Dog Essentials {Hiking Edition}

It's that time of year again! The beautiful weather just begs those of us with four-legged friends to bring them outside to enjoy this weather with us. In the past 2 weekends, Josh and I have been able to take Nash out with us twice - once for a more adventurous hike in the Blue Hills and once for an almost 2 mile walk around Castle Island. As the weather gets nicer, and starts to stay nice, we're both hoping to turn our outdoor time with Nash into an every weekend thing.

Hiking with a dog, however, isn't something that you can enter into without any regard for your pup! You need to make sure the pup has water, treats and a few extras along the way wouldn't either. Here are our pics for Dog Essentials - the Hiking Edition.

REI Dog Water Bowl / REI Classic Dog Pack (for the bigger dog) / Retractable Leash / Harness /
First Aid Kit / Bandana / Outdoor Cleanup Pack / Hoodies (for early morning hikes)
The number one most important thing you can bring for your dog is water. By the time you reach the middle or end points, your pup will be very thirsty. Bringing a collapsable bowl along is the perfect way to make sure your pup is well hydrated. And when it comes to hiking, we feel it's best to use a retractable leash - allowing for your dog to make it up certain parts of the trail at his own pace. The harness also helps to control where and how your dog will move along a trail - making the hike easier for both of you!

The first aid kit is a great tool, in case your pup accidentally gets hurt. There are lots of things on the trail that your dog may not be used to, or aware of, and it's always a good idea to be prepared. While hoodies and bandanas may not be entirely functional (although hoodies can be good for smaller dogs when it's cold on early morning hikes), they're a lot of fun and you never know when they'll come in handy! For bigger dogs, it's also good to use a dog pack, it provides both a harness and a place for you to keep their items, so that you can worry about your dog while on the trail, and not about where his or things are.

Finally, it is important to bring an outdoor cleanup pack along with you. Your dog may have to go to the bathroom and it's always important to leave any trail just as you found it. Bring along some baggies with you, and dispose of them when you reach a campground. If you have no way bag with you to dispose of the waste, pick a spot a few feet off of the trail and bury it to keep it out of the way of other hikers.

This list isn't exact, and you should also always make sure to have a proper ID tag and collar for your dog as well and remember that unless otherwise noted, most parks require that dogs remain on a leash at all times.

Do you take your dog hiking? If you live in the Boston area, do you have a favorite outdoor spot? What essentials do you make sure to always bring along for your pup? Happy Trails!




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