Hiking gear for cats and dogs

Posted by Imogen Searra on 6 October 2020

South Africa is renowned for its diverse hiking trails. From leisurely forest routes, steep ravines and grueling ascents: There is a route for everyone, including pet parents.

Many paths and trails are pet-friendly, for their gradual incline, flat sections and wide paths. Pet parents are able to explore the natural world and get some fresh oxygen into their lungs with their fur babies in tow. Gone are the days of leaving your pooch or feline behind.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast or novice wanting to explore the natural world with your pet, having the right gear is crucial.

Important to remember

If your cat or dog goes on outdoor excursions with you, don’t forget to regularly de-flea, de-tick and de-worm them. Also ensure your animal is microchipped has a collar with its name and your contact details.

Here are our pet gear recommendations.

For the pup-splorers and cat-venturists

Dogs love a good day out. If you haven’t taken your doggo out with you before, it is important to invest in a few key items.

A portable water bowl

Olly and Max make a range of rehydrating gear that is easy to take with on a hike. The collapsable drinking bowl is perfect for the pets who are used to drinking out of their bowl and aren’t good with change. All you need to do is bring a bottle of water with to fill it up.

The collapsable water bowl comes in two sizes and is also available in green. Image: Olly & Max

 

Their two-in-one leaf folding travel water bottle is also a great option. It is both bottle and bowl. The green leaf unfolds around the head of the bottle so that you can easily squeeze water into it. Genius.

Both come with clips to attach to your backpack so there’s no hassle in transporting them. Both are available at Absolute Pets.

The bottle can store up to 600ml of water. Image: Olly & Max

 

Leads

A lead is an important item to have with you. Some routes require dogs to be on a lead at certain points and you don’t want to be caught breaking the rules. Other routes allow dogs to roam free but depending on your animal’s temperament, you may want to have a lead on you to avoid any accidents. There are a myriad leads to choose from and the length and thickness of your lead depends on the size of your animal.

A retractable dog lead is perfect for energetic or young dogs. It allows them the freedom to move ahead of you but without losing sight of them. The retractable lead also removes the risk of choking and tightness that can occur with a standard collar and lead. Takealot has a number of retractable leads but the Mix Box lead is rated the highest.

The 5m Mix Box retractable dog lead costs R199. Image: Takealot

 

Harness

A harness isn’t a necessity but it can be very helpful to help your dog on their first few outdoor excursions. Rogz utility medium 16mm stop-pull harness offers the best of everything. The harness is padded and more comfortable than a traditional body harness. It also has a two clips for you to attach your lead to. This helps you to maintain better control over your dog’s movements. The harness is available in a number of colours on Takealot and costs R229.

The harness comes with a stow-away elastic loop to avoid injury and snagging when off their lead. Image: Takealot

 

For cats, the Rogz 11mm AlleyCat cat lead and harness is perfect to keep on your adventure kitty. The cat may need to get used to the harness so try putting it on your feline and adjusting the straps to fit his or her body. Leave the harness on your cat for a an hour or so before the hike so that they can get used to the feeling. The harness comes in different colours and is available on Takealot for R179.

This harness is perfect for small to medium cats. If you have a larger breed you may want to consider a bigger size. Image: Takealot

Pet carriers

This may seem ridiculous but really it is very functional. Pet carriers in the form of backpacks are perfect for cats or small dogs who enjoy the great outdoors. It can be tricky to navigate a trail with your cat traipsing along next to you. The biggest worry for cat adventurer parents is coming into contact with dogs. You have to be so careful.

The Appolo pet carrier from local brand MujMuj Goods helps to eliminate the fear of enjoying a walk outside with your cat (or small dog). The backpack has breathable holes and offers your fur baby a panoramic view of their outdoor surroundings. It is available on Takealot and costs R999 with a limited warranty of 6 months. It’s advisable that you also purchase a harness and leash for your cat so that there is extra assurance that your cat can’t bolt away from you.

 

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In the era of COVID-19 you may be hesitant to return to a indoor studio and thats what makes going outside so appealing. Fresh air, space and low-contact: The Holy Trinity of navigating your fitness in this new world.

Picture: Unsplash

 






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