5 Accessories for Hiking With Dogs
You really can’t make your dog happier than when he or she’s at your side during a hike. As you’re traversing the trails, your dog can sniff every passing flower, soak in the sunshine, and get multiple days’ worth of exercise.
With that being said, dog hikes are situations where you’ll probably be away from your at-home essentials for hours on end; you certainly won’t want to be short any supplies when you’re 2 hours away from your parking lot.
To help you remember exactly what supplies you might need on your week, here’s a checklist of 5 items you might consider digging up before the excursion with your furry friend.
Most likely, you already know what dog leashes are; they’re those straps that attach to your pup’s collar so you can make sure he or she doesn’t scamper into the woods, chasing the first animal in sight.
Alongside your leash, you might want to look into dog harnesses. Though collars are usually less pricey and easier to get your hands on, harnesses are becoming more popular since they evenly distribute the tension from your leash around your pup’s body; that way, if there are sudden jerky moments along the hike, it won’t whiplash your dog’s neck, which certainly helps to eliminate injury risks.
When searching for a collar or a harness, you might want to take a closer look at Y, no-pull, chest harnesses, and Martingale collars; with some research into what your nearby stores have in stock, you’ll find the perfect fit for your pup.
Dog leashes and harnesses come in different materials, shapes, designs, and colors to suit your taste; they are generally inexpensive and can be bought in most walk-in pet stores or online stores.
Benefits of dog leashes and harnesses
- Dog leashes and harnesses help guide, hold, direct, and lift your pet easily.
- With harnesses strapping securely onto your dog’s body, it helps to ensure your pup won’t escape your control by slipping from a collar
- Harnesses remove strain and stress from your dog’s neck.
Portable dog walking water bottle
Within the first hour of hiking, you’ll probably want a water break – and your dog will as well! Even if your chosen trail doesn’t have any steep inclines, the physical activity (and sunshine) will make your pup and you thirsty.
A portable dog walking water bottle is great for hikes, but even for inner-city dog walking as well. They’re often made from durable plastic materials that can withstand the dog's chewing and biting, and have an attachment piece which pulls out so it works as a bowl; that makes it so you don’t have to share a water bowl with your pup, who might have a muddy face within the first hour of hiking.
Depending on your choice, the average dog water bottle can contain 300 to 700 ml of water, allowing your dog to access water irrespective of the distance covered.
Benefits of a portable dog water bottle
- It’s clean and straightforward to use as it only requires filling up the bottle with water and flipping it whenever your dog needs to drink.
- It is safe and non-injurious to the dogs. Also, some water bottles contain a filter that prevents dirt from flowing back into the bottle, providing clean water consistently.
- It is portable and lightweight, which allows it to be carried everywhere.
Emergency sling bag
Let's face it; your pet might decide to stop walking suddenly, or worst-case scenario might have an injury. What do you do in this situation? Do you carry your German Shepherd in your arms for 2 miles? Well that seems awfully difficult if you’re not a body-builder. In cases like this, emergency slings are your best bet.
An emergency sling bag is a special harness used by pet owners to comfortably carry their pets back home. Pet owners mainly use it with disabled dogs to allow better movement around the park or in the neighborhood.
It’s quite crucial to have an emergency sling bag around, especially if your hike involves more treacherous terrain; it’ll be twice as treacherous on the way down if you’ve got to carry your dog in the case of an injury. Though, with a sling, you can more safely return to your trailhead position.
Sling bags are quite light since they’re mostly fabric, so they’re pretty easy to carry along. They also have straps you can put on to hold any dog's size comfortably.
Benefits of an emergency sling bag
- To securely carry your sick, injured, or tired dog.
- Promotes dog-owner friendship.
- It helps pet owners multitask whilst taking their pets.
An emergency body heat blanket
These blankets are lightweight reflective sheets, designed to heat your pet and prevent them from being cold.
They do not need to be charged as they lack electrical parts or connections. Instead, the blankets work by trapping your pet's emitted body heat and reflecting those infrared rays back to your pet's body; in other words, it’s like making yourself into a thermos that doesn’t let heat escape.
Benefits of an emergency body heat blanket
- It helps improve the circulation of nutrients throughout your pet's body, allowing broken spine, bones, and other injuries to heal faster.
- Perfect for dogs recovering from extreme neglect.
- It encourages muscle relaxation and allows your pet to sleep better.
Portable paw cleaner
Whether it’s a long hike or an easy nature walk, your pup may return to the car with some muddy paws. As one solution, you can bring along a blanket, so your car-seats don’t get overly dirty. Though, also, you can bring along a portable paw cleaner.
These accessories are essentially plastic cups, but with toothbrush-like bristles lined within the cup. Made from silicone, these bristles are designed to wash dirt from your dog's paws. Dip your pet paws into the cup containing a small amount of water and twist the cup around the muddy paw repeatedly. This will help wash off the dirt and make for a happier pup on the drive home.
Benefits of a portable paw cleaner
- They clean off the dirt from your dog's paw quickly and gently.
- They help keep your environment clean, preventing paw imprints.
- The bristles also help massage your pet's paw, increasing sensation.
Bringing your dog along on hikes, you’ll be treated by beautiful landscapes with your dog in view. With that being said, it’s vital to embark on your hikes with the proper necessities; these include a secure harness, sling bag, body heat blanket, and other accessories.