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Essential Gear for Adventure Dogs

Pup Protection

Adventuring with dogs comes with certain challenges. Not only do you have to make sure furry friends are permitted to hike on trails and that temperatures will be safe for them, but you also have to consider their general well-being. Without the comforts of home, your dogs might struggle to fall asleep at a campsite or end up with pickers in their paws. So we’ve rounded up some essential gear items for dog-safe exploring in the great outdoors. 

Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Vest

Most dogs prefer cold environments, but many of them are heat intolerant, making summer travel challenging, particularly in the sweltering Southeast. The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Dog Vest is a unique piece of gear that can help mitigate overheating. My rottweiler wore this vest in 90-degree heat, often using it even on small walks to the park. It’s designed to absorb water and keep your dog mildly wet beneath the baking sun. Some dog owners like to freeze this vest for added cooling during hot adventures. Like Ruffwear’s standard dog vests, the Swamp Cooler vest has an easy clip-on design that stays secure even when your dog runs wild. 

NextStar Flea and Tick Topical for Dogs

Ticks have become a huge nuisance, and the disease-carrying parasites love burrowing into doggy armpits and bellies. Even if you spend time scanning your pups after backyard jaunts, ticks often manage to remain undetected long enough to latch onto your furry friend. Like humans, dogs are prone to tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease. NextStar Flea and Tick Topical cream for dogs is a great deterrent. The solution is quick to take effect, designed to be used in the warm, moist areas of the body that ticks love. It’s also waterproof and lasts for 30 days. This solution is also a great addition during off-tick times since it deters other critters like mosquitoes and fleas from bugging your pup. 

Mountainsmith K-9 Backbowl

A doggy bowl is the kind of item that is easy to forget until you really need it. Sure, you can dump water into your hand so your pup can lap it up, but that tends to be wasteful and a little slobbery. The Mountainsmith K-9 Backbowl is a unique doggy bowl that packs easily and keeps puppy thirst quenched. It folds into a small square that can easily be tucked away in jackets, running vests, or even pants pockets, and it holds 1.25 liters, containing a PVC-free TPU liner that prevents the bowl from absorbing water and other debris. So when it’s time to start hiking again, you can simply dry it off and get going. 

Kurgo Tailgate Dumpster

Sometimes trailheads don’t have trash bins, which means that you end up lugging your doggie doody home in your car. The whole process is pretty crappy. But the Kurgo Tailgate Dumpster is a gamechanger. The 100% silicone dumpster has a magnetic backing that can be fastened to your car. Another magnet keeps the lid of the bin closed, allowing you to stuff those baggies into the bin during transit. At first glance, it seems like the dumpster could move around or become dislodged during travel, but this bin easily stays fastened even during highway travel. 

Hest Dog Bed

Dog beds are usually fluffy, big, and bulky, which can make them impossible to use during travel. Yet the Hest Dog Bed is super packable, easy to clean, and cushioned enough to use in uneven or even rocky terrain. The internal memory foam is cushy and comfortable, and compression handles allow the user to easily pack it up when it’s time to hit the road. The bottom of this dog bed is even built with waterproof materials to keep it from becoming extra saturated during those overnight camping trips. These beds also come in three different sizes, and the company offers a 100-day money-back guarantee. 

Muttluks All-Season Dog Booties

Most dogs aren’t particularly fond of wearing shoes, but sometimes they need an extra layer of protection against desert pickers and jagged rocks. Boots like the Muttluks All-Season Dog Booties can come in super handy whether you’re on trails or walking across hot pavement during the summer, protecting sensitive paws from becoming injured. These boots also pull their weight in the winter when snow quickly turns into ice in the fur of puppy paws. Though your pup might fight you while you put them on, the booties can go a long way when it comes to keeping your pup’s feet healthy and intact. 

Cover photo: All photos courtesy of Hest

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