If you plan to hike with your dog, don’t neglect their needs; prepare accordingly before you em-BARK on your adventure! I got my Karelian Bear Dog, Kintla, so I would have a hiking buddy. After trekking countless trails, I have learned what to pack for her. Let me share with you what I bring on our hiking adventures to make them fun and successful, and you can do this too.
Dogs need water as much as humans do, so don’t forget this when packing up your hiking bag! Collapsible dog bowls are easy to pack: inside, or clip to the outside. I use SLSON Collapsible Dog Bowls; I have found them durable and easy to use. Check them out HERE. This is a set of two bowls, so you can use one bowl for water and one for food. If your hike has no running water, make stops along the way to give your dog water to stay hydrated. When I hike near fresh water like a river or lake, I allow Kintla to drink from it after assessing the water condition. I don’t allow her to drink from still water like ponds or other pools of water that aren’t moving or fresh. Bacteria in still water can be harmful to your dog, so it’s best to bring your own water!
You wouldn’t hike without snacks, so why would your dog? Bring treats to reward your dog for good behavior on the trail. If your hiking trip is long, bring some of your dog’s food so they can refuel with you when you stop to eat. I personally recommend Stewart Freeze Dried Beef Liver Treats, which you can find HERE. Kintla loves these and we never hike without them. I put some in a plastic baggy and bring them in my hiking bag. I also bring Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Dog Food in a bag for Kintla. You can find these HERE. I can’t bring her raw food because it must be refrigerated, but this nutritious packed dog food does not require cold temperatures. These are Kintla’s hiking favorites, so make sure to find what works best for your dog on the trail!
A hiking nightmare: losing your dog on the trail! Don’t let this happen; get a reliable leash and collar before your go! I’d recommend using a 10 foot VLDCO Strong Dog Leash while hiking. Ten feet of leash gives your dog room to explore without jerking you, so you feel comfortable and have control over the situation. If you prefer a shorter leash, I’d recommend iYoShop 6 ft Strong Dog Leash. Kintla started hiking with me as a puppy using this leash, but she has advanced to a 10 ft. leash. Karelian Bear Dogs need proper leash training. Your dog may be OK completely off the leash. I will not let Kintla off leash until she has 100% recall reliability, and she is currently at about 85%.
For collars, I’d recommend a Martingale Heavy Duty Nylon collar. You can check those out HERE. Pick a collar they cannot slip out of! This collar has no plastic latches like so many leashes. Plastic latches can break, and boom! There goes your dog! The only way this collar comes off is me!
I hope my Hiking Essentials for Your Dog list offers you some ideas in preparing your dog for your next hiking adventure! Share with me what you take with you and your dog on the trail that makes it a tail-waggin good time!