17 Aug My Favourite Things
My Favourite Things
Before I go into the items I just want to say that taking these on your dog/pack walk won’t make it go seamlessly.
A dog’s training isn’t a 6-12 week fix. It’s a life style choice. Refreshing what they know will only make future walks, not just more manageable but also more fun! And that’s why we get dogs right?! FUN factor.
These items just make my life a little easier on my pack walks so I can give all my attention to all of my fluffy customers.
As I’ve been a professional dog walker now for a few years I feel this list couldn’t be more accurate. As I have tried and tested so many products etc.
I shall leave links to everything I use on the bottom of each segment.
So, onto the list…
If you were to ask me 10 years ago if I would own a bumbag I would have laughed. Especially as it’s an everyday item for my outfit choice.
There are so many uses for it and I couldn’t care less if I don’t “look cool” in it. That’s not something I have ever managed to do anyway so why start now?!
I’ve owned many bumbags and I now know I have the best one. Do you know how I know that…? Because I’ve bought 3 of them in case anything happens to the original.
Now I shall explain why my bumbag is more superior than yours. My bag has 4 compartments and all are zipped.
1st pouch – This holds our fetch it poo bags.
2nd pouch – Holds our dog treats.
3rd pouch – This holds my phone and also a squeaky dog toy.
4th pouch – Holds my van keys.
- TRINNY – BFF CREAM/SUN CREAM
FACE – I’m fairly pale so I need (HAVE) to protect my skin in all seasons. I can’t use your average sun protection on my face as I have sensitive skin.
I know I’m not your average girly girl. I’m also not trying to claim I’m a beauty influencer but this product is amazing.
It comes in 5 shades and the coloured microspheres adapt to your own skin tone, which creates a natural glow. I also use it under make up to brighten up my skin or lose some redness I may have. I’ve not had to buy a second tube yet as you don’t need to use much for you to see/feel it working.
BODY – Not a surprise product here. Just your average sun cream but I will only use an aerosol bottle. As I’m mostly on my own I don’t have anyone to help me apply it. Please don’t read that sentence and pity me. I love my own and your dogs company.
With an aerosol I can spray it onto my shoulders without being too concerned. Of course if we’re having a heat wave it would be applied perfectly. Although in those circumstances I wouldn’t be walking dogs at all. I feel very strongly about any dog being walked in extreme heat but that can be left for another time and a separate blog perhaps.
- POO BAGS
This is another item I’m always posting. I don’t agree with using plastic bags to pick up dog mess. We have enough of a plastic bag problem without adding dogs into it. I had been researching the best planet friendly bags for quite a while. I believed for 2 years I had been using some but after I checked the brand I discovered there was nothing planet friendly about them.
Thankfully I found Fetch It bags who are 100% compostable. The bags are made from corn-starch and they degrade into natural plant products within weeks. Don’t let that fool you into thinking they aren’t strong.
I can take them on a walk with a St Bernard and not have 1 issue. This is something only dog owners will appreciate. THEY HAVE HANDLES!!! Totally leak proof and split proof too.
I can assure you that once you place an order with Alex and Kiki you’ll forever be a Fetch It poo bag cadet.
- DOG TREATS
Now you may assume as a dog walker I could just buy any dog treats. This is not the case at all. If you have a Labrador you’ll never know the struggles of owning a “fussy eater”.
Where some of my dogs have an “eat now ask later” type of diet I have others that will refuse as it’s not soft or fresh enough.
Don’t get me wrong. I would happily feed all my dogs fresh high quality treats (such as chicken, cheese etc) but I have to buy in bulk and I would have to buy very regularly to ensure they stay fresh.
I found buying treats from your average pet shop tedious. Especially once I became busier and I had to restock on treats. So I set out to find something everyone would eat.
I found a company called “Finer by Nature”. They sell many varieties but I felt their dehydrated sausages would perhaps work best.
They were a hit instantly. Even my dogs who just wouldn’t eat on a walk began having a snack break.
Finer by nature have so many other products and as a professional dog walker I also get a discount. I’ve been using this company for a couple years now and I can’t fault them.
