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Best Leashes for Hiking with Dogs

Want to start a new outdoor adventure with your pup? Let’s talk about the best leashes for hiking with dogs, among the other equipment you may want to have.

Flat Out Leash by Ruffwear Check Price
Tuff Mutt Leash Check Price

What Kind of Supplies Do I Need for Hiking with My Dog?

Best leashes for hiking with dogs

If you’re only just getting started going on hikes with your dog, then you may be wondering what kind of equipment it is that you need. Well, you don’t really need a lot to get started. In fact, for beginner hikes you may not need most of these at all. However, if your hiking trails are going to be more difficult, we advise you invest in some if not all of the below. Furthermore, you will want ALL of these if you are going on extended trips – like camping or similar.

Hiking Harness

If you were to ask us which out of all of these are necessary, we would be very quick to respond and say: a hiking harness! A harness will absolutely make a huge difference in your entire hiking experience. Certainly you would not want to be led along rough terrain by a collar around your neck. Neither would your dog! And so, we suggest getting a special hiking harness that can really help you gain better control of your dog. These harnesses are made to be breathable. At the same time, they are also meant to have handles on them that you can use to help your dog over rough terrain. Want to help your dog over a rock? Just grab onto the handles and lift!

Sometimes, hiking harnesses may also be generally just more durable than your standard harness. If they’re more durable, chances are the risk of them snapping at a critical time is much lowered. Some of them are even made with the same type of material from which military equipment is made!

Hiking harnesses should be combined with some of the best leashes for hiking with dogs. 

Insect Repellent Collars or Doggie Protection

If you’re taking your dog out for a hike, you will very likely be exposing him or her to the elements. You’ll be putting them at risk of catching an infestation of fleas. You could even risk coming home with a new unwanted tick guest. In order to avoid this and the possibility of anything similar happening, it’s best to make sure you have some sort of pest repellent option available for your dog. You could use something like a flea collar, for example. This will help ward off fleas and ticks that carry along with them some blood borne diseases that can cause your dog to suffer unnecessarily.

Furthermore, you can also choose to use some chewable medications such as Bravecto or NexGard, both of which protect your pup from within.


A leash is rather necessary for hikes. In fact, why settle for just any leash when you can instead use one of the best leashes for hiking with dogs? We don’t really even need to explain why you would need a leash – that on its own is pretty self explanatory. For hiking purposes, however, it’s best to make sure that you have a durable leash that won’t break during your travels. We would say that this is likely just as important as a hiking harness when it comes to preparing the equipment you need for your travels.

Water Bottle and/or Bowl

On a hike, you would certainly bring some water for yourself, no? You should certainly be bringing some along for your pet too. You don’t necessarily need to get your dog his own special bottle. Instead you can just bring one bottle for the both of you, and have a water bowl for him. Thankfully, these days there are actually a bunch of products that are incredibly portable – collapsible silicon bowls, bowls that fold flat, and more.

Small Snacks or Treats (or even food)

If you wish, you can bring some small snacks or treats for your pup to have whenever you take a break. This can also come in handy for situations where you might need some some extra food for your dog. For example, if you get lost, or if you decide to spend a little extra time before heading back.

Doggie Paw Protection

Your dog’s paws are rather sensitive, so sometimes it may be a good idea to protect them during your hike. Make sure you have a product like a balm to help keep your pup from suffering injuries to their paws.

Little Backpack

This is something that is a bit more optional, so to speak, when it comes to preparing equipment for hiking. You don’t really need a little backpack for your dog, sure. However, it could really come in handy sometimes. Backpacks can come pre-attached or sewn into a harness. Alternatively, you can get a backpack that you can simply attach to your dog’s leash. These little backpacks are rather useful for bringing along some of your dog’s supplies.

Water bottles and bowls, food like treats and snacks, first aid kits, and toys all can go in your dog’s backpack. Your pet can help you to carry some of the burden when you camp or hike. That way, you will not solely bear the weight as you navigate rough trails.

Furthermore, you can bring along some doggie waste bags to ensure that you aren’t leaving any messes behind.

Why Use a Special Leash for Hiking?

Best leashes for hiking with dogs

Often, when you and your dog go out on a hike, they may not need a leash – especially if the trail is rather easy. Dogs that can walk off lead when hiking can surely make your life much easier, because it frees up your own hands to help you support yourself against terrain if you must. However, we still advise the use of a leash as much as possible – this can really just minimize a lot of risks. In fact, it can even eliminate them. 

