The Best Hiking Gear for Dogs

Jamie Case, DVM
By Jamie Case, DVM on Mar. 30, 2023
vizsla dog carrying gear in a hike in the woods

Spending time outdoors, hiking, or camping with your dog is a great way to help them stay active and healthy. It’s important to ensure safety when taking your pup on adventures­­—like making sure they are up to date on their vaccinations and on heartworm, flea, and tick prevention. But it’s also important to have the correct hiking gear to keep them safe while out on the trails together.

What To Pack When Hiking With a Dog

As you prepare for your explorations, consider the following as you pack and plan what your hiking companion may need:

  • What is the weather going to be like where you will be hiking?

    •  If it’s a warm, hot day and your pet isn’t accustomed to outdoor activity, they could easily become overheated.

    • If you plan to be in a colder area, check out what the terrain will be and whether it will be rough on their paws.  

  • How far will you be hiking with your dog?

    • Your pal will easily grow hungry on the trails and will likely need more water than usua. Be sure to bring plenty, along with a travel water bowl and some of their favorite treats.

  • What activities do you plan to do on the hike?

    •  Will you be doing any swimming or climbing around logs and rocks? Consider if they will need a life vest for water adventures.

Best Hiking Leashes for Dogs

Look for a leash that is comfortable for you to hold and provides enough room for your pup to explore without getting too far from you.

Chai's Choice Premium Outdoor Adventure Padded 3M Polyester Reflective Dog Leash

product image of a purple dog leash

This leash provides just enough length to let your dog sniff and take in the smells, but keeps them close enough that you can quickly intervene if they get into trouble.

Buy now on Chewy, $16.

Shed Defender Shock Absorbing Bungee Three Padded Handles Reflective Dog Leash

product image of a black bungee dog leash

This leash is a great option because it’s reflective and provides a few handles, so you can select how much freedom your dog can have (adjustable between 4 to 7 feet of leash length).

Buy now on Chewy, $25.

Tuff Mutt Rope Dog Leash

product image of tuff mutt rope gray dog leash

If your pal gets excited on hikes and is known for pulling, or you anticipate some explorations through rain or water, this leash provides comfort when managing tougher terrain.  

Buy now on Chewy, $23.

Best Hiking Collars for Dogs

It’s important that your pup has a collar that provides visibility in darker areas and one that won’t easily fall off. Before any trip, make sure your pup’s ID contact information and tags are up to date in the event you become separated on your hike.

GoTags Nylon Personalized Reflective Dog Collar

pink personalized dog collar product image with dog name and phone number

This collar is reflective, allows for personalization, is waterproof, and features a buckle latch for ease of use.

Buy now on Chewy, $20.

GoTags Waterproof Personalized Reflective Dog Collar

orange waterproof dog collar product photo with dog name and phone number

If you prefer a traditional metal buckle, this collar can still be personalized, is waterproof, and is reflective for any night walking.

Buy now on Chewy, $22.

Best Hiking Harnesses for Dogs

Harnesses allow for comfortable, safe control of your pet while they are walking on a leash, especially on longer walks during a hike.

PetSafe Deluxe Easy Walk Nylon Reflective Dog Harness

white puppy wearing a teal dog harness

This harness is great for small dogs and big dogs alike. It’s designed to discourage pulling and is reflective to help increase visibility of your pup.  

Buy now on Chewy, $26.

Chai's Choice Premium Outdoor Adventure Reflective Dog Harness

product image of a purple dog harness

If you anticipate needing assistance to help your best pal over some obstacles or in and out of your car, this harness is padded, reflective, waterproof, designed to discourage pulling, and features a handle that allows you to help them up and over.

Buy now on Chewy, $27.

Best Hiking Vests for Dogs

Hiking vests come in handy if you will be in areas where it may be difficult to see your dog (like in rainy or foggy conditions).

SafetyPUP XD Reflective Dog Vest

product image of a bright orange reflective dog vest

This water-resistant, high-visibility reflective vest is a great option if you want to keep your pet dry in wet conditions and to make sure that you and others can easily identify him.

Buy now on Chewy, $17.

Frisco Ripstop Dog Life Jacket

dog wearing orange and gray life jacket with handles on top

If your dog will be doing any swimming on their adventures, a lifejacket is a must to keep them safe. This life jacket is easy to put on and stays on, and it also has two easy-to-grip handles in the event you need to lift your pup out of the water.

Buy now on Chewy, $16.

Best Night Lights for Dogs

If you plan to hike in the dark, a night light is a great way to make your pet visible to you and others on the trail.

Nite Ize SpotLit Rechargeable Dog Collar

product image of a nighttime spotlight for dogs

This rechargeable light attaches to your dog’s collar and allows you to select the color, which can make identifying your pup easier.

Buy now on Chewy, $16.

Lightvise Universal Super Bright LED Clamp-On Flashlight

french bulldog walking at night with a light on his leash

If you are hoping to shine a little more light on the path in front of your dog, this light attaches to their leash or collar and also ensures your pup is visible.

Buy now on Chewy, $25.

Best Hiking Supplies for Dogs

Depending on how long you hike or where you plan to travel, the following items could come in handy, depending on the adventure.

Best Travel Water Dish for Dogs

Be sure to pack water and a water dish for your pet to drink from—make sure they are familiar with the bowl prior to the day of your travels so they are used to it.

Best Travel Food and Treat Container for Dogs

Packing your pet’s food and favorite treats is important. Be sure to pack food and treats they are familiar with, and keep them safely stored  in a travel-friendly container:

Best Sun Gear for Dogs

Dogs can be sensitive to sunlight, so it’s important to protect their eyes and skin in areas where the UV index is high.

Best Booties for Dogs

Rough terrain can quickly aggravate and injure sensitive paw pads. Getting your pet accustomed to booties before setting out on the trail is a great way to help protect their feet.

Best GPS for Dogs

If you will be hiking in an area that you and your dog are not familiar with and there is any chance they may get separated from you, a GPS tracker may help quickly reunite you.

Best First Aid Kit for Dogs

Packing a first aid kit can help with minor injuries and issues that may arise on your hike. This kit also includes resources on how to treat common emergencies that may occur while outdoors.

Best Travel Bed for Dogs

Packing a blanket or bed for your dog to lie down and rest on your hike may help encourage them to take it easy when you are ready for a break. This bed is easy to roll up, pack away, and is waterproof.

Best Backpack Gear for Dogs

If you’ll be spending a long day or extended period of time on the trails, giving your dog the ability to carry some of their own supplies can help lighten your load and give them a sense of pride in the process. Both backpacks are easy for pups to carry, and allow enough room to pack their own snacks.

If you want to carry the load for your dog, this backpack comes with collapsible food and water bowls, food storage, and a feeding mat, and has room for a blanket and other essentials your dog may need on your travels.

As you prepare for your next outdoor adventure with your dog, make sure to check in with their veterinarian to confirm that they are in good health and there are no restrictions on their activity.

Featured Image: iStock/FiN85

Jamie Case, DVM


Jamie Case, DVM


Dr. Jamie Case graduated from the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine in 2017, after receiving a Bachelor of Science...

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