Most dogs love to take a walk. They love sniffing the richness of smells outdoors, marking territory as theirs and just being with their human companion. A hike in the woods, a park or anything a bit more extended has even more joys and is a good, healthy regimen for dogs and people.
For longer hikes of an hour or more, it is best to have some water along. Hydrating is very important, especially on longer walks in sunny weather. Dogs need hydrating as much as humans, so a great gift you can give to a dog owner is a water cup for hiking with a dog.
I like a cup that has a carabiner on it so that it can be easily clipped on a pack strap or on a belt for easy access. The easier it is to access, the more frequent a person is prone to offer water to their dog.
A good choice is the Ruff collapsible cup with carabiner
Another out-of-the-ordinary choice for a dog owner is a hiking jacket or vest. The primary purpose of its reflective and bright orange color is to enhance visibility, especially if the dog is walked off-leash. It also helps during dawn and dusk hours should the dog be near a street: car headlights will reflect off the vest for increased safety.
There is another fun benefit: the dog will soon associate putting on the vest with going on a walk or hike. Most dogs will react like the vest is a uniform that conveys a sense of purpose which most dogs love to take on. So they get excited when they don the jacket and can be trained for better hiking/walking behavior.
Here I am on a hike with two dogs off-leash. They have their orange vests on and I have a red water cup for them hanging from a carabiner on my pack strap. I hike with a water bladder in my pack. You can see the blue hose over my shoulder. I squeeze the tip and water flows easily into the cup for a quick drink for both dogs.
The best gift of all is a copy of The Dog Who Took Me Up a Mountain
Anyone who owns a dog or who just loves animals will love this book. In addition to entertaining and adventurous stories, the book has an underlying theme anyone can relate to. It draws from the courage, purposefulness, and strength of an Australian terrier called Emme and how she led her human owner up some of the highest mountains in the country and more importantly, into a much-needed new passion in life.
That message plays at any age, but especially for the over-50 crowd. The book is readily available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and most independent book stores.