7 New Outdoor Products for Your Dog

The long days of summer seem made for romping outside with your dog. But aside from heartworm pills and their own water bottle, your pet may not be prepared for lengthy outdoor adventures -- especially if your pooch is the pampered, indoor type who spends most of the year lolling on the sofa "helping" you watch marathons of The Real World. We've collected some equipment that will ease their adjustment. Soon you'll be hiking through parks, jogging through the city, and taking longer road trips in the car, and even on the bike.
 Garmin Astro Dog Tracking System

Garmin Astro Dog Tracking System

When your dog is off-leash -- only in permitted areas, of course -- it should always be within your line of sight and under voice control. But when backpacking or camping in the wilderness, this isn't always possible. Garmin's Astro dog-tracking system ($600) was developed for hunters and can keep track of up to ten dogs over a nine-mile radius.
My dog didn't mind the collar and long steel antenna, and it remained operational as she plowed through bushes and swam in the river. The handheld unit suffers from the usual Garmin disabilities -- the display was a pixelated throwback to 1997. And in a time where you can look up Everest Base Camp on Google Street View, purchasing Garmin's proprietary maps seems like an outrageous expense. At one point the base map placed me 50 yards into the Columbia River (I was not in the river). But the handheld updated my dog's position every five seconds through dense brush and tree cover, and tracked her path with remarkable precision. The collar also notified me if she was barking, sitting, or running back and forth behind a bush trying to figure out where I was. If you travel extensively in the backcountry, the Astro system is indispensable. Still, I couldn't help but wonder wondering when a more affordable option might be available.

By Adrienne So
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