Charlie's Top 5 Adventure Essentials You Should Have in Your Dog's BackPack
Whether your dog carries his or own gear or not, these 5 things should be on hand at all times when you set out on an adventure with your pup! They're inexpensive but worth their weight in gold as far as what they provide in smart and safe travel.
The affiliate links in this post take you right to each product so you can check them out for yourself. If you end up purchasing any of them, Amazon sends Charlie a few coins for his little piggy bank so he can buy some trail treats or other adventure gear he wants his mom to carry for him. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra. It's just the thank you that Amazon sends us out of their pocket, not yours and we greatly appreciate it!
1. Musher’s Secret
Both extremely hot and cold surfaces can cause painful burns on your dog’s feet. Pavement and concrete sidewalks aren’t the only surfaces that can get blistering hot in the summer. Dirt trails, beach sand, graveled paths, stone walkways and rock can all reach dangerous temperatures for your pups feet. The first thing I do before ever letting little Charlie’s feet touch the ground, is a palm test. If I can’t keep my palm comfortably on the ground for 7-10 seconds, than it’s too hot for his little paws and he’s at risk for a burn injury. And I test EVERY kind of outdoor surface he’s going to be walking on. When possible, walking him in the cooler parts of the day or taking him on more shaded trails or in grassy areas is a safer option. When it comes to winter environments with snow, ice, and salt on the ground, the same painful burns can happen. Preventative care is a critical component to maintaining paw health year round. Musher’s Secret is our go-to. Originated in Canada to moisturize and protect the paws of sled dogs from the harsh effects of snow and ice, this all natural wax absorbs into to the pads while still letting pups sweat to control their temperature. (You did know that your dog sweats through his paws, right? More on that in another post.) Turns out, Musher’s Secret works to protect against hot surfaces as well by acting as a semi-permeable barrier; almost like an invisible boot. It’s safe, won’t stain your carpets, but most importantly, it will help protect your precious buddy’s feet year round! Grab yours here .
2. Tick Key
You don’t have to live deep in the woods to be exposed to these little blood suckers. Even a leisurely romp at the neighborhood dog park could expose you and your pooch to ticks. And, even if you’re using a tick and flea preventative, one or two could still latch on. Getting ticks off correctly is key! (Ha! See what I did there?)
Don’t make the tick puke! Yep, ticks will likely puke if you don’t remove them the right way. If they do that while they’re still attached to your dog (or cat), they’re more likely to transmit dangerous diseases to your furry kid, like lyme disease, Rocky Mounted Spotted Fever, Ehlichiosis, and even paralysis!
With a Tick Key, it’s safe and easy peasy and nobody pukes. Well, at least not the tick anyway.
3. Collapsible SILICONE Food Grade Bowl
Don't skip over this one even if you already have one! Not all dog bowls are created equal and choosing the right kind can mean the difference between a sick or healthy pet.
Plastic is bad. We’ve all known this for awhile now. But, do we ever stop to consider what our fur kids are eating and drinking out of?? That cute little dog bowl you bought might be slowly poisoning your best friend. Even if it says that it’s BPA free doesn’t actually mean that it is and even ceramic can be dangerous if the glaze contains dangerous chemicals such as lead. (If you need to pause reading this to immediately collect all the plastic in your house and ready it for the recycle bin, I’ll wait.)
Charlie and I have switched to only using glassware, stainless steel, or food grade silicon products. When you’re on the go, such as a hike, camping, or even a road trip, carrying the gear that’s safe for your kiddo, environmentally friendly, and convenient is king. Charlie has a pretty sweet collapsible, silicone, food grade, BPA free bowl that we use both at home and on the road. I use the same camp bowls for myself! When we’re headed for another adventure, I simply squish it down to its pancake like shape, clip it to my backpack, and off we go. I don’t have to worry about having something safe he can drink and eat out of and it’s so light weight, I don’t even notice it in my pack. We share our Sea to Summit camping set. They're made in the USA and one of my favorite adventure investments because they're just freaking awesome. I know they're safe for both Charlie and I and that's worth the extra little bit. If you're looking for a much less expensive, bet still safe and portable bowl, Mr. Peanut's Silicone Collapsible bowls aren't a bad option. They're imported from China but they stand behind they're safety claims. Go with what you're comfortable with and what suits your and your pup's lifestyle best.
4. Biodegradable Bamboo Baby Wipes
Yep. Baby wipes. Think I’m kidding? Ever been out on a trail or backcountry camping and Fido rolls in something that smells like the rotting innards of a whale’s belly? Yeah, you’ll want some of these wipes in particular. They’re made of organic bamboo and enriched with aloe vera, vitamin E and chamomile and they biodegrade in 28 days! There are some dog specific wipes on the market however, when I was doing some research, I discovered that many have a warning disclaimer that says they contain chemicals known to cause cancer!!! Just to be sure, I consulted with my pharmacist sister and she confirmed that the ingredient list did indeed include some nasty chemicals! Not only are these Bamboo Baby Wipes safe for the dirty, stinky fur kids but, they’re earth friendly and perfect for your dirty bits too! Even the packaging is recyclable for Pete’s sake. This will definitely become one of your favorite accessories whether on the trail or on your road trips.
5. First Aid Kit
These days there are far more legitimate choices for a quality pet first aid kit than there were 10 years ago. However, whether you have a commercial kit or you’ve made your own, there are certain things that are absolutely essential for a complete kit. However, a complete kit is useless if you have no idea how to handle a pet emergency and how to use the things in your kit. Lucky for you, I can help you out with both of those issues. Check out this post to find out what should be in your dog first aid kit and check out this post to get started with some basic first steps in animal first aid. If you want the full shebang, all the nuts and bolts, the whole enchilada, the A to Z of wilderness first aid knowledge bombs to make you a hero for your fur kid in the backcountry or on the road, than click this link! Everyone that lets me know they’re interested, will get an exclusive early bird discount for the online Wilderness Animal First Responder course coming later this year!