Over the last decade of working with clients and providing guidance on how to improve walks when out and about with their dogs, I have always stressed the importance of preparedness. Although that may sound self-evident, I think it's worth noting that many still don't prepare at the level they should or can. The more prepared you are, the better walk you will have. As a matter of fact, that goes for anything in life, in my opinion. Be prepared! Setting yourself and your dog up for success is in your control. Life is simply a bit easier (sometimes a lot easier) when you are prepared!
Here are my must-haves for every walk I go on with my dogs:
Long line/leash - provides more room for your dog to sniff and explore
High value food rewards (broken into small, easily-consumable pieces). I switch up what I bring out with me, but some staples I currently keep stocked are Vital Essentials freeze dried treats, Honest Kitchen Parmesan Pecks, and Jinx Chicken Jerky Bites
Dog deterrent spray (also good for other animals or other emergencies). I have the Halt one and this citronella deterrent spray. You can have this clipped to your belt, pants, or treat pouch in case of an off leash dog or other emergency situation
Dog collar with updated IDs. Make sure your dog has identification on them. You never know
Dog poop bags
A catch-all hand towel (for dog drool, or to wipe off hands) - I hang this off my treat pouch waistband. This is a great use for the old rags you don't use anymore
Hand sanitizer - I get ones that I can clip on to my treat pouch so it stays on there and I don't have to remember to bring one with me
Lip balm (can't go anywhere without it). My all-star favorite is Aquaphor. I get the one with SPF 30 for outdoor time. I also lather myself in sunscreen before I go outside. Welcome to my anti-sun era 😂
Extras that I keep in the car for park walks and other outdoor activities:
Dog wipes (we use the Earth Rated ones)
Extra treats, just in case
A couple chews - these can be dental treats, bully sticks, etc.
A collapsible water bowl - saves space and can live in your car for when you need it
Cold water - for yourself and to pour in bowl for dogs. I'd like to introduce you to my current emotional support water bottle. This makes it easy for me to take a drink and still pour some into my dogs' water bowl without cross-contamination
Towel for dogs (in case of muddy paws, rain, etc.)
What are some must-haves you keep handy when you're heading out with your pups? I want to know!
I hope this helps you when prepping for your next walk or outing with your dog. Thanks for reading.