I always carry an extra slip lead. You never know when you might need it.
A cell phone with GPS is also essential. You never know when you might need help and to be able to direct them to where you are. I use a tracker on my phone and always tell my son where I’m going. If that tracking device stayed in one spot for too long, he could call me, and if I didn’t answer, he’d know how to direct the necessary people to find me.
Bells on a harness or a collar let me know exactly where my dogs are and alert others that we are coming. Collars with a name and current phone number are a plus. In the summer, we have bears where I live. I would rather not sneak up on one.
I do not let my dogs run off the lead anywhere. I use a 20-foot leash. Almost everywhere I walk says dogs must be on a leash. Too many people think those rules don’t apply to them. I have small dogs. I want to be able to get to them and protect them from possible dangers like reactive unleashed dogs or wild animals.
These walks are for them to enjoy at their leisure, within reason. I don’t do a lot of obedience work on these walks. If they return to me to check in on their own, they are rewarded with a cookie.
I also don’t walk at night, but if you do, a reflective harness for your dogs is a plus, as is a flashlight and reflective clothing for yourself.
Now that spring is on the way, let’s get out there and enjoy it with our dogs!