Collar with ID tag
Although all dogs, by law, now need to be microchipped so they can be reunited with their owner should they get lost or stolen, on a day out make sure your dog also wears a collar with an ID tag showing your name, address and up-to-date telephone number. Pack a lead too, even if you don’t always use one – some beaches and trails have dog restrictions, and your pet should always be on a lead near livestock. Extendable leads can be a good option.
Read our suggestions for some of the best dog walks in the UK
Stopping off somewhere to enjoy a packed lunch? Then push a spiral stake firmly into the ground, attach it to your dog and relax knowing your pet is safe by your side and not rushing around disturbing others. Just make sure the stake is sturdy and secure enough to hold your breed.
A responsible dog owner should always make sure their dog has access to water, so if you don’t know a place where your dog can have a drink while out and about, take a bottle of water with you and a lightweight easy-to-carry bowl. There are various options – silicone bowls that collapse, waterproof fabric bowls that fold, and plastic bowls that have a bottle attached.
Find out about Saga Pet Insurance
If you’re out for the day with your pooch, pack a good supply of poo bags so you don’t get caught short. Always pick up your dog’s mess, even if you can’t see a waste bin anywhere - you can guarantee your four-legged friend will do his business miles away from a place you can dispose of it safely. If you hate carrying around full poo bags, consider a Dicky Bag, an airtight, washable container that is perfect for hiding smelly and unsightly plastic bags.
Biodegradable poo bags are available for those wishing to cut down on their plastic waste.
It’s not only owners who need to slap on the sunscreen if out on a hot and sunny day, dogs need sun protection too, especially if they have thin or pale fur. Sunscreens made for babies or sensitive skin are usually suitable for dogs – just check they don’t contain zinc oxide. It may be easier to use a spray or wipe when applying sunscreen to the stomach or groin area, but a sunscreen stick is handy for your dog’s nose and ears.
Find out about the best dog-friendly beaches in the UK
Fun safe toys
As much as most dogs will love going for a long walk or hanging out with their owners for the day, his tail will wag all the more if you indulge in a few interactive games. Pack a ball or a safe toy your dog likes to carry, especially if you know he has a tendency to pick up sticks, stones or seaweed. See our list of best toys for your dog and find your pal a new favourite.
You may have no problem with recall while out on your regular morning walk, but if you’re heading somewhere different on a day out, with lots of new scents and smells, your faithful friend may decide he prefers sniffing to responding to his name. Take along some high-quality treats, a titbit you know he loves, and show him you have the rewards before he runs off. He’ll then know it’s worth coming back when he’s called.
You never know when your dog will roll in something nasty in a field, pick up something unpleasant off the street or dig a big muddy hole, so be prepared and pack some wet wipes - the pub landlord will be grateful when you stop off at his place for lunch. Take note, though, that dogs may be allergic to ingredients in some baby wipes. Play it safe and clean mucky pups with wipes specifically for dogs.
If your dog is running around in long grass, across moorland or through forests, you run the risk of it picking up a tick or two. If you happen to spy these disgusting blood-sucking creatures on your dog, it’s best to remove them straight away to avoid the risk of disease, so carry a handy tick removal. Various options are available, but reputable vets recommend O’Tom Tick Twister.
A day out often involves a car journey, so make sure your dog is comfortable. If it’s a warm day, window vent guards will allow a breeze in, but will prevent your dog from jumping out. Alternatively, window shades are easy to fit and remove. Your dog can also keep cool on a gel cooling mat, which remains up to ten degrees cooler than room or car temperature.
Read our tips for travelling in the car with your dog
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