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

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 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.

 

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

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.  

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

Oregon Ridge Park, MD

Oregon Ridge Park is a 1,043-acre park that features dog friendly trails, picnic and recreation areas. Dogs are allowed at the park on leash.

A trail map of the park can be found here. The nature center at the park puts on many special events throughout the year. You can park at the nature center to access trails at GPS Coordinates 39.493844, -76.689958 Map.

In the winter, you can go there to go cross-country skiing or sledding if there is enough snow. The park actually used to be an old ski resort.


 

Help a fellow dog owner! Do you have an adventure story? Contact us and we will link it to this pawtivity or event! Where did you go? What did you do? Please include any useful tips and advice that would help others!

Location: Cockeysville, MD | Baltimore County | Maryland

GPS Coordinates: Oregon Ridge Nature Center 39.493844, -76.689958 Map
Activities: Hiking, Walking, Snowsheing, Cross-Country Skiing, Winter – Sports, Sledding, Nature Center

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. 

The Best Dog Tech Gadgets 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 decided to cover some of latest and must-have technology gadgets made for our furry friends! We tend to love the products that give us our dogs smart, active play and products that make sure we keeping our dogs healthy while simplifying our lives.

Products Covered: Smart Collar, Food & Exercise Tracking, Treat Dispensers, Dog Monitors, Potty Trainer, Smart Toys

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.


 

WAGZ SMART DOG COLLAR

 

We really love the concept of this dog collar. It’s the perfect collar for the Pawtivity Pup. You can go hiking, running, and biking with your dog off-leash and get the assurance that your dog will be within a set boundary around you at all times. GPS, health, and activity monitor make this collar even better. By the way, the collar is completely waterproof!

Dog collars with geo-fence capabilities have been around a long time, but what makes this collar unique is the ability to use your mobile app to draw your own customized containment area anywhere, not just in your own backyard. This makes the product truly mobile and versatile.

When you are out for a run or hiking in the winter, it helps to know if your dog is too hot or cold. The collar comes with a temperature and environmental alert that tells you if you your dog’s ambient temperature is high or low.

 

What is still left to be proven is just how good GPS tracking is on this device and if the gentle vibration and ultrasonic sensor is enough to deter a dog from crossing a certain boundary. We are also unsure how an added 1 pound of weight for the collar may work for a small or medium sized dog.

The product was released May 30, 2018, but still on pre-order. Wagz makes many other connected home devices for dogs, including an automatic feeder. The collar works with other Wagz and Black & Decker pet products. The product can be ordered for $349 and comes with plan options for extra storage and video streaming.

WHY WE LOVE: Have your dog on an invisible leash and hands free while you hike, run, and bike. This all-in-one device is perfect to track your best workout buddy’s health and whereabouts better than you can.

Take me to the Wagz Smart Dog Collar now.


ACTIJOY PET TRACKING SYSTEM

 

According to a study by the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention, 53.9% of dogs are overweight. A lot of dog owners don’t actually know that their pets are overweight. Our vet can tell us how much food your dog needs based largely on weight, however, they can’t factor in exercise accurately to tell you much you may need to modify your dog’s diet. So, it’s pretty easy to overfeed your dog.

Actijoy creates an integrated pet tracking system that helps you give the right amount of food to your dog so they don’t become overweight. The pet tracking system includes a waterproof health and activity monitor, a food and water bowl, and finally a mobile application.

 

Actijoy products are currently on pre-order and available Spring 2018. We are curious to see how well the activity tracker measures different types of activity from a dog.

WHY WE LOVE: This is one of the first products we have seen that really tries to give us feedback into how much we need to feed our dogs. It also motivates us to get out and get active with our dogs! Of course we love that!

Take me to the Actijoy Pet Tracking System now.


CLEVER PET

 

We love smart play for our dogs and CleverPet* really fits the bill. Dogs need to work for their reward and use their heads! Clever Pet is a smart toy and treat dispenser. Your dog has to solve puzzles by pawing three buttons that light up. When they get the puzzle correct, the device opens revealing a tasty treat.

We love that puzzles get progressively harder so your dog keeps getting challenged and is not fed too many treats! You can see how your dog does throughout the day from your phone and how many treats they got.

Clever Pet is available to purchase on their website for $249 for a refurbished unit. New units are currently out of stock and cost about $300. We hope the company comes out with an upgrade version soon!

