With a padded design and quick-drying neoprene, Hurtta’s Padded Collar is simple and comfortable. It also has a safety device that safeguards your pooch’s throat in case they get a little frisky and yank on the leash. An adjustable design provides a personalized fit, and the reflective elements bring attention to your dog at dusk or dawn.
Backpacking with Dogs
Barring any injuries or age-related limitations, there’s no reason your beloved pooch can’t wander the mountains with you on a backpacking trip. Just don’t forget to make sure you’re on dog-friendly hiking trails, practice proper Leave No Trace etiquette, and keep your snacks and dog food securely away from bears.
Built specifically for long, multi-day hikes, the Palisade Pack lets your dog carry their weight. The cross-loaded compression system maintains a comfortable carrying experience, much like your backpacking pack does. Two removable saddlebags allow you to customize your furry friend’s load, and the included collapsible water reservoirs keep hydration close at hand.
Keep your furry friend’s paws happy and injury free with a little help from Musher’s Secret. This paw balm was originally designed for sledding dogs to protect them from harsh Canadian winter conditions, but it can be used in any extreme weather. A blend of food-grade waxes form a shield around their pads, safeguarding them from snow or hot sand and pavement. The wax still allows them to perspire and breathe, which prevents them from overheating and getting sick.
Pro Tip: Don’t Get Ticked Off: How to Remove a Tick
If you’re headed into tick territory, make sure you pack a pair of needle nose or fine-tipped tweezers and alcohol wipes. To properly remove a tick from your pup, do the following:
With the tweezers, pinch the tick as close to the surface of the skin as you can.
Swiftly and firmly pluck the tick out. Be careful not to break parts of the mouth or head off—and whatever you do, don’t leave them in the skin. If you can’t remove them, clean the wound thoroughly and let the wound heal.
Clean the bite with rubbing alcohol, iodine scrub, or soap and water. I recommend using Cycle Dog All Natural Dog Soap.
If you’re in the backcountry and unable to drown the tick, give it the old smash and squish with a rock.
If you’re in an area where deer ticks are prolific, keep an eye on your pup—if they become disoriented, sluggish, or have a bull’s-eye around the bite, it could be a sign that they have Lyme disease.
Camping with Dogs
Camping with dogs is always an exciting experience. It’s fun to give them the opportunity to smell new smells and see new sights. But sometimes new things can overwhelm your dog and send them into a tizzy. Instead of setting them (and you) up for disaster, things like a pet playpen, bed, and jacket can make your camping adventure all the more enjoyable.
Don’t call “lights out” just yet—in lieu of putting your dogs in the tent as you stargaze at night, you can pop them into the EliteField 2-Door Playpen. This soft-walled playpen is great for wrangling and keeping an eye on small to medium-sized dogs. It easily packs down for convenient storage at home or in the car, and a bevy of pockets lets you keep things like water bottles or leashes close at hand when the playpen’s in use. Additionally, the floor and ceiling are both removable and washable, so you can customize your pooch’s coverage and extend the life of the playpen.
The Ruffwear Highlands Bed can be used while backpacking and car camping, so your pup can get some well-deserved rest after a long hike. The synthetic insulation is designed to keep your dog cozy—even if they’re a bit damp from running through the river. And all sizes of the Highlands Bed fit in the Ruffwear Palisades Pack.
Built for both wet and cold environments, the Hurtta Ultimate Warmer Jacketprovides dependable protection for your furry, four-legged friend even through the worst conditions. A fully waterproof design fends off rain and snow, while the high collar and extended hem safeguard your pooch’s bum and neck from nasty weather. That said, the Hurtta Ultimate Warmer Jacket is more suitable for working breeds (like border collies or Australian shepherds).
Visit the National Parks Service site to find out if the park you’re looking to visit allows dogs. Most parks’ websites will have pet guidelines, but if you don’t see any, call the local ranger office to get a direct answer. Some national parks will have specific dog-friendly trails, so be sure to confirm which ones are.
Hiking With Dogs
Going for a hike with your dog is an easy way for both of you to get a solid dose of exercise and enjoy a leisurely outing together. The next time you hit the trails, make sure you grab a comfortable leash and pack your bag with plenty of water, a water bowl, poop bags, and a few treats.
For a hands-free hiking experience, get your paws on the Kurgo 6-in-1 Leash. It’s fully adjustable and is made with a durable webbing material any way your dog wears it. Its handle is padded, so it’s comfortable for humans too.
The Ruffwear Web Master Harness has a low-profile design that’s built for mobility, which is great for running, hiking, or walking. It’s also padded and has an adjustable strap, so it won’t chafe or irritate your dog’s fur or skin. Multiple attachment points create a solid fit, and a grab handle makes it easy to move your pooch out of harm’s way or haul them over an obstacle.
The one-liter OllyBottle provides hydration for both you and Fido. The detachable bowl makes for slobber-free drinking, and the water bottle itself is both dishwasher-safe and BPA-free.
