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Packing for Your Pooch: How to Stock a Dog Bag

Packing for Your Pooch: How to Stock a Dog Bag

The best pet advice that I ever gave to myself was to keep a well-packed dog bag at all times. The best advice that I got from my neighbor Rose was to hang said bag with the leashes in the same place every day.

It’s not a particularly fancy bag (OK, the first one was, but I was new at this), but it’s big enough to stash some key items that have made my multiple-times-daily walks with two dogs much easier over the years.  Plus, I can stow my pick-ups in the bag.  Because I’m as social as my dogs, I prefer not to greet neighbors with a smile and a bag full of dog-leavings.

Whether you are new to the world of dogs or just looking to streamline your daily routine, here’s a list of things that you’ll appreciate having on hand during walks:

Spare house keys.

Having spare house keys can be a lifesaver in situations where you accidentally lock yourself out of your home. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan to avoid being stranded, especially when you have pets who depend on you. One simple and effective solution is to keep a spare set of keys in your dog’s bag or travel kit.

By storing spare keys in your dog’s bag, you ensure that you have access to them even if you forget or misplace your primary set. This can be particularly helpful during moments of rushing or when you have anxious dogs that may add extra distractions to your departure. Instead of finding yourself locked out and potentially spending the night on the porch, having those spare keys in your dog’s bag provides a convenient backup option.

When choosing where to store the spare keys in your dog’s bag, ensure they are secure and won’t easily fall out or get lost. You can use a small pocket or attach them to a keychain within the bag. Additionally, it’s important to inform a trusted family member, neighbor, or friend about the location of the spare keys, in case you need to contact them for assistance.

Remember to periodically check the spare keys to ensure they are in good condition and still easily accessible. It’s also advisable to have spare keys for other family members or individuals who may need access to your home in case of emergencies.

While having spare house keys in your dog’s bag can be a convenient solution, it’s essential to prioritize the safety and security of your home. Take precautions to prevent unauthorized access to the keys and regularly assess their effectiveness as part of your overall home security measures.

By considering these measures and utilizing spare house keys stored in your dog’s bag, you can minimize the inconvenience and stress of being locked out of your home, allowing you to focus on the well-being of your dogs and ensuring a smooth return indoors.

More than one bag.

It’s true that unexpected situations can arise during walks or outings with your dog, and having a few extra supplies on hand can be helpful. One scenario that may require some preparedness is the possibility of a second delivery from your dog during the walk. While some dogs have regular bathroom habits, others may surprise you with an additional need to relieve themselves.

To be prepared, it can be beneficial to have some poop bags or waste disposal bags readily available. These bags can be conveniently stored in your dog’s bag or attached to their leash. This way, if your dog unexpectedly needs to go again, you can quickly clean up after them without any hassle or need to search for a nearby waste bin.

Additionally, it’s important to be cautious of your dog’s scavenging tendencies. Dogs can sometimes come across enticing yet potentially harmful items during walks, such as dead animals or spoiled food. If your dog manages to find something undesirable, it’s crucial to intervene and prevent them from consuming it.

By having a spare bag or container available, you can swiftly remove the item from your dog’s reach and securely wrap it up. This helps avoid any health issues or unpleasant experiences, and ensures that you don’t have to deal with the same problem on your way back home.

Remember to dispose of the wrapped item properly in a designated waste bin or sanitary facility. Keeping your dog on a leash during walks and practicing good supervision can also help prevent them from accessing unwanted items in the first place.

Being prepared for unexpected situations during your dog’s outings is part of responsible pet ownership. By having the necessary supplies and taking proactive measures, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and your furry companion.


Treating your dog during walks can serve multiple purposes beyond being a loving gesture. Treats can be valuable tools to distract or control a dog’s behavior when they become unruly or overly excited during a walk. By using treats strategically, you can redirect their attention and encourage more desirable behavior.

For example, if your dog starts pulling on the leash or becomes reactive towards other dogs or stimuli, offering a treat can help redirect their focus and reinforce positive behavior. This can be particularly effective when combined with proper training techniques, such as teaching your dog to walk calmly by your side or to respond to commands like “sit” or “leave it.”

Moreover, treats can facilitate social interactions between dogs during walks. Offering a treat to a well-behaved dog can be a positive way to introduce and make friends with new dogs. It can create a positive association and help build trust and rapport between them.

When using treats during walks, it’s important to choose appropriate and healthy options for your dog. Consider their dietary needs and any specific allergies or sensitivities they may have in their dog food. Opt for treats that are safe, easily digestible, and of an appropriate size for your dog.

While treats can be effective tools, it’s essential to use them judiciously and in moderation. Over-reliance on treats can lead to dependence or behavioral issues. It’s crucial to strike a balance between using treats as a training aid and ensuring your dog can respond and behave appropriately without constant reinforcement.

Remember, treats should be used as rewards to reinforce desired behaviors, rather than as bribes. Pair treats with positive reinforcement techniques, such as praise and affection, to encourage and maintain good behavior in your dog.

By incorporating treats into your walking routine in a thoughtful and controlled manner, you can effectively manage your dog’s behavior, promote positive social interactions, and strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.


As careful as you think you are being, sometimes you just get some of, um, your dog on your hand.  Keeping a small pack of moistened towelettes in the bag lets you clean yourself without having to wait until you get home.


This is good for locating any number of things. If it’s always in your pet bag, you never have to go looking for it. And, in the instance of a blackout, you’ll know where to find some light.

Guest leash.

Encountering a lost dog can be a challenging and delicate situation, as it’s important to prioritize safety for both yourself and the dog. While it is generally advised not to approach or capture a dog you don’t know, there may be instances where you feel compelled to help the dog find safety. However, it’s crucial to approach such situations with caution and consideration.

First and foremost, assess the immediate surroundings to ensure there are no immediate hazards for the dog or yourself. If the dog is in immediate danger, such as running loose in the street, it may be necessary to take action to prevent any potential accidents. However, it’s important to avoid putting yourself at risk or causing the dog to panic or become aggressive.

If you decide to approach the lost dog, it’s advisable to take some precautions to ensure both your safety and the dog’s well-being. It’s recommended to have some form of protection, such as a leash or a makeshift lead, to safely secure the dog once you are in close proximity. This can prevent the dog from running further away or potentially getting into more danger.

Keep in mind that lost dogs may be scared, disoriented, or unfamiliar with human contact. Approach the dog slowly and calmly, speaking in a gentle and soothing tone to help reassure them. Avoid making sudden movements or loud noises that may startle or intimidate the dog.

In some cases, you may need to use a makeshift barrier, such as a scarf or a piece of clothing, to create a temporary containment area or guide the dog away from danger. While it may be difficult to sacrifice personal belongings, prioritizing the safety of the dog and preventing potential harm is paramount.

Once you have safely secured the dog, it’s advisable to contact local animal control or a nearby veterinary clinic to report the found dog and seek further guidance. They can provide assistance in locating the dog’s owner or arranging for its care and eventual return home.

Remember, while your intentions may be to help the lost dog, it’s important to exercise caution and prioritize safety for all parties involved. Assess each situation individually and use your best judgment to determine the most appropriate course of action.



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