Going out on regular dog walks is one of the best ways to keep your pup healthy, happy, and bonded to you. But sometimes, it can feel like more of a chore than a joy—especially through snow, rain, and overly hot weather or super cold weather. Bad weather can make what should be an easy walk into something a bit more challenging, and on top of that, what if your dog doesn’t want to walk either? This is when the right gear can make all the difference.
Let’s start with the basics: harnesses, collars, and leashes. These are obviously essential for a successful dog walk but there are so many to choose from! The variety can be overwhelming, but once you figure out what you and your dog need you can narrow down the field. For example, many dog parents dream of an easy to put on harness and a no pull walk, where their dog isn’t constantly yanking on their arm. If you struggle with this too, try training with a no-pull harness like the Wonder Walker from Dolan’s Dog Doodads and an accordion leash from brands like EzyDog or Zee.Dog.
If your dog is already pretty relaxed on walks, consider a hands free leash. This may have you totally rethinking how to walk your dog, since you wear these leashes around your waist or over your shoulder. They’re great for jogging and running too! Adventurous dogs and their people will also love the rugged walking gear from Wilderdog and Canada Pooch. Along with 2 Hounds and Blue-9, these brands offer durable harnesses (big dog harnesses too) and leashes great for hikes to everyday walks—even with big dog walk buddies!
For puppies and small dog walk companions, consider the comfortable and soft harnesses from Puppia or the stylish yet functional collars and harnesses from Sleepypod. If style is on your mind, you’ll love Mimi Green! This brand offers customizable collars in tons of colors.
But let’s get back to that bad weather problem. These days, it’s common to see dog parents outfitting their pups in dog jackets or rain coats and even training their dogs to wear dog boots. It may seem silly, but protecting your dog from the elements and reducing the dirt and mud that makes its way into your home makes it all worth it. And in the winter when the sun goes down a bit earlier, reflective gear and collar lights are a great way to improve your visibility to cars.
Once you’ve got the basics for you, your dog, and the climate you live in, you may want to consider upgrading your daily walks with some accessories. Of course we can’t forget poop bags, but do you have a poop bag holder or dispenser so you’re never caught without a bag? The brand Dooloop even makes a leash accessory that will hold a full poop bag for you so you don’t have to walk around with a bag of poop in your hand. If you want to get high tech, check out the GPS trackers from brands Whistle and Tractive. For longer walks or hikes, bring along travel bowls and cooling hats, jackets, vests, or bandanas that will keep your pup comfortable on hot days. A dog walking bag or fanny pack for you can make getting out the door a whole lot easier too!
After your walk, clean up your dog’s paws with cleaning accessories like dog wipes or a paw plunger. Don’t forget the probiotic nose and paw balm to keep your pup’s skin moisturized and healthy.