Ready to hit the hiking trails with your dog, here are the essentials you’ll need to make the adventure safe and enjoyable.
Shoes, map, water, bug spray, snacks etc. all things that you may throw into your backpack before setting out for a day hike. Whether you’re an avid adventurer, newer to trails or somewhere in between, it’s not hard to figure out what basic gear you should
take with you on a hike. For many people though, venturing with a hiking buddy in the form of a four-legged friend, is uncharted territory. Below is a list of 7 Items you should consider throwing in your pack before hitting the trails with your dog:
Packing in actual dog food and/or dog treats will power your pet through miles and allow them to munch on something while you break for meals. Try not to stray too far from your dog’s regular eating time if planning an all day hike!
If there are no reliable water sources along the route, the general rule of thumb is carrying 1 liter of water for every 4 miles you hike (weather dependent) However, for your canine friend, consider carrying at least a liter for every 3 miles you plan to hike.
Because of terrain and potential obstacles, you’ll want to avoid long leashes. Opt for either a short heeling leash or a moderate leash around 7-10 feet long so that you can quickly shorten it. Important note: Majority of state parks require all dogs to be
on a leash 10 feet or shorter.
An additional safety precaution to ensure your dog’s protection. Make sure your tags
include both your dog’s and your name/telephone number and a registration tag with your dogs license/rabies information.
A weather/terrain dependent option, unless your dog’s paws are sensitive. Bringing booties along could also prove beneficial if your dog cuts/tears a claw during your hike.
Plastic bag/Poop bags
Complying with ‘leave no trace’ principles, if your dog defecates anywhere along a trail or near a water source – you need to pack it out.
Dog first-aid kit
Basic items that should be available at your local pet supply store, through your veterinarian or even a drug store:
- Toenail clippers
- Cleansers and disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide and Betadine
- Canine eyewash
- Calamine lotion (for itchy bug bites)
- Baking soda (for bee stings)
- Over the counter medicines: Imodium A-D, Pepto-Bismol, Enteric-coated aspirin or Bufferin, antihistamine such as Benadryl
- Dressings and bandages
- Gauze roll/gauze pads
- Adhesive tape (1 and 2-inch rolls)
You may notice that many of these items are similar to those in your own first aid kid – so if pack weight or space is a factor, consider combining first aid kits.