TheHappyChoices is reader supported. As an Affiliate and Amazon Associate we may earn commissions if you buy through links on this site. Learn More

Hiking gear for dogs

As a well-prepared hiker, you would never consider hitting a trail without essential items that will keep you safe and comfortable. If you’re not sure what to bring, check out our packing list for hiking. 

When bringing your best friend along on your hikes, be sure to check out this list below for the special gear your dog might need. Don’t know yet what your dog might need or what you should prepare for when taking your dog as your hiking companion?
Check out our Blog Post about “Hiking with a dog”.

Essential hiking gear for dogs


A leash should be durable enough to withstand all the rigors of the trail.
Both leather and nylon will be good choice. 

If you want to use an expandable leash to give your dog more freedom of movement, try to keep the leash short enough to retain control.

Collar or harness

A collar or harness should be made of a colorful material that can be seen from a distance. This way your dog can be identified as a pet from the distance.

It should be loose enough that you can slip a finger underneath. But it should not be so loose, that it could slip off. 

Pet ID

I know we always want to think nothing will happen, but what if your dog will run further away from you than you want him to do? My former bosses dog once just went around the corner from where we worked and a girl took him with him : “he looked so lost”… He did not have his Pet Id on, but luckily he was chipped.
So always ensure that your dog is wearing his pet ID tag that have his name, your name and your phone number on it just in case…..

Collapsible water bowl

In a lot of areas you can rely on water from lakes and streams. Avoid letting them drink from standing water (puddles, ponds) as bacterias and parasites could be present. You can drink any kind of water easily by using a filter bottle.

In dry areas you need to bring enough water for you and your dog. Read more about how much water you need for hiking here. And for your dog? Water per day for your dog: bring two ounces of water for every pound that your dog weighs.


A lot of pet companies now manufacture backpacks that are designed specifically to be attached to a dog’s back.
Most dogs usually don’t mind helping their owners carry stuff when needed.
Sure, this does not apply for the small dogs that might need a bag for themselves 😉 but any other medium to large sized dog that is able to join you on a hike.

Some of these are even pretty stylish but style should not be the main factor to buy! Make sure it really fits on your dogs back!

Plastic poop bags or small spade

These items are important to deal with your dog’s poop.
An alternative is using a small spade* to bury your dog’s poop in a so called cat hole (at least half a foot deep..and away from wild water..)

IMPORTANT: any so called eco friendly- biodegradable -plant based poop bag is NOT breaking down/composting quickly in nature or landfill…. Never ever leave them behind in the wild. They only biodegrade in a professional compost facility that actually allows bioplastic!! 

Canine first aid kit

Some basic supplies can help you to deal with injuries that might happen on trail. Pack them either in your own first aid kit or in a special dog first aid kit. 

A few important items would be: hydrogen peroxide for disinfection, a pair of scissors with rounded tips to trim hair around wounds, some bandages and gauze pads, some tweezers to remove objects in a wound or remove ticks, and maybe a bootie or a small sock to protect a wounded paw.

Reflective jacket/reflective collar/light

Reflective clothing and accessories or a little light can help to protect your dog during road crossings or hikes along the streetin the dark.

Very important in winter for normal walks in the morning or evening too.

Not only cars can become dangerous, I witnessed a dog that got driven over by a guy on a bicycle. It was dark and he couldn’t see him…

Clothing for dogs:

Always check weather conditions and think about keeping some clothing on hand to prepare for different weather conditions or special activities like kanu trips. Check the conditions where you are headed and determine what kinds of clothing your dog might need.  


Dog booties can protect your dog’s paws in icy or abrasive trail conditions.

Just make sure to train to wear booties with your dog if you like him to use them. Most dogs don’t particularly like them on first try.

Insulating jackets

An insulating dog coat will help keep short-haired dogs warm on winter hikes. 

You can find wind proof and rain proof jackets, so check on what you really need. 

Flotation device

If you go on any kind of boat trip adventure with your dog, a canine flotation device can be very important.

Most dogs can swim great on a short distance, but when caught in a wild stream it can become potentially dangerous. 

So on any kanu trip this might be a nice thing to have to keep your dog safe.

Bandanas/neck gaiter

A colorful bandana or a neck gaiter will help to identify your dog as a pet from a distance and could also be used as a bandage if needed. 

Towel for your dog

If you are camping a small towel might be a good item to bring. 

To clean or dry your dog before letting him into the tent.

Books about hiking with dogs is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We are also affiliate partner for other programs/stores like shareasale,, etc. 

Any purchases you make help to support this blog at no added cost to you. 

Share this: