Hiking with Dogs: Supplies, Recommendations and Tips

If you're looking through our website, chances are that you and your dog enjoy outdoor adventures together. From swimming to hiking, our BAYDOG gear is designed for active, adventure-seeking canines. But, hiking with dogs isn't something to jump into without doing your research. You'll need a few necessary supplies, and you need to be sure that Fido is physically up for the challenge. Hiking with dogs is great exercise for both of you, plus spending quality time together will foster the bond between you and your canine companion. Dogs are energetic, fun-loving and always up for exploring. They make the perfect hiking partners! No matter where you go for a hike, there will be fresh smells, new sights and maybe even some new friends to meet. Hiking with dogs will offer you both a chance for socialization, exercise and rejuvenation. There is nothing like an afternoon spent in the great outdoors to reset your yourself and take a break from the electronics and hectic schedules of today's world. While hiking by yourself is peaceful, it can also be a little bit lonely. Bringing your dog along will give you a friend to travel with that won't spend all day chatting and disturbing your peace. There are numerous things to consider before you take Fido on your first hike, and a list of must-have supplies that you'll need to purchase.

Hiking with Dogs

Hiking with Dogs

Before you hike

Hiking is a lot of fun, but it can be dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. You should be sure to research the trail you plan to hike before setting out. Keep your ability level and your dog's health in mind. If you're beginning adventurers, a short, easy hike will be best to get you started. If you have hiked in the past but haven't done a lot of physical exercise recently, you shouldn't overestimate your strength. The best thing to do is start out easy and work your way up. Getting your dog accustomed to hiking should be a gradual process. Start with short, easy hikes and slowly move up to more challenging adventures. Before you know it, you and Fido will have the stamina to hike many miles over rough terrain. Your dog will need to be 100% obedient if you plan to allow him to go off leash at any time. More so, he will need to follow basic commands and be properly leash trained before setting out for a hike. Even if you're planning a short hike on a relatively unknown trail, there is still a chance that you could meet other hikers and/or see other animals. If your dog isn't well behaved, a situation like this could become very serious. Make sure that your dog is physically ready for the challenge. Small breeds, puppies, senior dogs and pets with certain health conditions may not be cut out for hiking. Some breeds make better hiking partners than others. For example, if your dog has a respiratory problem, hiking during warm weather or in humid conditions may be a problem. The best thing that you can do is consult your veterinarian if you have any questions. They will be able to tell you whether or not your dog is capable of hiking and help you plan a trip that is appropriate for your canine companion.

Must-have supplies

There are hundreds of different products on the market that are geared toward dog owners who like to hike. You can get everything from wireless cameras to record your adventures to GPS trackers for your furry friend. I know we're all on a budget, so don't worry about spending big bucks for pet supplies that you'll only be using Hiking with Dogsonce in a while. However, there is some gear that is an absolute must when hiking with dogs:
  • harness
  • leash
  • ID tags and/or microchip
  • canine first aid kit
  • food and water
  • collapsible travel bowls
  • insect repellent
  • dog poop bags
Our Chesapeake Bay and Cape Cod Bay Harnesses are an ideal choice for hiking with dogs. They feature padded chest plates for extra comfort and a padded traffic handle to ensure you can take control of your dog in any situation. A traffic handle is a must on any hiking harness. It allows you to hang onto Fido when other hikers or animals are on the trail. These handles are also beneficial when helping to lift your dog over an obstacle or pulling him up out of the water. You will also find that our Hudson Bay and Pensacola Bay are an excellent leash for hikers and their pups. They're made with a durable two-layer construction and reinforced stitching. The handle is padded with a neoprene layer that is odor resistant. Our favorite feature of these leashes is the easy secure system that allows you to quickly tether your dog to a tree if you need to take a break and don't want Fido to wander. There are a few other items such as dog boots, a cooling vest or even a doggy jacket that could come in handy. You could also outfit your dog with a backpack to carry his own supplies if you think it's necessary. The best thing that you can do is research where you're going and the weather on the day of your trip. This will help you to plan the equipment that you and your pooch are going to need.

During and after your hike

You should stop every 20-30 minutes to give your dog a break and a chance to have some water. You may need to take more frequent breaks if your dog is a puppy or senior, the weather is hot or the hiking conditions are very difficult. You should also feed him a snack or small amount of food every 2-3 hours, depending on the length of your hike. Check on your pet. Keep an eye on him throughout the hike and after you return home. Look for any signs of soreness or pain. Give him plenty of down time after the hike to rest his body and catch up on sleep. If you notice any behavior changes or signs of possible pain, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.