6 Easy Dog Treats To Pack For Your Next Hike

Going hiking with your dog and don't know what treats to pack? Read our list of the best dog treats for hiking so you know what to bring along!

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Picture this: it’s a gorgeous Saturday. You have nothing scheduled, and you want to spend time outdoors, with your beloved Fido. You decide to go on a hike (excellent choice!), and you’re gathering the essentials for your three-mile jaunt in the wilderness. Water, First Aid Kit, etc…this isn’t your first rodeo. As you’re collecting items for your pack, you go over to their treat drawer and stare.

What’s the best thing to pack? What are the best dog treats for hiking?

Simply put, the best dog treats to take on the trail depend on the length of your hike. Are you going on a quick three-mile, hour walk or an overnight trip? Think about your pet’s normal appetite during the amount of time allotted, then consider that they will be strenuously exercising.

Perfect dog treats for hiking involve three things:
1) They pack easily in a small container you can fit in your/your dog’s bag.
2) They won’t make a mess in your bag.
3) They’ll support your dog’s exertion level over your hike!

If you’re anxious about what to pack, alway consult with your vet about your dog’s calorie intake and exercise levels. Otherwise, use the list of treats and food below as a guide that you’ll hone over a lifetime of happy trails with your dog!

Note: This list is not ranked in any particular order.

Treat Idea #1: Kibble

Do you feed your dog dry food? Their kibble is proven to be an effective hiking treat–you know they eat it! Some guides recommend mixing 20% puppy food into the kibble to increase the calorie content for the duration of the hike. So if you normally feed your dog a cup of food for a meal, pack about 3/4 cup of their regular food and 1/4 cup of puppy kibble or dehydrated meat meal toppers. Increased protein will help your dog’s muscles recover from the hike more quickly.

Treat Idea #2: Dog Food Rolls

If you feed your dog various types of wet food (raw, canned, etc.) you might look into dog food rolls as perfect dog treats for hiking. Many of these rolls are formulated to be a complete meal (per AAFCO regulations) and are easy for travel. Just slice into small cubes, and then pack as a perfect “on-the-go” treat. Many different varieties of dog food rolls all have high levels of meat-based protein, ideal for both long and day hikes.

Treat Idea #3: Training Treats

Training Treats are defined as small, pea-sized treats that are soft and easily digestible. For quick walks, these quick bites are the perfect accompaniment to reward good trail behavior. Pro Tip: to help your dog’s energy levels stay high, choose a treat with a large amount of meat (make sure it is one of the first items on the ingredient list!), then give them a treat and water at rest stops.

Treat Idea #4: Dog Biscuits

Dog biscuits or dog cookies are another easy-to-pack, ideal treat for short hikes. Dog biscuits tend to have higher amounts of sugar and are quickly digested, making them one of the best dog treats for hiking. We like Redbarn Natu-Rollies biscuits because they’re small, low-fat and made with over 50% chicken.

Treat Idea #5: Bars

Familiar with energy bars? Dog bars are a very similar concept. Each bar is formulated to work as either a meal replacement or meal supplement. Better yet, there are recipes made with ingredients to fuel up both you and your dog so that you can pack less. As we mentioned earlier, the most important thing to remember when choosing the type of bar you want to pack is the duration of your trip!

Treat Idea #6: Jerky Treats

Jerky treats for dogs are dehydrated meat treats, perfect for hiking trips. Pick your dog’s favorite protein (mine loves beef) and look for a jerky treat free from artificial preservatives or additives. Jerky treats are usually high in protein and chewy, so make sure your dog is finished chewing before you resume walking. Otherwise, they could have trouble digesting.

We believe these six dog treats will help your dog keep their energy up and have a fantastic time hiking. As with any activity involving your dog, make sure to consult your vet if you have any questions. Lastly, make sure to bring some poop bags along, so you don’t “litter!”

If we’re missing your dog’s favorite type of treat to take hiking, feel free to email social@redbarninc.com or leave it in the comments below! Happy Trails!

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and reflect the views of the authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect those of the organization. Redbarninc.com makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, timeliness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Please note that each situation is different, and you should always consult your veterinarian should you have any questions about your pet’s health.

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There are 192 comments

  1. Allison Hoffman

    My dogs fav treats are jerky so we like to have some on our hikes with us! We usually bring along collapsible dog bowls for food and water on long hikes and poop bags!

  2. debra dubois

    We usually bring along collapsible dog bowls for food and water on long hikes and poop bags! They also love a great treat for being the good girls they are..

  3. Jeanine Carlson

    I never heard that dogs don’t digest as well if they are already walking when they are still chewing. Thanks for that!

  4. kathy m

    We carry dog jerky because it is lightweight and the dogs adore it! Small biscuits don’t add weight and are helpful! thanks for the tips!

  5. Tina Deming

    Always have extra water, treats and keep an eye on your dog at all times. My pup was almost grabbed by an owl right in front of me in broad daylight.

  6. Amanda Mays

    Jerky is a great hiking treat for human and dog alike. It packs flat, can be torn into smaller pieces, and my Scout loves it!

  7. Shannon G.

    We bring training treats when we hike. They only get those on the hike so they pay attention to us a little more knowing what’s to come.

  8. Cheryl Powell

    I love this site it gives you so many tips and I love the giveaways I won some Organic filled hooves and my dog went absolutly crazy when I gave her one . She’s also a big fan .Thank you Recharge.

  9. Lauren Adler

    Never heard of dog food rolls but my dog’s favorite treats are the Nutro crunchy treats made with real fruits! The bag even smells great!

