We all know how important our dog’s daily walks are for their physical and mental health. Not only does a walk provide your pup with an opportunity to do their business, but it also keeps them mentally stimulated, physically occupied and helps them to feel safe and secure in their neighbourhood.
But, some breeds need more physical activity than others, with energetic breeds like Huskies, Retrievers and Collies needing upwards of 2 hours of exercise a day to remain happy and healthy. If your pup enjoys a long walk as part of their daily routine, here are a few essentials that you should bring along.
No matter the breed of the dog, a supportive harness is always the safest way of attaching their leash. Standard collars can cause serious damage to your dog’s delicate neck bones, so kitting them out with a back-clip harness will help equally distribute the force of their pulling. There are a variety of recommended harnesses for puppies and dogs which will provide greater control for you whilst still ensuring comfort for your canine companion.
Harnesses are especially useful during long walks. They often include reflective materials to provide great visibility at night and can even come with attachments to carry essential gear like water bowls and poo bags!
All responsible dog owners clean up after their pup. One of the main reasons you’re taking your dog out for a walk is to let them do their business, so you should always be prepared to clean up after them when nature calls.
If you’re out on a long walk, you might need to carry your used poo bags with you for a while, so it’s a good idea to buy thickly lined bags and make sure that you have a sealed pocket to keep them in until you can find an appropriate bin.
Long walks provide an excellent opportunity to play with your pup, so making sure that you have a few toys on hand is always a good idea. Games like fetch provide great exercise for your dog and strengthen the bond that the two of you share.
If you’re still training your dog, be that for fun or obedience, you’ll need to remember to bring along some treats which you can dish out as a reward for good behaviour. You should also bring some food with a bit of protein on long walks, as your pup may need a boost of energy as they enjoy their needed exercise.
Water and Collapsible Bowl
One of the most important considerations for your dog’s health is to make sure that they always have access to clean water. Dogs can’t regulate their temperature like humans do, so they’re naturally susceptible to heatstroke and dehydration, especially brachycephalic breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs.
This is especially important during long walks and the warmer days of the year, so before you leave the house, you should always ensure that you have a suitable bowl and a full water bottle.
Different breeds have different needs when it comes to appropriate clothing, though most dogs will benefit from at least a waterproof jacket during wet and windy walks. Dogs with thick, long fur will need thinner jackets with fewer straps to prevent overheating and avoid any painful matting in their fur.
Short-haired breeds will benefit from a cosy winter jacket during the colder days of the year, and most pups will need to wear doggy boots to protect their delicate pads from ice and grit during freezing temperatures.
Some Other Handy Things to Take Along on a Long Walk
Alongside our top 5 essentials when taking your pup out for a long walk, a few extra bits and bobs come in very handy whilst you’re exploring the great outdoors.
This is especially useful when exploring the countryside, where often excitable pups can bolt off when distracted; kitting your dog out with a GPS tracker can help to make sure that your pup will never be out of sight for long.
While most dogs are chipped as puppies, providing your dog with a visible ID tag will help get them home much quicker if they get lost during a long walk.
First aid kit
When out in the countryside, you may need to treat any bumps or scrapes before getting your dog to a vet.
A good first aid kit will include:
- Sterile Gauze
- Blunt-Ended Scissors
- Surgical Sticky Tape
- Antiseptic Spray
Alongside your dog’s ID tag, it can be good to include local vet and cab numbers; this can be invaluable in case of an emergency, especially if you are in an unfamiliar area far from home or need transport for you and your pet urgently.
A drying towel
We all know that if our dogs find a lake, they’re most likely going to go for a dip! Avoid any cold pups or smelly car rides by being prepared with a drying towel.
Long walks with our pups are some of the most exciting times for dogs and owners. Alongside providing your furry friend with the exercise and stimulation that they need, these trips help to strengthen the unique bond that we share with our pets.
By ensuring that we’re equipped with everything our pups may need and providing them with suitable clothing to keep them protected from the elements, we can make sure that our dogs are getting the most out of their favourite time of the day!