With the weather getting better by the day, the number of dogs at the dog park, beaches and strolling on long countryside walks is fast increasing! Some dogs may be getting their leisurely walk around the neighbourhood switched for a longer adventure day out with their owners.
Here are 5 items that are absolute essentials to take on longer dog walks, and what's taken for JPDF dogs every day:
1. Travel Water Bottle
This is especially important now that the weather is getting a lot warmer. I use this one from Pets at Home which is a water bottle and bowl all-in-1, but there are plenty of options available; there's even a new electronic dispenser water bottle. Your dog should be drinking 60ml of water per kg of their body weight a day. Any excessive amount, whether that be more or less, is a sign you should take a trip to the vet. Don't forget your dog can become dehydrated on walks in the colder winter months as well, when the humidity of the air is a lot lower.
2. Tasty Treats
Arguably the most important in a dog's mind! Treats are great for training purposes including recall, basic obedience commands and as positive reinforcement when your dog is around stimuli that perhaps makes it anxious such as loud traffic. Additionally, they're also great to boost energy levels, as dogs can become hungry as well as thirsty on much longer walks. The hands-down favourites are Scrumbles Calming Dog Treats (Turkey), Vet's Kitchen Active+ Salmon Treats and Lily's Kitchen Organic Cheese and Apple Treats (for the veggies).
3. Toys R' Dogs
Joint place as most important for dogs is toys! A toy of any kind is great mental stimulation and physical exercise for your dog. When your dog gets enough exercise and play outdoors, you'll find any sort of energy-releasing unwanted behaviours, such as destructiveness or excessive barking, will improve much faster. A toy with a squeak also works surprisingly well to get your dog's attention if you find they ignore you when they're off-leash. Be sure not to bring a toy if your dog shows any signs of possessiveness/aggressiveness over toys, as there may be some dogs at the park who will try steal it or play with them, and the last thing you want is to break up a dog fight.
4. First Aid Kit
Hopefully you'll never have to use this one but it's always good to have, especially on a long walk where you may be further from home, and/or your vet. First aid kits also include tick pickers, which adore your dogs, especially if you're taking a woodland walk. Do a check for ticks after walking in the woods or grassy area to avoid any complications. You can find a compact kit from Pets at Home here.
5. Spare Leash
It's always good to carry a spare leash just in case something were to happen. Slip lead's are really beneficial as you don't need a collar to use them, and can just put them directly around your dog. They're especially useful if you're having difficulty attaching your dog's normal lead back on to their collar when they fancy staying at the park.
All 5 items are super easy to fit into a rucksack or tote bag, and will ensure you're ready for a fun and engaging walk with your dog - they'll love you for it.