fledged set that is easily available online, or you can make your first-aid box. It’s always best to ask your dog’s vet for recommendations, but you can include gauze, band-aids, tweezers, antiseptic pads, and medicines.
You can also buy dog shoes for your pet in case the hiking trail is too hot. It can cause discomfort to your pet and may also quicken the onset of hydration.
On a concluding one, this list is not exhaustive. These are just some of the things your pet may need while hiking. As you continue to hike, you will become more experienced, and you and your pet’s needs will evolve with time. However, the list above can be a good way to begin planning for dog hiking gear.