Recently we’ve been doing a lot of car journeys with Bonnie and sometimes in a rush to get going we forget things that could come in handy so I decided to put together a doggy car kit. I wanted to include things that would be useful if we forgot anything important, stayed out longer than expected or were in an emergency.
I packed some general items; poo bags, an air tight container with some of her food, a bag of treats, a collapsible bowl, a water bottle and of course a back up tennis ball 🙂 As Bonnie is attracted to mud and because the rain is never far off in our country we have also packed a towel and kitchen roll to help keep the car (relatively) clean.
I included a spare collar, harness and lead just in case of her usual gear being damaged or misplaced. I’m also going to order some duplicate id tags. A slip lead might also be a good idea to include as I’ve heard of people using them to safely lead stray dogs where it isn’t wise to grab for an unknown dog’s collar.Most importantly I’ve added a first aid kit and vet wrap, which I got from a Rhodes2Safety K9 first aid course I attended. It gives us a bit of peace of mind as if anything happens to us while on the road we can use this to deal with any cut, sting etc or at least help the situation until we can get to a vet. I’ve also included the notes handout we were given at the first aid course for reference.
I packed all of the contents into a storage box from Ikea to keep it neat and tidy in the boot of the car. I’m really pleased with the doggy kit as it takes the worry out of forgetting things or wondering what to do in an emergency. It’s totally customisable for your dog and if you don’t drive you could always use a backpack that you can grab as you go out the door.
So what would you include in your doggy kit and did I miss anything important?
I recently bought the coat that I featured in my Dog Accessories Wishlist, I was going to wait until her birthday but I got it early so I could start getting her used to it for rainy walkies. It has actually been pretty good weather recently but I’ve taken her out on a few walks wearing it and so far so good she doesn’t seem to mind it.
I’m pretty pleased with it, it has reflective strips around the edge and on the waist straps, is fleece lined but not too thick so she shouldn’t overheat and has back leg straps to help keep it in place. Updated – I have tested it thoroughly in rain now and really impressed with how much less towel drying is needed compared to when she doesn’t wear it. The only negative point so far is that it’s a bit too big in the chest for her as it slips down but that’s not the coat’s fault. She just has a slim chest so will need to put some stitches into it to make it tighter.
Also on Saturday we took a little trip to the Red Brick Coffee House after training. It’s a dog friendly café near Ballymena that allows dogs inside and outside. We decided to sit outside as Bonnie can be a bit overexcited around people, she thinks everyone loves her and wants to greet everyone, it’s been probably our worst area for training as when she does get to greet people everyone except me and my fiancé reinforces her jumping and excitement as “she’s cute” or “she’s light so it doesn’t bother me”.
We reinforced her for laying down calmly under the picnic table we sat at. Also any time she looked at other people and looked back we made sure to reward with treats. We kept the experience positive and most importantly short, she can get overstimulated easily so it’s always important for us to end an experience when she’s still on good form.
I’m very proud of her and all the little bits of progress she’s made, when we first got her, nearly a year ago now, she would’ve been way too overstimulated and probably wouldn’t offer the calm behaviour in that situation even for high value treats. We will definitely be doing more trips to dog friendly cafés and restaurants to help with her training, we also have our first overnight stay at a dog friendly hotel coming up on the 23rd of October, so very excited for that and I’ll definitely be doing a blog post about it!