One of the best parts about owning a dog is the many adventures you can go on together.
It’s not as simple as just getting your shoes on and going however, and you’re going to need a few special items to cover all bases.
In order to keep you prepared for every situation, we’ve listed our essential items that every dog walker needs.
Bag / backpack
This list contains many items, and with the dog taking up your hands you’re going to need some way of carrying and storing them.
Bags or backpacks are essential for any dog walkers, allowing you to bring along any items needed whilst freeing up valuable hand space.
We recommend investing in a bag that will hold a decent amount of things without being too big or bulky, with straps that aren’t likely to dig in or cause discomfort during longer walks.
Portable water bowl
If you’re planning a walk that is going to be longer than 15-20 minutes, you’ll need to bring along a portable water bowl for your dog.
Whether it’s a sunny skies or torrential rain, providing a drink will keep your dog hydrated and ready to continue the adventure. Your dog will really appreciate the pit stop.
Fold-out water bowls can be especially useful as they are easy to carry and keep in your bag, simply folding away once done with.
If you’ve got room in your bag, we always recommend bringing a bottle of water for yourself as well, as keeping yourself hydrated is just as important.
When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go – and one of the duties of being a good dog owner is picking up after your dog.
It doesn’t matter if it’s right in the middle of the pavement or far off into the woods, you need to be ready to bag up whatever mess your four legged friend has left behind.
Make sure to bring a healthy supply of poop bags on every walk, and always check to see how close to the end of the roll you are.
Getting dogs to do their business while on a walk instead of at home is always a plus as well.
Anything can happen on a walk, and one of the worst case scenarios is when a lead gives way and breaks.
As leads are made up of multiple parts, it only takes one thing to become faulty and the integrity of the lead is gone. Sometimes dogs can treat it as a chew toy behind our backs, and it can only take a big lunge when they’re excited for the lead to give way.
This is why we always recommend bringing a spare just in case. You might have a well behaved dog that is perfect when off lead, but you can never be too safe on a walk.
Long lines can be fantastic for big open stretches where you can let your dog off whilst still having a way of getting them back easily. This is especially useful if your dog hasn’t quite mastered recall yet.
Treats + treat pouch
Treats can be great on walks for rewarding good behaviour, and for distracting dogs against potential triggers as well.
Unless you want your pockets to start smelling like dog food, treat pouches are essential for outdoor adventures.
High value treats such as cheese can work really well for practising recall. (This will depend on your dog’s dietary needs – please use with caution).
Treats don’t always have to be high value though, and bringing along some of your dog’s kibble to reward and feed them also works well. (If you’re running low on Field Dog & Game, don’t forget to pick up a bag!).
We all know how mucky dogs can get. Dogs love to play, and will actively seek out muddy puddles to jump and roll around in, turning their lovely coats into a shade of brown.
Wipes can be your best friend on a walk, allowing you to clean up your pup on the go instead of letting them trail it throughout the house. They can also prove essential if your dog suffers an upset stomach during their walk, especially for breeds with big, fluffy coats.
If you’re travelling by car, it’s always good to pack a towel or two for those times when they are caked from head to toe in mud. These also prove useful when taking trips to the beach, and your car seats will thank us later.
Coats & jumpers
It may come as a surprise, but it is recommended that many dog breeds actually wear a coat when out walking, mostly during the colder months of the year.
These breeds include Greyhounds, Whippets, Yorkshire Terriers, and Chihuahuas, and mostly concern short-coated dogs and dogs with thin body frames.
If you own one of these breeds, picking up a quality coat or dog jumper will go a long way in protecting your dog and making their walks a lot more enjoyable.
Appropriate walking gear
The last one doesn’t really concern your dog, but focuses on what you are wearing.
The most important thing is getting some versatile walking footwear. Walks can vary from nipping around the street to hiking up mountains, and you need a pair of boots that will last and support your feet.
Your dog won’t care if you’ve got blisters, they still need walking – so investing in a good pair of boots will be worth it in the long run.
In similar fashion, quality walking gear is also recommended. Waterproof jackets for the inevitable rainy walks, hats and suncreams for those times when the sun decides to show itself, and breathable clothes for the longer walks.
When out walking your dog, you can be never be too prepared, and making sure you’ve packed these essential items will ensure that your dog gets the most of our their outdoor time.
Have we missed anything? Do you have any essential items that you can’t leave the house without? Be sure to let us know by tweeting us @squiresdogfood.