Here at Tales of a Mountain Mama our goal is to encourage and equip families to get outdoors together—and that includes the family pup! In our dog gear gift guide we’ve compiled a list of our favorite tried-and-true best outdoor dog gear for your canine companions.
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You can find more hiking dogs ideas in our post: Top Gear for Hiking Dogs
Best Outdoor Dog Gear: Collars & Leashes
The most essential piece of gear when you’re bringing your pup along, no matter the type of adventure. Whether you’ve got a water-monger, a rough-and-tumble puppy, or a stylish tail-wagger with lots of personality, we’ve got some great options for you.
With a lifetime guarantee EVEN IF CHEWED, collars and leashes by Lupine Pet are our top choice for that new puppy in your crew. Offering standard flat collars, martingale training collars, harnesses, and leashes, Lupine Pet covers the bases for young and old dogs alike. We also love their matching key chains and lanyards for mom or dad!
We all love customizing our sandals, and now we can customize our pups to match! Made from the same Chaco webbing, their dog collars and leashes are another great option for pups that like to get wet. Another feature we like and use a lot with the leash is the adjustable length and hand-hold, which can be used to attach around your waist for hands-free walking or around a tree when you’re on a snack-break.
You select a color palette and provide a brief description of your dog, they provide a totally unique and awesome collar to show off your dog’s personality. A TMM team favorite, you can check out our previous review of this collar here.
“It is a wonderfully designed collar, super functional and durable, and completely unique. Since Scotty passed away in January, it sits on my dresser and reminds me of him every single day. I never imagined his collar would turn into such an incredible keepsake to remind me of his amazing adventure-dog life, but there it is. I’m going to get one for my new rescue pup for Christmas, because it makes my heart so full.”
– Ginny, TMM Team Member
Made in the USA, the Flowfold Trailmate is Rosa’s current go-to collar for hiking and everyday wear, and we love it’s super lightweight yet durable design. The material resists odors and is quick to dry for those pups that enjoy adventures with a splash (ours does!). The Trailmate leash is made from recycled scraps of Sterling climbing rope with a sturdy brass clasp and is perfect for hitting the trails.
Our favorite no-pull harness, this comes in a wide range of sizes with four adjustment points for getting that perfect fit. Unlike most harnesses, these have a front-chest attachment with a unique martingale loop for controlling your pup’s torso and redirecting forward movement.
Because sometimes two hands are just not enough, especially when you’ve got kids in tow along with your furry friends. This belt and leash combo with a built in bungee section works great for running or walking with both the dog and stroller.
Best Outdoor Dog Gear: Jackets and Packs
Just like their owners, dogs need the right gear to keep them safe and comfortable while tackling whatever adventures come their way. Here are a few of our favorite jackets and packs for every situation.
Another TMM team favorite, the Float Coat is a high-quality, thoughtfully-made life jacket for any wet water adventures.
“We had this for Endo even though he was a good swimmer. We were on a float trip, and he got launched off our cataraft unexpectedly midway through a rapid. The initial submersion almost drowned him! After that, in rapids he always wore his Float Coat. Plus, getting a slippery, wet, 70 pound dog up into a raft isn’t fun without a handle.”-Valerie, TMM Team Member
When spending a lot of time in the hot desert, this was a must-have for Val’s 70 pound black rescue pup, Endo, to keep cool on adventures. Soak it in water, wring it out, and the evaporative cooling will pull heat from your dog to keep them comfortable and boost their endurance.
For working dog Reece, this vest is her standard uniform for protecting her chest and belly on all her bushwacking adventures. Made with abrasion-resistant material and reinforced with heavy-duty ripstop to protect her from underbrush, and blaze orange with reflective strips to increase visibility for the hunting season.
We think safety is super important for the whole family, and that includes our pups. This high-visibility jacket is great when running on the road or hiking in dense woods. An elastic fit ensures it is never loose, and the super lightweight but durable material is tough enough to prevent snags.
This is the updated version of the OllyDog pack that our golden retriever, Abe, has had for years. Roomy enough to carry his own supplies so mama doesn’t have to, with adjustable saddlebags for optimal weight distribution and fit.
Another tried-and-true hiking pack, this was Scotty’s “work pack” and never slowed him down, even through brush and snow. The handle was key for lifting him over big rocks or things he couldn’t scramble, or just to pull him out of the way of horses on the trail. Fits a week’s worth of food, extra water, and dog bowls with no problem.
Take visibility to the next level with this LED vest from NoxGear. This durable vest is made from lightweight military grade machine-washable Cordura. Piped with ultra-bright fiber optics with multi-color flashing or solid modes, this vest ensures your pup is visible for a mile in any direction.
Best Outdoor Dog Gear: Dog Boots
We don’t scrimp when it comes to getting a quality pair of hiking boots—just the same, dog paws need quality protection on rugged adventures or harsh conditions. There are lots of options for dog booties, so consider whether you’ll be hiking long distances, walking over hot surfaces, or wading through deep snow. Fit is especially important, so we definitely recommend testing the fit indoors and making sure your pup is comfortable and the booties stay on and wear well before committing to a pair.
A great flexible-sole soft boot that has been a fan-favorite for years and is Scotty-approved, these provide good traction and stay on well even in tromps through the snow. Also available in an all-weather style for warmer temperatures!
Endo’s choice for sub-zero temperatures, these boots feature a Vibram sole for excellent traction on ice and snow for those pups on rugged winter adventures. We also like the stretch gaiter that extends over the Velcro strap to keep snow from sneaking into the boot.