 

WHY WE LOVE: Dogs need a healthy balance of mental stimulation and physical exercise. Clever Pet gives them smart play so they don’t decide to take their frustration out on your sofa.

Take me to the Clever Pet* now or order the Refurbished Version.


TRAIN ‘N PRAISE POTTY TRAINING SYSTEM

 

Having a hard time training your puppy to go potty on his pee pad? PetSafe* has come up with a solution that will train and reward your dog every time he pees on his pad.

You can reinforce other training with your dog by using the treat dispenser with a remote. If your dog needs to know to go to his place or to his bed, you can place the treat dispenser near his designated place or sleeping area.

In order for this system to work, your dog does need to be food motivated. Some dogs are motivated more by play, so may not response as well to treats.

 

WHY WE LOVE: Ever walk home from work only to find pee and poop rubbed in on your furniture and carpets? Ugh. If you have to use a pee pad, at least your puppy can learn to go in the right spot!

Take me to Train ‘N Praise Potty Training System* now.


PET CUBE

 

PetCube* is an interactive pet camera that lets you interact with your dog when you are not home. You can quickly check up on your pet, hear and talk to your dog, give them a treat, and take photos of them from your phone.

Even when you aren’t checking in on your pet, you can get alerts if something is wrong based on sound and motion alerts. Now, you shouldn’t use the Pet Cube for meals, but the container does fit up to 2 lbs of treats so plenty to last a long time.

The PetCube comes with 1080 HD video and night vision along with a 138° wide angle view. You can also zoom up close to see your dog. Multiple cameras can be purchased and placed in different rooms.

 

The jacket does come at a hefty price tag of $495 (not a typo) if you’ve got some spare change! We just want to know if it comes with a hood or matching boots. Perhaps something to look for in the future.

WHY WE LOVE: Ok it’s Big Brother with good intent. Now we can love our dogs when we are not there. We already hate leaving them at home! Who doesn’t love flinging a treat (from your phone!) to your dog?

Take me to the Pet Cube* 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, Games & Tricks, Training, Great Outdoors, Indoor Play, Outdoor Play, Hiking, 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.  

10 Best Camping Gadgets And Gear 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.

It’s the start of the camping season so we decided to take this week to learn about dog-worthy camping gear and accessories for you and your dog!

Products Covered: Cooling Pad, Compact Dog Tool, Collapsible Dog Bowl, Dog Hitching System, Portable Paw Washers, All-Weather Jacket, Raincoat, Dog Sleeping Bag, Dog Night Collar.

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.


 

GREEN PET SHOP COOLING PET PAD

 

Instead of letting your dog dig himself a hole in the ground to lay in and getting dirt all over your camping gear, give him his own cooling mat!

This Cooling Pet Pad* doesn’t use electricity or water! It includes a patented, pressure-activated, non-toxic gel formula that will cool your pet down in hot weather.

The pad stays cool for about 3 hours, but 15-20 minutes of non-use will recharge the pad. It’s great for camping and road trips.

WHY WE LOVE: A cooling product that doesn’t mess with water or electricity?! Easy. And we know a happy dog is a good dog. Use it and take it anywhere!

Take me to the Cooling Pet Pad* now.


NITE IZE DOOHICKEY PET TOOL

 

Nite Ize comes out with some fancy tools for all-around outdoor use. This DoohicKey Pet Tool* is truly ingenious combining a nail file, tick remover, burr comb, and bottle opener all on a carabiner clip.

Never lose the tool as it clips easily on to your dog’s leash, your keys, or backpack. As an awesome bonus, the tool is backed by Nite Ize’s Worry-Free Guarantee.

WHY WE LOVE: We need lightweight, all-purpose tools. The less we carry the better and this fits the bill perfectly. Never lose a tiny tick remover again.

Take me to the Nite Ize DoohicKey Pet Tool* now.
 

 


RUFFWEAR BIVY COLLAPSIBLE DOG 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.

An often overlooked feature is the reflective trim giving you an easier time to find your dog’s bowl in the dark.

One downside is the high price, but you really do get what you pay for.

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? One bowl to rule them all.

Take me to the Ruffwear Bivy Bowl* now.


