How to Safely Adventure with Your Pup
Healthy Dogs | April 29, 2021
Dogs can be amazing companions during any outdoor adventure. If you’re anything like me, I do my best to include my dog Ellie on all of my adventures; from hiking to paddle boarding to mountain biking, Ellie is always right by my side. Our travels often take us to the wild places throughout Washington and knowing that I’m taking care of another individual besides myself, I always make sure to be prepared. Cue the 10 Essentials!
If you’re familiar with outdoor recreation, you may have heard of the 10 Essentials for humans, but this list is equally as important for your dog. I’d recommend keeping these essentials close no matter what adventure you and your pup are on. Being prepared for any situation is part of being a pet parent and these essentials can be utilized during any adventure.
Having a durable leash, collar, and harness combination is the key to a successful outing. Since most areas require a leash to recreate, it’s important to find the style that is most comfortable for you and your dog. We also recommend using a harness while adventuring and attaching ID tags to your dog’s collar in case they happen to get lost.
Wherever your adventures take you and your dog, you should always pick up and pack out your dog’s poop! Not doing so can be extremely damaging to the environment. We have some great recommendations that make this task odor-free, including an item that makes it simple to carry your dog’s poop out.
Injuries can happen anywhere – on the trail, while walking through the streets, or in the backyard. Be prepared with a first aid kit specifically curated for your dog. Know how to use the contents within the first aid kit, too, so you’re not caught off guard when you need to use it. And at least once a year, examine the contents of your kit to replace used or expired items. Stashing a copy of your vet’s contact information, as well as your dog’s vaccination info and microchip number, in the first aid kit can be a good idea, too.
Whether it’s a long hike or a quick swim off the paddle board, it’s important to provide snacks or food to replace the extra calories your dog’s burned. Bringing plenty of clean water for your pet is also important, so you don’t have to look for a fountain wherever your wandering takes you.
It’s not easy to create a makeshift bowl for food or water when you’re already out on the trail. We recommend keeping a designated travel food and water bowl in your car or backpack, so you’ll never forget it. Travel bowls are also hard to break and lightweight, making them a worthwhile investment for any trip.
Sometimes the smallest pests can ruin a good time. Mud Bay carries a variety of insect repellant options that are made of all-natural ingredients, so you can feel good about using them regularly on your dog to discourage fleas, ticks, mosquitos and other insects. These natural repellants are also safe to use on yourself and your gear to make sure there aren’t any unwanted hitchhikers on your next trip.
Did you know that the majority of injuries to dogs are to their paws? Being proactive about paw protection is key to recreating outside. Boots provide the most protection, but your dog may need some training before they’re comfortable. Applying paw wax before adventuring can also work to prevent many common injuries.
Wherever your travels take you, never underestimate the power of Mother Nature! Weather can turn in an instant and it’s important to be prepared with layers or a source of warmth for your dog. Let the season, altitude and location be your guide when choosing the right layers of protection for your next trip.
When the sun is shining in the PNW, it’s definitely time to get outside! But don’t forget to protect your pup from the harsh rays and heat of the sun. Yes, your dog can get a sunburn and needs to be protected! It’s also critical to monitor your dog when recreating in the heat, making sure they don’t overheat and experience exhaustion.
Whether it’s your car, your backpack, or your dog’s backpack, you need to find a way to carry these 10 Essentials! Ellie takes full responsibility for her items, carrying her food, water, poop bags, and other small items in her own backpack. Not only does this lighten my load, but it also gives her a fun job to do! Friends with smaller dogs often use bags that will hold their dogs, which lets any dog become an adventurer.
The Pacific Northwest has so much to offer, the adventure possibilities are endless! Whether you’re headed out to the beach, the mountains, or your local park, pack ahead of time to make sure that you’re ready have a good time with your dog. Spending a few minutes collecting essentials will yield dividends because adventures are even more fun when you’re prepared.
BONUS: Looking for a dog-friendly trail to test out these items? Check out Where to Hike with Your Dog in Seattle, Portland, Bellingham and Bend: Explore the PNW the Mud Bay Way!
A huge thanks to Holly on Mud Bay’s merchandising team and Allison on Mud Bay’s marketing team for helping to put together this list of essential items and sharing some images of their own adventures!