Dog Hiking Gear: Keep Your Dog Happy (and Safe!) on the Trails

Planning on exploring the great outdoors with your dog in tow? Our helpful guide includes all the top gear you could ever need when hiking with your dog to ensure the safety and comfort of your pup while out on the trail.

Jolanda Lapegna Avatar
Written by: | Reviewed by: Kieran James Cunningham
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If you haven’t tried it yet, hiking is a perfect way for you and your pup to reconnect with nature. While it’s true that you can get started with some basic gear like a collar and leash, there are some awesome products out there that will optimize your hiking adventures with your four-legged pal. 

From cooling vests to doggie sunscreen, the following products will make sure all your time on the trails together is happy and safe.

Our Favorite Hiking Accessories for Dogs

Hands-Free Leash

Iron Doggy Runner’s Choice

For dog owners worried about their dogs catching sight of some woodland critter and chasing after it, a hands-free leash is a must. This innovative leash attaches to a belt around your waist, leaving your hands free to check your GPS device, scoop your pup’s poop, or take that all-important selfie, all while also preventing your back and shoulders from injury. 

The Iron Doggy Runner’s Choice uses a unique bungee system designed to absorb the shock of unexpected pulls or lunges from your dog. Two raised control handles allow you to grab your pooch quickly while two conveniently placed knot handles prevent dreaded leash burn. Thanks to 3 adjustable length settings, you can easily adapt your dog’s leash to any hiking environment.

Simply put, it’s the best leash out there!

Dog Backpack

Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack

Just like humans, sometimes the miles and elevation can take a toll on your dog. This is especially true if you go hiking with smaller breeds. Carriers allow you to safely carry your dog over long distances without straining your shoulders or back.

When it comes to carrier backpacks, we love the Kurgo Dog Carrier Backpack

Suitable for dogs up to 25 lbs, this thoughtfully-engineered backpack is filled with useful features like a removable and washable liner, an interior tether to attach to your dog’s harness, and lots of zipped compartments to hold all your stuff. Your pup will be nice and cozy too thanks to ventilated mesh and side panels.

Basic First-Aid Kit

Adventure Medical Kits Trail Dog First Aid Medical Kit

Anyone that spends time in the great outdoors with their canine companion should always bring a basic first aid kit. The backcountry is full of danger for dogs, from painful encounters with porcupines to serious injuries or falls. 

The Adventure Medical Kits Trail Dog First Aid Medical Kit has everything you need to care for your pooch in case of an emergency. On top of extensive first aid supplies and quality, stainless-steel equipment, this kit contains a handy field guide on canine first aid. 

Collapsible Dog Bowl

Nite Ize RadDog Collapsible Doggie Bowl

Keeping your pooch hydrated while on the trail is extremely important, especially in hot or dry climates. Just like humans, dogs can suffer heatstroke and dehydration, so you’ll want to make sure you bring enough water for both you and your canine.

To avoid wasting precious water by letting your pooch drink from your water bottle as you pour it, invest in a collapsible bowl like the RadDog. The Nite Ize RadDog Collapsible Bowl can be filled with up to 16 ounces of water yet collapses into an incredibly compact, pocket-size package – perfect for minimal campers or backpackers! 

Tick Remover

TickCheck Premium Tick Remover Kit

Ticks are nasty little critters that are incredibly hard to remove once they latch onto your dog’s skin. If you’re not careful as you try and pry them off, you risk leaving the tick’s mouth still attached!

Every dog owner who loves hiking with their pooch should keep a ticker remover on hand just in case. We recommend the TickCheck Premium Tick Remover Kit. This inexpensive stainless steel kit features two specially shaped tools designed to easily and safely remove both adult and nymph ticks. They work on humans too! 

Ball Thrower

ChuckIt! Sport Ball Launcher

Getting outdoors is all about relaxing and enjoying nature with your pup and the Chuckit! Sport Ball Launcher just adds to the fun. The ChuckIt! allows you to upgrade your fetch game by throwing a ball farther and longer than ever before.

Dog toys like fetch balls can become quite gnarly from being thrown around the backcountry, but the ChuckIt’s uniquely shaped handle allows you to pick up and throw those slimy balls, mess-free.

Flea & Tick Spray

Wondercide Flea, Tick, and Mosquito Spray for Dogs, Cats, and Home

If the thought of having to remove ticks and fleas from your dog’s skin seems horrifying, your best bet is to go down the prevention route. Wondercide is a flea and tick formula that’s incredibly effective in both preventing and treating fleas and ticks. 

