How Much Water Should I Bring For My Dog Hiking?

Dogs need water while hiking, especially in hot weather. How much water you bring depends on where you go, what you do, and how long you hike. You can either carry bottled water with you or give your dog filtered water.

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.


CLEAN WATER SOURCES

 

Don’t let your dog drink from a stream unless you treat it properly. Like humans, dogs are susceptible to water contaminants. Drinking salty water may lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

You’ll have to check with the area for known, reliable sources of water. If you are not sure about reliable water sources, bring your own water to be on the safe side. It also helps to store drinking water in your car for after your hike or for emergencies.


HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU BRING?

 

As a general rule for a moderate 2 hour hike, plan to bring 32 oz. of water (16 oz per hour) for yourself and more for your dog. Considering that a dog needs about an ounce of water per pound weight per 2 hours, a 30 pound dog would need about the same amount as you. It never hurts to bring more water than you need, especially in hot or dry weather. Offer water to your dog frequently and let him take small sips

Every person and dog will differ in water needs. Use our guideline as a baseline, but it’s important to get a good estimate on how much you and your dog really need by going on a series of short hikes. Record how much water you and your dog consume every hour and under what conditions. By the time you go on a long hike or backpacking trip, you’ll have a good estimate for how much water you really need for you and your dog.

Be sure to read our articles regarding our top picks for water filters and water bottles that are suitable to use with your dog. Most will even fit in your dog’s backpack and can be shared with you. Or, you can always buy your dog his own filter or bottle!


HEALTH TIPS

 

We are not veterinarians or food nutritionists. We do provide some general tips that may apply universally, but every human and dog has different nutritional needs. Please consult your doctor and vet for information that pertains specifically to you and your dog.

Remember that dogs may actually ingest water if they are playing in water. Make sure play time is kept at about 15-30 minutes. Your dog may actually ingest a lot of water if they retrieve balls or sticks in the water. One way to reduce the amount of water your dog ingests during play is to toss him a flat toy instead a round toy which forces your dog to open their mouth more.

If your dog likes to play with the water hose, don’t spray water directly in your dog’s mouth. This can force your dog to guzzle up too much water.

Dehydration

It’s easy to tell if you are thirsty, but if your dog is not drinking enough water consistently on hikes, it could lead to diseases and serious health problems down the road. If your dog is sick or has a fever, he may also refuse to drink.

Signs of dehydration in dogs:

  • Pale, Dry Gums
  • Excessive Panting
  • Lethargy
  • Sunken Eyes
  • Loose Neck Skin That Doesn’t Retract Quickly After You Pinch It

 

Talk to your vet right away if your dog is dehydrated. You could wrap your dog up in a wet towel on your way to the vet. Consult your vet about giving your dog more water, as this could actually make him vomit.

Humans exhibit similar signs of dehydration as dogs. But a great indicator is dizziness, dry mouth, and sweating. You’ll also have darker urine if you are not drinking enough water.

Severe dehydration will result in low blood pressure, fever, delirium, and even loss of consciousness.

Water Intoxication

While you are out on the trail, don’t gulp down too much water all at once or this could lead to water intoxication, or when there’s too much water in the body and salt levels in your blood get dangerously and sometimes fatally low. One sure way to avoid water intoxication is to take small sips frequently instead of ingesting a lot of water all at once. Remember water play, as we mentioned above, can also make your dog ingest more water.

Signs for water intoxication for dogs:

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Dilated Pupils or Glazed Eyes
  • Pale Gums
  • Drooling
  • Loss of Consciousness
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Seizing
  • Loss of Consciousness

 

If your dog has lost consciousness or is seizing call your vet immediately!

For humans, a sign of water intoxication is headaches, confusion, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. If you are experiencing leg cramping and have been sweating a lot, try adding salt in your water or eat something salty.

Marathon runners often carry salt packets with them. You could also take sports drinks, gels, or gummies that have electrolytes.

If you like gummy bears try Clif Shot Blocks*! They come in many different flavors and are compact enough to take with you on a run or outdoors. They also don’t taste grainy or sticky like other energy supplements. Each cube gives you a little boost of energy!

 

If you need to learn more about water intoxication in humans, Dr. Axe has a great article where you can learn more. One important tip they mention is that the risk of water intoxication increase is someone drinks more than  1.5 liters of water (over 50 ounces of water) in an hour.

Don’t give salt or electrolytes to your dog, without consulting your vet! Dogs don’t sweat out salt like us humans, but cool themselves off instead by panting and drinking water.


GETTING YOUR DOG TO DRINK MORE WATER

 

Water is important for everyone. If your dog is not drinking enough water on a consistent basis, check with your vet to rule out any diseases or maladies with your dog. These can be serious if not addressed.

Some tips to get your dog to drink more water:

    • Give your dog a reason to drink! Do some exercise and play with your dog.
    • Give your dog water every 15 minutes. Perhaps your constant nagging will remind him to drink!
    • Add chicken, beef, or bone broth to your dog’s water.
    • Always change out your dog’s water so it’s fresh and clean of bacteria or debris. Don’t forget to wash your dog bowl and get rid of any leftover residue and minerals.
    • Train your dog to drink water. You can say “drink” or “water” and give him treats and/or praise every time he takes a sip.
    • Sometimes dogs will try to drink less water if they can’t go outside to do their business. Take them out more to pee.
    • Elevate your bowl. This is a better option for large dogs so they don’t have to stoop down to drink.
    • Try changing dog bowls. Sometimes dogs just don’t like the container they are drinking from. We don’t have an exact answer to this. But it might work! Some dogs are just pickier than others.
  • Buy a water fountain. Your dog may just to drink from a running water source.

A great choice is the Dogit Design Fresh & Clear Pet Fountain*. It’s on sale now at Amazon as of May 2018!

Don’t forget to buy extra filters* that go with it, currently an Add-On item at 45% off. This is a really great deal so we couldn’t help but share! Better take advantage of it now!

 

Leave a comment if there are any other important tips for our dogs! Did you or your dog ever have water intoxication or dehydration? Can you share your story with us? Leave a comment!


Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Activities: Grooming, Health, Shopping, Hiking, Great Outdoors, Walking, Running, Biking, Outdoor Play

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Red Rock Canyon – Dog Friendly Outdoor Adventure Guide

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is located in the Mojave Desert. Many come here to hike, bike, camp, go rock climbing, or go off-roading within the park. Getting a nice workout in is all the better with a breathtaking view of red sandstone cliffs and serene, quiet beauty of the open air.

For those that want to get in the scenery from the car, there’s a 13-mile Scenic Drive with several overlook points and picnic areas.

Nearby is the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding Red Rock Canyon area where you can do some further adventuring and hiking with your dog! We cover trails here within the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.


See our full list of Dog Friendly Outdoor Adventure Guides made just for dog owners. We give you everything you need to plan your next adventure outing with your dog right at your fingertips. We also pick the best dog friendly trails for you!


WHEN TO GO

 

Fall and Spring is a great time to visit Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. Otherwise, exercise caution when hiking with your dog in the summer or winter. You’ll want to avoid times with extreme heat or cold. The temperature in the desert can change very quickly. Summer temperatures can get well over 100 degrees – definitely too hot for your dog.

Daily entry into Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is by car. Busses and commercial vehicles must charge by car and by person. Annual or senior passes are per person. Most will pay a daily fee of $15 for their car. Other prices and camping fees are available from the Bureau of Land Management website. Prices have been revised as of Feburary 2018.

When you first get to Red Rock Canyon, we suggest you stop by the Red Rock Canyon Visitor Center for paper maps and information on current conditions of roads and trails. Take note of the weather as there are flash floods in the area.

Dogs may not enter buildings but are allowed on leash anywhere in the park. Dogs must be attended by a person at all times. Read further for some important tips on desert safety. Don’t forget to pick up after your dog!


WHAT TO BRING

 

Bring a paper map with you with information on trails and the surrounding area. The Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas website has a great guide for visitors that includes a map and brief information about all 19 trails in the area.

You will want to bring a lot of water with, especially when temperatures are warm. The park actually recommends 1 gallon per person for a day long hike, with 1 more gallon waiting back for them in the car. Considering a 6 hour day, that’s about 128 ounces of water or about 21 ounces of water per hour. We usually recommend drinking 16 ounces per hour for a moderate hike. Your dog should drink about 1/2 an once of water per pound per hour. A 50 pound dog would need about 25 ounces of water per hour (perhaps more by park estimates). Actual results will vary, so it’s important to get a rough approximation for what works for you and your dog. It’s always a good idea to drink water before your hike to help stay hydrated.

Don’t forget to wear protective gear to protect yourself from the sun and to apply sunscreen. A cooling vest or banana will help your dog stay cool.

Too hot out? Consider driving on the 13 mile Scenic Drive of the area. It’s a one way loop around the area. Bring a picnic lunch and get out of the car to enjoy the scenery. Allow for about 45 minutes to drive, and more time if you want to stop. You’ll most likely travel along the Scenic Drive just to get to a trail. There are plenty of accessible parking lots and bathrooms around.


DOG-FRIENDLY HIKING TRAILS

 

There are 19 different hiking trails within Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. Don’t forget to print or pick up a map at the visitor center.

If you want to find water along the trail, you’ll see the most just after winter. A few trails offer waterfalls and streams but these often dry up towards the summer months. The park does not recommend drinking or wading through natural water sources.

No need to go through all 19 trails. We picked the best dog friendly trails for you! Most trails in the area are about 2-5 miles.

Lost Creek – Children’s Discovery Trail
If you have kids with you, this out and back trail is perfect. It’s only 0.75 miles and features cultural sites, pictographs and other fun, shady places to explore. A section of the trail is on boardwalk, but the rest is not suitable for a stroller and is rocky or sandy. You can usually see a waterfall at the end of the trail during December – April months.

