If you’re an adventure seeking junkie at heart, you’ll know what we mean when we say there’s nothing more exciting than packing up the tramping bag the night before you set off for a journey like no other. For us, the low expectations and unknown of who and what we might encounter along the way may just be the most thrilling part, along with scenic views, beautiful trails and memories to cherish forever.
Depending on the track, you might be surrounded by pups and their paw-rents the entire hike whilst others could have you walking for at least 10km before seeing another soul. In times like that, we thank ourselves for packing up a few extra pieces of gear, leashing up our dog and bringing them with us. After all, dogs truly are a man, and woman’s best friend.
Kiwi’s are an adventurous bunch of people. When we live in such a beautiful country, why wouldn’t we be? So to us and many others, it may come as second nature to adopt a puppy and treat them to all life has to offer in our great outdoors of a backyard. A simple walk along the beach may be sufficient for some, but for others, it’s the rough terrain, tall pines, falling snow and steep cliffs that get the heart, lungs and endorphins pumping. And if you’re parent to a pooch, we bet you and your four-legged friend alike love nothing more than to experience it all together.
Whether you’re planning a full day hike or a week-long tramp, it’s important you pack all the essentials to keep the journey as smooth sailing for yourself as possible. Common sense, right? Well what about when you take your dog with you? To help ease the stress and hassle that comes with packing a backpack for your pup, we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up some tips and tricks from the amateur, to the well-experienced paw-rent trampers among us.
Here’s our list of essentials for your next dog friendly hike:
- Ruffwear Harness – This soft padded harness is safe and comfortable for your pup to wear on a simple walk or vigorous trek. A key piece of gear for canines embarking on a life of adventure with their humans, this harness redirects dogs pulling on their lead and is a must have in your pup’s backpack.
- Ruffwear Leash – For a lightweight, comfortable walking experience, try the Ruffwear Front Range Leash. Sturdy yet light, the Front Range dog leash keeps you comfortably connected to your canine companion wherever your adventures take you.
- Compostable Dog Poop Bags – Certified compostable dog poop bags will break down faster than biodegradable bags, making them our choice in the poop-picking department. Because they are made from natural plant-based materials, they won’t produce any toxic matter or cause any damage to its surrounding environment – amazing!
- Float Coat – If kayaking or paddle boarding is on the agenda, we’d suggest keeping your dog safe with a Float Coat. This life jacket is the ultimate in canine flotation and water safety and designed for dogs that love to join their humans rafting, kayaking, boating, surfing and paddle boarding. Better yet, we can guarantee you’ll find one that’s perfectly snug-fitting for any size pup.
- Travel Water Bottle – Because your dog needs water just as much as us! A portable water bottle for the ultimate convenience on your next adventure with your furry friend is a must have – no matter how big or small your next dog walk is
- Stylish Hound Waist/Cross Body Bag – Perfect for keeping your hands free while carrying your poo bags, phone, treats and essentials. These bags can be worn around your waist or across your back if you’d prefer.
A few other backpack essentials we need to mention…
- Your dogs identification and registrations tags (obviously). We don’t like to think it, but a simple tag with your number may very well be what reunites you with your lost pup one day.
- A small bottle of doggy shampoo for when they decide to roll in anything undesirable – you don’t want a stinky dog, let alone mud in your tent after all do you?
- An outdoors camping tether is great for when you park up at a campground and need to keep your pup secure. These things are easily forgotten but if you remember to take it…well, just thank us later.
- It may come as an after-thought but a First Aid Kit for your canine is super important! Especially if you’re planning on trekking a longer trail through the great outdoors. Carry some basic supplies such as hydrogen peroxide to disinfect cuts, bandages and a small sock or bootie to protect a wounded foot.
- A reflective jacket for hiking at night – this will be a lifesaver if your pup likes to run ahead and explore as the sun goes down.
- And last but not least, food! Carry nutritious snacks for your dog and offer them regularly to keep their energy levels high. Smaller snacks throughout the day will also ease the discomfort of exercising on a full stomach.
So there you have it! Dog Friendly New Zealand’s must-have items for a successful (and totally awesome) hike with your pup. Whether you’re a first-timer or well-versed trail path explorer, pack the essentials, leash up your furry friend and head outdoors this Summer. And don’t forget to tag us in your fave pup photos on Instagram or Facebook at @dogfriendlynz or use the hashtag #dogfriendlynz. We love to see where you end up!