Best Outdoor Safety Gear for Dogs of 2023
Your pet's safety is important. From beds to booties and almost everything in between, we’ve reviewed the top outdoor gear for dogs. After all, your best friend and go-to adventure buddy deserves the very best!
The best outdoor dog gear of 2023
The Mighty Paw Collection
This Mighty Paw line ticks all the boxes for outdoor dog gear: waterproof, smell-proof, high visibility colors, reflective stripes, and soft material for your dog's comfort.
Because harnesses are gentler than collars, we recommend using the collar for ID tags and a GPS tracker. Then you can attach the leash to the harness. The harness has attachment points along the back and the front. There's also a handle on the harness, so you don't need to worry about getting a leash with an extra grab handle.
If you prefer rope leashes or cross-shoulder leashes, Mighty Paw sells those too.
SLSON Collapsible Dog Bowl
The SLSON Collapsible Dog Bowl punches down into an easy-to-store disc. We love that it's lightweight and comes with a carabiner clip so you can hook it to your belt loop, backpack, leash, or water bottle when not in use.
OllyBottle Dog Water Bottle
The one-liter OllyBottle provides hydration for both you and Fido. The detachable bowl makes for slobber-free drinking, and the water bottle itself is both dishwasher-safe and BPA-free.
RATSACK Bear-proof Food Storage
Unlike hard plastic containers, the RATSACK bear-proof food storage bag is lightweight and easy to take with you on your day's adventures. Use it to store your dog's food, treats, and a snack for yourself.
The odor-proof bags prevent critters from smelling the food, and the steel mesh bag is a sturdy backup option that won't let anything chew through it. The bag also comes with a cord and clip so you can hang it out of wildlife's reach at your campsite.
Potaroma Poop Bags
Yes, you should pick up your dog's "byproducts" in the great outdoors.
And yes, you should use Potaroma Poop Bags instead of recycling that old Kroger bag for the job. Trust us, you want to smell lavender for the rest of your hike, not poop. It only takes one stinky walk to make those $13 bags seem like the smartest investment ever.
Although you can definitely find cheaper bags, we really like Potaroma Dog Waste Bags for hiking because they come with a dispenser that doubles as a flashlight, making nighttime clean-ups around the campsite a (lavender-scented) breeze.
Hurtta Ultimate Warmer Jacket
Built for both wet and cold environments, the Hurtta Extreme Warmer 2 dog jacket provides dependable protection for your furry, four-legged friend even through the worst conditions.
A fully waterproof design fends off rain and snow, while the high collar and extended hem safeguard your pooch’s bum and neck from nasty weather. That said, the Hurtta Extreme Warmer dog coat is more suitable for working breeds (like border collies or Australian shepherds).
For leg protection, we recommend the Hurtta Casual Quilted Jacket.
Ruffwear Jet Stream Cooling Vest
Unlike humans, dogs don’t sweat—they regulate their temperature through their paws and by panting. But some pooches require a little extra assistance when it comes to keeping cool. The Ruffwear Swamp Cooler Vest not only shades Fido from the sun’s harmful rays but also keeps your pup cool and comfortable.
To keep Fido feeling real chill, saturate the vest in cold water, wring out the excess, and let the three-layer cooling panel diffuse the heat from your dog’s chest.
Keep your furry friend’s paws happy and injury free with a little help from Musher’s Secret. This paw balm was originally designed for sledding dogs to protect them from harsh Canadian winter conditions, but it can be used in any extreme weather.
A blend of food-grade waxes form a shield around their pads, safeguarding them from snow or hot sand and pavement. The wax still allows them to perspire and breathe, which prevents them from overheating and getting sick.
XSY&G Dog Boots
With the XSY&G Dog Boots, Rover gets protection when cruising through varied terrain or super cold conditions.
These versatile dog shoes are equipped with a rugged outsole that maintains traction and flexibility, while the weather-resistant exterior fends off light rain, sun, and snowmelt.
The booties are totally adjustable to fit your pooch’s paws—making them ideal for just about all breeds and weather conditions.
PETLESO Dog Goggles
Your little furry friend needs protection against harmful UV rays just as much as you do. Thanks to the PETLESO Dog Goggles, Fido stays eyes safeguarded against the sun.
These "doggles" keep dust and debris out of your dog's eyes too. The flexible design lends a comfortable fit to ensure they stay securely on Fido’s face.
For a small-dog version, check out the SLDPET Dog Goggles for about $19 on Amazon.
Vet's Best Flea and Tick Spray
Can't find your dog's flea and tick tablet? Not a problem. Spray them down with Vet's Best Flea and Tick Spray to keep those biting bugs away for the day. It's even safe to spray in your car and around the home.
Image: Victoria Andrews, iStock
This gear encourages your dog to rest and relax in a safe place while you set up camp.
EliteField 2-Door Soft Pet Playpen
Don’t call “lights out” just yet—in lieu of putting your dogs in the tent as you stargaze at night, you can pop them into the EliteField 2-Door Playpen. This soft-walled playpen is great for wrangling and keeping an eye on small to medium-sized dogs.
It easily packs down for convenient storage at home or in the car, and a bevy of pockets lets you keep things like water bottles or leashes close at hand when the playpen’s in use.
Plus, the floor and ceiling are both removable and washable, so you can customize your pooch’s coverage and extend the life of the playpen.
Ruffwear Highlands Bed
The Ruffwear Highlands Bed can be used while backpacking and car camping, so your pup can get some well-deserved rest after a long hike. The synthetic insulation is designed to keep your dog cozy—even if they’re a bit damp from running through the river. All sizes of the Highlands Bed fit in the Ruffwear Palisades Pack, so your dog can help carry the load.
