Taking your dog out on a hike is a great thing to do, especially when they have all the things that will keep them safe and happy.
My Top Hiking Gift Choice For Dogs
One of the biggest dangers your dog will encounter during a hike will be over heating, especially when hiking in the summer months. So treat them to a cooling vest that will reflect the sun, absorb moisture, and allow them to breathe and stay cool.
Hiking is a wonderful activity that is great for the mind, body and soul, as it gets us out into nature and allows us to fully appreciate the wonder in the world around us.
So why not share this experience with our best friend and loyal companion?
Because dogs absolutely love to be outside in nature too, as it gives them a chance to roam and explore to their hearts content.
But if you are going to take your dog hiking with you, you need to make sure they have everything they need to stay comfortable and safe.
Because there are many dangers and problems they can run into otherwise.
So to help you, I've put together the following list of hiking gifts for dogs, that contains items that will get them trail ready.
PS. And though this might look like an advertisement for Ruffwear, it's not. They just do really great gear for dogs!
1. A Dog Leash That Gives Them More Freedom
Getting out onto the trails is a great way to escape and feel free and alive, for both you and your dog.
However, because of other walkers, wildlife, and hazards in the terrain, you will probably need to keep your dog on a leash at various stages of the hike for their safety.
So the first hiking gift idea for dogs is to get an extendable and stretchy dog leash to use with them.
As this way they can still run and roam around without feeling restricted, but still be under your control if you need to reign them in a bit.
With a good one being the Ruffwear Roamer dog leash, which stretches and extends to allow your dog free movement to explore.
And you can also choose to wrap this around your waist for hands-free dog walking, which is handy if you're using trekking poles, or have your hands full carrying bags.
2. A Body Harness To Replace A Collar
A traditional dog collar can pull and choke at your dogs neck, especially if you have a dog that tends to get excited and pull at their leash when out walking.
While some dogs can also become adept at slipping out of their neck collars, which is the last thing you want when out hiking in the wilderness.
So a good thing to do for your dog when out on a hike is to put them in a body harness with a front clip for the leash instead.
As this way there is no pressure or irritation around their neck, and you can rest easy knowing there is no way they can escape from it.
So check out the Ruffwear Front Range body harness for an example of one that has a padded body and straps to make it super comfortable for your dog to wear.
3. A Doggie Hiking Backpack
Dogs always likes to feel like part of the team, and a way you can really help them feel like they're doing their bit when out on a hike is to get them their own doggie backpack to wear.
As you can slip these onto your dog and then fill the pockets with their things, like a spare leash, collapsible water bowl, towel, and doggy treats.
These backpacks come in a range of sizes, from very sleek vests with pockets that only hold water bladders and minimal items, all the way to bigger packs with more space.
But you don't want to weigh your dog down too much on a hike, so I'd recommend something like the Ruffwear Approach dog backpack, which is somewhere in the middle.
And this one has many adjustable points to ensure your dog remains comfortable and well-balanced when wearing it.
4. A Vest To Keep Them Cool
Dogs are always super keen to get outside for a walk or a hike.
However, during the summer months this can be dangerous for them, as they can't regulate their body temperature in the same way as humans, and are prone to overheat.
And this can have serious consequences for them, such as heat stroke, which can lead to brain damage and even death.
So as dog owners we need to be really careful when out hiking with our dogs in the warmer months, and maybe limit ourselves to shorter or early morning hikes.
And another thing you can do to keep your dog cool in the heat is to get them a cooling vest to wear, such as the Ruffwear Swamp Cooler vest.
As this has an outer layer to reflect the heat from the sun, a middle layer that absorbs moisture, and a breathable inner mesh lining to keep your dog cool and comfortable while hiking.
5. A Collapsible Dog Bowl
Another thing that's vital to keep your dog cool and to avoid heat stroke is to make sure they drink plenty of water while hiking.
But without a dog bowl that can be hard to do, as not many dogs will be able to drink water poured straight from your bottle into their mouths.
So taking a collapsible dog bowl with you is the ideal way to stop and let them have a drink at regular intervals.
And for this the Ruffwear Bivy bowl is all you need.
As this will hold a decent amount of water, can also be used as a food bowl, cleans up easily afterwards, and folds down to store easily in your daypack.
6. A Dog Water Bottle
Another option to keep your dog well hydrated on the trails is to get them a doggie water bottle.
