6 essentials for any adventure dog

Going on adventures with your furry best friend is one of the most fun things you can do in life. But since our four-legged pals depend on us to keep them safe, it is always good to have the necessities.

Jennifer Coulter with her SAR dog Pika. Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Coulter

We sat down with search and rescue dog handler Jennifer Coulter who spends most of her time in the backcountry with K-9s. She tells us about her “must haves” for her adventure dog and dogs she works with.

“Making sure that your dog is well conditioned for the type of adventure you want to go on is always my first step. There are some adventures that we may need to leave our dog home for and some adventures that we are going to plan around the benefit and well-being of our dog. ” Coulter tells GrindTV. “Also have a plan in place for the “what if’s.” It is always better to be over prepared. Once I pick an adventure, I pack accordingly, but some ideas I always take.”

Here are Coulter’s must haves.

Water

Pika enjoying a refreshing bowl of water. Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Coulter

“Just like humans, dogs must stay hydrated on adventures. I really love the Ruff Wear Bivy bowl. It is light-weight and it collapses, which means less weight in my pack. I also have used it for a food bowl on the road. There is a light coating in the bowl that makes it easy to clean and it holds water really well.”

Paw protection

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“I am a huge fan of wax and sled-dog booties. Even in the summer months I will keep some booties in my kit. They are really great for preventing injury on dogs’ pads, like when we travel on scree. I like the sled-dog booties because they allow the dog to articulate their feet. Also because of the stretch velcro, they really stay on and it you loose one, it doesn't matter because they cost only a few dollars.

Paw wax is great but it often isn't enough for those dogs with feathering, for those dogs sled dog booties are a life saver. The booties weigh nothing so I have a few pairs in my pack. They are also great for injuries that may happen on an adventure.”

Warmth

The Quinzee coat by Ruff Wear in action. Photo: Courtesy of Ruff Wear

“I think a dog coat or an extra layer is an important thing to have if you are going on a winter adventure, the same way you would have an extra layer in your pack for yourself. If you get stuck or delayed and you are sitting around, it is a perfect time to put on a coat for your dog!

“It is just another layer of safety in your pack. I have a bright color dog coat, which can also act as a safety vest. This helps identify your dog as a dog and, not say as a wolf. It also makes them easier to see from the air and to rescuers if your dog becomes lost. Bright colors also help you to keep track of your dogs. The Quinzee coat is a great option.”

Vet Wrap

Pika showing off her pawesome bandage. Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Coulter

“I like things that have two purposes because I can't carry a million things in my pack. Most of the things that are in my first aid kit would serve human purposes or dog purposes. One thing that I like to have in my first aid kit that is animal specific is Vet Wrap.

“It is a bandage wrap that sticks to itself. It comes in all sorts of bright colors. It is amazing for taking care of cuts and as a paw wrap, but it also works amazing on people. Use it loosely on dogs as it will cut off circulation if it it too tight.”

Rinse Kit

Dirty dogs! Photo: Courtesy of Rinse Kit

“Sometimes the danger isn’t life threatening but just pretty uncomfortable, like when your dog rolls in something nasty and you are car camping. Pika doesn’t roll in poop, but I have had dogs in the past who did. A portable sprayer like the Rinse Kit, can be the difference between a good night’s rest in the tent or a really smelly one.

“Also it is multi-purpose, you can use the Rinse Kit to wash mountain bikes and anything else around camp.”

Dehydrated Food

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Dehydrated food is a great thing to keep in your pack for you dog. Lightweight and easy to make. I also like to bring dehydrated food for road trips.”

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