Unlike many other synthetic flea and tick sprays, Wondercide uses a number of natural oils as insecticide, meaning it doesn’t contain any questionable ingredients that might harm your furry friend. For the easiest application, go for the Wondercide wipes, which you can use to wipe down your doggo before you hit the trail.

GPS Dog Collar

FitBark GPS Dog Tracker

If your pooch is prone to darting after every critter in the woods, a GPS dog collar is a must. The FitBark GPS Dog Tracker is a lightweight collar that doubles as both a GPS tracker and a health monitor. 

In case of an emergency, you can easily track down the location of your pooch from any smartphone. The rest of the time, the FitBark will keep track of useful information like your dog’s minute-by-minute activity, distance traveled, and overall health and behavior. 

In short, this is the best collar out there for pups who like to head off-trail!

A Light-Up Collar

Nite Ize Nite Howl LED Safety Necklace

From overnight camping trips to nighttime walks around your neighborhood, a glow-in-the-dark collar can keep your doggo safe and visible after darkness falls. 

We recommend the inexpensive Nite Ize Nite Howl LED Safety Necklace for both big and small dogs. This highly flexible polymer ring slides easily over your dog’s neck while two bright LEDs will ensure you never lose track of your furry friend. Thanks to its convenient warranty, you can return the product if you’re not 100% satisfied. 

Poop Bags

Glad Eco-Friendly Dog Waste Bags 

Yes, you do have to deal with your dog’s waste while hiking! Canine poop is filled with parasites and bacteria that can spread diseases to wildlife and contaminate the local ecosystem if not properly handled. So remember to leave no trace and add some poop bags to your list of hiking and camping gear.

Glad’s Earth-Friendly Dog Waste Bags do a great job of concealing both the sight and smell of dog waste. Inexpensive, leakproof, and strong, these environmentally-friendly bags are our top choice for picking up after Fido in the backcountry. 


Balm for Your Dog’s Paws

Pure and Natural Pet Organic Paw Rescue Balm

Your pup’s sensitive paws can easily be damaged by snow, heat, ice, or rocky terrain. Pure and Natural Pet Organic Paw Rescue Balm can help heal and restore dry and cracked paw pads, and keep your four-legged friend in fighting shape for your next outdoor adventures. 

We love this balm in particular since it’s organic and made from all-natural ingredients, meaning it’s perfectly safe for your K9 pal to lick! 

Doggie Sunscreen

Epi-Pet Sun Protector Spray

Many people don’t realize that dogs need sun protection too! Just like humans, dogs can suffer from both heatstroke and sunburns from prolonged sun exposure.

Remember that you should only use sunscreen that was specially formulated for dogs. The American Kennel Club recommends reading the ingredients carefully and avoiding both zinc oxide and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), which can be toxic for dogs. 

Our favorite dog-friendly sunscreen is the Epi-Pet Sun Protector Spray. Its convenient spray bottle allows for mess-free application and it doubles as both an FDA-compliant sunscreen and a skin and coat conditioner!

Pooch Boots

Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots

We wear hiking boots to protect our feet from the elements, why shouldn’t our four-legged hiking pals do the same? While your pup’s paw pads may be able to handle walking on asphalt or grass, that doesn’t mean they’ll fare so well on the rugged terrain of the backcountry. 

Protect your furry friends and their paws by investing in a pair of doggie boots. We love the durable, all-terrain protection of the Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots. An easy-to-use hook-and-loop closure system provides a snug fit around your pup’s paws, while a woven mesh construction lets air in while keeping dirt and debris out. 

Food Bag

Kurgo Kibble Carrier for Dogs, Dog Food Travel Bag

On long hikes and camping trips, your best friend needs to snack too! The Kurgo Kibble Carrier for Dogs offers a convenient travel solution for feeding Fido on the go. This bag is brilliantly engineered to hold up to 5 lbs of food while convenient exterior pockets are perfect for storing a collapsible bowl or a handful of treats.


Rex Specs Dog Goggles

Bright sunlight, dirt, water, and stray branches can all reduce your dog’s comfort and injure their sensitive eyes. Protect your dog’s eyes from sun exposure and other irritants by decking them out in their own pair of doggie goggles.

Rex Specs Dog Goggles are made for any working dogs and weekend warriors that need a little extra eye protection. Rex Specs include a number of thoughtful features designed to maximize comfort while optimizing their safety. Foam edges ensure a comfortable fit for your pooch while a fully adjustable, dynamic strap system ensures you’ll always get the right fit.