Moenkopi Trail
The Moenkopi Trail is an easy 2 mile trail loop starts just west of the visitor center where you will park your car. You’ll see sweeping views of Calico Hills, Spring Mountains, and La Madre Mountains. La Madre Mountains will be the highest peak you see in the area at 8,150 feet. Be sure to go when it’s not sunny since there is no shade.

Calico Tanks Trail
The Calico Tanks Trail is popular among tourists. It’s a moderate to strenuous 2.5 mile hike that starts at the Sandstone Quarry parking lot and ends with a natural tank and great views. Many make the mistake of passing the parking lot along the Scenic Drive. Watch your footing on this trail as some areas are slippery. Bring water as the trail gets very sunny and hot, but well worth it just to get to see all the beautiful rock formations around the area. You’ll feel like you really saw Red Rock Canyon with this trail. There are several rocks so if your dog isn’t great on rough terrain and scrambling over rocks, you may opt for a different trail.

Ice Box Canyon Trail
The Ice Box Canyon Trail is a 2.6 mile moderate trail that features several waterfalls and shady areas once you cross a bit of open desert to get there. You’ll see them during the months of December through April. It’s a fun place for your dog to explore and climb some large boulders. The trail isn’t well marked so pay attention to where you are at all times.

Keystone Thrust
Keystone Thrust is a popular geological spot in the park where the Pacific and North American continental plates collided 65 million years ago. You can access this popular 2.2 mile moderate trail via the White Rock parking lot.

White Rock / La Madre Spring Loop
Need a trail that’s a bit less crowded and that just goes in a loop? The White Rock / La Madre Spring Loop is a moderate 6 mile trail accessible from the Upper White Rock parking lot, Los Creek Trail parking lot, and Willow Spring Picnic Area. The White Rock Rail connects to the La Madre Spring Loop. This is a great place if you go trail running during winter months. Prepare to see an abundance of colors and one of the best westside views of the park. You’ll even see bighorn sheep in the area!

Looking or more water along the trail? Consider Pine Creek, Oak Creek Canyon, First Creek and Willow Springs Trails.


DESERT SAFETY

 

Most dogs are unfamiliar with desert creatures. They’ve never seen one, nor know quite how to react to something they’ve never seen before. Rattlesnakes and other dangerous animals and insects are in the area. Always have an eye on your dog and never let him per into small dark spaces. You’ll want to do the same, especially to avoid poisonous snakes and insects. If your dog is bitten by a poisonous snake or insect, keep your dog calm and the wound below the heart. Call a nearby vet immediately for more instructions.

Weather is another concern. Temperatures in the Mojave Desert get really cold in the winter or shade and well over 100 degrees in the summer. Summer hiking should be done in the early mornings. Bring water, a cooling vest or bandana for your dog, and perhaps an emergency shade tent.

There is risk of flash floods and summer lightning in the area, so make sure you check for closures or other information prior to heading out. If you are caught in the rain, be alert for flash floods, and move to higher ground if necessary. If there is lightening in the area, seek shelter immediately.

Last of all, there are hazards from desert flora. Don’t forget to bring tweezers if you need to pull out any cacti from your dog’s paws.


CAMPING

 

If you want to go camping, read our listing for Red Rock Canyon – Camping at Red Rock Canyon Campground.

Camping at Red Rock Campground is closed during summer months. Peak months are March and October. Reservations are available at Recreation.gov.

Backcountry camping is allowed with a permit by calling 702-515-5050. Sites must be set up above 5,000 feet and 200 feet away from water sources. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed.

If you are out camping, be sure to watch the sunrise and sunset at Red Rock Overlook and Highpoint Overlook!


BIKING

 

Road biking is allowed along State Route 159 and Scenic Drive. Mountain biking are only allowed in two areas: Cottonwood/Late Night Trailheads off State Route 160 and Mile Marker 12 on Kyle Canyon Road / State Route 157 (Twilight Zone Trails). Mountain biking is not allowed on hiking trails.

 

How was your trip? What trail or campground did you go to? Do you have any tips that you want to pass on to fellow dog owners? 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Related Pawtivities / Events: Red Rock Canyon Hiking, Red Rock Canyon Camping, Trail Running, Biking
Location: Las Vegas, NV | Nevada
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Camping, Backpacking, Biking, Running, Trail Running

Best Energy Bars For Dogs – Pawtivity Picks

We love learning about the latest doggy stuff out there because we all want the best for our furry friends! Each week we cover the fun, novel, essential, and new products for dogs in our Pawtivity Picks Series.

This week we looked for energy bars to take out on the trail with our dogs. Energy bars are a compact, portable, and slim source of food for your dog. They are much easier to carry around than kibble and bowl. No more crushed or wet kibble! An unopened bar package won’t get spoiled and wet if you are on a trail near water or doing water sports.

Products Covered: Energy Bars

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.


WHAT ARE ENERGY BARS FOR DOGS?

 

Energy bars for dogs are short-term energy boosters or meal replacement solutions designed specifically for active dogs. Bars are high in calories so it’s not something you want to give your dog if he’s not active. Bars are also idea for travel rather than the main source of your dog’s daily meal.

Ask your vet for their opinion on which energy bars are best for your dog and activity level. You should also ask them about any known allergies. We can’t recommend a best energy bar for your specific dog. It just depends on his activity level, health, nutritional needs, and calorie requirement.

With all food, give your dog a small sample to try first before heading outdoors. If your dog gets an upset stomach or other adverse reaction from the energy bar, at least you’ll know in advance and be able to consult further with your vet. Don’t forget to try different flavors to keep meal time more interesting for your dog!

Even the best food manufacturers announce food recalls. Always check the FDA’s list for recalls periodically to make sure you are not giving your dog something from the list. Another great source for dog food is Dog Food Advisor.


ENERGY BARS FOR DOGS

 

TurboPUP Complete K9 Meal Bar

TurboPUP Complete K9 Meal Bar* is a popular choice among hikers and backpackers. It’s a complete meal for your dog, meaning, you can give your dog one of these bars in place of his meal! Depending on how much your dog eats, it means not having to carry around kibble and a bowl! And dogs really do love the taste of these. They just do! Flavors come in bacon and peanut butter.

Each bar is 2.2 oz, 250 calories and made from US sourced, human grade, all-natural grain-free ingredients. Bars also come in multipacks for a total of 4.4 oz and 500 calories. Bars can be kept for up to 2 years or up to the ‘best by’ date on the package.

Food is suitable for sensitive stomachs and approved by a lot of picky eaters. Bars are scored and can be broken into pieces easily by hand or given throughout the day as a treat.

If you look at the Nutritional Analysis, bars contain 18% crude protein and 20% crude fat to help sustain energy. Top 5 ingredients are all natural: chickpea flour, whey protein isolate, oil blend (safflower, coconut) organic tapioca solids, and proprietary vitamin and mineral blend.

According to Embrace Pet Insurance, dogs need about 25-30 calories per pound to maintain their weight. For a 50 pound dog, this is roughly 1250 daily calories or 625 per meal twice a day. That means as a meal replacement you may need to give your dog a 4.4 oz package for each meal and perhaps top it off with something else, such as peanut butter. This is important to keep in mind as it’s a very rough estimate of how much food you have to bring for your dog.

WHY WE LOVE: We love this because dogs love this! We also love how this can be used as a ultra-light, compact meal for your dog, perfect for that backpacking and day hiking trip.

Take me to the TurboPUP Complete K9 Meal Bar*now.

 

Zuke’s Power Bones

Zuke’s Power Bones* are a favorite among day hikers. Zuke’s already carries a wide array of treats, that dogs simply love.

With real meat listed as the #1 ingredient and the fact that dog’s love the taste of these treats, getting these treats is a no-brainer. Power Bones comes in 4 flavors; Beef, Chicken, Chicken & Rice, and Peanut Butter.

Power Bones contains about 12% crude protein and 7% crude fat. The top 5 ingredients are meat, ground oats, ground barley, ground rice, and maple syrup. Other ingredients are all natural and include a combination of fruits, vegetables, spices, and preservatives. These treats come in chewy, bite sized chunks about an inch long.

WHY WE LOVE: Zuke’s Power Bones are the prefect little treat for a day hike. We love giving tiny doses of energy (and love) to our dogs while out on the trail.

Amazon currently has an add-on special* on the beef flavor for $5.44 as of May 2018. That’s a really good price. Better take advantage of the awesome deal!!

Take me to Zuke’s Power Bones* now.

 

Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar

We look to hunters for advice on energy bars. The Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar* is new to us, but a staple for many hunting, sporting, and guard dogs. It’s compact and packaged for ultimate portability at any outdoor event, show, or during intense training exercises.

This 400g bar can be broken up into 8 smaller pieces. According to the manufacturer, 100-200g (2-4 small pieces) is enough for a 55 pound dog! That’s a small dose of energy! It will take about 30 minutes to 1.5 hours for the energy bar to take effect.
 

 

The Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar contains 25% crude protein and 59% crude fat. The top 5 ingredients are fish meal, lard, vegetable fat, grape sugar, and corn. Additional vitamins and minerals have been added to the bar.

A bonus in these treats is that these bars don’t freeze. You can use them in the winter without getting a hard block to give your dog! It’s also packaged so no need to package your own food.

This product is made by Henne Pet Food of Denmark and originally designed for dogsled teams.

WHY WE LOVE: This bar is one small, mighty compact dose of energy for your active dog!

As of May 2018, there is an extra 5% coupon*.

Take me to the Lakse Kronch Pemmikan Energy Bar* now.

