We’re dog people. When we lost our yellow lab, Jackson, to Mastocytoma in the Fall of 2011, we spent a few months without a dog in the house. While I enjoyed not being constantly covered in yellow dog hair, we missed the click-clacking of nails on the hardwood floors and the warm presence of a dog in the house. By January 2012 we had our eyes on a puppy and we brought home our Ranger Dog in March 2013. Ranger goes on all our adventures with us, so he needs gear too. This article details our favorite items of dog gear.
Ruffwear Float Coat
While yellow labs might be built for water, the cold mountain lakes and swift rivers where we recreate can be dangerous for even the best swimming dogs. We love the Ruffwear Float Coat for Ranger. It doesn’t bother him when he wears it, and the handle is strong and positioned well so we can haul his 90+ pounds back into the boat or on the shore when needed. Great for peace of mind and practicality, the Ruffwear Float Coat is a must-have piece of dog gear for our water adventures.
I know, I know. Dog boots? Really? Really. For any length of time on rocks or hot surfaces, Ranger wears his Ruffwear Grip Tex All-Terrain boots. They protect the pads of his feet from cuts or blisters and protect his nails from breakage. These are also great when the ticks are out in full force to protect those crevices between toes! Size these carefully and they’ll stay on well and last a long time. I highly recommend buying red ones – the black and blue can both blend in at the river if one does come off! If you do lose one – you can buy a set of two without having to buy another four, which I appreciate. I’ve considered getting Ranger the winter version for cross-country skiing this winter!
Out in the woods during hunting season? Our whole family wears orange just in case, and that includes our dog. We have a different version of this high-visibility Ruffwear Track Jacket, and I think I’ll upgrade to this one soon.
For nighttime adventures and camping, we always throw this LED dog collar on Ranger. I like it better than a beacon because the lights go all the way around. As a bonus – it’s pretty disco. Since we always have glow sticks around for Bowman’s entertainment, a Bones family campsite can become quite the toddler/dog rave at night!
Odds & Ends
No Bones adventure is complete without the most genius piece of dog gear ever invented – the Chuckit. Keeps your hands clean and throws the ball further – perfect for high-energy dogs like Ranger who just can’t get enough fetch.
Mountainsmith K-9 Cube Travel Bag
Lastly, a bag to fit it all in! We love this Mountainsmith K-9 Cube Travel Bag so much we’ve given it as a gift to our dog-loving friends multiple times. It may be our favorite piece of outdoor dog gear! This sturdy, compact bag has a removable dog food container, a drop-down flap that holds collapsible food and water bowls, and an interior divider to keep everything organized. Plenty of room for treats, balls, and more!