Your pet is your companion, buddy and part of the family. As an outdoor family everyone needs protection from insects, plenty of water, identification and your family dog is no different. Know the pet essentials your dog needs as he joins you on your outdoor adventures.


An annual trip or two to the veterinarian keeps your dog on track. The vet checks your pet’s weight, teeth, joints, and blood. Heartworm, parasites, and Lyme disease are easily checked by a simple blood test and fecal check. The preventative medication for prevention of these ailments is easy to get from your vet and easy to administer. Ultimately, preventative is necessary, especially if you spend time outdoors where disease-carrying fleas, ticks, and mosquitos are found. Rabies, distemper, parvo and Leptospirosis vaccinations required by animal control government agencies and many boarding and dog care facilities.


As careful as you are with your pet things happen which separate you. The best defense in the safety of a lost pet is to microchip, tag and register your pet as part of your family. Many areas have pet events and provide inexpensive vaccines and microchipping. A simple scan at a vet’s office, animal control or shelter quickly connects you with your pet. Order a tag with your pet’s name, your phone number and other information.

Collars, leashes, and crates

Check the leash laws in your area. It makes sense to have a collar with identifying tags for your dog. There are regular collars, quick-release collars, pinch collars, prong collars and remote training collars. A harness is another safe alternative to a regular collar. Every collar has a purpose and effective when used according to the instructions. When you walk your dog at dusk or after sunset a flasher or glow in the dark tag increases the visibility of your dog.

Leashes come in different lengths and material and fasteners. When training your pet for walking a shorter leash is helpful. Some leashes have attachments for runner pet owners. Other leashes have a shoulder harness for the owner and others have loops for adjusting the length of the leash.

A crate is a wonderfully useful tool. Never use a crate as a means of punishment. It should be a safe calm secure place where your pet feels calm and comfortable. Favorite bedding, Kong, toy or other security item placed in the crate makes it a welcoming place. When your pet is in a crate it should be a positive place and experience.

Being outdoors is a great way for your dog to expend excess energy, exercise, and play. Bonding with your dog outdoors is natural. Check the various water container options for your pet. Fresh water is important when exploring the great outdoors. After all the exercise and energy expended clean water is a priority. A hydrated pet is a healthy pet.

Once you have the essentials covered for your pet you are ready to have a fun and safe time with your buddy. Enjoy exploring the great outdoors with your pet.