Just a list of gear that we’ve loved over the years!
- Ruffwear Approach Pack –link
Whiskey is between a size medium and small so we went with the Medium (she most likely will gain not lose weight over time). The straps are great and adjust in so many ways and the pack fits really well. It’s nice that she can help me carry her own food on overnighters and the pack is really well built. They don’t make the blue color anymore, ours is so old! We are also looking at trying a fancier model and will report back!
- Kong K9 water bottle –link
The easiest way we found to carry water on a long hike. The lid doubles as a bowl and I’ve always much preferred stainless steel over plastic to carry water. A super simple solution to bringing an extra bowl. If you’re weird like me, you can share the water with your dog too!
One of our favorite jackets! Whiskey has an amazing nose that we have trained even further with sniff training but unfortunately that means she finds poop or smelly things to roll in much more than the regular dog. That means her jackets must stand countless washes while also fitting perfectly and looking great for photos. The fleece is extra thick in the brand and the shape is just wonderful. The Trail Blazer is warm and water proof and the Great White North has been through the deepest snow and trails where Whiskey is practically swimming. The price is high, but it’s worth it!
This breed-specific brand is great for those long and skinny dogs where nothing “regular” fits! The winter jacket is similar to the chillydogs brand (if you are in Canada, order the chillydogs, if you’re in the US order Voyagers for cheaper shipping) but the rainjacket is unique and super cute!
This Finnish line is sort of like the “North Face” of dog clothing. They use reflective materials to trap in bodyheat in their Extreme Warmer and their leash is our favorite for hiking with woven reflectivity. Because their jackets are on the larger side, we can layer in a fleece if we are winter camping and everything has gone through the wash numerous times and have come out great. However, they don’t make breed specific clothes so if your V is extra lean or long I would go with one of the other brands. If you have a long-haired dog, I would check out the rest of their line, there’s so many amazing options!
The best dog beds we have tried. When we got a new puppy, we were told to buy a cheap bed until she grew older but I couldn’t help it. Our doughnut bed has been washed countless times, been peed on, dug in, vomited in, ever since she was a puppy and most of it looks brand new. We have gone through several other cheaper dog beds but she’s made it abundantly clear this one is the best one. We’ve since gotten another for travel and love it just the same! Again, the beds are really expensive, but I found it’s totally worth it.
Whiskey loves cuddling in this during the winter. It’s not as useful for warm climates but it’s a must-have for short haired dogs and doesn’t last as long as the Bowser beds but Whiskey loves hers. She uses a Large size, if you have 2 Vs then get an XL! The link goes to the company site but we buy on Amazon as shipping is free for Prime. The plastic tube that keeps the shape has problems staying in place and the stuffing isn’t’ as plump but it still the favorite spot on a cold day. Whiskey normally spends a good 6 months “digging” inside this bed to defluff it though so it’s been “worked in” before she’s happy. We are currently in the “breaking in” stage on a new one.
We’ve had many collars and these are the ones we keep going back to. I hate tags jingling for a long hike (imagine how much they must annoy the dogs with their hearing!) and any cloth/strap/rope collar has not stood the test of rolling in bbq grease and poop. This one has the extra loop at the back for another place to connect a leash and the reflector is great in the rain and the short winter days. We did try a really expensive rope collar for a bit but after standing at the sink for ages scrubbing poop off, we decided to keep this one on for any long trips. The fancy collars are wonderful but if we are going on a long backcountry trip, we’re most likely going to bring one of these.
We love this Shampoo! It works triple duty as it repels fleas and it also smells amazing. We only ever need to give Whiskey a shower when she rolls in something extra foul so its’ great that it’s very gentle and she comes out smelling wonderful for a couple days. Since Whiskey is self-cleaning, we are still working on our first bottle.
Whiskey’s chew treats. Antlers are always avaliable and she still has the one from when she was a puppy. Since our little girl isn’t much of a chewer compared to other dogs, she takes a very long time to wear these down and we can afford to buy Himalayan Chews. The extra large pieces will last her a month, whereas it can last other Vizslas an hour or so. Bullysticks are only used when we absolutely need her to leave us alone for 20-30mins and we only let her work through a couple inches each time. We buy Bullysticks in packs of 25 or 50 extra extra large ones.
A really great alternative to a chuck-it ball. It’s large so you won’t lose it as easy and it floats. The string lets you throw it extra far and the texture is softer yet durable. I tend to bring several toys to the dog park in case one of her toys gets “stolen”, I can switch to a different shape while someone tracks down the “culprit”.
A staple! I don’t use tennis balls as the material can wear down a dog’s teeth. I don’t like to play fetch too much as the back and forth isnt’ good for a dog’s joints over time but Whiskey will become obsessed with another dog’s ball so I do bring them sometimes. In the winter when it’s dark and rainy, I resort to playing fetch as the only way to get her to run instead of shivering miserably and hating me. We use a glow in the dark ball that I “charge up” at an outdoor light (hold it right next to the light for 30 seconds) and it lasts about 20 mins.
This thing is magical. There’s something about the way it bounces, or the texture but this is Whiskey’s ultimate prize. The squeaky and the bottom section is long gone but it’s still amazing. It’s the first thing she’s ever consistently fetched with intense focus and it only comes out on special occasions or as a reward for a good search-and-find. All the dogs want it at the park. It comes in small or large (we need large).