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Hiking with your dog? Here's a checklist of outdoors essentials you need in your backpack

Everything you need to keep your four-legged hiking buddy safe and comfortable.

Hitting the trails and exploring the beautiful scenic hikes in B.C. with your pup can be a very fun experience and a great way to bond and get active with your furry bestie.

Whether it's a long, steep hike, or a shorter, flatter trail, it's always important to be prepared before setting off so that you and your favourite hiking buddy can stay safe.

It goes without saying that you should pack the 10 hiking essentials before beginning any hike, but if you're bringing your pup along, there's also some extra things they'll require to be safe, happy and comfortable. So, we've compiled a list of items we'd always recommend packing in your backpack before exploring the great outdoors with your pup.

Food and water

As well as food and water for yourself, it's important that you pack plenty of water and nutritious treats for you pup too to keep them fuelled up and full on energy throughout the duration of the hike.

If you're thirsty, chances are your dog probably is too so be sure to offer them a drink every 15-30 minutes to ensure they don't get dehydrated, and look out for rapid panting or dry noses.

Fill a few large bottles of water, and carry a lightweight collapsible bowl that you can easily top up for your pup. We recommend: Convenient and perfect for on-the-go, Canadian brand Kabo has recently launched Monch Bars - an all-natural protein bar snack designed exclusively for our four-legged-friends.

We also love packing a nutritious smoothie for us to enjoy on-the-go, and highly recommend Canadian brand Rumble Supershake for an easy to carry treat packed full of goodness.

Leash and Collar

As many local dog-friendly hikes are fully, or partially on-leash, it's important to obey hiking trail etiquette and keep your pup under control at all times for their safety, so always have a high quality leash and collar with you. We recommend: Woof Concept offers stylish, durable and lightweight dog leashes and collars that are all handcrafted in Canada, and donate back to animals in need residing in local shelters across the country.

Pet First Aid Kit

Accidents can happen so it's always best to be prepared for any unexpected paw injuries or cuts and scraps that can happen on changing terrain by packing a lightweight Pet First Aid Kit that has a few extra items especially for pups.


It's important to leave no trace when you're hiking, so be sure to pack plenty of poop bags so you can clean up after your pup!

We recommend: We love local company Earth Rated, as all of their packaging is made from recycled materials, and they use recyclable paper cores for their poop bag rolls instead of plastic.

Protective Harness

If you've got a small to medium dog breed and like to hike in the woods, a protective harness is a great way to give your pup some extra protection against any wildlife that could cause them any harm. We recommend: Designed by two North Vancouver veterinary professionals, the Predator BWear harness provides dogs with a protective harness used to deter unwanted rough play or aggression, coyotes, birds of prey and even raccoons.

PawSwap Premium

You can't technically pack an app in your backpack, but we couldn't talk about essentials for hiking with dogs without mentioning PawSwap Premium. With the Premium version of the popular Vancouver-based pet app, you can find everything you need to know about local dog-friendly trails - and we mean everything. Not only will the app show you every dog-friendly hike in your area, it also shows you details like if it's fully or partially off-leash, if there's a swimming area along the trail and even if it's suitable for smaller breeds. PawSwap app is free to download, and all members can access a free 7-day trial of PawSwap Premium - so make sure to activate it before heading on your next hike with your pup!

Join PawSwap's Hikes & Trails: Summer Scavenger Hunt Edition Today

Join the Hikes & Trails: Summer Scavenger Hunt today with your pup, and you could win items from all the companies listed above, and more! Check out the full list of prizes here.

Learn more about the challenge here, and check out the clues to find your first dog-friendly location here.


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