13 Dog Hiking Essentials

Bringing your furry friend along on your hike makes it so much more enjoyable. It’s a great way to get some exercise for yourself and your dog. There are a few dog hiking essentials you need before you start on your hiking adventure.


Dog Hiking essentials

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Dog Hiking Essentials


1. Dog Backpack

Dog hiking backpacks can be super handy, especially if you are backpacking or hiking multiple days in a row. You can easily pack all your dog essentials into their pack and they can carry all of their gear. Just be sure not to fill the pack with more than 25% of your dog’s body weight. Also remember to condition your dog to the weight of the pack, just like a human they need to get used to carrying the bag.


2. Emergency Rescue Harness

Hopefully, you never need to use this, but we never hike without it. We have a Pack-A-Paw brand emergency harness. God forbid, your dog falls and breaks their leg. This harness will allow you to carry them safely off the trail. 

dog hiking essentials


3. Leash

Depending on the trail you may be required to have your dog on a leash while hiking. Even if it’s not a requirement it’s a good idea to have one so you can have control over your pup. If you want full use of your hands you can consider a hands-free leash option. These leashes are typically bungee and attach to a loop around your waist. 

We love slip lead leashes because you can easily toss the loop quickly over your dog’s head instead of trying to clip the leash to their collar. 


4. Collar/Harness

If you don’t have a slip lead then a collar or harness is essential to be able to clip their leash to. Even if you are using a slip lead leash it’s a good idea to have their collar with information tags attached. 

Hiking essentials


5. Treat Pouch

Having a treat pouch with treats handy is always a good idea when hiking with your dog. 


6. Cooling Vest

If you are hiking in the heat having a cooling vest is great for keeping your dog from overheating. Be aware of the signs of overheating in dogs. 


7. Hiking Boots

We don’t normally hike in extreme weather but if you do a set of hiking boots for your pup is a great idea. They can protect their paws from getting soaked in the snow or burnt in the heat. They are also good for protecting them from sharp rocks and sticks. Pup hiking boots can also be used in the event that your dog hurts their foot and needs some added protection on the trek back. 

Dogs hiking 


8. Poo Bags

Leave the trail as you found it! Always carry poo bags and pick up after your dog.


9. Dog First Aid Kit

There are specific first aid kits sold just for dogs. They contain similar items to a human first aid kit but you can also put together your own first aid kit for your dog. Here is everything you need to have in your dog first aid kit.


10. Collapsible Food and Water Bowls

Water is a must when hiking for you and your dog. It’s a good idea to bring them food as well just in case you get lost or hike longer than you originally planned. Collapsible food and water bowls are super convenient to carry when hiking. You can also bring along dog energy bars in lieu of their normal food. These bars, such as Ruff Bar of TurboPUP, can be fed as snacks to keep your dog’s energy up during a long hike.  


11. Travel Water Bottle

Travel water bottles are super convenient. You can quickly give your dog some water without having to dig out the bowls. We have a Kurgo brand travel bottle with a bowl that slides right onto the bottom so it doesn’t take up any extra space in our pack. 


12. Pet-Safe Insect Repellent

Wondercide has been our preferred insect repellant and is safe for animals. It works wonders and smells great. It actually kills all fleas and flea larva within 2 minutes of application and kills ticks within 4-24 hours of application. We love the peppermint scent the best. 

dog insect repellant 


13. Paw Balm

Dogs put a lot of strain on their paws. They can easily get dry, cracked, and irritated. Paw Balm can be applied before a hike to help protect them from rough terrain and after a long trek to soothe their paws. 



Have any other ideas to add to the dog hiking essentials list? Drop them in the comments and let us know.


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  1. Amelia
    July 20, 2020 / 2:36 pm

    These are great tips! Totally wouldn’t have thought to bring half this stuff!!

    • hharris11
      July 21, 2020 / 3:23 am

      Thanks for reading, Amelia. Glad I could help!

  2. Cate
    July 20, 2020 / 6:08 pm

    Solid list of tips for hiking with your pup, makes me want to go hiking haha

    • hharris11
      July 21, 2020 / 3:23 am

      Thanks so much, Cate! I want to take a hiking trip soon too!

  3. July 21, 2020 / 3:28 pm

    Such a great post. I love the recommendations of what you need to think about when hiking with your favorite friend. So important to think of their needs too! Very helpful!

    • hharris11
      July 25, 2020 / 3:56 pm

      Thanks for reading, Keri! It’s so easy to forget some essentials for them. I’m glad this list helped!

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