That’s right, I said wardrobe. Some dapper little pups are always dressed up and looking fine. Milo, however, is more the ruggedly handsome sort. He occasionally sports a bandana to downplay his ferocious image, but most of the time he’s a leash and collar kind of German Shepherd.
He won’t be bringing any outfits on this trip, but he will need some gear:
Life Jacket. Milo is an excellent swimmer. When we swim I can hold his waist and he’ll tow me around the pond. Super neat. He’s a strong enough swimmer to rescue me, but I am not a strong enough swimmer to rescue him. So in the boat we both wear life jackets.
Reflective vest. I might be paranoid, but he blends into the background on a dark evening and he’s big enough for even a barely intoxicated hunter to mistake for prey. A reflective vest sets my mind at ease.
Cooling vest. Milo is tough as beans in the cold, but the summer heat is another matter. He’s big and black, and dogs easily overheat. All they can do to cool down is pant and sweat from their paws (they get stinky feet too). An evaporative cooling vest helps Milo stay safe and comfortable for short walks on hot days.
Backpack. His backpack was a gift and is nicer than mine. After a summer of schlepping snacks and water for the two of us I saw someone with a pack on their Shepherd. It was a life changing observation. I don’t like carrying things and Milo doesn’t mind. Also, he’s in better shape than I am. Now, he carries the food and water, and other sundries like bug spray and sunscreen. The dog pack comes with us!
It would be easy to forget this gear because Milo doesn’t use it all the time.
If you’re taking a trip with your dog, it’s a good idea to take a moment to consider the things you might not always need but can be very nice to have once in a while.
This post is part of a series on packing for your dog.