Today I left the house to take our sweet golden retriever for a walk without one very important item... the poop bag.
Needless to say, instead of enjoying the nice weather and the chance to stretch my legs and get some fresh air, I worried the entire walk that my dog would poop and then I would have to return to the scene with a bag to pick up her waste.
So, I began to think about what items you should be sure not to leave the house without when you are setting out on a walk with your dog.
Leash you love
Not all leashes are created equal. We recently bought the Ruffwear Front Range Leash and we absolutely love it. The padded handle is comfortable to hold, and there is an extra loop near the clip that allows the dog walker to hold the leash close to the collar. This is my secret weapon when it comes to keeping my dog by my side, and not allowing her to stray too far away from me.
I make sure to have a poop bag (or two) with me at all times in case my dog does stray into a neighbor’s yard and does her business there. The scented ones are best, since they manage to mask the odor for the rest of the walk. We like Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags and keep them on a shelf in our garage so we can grab a couple on the way out the door. The lavender scented bags definitely do their job!
This may apply more to longer walks, but it is a good idea to have water for yourself and for your dog on hot days and any time you are going for a walk that is longer than 30 minutes. The Kong H2O Water Bottle is great for taking water along. The stainless steel bottle would fit easily into a small backpack’s side pocket and the lid of the bottle doubles as a bowl for your dog.
I don’t know about you, but treats are the single best motivator to get my dog to come back to me if she wanders away. Although I trust my leash, I have been known to accidentally let go when bending to tie my shoe or being distracted by chatting with a neighbor. If my dog darts away, I know a treat will lure her back to me.
Treats can also be helpful if my dog needs to improve her leash training. Sometimes a refresher on leash manners is needed and treats are the best way to motivate my dog to remmeber her manners!
Reflective gear or a flashlight
Although these items are more important in the early morning or later at night, it never hurts to be prepared. We love the Ruffwear collar that coordinates with our dog’s leash because of the reflective band that is built into the fabric. We also keep these Clip-On Dog Collar LED Lights handy for late night walks, (and for camping trips). A small flashlight is a good idea to have handy in case you end up walking longer than you planned and it begins to get dark. A flashlight will not only guide your way, but will also keep you safe on the road.
So, are you ready to tie your tennis shoes and get out there for a walk with your pooch? By being prepared and following proper dog walking etiquette, you can relax and enjoy time with your dog...instead of being plagued by impending poop pick-ups!