But why exactly do you need a special leash to go hiking with your dogs? Why can’t you just use your dog’s regular leash? Well, you can… but it really depends on the quality of your dog’s current leash.  For your own (and your dog’s) safety and peace of mind during your trek, it’s best to use a leash that you know can and will withstand the hiking conditions for sure.

Still not convinced? Here are just some of the reasons why you do need one of the best leashes for hiking with dogs.

Prevents Loss

Having your pet on a secure leash makes it impossible for them to get lost. The keyword here is secure, of course – you can’t just use any dollar store leash and expect it to perform through a rough hike! Losing your pet when you are hiking through unfamiliar terrain can be a nightmare. After all, if you yourself don’t know the place fully, then how can you go out searching for your dog? How can you find your pup in a forest, for example, where you too can so very easily lose your bearings?

Help Your Dog Along When Hiking

When you go on a hike, you may sometimes find the need to support your own weight as you navigate the rough terrain. You may need to leverage yourself against rocks or trees. Another thing is you might also find yourself pulling yourself up somehow. Basically, hiking isn’t exactly as easy as your normal walk with your dog. It is for this reason that it’s a good idea to have one of the best leashes for hiking with dogs. A leash, when attached to the right kind of (hiking) harness for your dog, makes it easier for you to help them along when necessary.

If your dog is struggling to get over certain rough parts of the terrain, a leash and your help could really make all the difference! You could help pull them up through steeper terrain. Or you could help control their descent down the same type of path. Regardless, your pup would be grateful for your help!

Secure Your Dog When You Take a Break

We know – sometimes, hiking can get exhausting. When that happens, taking a break is completely acceptable. But what if you wanted to take a break and sit down somewhere, maybe nap or read a bit of a book? If you had no leash, you wouldn’t feel secure that your dog would not run off (unless, of course, he is well trained). Sometimes a leash is a great way to make sure you can secure your pup to a tree while you take your leisurely break.

Now that we’ve talked about the whys, here are some of the best leashes for hiking with dogs so that you can hike with ease and peace of mind!

Best Leashes for Hiking with Dogs

There are a ton of different options available the world over when it comes to the best leashes for hiking with dogs. You can find them everywhere, from specialty pet shops to online retailers. However, if you are looking for one of the best leashes for hiking with dogs, we do have some suggestions! Here are some of them.

Our Favorite

Product Name: Tuff Mutt Dog Leash – Multipurpose and Hands-Free

Product Description: The next product we can recommend as one of the best leashes for hiking with dogs is the Tuff Mutt leash. This product is a hands-free capable leash just like the one above. It’s a bit different in most other cases, however. This is a 4 foot long leash that has a bungee section – when completely extended, it can reach five feet in length. When used in the hands free way, this belt offers more flexibility and room to roam for your pooch.

Price: $


  • Quality
  • Price
  • Design


This leash contains reflective thread to make sure that your pup is visible at night. Furthermore, control is much easier with this leash because it offers handles for better control. The leash is designed to be used by dogs that are medium to large in size, minimum of thirty pounds in weight. However, if you have a small dog, you can still use this – you just won’t be fully able to use the bungee section.


  • Many color options
  • Flexible and versatile
  • Strong and durable
  • Reflective thread for night time visibility
  • More affordable


  • Still expensive for a leash
  • Some say this leash is annoying for runners
  • Waist strap may need frequent readjustment
  • Some say it is rather bulky and heavy


Flat Out Leash by Ruffwear

For dogs that come along with you on the trail, you can try the Flat Out leash. It is versatile, allowing you to attach it to your waist if you want your hands free. You can also hold it in your hand like you normally would when you do take your pup for a nice, long trek. This way, if your arms get too tired from your dog pulling and tugging on the leash as he tries to manage the trail alongside you, you can take a break. You can instead secure your pup to your waist and give your poor arms the break that they deserve.

Additionally, this leash is six feet in length – the minimum recommended leash length in most of the national parks.

A leash like the Flat Out will also certainly come in handy for your daily walks or jogs. With your dog attached to your waist and your hands free, it will become much easier for you to complete your daily run with your pet at your side!

Pros and Cons of Flat Out Leash by Ruffwear

✔️ Ready for adventure
✔️ Durable and heavy-duty
✔️ Has a padded handle to be more “human-friendly”
✔️ Can be secured around the waist for hands-free use
✔️ Attaches with a strong and secure connection that won’t make you worry
✔️ Accessory loop is built in for you to clip on some stuff like waste bags, keys, and more
❌ Pricey for a leash
❌ Many comments saying quality has declined, stay away if your dog is a large, heavy dog