 

Out Bar

The Out Bar is handcrafted in batches by The Great Outdogs. It’s a compact meal replacement for dogs that need a good boost of energy. The bar comes in three flavors; herring, lamb and turkey.

Each piece can be broken up into 4 smaller pieces. A 50 pound dog will need about 3.5 bars per day.

The Out Bar contains 23-28% crude protein and 16-23% crude fat. The top 5 ingredients are animal protein (herring, lamb / lamb liver, turkey / turkey liver), buckwheat flour, green lentils, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas. This may vary slightly based on flavor of the bar. Bars are grain-free, do not contain artificial preservatives, and have added vitamins and minerals. Ingredients are source from North America.

WHY WE LOVE: We love that this bar is handcrafted with quality ingredients.

Take me to the Out Bar now.

 

What energy bars do you get for your dog? For what activity?


Leave a comment if there are any other products you think are worth letting everyone know about! Please let us know why you like it, how you use the product, and how long you have been using it for.

 

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Activities: Shopping, Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Great Outdoors, Running, Food, Biking, Sports – Water, Sports – Winter

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How To Choose The Best Hiking Dog For You

So what makes a good trail dog? We broke these down into personality / traits, training, and physical / health requirements.

Choose the right hiking dog for you! Be sure to read our article The Top 24 Best Hiking Dogs next!

While there may be good traits for a hiking dog, it’s still important to socialize and train whatever dog you end up getting.

You also need to consider what kind of hiking you will be doing and what will be most suitable for your dog.
 

 

 


PERSONALITY / TRAITS

 

Short Hair – Bonus points go to short-haired dogs. Twigs and branches don’t get stuck in their fur so there is less maintenance involved on the trail. Short hair also dries faster and it’s much easier to spot ticks on your dog.

Agile – The more agile your dog is, the more likely he is able to navigate across rough or challenging terrain. Your dog will be able to bound more easily across large boulders or uneven terrain without fear. They may even take on jumping and climbing up small surfaces and be as nimble as a mountain goat.

Reliability Off Leash – Love the thought of having a dog off leash while on a hike off? First off, it’s important to follow area leash policies for dogs. They are up for a reason and there to protect the general population. Some dogs are more reliable off leash and will come back to you when called or have a natural disposition to go back to their owner. Others may have high prey drive, an independent streak, or prone to run away. Some may not be able to navigate their way back to you by sight and smell as well as others. If you do have your dog off leash, it’s always good practice to have your dog within your sight and hearing at all times. You must have command of your dog and excellent recall.

Working Dog – This isn’t the only criteria of a great hiking partner, but working dogs are always looking for something to do. They were bred to do a job and assist humans. Give your dog a backpack to carry! Most working dogs are highly intelligent and love the bond they have with their humans.

Endurance & Strength – In itself, hiking builds endurance and strength. Some dogs, however, are naturally very strong and bred to carry large loads or run long distances for a purpose. These dogs are great if you want to go on a longer hike, without the need to carry them back home or stop for breaks all the time. They can hold their own!

Barking – Barking can sometimes annoy bears, so it’s best to have a dog that you can train to stay quiet if needed. A dog that barks too much may also bother many people or frighten them. They may not be the best dog to take out on certain trails deep in the backcountry or trails that are too crowded.


TRAINING & TRAIL ETIQUETTE

 

No matter what type of breed of dog you have, you need to give him basic training to be trail ready. Skills such as sit, stay, come / touch, and leave it can go as far as saving you and your dog’s life. Recall is absolutely essential for an off leash dog.

You need to commit the time early on to teach and socialize your dog while they are young. You’ll only make it easier to go on more adventures later and negate aggressive or fearful tendencies. Smart dogs are generally easy to train, but it’s also important to get a dog that is eager to please and not too independent. Otherwise, more training may be required.

Good trail etiquette involved passing people on the right with your dog at your right side. If a horse or bike go by, or you are on a single-track trail, step to the side with your dog and have him sit until the other party passes by.

Not all dogs may be friendly, so don’t assume that another dog is. Always stay calm on the trail so your dog is calm. Dogs can pick up on your senses fast. Keep control of your dog at all times.

You should also carry poop bags or bring a trowel with you to clean up after your dog and dispose properly. Many trails follow a leave no trace policy.


PHYSICAL / HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

 

Please consult your vet prior to hiking with your dog. Dogs should be fully mature before their first real hike. Puppies need time to develop a mature, strong skeletal system before heading out.

Your dog should have current vaccinations, rabies, and licenses. Most dogs also take preventative medicine for fleas, ticks, and heartworm. Consult your vet if you need special vaccinations or your dog requires special care while on the trail.


MORE ARTICLES OF INTEREST

 

Need more information about hiking with your dog? We have a few articles that will get you started.

Top 24 Best Hiking Dogs

The Beginner’s Guide To Hiking

Winter Paw Care and Treatment For The Outdoor Dog

Tips For Hiking In The Rain: Staying Dry to Paw / Foot Care

Top 10 Safety Tips: Winter Hiking With Your Dog – Comprehensive Guide


Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


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Related Pawtivity / Event: Hiking
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Backpacking, Biking, Running

The Top 24 Best Hiking Dogs By Category

Are you considering getting a dog that can go hiking with you? We give you a rundown of the most active dogs that also make a good hiking buddies!

We grouped dogs into categories that should help you find the best type of hiking dog that matches your lifestyle and hiking preferences.

This guide should help you narrow down which hiking dog to get.

Have kids? Get a dog for active families. Do a lot of backcountry hiking? You’ll need a dog that is reliable off-leash and can adventure with you off the beaten path. Go on a lot of challenging, rough terrain, want a smaller companion, or live in a cold area? We have dog recommendations for you too.

Here is our list for the best hiking and trail dogs.

Choose a dog that matches your own hiking preferences. How long do you hike and at what level? In what weather and terrain conditions? With whom?


FOR ACTIVE FAMILIES

 

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers love to be with a family and are great with kids. They will be happiest walking with the family and in an area where they can play near the water. Golden retrievers have strong retrieval instincts, so bring along a toy for them to fetch on your outing. These dogs are obedient and have great agility. Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia when they get older which will severely limit how much they can hike.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs were bred as a farm dog in Switzerland. They are large and gentle dogs that need a lot of space to roam. As a mountain dog, they are comfortable on rough rocky terrain but hikes should be shorter. Otherwise, take frequent breaks as these dogs may not have high endurance. The Bernese Mountain Dog loves to be social and make friends so they are great in an area with a lot of families and smaller children. Lessen your load by giving them a pack to carry. They can carry a lot!

Brittany Spaniel

Brittany Spaniels are actually one of the smallest bred hunting dogs, so they are a great off-leash dog that love to work with humans. Socialized Brittany Spaniels are well mannered even with strangers, kids and other dogs. These dogs don’t need a commanding owner. Just guide them along and they’ll be eager to follow you wherever you go. Don’t confuse compliance with being mellow. Brittany Spaniels need exercise and are very athletic. Otherwise, they are prone to separation anxiety and hyperactivity. They can keep up with you and your active family easily, even on a run.

Dalmation

Dalmations have superb endurance. They used to protect horses that pulled stagecoaches, so they make great biking companions who can keep up with you for a long distance. You’ll need to take a Dalmation out pretty regularly, otherwise they will become destructive. This is probably not the dog for a first time owner as they need a firm hand. Dalmations can be stubborn without proper guidance and exercise. At the same time, these dogs can be very loving and playful to their family members.

Weimaraner

Weimaraners are another affectionate dog who is great for the active family. They are a great companion dog for short or long walks in any type of terrain. A short coat makes them easy to care for on the trail. It’s easy to train these dogs, but they do need an owner that can be committed to training them and giving them attention. They also need constant exercise. Otherwise, Weimaraners can become stubborn and disobedient.


ADD WATER PLEASE

 

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers love to swim in water. They make a great companion for any family with young kids that likes to camp and hike. They will be anyone’s best pal since. Labs are friendly towards anyone, even strangers, and other dogs. It’s no wonder that these dogs are consistently rated one of America’s most popular dogs. Labradors do need constant exercise, or will become overweight. Like golden retrievers, they are prone to hip dysplasia so that may limit how much hiking they can do in senior years.

Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog actually has webbed feet, so they make great swimmers that love to play in the water. They are tireless in any outdoor adventure and great off-leash on a long walk as they like to be near their owner. Portuguese Water Dogs need constant exercise or can become independent and strong-willed. Those with allergies should consider this dog as they are hypoallergenic with a curly to wavy coat.

Poodle

Poodles are extremely smart, obedient dogs that can do well off-leash on a long hike. They are highly trainable, loyal, and just love to play. Being sociable, poodles are highly tolerant with kids. Compared to the Portuguese Water Dog, Poodles are leggier, graceful and have tight, curly hair. Poodles do need constant companionship or attention, otherwise become prone to separation anxiety. They also bark a lot to demand attention, so perhaps not the best dog for standard campsites or in the backcountry.


SMALL AND COMPACT

 

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small to medium sized dog that just loves to play, a perfect fit for an active owner with kids. Corgis are natural herders and bark a lot. You will do well on a long, flat trail as these dogs have short leg but can keep up with you. Corgis can hike a 5-6 miles with you without a problem, but will have to build up their endurance for day-long hikes.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are one of the most lively, high-strung dogs out there. Bred to hunt foxes, they are fast on a run and can tear it up on the trail. They are also jokesters and will always make you laugh. Jack Russells are highly trainable so they are good as a trick dog and will do well in sports such a flyball or agility. These dogs need constant activity and love to chew, bark, and chase so they need an owner who can keep up with that. These dogs are great for those that like to run or bike on the trail where they always need to keep up with you. Otherwise, they need to be on leash as they have high prey drive. Early socialization is key to reduce aggression towards other dogs.