RUFFWEAR KNOT-A-HITCH DOG-HITCHING SYSTEM

 

Does your dog’s leash get dirty and tangled at the campsite? Our dogs just want to roam around as freely as they can, but we all need to keep our dogs safe too!

Here’s a great compromise solution from Ruffwear. The Knot-A-Hitch* is the perfect item to take camping. It’s almost a must-have essential in our opinion.

To use the Knot-A-Hitch, just secure the included 36 foot rope between two trees or posts. Then, attach your dog’s leash to the carabiner link on the rope. Tensioning system and materials are similar to those of a rock-climber for ultra-durability and function.
 


 

The product is currently out of stock (as of April 4, 2018). Check out Ruffwear’s website for more information or to get first dibs on the system when it’s back in stock! We are going to be watching out for this for our own camping needs!

WHY WE LOVE: No more leash tangles and doggy gets a new leash on life! And we don’t spend gobs of our time trying to clean our dog’s leash and hands afterwards.

Take me to Ruffwear Knot-a-Hitch System* now.


MOLOSSER AEGIS ALL-WEATHER DOG JACKET

 

This is the luxury of luxury when it comes to dog jackets. It’s the perfect all-season, all-weather coat for the true adventurer. We just had to give it a great ooh and ahh!

Molosser’s award winning Aegis All-Weather Dog Jacket does it all. It keeps your dog warm and dry. It’s extremely lightweight, 100% waterproof (including zipper and seams), windproof, breathable, thermal regulating, and 360° reflective.

Getting a great fit with this coat is easy. The basic size comes in XXS to XL, but an adjustable chest and underside-body gusset allows for a more customized fit for your dog. The neck and leg openings are also adjustable. The coat also allows for room for your active dog to move.
 


 

The jacket does come at a hefty price tag of $495 (not a typo) if you’ve got some spare change! We just want to know if it comes with a hood or matching boots. Perhaps something to look for in the future.

WHY WE LOVE: This coat does kick doggy butt. We really do dream of the perfect coat for all seasons and weather and this seems to be a very good one.

Take me to the Aegis All-Weather Dog Jacket 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.


PUPMATE PAW CLEANER WITH SILICONE PET GROOMING BRUSH

 

Spring is a muddy time! Every adventure outing brings back a dirty dog (and human!).

We found a paw cleaner* that’s portable and waterless! It’s great for when you are actually outside without access to water – or you don’t want to give up your own precious water.

Since this paw cleaner doesn’t use water, we really appreciate that you don’t get a soppy leg back to dry as you do with other paw cleaners.

A silicone pet grooming brush helps scrub off any mud that is caked between or on your dog’s paw pads. When you are done scrubbing your dog’s paws, just wipe up.

The product does come with a rose scent shampoo, which some may not prefer. However, the scent has got to beat out that odorous wet dog smell from permeating into the interior fabric of your car! Ingredients in the wash are all natural, hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, and 100% non-toxic. The shampoo is great for getting rid of harmful, toxic substances that may be lingering on your furry friend’s paws due to winter salt and de-icers on the ground.

The only down-side to this paw cleaner is if your dog is muddy all over. We are unsure how it works to shampoo out mud from fur. If your dog is that muddy, no paw cleaner may help. You’ll just have to give your dog a bath!

WHY WE LOVE: No more muddy car seats and dirty paws all over your sleeping bag and hammock! No need to go out of your way to find water or give up yours. Less cleanup in the long run. Safe paws. Portable on hikes.

Take me to the Pupmate Paw Cleaner* now.


DEXAS PETWARE MUDBUSTER

 

For those that think water will do a better job cleaning your dog’s paws, try the Dexas Petware Mudbuster*.

The nice thing about this paw cleaner is that it’s fast to use on an antsy dog that just won’t sit still. Just pop the paw in and out a few times, dry and you’re done!

Bristles are extremely easy to clean and remove. They are also gentle enough for paws. Product sizes are available for petite, medium, and large paws.

The downside to this product is that you do need quite a lot water to clean all paws. It’s an item you probably just want to leave in the car as the container is rather large. Water won’t get off all residue created from winter salt and deicers, but you could perhaps add some shampoo to the water. Beware of many knock-off versions that may not clean as well as the Dexas product.

WHY WE LOVE: A very fast, rough cleanup job that gets the paws and a portion of the legs at one go. If your dog has muddy paws, he’s going to have muddy legs.