Great for all conditions, Reece prefers the flexibility of these boots for the freedom of movement when out in the field. The two-strap closure has ensured that she has never lost a boot! A durable option at a great value, these have only just started to show some wear after 4 years of use.
Our favorite warm-weather boot, these have performed super well as paw protection when hitting the Utah trails.
“Without these our dog would wear down his pads until he was in incredible pain! We loved them so much we bought an extra set to loan out to friends who were unaware of the issue that sandstone causes. We loaned them out to many a pup.”
-Valerie, TMM Team Member
In the style of booties used by teams in the Iditarod, these Cordura boots are great for dog sledding and skijoring on groomed snow trails. Their main purpose is to prevent ice balls from forming between the toes while allowing complete natural movement of the paw. They are cheap, lightweight, and easy to put on and stay on fine in a controlled setting, but are not the boot we would choose when pups are busting brush and tossing snow.
And for those pups who simply will not wear boots, fret not! Musher’s Secret, sometimes called “The Invisible Boot,” provides alternative paw protection in all seasons. When spread on your dog’s pads, the non-toxic wax creates a dense yet breathable barrier which protects against hot surfaces, rough terrain, or ice and snow buildup.
Best Outdoor Dog Gear: Dog Toys
While you may be focused on useful gear, we all know your pup is thinking about what new toys he’ll be getting for Christmas. For doggo fun both inside and out, the TMM team pups have offered up their favorite selections for chewing, fetching, and romping this holiday season.
For those of you with powerful chewers, this classic KONG has stood the test of time with several of the TMM team pups. Virtually indestructible, even for the most dedicated chompers, the KONG can be packed with peanut butter and frozen for a special long-lasting treat.
Another great option for strong chewers, the durable rubber of Chuckit! balls lasts forever! Available in different sizes to suit your pup, these are buoyant and super bouncy. The bright colors make them easy to find (especially in snow!) and they don’t get super dirty like regular tennis balls.
Endo’s favorite stuffed toys, these aren’t indestructible but do feature Chew Guard Technology and double-stitching along all the seams. Lots of cute designs and animal options to choose from (opossums, dinosaurs, and buck-tooth llamas are just a few of our favorites)!
Ruffwear doesn’t let us down on gear, and they don’t let our pups down on toys either. This lightweight disc is easy to throw and flies far for your pups fetching pleasure. Bright colors make it easy to spot and it stays on top of deep snow, rather than sinking under to be lost like a tennis ball.
A pup favorite, this great alternative to a traditional frisbee is also buoyant and great for water play. The raised sides make it easy for pup to scoop it up if they miss it in the air. This squirrel is for fetching, not chewing, so keep an eye on any strong chewers during play! Also comes in a fuzzy indoor-version!
Abe’s favorite toy of all time. Not for destructive doggies, we have to keep a close watch to make sure he doesn’t annihilate this one. With the most outrageous squeaker I’ve ever heard, he likes to shake the floppy tails and toss this one around for endless fun.
We like this ultra-bright color changing ball for some fun fetching after dark. The shock- and water-proof LED core is motion activated and lights up with a bounce. We also like their LED collars and clip-on lights for nighttime safety for our doggies!
Abe will choose a natural bone, antler, or hoof over a synthetic chew toy pretty much any day of the week. We like that these are fully digestible with no artificial additives or preservatives, so they double as a healthy treat and are good for his teeth and gums. And sourced in the USA!
Best Outdoor Dog Gear: Travel Gear
This tote-style storage cube is the answer for those travelers who like to keep everything organized and tidy. With multiple pockets and an interior divider, you have room for all the essentials and a place for everything. Comes with two collapsible dishes and a roll-top storage bag to cover all your bases.
This roomy bin from Ollydog folds up with a snap closure when not in use, making it great for keeping in the trunk of your car or with your camping gear. Shorter and wider than the Mountainsmith K9 Cube, it features one large stiff-sided compartment with a mesh zippered cover with more than enough room to store all of Abe’s food, toys, and accessories for any of our travels and adventures.
And pair this matching food storage tote with the OllyDog trunk to carry all your doggo’s kibble on your travels (both come in a variety of colors and patterns)! This well-made, sturdy carrier comes with a matching collapsible bowl and holds up to 5 pounds of food, and features a snap closure roll top and a lined interior which is easy to clean.
Our preferred food storage tote for camping in particular, this bag is made of X-Pac sailcloth technology fabric which is super lightweight and also abrasion and water resistant. The collapsible bowl for food or water is easy to fit into our daypack to bring along on hikes and other adventures.
Best Outdoor Dog Gear: More Gifts & Accessories
For all those pet-parents who hate the mingle-jingle of tags, here is your solution. Two elastic loops allow you to thread this tag onto any collar, and multiple lines of text allow you to include all your important information. Bonus: We like ROAD iD products for our humans as well as our pets!
Not hiking near water? We’ve got it covered with this bottle + bowl combo. Compact water bottle is available in 20 ounce or 1 liter sizes with a detachable doggie bowl that snaps right onto the side so you can share your water with your pup without sharing any of their slobbers.
This is a great bag for carrying along on hikes with your canine companions! Roomier than a typical treat bag, the water-resistant backcountry bag has plenty of space for treats with a zipper closure to keep them from tumbling out. We love the waste bag dispenser and the option to either wear around the waist or clip onto the outside of our daypack.
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