Patterdale Terrier

Since Carmella is honorary pup of Pawtivity, we couldn’t help but not list the Patterdale Terrier! Patterdales are very active, smart, and strong willed dogs that are fiercely loyal and affectionate to their family. They love to smell and explore, so need an owner who loves the outdoors or has a large field to play in. Patterdales have high prey drive and were bred to hunt foxes, rabbits and rats. They are best kept hiking on leash. Unlike Jack Russells, Patterdales don’t bark much which make them a great companion camping or backcountry hiking. Early socialization and training is key as Patterdales can be intense and perceived as aggressive to other dogs.

Dachshund

Daschunds are a little dog with big personality. They have high stamina and can go a long distance despite their short, muscular legs. This loyal dog loves to play with his family and do everything with them. If something is amiss they will alert you with a loud bark. Watch out if your Daschund is off-leash as they love to sniff around. It’s part of their breed instincts for sniffing out badgers. Just make sure they are not poking their noses in the wrong place! Daschunds are prone to disk problems so it may not do so well on stairs or steep climbs.

Norwegian Lundehund

The Norwegian Lundehund was bred to hunt puffin eggs and live puffins on cliffs, so they are a small dog that is nimble and surefooted on their paws. Having six toes on each paw helps! Take this dog on a mountain hike and they will be at ease navigating rocky terrain. They will also love swimming in a mountain stream. You may want to keep them on leash while on a hike as these dogs are curious by nature and love to explore small passageways. Early socialization will help reduce shyness.

Source: Lundtola – Rosa – Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.


BACKCOUNTRY HIKERS

 

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for being service dogs to the police and military. They are highly trainable and excel at obedience. A trained German Shepherd would be a great dog to take with you for some off leash hiking or backpacking. They are also protective when needed and can navigate through rough terrain. You’ll find a loyal sidekick with this dog, but without adequate exercise and attention you’ll have one destructive pup instead.

Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is an extremely intelligent and easy to train dog. They are agile and make a great hiking partner for long hikes in tough terrain. You won’t ever find yourself having to carry or motivate an Australian Shepherd as these dogs are always ready to go. These dogs are devoted to their owner and you won’t have to worry about them straying too far. They will bark to alert you of any pending danger and protect their family. Bring a brush on your walk since debris is likely to get in their fur.

German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is known for having a great nose. They were trained to find and retrieve waterfowl. German Shorthaired Pointers are highly trainable and sure footed for rough terrain. They have a flat water-resistant coat that helps the regular temperature and repel dirt. Webbed feet make them great swimmers. Don’t worry about losing track of this dog. He will likely find you and hates being away from people. German Shorthaired Pointers can be reserved with strangers and will bark if they come across anyone or anything unfamiliar to them.


CAN HANDLE THE HEAT

 

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was bred to hunt lions in Africa, so they are naturally comfortable in hot temperatures and have high endurance to get through a lot. If you live in a hot area or a desert area, this dog will be comfortable adventuring by your side. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have very high prey drive, so probably not a dog to leave off-leash. They are affectionate with their family, but can be guarded with strangers. You’ll need to give them firm, consistent training and early socialization.

Vizsla

The Vizsla is known to be a fast dog that can run long distances. Their short, thin coat make them a great dog for hot weather. They never like to stray too far from their owner, so are a great off-leash companion as well. Vizslas are gentle and affectionate but always ready to go. Don’t get a Vizsla if you will be away a lot and can’t give them at least 2 hours of daily exercise. They are prone to separation anxiety and can become destructive.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terrier family. Their coats are wiry. When temperatures rise, just strip down their coats. These dogs are smart, easy to train and outgoing. They are also playful which make them such a fun dog to have around on any adventure, especially with kids. The Airedale Terrier is an independent dog, so you’ll have to provide consistent training and playtime.


COLD WINTER TROOPERS

 

Siberian Husky

Known for dog sled racing, Siberian Huskies were made to run and hike in the snow. Their warm double coat protects them from the cold. Combined with endurance, power, and speed these dogs will challenge you in any winter outing. Siberian Huskies are very friendly dogs with a pack mentality so make sure you include them in family gatherings. These dogs are not the easiest to train, so not a great candidate for a first time dog owner. You’ll want to keep your dog on leash.

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute also has a double coat that protects them from the cold. They are much larger and stronger than a Siberian Husky, but have the same friendly demeanor. Good training is a must with this dog as they can be stubborn, independent and hard to control due to their size. If you live in a cold area, this dog will feel right at home.


THE ALL-AROUND HIKING BUDDY

 

Border Collie

There is little wonder why you see Border Collie excel in so many dog sports, including agility and disc dog. They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds which make them very trainable. They also follow directions well and have a good tireless and positive temperament. Border Collies don’t have high prey drive so this makes them better for off leash outdoor activities. These dogs are active, so owners need to be able to commit to giving them enough exercise and mental stimulation to keep them happy.

Australian Cattle Dog

Another all-around adventurer is the Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Queensland, Blue, or Red Heeler. These dogs are great for backpackers and 14er hikers as they can navigate through any terrain. They also are a loyal companions that will make you smile while on the trail. Being highly trainable, they are reliable off leash and will take direction from you easily.

Mixed Breed

You know your dog best. Mixed dogs often have the best traits from multiple breeds. Sometimes, shelter dogs become the most loyal and loving companion as they truly appreciate the bond they have with their owner.


Let us know what type of dog you end up choosing! What hiking adventures do you go on?

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!

 

Related Pawtivity / Event: Hiking
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Backpacking, Biking, Running

The Best Lightweight & Compact Hiking Gear (2018) – Product Picks

We love learning about the latest doggy stuff out there because we all want the best for our furry friends! Each week we cover the fun, novel, essential, and new products for dogs in our Pawtivity Picks Series.

This week we are covering the most lightweight and compact gear for hiking, backpacking, outdoor travel, camping, running, and biking for you and your dog. We love finding the best all-season and multi-use items because it just means carrying less. We also always keep a dog owner’s perspective when choosing gear. Love to our furry friends!

Products Covered: Trekking Poles, Coats, Survival Gear, Trowel, Dog Bowl, Towel, Pet Tool, Pen, Notebook

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.

 


HIKING / TREKKING POLES

 

We looked at lightweight poles for a moderate 3 season hiker. If you are going hiking in rough terrain or mountainous regions, we suggest getting a pole that is stronger and heavier.

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Pole

The Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Trekking Pole* is a lightweight (10 ounces per pair!) trekking pole made of aluminum and has a very comfortable, non-slip foam grip.

There’s a new Z-Pole rapid deployment system that makes it easy to collapse into 3 folds and extend the pole. The pole stays durable with stiffer joints. The rubber tip at the end can be removed or changed.

The pole comes in 4 different sizes (100cm, 110cm, 120cm, and 130cm). Most hikers should be able to find a size that works for them.

WHY WE LOVE: These are ultra-light, compact poles suitable for the typical hiker. It’s a great all-around use for daily hikes.

Take me to the Black Diamond Distance Carbon Trekking Pole* now.

 

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Poles

Montem is a pretty new manufacturer, but they’ve put out some darn good poles! The Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Pole* is one of their most popular products.

The trekking pole is made of an aluminum shaft that is adjustable (24” – 53” or 60.96 cm – 134.62 cm) and collapsible. A flick-lock system keeps your poles from sliding when open. Mud baskets and rubber tips are interchangeable.

These aren’t the most lightweight at 19.2 ounces per pair, but it’s a great buy at about $50 for a solid and sturdy trekking pole.

WHY WE LOVE: We really love the comfortable cork grips – you won’t want to let go. The poles are similar to more expensive versions but at a great price.

Take me to the Montem Ultra Strong Trekking Pole* now.

 

High Trek Premium Ultralight Trekking Poles

 

The High Trek Ultralight Trekking Poles* is another solid buy considering it’s value price at about $30 and durability. Poles are made from aluminum and weigh 17.4 ounces.

Poles are fully adjustable to 26” – 53” or 66cm – 135cm using an easy twist-lock mechanism that won’t slip while in use.

Mud / snow feet are included on the poles. Grips are made of EVA so can absorb sweat.

WHY WE LOVE: This is a great pole for the beginner, casual hiker. You can’t really beat the price vs value on this.

Take me to the High Trek Premium Ultralight Trekking Poles* now.

 


COATS

 

There are a lot of coats out there for different seasons. We looked at some all-in-one or all-season coats that could be used as a great layering piece for colder weather.

Baubax Travel Jacket

The Baubax Travel Jacket was featured on Kickstarter The World’s Best TRAVEL JACKET with 25 Features | BAUBAX 2.0 as the world’s best travel jacket with 15-25 features and raising over $11.5 million!

This coat is at least worth a look! There are different versions of the jacket from a sweatshirt, windbreaker, bomber jacket, to blazer. Some of the more popular versions of Baubax 1.0 are the sweatshirt for men* and the bomber jacket for women*.

The 15 features on Baubax 1.0 include a drinking pocket, sunglass pocket, microfiber cloth, telescopic pen, gloves, eye mask, neck pillow, earphone holders, phone pocket, passport pocket, stylus, blanket pocket, charger pocket, hand warming pockets, and a tablet pocket. Our favorite feature by far is the neck pillow. It’s integrated into the jacket and can be taken out and inflated in 2 seconds! We also love all the different pockets where you can organize and store all your small hiking items easily and without taking off your backpack.
Now on Indiegogo is Baubax 2.0 with 25 different features! Preorder this now on Indiegogo.