I buy the mixed sausage bites in the 1.75kg box. They also come in the perfect packaging that you can reuse. When I re-order I just buy a refill.
- MY HAT/CAP
If you’ve ever seen me without my cap then there’s only one reason for it… I couldn’t find it. It was also a life saver during lock down so no one could see my out grown roots.
Apart from keeping my hair out of my face it also keeps the sun off my face. Most importantly, when we don’t have the best weather conditions it keeps the rain off my face. As you can imagine I don’t have any spare hands for an umbrella.
- SMALL WATER BOTTLE/NON-SLIP WATER BOWL
As I’m sure you may know, I do not walk dogs in extreme/high temps. For that reason carrying water isn’t always necessary. Although if I am walking any brachy breeds (bulldogs, shih tzus, pugs etc) I will offer them a drink break. I use a small size water bottle that I can attach to my bumbag strap.
Not all dogs will accept a drink on a walk. I like to think it’s down to them suffering from a severe case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Too much fun might happen while they’re having a drink break. Once back in the van I have bottles of fresh water and everyone is given a drink.
The water bowl I use is a life and time saver. Especially on our really hot days. Some of my dogs don’t like to be watched when drinking. So I leave the bowl in their area in the van while I can drive. The bowl is made of 3 compartments. The lid, the middle tray and then then bowl itself.
- SQUEAKY DOG TOY
Although having a squeaky dog toy isn’t the most surprising item on my list it’s not for the dogs to play with. It’s used only for photo opportunities and/or recall.
Sometimes, believe it or not my voice isn’t exciting enough. I’m only human and sometimes my dogs won’t come back to me instantly or on the first recall. This is when I get out the squeaky toy for an extra incentive for the dog. It’s fine when this happens, it just highlights which dogs I need to spend some time refreshing their recall skills.
I’m always asked how I get my group photos and it certainly takes practice but the squeaky toy does help.
There’s distractions everywhere so to get them all looking at me I’ll use the toy. It rarely comes out my bag as I don’t want them to all jump at me.
Could I just buy any squeaker? Yes but I want it to fit comfortably in my bumbag. I’m currently using a stick shape toy but in the past I have had a hot dog, carrot and peas.
I know I have the perfect footwear NOW but it took me such a long time to get this right.
I only wear 2 different types of footwear all year, depending on the weather.
Summer/dry weather – I’ve never found anything more comfortable than Skechers. I’m well aware that makes me sound incredibly middle age but I love nothing more than comfort, pockets or zips. And I’m ok with that. I’ve never suffered with blisters in my skechers and I could walk all day in them without them hurting me at the end of the day.
Winter/Cold weather – Sometimes the puddles we come across are lakes. The only footwear that works are wellies. I like to keep my sketchers clean/dry so I can go into my customers homes without making a mess of their floors.
This is all down to each dog but I always use my own. Mainly so I don’t lose or break your own personal leads. Plus my brain doesn’t have enough memory space to remember who wears what.
As long as my dogs have no neck issues or sensitive throats they’ll all be wearing a loose slip lead. I use them for several reasons.
a) A dog cannot fall/slip out of it. Even when a dogs collar/harness is fitted perfectly it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t break.
b) They’re easy to put on and take off. Any time I can spare so my full attention is on my pack is always a bonus.
c) Standard leads have clips and in cold weather, (if my hands are frozen) I would struggle to clip the dog on efficiently.
60ft TRAINING LEAD
This lead is a saviour. I use it on all of my new recruits. Especially on their first few walks and/or working on their recall training. I also use it if I need to give some of my regulars a little freshen up on their recall training.
I couldn’t be without it and it’s great that all my dogs have the opportunity to have an “off lead” walking experience. To burn some of that excess energy off. It really plays a vital part of my business.
- RUBBER GLOVES/ALCOHOL GEL
I only use these when I’ve been using my training lead. As you can imagine, the moment it touches the floor it goes through all kinds of dirt. Once we’ve finished our walk and all my dogs are back in the van I wear the gloves to ravel the lead back up.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. Perhaps you may tweak products here and there. I hope you found it helpful