Winter is coming! And as a dog owner, you might be planning to take your pup out on some snowy adventures together. Snowshoeing is a great outdoor activity for humans and dogs alike, allowing both you and your canine to enjoy the snow and get the much-needed exercise.
You know your pup is a perfect partner for winter hikes, and you probably have already seen our safety tips for snowshoeing with dogs. But now you are wondering what to pack for your dog before hitting your nearest dog-friendly snowy trails?
Don’t worry. That’s what this blog post is all about. We’ll go over what equipment and things your dog needs for snowshoeing so that both of you can have an enjoyable time!
1. Dog Booties or Paw Wax
Dog boots can protect your pet’s feet from cold, wet conditions and keep them warm in the snow, as well as providing extra protection against hard-packed ice and preventing the formation of ice balls and snowballs. Boots are also a good idea for canines who constantly lose their footing or have sensitive paws.
If you don’t want to invest in dog booties or your furry friend hates wearing them, try paw wax like the Musher’s Secret. These paw balms also offer a great way of protecting your dog’s feet, creating a layer of protection between the paw pads and snow while also keeping the paws moisturized!
2. Dog Jacket
Extended exposure to cold weather can often result in frostbite and hypothermia. So, it is crucial to provide your canine companion with an insulated dog jacket before venturing out for any winter activity, especially if they are short-haired.
3. Hands-Free Dog Leash
You will always need a leash to keep your dog close regardless of the activity you are engaging in. But imagine having to hold the leash in your hand while hiking up a mountain. It becomes nearly impossible to use trekking poles to help maintain your balance on steep slopes, making the snowshoeing trail harder to navigate. If you have ever been trekking with your dog before, then I am sure that you will agree with me on how much of a hassle holding onto the leash can be.
That’s where a hands-free dog leash comes in handy, which attaches around your waist and clips onto your dog’s harness. It leaves your hands completely available for carrying poles or other items like food, snacks, or a camera while ensuring your pup is never more than an arm’s length away from you at all times!
4. GPS Tracker for Dogs
Bringing a GPS tracking device is non-negotiable. While lots of GPS trackers for dogs nowadays have many features to help you track your dog’s activity, fitness level, and health, the main reason why I recommend bringing one is that it can help you find your canine if they get lost, which can be lifesaving.
5. Food and Water
You obviously will also need to bring food and water for your dog. The most important thing to remember is that you should avoid packing food that will freeze. And it’s also a good idea to bring extra water and food in case you both go on a long-distance adventure or get stuck out there for longer than anticipated.
6. Bowl or Water Bottle
You will want to bring a collapsible bowl or two as well so that your dog can be easily provided with water and food when needed on your snowshoeing trip. Alternatively, you could bring a portable water bottle specially designed for dogs, allowing your furry pal to drink straight from the bottle.
7. Emergency First Aid Kit
At first glance, it seems like winter hikes won’t have as many hazards as hiking in the summer. However, this isn’t the case! Your dog can slip and fall on steep slopes and suffer from sprains, cuts, broken bones, and other injuries when exploring the wilderness.
So, bringing a first aid kit for your dog is also a must! You should have items such as bandages (various sizes), gauze pads, tweezers, medical tape, antiseptic wipes or spray, scissors, anti-inflammatory medicine, Benadryl, and disposable gloves.
Dogs enjoy winter sports just as much as humans do, and they are capable of participating in winter sports so long as you make sure to dress them appropriately and bring the necessary gear and equipment. Remember that if it’s too cold or snowy for you, then it’s also too cold for them!