These jackets come with these additional features: bottle pocket, apple pencil pocket, whistle, keychain, bottle opener, secret pocket, footrest (yes!), earplugs, airpod pocket, and airpod straps. Those are even better features for hiking trip! You may not even need to carry a backpack! Make your dog carry the rest of the stuff while you go without a backpack.

WHY WE LOVE: It’s hard not to love this jacket! You can really hold so much stuff without the need to carry an extra backpack weighing down on your shoulders. This is perfect for a day hike. We definitely recommend the Baubax 2.0 jackets.

Take me to the Baubax 2.0* now.

RC Packable Dog Rain Poncho

This simple jacket packs down into a little pouch making it one of the most portable dog raincoats available. The company stands by their products and will repair or replace the coat for the life of your pet.

The RC Packable Dog Rain Poncho* comes in a variety of colors and patterns. There’s also a hood and D-ring hole. Sizes range from XXS to XXXL so it’s hard to find a coat that won’t fit your dog! An adjustable velcro waist band gives your dog a more custom fit.

The coat is not the most durable around, nor the warmest, but it’s a great buy for any rainy emergency given it’s low price and versatility. It may not work as well in the wind as other coats. If you have an off-leash or active dog who likes to go in the brush, you may need a more snug, secure fit.

WHY WE LOVE: Ultra-ultra portable. It fits in your pocket. The cutest “Rubber Ducky” print around that screams rainy weather. You always need a backup emergency solution without the added bulk.

Take me to the RC Packable Dog Rain Poncho* now.


USEFUL NECESSITIES

 

When it comes to a weekend backpacking trip, small items that might seem light add up considerably to weigh down your pack. We found some ultra-light necessities for the trail that can help lessen your load.

VSSL Units

There are several varieties of VSSL units, but the one that caught our eye was the VSSL Supplies Essential Camping Gear* version. The VSSL unit is a flashlight canister that holds smaller boxes of survival gear and gadgets.

The VSSL unit is compact at only 9 inches by 2 inches and only 1 lb and 4 ounces. The unit itself has a flashlight and compass. Items within include: fishing gear, quick start fire, wire hand saw, water purification tablets, mirror, trail markers, whistle, open cans, rope, first aid, razor blade, and candle.

Purchase the VSSL Supplies* can also customize your own VSSL Unit with other components. https://www.vsslgear.com/ The company does come out with other versions of the VSSL unit, including a glass lined flask.

WHY WE LOVE: It’s such a great combination of survival gear in a compact and easy to store canister.

Take me to the VSSL Supplies Essential Camping Gear* now.

Vargo Titanium Dig Dig Tool

 

The Vargo Tool* can be used as trowel and tent stake. It’s perfect for areas that have a leave not trace policy for you and your dog!

At a thin 8 inches long and mere 1.25 ounces you’ll barely even notice it in your bag.

This titanium trowel has serrated edges that can cut through hard dirt and roots as well as the strength to last through some heavy digging. This won’t bend under pressure. Rolled edges at the top make it comfortable to dig.

WHY WE LOVE: No need to bring doggy poop bags on the trail. Be more economical by getting an ultra-light trowel to hide away his and your business.

Take me to the Vargo Titanium Dig Dig Tool* now.

Packtowel Personal

The Packtowel Personal* is a light, durable, and body size. I’s made of microfiber and can absorb 4 times it’s weight in water. It dries 70% faster than cotton towel. The towel has polygeine odor control so stays fresh longer.

 

While we do like the large size of the Packtowel Personal, there is a PackTowel Nano*available but at a smaller size of 19″x19″. It’s the lightest camp towel at 0.9 ounces.

The PackTowel Nano can absorb up to 2 times it’s weight in water and dry 90% faster than cotton towel. There’s even an included carabiner clip and storage bag.

WHY WE LOVE: Sometimes it just helps to dip your towel in the stream and cool off your neck. These towel are so minimal and quick-drying so won’t weigh down your pack. We like both the Personal and Nano sizes and would consider getting both.

Take me to the Packtowel Personal* or Packtowel Nano* now.


DOG BOWLS

 

Rad Dog Collapsible Pocket Bowl

Rad Dog’s Collapsible Pocket Bowl* is probably the smallest, foldable dog bowl we have seen on the market – it fits in the palm of your hand! The bowl is also waterproof and extremely lightweight at less than 1 ounce. The bowl can carry up to 16 ounces of water. We think backpackers, runners, and bikers would love this bowl for their dogs!

While super small, it doesn’t have the most stable base. It’s also pretty easy to lose and not visible for evening or night camping use. You may just have to hold it up for your dog to drink or eat.

WHY WE LOVE: It’s so minimal and best for those that want to carry as little as possible. Who wants to run or bike with a bulky bowl in their pocket or flapping against their bag?

Take me to the Rad Dog’s Collapsible Pocket Bowl* now.

Tuff Mutt Canvas Dog Bowl

Tuff Mutt’s Canvas Dog Bowl* is another great pocket bowl. It’s folds into the size of a cell phone and can hold up to 48 ounces of water.

The bowl is ultra-durable and made out of canvas with a waterproof lining. It also dries and wipes up for easy cleaning. There’s a reflective trim for evening use of the bowl. A portable carrying case comes with the dog bowl for easy storage in your bag or your dog’s backpack.

Tuff Mutt covers this bowl with their lifetime warranty.

WHY WE LOVE: This is the perfect portable option for large dogs or multiple dogs. We also love it for camping.

Take me to the Tuff Mutt Canvas Dog Bowl* now.


 

PEN AND PAPER

 

Sometimes we just need pen and paper with us while we are outdoors. It’s a great way to jot down trail map details, daily journal, and other useful travel information. Use it to play a game of hangman or tic-tac-toe with your friend while you are taking a break!

Fisher 400B Space Pen

The Fisher Space Pen* is a ball point pen works at any angle, under water, under zero gravity, and in temperatures from -30F to 250F. You can even write with it upside down if you wish!

The design of the pen is one to marvel about. The casing is made of chrome and brass which make the pen very, very strong.

It’s also tiny to store into any little pocket, but not too tiny that it’s too hard to write with.

WHY WE LOVE: We can now lay in our hammocks, kick up our feet, and write something!! No more need to make circles on paper to get your pen to work.

Take me to the Fisher Space Pen* now.
Rite in the Rain Notebook

The Rite In the Rain* top-spiral 3″ x 5″ notebook does what it says – allows you to write in the rain! What a great item to take with you on a backpacking trip!

Pages repel water, sweat, grease, and mud. No more journal notes lost to the rain.

The notebook works with either a normal #2 pencil or the all-weather Fisher Space Pen*. The top-spiral won’t get smashed like other notebooks. It’s made of an impact-resistant Wire-O binding.

WHY WE LOVE: Never lose your travel notes again! It’s a small, portable notebook that’s perfect for your backpacking and hiking needs.

 

Take me to the Rite In the Rain Notebook* now.

 


Leave a comment if there are any other products you think are worth letting everyone know about! Please let us know why you like it, how you use the product, and how long you have been using it for.

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!

Activities: Shopping, Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Great Outdoors

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: The owner of Pawtivity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  

Top Hiking Boots For Dogs (2018) – Pawtivity Picks

We love learning about the latest doggy stuff out there because we all want the best for our furry friends! Each week we cover the fun, novel, essential, and new products for dogs in our Pawtivity Picks Series.

Dog Boots provide the best protection for your dog’s paws. Not all boots are the same. Dog boot design varies based on terrain use, weather and health needs. 

We are still on the lookout for the perfect all-weather boot (we are picky), however, the boots and accessories listed below are some of our favorite all-weather options.

Products Covered: Dog Boot, Paw Wax, Paw Cleaner

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.

 

Need a rundown of what basic features to look for in a boot? Read: How To Choose The Right Boot For Your Dog Any Season.

 


HURTTA OUTBACK DOG BOOTS

 

Hurtta Outback Dog Boots* are made from a “Houndtex” fabric that is similar to the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane found on our own hiking boots. The fabric give the booth weatherproofing features that’s breathable.

While some say the fabric isn’t completely waterproof it is at leash highly water resistant.

We love the traction this boot provides for serious hiking and the slim, light nature of the boot design. The boot also stays snug on the foot with velcro fasteners.

Reflectors on the boot give added safety. A bonus for these boots is that they are easy to put on.

WHY WE LOVE: We love the slim design and how easy these are to put on your dog. The traction on the boot looks like it’s made for rough terrain.

Take me to the Hurtta Outback Dog Boots* now.


ULTRA PAWS DURABLE DOG BOOT

 

The Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boot* is a great all-season boot, and in fact the most popular, best-selling boot offered by Ultra Paws.

The boot provides great traction and protection in both hot and cold weather. Velcro straps and and additional foam padding provide a snug, no-slip fit that is comfortable.

While we would prefer waterproof fabric, this boot does come with a very thick water resistant fabric. Just don’t let your dog wade through any streams in or deep, wet snow in the winter!

This isn’t the best option for a mountaineering dog, but for most people it’s a boot that does what it’s made for.

WHY WE LOVE: This is a great boot for everyday hiking. 

Take me to the Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boot* now.


RUFFWEAR GRIP TREX

 

The Ruffwear – Grip Trex, All-Terrain Paw Wear for Dogs* is a stylish all-season dog boot is a great option for everyday activity.

Traction on these boots is superb, but maybe not so much as on the Hurtta Outback. Still, they are a solid shoe for running and hiking in wet or rough terrain.

The upper fabric is breathable, but still very thick and durable. The boot is also well made, so it holds up to serious weather use.

This shoe may not be the best if your dog has dew claws.