Take me to the Dexas Petware Mudbuster* now.


BARKER BAG

 

The Barker Bag is a lightweight dog sleeping bag that zips to the side of your own sleeping bag. It also works by attaching to two sleeping bags. Your dog stays warm, keeps your feet warm, and has his own sleeping bag. The Barker Bag was featured on Kickstarter in 2014. Learn about the product from the founder!
 


 

There are different size options as well as the option to purchase 2 dog sleeping bags that work on one sleeping bag.

Prices are on the high end, but if you go camping a lot in cooler weather you won’t be thinking twice.

WHY WE LOVE: Have a dog that always wants to get in and out of the sleeping bag leaving you cold and awake from drafts? Keep your own sleeping without losing out on the benefit of that doggy snuggle warmth.

Take me to the Barker Bag now.


NITE IZE NITEHOWL LED DOG LIGHT COLLAR

 

Make it easier to attend to your dog at night by putting a bright LED Dog Light Collar* on him that turns on and off as needed. The collar can be used in the rain.

Each collar can be sized to create a custom fit from 12” to 27”. The product uses alkaline batteries so there’s no re-charging involved. It’s easy to store a battery as a backup, but you’ll be surprised how long the collar will last.

As always, Nite Ize provides their Worry-Free Guarantee so getting this collar is a no-brainer.

WHY WE LOVE: No need to change collars and you use it when you need it. Batteries are easy to change and long-lasting. Weather-proof. Highly visible.

Take me to the Nite Ize LED Dog Light Collar* 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!

Related Pawtivity / Event: Desert Camping, Wilderness Camping, Beach Camping
Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping

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.  

How To Choose The Right Boot For Your Dog Any Season

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.

In this gear guide, we give you information on what to look for in boots so you can find the best boot for your dog any season of the year.

Today’s boots for dogs are far from a fashion statement. It’s a great option for active dogs. First, boots keep your dog’s paws clean and dry. They also protect against deicers and chemicals on the ground, hot and cold temperatures, ice, thorns, rocks, and sand. Last, boots give your dog better traction on slippery or rough terrain.

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.


BEST FEATURES IN BOOTS

 

There is no perfect boot because the fit and need for each dog is different. If we were to look for the perfect boot we would look for the following features:

Waterproof Upper Material – This is an important feature in the winter, for rain, and if you are traveling through wet terrain such as rivers and streams. Make sure you find a waterproof fabric with waterproof seams. You want something to keep your dog’s paws dry or they may get cold. It’s nice to have something breathable in the summer since dogs can get sweaty paws, but if you only have one boot we think most would do better year-round with a waterproof boot. You can always give your dog a break and cool down those sweaty paws by taking those shoes off for a bit!

Thick, Non-Slip Rubber Soles – Good traction is important when navigating through slippery and rough terrain. Some of the best soles with traction come with a patterned sole.

Velcro Straps – You don’t want boots to fall off so it’s best to get a boot that comes with velcro straps that keep a boot on your dog and something your dog will have a hard time taking off. Make sure straps are sewn into the shoe well.


BOOT FEATURES

 

Waterproof or Water-Resistant – Top of the line dog boots are usually waterproof or water-resistant. These boots provide the most protection in any weather.

Fabric – There are a lot of fabrics that are used to make dog boots and dog shoes. The best is to go with something durable and flexible to provide a comfortable fit for your dog’s paws. Preferences for fabric material may vary based on the season or activity use.

  • Rubber or Silicone – Rubber or silicone material are used for lightweight boots and shoes that provide ultimate protection from water. They don’t provide as much warmth as other boots for the winter but can protect against surfaces year-round. Some boots and shoes are harder while others look more like a sock. This material provides a much lower cost boot, but may not be the most durable or provide the best traction. If your dog is injured, rubber socks may actually come in handy as a temporary way to keep a bandage dry.
  • Leather – Many premium hiking boots for humans are made with leather, or even waterproof leather. Leather is a natural choice because it’s so comfortable, dogs can walk more naturally, and the fabric is more flexible to conform to any paw. Leather shoes provide warmth, protection from sharp objects, and is durable for any terrain.
  • Nylon and Synthetics – Synthetic fabric can be both durable and ultra-lightweight. They are also extremely flexible so may provide an easy fit for your dog. Depending on the fabric, they may be less expensive than leather boots. Some fabrics provide shoes with a breathable mesh to cool off hot sweaty paws or for quick drying in the sun.

