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The famous nature poet Henry David Thoreau once wrote in his journal about how vain it was to sit down when you have not stood up to live. He believed that when his legs started to move, his thoughts began to flow. There’s nothing like a walk or hike in the great outdoors to reconnect with nature, yourself, and those around you—including your dog.
The steady presence of your canine companion while exploring trails and summits provides an adventure like no other. Before you hit the trails together, it’s critical to pack the right kind of gear to prepare for the journey that lies ahead. Here’s a general guide of hiking gear and accessories for dogs that are available in today’s modern market.
First, it’s time to be realistic. Are you and your dog both up for the challenge? All dogs love the outdoors, but not all breeds can handle varying terrains or higher levels of endurance. Many diverse breeds absolutely enjoy hiking or backpacking, but they may not be able to maintain the required pace.
Your go-to adventure bud should be agile, strong, energetic, obedient, and well-trained for safety purposes while on the trail. If you desire good companionship, you don’t want to overload your dog or yourself. Ensure their health and safety prior to heading out. Research beforehand to find an ideal dog-friendly trail for your combined skill level. “Be prepared” isn’t just a mantra—it’s a consideration to take seriously.
Specific hiking gear and accessories for dogs are better for certain breeds than others. The items you pack for a nature hike may also vary from trip to trip. For your own dog, it’s important to pack the essentials—especially any items you may need in an emergency. Don’t forget your own essentials to ensure you are safe, warm, and fed, as you are responsible for not only yourself but your furry friend as well.
Equally important canine essentials include a basic first aid kit, dog food and trail treats, a doggy backpack for their own gear, water, a water bowl, dog booties, insect repellent, a collar, ID tags, and a good leash and harness. A sturdy and comfortable harness is better to use over a traditional collar for added security while hiking. Versatile dog harnesses offer a full range of motion while maintaining control. A hands-free leash is also beneficial to keep your dog close by.
Now that you have the basic ideas of what key gear is needed, don’t forget to further embellish your hiking kit with assorted accessories. This includes sun protection for you and your dog, navigation devices, GPS locators, life-jackets if you’re hiking near water, and a camera to capture all the memories. Here at Julius-K9, we also carry custom dog patches that are the perfect accessories for our durable dog harnesses. Browse through our line of lightweight harnesses today to find the right one for your next adventure together.