  10. Amanda E

    Treats when out hiking? Otter likes all treats but I bring freeze dried type hiking and he enjoys it. Freeze dried salmon usually… must haves? Water, treats, flash light, first aid kit, rubber booties (in case he injures his paws), phone…that’s about what I bring on a simple day hike. What does he like most? Smells!! He smells everything and is in pure joy of all the new and interesting smells

  11. patricia caradonna

    Must have treats for my dog Josie is Jerky. She goes crazy over the smell and taste. Josie’s favorite part of the hike is stopping and getting a drink of fresh water and some Jerky.

  12. shannon fowler

    My dog loves jerky, but he also loves the bulk treats they sell at the local pet store. i always bring those as well

  13. Tina Nichols

    My dog loves jerky. Her favorite treat is duck jerky. She loves to walk on the dog trail at the National park, and drink water from the flowing river.

  14. Melissa R

    My dog loves, loves, loves Red Barn dog food rolls! We slice it and feed as one of her daily meals. Or you can cube it and use as treats. She is sooooo picky and it is one of the only things she will eat!!!

  15. DJ

    My pup always loves a good jerky treat on our hikes and loves when we stop to explore. He likes checking out birds on the trails.

  16. Kathryn M

    I currently bring some energy treats, but I am always interested in learning about some new treats. This list is very helpful.

  17. Linda Ossmann

    I love all natural Jerky Treats for the trail or just walks around the neighborhood! Great for training while out on our walks as well!

  18. Audra Hollander

    I like to take a cooling mat, A lot of fresh water and if coarse a dish and a bowl. A spare harness and leash will come in handy if something happens to the one u came with

  19. Carolee Boyles

    Enhanced kibble……a pound or so of kibble with about a tablespoon of bacon drippings spooned into it and mixed well. I store it in the freezer until I use it. A little greasy if you get too much on it but the dogs love it.

  20. Christine Goodenough

    What I bring depends on the hike and which dog is with me(I have 5 ranging from 50-150 lbs). All of these are good ideas.

  21. Karen Hoover

    Dog jerky treats are perfect for hikes, light-weight, relatively flat so they don’t take up a lot of space, and my dog loves ’em.

  22. Danielle Lindquist

    I bring a water bottle, collapsible water bowl, harness and leash and maybe a doggie rain coat since hes only 11 pounds and gets cold when he gets wet.

  23. Megan Hill

    We always bring something that is packed with protein and calories (if it’s small it’s even better)! Our dogs favorite part about hiking is all the wonderful smells she comes across!

  24. Jennifer Ruggles

    I always bring dog biscuits when I walk or hike with my dog. I have a lab cross, so I worry about bloat. I’ve read and heard you’re not supposed to hike or walk your dog until two hours after they eat and at least an hour before. Does feeding your dog a biscuit or training treat fall under that rule too, or are they just talking about before and after a meal?

    1. Chelsee from Redbarn

      Hey Jennifer, while you’ll want to discuss this with your vet for the best and most customized advice, our research suggests that giving your dog a biscuit or other small treat during an activity shouldn’t cause issues with bloating.

  25. Linda Szymoniak

    Even before picking treats, I make sure we have water with us. After that, I find that treats, as opposed to kibble, is best. I have three Treeing Walker Coonhounds and they are very food oriented – especially my girl, Kyoko. I like to keep snacks on outings small and light. We typically don’t go that long or far, so they don’t need a full meal.

  26. Emma

    I love training treats because they are soft and moldable. They’re also usually moist so it gives a little more moisture to your dog when they eat it. Which is good on a hike or any activity similar.

  27. Brandi B.

    Water and some dog jerky are what I make sure to pack during our hikes. My dog loves to hike with me and knows she will get a treat during our break.

  28. Cheryl Butchko

    Another good treat is hot dog slices microwaved until they are chewy or slightly crispy. Not only can your dog eat them but so can you!

  29. Jan Roberts

    I have Pugs, which are not the best hiking partners! However, I do bring treats on our walks, usually just kibble. Again, they are PUGS, they will eat anything!

  30. Sheri Costa

    Water, freeze dried liver treats made by Stewart’s,’freeze dried lamb lung by Merrick, Jerky, kibble, and an Red Barn bully stick to enjoy on the car ride home. (Where on earth are you selling the vanilla? Can’t find them anywhere!!!!)

  31. Susan P.

    If the hike is not that long, I take a collapsible bowl for water and training treats. For longer hikes, I’ll take some dry food, as well.

  32. Patricia Biggar

    My must haves for hiking with my dog are: portable water bowl, water & treats. Also, a first aid kit & current vaccination list.

  33. Karen Seneker

    The treats you mentioned are all standard. I also bring vegetables. My dogs love the miniature carrots, they love cucumbers and tomatoes.
    I also pack fruit, particularly apples. When we take a break and rest ( my dogs are 9 and 13). The apples keep them busy enough that they do get a rest. Sometimes I take peaches for them. The vegetables and fruit I share with them . I like to make a doggie trail mix for them when I have time. I have several doggie cookbooks that I use. I give them homemade liver biscuits, string cheese (cut into small pieces), frozen peas thawed and dried and fresh green beans. Wowee. !

  34. Hiking with Dogs (Bringing your best friend on the trail) - My Open Country

    […] Think about how much your dog typically eats during the length of time you'll be away from home, then bring with you even more. Dogs will burn more calories than usual – just like humans. The foods you bring can include full meals that he would typically eat, depending on how long you plan to be gone. Kibble can be great as a snack as well. The best thing, however, is to bring some treats that you can feed your dog periodically along the trail. This can include nutritious and easy-to-pack snacks like dog biscuits, training treats, dog food rolls, jerkies like dried liver, or bars made especially for dogs. […]

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