 

Fleece Lining – Some boots have an extra lining made of fleece or another synthetic material. This provides extra warmth and comfort to boots. Linings should not be made of cotton.

Seams – Steer clear of any seams that are glued together. The best boots have seams that are sewed together. These provide the boot with a longer lifespan and durability.

Upper Length – Some dogs get cold more easily than other dogs. Shoes that have a longer upper length or are taller can help provide some additional warmth to your dog.

Sole – The lifespan of a boot or shoe is mainly determined by how worn out the sole can get. That’s why it’s worth it to purchase a shoe with a good sole that will provide good traction and can take a beating on rough terrain. The sole should also provide some flexibility to help dogs walk comfortably. Soles with a patterned design usually provide the best traction. Sometimes shoes come with a rubber toe cap that connects to the sole. We like the option of having these as they seem to prolong the life of the shoe by providing extra waterproof protection at the seams of the shoe and protect against stubbed toes or nail breakage.

Boot Fit – Fit is very important for our dog. The best dog boots out there may not fit your dog’s feet. It’s important to try out the boots at home first to make sure that they are comfortable for your dog and that they stay on his feet. When you put on a dog boot, it should be easy to put on with wiggle room for the toes. Boots should also stay on. Some of the better boots out there come with a velcro strap that goes around your dog’s ankles. The strap should be wrapped around the ankle but not too tightly, otherwise your dog may have develop swelling in his paws. You want to make sure that the strap and boot does not rub against your dog’s fur and skin. Some dogs have a dew claw so this should be factored in when selecting a shoe that fits your dog. Shoes should not rub against the dew claw.


SEASONAL CHOICES

 

Wet, Rainy Spring or Fall Weather
For wet, rainy weather you definitely want a waterproof boot that will stay on. Dogs can use the boot to trek through snow, mud, and any other nasty that the weather brings with it.

Winter Snow & Ice
The most important thing to look for in a winter dog snow boot is that it will keep your dog’s paws dry, warm, and out of contact with any corrosive chemicals found in deicers or salt. If you are looking for a dog boot for winter, the best material you want to consider is one that is waterproof. You will also need a snug fit so dogs don’t lose their shoes in wet snow, mud, slippery terrain, or rocky areas.

Do you go hiking a lot in the winter? Be sure to read our article on safety tips for winter hiking and winter paw protection.

Hot Summer Weather
Paw protection is a necessity in hot weather, especially where there is hot sand, pavement, and rocks. An alternative to boots is to use a paw wax.

Dogs sweat through their paws so breathable mesh uppers may help keep the inside of your dog’s boot dry and help regulate your dog’s temperature better. You may also want fabric that is fast drying in the sun.

The primary way a dog stays cool is by panting. Make sure your dog is drinking water and panting normally to stay cool. Watch for for any overheating and hyperthermia symptoms in your dog. They may be panting heavily, have red gums or tongue, appear sluggish, vomit, or have diarrhea.


MEASURING DOG BOOTS

 

Check with the shoe manufacturer on the right way to measure your dog’s paws for boots. Some manufacturers recommend picking a shoe size by weight, but always measure your dog’s paw and compare that to the exact dimensions of the shoe.

An easy way to measure your dog’s paw is to trace the outline of their paw. Just have your dog step onto a piece of paper and trace around their paw with a pencil. You’ll want to add about ¼ inch extra to allow for the best fit for your dog.


WEARING BOOTS

 

Once you purchase your dog boots, give your dog time to test them out inside the house. That way you can keep them clean and returnable if necessary. Give your dog treats and praise so they associate the boots with a reward. Then, go for a few trips around the neighborhood and give them some more treats. Pretty soon, they may be going to their boots rather than their leash when you tell them it’s time to go out on a hike!

After you come back from a hike, it’s a good idea to wipe up your boots so you keep them clean and in good condition for your next outing. If you need to wash your boots, it’s best to hand wash them but then leave them out in the sun or somewhere where they can dry thoroughly. A toothbrush comes in handy to remove mud and debris from the soles. Check with the manufacturer to see if your dog boots or dog shoes are machine washable. When not in use, keep them in a ziplock bag.


