From hands-free running leashes and all-terrain booties to life jackets and bicycle baskets, here's everything you need to enjoy the outdoors with your pet.

By Susan Brickell
Updated May 03, 2021
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Now that the weather has warmed up, it feels like ~literally~ everyone is getting outside with their dogs. And really, is there any better way to explore the great outdoors than with your pooch right beside you? The answer is no, people. Even A-listers including Simone Biles, Lucy Hale, Reese Witherspoon, and Emily Ratajkowski have been spotted hitting the pavement, hiking trails, and even getting their yoga flow on with their beloved canines.

And if you're still social distancing this summer while vaccines for COVID-19 continue to roll out, there are ways to safely adventure outside while spending some bonding time with your furry friend. Plus, if you're more active-minded, there are plenty of activities you can do with your pup that ensures you both get fresh air, exercise, and a boost to your mental health. (Related: These Benefits of Having a Pet Will Have You Adopting a Furry Friend Before You Know It)

Whether your pup loves to join you on runs, hikes, bike rides, walks to the park, or road trips, you need to make sure you're investing in the right gear for every occasion to keep your canine safe, cool, and happy. From hands-free running leashes and all-terrain booties to life jackets and bicycle baskets, check out the guide below for the best dog accessories for enjoying the outdoors with your pet.

SparklyPets Hands-Free Dog Leash

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Credit: AMAZON

Ideal for medium to large dogs, this can be used as a handheld or hands-free leash (using a belt attachment), depending on how you plan to use it and your activity. What makes this versatile leash so great is that it has a support mechanism that's designed to help divide the pulling force to both sides of the belt, so you keep better balance on your walk or jog. It has an impressive 4.5 rating, even with more than 7,500 reviews, and is Amazon's Choice for "dog hands-free leash"—so you know it must be good. Amazon customers love it for running and hiking with their pooches, and one shopper noted that it even "gently corrects" her 1-year-old boxer during their runs (as he gets easily distracted by squirrels, cyclists, rollerbladers, and other dogs), helping them to stay on course. (Related: The Ultimate Guide to Running with Your Dog)

Outward Hound Granby Splash Dog Life Jacket

Providing comfortable buoyancy in the water, this doggy life vest also doesn’t restrict movement on land. The front neck float helps keep their head above water and the neoprene belly band supports their chest and stomach. With more than 12,000 five-star ratings, Amazon customers love this dog life vest for days by the pool or on the boat for both small and large dogs. Plus, multiple reviewers commented on how this not only keeps their pups afloat and is a good safety measure, but that the dual grab handles make it easy to lift their pets.

Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots

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Credit: RUFFWEAR

These high-performance booties keep your dog's paws protected on hikes, runs, and outdoor adventures—just like your own hiking boots do! They feature rugged Vibram outsoles to offer traction on both paved roads and rocky terrain, and the breathable mesh uppers offer ventilation while keeping debris out. The closure system cinches around the narrowest part of the dog's leg for a snug yet comfortable fit, which is super important when you plan to be out all day. Reviewers love them for everything from walks on hot pavement to helping older dogs with mobility and confidence.

Outward Hound Tail Teaser Wand

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Credit: AMAZON

While it might look like a cat toy, this wand is perfect for dogs who need to exercise and release some energy, but might not be fans of fetch. The wand encourages your little guy to chase and tug on it, thanks to the durable nylon cord and faux-fur, hamster-like toys that squeak and rattle to get their attention. Also nice: It can be used in your backyard or at the park, as well as inside (great for rainy days!). It boasts more than 4,500 five-star ratings, and shoppers rave that it's the "best investment" they've made toy-wise, and that it's great for high-energy pups.

Ruffwear Approach Dog Pack

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Credit: AMAZON

Hit the trail with this well-made dog pack, perfect for hiking and camping. It's designed with weight-forward saddlebags to provide stability and comfortable carrying. The integrated harness can be easily adjusted for the perfect fit, and the padded handle allows you to lift your pup over uneven terrain. Bonus: It has reflective trim, a loop for a light beacon, and pockets galore, so you can stash treats, collapsible bowls, and more. Sure, it might be a splurge, but multiple customers said it was well "worth the expense." With 94 percent of Amazon reviewers awarding this pack four and five stars, you can't beat it.

