It’s exciting to sometimes be spontaneous and just have the freedom to get up and go, but when you are taking your dog out for a walk, or perhaps on a day trip, you need to be a little bit more prepared. If you are not sure what you need to take with you when you go on a dog walk, take a look at this list of essentials to help you prepare.
- When you are outside with your dog you need a well fitting collar with an identity tag detailing your name and address (including postcode.) This. is a legal requirement. Your telephone number is advisable too – although this is not required by law, in the unfortunate event of you being separated from your dog, it will save the unnecessary hassle and stress of waiting for someone to scan their microchip to find the legal owner. Tip: If you are on holiday it’s also a good idea to have a temporary tag with the address of where you are staying. Extra tip: If you think you may be out while it is dusk or dark it would be advisable to pop a light up collar on to your dog. These are fantastic, you can get them with static lights or flashing lights and if your dog is out of sight, having one of these is a brilliant idea. On that note, sometimes people attach bells to their dog’s collar so they can hear them if they are prone to disappearing whilst out on a walk.
- A harness, this is a personal preference as I know some dog owners prefer to attach the lead straight to the collar, but this can cause neck injuries, especially if your dog pulls. My personal opinion is that a harness is more comfortable for your dog. I particularly like the harnesses we have as the lead attaches at the front. This makes it easier to stop your dog pulling and the dog doesn’t use his chest muscles to pull even harder.
- A lead. There are many places where it is compulsory to have your dog on a lead and obviously it is safer to walk your dog on a lead if you are anywhere close to a road. Tip: Keep a spare lead in your bag, just in case your regular lead breaks while you are out walking.
- Dog poo bags are an absolute necessity. I have found some earth friendly ones that Makes me feel better about using them.
- Anti bacterial gel, or hand sanitiser, in these strange times (I hate that phrase, don’t you?) I think most of us carry round a small bottle of hand sanitiser anyway but it’s important especially if you have had to ‘pick up’ and if you have touched any surfaces that other people also may have touched, for example the lid of a dog waste bin. Tip: I use part of the bag to lift the lid on one of these bins, so I don’t need to touch the dog bin itself.
- Water – for yourself and for your dog. We have a little collapsible bowl that we can pour water into and have recently purchased a tailor made dog water bottle which is brilliant as the lid is the perfect shape for your dog to drink out of. You can find some that are more of a water dispenser for your dog and the other alternative is a collapsible bowl but you need to remember to take a bottle of water with you too. There are loads to choose from and such a great idea.
- Treats – for your dog (and you if you like!) Treats are handy to have as a distraction or perhaps if your dog is having such a jolly old time that they are reluctant to come back when called.
- Towels – particularly if you are going to the beach for the day, or even somewhere with a lake that your pooch may take a dive into. We have a special dog blanket type cover that goes in the back of the car, so if they are still a bit damp it helps them to dry off – as well as keeping the car seats dry and clean.
- If you are going out in your car and put your dogs on the back seat, please make sure that they are attached to the seat belt buckle with a harness attachment.
- A mobile phone – you will need this for so many reasons. Essentially the most important point is that should you need to contact anybody you will be able to, it will also have (thousands) of photos of your dog should you get separated, your vet number will be in there and also if you are away from home and have an issue, there’s always Google to find your nearest whatever you are looking for! You may also want to check directions to or from wherever you are going. Oh and of course your phone will have a camera so that you can take even more photos of your faithful friend!
It’s a great idea to have a bag packed ready with all of these essentials, that’s one thing I haven’t got yet, a dedicated dog walking bag, can you recommend one for me please?