Since I’ve been taking the dogs swimming a lot this summer, I now have a bag in my car which I call our “Go Bag” for swimming. It stays in my car so that hopefully I don’t forget anything we might need when we do go. I thought it would be fun to share what I keep in it, and some of the things we like to have for swimming.
On some days we will go for a walk before swimming, especially at the lake where the rail trail is right there and we can walk to our favorite swimming spot. I still use the Do-G Bag I won some time ago (but I’m looking for a good small pack that holds a water bottle if anyone has any suggestions). I can just fit the 30 foot leash and one ball in there along with some treats and poop bags. I also always carry mace, because I’m paranoid of meeting a killer or rapist when I’m walking alone. I also carry Spray Shield deterrent (citronella spray) in case we meet loose dogs, which I have far more reason to be paranoid of. Just this morning when I took Sheba to the lake, we had just barely started out when we met a man with two black labs. I thought both were on leash, but only one was. I swear the guy looked right at us before letting go of the loose dog who came running at us. Luckily this doesn’t bother Sheba, but if I had Cricket or Luke it would have been a disaster. The guy apologized and I think he said “I didn’t see you there”, when I’m pretty sure he did. I’m too shy to be confrontational and tell him what I really think so I just muttered “that’s OK” and kept going. Anyway, I digress, that’s for another post!
I use the 30 foot leash for swimming. Cricket (beagle with a nose) and Luke (fearful dog) never come off leash, but I will let Sheba swim off leash if no one is around. The dogs all walk with harnesses, but those come off for swimming (thanks to a blog friend that advised that they not swim with harnesses on) and I have their special swim collars on. I wanted collars that would dry quickly, and these are waterproof with no rust D-rings. I had really wanted personalized swim collars but I found these neoprene collars at Ezy-Dog, they were less expensive and then I just got cheap ID tags from amazon that can stay on them.
I’m actually looking for a better long leash for swimming, if anyone has any suggestions. That one I have is fraying already (no thanks to Luke chewing on it!).
All Zogoflex toys from West Paw Design float. I bring the old balls that are chewed up in case we lose one. We also like the Kong Wet Wubbas. We always have treats in case we have a training opportunity, and sometimes it’s just a sample bag of kibble that came home with me from the BlogPaws conference!
I also brought home this slick little pink water dish that folds flat. Funny story here: when I brought that home from the conference neither my hubby nor I had any idea what it was (it was folded up in a plastic bag)! Then one day I was reading something and a light bulb went off – I figured it out. It has a carabiner on it so you can attach it to your belt or wherever. Our walks aren’t super long so I usually just leave it in the car where I have a bottle of water to fill it. It’s really handy!
In the above photo bottom left corner you can also see the tag for our 4Knines cargo cover. That is a lifesaver as well! You can see one of the reasons why in the below photo – it really keeps the back of my Rav free of water from shaking dogs, dirt, and pet hair.
One thing I got for myself are these cute and practical sneakers from Teva. They are lightweight, comfortable for walking, and quick drying. They’re perfect since I often have to step in the water. For some reason the dogs don’t always feel obligated to bring their ball or stick all the way to the shore, so I really needed these. They’re on sale now and I’m thinking of getting another pair!
So we have all of our gear together, and we’re ready to go! Oh yes, don’t forget to bring a willing dog:
And be sure to bring a wet dog back home:
And enjoy the views along the way:
I wanted to mention one last thing: Our dogs are comfortable with swimming but not all dogs are. If you have a dog that is not totally comfortable, is new to swimming, or if you have a boat, you might want to consider a life jacket. A group of bloggers are giving one away right now, but the giveaway is only open until Saturday. You can read more about the need for life jackets and enter the giveaway through our friends at Something Wagging this Way Comes, by clicking here. It seems to be a pretty hot summer everywhere this year, so get out and enjoy the water!
We were not compensated by anyone in any way for sharing these products today!