Lesotc Pet Water Bottle

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A best-selling dog water bottle on Amazon, this no-leak water bottle-water bowl hybrid holds 18 ounces of cool H20, and is convenient to take with you on outings—whether it be a park walk, hike, or patio brunch. The fold cap acts as a water bowl, so you don't need to carry around a separate one. Just squeeze the water bottle with one hand and the water will flow automatically into the bowl. Fold the bowl down for easy storage once your pup has quenched their thirst. It's great for dogs of all sizes, from Jack Russell terriers to Golden Retrievers, and works well for road trips and travel, according to reviewers. (While you're buying one, grab a new water bottle for yourself, too.)

Buy It: Lesotc Pet Water Bottle, $15 (was $17), amazon.com

BarkBay Pet Carrier Bicycle Basket

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Credit: Amazon

If you're planning a city cycling outing (or even bike commuting) and want to take your puppy or small dog but they can't keep up, pop them in this bike basket. The easy-to-install basket comes with a soft, sheepskin liner for a comfy ride, and the floorboard is removable to make cleaning a breeze. There's mesh venting for added airflow, a tether that attaches to your dog's collar to prevent them from jumping out, and storage pockets to cart all of your dog's essentials with you wherever you go. Shoppers love that their dogs don't overheat in it and that it can double as a car seat for their pet.

Chuckit! Sport Launcher Dog Ball Thrower

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Credit: AMAZON

You can now throw your dogs beloved ball over and over again without getting too tired, thanks to this ball launcher. Great for backyard, beach, and park use, this thrower is lightweight (great for tossing in your car or bag) and is designed for hands-free pickup, so you don't have to constantly bend over. It boasts over 4,000 glowing reviews, and many of those tout it as an "arm saver." (Related: 6 Custom Pet Face Masks for Anyone Obsessed with Their Fur Babies)

Ruffwear Jet Stream Dog Cooling Vest

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Credit: RUFFWEAR

This sleek, lightweight cooling vest will bring your pup's temperature down via shading and evaporative cooling on outdoor excursions. To activate the cooling technology, just soak the vest in water, wring it out, and zip it on your pup. It also features comfy, stretchy spandex on the back and three-layer evaporative cooling chest panels to disperse heat from the dog's body. Customers say it keeps their dogs cool and comfy for hours inside, outside, or in the car. (Also read: Must-Know Tips for Exercising Outside in Hot Weather)

HoAoOo Pet Training Clicker

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Credit: Amazon

Rust- and break-proof, these clickers can be used to train your dog—whether you're working on basic obedience, cute tricks (high five, anyone?), improving confidence, or trying to correct bad behavior. They make a "distinct and recognizable sound" designed to get your dog's attention and become an indicator of good behavior. It's a safe, easy, and humane way to train your dog while challenging them physically and mentally—so they're guaranteed to be tuckered out by the end of the session. Plus, dog walkers and trainers on Amazon both give them a thumbs up.

Apollo Walker Pet Carrier Backpack

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Credit: Amazon

Similar to the pet carrier Lucy Hale showcased on Instagram, this backpack has mesh panels for ventilation, two-way entry for easy access to your pooch, a top mesh window for more headroom and visibility, and soft fleece bedding so your dog can relax while being toted around. The backpack offers your pet plenty of room to move (with a space to stick their head out!) while also remaining escape-proof, thanks to the leash tether that attaches to your dog's collar. While it's ideal for traveling, you can also carry your dog in it when they get tired of walking—and so many reviewers even say that it's great for cats, too! (Want a backpack for your gym stuff instead? Peep these top-rated workout backpacks.)

Frenchie Bulldog Cooling Bandana

best dog accessories cooling bandana
Credit: FRENCHIE BULLDOG

Your pup doesn't have to be a Frenchie to rock this edgy bandana. In addition to making a killer fashion statement, this one-size-fits-most bandana is designed to keep your dog cool on the hottest summer days. Simply soak the lightweight mesh fabric in cold water, wring out the excess, and tie it around your furry friend's neck for heat relief that lasts as long as it's wet. If your jet-black dog starts getting toasty the second you walk outside, tie two wet bandanas around its neck, with one hanging over its chest and the other draped across its back. And to really take the cooling effects up a notch, soak the bandanas in a bowl or container of water inside the fridge and wring them out before you head out the door. (P.S. when your pup is dealing with anxiety, slip them into this ultra-calming jacket.)

Ruffwear Float Coat

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Credit: RUFFWEAR

Whether your pup loves to join you for surfing, paddle boarding, swimming in the pool, or in the kayak or boat, this is the ultimate canine life jacket. It's designed for dogs of all sizes, and has thoughtful details such as a sturdy handle on the back — so you can easily lift your pooch out of the water — a leash clip-in point under the handle, and reflective trim to increase visibility if you're adventuring after dusk. Choose from three summer-ready colors and from sizes XX-Small to X-Large.

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