Snagle Paw Dog Trolley System
If your dog laughs at the thought of "break time," a trolley system like the Snagle Paw lets them exercise safely while you take care of the campsite or put your feet up.
Just find two trees to set up the trolley cable, hook the 10-foot lead to your dog's harness, and watch your pup play along a 75-foot track.
Image: blanscape, iStock
Something as simple as a thorn or an unfriendly loose dog could put a damper on your plans if you're not prepared.
ARCA Pet First Aid Kit
Take care of cuts, thorns, ticks, and stings with the ARCA Pet First Aid Kit. It comes with a smaller pouch that clips to your dog's leash or backpack so you can just bring the essentials if desired.
We recommend adding a few more items to this 100-piece kit:
Be sure to save your vet’s emergency number in your phone. If your dog experiences a trauma, you’ll be able to quickly call and let them know ahead of time that your dog is injured and will require immediate care.
Citronella animal-deterrent spray
If a loose dog rushes yours and starts a fight, you need a quick and effective way to intervene without getting bitten.
Don't count on this keeping bears away, but it'll at least make an aggressive dog pause long enough to stop its charge or let go of your dog.
Whistle Go Explore Pet GPS Tracker
Let anxiety about losing your dog be a thing of the past. The Whistle Go Explore GPS Tracker attaches to your dog's collar and tells you their location via a smartphone app. It even includes an app-controlled light, so you can see where your dog is at night.
We love its 20-day battery life. Lost dogs sometimes get too scared to approach people—including their beloved owners. The extra-long battery life on this pet GPS tracker gives you plenty of time to enact a game plan to get Fido home.
The only caveat is that you'll need to be within AT&T's cell service range for this device to work.
Image: njgphoto, iStock
Outdoor sports gear for dogs
If you've got a specific activity in mind—like hiking, swimming, or biking with your dog—the right gear will help you have a fun and safe experience.
Ruffwear Palisades Backpack
Built specifically for long, multi-day hikes, the Ruffwear SingleTrak Dog Pack lets your dog carry their weight. The cross-loaded compression system maintains a comfortable carrying experience, much like your backpacking pack does.
Two removable saddlebags allow you to customize your furry friend’s load, and the included collapsible water reservoirs keep hydration close at hand.
Visit the National Parks Service site to find out if the park you’re looking to visit allows dogs. Most parks’ websites will have pet guidelines, but if you don’t see any, call the local ranger office to get a direct answer. Some national parks will have specific dog-friendly trails, so be sure to confirm which ones are.
BSEEN LED Pet Collar
Light up your evening run with the BSEEN LED Collar. Rechargeable LED lights offer bright illumination for added visibility on a dark trail or sidewalk. The universal fit can be custom cut to suit your dog and is designed to be worn with their collar.
Two modes let you choose which style of visibility you prefer.
Outward Hound Dog Life Jacket
Keep Fido afloat with the Outward Hound life jacket. It's highly visible and provides a secure fit for dogs of all sizes. The rescue handles on the back of the jacket also make it easier to pick up your pooch if they run too close to the side of the boat or get into something they shouldn't.
Some nature spaces have watershed laws that specifically state that dogs aren’t allowed. And while it might seem discriminatory, these laws are instated to prevent dog feces or urine from contaminating water sources. If you get caught in these watershed areas, you can get a pretty hefty fine.
Kurgo 6-in-1 Leash
For a hands-free hiking or running experience, get your paws on the Kurgo 6-in-1 Leash. It’s fully adjustable and is made with a durable webbing material any way your dog wears it. Its handle is padded, so it's comfortable for humans too.
Dog Safety Reflective Vest
You really can't be too careful during hunting season. Make sure your dog sends a clear "not a deer, don't shoot" signal to hunters in the area by putting this bright orange vest on him before heading out.
Walky Dog Bike Attachment
Biking with your dog is a super fun way to help them burn some energy. But it can also be really unsafe for both of you if your dog gets under the wheels or pulls you to the side.
The Walky Dog Bike Attachment keeps your dog in a safe position and stabilizes the bike against your dog's pulling action. It attaches to virtually any bike.
Image: Candice Pun, iStock
Know before you go
Before you duck out the door for a run through your neighborhood or trail, take these things into consideration (and don’t forget to grab the leash)!
Know the terrain
It’s generally always a good idea to take Rover out for a romp around outside. But if you’re taking your pup out on the trails, you should read about terrain and trail conditions on AllTrails.com. While a trail might be considered dog-friendly, it may not actually be suitable for your pooch. Factors like age, injuries, and breed type can impact your furry friend’s ability to tackle a trail.
Check the weather
If you’re headed out on a day-long excursion, make sure you check the weather. This way you’ll be well-prepared and know ahead of time if you need to bring along a rain jacket, dog socks, extra water, or layers for your pooch.
Bring plenty of water and treats
Foods like carrots are great snacks that are not only dog- and people-friendly but also won’t get squashed in your backpack. And don’t forget to bring enough water for both you and Fido—always double-check and see if where you’re headed will have a water source in case your pup needs more water on the go.
Get there safely
Check out our list of car safety gear for dogs to reduce distracted driving and to protect your dog against car-related injuries while you travel to your outdoor getaway. It just takes one hard brake to pitch your dog forward without a seat belt.
When in doubt, leash ‘em up
A lot of open areas have leash laws. But if you’re unsure whether or not your dog can romp around unleashed, you should keep them leashed. You never know what kind of revegetation or conservation efforts are happening in the area.
Contributing author: Cathy Habas
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