Alright, you’ve got your dog all ready to go for a nice long walk. But to ensure you have the best experience, it is important to know what to take with on a dog walk.
In my last post I discussed differences between a harness and collar as your dog’s walking equipment and choosing between one or the other is the first step in taking your dog for a walk. Once you’ve got the walking equipment sorted out, it’s time to discuss some other items that are important to take with you for your walk.
Bags, bags, bags
In most places it is law to pick up your dog’s droppings. To do this, it is important to remember to bring clean-up bags with you. There are a number of different clean-up bag options available and the advantage of using an actual clean-up bag over a normal plastic bag is that they’re conveniently small in size and often wrapped in tight rolls for ease of use.
There are also clean-up bag holders available, which make taking clean-up bags with you a lot easier. Clean-up bag holders prevent you from having to carry the bags in your hand or pockets. I use a cute bone-shaped clean-up bag holder. If I’m feeling in need of more color, I sometimes buy patterned clean-up bags, such as ones with paw prints on them.
Degradable clean-up bags are a great option for environmentally aware dog walkers and I highly recommend the use of these.
Treats as rewards
If you’re in the training phase with your dog, remember to take treats with you to capture your dog’s attention. When out and about, the usual treats you use at home might not work as there are so many more distractions in the outside world. Something extra yummy and smelly will work better in capturing your dog’s attention.
I find chicken sausages or boiled chicken breast work quite well for my puppy. However, if my puppy sees or smells something very interesting, he won’t be interested in any treats at all. I find the best way to get his attention is to put a treat in front of his nose and then lift the treat to my eye level to make eye contact. Once I have eye contact with him, I usually have his attention.
If you’re taking treats with you on your walk, a treat pouch (pictured) will make your life a lot easier. These can be found at a very cheap price so no need to spend a lot of money. The most important aspect of your treat pouch is that the strap that goes around your waist is easily adjustable. If your pouch has two pockets, you can use one pocket for treats and the other pocket to store clean-up bags.
Treat your dog for correct behavior, such as walking loosely on lead and next to your side.
Quench the thirst
If you’re doing a long walk on a warm day, it is important to take care of your dogs drinking needs (as of your own!). There are several convenient doggie drink bottle options available that come with a bottle and a drinking bowl.
In some doggie drink bottles you pour the contents of the bottle to an attached drinking container, from which your dog can have a drink. I, however, personally like to use an option where there is a drinking bowl attached on the top of the bottle (pictured) and you can simply squeeze the bottle to fill up the bowl. This bottle is convenient also because it comes with straps that you can use to attach the bottle to yourself
if you don’t have a special drinking bottle for your dog, it is completely fine. You can simply bring water in a normal drink bottle and bring a small bowl or container with you for your dog to drink from.
Fun and games
If you’re planning to play some games, such as fetch with your dog, remember to take with you a toy or toys that you can throw, such as a ball or a Frisbee. Depending on the regulations in your area, you might have to go to a dog park or a designated area where your dog is allowed to run freely.
A great way to throw a ball is to use a ball thrower, which is an extra handle where you can attach the ball for extra power when throwing.
If your dog is not into balls, you might consider designating another toy for outside use. It’ll be an extra treat for your dog when he or she gets play with it on your walk.
Whether the weather is hot or cold
I live in a warm climate and I’m aware there are different needs for both the dog and the owner depending on the climate. Walking in a cold climate will require jackets for both you and your dog (depending on the breed of course) whereas in a warm/hot climate it is essential to stay in the shade and drink plenty of water.
There is a lot to discuss relating to the weather topic, hence this will be the topic of another post in the future.
In the meantime, I wish you many happy barks & walks,