Helpful Hints

Service Dog Essentials I Carry With Me

As I was reminded during the training process, Crush is still a dog. It wasn’t Crush who reminded me of this, it was the trainer. Of course, Crush has his essentials. This includes his hard handle harness, halti, and leash. That’s not what I’m discussing in this article. Although few and far between Crush makes mistakes. Whether he needs more payment for his work and focus or if he ever had an accident, I’m well prepared. Here are all the things I carry with me for Crush…

  • Extra Treats

This is important. He may not need extra treats but there have been times where I forget his treats at home and having back up is key. I keep some in my car and a small bag in my backpack. For Crush, he doesn’t often need the extra help but some days, he’s off is game and they are vital!

  • Baby Wipes

Coming from Minnesota these are especially important in the winter. It’s important to keep the salt off of his paws for both comfort and safety. The salt poured on roads and sidewalks is toxic to dogs. If it gets in there and they lick it, it can cause stomach issues or worse. I always have baby wipes to keep his paws clean. It’s also nice for all the mud and dirt he tracks with. In general, they’re nice to have for just in case type moments.

  • Poop Bags

This is obvious but it’s worth stating. I always have extra. I have some in my jacket pocket. Some are stashed in my purse and in my car. For some reason, I am terrified to be without a poop bag. 

  • Water and Food Bowl

I have one of those collapsible bowls and it’s nice to have on hand. I would suggest one with a carabiner for convenience.  On long days, Crush needs to have water and he won’t drink out of makeshift devices. Sometimes I have to feed him in the car between activities and it’s necessary to have. 

  • An Extra Vest

There are times after a long day when I take Crush out of his hard harness, even if we have errands to run. Depending on how I’m feeling, It’s easiest to bring Crush in a normal fabric vest. This is rare but it’s worth keeping in the car because putting his hard harness on and off can be challenging.

  • Cleaning Spray and Paper Towels

This is truly a just in case measure. I can’t imagine that Crush would ever have an accident but I like to be prepared. Just in case, I have a tiny travel size spray bottle of spot cleaner and some paper towels. I think it’s more for me, it keeps my anxiety about what I would do in that situation at bay. The trainer suggested these types of items for the care or purse. Again, it could be handy.

  • An Extra Leash

This is for my car. It’s good to have a spare. I can’t think of a reason why. Apparently it’s needed often enough that it’s what the trainers suggest. I thought it was a handy idea for if I really had an off day and just spaced. 

All in all, Crush and I could go out without anything and be totally fine. I see it as a comfort knowing that I am prepared for these situations. Who really wants to be stranded without a leash? Not me! The more calm I am, the more Crush can focus on listening and being alert. If you’re new to the service dog world, I hope this list helped you and will set you and your pawtner up for success. See what I did there? No, just me? 

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