Today’s 85-degree, clear-blue-skies weather made it impossible to hole up inside, so we turned our standard daily dog walk in Mt. Tabor Park into a full-on hike. Our rule of thumb is that any time we pack water for ourselves on a hike, we pack some for the dogs, too. After all, if the trek is enough to make us thirsty, it’s certainly enough to make them thirsty—especially considering that they tend to run laps around us, exploring every nook of the woods as we stick to the trail.
All that water can get heavy, which is why we’re forever grateful to our friends Julie and Gina, who, way back when they were in grad school with Beth, gave her what have proved to be two of the best gifts ever: a dog backpack and a nylon water bowl that rolls up to fit in a collar carrying case. Beth’s trusty lab Oscar has been sporting the gear on hikes for 8 years, and now her new pooch, Millie, is joining in.
We put a water bottle or two in each pouch, depending on how long the hike is going to be, and just unroll the bowl when the dogs need to rehydrate.
The pack and bowl make it into the suitcase literally every time we’re taking an outdoorsy trip with the dogs. The company that makes these exact items doesn’t seem to exist anymore, but no worries—there are plenty of companies who make similar gear. Doctors Foster and Smith, one of our go-to sites for anything pet-related, has a padded backpack, which is especially nice if your dog’s load is going to be on the heavy side (from $30). Or if you want to get really fancy (and spendy), you could go with RuffWear’s Palisades Pack, which carries a liter of water in each pouch and doubles as a dog harness ($125). Backcountry K-9 has bunches of versions of the collapsible dog bowl, including one from RuffWear that’s made out of recycled polyester, making it eco-friendly (on sale for $9, regular price $15).