Add Ruffwear Bark’n Boot Liners* to the boot for some extra comfort and secure fit.

WHY WE LOVE: Another boot with great traction, we actually love the design of these shoes. They are made for dogs with personality!

Take me to the Ruffwear – Grip Trex, All-Terrain Paw Wear for Dogs* now.


MUSHER’S SECRET

 

Even if your dog has boots, it’s still good to get your dog some paw wax, such as Musher’s Secret* that can be used on a daily basis to condition your dog’s feet in the summer and winter if your dogs paw pads are dry or chapped. Don’t worry, Musher’s Secret is ok for dogs to lick!

WHY WE LOVE: A lot of dogs just can’t do the boot thing. So we love this alternative. The wax can be used year-round and it’s so easy to apply. 
Take me to Musher’s Secret* now.

 


DEXAS PETWARE MUDBUSTER PORTABLE DOG PAW CLEANER

 

 

Dexas Petware Mudbuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner* is a great paw cleaner that you can leave in the car to clean your dog’s paws after a hike.

Just fill with water and insert your dog’s paw in the cup. Follow up by drying the paw. No more chemicals and nasty debris to dirty up your car!

There are other cleaners that are leak proof but we don’t think that this is entirely necessary and it’s a more expensive option.

WHY WE LOVE: This is a great accessory to clean up the muddiest of paws after a fun adventure hike. Better than soiled car seats my friend! 

Take me to Dexas Petware Mudbuster Portable Dog Paw Cleaner* now.

 

Going out into wet weather? Look also at our list additional first aid items to prevent and treat blisters, read: Tips for Hiking In The Rain: Staying Dry to Paw / Foot Care.

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!

 


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!

Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Running, Outdoor Play, Winter – Sports, Great Outdoors, Walking

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: The owner of Pawtivity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  

Tips For Hiking In The Rain: Staying Dry to Paw / Foot Care

Hiking in the rain can be glorious. It’s nature’s way of cleansing itself and bring new life and beauty to the world. Just the sound of the rain in a quiet forest can bring on a sense of tranquility. Don’t miss out on a great hiking trip just because of a little rain.

Hiking in the rain, however, can turn for the worse if you are unprepared. We give you some basic tips and recommendations for the best rain gear for you and your dog in the event of a downpour.

We also give you a list of items that you can put together to create your own paw / foot care kit to treat blisters, one of the most common injuries caused by walking in wet weather and conditions.
 

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: The owner of Pawtivity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


BEFORE YOU GO

 

The most important thing to do if it starts raining is to stay dry. If you and your dog are wet, you are more at risk to develop hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is a condition where your body temperature becomes dangerously low. You are at risk if your body temperature dips below 95 F degrees. Symptoms of hypothermia include; shivering, slow breathing, lethargy, confusion, and worse loss of consciousness.

Check the weather report before you go hiking. If thunderstorms are expected, it’s best to stay home. In extremely wet weather, it may be necessary to also check for road closures where you are going and plan accordingly to where you would park your car and what hiking trail you choose to take. You may also want to opt for a shorter hike on a rainy day and avoid crossing streams.


 

PACK A PORTABLE PONCHO OR SURVIVAL BLANKET

 

At the very least, you should always pack a portable poncho or waterproof emergency survival blanket in your first aid kit. These are extremely lightweight and low-cost items that can be used as a temporary blanket to keep you warm or as a shelter if you need to wait out a short, unexpected rainfall and you don’t have the right coat with you.

Many all-in-one first aid kits* already come with these items, so you don’t have to buy them separately and you get everything else you need for an emergency.


BRING A WATERPROOF OUTER LAYER OR RAINCOAT

 

To keep warm in wet weather, think about wearing a base layer, middle layer, and outer layer. An outer layer is important in keeping rain and wetness out. Side venting on your coat helps to keep you dry from your own sweat created by heating up too much inside your coat.

Your dog will benefit from a waterproof coat to keep him warm. We like a coat that covers the belly and that has easy access to your dog’s collar or harness. For just a waterproof shell, we love the Hurtta Torrent Coat*.  It provides great coverage for your dog, allows for mobility, and is easy to put on fast.


PACK AN ADDITIONAL FLEECE JACKET

 

You can always wear a fleece jacket on its own or as an insulating layer underneath your windbreaker. For a lighter non-winter use fleece, we recommend the Arc’teryx Fortrez Hoody For Men* or For Women*. At only 13.6 ounces it’s a great lightweight jacket to stuff in your bag when not in use. It also features a snug scubahood allowing you to put on a helmet or another hood over. There’s an integrated balaclava that can be hidden into the jacket for extra warmth. The surface of the Arc’teryx jacket has abrasion resistant properties that also sheds moisture so your jacket doesn’t look old and balled up while keeping your warm. Pockets can be opened for air as they have a mesh lining. This is a great jacket for active types.

For your dog, consider getting the Ruffwear Fernie Sweater* as a great technical fleece insulating layer under a separate waterproof shell. The sweater is lightweight and snug on your dog. A quick drying, breathable version is the Ruffwear Climate Changer* that may be more suitable for spring and fall weather. You can of course consider a coat with an insulating layer built in, but we like the versatility of having a separate insulating layer from the outer coat.


KEEP YOUR BACKPACK ITEMS DRY WITH A RAINCOVER OR DRYSACK

 

Many hiking backpacks used by backpackers come with a raincover. If you have a regular backpack, you can purchase an inexpensive raincover that can slip over your backpack. Raincovers are sized usually to fit a certain size backpack based on capacity as measured in liters. If you have a large backpack (that’s stuffed well) consider the Joy Walker Raincover*. Otherwise, the Ayamaya Raincover* does a great job on smaller or less stuffed bags simply because it has an elastic strap with clip for a more secure fit around your bag.

For extra protection, consider a drysack* for electronic gear and other items that may be damaged or perishable if wet. A cheap alternative to a drysack is a ziplock bag, but this may not keep items dry if submerged under water. Drysacks are relatively inexpensive and last a long time. They do a good job keeping items dry in the rain. Drysacks are great to be used as a packing cube. Just stuff your lose items and clothing inside so everything in your bag is packed well, easy to access, and always dry. If you are doing water sports, you may have to consider a drysack bag* that is more durable, but much heavier to carry.


BRING EXTRA WOOL SOCKS JUST IN CASE

 

If you find yourself with wet socks and feet, change into dry, thin wool socks. Walking in wet socks may lead to blistering and a painful hiking experience. The best socks are wool because they let your foot breath, regulate your temperature well, don’t smell as bad if you have sweaty feet, can block out water, and are fast drying. Also great are polyester socks. Avoid cotton or socks that are too thick as they absorb water and are hard to dry. Don’t forget to dry out your wet socks! A great quick-drying sock is the Smartwool Outdoor Light Socks*.

If you do walk in wet socks, it would be beneficial for you to have a quick drying boot that won’t trap in wetness and allow socks to dry more. It’s still a good idea to just switch socks altogether and let your wet ones dry by attaching them to your bag. If your shoes are not too breathable, consider adding a breathable waterproof sock like the Rocky Goretex Waterproof Socks* on top of your dry ones.

If you are hiking in really wet weather, consider getting some gaiters that can help prevent rain from seeping into your shoes. Although not waterproof, you could consider getting a pair of Dirty Girl Gaiters for non-winter hiking and running. They help keep debris out of your shoes that can make walking painful. Gaiters are probably best for winter or if you are doing some backcountry trails or are going through wet grass and brush. Hiking in the winter may require you to get warmer socks and longer, waterproof gaiters* depending on what conditions you hike in.


HAVE BACKUP WARMTH

 

If you do ever find yourself in a situation where you have to stop and rest or seek a warm shelter, it’s always good to have a waterproof fire starter* with you.

Emergency Tinder* also comes in handy to get a fire started. If you are planning to go camping in the rain, read our article How To Camp In The Rain With Your Dog for more tips including how to start a fire in the rain.


PACK THE RIGHT PAW / FOOT CARE KIT

 

If you do get wet feet, you will want to stop and dry them off. Here is a list of items that you may want to consider bringing with you on a longer hiking trip or to use when you get home.

  • Sports Tape (Leukotape P*) – Effective in preventing blisters while hiking with a strong non-stretcy hold, even when your foot is wet. It’s also very versatile and can be torn.
  • Blister Prevention Cream / Balm – These can help prevent blisters on your feet by reducing friction and rubbing which causes blisters. You can also apply to a flat bandage. Hike Goo* is a great cream to use. You could also use Vaseline, Bonnie’s Balm or Bag Balm. Depending on what cream you use, you may want to consider a sock liner if the product you use soils your sock or is greasy.
  • Musher’s Secret* – This breathable paw wax is for your dog and helps condition and protect your dog’s paws from hot pavement, rough terrain, salt and chemicals, ice, sand, and snow balling between your dog’s paws.
  • Needle – Use to drain large unbroken blisters that are painful. (Don’t remove skin.)
  • Alcohol Wipes – To clean needles and blisters and prevent infection.
  • Antibiotic Ointment – Apply for faster healing. Don’t forget to bring one for your dog too.
  • Non-Stick Gauze Pad – Helps soak up any liquid from open or popped blisters.
  • Moleskin – This can be cut to fit around any existing blister and on top of the blister to provide added protection. You can also stick moleskin to sports tape to treat a blister with skin still intact. This acts basically as a custom bandaid that stays in place.
  • Self-Adhering Bandage Wrap – This will help keep your gauze in place and is flexible. They can also be used on your dog without sticking to their fur.
  • Hydrocolliodal Blister Plasters or Bandages – These second skin bandaids are great for open blister wounds, are waterproof, and can be left on for days and designed to do so. There are many version on the market but we think Band-Aid’s Hydro-Seal* are easy to use and carry.
  • Pawz Rubber Boots* – While your dog doesn’t have to use these for hiking, they do prove useful if your dog has a paw injury. Just treat the paw underneath and throw on the rubber boots to keep the bandage dry.
  • Sandals – Wear sandals or flip flops to let your blister dry out if you can and reduce pressure on the wound.