WHERE AND HOW TO BUY BOOTS

 

Dog boot prices vary greatly. The most important consideration in buying boots, however, is fit, durability (you want it to last), and adequate protection for your particular use and season. Boots and shoes will basically last until the sole becomes worn.

Wherever you end up buying your dog boots or shoes, it’s good if the store you buy has a flexible return policy. Dog boots are hard to measure for a good fit so it may take a few tries for you to find a pair that fits your dog well. You also need to go with a pair that your dog will be comfortable walking in. It will take some time for your dog to become comfortable walking in dog boots and dog shoes. If all else fails, try using paw wax or paw balm on your dog instead.


Ready to find out what our picks are for the best dog boots? Read: Top Hiking Boots For Dogs (2018) – Pawtivity Picks.

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!

 


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

Winter Paw Care And Treatment

Winter Paw Care and Treatment For The Outdoor Dog

If you and your dog love to go outside, winter paw care is essential.

Dogs need paw protection from snow and ice as well as from any chemicals that are used on snow or ice.

We give you the essentials to prevent dog paw injuries and as well as basic paw treatment tips you can use when you are out on an adventure with your dog.
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 winter paw tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.


PREVENTIVE CARE & GROOMING

 

A little grooming goes a long way to preventing paw pad injury and pain.

Trim the fur on your dog between the toes so that the fur is even with the surface of your dog’s paw pads. Otherwise, snow and ice and can pack up between the paw pads making it painful for your dog to walk. You will also want to make sure your dog’s nails are trimmed.

Dogs should have long body hair trimmed (not shaved). Ice and chemicals can get stuck on long hair and dry out your dog’s skin. Worse, it can cause a bad irritation or rash.

When you bathe your dog, use an extra moisture-rich shampoo and lukewarm water. Some follow up by massaging coconut oil into their dog’s skin to moisturize and prevent flakes.

Mushers Secret* (paw wax), Bag Balm* (paw balm), or Vaseline can be used on a daily basis to keep your dog’s paws well-conditioned. They will help prevent chapping and cuts due to cold weather. Apply a very thin layer as you don’t need a lot.

As always, make sure your dog is updated on his vaccines and ask your vet about any precautions you need to take with your dog and specific treatment necessary for your dog.


OUTDOOR DOG PAW PROTECTION

 

For some outdoor dog paw protection, invest in waterproof boots or use a wax to help prevent buildup of snow and ice between your dog’s toes. You will also want paw protection to guard against chemicals and salt that may be on the ground and that may be toxic to your dog. An easy way to keep your dog’s paws clean is to have them walk on grass when they are outside where chemicals and deicers are not used.

Boots provide the best traction and protect against sharp ice, rock and slippery surfaces. Find boots with a velcro strap or something similar to keep the boot snug around your dog’s ankle but not too tight. Dogs need to practice walking in boots, so have them wear them inside the house and give them a lot of treats! When your dog gets a bit more comfortable, go on a walk around your house and work yourself up to a hike.


FIRST AID ITEMS TO PACK

 

The below is our recommended list for a basic first aid kid that you can bring for you and your dog on any outdoor adventure. These are useful to treat paw injuries and more.

  • Towel or Wipes
  • Absorbent Dressing or Wound Pad
  • Gauze Bandage
  • Medical Tape
  • Small Bandages for Humans
  • Tongue Depressors
  • Gloves
  • Antibiotic Ointment for Humans and Dogs
  • Paw Wax or Paw Balm
  • Tweezers
  • Tick Remover
  • Comb
  • Scissors
  • Ziplock bag (multiple uses, including making an ice pack)
  • Warm Water Bottle and Cup
  • Lightweight Insulated Blanket
  • Extra Leash (can be combined with blanket as an emergency shelter)
  • First Aid Cheat Sheet
  • Nearest Open Emergency Vet Location
  • Your Vet’s Contact and Medical Records

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.

For more information about what to pack for a winter outing, read: Top 10 Safety Tips for Winter Hiking With Your Dog – Comprehensive Guide.


ON YOUR ADVENTURE

 

When you are out on a hike or winter adventure, it’s a good idea to check your dog’s paw pads periodically. Remove any snow or ice that has collected between their paw pads and check for harmful debris or bloody paws. Be aware that dogs can get ticks or cuts between their toes.

