Someone recently posted this question in the Prosperous Pet Business Facebook group that I host: “Dog walkers, what is the ONE THING or THINGS that you never leave home without when out walking dogs? (Like these things are the top important items to have with you for ease on your walk for safety reasons, and you wouldn’t even consider leaving home without them?) These items can be something for you or for your dog you are walking with.” Thanks so much to Mara K. for that good question!
Here are some of the responses from our great group members:
Violet L.: My phone (for safety and updates), and good shoes! I walk a lot of large, pulling dogs and I need my footwear to help me in a bind. Also treats. I guess I’m pretty simple really.
Kylee M.: “Halti harnesses ? Every dog I walk MUST have one on. My phone for safety reasons. Poo bags. Treats and I do carry Sprayshield (in case I have an issue with another dog).”
Lori B.: “Poop bags, treats, phone, first aid kit, airhorn. I either carry everything in a backpack or running belt. I also being a collapsible bowl and water bottle in warmer weather.”
Lisa B: “I carry poop bags, phone, treats, a can of pepper spray, a can of Go Dog which is just an air horn that’s crazy loud. I’ve had 2 incidents with loose dogs in the last 4 months so I now walk with both plan A and a plan B. Sunscreen, bug spray, water, umbrella and a towel are always in my car along with extra leashes and harnesses.”
Kathryn A.: “Always something you could throw over dog to distract. Coat or sweatshirt around your waist. Extra leads. Collapsed bowl and copious poop bags. Phone. I carry in a mountain hardware thin backpack. Snacks!”
Brandy E.: “Phone, poop bags, leashes, gulpy water bowl, umbrella, towels, change of shoes/ rain boots, shoe covers (for boots in the winter so I don’t have to take them off), and a first aid kit.”
Sarah R.: “Food for myself, water, gasoline, a good leash and prong collar for big strong dogs, phone, phone charger.”
Josie H.: “Sunscreen!!! I’m a fair-skinned redhead living in Texas! Nuff said.”
Linda S.: “I feel naked without my Squishy Face Studios leash belt. You can hook any leash to it, even multiples if walking more than one dog. I have a little running pocket from Nathan Sports attached for treats. Other stuff like poop bags and keys go in my pockets. I tell clients my belt is a safety feature. It allows me to be hands-free but still in control of the dog when I’m locking doors, picking up poop, or taking photos. They love that!”
Monica F.: “My fanny pack stocked with notepads, poop bags, mace, flashlight, pen and phone! Great shoes is a must too!”
Janie T.: “This is in no particular order. In my car: extra poop bags, several plastic grocery bags, pens and pencils, sunscreen, bug spray, deodorant ?, benedryl (for dogs and people), Motrin (for people only), Band-Aids, lip balm and hand lotion, towels, dog treats, notepad, business cards for me and select network friends, tape, duct tape, WD40, multi purpose tool, extra cat litter scoop, head lamp, flashlight, map, extra water, snacks, napkins, extra leashes, extra collar, phone charger, hat, rain gear, extra cold-weather gear, seasonal change of clothes, extra shoes, sunglasses.
In my walking bag: extra poop bags, pens, keys (of course!), extra slip leash, business cards, flash light, small notebook, treats and pepper spray.”
Denise G.: “A whistle. You never know when you might need it.”
Nancy A.: “A reflective or LED leash (from Amazon) a sweatshirt or long-sleeve tee (you can wear or tie around your waist to break up dog fights) and compressed air or citronella spray.”
Kelly B.: “Oh!!!! Don’t ever leave the house without your business card! I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met out walking dogs and they’ve asked me for a card.”
Kristin Morrison is a pet business coach, pet business speaker and author who has written four pet business books including: 30 Days to Start Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business, Six-Figure Pet Sitting, Prosperous Pet Business, and Six-Figure Pet Business. The paperback versions of her books can found found on Amazon or Barnes and Noble and the eBooks on her website using the links above. Kristin also hosts the podcast Prosperous Pet Business that’s found on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.