 

For more on cold weather paw protection read our article: Winter Paw Care and Treatment For The Outdoor Dog.


Leave a comment if there are any other products you think are worth letting everyone know about! Please let us know why you like it, how you use the product, and how long you have been using it for.

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!

Related Pawtivity / Event: Hiking, Running, Biking, Camping
Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Biking, Running

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: The owner of Pawtivity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

Best Travel Water Bowls and Bottles For Dogs (2018) – Pawtivity Picks

We love learning about the latest doggy stuff out there because we all want the best for our furry friends! Each week we cover the fun, novel, essential, and new products for dogs in our Pawtivity Picks Series.

This week we are covering portable travel water bowls for outdoor use. We are always on the hunt for something light and compact that’s easy to carry while we are out on an adventure with our dogs. Bowls must be durable, spill-proof, fast drying, easy to clean, and leak-proof for frequent use.

There are a few different types of portable water bowls and bottles. We break down these different types into the following categories: collapsible water bowls, pocket water bowls, no spill water bowls, and water bottles / pouches.

Products Covered: Collapsible Water Bowl, Foldable Water Bowl, Pocket Water Bowl, No Spill Water Bowl, Water Bottles, Water Pouch

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.


COLLAPSIBLE WATER BOWLS

 

Collapsible water bowls are the most popular form of travel bowls because they are so easy to use and dry. You also don’t have to carry around a separate water bottle just for your dog, but you will need to carry around a larger supply of water. Here are some of our favorite collapsible water bowls.

Ruffwear Bivy Bowl

Ruffwear is a reputable manufacturer of quality, long-lasting and durable dog products. The Bivy Bowl* really lives up to the company’s reputation.

At just 2.96 ounces, you really can’t ask for another bowl to take with you when you are out on the go. The collapsible nature of the bowl makes it ultra-portable. Even more impressve is the fact the this bowl can hold 1.8 liters or about 60 ounces of water.

There’s a clip on the bowl to attach it to your bag to dry and store. The bottom of the bowl has no-slip rubber. An often overlooked feature is the reflective trim giving you an easier time to find your dog’s bowl in the dark.

One downside to the bowl is the high price. You also can’t pop the bowl into the dishwasher or washer to sanitize it. Ruffwear recommends that you hand wash the bowl instead.

WHY WE LOVE: It’s just one bowl for all your outdoor needs. Do you really want to carry around a clunky heavy bowl or have multiple bowls around? Durable, ultra-portable, and works for multiple dogs. One bowl to rule them all.

Take me to the Ruffwear Bivy Bowl* now.

Kurgo Collaps A Bowl

The Kurgo Collaps A Bowl* is made out of food-grade BPA free silicone. There’s a clip on the bowl that you can use to clip on to your bag. You can also fold and roll the bowl up easily to put into your dog’s backpack. Cleaning is easy with this bowl as you can sanitize the bowl in the dishwasher.

There’s a lot of silicone bowls on the market, but we love the design of this bowl the best and how much you can fill in the bowl. The bowl can carry 24 ounces of water, more than many other silicone bowls. Lips at the side of the bowl also make it easier to carry without getting your fingers wet or dirty.

Kurgo backs up their products with a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects so you get the reassurance that you are getting a quality, well-made product to last.

WHY WE LOVE: Lightweight and collapsible. There’s no need to air-dry this bowl. It’s so easy to wash and dry. It’s best for frequent use out on the trail.

Take me to the Kurgo Collaps A Bowl* now.

Outward Hound Port A Bowl

The Outward Hound Port A Bowl* is a low cost, basic collapsible dog bowl that folds flat onto itself. It also dries fast.

The bowl comes in two sizes. The small can hold up to 24 ounces while the large can hold up to 48 ounces. There is an integrated elastic loop on the bowl, but you’ll have to add your own clip if you want to attach it to something.

Many users have mentioned that the bowl is not very leakproof and gets damp quickly. This isn’t usually a problem for those that use the bowl just for a quick water break.

WHY WE LOVE: For the price, it’s still a great portable option that can be stuffed into your dog’ backpack or your own.

Take me to the Outward Hound Port A Bowl* now.


POCKET WATER BOWLS

 

Pocket water bowls are great for those that want to carry as little as possible. They are ultra- portable and perfect for those that can’t carry around a heavy load with them. These are bowls designed for backpackers, runners, bikers, and those who are constantly on the move. Here are a few great pocket bowl finds.

Rad Dog Collaspible Pocket Bowl

Rad Dog’s Collapsible Pocket Bowl* is probably the smallest, foldable dog bowl we have seen on the market – it fits in the palm of your hand! The bowl is also waterproof and extremely lightweight at less than 1 ounce. The bowl can carry up to 16 ounces of water. We think backpackers, runners, and bikers would love this bowl for their dogs!

While super small, it doesn’t have the most stable base. It’s also pretty easy to lose and not visible for evening or night camping use. You may just have to hold it up for your dog to drink or eat.

WHY WE LOVE: It’s so minimal and best for those that want to carry as little as possible. Who wants to run or bike with a bulky bowl in their pocket or flapping against their bag?

Take me to the Rad Dog’s Collapsible Pocket Bowl* now.

Tuff Mutt Canvas Dog Bowl

Tuff Mutt’s Canvas Dog Bowl* is another great pocket bowl. It’s folds into the size of a cell phone and can hold up to 48 ounces of water.

The bowl is ultra-durable and made out of canvas with a waterproof lining. It also dries and wipes up for easy cleaning. There’s a reflective trim for evening use of the bowl. A portable carrying case comes with the dog bowl for easy storage in your bag or your dog’s backpack.

Tuff Mutt covers this bowl with their lifetime warranty.

WHY WE LOVE: This is the perfect portable option for large dogs or multiple dogs. We also love it for camping.

Take me to the Tuff Mutt Canvas Dog Bowl* now.


NO SPILL WATER BOWLS

 

No spill water bowls are great for dogs that get water all over the place, for dog sports, use in the car, and for camping. How many times have you put a water bowl down only to get knocked over by your dog or your dog’s leash every time he walks past? Here are a few no spill water bowls that we love.

Dublin Dog Nomad Travel Bowl

Although this isn’t a completely spill proof water bowl, the Dublin Dog Nomad Travel Bowl* does have a water bowl and food bowl that is connected together so it’s harder for your dog to tip over. It’s also very portable, folding and zipping up into the size of a cd case.

This bowl holds about 37 ounces of water and 47 ounces of food, so it’s a great choice for a long hiking trip or for camping use. The fabric is made of reflective 3M for high visibility.

The only downside is that this bowl is harder to wash after use. It’s also not meant to hold standing water for perhaps more than a few hours, so it may not be the best to use on a long road trip.

A nice feature that we would like to see on the bowl is a cinch top that can be used to hold food as well as expandable sides that can still zip up to a larger size.

WHY WE LOVE: We would still take this with us camping in a heartbeat. It’s perfect for mealtime and is great to stuff into your backpack without it snagging or getting caught on anything else.

Take me to the Dublin Dog Nomad Travel Bowl* now.

Heininger Waterboy

The Heininger WaterBoy* isn’t compact by any means, but it’s still a great bowl to use in a moving car, boat or on a camping trip.

The bowl carries up to 3 quarts (96 ounces) of water and is BPA Free.

The bowl lays flat, but fresh water flows into the bowl when your dog drinks.

Some users have claimed that the product is not spill-proof when tipped completely over. Others have had problems getting water to flow into the bowl if not filled up at least halfway and so recommend the product for smaller dogs.

WHY WE LOVE: We would love to take this camping with us just to avoid having repeated spilled water from using an open water bowl. It’s also great for long road trips.

Take me to the Heininger Waterboy* now.

ZoeZ Dog Water Bowl

The ZoeZ Dog Water Bowl* is a spill proof bowl that also keeps water clean and debris-free.

The dog bowl features a cover with a hole in the center that when pressed, reveals water for your dog to drink. The bowl can hold 33.8 ounce of water and can be taken apart for easy washing in the dishwasher.

It may require some human intervention to bring in some water into the dog bowl as you have to press the cover to reveal water.

You may have to train your dog to use the bowl properly. The bowl can actually limit how much your dog drinks at a time, so it may not be suitable for very large dogs.

WHY WE LOVE: This is a great bowl if you have a dog that slurps a lot of water at a time and spills water everywhere. We also like that it can help keep water clean when used outside.

Take me to the ZoeZ Do Water Bowl* now.


WATER BOTTLES / POUCHES

 

If you are running or biking with your dog, you may want to bring as little as possible. It may make more sense for you to get a water bottle that can be used for both you and your dog, instead of two separate bottles.

Water pouches are the best if you want something slim to put in your own backpack or your dog’s backpack. They also make great secondary water sources that you can use to fill your main water bottle, then fold up for compact storage.

Platypus Platy 2.0L Bottle

The Platypus Platy 2 Liter Bottle* is a lightweight and flexible water bottle that can carry 2 liters or 70 ounces of water. It can fit in most dog backpacks.

The bottle weighs only 1.3 ounces and is BPA-free, BPS-free, and phthalate-free. Food-grade polyethylene liners prevents water from tasting like plastic.

The bottle can be rolled up when empty and can stand up when filled.

