Best Outdoor Safety Gear for Dogs of 2021

Your pet's safety is important. From beds to booties and almost everything in between, we’ve reviewed the top outdoor gear for dogs. After all, your best friend and go-to adventure buddy deserves the very best!



The basics

No matter what you've got planned for the day, your dog will need food, water, a leash, and a dedicated poop-scooper (that's you). 

The Mighty Paw Collection

This Mighty Paw line ticks all the boxes for outdoor dog gear: waterproof, smell-proof, high visibility colors, reflective stripes, and soft material for your dog's comfort.

Best outdoor dog collar

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Best outdoor dog leash

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Best outdoor dog harness

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Because harnesses are gentler than collars, we recommend using the collar for ID tags and a GPS tracker. Then you can attach the leash to the harness. The harness has attachment points along the back and the front. There's also a handle on the harness, so you don't need to worry about getting a leash with an extra grab handle.

If you prefer rope leashes or cross-shoulder leashes, Mighty Paw sells those too.

SLSON Collapsible Dog Bowl

Best outdoor dog bowl

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The SLSON Collapsible Dog Bowl punches down into an easy-to-store disc. We love that it's lightweight and comes with a carabiner clip so you can hook it to your belt loop, backpack, leash, or water bottle when not in use. 

OllyBottle Dog Water Bottle

Best water bottle for dogs
OllyBottle dog water bottle
OllyBottle
$17.95

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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.

RATSACK Bear-proof Food Storage

Best outdoor food storage
ratsack bear proof bag

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Unlike hard plastic containers, the RATSACK bear-proof food storage bag is lightweight and easy to take with you on your day's adventures. Use it to store your dog's food, treats, and a snack for yourself. 

The odor-proof bags prevent critters from smelling the food, and the steel mesh bag is a sturdy backup option that won't let anything chew through it. The bag also comes with a cord and clip so you can hang it out of wildlife's reach at your campsite. 

Potaroma Poop Bags

Best poop bags
potaroma dog poop waste bags

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Yes, you should pick up your dog's "by-products" in the great outdoors. 

And yes, you should use Potaroma Poop Bags instead of recycling that old Kroger bag for the job. Trust us, you want to smell lavender for the rest of your hike, not poop. It only takes one stinky walk to make those $17 bags seem like the smartest investment ever.

Although you can definitely find cheaper bags, we really like Potaroma Dog Waste Bags for hiking because they come with a dispenser that doubles as a flashlight, making nighttime clean-ups around the campsite a (lavender-scented) breeze.

dog in a jacket

Image: Sviatlana Barchan, iStock

All-day comfort

Your four-legged bestie needs some protection from hot and cold temperatures, snow, and anything else Mother Nature kicks up.

Hurtta Ultimate Warmer Jacket

Best dog jacket
hurtta brand dog jacket

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Built for both wet and cold environments, the Hurtta Ultimate Warmer Jacket provides 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).

For leg protection, we recommend the Hurtta Casual Quilted Jacket.

Ruffwear Jet Stream Cooling Vest

Best cooling vest for dogs
vest for dogs

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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 Vest not 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.

Musher's Secret

Secret weapon
musher's secret paw balm

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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.

XSY&G Dog Boots

Best booties
XSY&G Dog Boots

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With the XSY&G Dog 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 snowmelt. The booties are totally adjustable to fit your pooch’s paws—making them ideal for just about all breeds and weather conditions.

PETLESO Dog Goggles

Best vision protection
dog goggles

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Your little furry friend needs protection against harmful UV rays just as much as you do. Thanks to the PETLESO Dog Goggles, Fido stays eyes safeguarded against the sun. These "doggles" keep dust and debris out of your dog's eyes too. The flexible design lends a comfortable fit to ensure they stay securely on Fido’s face.

For a small-dog version, check out the SLDPET Dog Goggles for about $19 on Amazon.

Vet's Best Flea and Tick Spray

Best flea and tick protection
flea and tick spray

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Can't find your dog's flea and tick tablet? Not a problem. Spray them down with Vet's Best Flea and Tick Spray to keep those biting bugs away for the day. It's even safe to spray in your car and around the home.

dog in tent camping

Image: Victoria Andrews, iStock

Break time

This gear encourages your dog to rest and relax in a safe place while you set up camp. 

EliteField 2-Door Soft Pet Playpen

Safe outdoor play pen
dog playpen

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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.

Ruffwear Highlands Bed

Best dog bed

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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. All sizes of the Highlands Bed fit in the Ruffwear Palisades Pack, so your dog can help carry the load.

Snagle Paw Dog Trolley System

Dog trolley system

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If your dog laughs at the thought of "break time," a trolley system like the Snagle Paw lets them exercise safely while you take care of the campsite or put your feet up. 

Just find two trees to set up the trolley cable, hook the 10-foot lead to your dog's harness, and watch your pup play along a 75-foot track.

If you're in a treeless area, use a ground-anchor like the Pestairs 360° Swivel Dog Tie Out. You'll have to purchase a separate cable for that system, but we like its heavy-duty design.

dog with bandage

Image: blanscape, iStock

Emergency preparedness

Something as simple as a thorn or an unfriendly loose dog could put a damper on your plans if you're not prepared. 