Pro Tip: Bring a First Aid Kit
You can easily make your own first aid kit for your dogs. Take an old sock and fill it with things like tape, bandages, cleansing wipes, and Benadryl. In the event that your pup gets hurt, you can properly dress the wound until you get back into town and can visit the vet.
Running and Biking with Dogs
Whether you’re hitting the single track or pounding the pavement, a little bit of help keeping your dog safe goes a long way. Items like a waist-worn leash, night-light, booties, or weather-appropriate jacket can keep Fido comfortable as the two of you cruise over rocky trails and snowy sidewalks.
Light up your evening run with the NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace. Two LED lights offer bright illumination for added visibility on a dark trail or sidewalk. The universal fit can be custom cut to suit your dog and is designed to be worn with their collar. Additionally, the necklace comes with five batteries and runs for about 60 hours, while the flash and glow mode lets you choose which style of visibility you prefer.
With the Ruffwear Summit Trex boots, Rover gets protection when cruising through varied terrain or super cold conditions. These versatile dog booties are equipped with a rugged outsole that maintains traction and flexibility, while the weather-resistant exterior fends off light rain, sun, and snow melt. The Summit Trex are totally adjustable to fit your pooch’s paws—making them ideal for just about all breeds and weather conditions.
Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat—they regulate their temperature through their paws and by panting. But some pooches require a little extra assistance when it comes to keeping cool. The Ruffwear Jet Stream Cooling Vestnot only shades Fido from the sun’s harmful rays but also keeps your pup cool and comfortable. To keep Fido feeling real chill, saturate the vest in cold water, wring out the excess, and let the three-layer cooling panel diffuse the heat from your dog’s chest.
Pro Tip: Keep Your Vet’s Number Handy
Be sure to save your vet’s emergency number in your phone. If your dog experiences a trauma, you’ll be able to quickly call and let them know ahead of time that your dog is injured and will require immediate care.
Boating with Dogs
Whether you’re teaching your pooch how to swim, going out for a day on the water, or tackling a multi-day boating trip, Fido needs proper safety floatation gear and protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
Keep Fido afloat with the Outward Hound life jacket. It’s highly visible and provides a secure fit for dogs of all sizes. The rescue handles on the back of the jacket also make it easier to pick up your pooch if they run too close to the side of the boat or get into something they shouldn’t.
Your little furry friend needs protection against harmful UV rays just as much as you do. Thanks to the Doggles ILS, Fido stays eyes safeguarded against the sun. These Doggles feature an interchangeable lens system (ILS), and all the lenses are shatter-proof (as well as anti-fog) and offer 100% UV protection. The flexible design lends a comfortable fit and is available in a variety of sizes to ensure they stay securely on Fido’s face.
Pro Tip: Watch for Watershed Laws
Some nature spaces have watershed laws that specifically state that dogs aren’t allowed. And while it might seem discriminatory, these laws are instated to prevent dog feces or urine from contaminating water sources. If you get caught in these watershed areas, you can get a pretty hefty fine.
Know Before You Go
Before you duck out the door for a run through your neighborhood or trail, take these things into consideration (and don’t forget to grab the leash)!
Know the Terrain
It’s generally always a good idea to take Rover out for a romp around outside. But if you’re taking your pup out on the trails, you should read about terrain and trail conditions on AllTrails.com. While a trail might be considered dog-friendly, it may not actually be suitable for your pooch. Factors like age, injuries, and breed type can impact your furry friend’s ability to tackle a trail.
Check the Weather
If you’re headed out on a day-long excursion, make sure you check the weather. This way you’ll be well-prepared and know ahead of time if you need to bring along a rain jacket, dog socks, extra water, or layers for your pooch.
Bring Plenty of Water and Treats
Foods like carrots are great snacks that are not only dog- and people-friendly but also won’t get squashed in your backpack. And don’t forget to bring enough water for both you and Fido—always double-check and see if where you’re headed will have a water source in case your pup needs more water on the go.
Get Fido a Collar and a Harness
Collars and harnesses are great safety items and provide a more comfortable walking experience for dogs. There are different types and styles for small and big dogs alike, and some even come with handles if you need to pick your dog up and move them out of harm’s way. I prefer to use a harness since my little dog’s head is small and she slips out of her collar easily, and they’re great for my bigger dog who pulls a little when we walk.
If It Poops, You Scoop
Nobody likes stepping in a pile of dog dookie—so pack those poop bags, people! Not only that, but dog poop can impact plant and animal life in outdoor areas.
When in Doubt, Leash ‘Em Up
A lot of open areas have leash laws. But if you’re unsure whether or not your dog can romp around unleashed, you should keep them leashed. You never know what kind of revegetation or conservation efforts are happening in the area.
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Written by Katie McEntire
Katie McEntire has tested home security systems in her own apartment, installed GPS trackers in her own car, and watched her cat, Toki, nap all day through a live nanny cam feed. As an expert reviewer, she believes that firsthand experience is the best way to learn about new products (even if it requires being the guinea pig). She specializes in pet safety and DIY security and has contributed to publications like DigitalCare.org and TechGuySmartBuy. Learn more