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A Dog Walker's 6 dog walking essentials

Rosie retriever pictured above.

Rosie and Baloo wading through puddles together.

22/11/2020

As a dog walker, I am hit with all kinds of weather, rain, cold, windy, sunny and hot and thankfully rarely snow (even though it’s very pretty).

Common terms I hear, "I envy you being out in such gorgeous sunny weather" in the spring and summer months. "I don't envy you in this weather" in the autumn and winter months.

So, what helps us dog walkers be prepared to be out in most weathers? Well apart from the obvious (good reliable van, insurance etc) I’m going to share my essentials for when I walk the dogs.  


1) Winter coat and waterproofs trousers

I don’t know about you, but if I get caught in a shower or heavy down pour, I get cold? And when I’m cold and wet i can’t think straight. A good waterproof coat and trousers help you stay dry. I like ones which have plenty of pockets for storage of poo bags, dog treats and mobile phone. For me the more pockets the better. I’ve recently discovered having a couple of coats with me handy. If I get caught in the rain, I can take off one coat and put on another for driving around in, so I am not sat in a wet cold coat. The trousers also help to keep the muddy paw prints off my walking trousers.  


2) Good sturdy walking shoes or boots and wellies

When you’re on your feet all day, a good supportive boot for hiking in the woods, gives your ankles and feet support, for all terrain. Breathable boots or walking shoes can help keep your feet from sweating to much in summer making them sore. Water resistant shoes, for me are great for when I’m in and out of the van picking up dogs in winter and it’s raining. My favourite shoes so far are speed cross. Wellies are essential for muddy and flooded woods, if you can’t avoid wading through puddles. My favourite brand is Agile, they are fleece lined for added comfort and warmth.  


3) Thermals, walking trousers and shorts

Being warm means being comfortable too, which means feeling more productive and can focus on keeping the dogs happy for their walk. Thermal tops and leggings are great for this and can be added underneath walking trousers. Walking trousers and shorts are a great addition to my walking essentials. The trousers can be added over the top of thermal leggings, are quick to dry and appear to be dog hair resistant. I like trousers and shorts with pockets, to carry things like mobile phone and keys, when I’m not wearing a coat.


4) Dog treats or ball in bum bag/walking belt and spare dog lead.

Every dog loves a treat of some kind, (even a fussy one) so I always carry a treat pouch, so I don’t get crumbs in my clothes pockets and its easy access for training. This can be hung from my walking belt via its handy clip.

The walking belt is also a great way to attach dogs to that need to be kept on a lead, leaving your hands free for clipping other dogs back on their leads when need be. If a walking belt isn’t your cup of tea and you only have one dog, a bum bag can also be just as handy, to store poo bags and treats in.

Whether I have a minimum of 2 dogs or 6 dogs on walk, I also carry a spare lead with me, just in case a lead accidently breaks. I do this if I'm also only walking my own dog.  


5) Mud daddy or portable shower, bottle of water and towels

Dogs will get muddy from time to time, especially in winter, whether they mean to or not. Muddy puddles seem to be a firm favourite with some of the dogs, whether its running through them or laying in them (Rosie the golden retriever *cough, cough*).

Here at Coastal Canine Pet Services, I do my best to clean the dogs up as much as I can, so in the van, I have something called a Mud Daddy and a porta shower. This works by manually pumping the handle to build enough pressure to clean some of the mud from dirty tummies and paws, and not to mention the odd fox poo roller. My favourite is the Mud Daddy because it has a brush for a shower head, which means no touching mud (or fox poo) with hands. These work best for the shorter haired and smaller dogs due to the pressure being lower than a standard hose. Longer haired and larger dogs will benefit more from using a proper hose at their home if available.


Towels are very useful to dry the dogs off with in wet and cold months, but also on hotter days, where you can soak the towels for hot dogs to lay on in the summer in the van.


Bottles of water are very useful, not just for cleaning but also filling up the water bottles on warm summer days. 


6) Mobile phone

Where would we be without a mobile phone these days? Having one on my dog walks is essential, for emergencies.

I also use this to take photos and videos of our dog walks, and upload to them to social media.


So, I've told you about my dog walking essentials. What about you? Are there any essentials that you carry on your dog walks?  


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