These are specially designed water bottles that have makeshift bowls on the top for the dog to drink from.
And a good example of this is the Highwave AutoDogMug.
As you simply fill the bottle with drinking water, give it a squeeze, and the bowl on top will fill with water.
So it's perfect for giving your dog a clean drink of water every so often to help them regulate their heat, and will discourage them from drinking out of dirty puddles and lakes instead.
7. Doggie Treats To Keep Their Energy Levels High
Just like we might need a protein bar or an energy to keep us going on a long hike, sometimes our dogs may need a little nutritious boost too.
So it's a good idea to pack some doggie treats and snacks to give to them along the way.
And what you get will depend on what your dog likes and is used to, such as kibble, jerky, or small bites treats.
But you could also get them some specially formulated energy food, such as the Dogswell Energy wet dog treats.
As these are small packs containing tasty, high calorie food in mousse form, that are packed with vitamins and minerals, and will give your dog the lift they need to keep going to the finish line.
8. A Jacket To Keep Them Warm
As much as dogs need to stay cool during summer hikes, they also need to stay warm during winter hikes too.
And sometimes the fur coat they've been given naturally just isn't going to be enough.
So if you hike with your dog in the cold weather, get them a warm dog jacket to wear that will protect them from the wind, rain, and cold.
And a good choice for this is the Hurtta Summit parka for dogs.
As this jacket is waterproof, comfortable to wear, and will keep their body temperature stable, so they can enjoy their winter hike as much as possible.
9. A Reflective Jacket For Early Morning Hikes
If you like to take your dog out on early morning or evening hikes, then visibility can be an issue.
So a good way to make sure you never lose sight of them in the darkness is to dress them in a reflective vest or jacket.
As this way your dog will always be visible both to you and to others, and also to any potential dangers such as vehicles and traffic at crossings.
So check out the Ruffwear high visibility dog jacket to keep your dog safe and avoid getting lost from you in dark conditions.
10. An LED Light For Their Collar
Another way to make sure your dog stays visible in the dark is by getting them a LED lit collar or beacon light.
These may be more suitable for them if they don't like wearing vests or jackets.
And the Nite Ize SpotLit LED collar light is a good value option that will do the job when out hiking.
11. A First Aid Kit For Patching Them Up
Unfortunately, accidents can happen to both you and your dog when out hiking.
So make sure you are always prepared by carrying a few first aid supplies in your daypack.
As then you can patch them up if something happens, to tide them over until you can get them home or to the vets.
So a pet first aid kit, such as the one above, is an essential item to have when out hiking with your dog.
12. Protection For Their Paws
Your dogs paws are tough, but even they can take a battering from things like rocks, snow, or hot, dusty trails.
So why not make sure they're well prepared with a tub of protective paw wax.
As this wax will moisturise and condition a dogs paws to provide a barrier against the tough terrain of a hike.
And the go to choice for dog owners is the Musher's Secret dog paw wax.
As this is a safe and easy way to protect a dogs paws from cracking and drying out on the trails.
13. A Microfiber Towel To Dry Them Off
Dogs love to get stuck into everything nature has to offer when out on a hike, including rolling around in mud and jumping into lakes and puddles with gleeful abandon.
So you'll need to have a towel to clean them up and dry them off with in your daypack.
But it also needs to be one that will dry quickly, so it doesn't make everything else in your bag damp and smelly.
Which means your best best is going to be a microfiber towel, and a good one for dogs is the Bone Dry microfiber pet towel.
As this will clean them up nicely, dries super fast, and even has a paw print embroidered in it for decoration.
14. A Backseat Car Cover To Sit On
After a long hike together, the last thing your dog will want is to make you angry by muddying up the back seat of your car.
So let them ride home in comfort and with their conscience clear by investing in a dog car seat cover like the one above by 4Knines.
As these cover open out to protect the entire backseat area of your vehicle, meaning your dog can stretch right out without making anything dirty.
And it's waterproof and non-slip too, so it's both safe and comfortable for your dog to sit on as you drive home.
Taking your dog out on a hike with you is a great pleasure for them, and provides a loving companion for you too.
However, you need to be mindful that it can be hard work for them, and even dangerous if you don't look after them properly.
So buying a hiking gift for your dog that both protects them and makes their hike a lot easier and more comfortable is wonderful thing to do.
And I hope I've given you plenty of ideas of possible gift ideas here.