Keep in mind that this bottle does not come with insulation, so water may freeze in very cold weather. Some have minimized freezing by pouring boiled water into the bottle. The bottle is also not as durable as regular water bottles and won’t last nearly as long.

WHY WE LOVE: This is a great option for a dog backpack simply because it helps keep bulk to a minimum and make things lighter for your dog to carry. We like that we won’t get plastic tasting water.

Take me to the Playtpus Platy 2.0 Bottle* now.

Baiji Bottle

If you want a bottle that’s a bit more durable, consider the Baiji Bottle* which holds 20 ounces of water.

This bottle is made of food grade silicone, BPA-free, and completely rollable or foldable when empty.

A clip on the bottle is useful for attaching to your bag.

We wish this bottle could carry more water, but it’s slim enough to carry two in our bags without a problem.

Each order on Amazon comes with 2 bottles.

WHY WE LOVE: No more plastic bottles or heavy bottles. If you like the feel of a bottle, but want something light and collapsible this is a great option for any travel use.

Take me to the Baiji Bottle* now.

H2O4K9 Dog Water Bottle

Want to get a bottle just for your dog and avoid carrying around an extra bowl? Consider the H2O49 Dog Water Bottle* made of food grade stainless steel and BPA-free plastic lid.

The main feature on this bottle is its twist top lid which can be used as a dog bowl for a quick drink. The bottle holds 25 ounces of water and is completely leak-proof.

A clip loop is included, but you’ll have to attach your own clip to it. The bottle is dishwasher safe.

Even though this bottle is steel, it’s not insulated so it won’t keep water cold.

WHY WE LOVE: Well, the dogs just love lapping water from the lid and many prefer it to bowls that are placed on the ground. Dog approved – how can we argue with that? It’s also very pretty!

Take me to the H2O4K9 Dog Water Bottle* now.

 


Leave a comment if there are any other products you think are worth letting everyone know about! Please let us know why you like it, how you use the product, and how long you have been using it for.

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!

Activities: Shopping, Hiking, Biking, Running, Camping, Great Outdoors

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: The owner of Pawtivity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.  

Gear Guide: How To Choose A Dog Backpack For Hiking

READ THIS BEFORE YOU LOOK FOR A SPECIFIC DOG BACKPACK!

Pawtivity’s Gear Guides are here to help you learn how you can pick the best gear for your dog.

Instead of reading specific reviews of branded products, it’s useful to get an overview first of general features to look out for when choosing the best gear for your dog by fit and use.

This gear guide will cover dog backpacks for day hiking use. Dogs should be over a year old and well-trained to go hiking before they start carrying their own backpack. Consult your vet for more guidance on specific requirements suitable to your dog’s unique needs.

 


WHY YOUR DOG NEEDS A DOG BACKPACK

 

Even if you are going on a day hike, you still need to carry equipment and gear for you and your dog. Lessen your load by giving your dog something to carry. Some say your dog actually becomes more focused, calm and more compliant with a dog backpack on. Sounds good!

Dog backpacks provide your dog with added weight to give them more exercise while on a hike. This is necessary for more athletic dogs that need a challenging workout. Dog backpacks also make it easier to keep your dog still and attend to his needs without freeing up your hands just to take off your own backpack.


WHAT TO PACK IN YOUR DOG’S BACKPACK

 

If your dog is new to wearing a dog backpack, don’t put anything in it. Give your dog time to get used to the bag. Add more weight over time. Most dogs will be able to carry about 10% of their weight. Stronger breeds can carry up to 25% of their weight. Each side of the backpack should be weighted evenly so as not to throw of your dog’s natural gait or running stance. Doing so may force your dog to favor one side and cause him injury.

Items that you may put your dog’s backpack include:

  • Water
  • Water Bladder – Instead of bringing a bottle, consider getting a water bladder or pouch that distributes water weight more evenly in your dog’s backpack. You can buy these separately, but some dog backpacks come with them.
  • Bowl – You will want something very portable.
  • Poop Bags & Ziplock Bag
  • Shovel
  • Kibble & Treats
  • Doggy First Aid Kit
  • Towel
  • Coat or Rain Coat
  • Wipes
  • Paw Balm or Wax
  • Frozen Water Bottles – Extra water supply that helps cool your dog down.
  • Extra Leash
  • Chew Toy / Favorite Toy
  • Waterproof Mat

Any extra items that don’t belong to your dog should be non-essential hiking items. If you and your dog should get separated, you don’t want anything you may need with your dog. Do not give your dog any valuables, keys, or non-waterproof electronic devices to carry.


DOG BACKPACK FEATURES

 

Durability – Consider a dog backpack an investment. You want it to last a long time and not snag and tear on any brush your dog happens to walk or run past. Pay attention to how well the bag is stitched at the seams. The best fabrics to consider are rip-stop nylon or cotton canvas.

Breathability – This may a more important feature if you are doing more strenuous hiking, biking, running, or other workout that will make your dog heat up quickly along the back and shoulder areas.

Water-Resistant / Waterproof – We think all bags should at least be water-resistant and quick drying. If you are out hiking through deeper water or wet weather, you’ll want something that is waterproof, otherwise your dog will have a lot more weight to carry from a wet backpack. Wet straps may also chafe against your dog’s skin. Use ziplock bags to keep items dry inside the backpack.

Padding & Grips – Padding helps provide more comfort to your dog. The best area for padding are along the straps and …. Padding can help prevent rubbing or chafing. Some packs have added grip to ??

Access to Leash Attachments – Many dog backpacks come with a separate ring where you can attach your dog’s leash or any other items. You’ll need to make sure that the placement is somewhere your dog is used to.

Carry Handle or Haul Strap – Some like being able to grab their dog by a strap to get a more secure hold on their dog. This may prove more useful for a hunting dog or a dog you may want to hold back on purpose. The handle also helps if you need to guide your dog over difficult terrain. If you have a small dog, you likely won’t need this handle.

Reflective Strip – This is useful for added visibility in the dark. Not all bags have these, so it’s good to consider if you do a lot of evening hikes or trail runs. Some backpacks come with 360 degrees of reflectivity.

Pockets – Some dog backpacks come with a number of zippered pockets. Deciding how many you need really depends on what you bring and if you like things compartmentalized. The more smaller items you have, the more need you may have for pockets. Some backpacks give your expandable or removable pockets so you can carry more just if you need it or easily handle certain items. At the very least, it’s wise to separate out food and water from any bags of dog poop. We suggest bringing a ziplock bag for used poop bag. The ziplock bag will help contain the smell and prevent accidental leakage.

Color – If your dog is off leash a lot you may want to consider getting your dog a backpack that is highly visible during the daytime. Choose a bright color such as red, yellow, or orange so you can spot your dog easily. If you are in an area that allows hunting, wear orange.


DOG BACKPACK FIT

 

Pack Sizing – The size of your dog and average length of time out on the trails will matter greatly in your choice of a dog backpack. Some packs, for example, are not made for very small dogs. They won’t be able to carry too much anyway. Make sure the main pocket doesn’t come down too far down the side of your dog so it bumps against his belly. Remember that the larger the pack size, the more you need to pay attention to giving each side even balance.

Integrated Harness – While you can use a harness under a dog backpack, it’s better to get a backpack with an integrated harness that will give you better control of your dog if he likes to jump or lunge forward. If your dog is active, they will prefer wearing the integrated harness.

Adjustable Straps – You will want to look for a backpack with adjustable straps that don’t slip easily with your dog’s movements. Adjustable straps can be found to give a better fit in the chest and sides. We highly recommend getting a backpack with an adjustable chest strap which will provide more stability. Steer clear of thin straps that may cut into your dog more.

Backpack Weight / Bulk – Weight and bulk may come into play more if your dog is doing strenuous hiking or running that may require a more streamlined and lighter fit so that he can move without feeling a substantial load. You also want the main part of the backpack to sit above the dog’s shoulders and not the middle or lower back. Carrying too much load in the back may lead to injury.

Manufacturer Fit – Each dog backpack manufacturer will have their own guidelines on measuring your dog for a backpack that fits them well. There’s never a one size fits all backpack and most will ask you to measure the girth (thickest part of your dog’s rib cage), neck, and consider your dog’s weight. It’s also important that the backpack doesn’t fit too far down the back of your dog as you want the bag to fit over your dog’s shoulders. If you really want to see how a backpack fits on your dog, go to a retail store where you can try on different backpacks on your dog.

Return Policy – You may have to go through two or three backpacks until you find the right fit for your dog. It may be wise to choose a retailer or manufacturer that has a more flexible return policy so you give your dog enough time to try on the backpack and take it out for a few walks around your house just to test how well it fits. The Return policy will vary by retailer and manufacturer.


POOR DOG BACKPACK FIT

 

If you’ve purchased a dog backpack and are testing it out on your dog, here are some red flags to watch out for that indicate a poor fit for your dog.

  • Backpack shifts and slides easily on the side and from front to back.
  • Straps rub or chafe against your dog’s chest or by your dog’s legs.
  • Backpack restricts walking or running movement by your dog.
  • The weight of the bag doesn’t sit too much at the top of your dog, but rather by your dog’s shoulders.
  • If your dog is running, the backpack should not be flopping up and down. It should remain snug to your dog’s body.
  • Backpack extends too far down the dog’s back. You want it over your dog’s shoulders.

 

How did you pick a dog backpack for your dog?

 

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!


Join the Pawtivity Community. Meet Other Adventurers That Do What You Love To Do.
Sign up TODAY!

 

Related Pawtivities: Pup’s Pack – HikingBest Dog Backpack?, Gear Roundup: Hiking, Hiking, Backpacking
Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Great Outdoors, Running, Trail Running, Canicross, Biking, Camping