Whether the two of you plan to run, hike, or explore the great wide open together, bring along a few choice items to make the trek safer and more enjoyable for your pooch. Here are nine expert-approved accessories:
This collar-like device goes around your dog’s body instead of their neck. “Harnesses are the best option for long walks and hikes,” If your dog tugs on the leash or tries to pick up the pace when you’re not ready, a harness gives you good control without putting excess pressure on her neck.”
Foldable water bowls and water.
“If you’re thirsty, chances are, your dog is, too, Your pal can get dehydrated fast — especially when they are active. So, stash a collapsible water bowl in your backpack or in your pooch’s pack. Bring extra water if you aren’t sure you’ll have access to a clean source. Travel bowls can pick up bacteria and other outdoor bugs, so wash yours with soap and water after every use.
Even so, flies, mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects can prey on your pooch. Their bites don’t just irritate — they can cause illness. “Using a spray repellent, salve, or ointment makes long walks or hikes a lot more comfortable for your dog, especially during buggy seasons like summer, Check with your vet to see what’s best for your pet.
A first-aid kit.
Injuries happen, so you’ll want to carry one of these with you, especially if you’re headed more than a mile or so from your car, or if your hound is too heavy for you to carry. Pet supply stores often sell prepackaged emergency kits made for dogs. Or you can bring the one you’d carry for yourself — most human medical supplies, like gauze pads, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, and tweezers, are the same ones you need for your dog. If you’re planning a long trip or your pooch has a health condition like diabetes, ask your vet about specific supplies to include.
A snack pack.
A bite to eat can tide your pal over during long treks. But there’s another reason to bring a bag of yummy-smelling goodies: “If your dog gets free of her leash or harness for some reason, you can use treats to lure her back, and to reward her for coming when you call.
Dog boots or shoes can protect your pal’s sensitive paw pads from ice, snow, and below-freezing temperatures. A bonus: They can keep them from bringing winter weather back into the house, too! And they can be equally helpful in the summer. “Hot pavement or asphalt can cause paw pads to blister and tear, which is very painful “If you can’t find grass or dirt for your dog to walk on when it’s hot out, consider protective footwear, especially if your dog has a history of pad injuries.”
Saddlebags or doggie “backpacks.
A bag that hangs over your dog’s back can help them carry some of the load when you’re on the road. But don’t fill it up before you call your vet. “Age and health history make a big difference in how much weight a dog can carry,” Hoffman says. Ask your vet which product is best for your buddy — don’t go by what the package suggests. Like people, pooches need to build up endurance over time. If your dog hasn’t been active lately, pack light and go slow.
Tip: Test out new products at home first.