Updated: Jul 27
It can sometimes be a struggle to think about what gear you need to pack for yourself when planning an adventure, never-mind the dogs! But, luckily, we have some experience in this area, and have composed a guide of some essentials and "nice to have" (or optional) items you might want to bring along for your dogs on those epic explores.
Water and collapsible bowl
Even if you are doing a walk where you are surrounded by a stream of freshwater, Leptospirosis, an infectious bacterial disease caused by rats, has been known to affect dogs in Hong Kong, particularily if you are near the city. The results can be fatal if contracted, which is why it's just best not to risk it.
Make sure you bring plenty of freshwater for your dogs in addition to your own water, to avoid running out.
For those cheeky pups that refuse to drink whilst out and about, you may want to consider packing a DoggyRade isotonic drink or chicken-broth based "Puptails" - not only is it packed with prebiotics, but the chicken flavour makes it particularly enticing, making it impossible for even the most stubborn of pups to refuse rehydrating.
A supportive harness
One with a handle can come in handy (pun intended) - this allows you to assist your dog up and down rocks, should they require it.
We like Ruffwear's Flagline harness (pictured left, in red) as it's not as thick as the other harnesses - durable and covers more surface area of the dog's chest and abdomen (as opposed to straps) making it more supportive and comfortable for the dog when lifting them.
If you and your dog are taking your adventures another level, and rappelling, Ruffwear's Doubleback Full Body Safety Harness will be the best fit for you.
Although these harness don't come cheap, (we think) it's best not to skimp here, as a well-made, secure and durable harness will be practical for all of your adventures, and could make all the difference for your pup's safety.
Dog Tag and GPS
Even if your dog has excellent recall, anything can happen whilst out and about on a hekkin' explore - there are so many external factors that come into play, and potentially spook your dog.
It’s a good idea to have dog tag attached to your dog's collar or harness at all times, and should clearly display the dog's name, along with your contact number.
That way, in the event that your dog does run off and someone spots him or her, they'll know exactly who to call.
Although Apple AirTags are effective in the city, they rely on a secure bluetooth network for detection by nearby Apple Devices, which you just might not have whilst out exploring in the countryside.
There are plenty of these pesky little critters around Hong Kong, and they are known to spread Tick Fever which can sometimes have fatal results for your dog.
As a good rule of thumb, especially for active dogs that are constantly out on an explore, be sure to always stay on top of your preventive care be it for tick and fleas, wormer.
Travelling by speedboat, junk or kayak? Or maybe you're going coasteering or just headed to the beach? Don't forget your dog's life vest or life jacket!
Although we all know dogs are excellent swimmers - it's one thing paddling near the beach or in a stream, but what if you're out in open water with the dogs and an accident takes place and you both go over board?
For your own peace of mind, invest in a doggie life vest and bring this on all your water-based activities for safety!
It doesn't have to cost an arm and leg either - we like the range of life jackets by EzyDog! Not only are they affordable, but they are reliable and sturdy.
Whether you opt for an Adventure Dog Light that attaches on to the collar or harness of your dog, or get a full-on LED collar, it's always a good idea to equip your dog with a light for those evening hikes - not so that your dog can see in the dark, but to allow you to easily spot your dog at night.
Every outing with your dog is a great opportunity to train your pup and get them comfortable socialising and exploring the great outdoors. It pays to have a pack of your pup's favourite treats on hand to reward good behaviour, and make your adventures a comfortable experience for your pup.
If its a really hot day, you should really avoid taking your dogs out in the middle of the day altogether if you can avoid it.
Check out our article here on Heatstroke for more information.
Even if it's not at the height of summer, some dogs are predisposed or more sensitive to the heat, so you may want to consider getting your dogs a cooling vest or Swamp Cooler Dog Cooling Harness by Ruffwear, to help keep those puppies cool.
If your pup has sensitive paws, you may want to consider getting your dog a set of Grip Trex Dog Boots from Ruffwear to protect those tootsies, particularly if you know that the area you will be visiting has rocky or harsh terrain. Not sure how to choose the right boots for your dog? Check out Ruffwear's guide here.
Last week we learned from our friends Pets on tapp, that it can be handy to have a small portable handheld fan to tackle the heat. To learn more, be sure to checkout their article; Heatstroke in dogs: how to spot, avoid and treat.
Pop-up Tent or Tarp
Planning a day on the beach or setting up camp for a short while? Be sure to bring a pop-up tent or tarp to set up for your dogs so that they have place of refuge to escape from the heat if needed.
First Aid Kit
Last but definitely not least, a First Aid Kit is just a good thing to keep in your hiking bag at all times - for both dogs and humans!
Even if you're always careful whilst out on hikes, accidents can happen at anytime.
You can purchase a regular first aid kit and add items to it for your dogs, such as Vetrap Bandaging Tape, Antiseptic Spray and Activated Charcoal or Washing Soda Crystals in the event your dog has ingested something they're not supposed to.
Not sure what to pack for yourselves?
We've got an article for that too! Click the image below for more