Make sure you also have enough water with you. For a moderate 1 hour hike, bring about 32 oz. of water for yourself and about an ounce of water more per pound weight for your dog. If your dog is 32 pounds, bring at least 64 ounces of water for you and your dog. How much water you need really does depend on what you do and how long you go, but take short frequent water breaks. For winter, bring a bottle filled with warm water with a wide-mouth so your water does not freeze.


PAW INJURIES AND TREATMENT

 

There are several injuries you can watch for while you are out with your dog. We provide some basic treatments that you can apply if your dog has a paw injury outside.

Please note that we are not a certified vet, so any recommendations listed are only suggestions that you may do for your pet. Please consult your vet for more information.

Raw or Torn Paw Pads

This is the most common dog paw injury that can happen any time of the year. Become familiar to what your dog’s paw pads look like while healthy. If they are raw, they may appear red or skin may be peeling off. Clean the paw and remove any debris and loose skin. Apply ointment and wrap your dog’s paw with a bandage. Call your vet to see if you need to take your dog in. Your dog may need to sit out on a few hikes to let his pads heal. When you are at home, put a baby sock on your dog so he doesn’t try to lick his paws. You will need something that can breathe and that’s not too tight. You can also purchase specially made bandages that make it difficult for dogs to bite and have a lick deterrent taste.

Bloody Paws or Pus

Wash your dog’s paw and inspect for any injury. Remove any debris that may be the cause of the injury. To stop bleeding, apply pressure on the area until the bleeding stops. Then, follow up by applying balm or wax on your dog’s paws. If the bleeding does not stop, wrap a bandage with gauze over the wound and call your vet immediately or go to an emergency vet. Change the bandage as soon as it gets soaked with blood. If you see pus or bleeding from a broken nail, call a vet to find out what you can do. You don’t want to bring on more infection to the area.

Frostbite

If your dog’s paws, tails, or ears have ice on them this is a pretty good indication that they are on their way to getting frostbite. They may also have discoloration in their skin. Severe cases of frostbite occur when the skin turns black. If you suspect that your dog has frostbite, wrap them up in a blanket and call your vet. You will want to head back as soon as possible.

Bite Wound

If your dog gets a bite wound while you are out, hopefully you got a glimpse of what bit your dog. Tie your dog to a tree with your leash. It may be necessary to muzzle your dog if he is not cooperating after being attacked. If you don’t have a muzzle you can use strips of cloth or bandage as a makeshift muzzle. Calm your dog down and carefully wash the wound to inspect the damage. You can use a comb or scissors to pull back and cut any hair around the wound.

If the bite wound is bleeding, apply pressure to the area until bleeding stops. If the bleeding does not stop, wrap a bandage with gauze over the wound and call your vet immediately or go to an emergency vet. Change the bandage as soon as it gets soaked with blood.

Limping, Licking, Inflammation

If your dog is limping, licking his paws, or his paws are inflamed call your vet. To give your dog some immediately relief, wash his paws and remove any debris. Inspect the area to find the source of the injury. Treat any swelling with an ice pack. If you suspect chemicals to be the cause of inflammation or burned paws, apply an antibiotic ointment made for dogs. If you suspect a broken bone, do the best you can to create a splint with tongue depressors or sticks and bandage. If you can manage it, carry your dog to the car and go to an emergency vet.
For more information about other signs to watch out for in your dog, read: Top 10 Safety Tips for Winter Hiking With Your Dog – Comprehensive Guide.


AFTER YOUR ADVENTURE

 

Towel-dry your dog’s paws when you get into the car or wipe them down with some doggy wipes. This will at least minimize your dog from trying to lick their paws clean. If your dog was wearing boots, simply remove the boots before your dog gets in the car.

When you get home from a hike, wash your dog’s paws. You can either dip your dog’s paws in a cup of warm water when get home or use a spray bottle to remove debris. Follow up with a good towel drying and let them loose inside. If you leave any chemicals or salt on your dog’s paws your dog may ingest them by licking them clean or they may actually burn your dog’s paws causing more injury and a temporary end to your outings. Paw injuries take longer to heal.

To keep your dog’s paws well conditioned, apply a very thin layer of paw wax, like Musher’s Secret*, or moisturizer to protect your dog’s paw pads from getting too dry. You don’t need a lot on your dog’s paws to condition them if you do this daily.

 

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

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