ARCA Pet First Aid Kit

Dog first aid kit

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Take care of cuts, thorns, ticks, and stings with the ARCA Pet First Aid Kit. It comes with a smaller pouch that clips to your dog's leash or backpack so you can just bring the essentials if desired.

We recommend adding a few more items to this 100-piece kit:

  • Styptic powder to control minor bleeding
  • An extra roll of vet wrap to secure gauze (it's better than tape)
  • A muzzle to prevent your dog from biting if distressed from injuries
  • A venom extractor if you'll be traveling through venomous snake habitats
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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.

Citronella animal-deterrent spray

Animal deterrent spray

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If a loose dog rushes yours and starts a fight, you need a quick and effective way to intervene without getting bitten.

You need citronella spray, which is the doggie equivalent of pepper spray.

Don't count on this keeping bears away, but it'll at least make an aggressive dog pause long enough to stop its charge or let go of your dog. 

Whistle Go Explore Pet GPS Tracker

Dog GPS tracker and collar light
whistle 3 gps pet tracker
Whistle Go Explore
$129.95 + $8.25
/mo

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Let anxiety about losing your dog be a thing of the past. The Whistle Go Explore GPS Tracker attaches to your dog's collar and tells you their location via a smartphone app. It even includes an app-controlled light, so you can see where your dog is at night. 

We love its 20-day battery life. Lost dogs sometimes get too scared to approach people—including their beloved owners. The extra-long battery life on this pet GPS tracker gives you plenty of time to enact a game plan to get Fido home.

The only caveat is that you'll need to be within AT&T's cell service range for this device to work. 

dog canoe life jacket

Image: njgphoto, iStock

Outdoor sports gear for dogs

If you've got a specific activity in mind—like hiking, swimming, or biking with your dog—the right gear will help you have a fun and safe experience.

Ruffwear Palisades Backpack

Best backpack for dogs

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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.

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Pro Tip: Not all national parks are dog-friendly

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.

BSEEN LED Pet Collar

Visibility boost
BSEEN pet collar

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Light up your evening run with the BSEEN LED Collar. Rechargeable 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.

Two modes let you choose which style of visibility you prefer.

Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket

Best life jacket for dogs
outward hound dog life jacket

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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.

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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.

Kurgo 6-in-1 Leash

Best hands-free leash
kurgo hands free dog leash

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For a hands-free hiking or running 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.

Dog Safety Reflective Vest

Best high-vis vest for dogs

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You really can't be too careful during hunting season. Make sure your dog sends a clear "not a deer, don't shoot" signal to hunters in the area by putting this bright orange vest on him before heading out.

Walky Dog Bike Attachment

Best bike attachment for dogs
walky dog bike attachment
Walky Dog
$79.98

*Amazon.com price as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Biking with your dog is a super fun way to help them burn some energy. But it can also be really unsafe for both of you if your dog gets under the wheels or pulls you to the side.

The Walky Dog Bike Attachment keeps your dog in a safe position and stabilizes the bike against your dog's pulling action. It attaches to virtually any bike.

pug drinking water from collapsible bowl

Image: Candice Pun, iStock

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 there safely

Check out our list of car safety gear for dogs to reduce distracted driving and to protect your dog against car-related injuries while you travel to your outdoor getaway. It just takes one hard brake to pitch your dog forward without a seat belt.

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.

Contributing author: Cathy Habas

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Disclaimer

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Safewise.com utilizes paid Amazon links.

Certain content that appears on this site comes from Amazon. This content is provided “as is” and is subject to change or removal at any time.


Compare the top pet safety products

Product
Best for
Price
Standout feature
Learn more
Read review
furbo dog camera app on phoneFurbo Dog Camera
Best pet cameraMotion and bark sensor

Treat dispenser

Vivint smart homeVivint
Best pet-friendly security systemAdjustable motion sensitivity
Findster App and TrackerFindster Duo
Best pet GPS trackerGeofence alerts
sleepypod sport harnessSleepypod ClickIt Sport
Best seatbelt for dogsCertified by Pet Center for Safety
Figo Pet InsuranceFigo
Best pet insuranceUp to 100% reimbursement
carlson extra tall pet gateCarlson Extra Tall
Best pet gateCat door
Kong dog toyKong Classic
Safest chew toyHolds treats

*Data as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. SafeWise uses paid Amazon links.

Katie McEntire
Written by
Katie McEntire
As a renter, pet-owner, and woman living alone, Katie McEntire takes safety seriously. She’s tested devices like pet cameras, home security systems, and GPS trackers in her own home and devices in the name of safety. In addition to testing, writing, and reviewing for SafeWise, she also makes videos for the site’s YouTube channel. She’s been featured on publications like TechGuySmartBuy, Forbes, Healthy Moms, and Digital Care. Katie has a Bachelor’s degree in Technical Writing from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. She’s held previous writing positions at Overstock.com and Top Ten Reviews.

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