A spring hike with your dog isn’t just an excuse to get out of the house—it’s good for you too. A study from Stanford University showed that spending 90 minutes walking in nature can significantly boost mental wellness. It also found spending time with pets also positively affects your mood. Who doesn’t need some of that right now? Not to mention, your dog benefits from quality time with you too, especially during the pandemic.
But before you rush out to take advantage of the warm weather, consider the challenges of spring hiking: fluctuating weather conditions, bugs, spring showers, and mud are things you need to plan for when gearing up for a spring hike with your dog. Here’s what you need to have a good time on a hike with your doggo.
Spring hiking shoes
Your hiking footwear needs to be built for wet, warm conditions, and these waterproof yet breathable knit hiking shoes are just that. They have specially-formulated beads for maximum cushioning and feature traction rubber for a smooth ride no matter how uneven the trail. Buy them at Columbiasportswear.ca and find the men’s version here.
If you’ve been on a hike with a smaller dog, you know their little legs have to work twice as hard to keep up with you. Pack this sling with you in case they tire out or need help traversing a particularly tricky passage. Its padded strap makes for comfy carrying and it has a safety hook and buttons to make sure your pup is secure. Buy it at Amazon.ca.
This unisex hat (it comes in green, too) boasts UPF 50+ sun protection and can be folded into your backpack. It’s perfect for keeping your head cool and your skin sunburn-free. Buy it at Mec.ca.
This water-repellent backpack is designed to keeps your goods dry during spring showers and it has breathable straps to keep your back from sweating, too. Side pockets make it easy to access water and your phone. It has compression straps for adjustable volume, and, at 17L, it has enough storage for you and your dog’s spring hiking essentials. It also has a water reservoir pocket, should you choose to add one. Buy it at Lululemon.com.
Canine rain gear
This lightweight rain jacket will keep your pup comfortable and dry in case of a spring shower. Bonus: no wet dog smell on the way home. Buy it at Mec.ca.
Spring hiking jacket
This unisex jacket shields you from wind and rain alike and has a flap in the back for maximum breathability. Plus, the lightweight design means it can easily be packed away when the sun comes out. Buy it at Mec.ca.
On a spring hike, having enough water for both you and your dog is essential. This food-grade stainless steel bottle keeps your water cold for 24 hours thanks to the double-wall insulation and it holds nearly a litre of water. Buy it at Marks.com.
This collapsable bowl has a carabiner for attaching to your belt, for easy travel. Don’t forget to bring some food for your dog along with your own snacks, too. Buy it at MountainWarehouse.com.
This all-natural outdoor spray gives you and your dog protection from ticks on your hike. Buy it at Amazon.ca.
A spring hike with a dog is a recipe for muddy paws. Bring this quick-drying, packable towel with you. It can sub for a picnic blanket, dry you off post-rainshower and help to keep muddy paws off car seats on the way home. Buy it at MountainWarehouse.com.