Image Credit: Reddit
Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn PLEIN AIR SOCIAL a commission.
Getting outside is even more fun with a gal’s best friend. I’ve done my fair share of dog walking here in Jackson Hole (A.K.A dog hiking, biking, skiing, boating, and more) and let me tell ya – you’ve got to go in prepared when adventuring with a pup. Be sure to research the region you plan to explore to ensure it allows dogs to visit too. Here’s my advice for being fully geared up to bring your furry best friend along!
Gear up, get out there, and wish the dog park goodbye:
- Hands-Free Leash: Stunt Runner™ - $48.
- Backpack: Front Range™ Day Pack - $79.95.
- Pouches: GO! With Ease Pouch - $25.
- Bowl: Frisco Silicone Collapsible Travel Bowl with Carabiner – $6.39.
- Bottle: Dog Travel Bottle - $28
- Treats: Crazy Dog Train-Me! Bacon Flavor Dog Treats - $13.94.
- Goggles: Goggles for Dogs - V2 - $84.95.
Stunt Runner™ - $48.
First and foremost, you simply must purchase a hands-free leash before embarking (had to) on your next adventure. Having the weight of your dog around your waist instead of on one arm is literally life changing. This shift makes it totally possible to jog with a dog while changing the music on your phone, grabbing a sip of water, or being otherwise engaged at the same time. It also enables you to carry along other necessary items like poop bags — leave no trace, y’all — or a little treat pouches too!
The suspension in this leash in particular makes it a million times less jolting if your dog runs quickly at some wildlife. Realistically, it happens. You can also adjust the length of the leash according to what feels most comfortable for you and the d‑ring on the hip belt can be adjusted too.
I highly (highly) recommend bringing a second leash along. Big hikes or adventures on public land can be the perfect place to let your dog off leash, but that means it’s possible your dog will get so excited he’ll chew on, run away with the leash still connected to them, or just straight up jump into a puddle of mud with their leash in. Being able to toss the messy leash on the outside of your pup’s pack and clip on a new one is a game-changer!
The part of this leash is the accessory which allows you to clip two dogs to a singular leash!
GO! With Ease Pouch - $25.
If you’re headed out on a longer hike, suiting your dog up with their own little backpack can make things so much easier. Since they can carry their own weight (literally), you can bring a lighter pack along yourself.
This pack designed by RuffWear is built like a saddlebag with pouches on either side. They come in all sizes so you can choose the one that’ll fit your dog like a glove. The padded and adjustable straps allow make it super comfortable for you dog and a functional as a harness too.
If you want to go on lighter adventures or are looking for a less technical way to keep track of your pup, this stylish harness is so chic. This brand, Maxbone, makes amazingly beautiful gear and their accessories like pouches that slip onto their matching leashes allow you to carry a couple of necessities without the bulkiness of a full backpack.
Dog Travel Bottle - $28
No one likes to be thirsty, and it’s essential to bring enough water on your adventure for your pupper too! It’s easy to think just a quick outing won’t be too long away from their water bowl, but trust me — if you’re going somewhere you can let them off leash they’re likely to run around more than you think A.K.A. get thirsty fast!
One of the easiest ways I’ve found to supply water to my dog is to pack one of these collapsible water bowls and pour water from my bottle into the bowl when we take a break. However, this travel water bottle bowl is epic because it means you can pack enough water for you and your pup both by bringing a separate water bottle for just them. Springer just released this bottle as an innovation on their original line, so the bowl takes up less space when flipped down.
If, for some wild reason you were limited to bringing along just one item for your dog, it would 100 percent have to be treats. Having something that motivates your dog to pay attention to you or come back to you is gold in the outdoors. Since there are so many distractions (potentially more than your pup faces in a normal day), you’ve got to go in with a way to demand their attention if necessary. The power of treats has helped me keep a dog away from cars, other dogs, and even (just once) a moose.
A dog trainer once taught me the key to setting your dog up for success and obedience when exploring a new area or trying out a new sport with you (like biking): you have to take it slow and allow your dog to settle in. Don’t just whip into a parking lot, let them out of the car, and start going. Instead, take the time to open the trunk but keep them in their crate while you get ready. Let them out of the crate or car and reward them with a treat for sitting and paying attention to you. Allow them a minute or two to look around and take in their new surroundings. Then get going! Breaking it down into stages helps to acclimate your pup and reduce the strain on you to keep them in line in a new (overwhelming) environment or situation.
If you teach your dog that car means adventure and adventure means we hop out of the car and run around wildly, you’ll have a hard time getting their attention for the entire rest of your day. Using treats to reward them for good behavior from the start shows them that following your orders means treats! I love tiny ones like these corn and soy free, bacon-flavored training treats.
Goggles for Dogs — V2 — $84.95.
Okay, these are on the more intense side, and I have to admit I want to include them because they’re absurdly cute, but they’re actually so amazing for some dogs! If you do any high-speed sports with your pup like running, biking, or even riding in the back of a truck, Rex Specs can protect their eyes from mud, rocks, and bugs. Pretty much any situation that we’d use sunglasses for, dogs could likely benefit from eye protection too.
Rex Specs come in all sizes and are goggles specifically designed for dogs with straps that secure to their face easily. The main sport these are beneficial for is anything in the winter time!
Snow amplifies the brightness of the sun so much and impacts dogs too. I know a mutual friend whose dog is struggling with sight due to snow blindness. Talk with your veterinarian if dog goggles are right for you pup and talk with them about how to carefully introduce them to the goggles so they feel comfortable and calm with them on!