Dog Trail Pack

Hurtta Trail Dog Backpack, Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack or Ruffwear Palisades Pack

Having your canine carry a trail pack serves two purposes: it cuts down on the weight of your own gear and it gives your canine companion a sense of purpose, something that most dogs naturally crave. Just remember that a dog should never be carrying more than 25% of their body weight. 

If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line trail pack, try the Hurtta Trail Backpack. This versatile pack is our top choice for hiking or traveling with your pup. A completely adjustable chest strap and shoulder straps allow for a snug fit, while a carrying handle and separate harness allow for more efficient control over your pooch. It’s completely waterproof too! 

You also can’t go wrong with products from Ruffwear, particularly the Ruffwear Approach Pack or Palisades Pack. The Ruffwear Approach Pack is an ultra-lightweight and streamlined day pack designed for everyday wear.

The Palisades is a sturdier pack with more compact compartments designed for longer hikes or multi-day hikes. Both are made with durable ripstop nylon. 

Dog Sleeping Bag

RUFFWEAR Highlands Sleeping Bag for Dogs and Whyld River Doggybag

Although your canine companion has a fur coat to keep him warm, they’ll still need their own sleep system to enjoy the best shut-eye. A sleeping bag will not only add some much-needed padding over the cold, hard ground, but it will also help regulate your pup’s body temperature as they sleep.

The RUFFWEAR Highlands Sleeping Bag for Dogs is a great pick. Its round design allows your pooch to assume his or her natural sleeping position while a water-resistant outer shell and warm, cozy lining add extra comfort as your pup sleeps. If you’re hiking in colder climes, check out the Whyld River Doggybag, which will keep your pup warm in temps down to -40F.

Dog Harness

Hurtta Active Dazzle Harness

Every owner who enjoys hiking with their pooch needs to invest in a great harness. Harnesses help take the pressure off your dog’s neck and can provide extra support and comfort for strenuous activities.

In our opinion, the best harness is the Hurtta Active Dazzle Dog Harness. This wear-resistant and lightweight harness is completely adjustable, allowing for a snug fit even as your pup grows. Other thoughtful features include padded straps, an integrated handle on the back, and reflective strips for enhanced safety and greater visibility. 

Cooling Vest

Hurtta Cooling Dog Vest

Worried about your pooch overheating while hiking? Try a cooling vest! We particularly love the Hurtta Cooling Dog Vest. Since the garment covers most of your dog’s body, it works by mimicking their natural cooling system. Your pup will stay cooler, longer, and have no problem facing hot or humid temperatures. It’s machine washable too! 

Doggie Water Bottle

MalsiPree Dog Water Bottle

Looking for a portable doggie water bottle with a reasonable carrying capacity? This is it! 

The MalsiPree Dog Water Bottle is a leakproof, durable, and easy-to-use water bottle that’s perfect for hiking, camping, or traveling. This wins our top pick for doggie water bottles thanks to its easy, one-hand operation and “no water wasted” system.

Cooling Water Bowl

Te-Wai FreeZone Cooling Pet Water Bowl

An easy way to cool your pooch down on a hot or humid day is through a cooling pet water bowl. You simply freeze these compact bowls before your trip and they’ll keep your dog’s water cool for several hours.

For an eco-friendly and compact option, we recommend the Te-Wai FreeZone Cooling Pet Water Bowl. This small insulated pouch is lightweight, inexpensive and suitable for dogs of all sizes. It offers a convenient hydration solution for your pooch not just for hiking, but for traveling, beach days, and car trips too. 

Dog Hiking Gear: The Verdict

If there’s anything better than heading out for a hike with your four-legged loved one in tow, we haven’t found it yet! 

While hiking with your dog is great for both you and your K9 pal, bringing along the proper gear is essential to make sure both you and your four-legged co-pilot are always safe and comfortable whilst out hiking. 

What did you think of our list? Did we leave out any of your favorite dog hiking gear products? Tell us all about them in the comments below, and please feel free to share this list with any of your canine-loving friends! 

Last update on 2024-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Jolanda Lapegna Avatar

Jolanda is a full-time writer and life-long outdoor enthusiast. Growing up on a small island off the Eastern Canadian coast, she spent most of her childhood hiking, swimming and fishing in the Atlantic ocean.

After a short stint in the corporate world, Jolanda quit her day job to write full-time and check out what lies beyond the Canadian shores. Ever since, she’s been hiking, biking and kayaking her way across 11 European countries and counting.

Jolanda currently lives in the beautiful, Tuscan countryside. When she isn’t hanging out in the woods or at the beach, you’ll catch her foraging for mushrooms and truffles with her truffle-dog, Red.

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