I originally did this blog a few years ago. But times have changed and our needs as dog parents are now very different in this new normal world. So I've updated this list and included some products that have helped me to keep my dog happy but also deal with social distancing rules and avoiding transference of viruses.
As before these 5 items have all made my life a little easier and most importantly they save me time. I use all these items and I am going to explain how they work and what I use them for.
These leads have literally kept my business going before, during and after the lockdown. Biothane leads are bacteria and water resistant. As well as that they are so simple to wipe clean. I use antibac wipes and wipe each lead down in between every walk I do. At the end of the day I wash them in some hot water and washing up liquid and boom, they are ready for the next day’s adventures.
As well as biothane leads, Victoria from Bella Bows Boutique who made these leads for me, also makes biothane collars. There are sizes, styles and colours to suit all dogs from a little dachshund to a deep chested greyhounds and more.
I have used these leads for 6 months now, and I think its fair to say I walks dogs more than the average person. Yet these leads still look spanking new. Winner. I don’t think I will ever go back to regular cloth leads for my professional walks now. These are very much part of my new normal, and are here to stay.
I upgraded from my last reccomendation of the hozelock portable shower to this little mobile beast!
The difference with this is that it has a brush already built into it. So it’s great for muddy paws, or muddy tyres, or garden furtniture that has been pooed on by the pigeons.
Yet when I ventured out a month after lockdown this proved to be my saving grace. Way back in April 2020 the restrictions of lockdown were very tight. I could only walk dogs if I could wash my hands and wash all equipment. At that point sanitiser and anti bac wipes were a no no. So this became my new normal mobile car boot washing station for me and my equipment.
What I really love about this is that it has a slider button just near the button you press to get the water coming through the brush. But if you put this slider across then it just emits a constant stream till it runs out of pressure (you just pump it up again) or water (which you just fill up.)
If you do need it for muddy paws then this is what I advise you to do. Fill it 3 quarters of the way up with water. Take a flask of hot water with you. Once you have had the walk pour the hot water in to the tank, give it a shake and spray down those muddy paws. You can also add shampoo to it or washing up liquid if you are having the same problem as me with pigeon pooping everywhere!
Dogs poo a lot. When I started my business, I admit I used value nappy bags. I figured they were cheap and if you can put a stinking full nappy in it then it would be fine for dog poo. I found out quickly it was a false economy. Yes, the bags split and yes, my hands regularly got covered in poo. Nice!
So, I did lots of research and I brought Pogi’s Poop Bags. They are biodegradable, big and smell so good! I am addicted to the smell of them! They are much longer than the average nappy bag and at least 5 times at strong (dog poo is heavy!) I brought a big box of them (50 rolls/450 bags) and it came with 2 dispensers.
This cost me around £20. I use on average 2/3 rolls a week so this box will last me between 17 – 25 weeks. Of course I do pick up a lot of poo, so I think this is great value for money. I bought mine from Amazon and I’ve had clean hands ever since. Happy days!
Yet again the lockdown meant that these have found an alternative use in my new normal world. They have become rubbish bags for all my used antibac wipes and disposable gloves. I also pop my Kong balls in a new bag after I have cleaned them after each dog.
This one single item has changed my world! I wash lots of dog beds, dog towels and dog toys. Lots of them, in fact I think I wash more dog related stuff than regular washing.
The only problem was that I would have to put my washing machine on at least 2 empty cycles to get rid of the dog hair. The amount of times I pulled out a jumper that was sporty an unintentional hairy look!
Then I found the pet washing bag. Simple, easy to use, a big life changer! You just pop your dog stuff in the bag, zip it up, pop it in the washing machine, take dog stuff out and give the bag a shake outside to get rid of the dog hair that it has trapped. Dog hair free washing machine for the cost of around a tenner! Also great for cats too.
This product was in my old normal world and continues you straight into my new normal world. I don’t ever see a time when I won’t be using it.
Before COVID-19 I had heard a lot about this product but I never got round to getting any because, as far as I was concerned, I had an adequate first aid kit.
But I soon stocked up on it because I knew how effective it was. As the Leucillin makers say on their website:
Due to the speed in which surviving bacterial cells can reproduce, a 99.9% kill rate is not sufficient. Leucillin contains an extra strength formula, which kills 99.99999%, to ensure that not a single pathogen cell survives.
I was able to use this, to spray any contact I made directly with the dogs collar or harness and I could also spray the dogs fur with this. And right back when you couldn’t get sanitiser for love nor money, I used this on my hands instead.
On top of that it’s bloody brilliant for keeping wounds clean. You can get this from many online stores, including Amazon and also from Pets at Home.
It’s now very much a part of my new normal first aid kit.
So that’s my 5 essential items that you need as a dog parent in our new normal world, you can find all these online. Please do your own research to ensure they are the right product for you and your dog. Please note I received no payment for endorsing these products, I just happen to think they are brilliant!
Love, Sally x
Sally Cousins is a self confessed mad dog lady!
After being mum to several rescue dogs she decided to turn her passion in to her career and set up her own dog walking business back in 2015.
Sally not only runs her business, she also writes for her own blog and also does guest blogs for other dog businesses. Sally is also the author of “The Lockdown Dog” and “Dazzle Your Dog” You can also find Sally chatting as a guest on dog related podcasts.