Your dog may be the perfect companion for your hiking and camping adventures. Bringing Fido does mean that you will need more gear, though, to ensure your pup's health and safety. The following are a few things you should add to your gear list.
#1: Collapsible Water Bowl and Water
It may be tempting to allow your dog to drink from puddles or streams, but just like you, they can suffer tummy troubles from unfiltered water in the back country. The safest option is to bring a collapsible water bowl and enough water from home for both you and your dog. Otherwise, you will need to utilize your filtration method of choice on any natural bodies of water. Don't panic if your dog does drink the water from that stream, though. Just keep an eye on them and take them to the vet if they show signs of illness, such as diarrhea.
#2: First Aid Needs
You need to keep enough items in the first aid kit for both you and your dog. This includes children's Benadryl, or an emergency allergy treatment recommended by your vet, along with a styptic stick to stop bleeding from a cut paw. Small pliers are also a good idea, in case of a porcupine run-in or large wood splinter in a paw pad. Otherwise, you will simply need the gauze, bandages, and antibiotic ointment that is the usual stock for a human-only kit.
#3: Protective Clothing
Depending on the trail conditions and your dog's conditioning, they may need some clothing to be most comfortable in the woods. The most commonly needed items are trail booties, which protect the soft pads of your city-raised dog from the sharp stones and splinters on a forest trail. In cooler weather, some dogs may need a jacket or sweater to help keep them warm. Doggie vests and pocket harnesses are also helpful, since they allow your dog to pack some of their own belongings.
Treats are must, even for a short outing. For longer outings, bring some food with you so your dog doesn't miss a meal time. Remember to pack a second collapsible bowl just for this purpose.
#5: A Leash
It's best to keep your dog on a leash at all times when in the back country. Dogs left to their own devices are more likely to run afoul of trouble, whether it's a skunk or a predator, like a cougar. They can also be hard on local wildlife by chasing or hunting the denizens of the woods for fun. A leash also prevents your dog from hurting themselves or from surprising someone else on the trail. If something does happen on your hike, take your dog to a vet emergency hospital like Bay Street Pet Suite Hotel & Day Spa as soon as possible.