Summer is upon us and the long, lazy evenings are a welcome change to the cold and damp winter we’ve had in Cornwall. It’s also my first summer with Woody by my side. We’ve managed to navigate the beach ban so far and are looking forward to more adventures in the coming months! With the summer solstice fast approaching, I thought I’d share some of my summer dog walking essentials!
Summer Dog Walking Essentials
As you know by now, Woody is the first dog I’ve owned. It’s been a learning curve to say the least and I’m passionate about passing on my experiences to other first time owners in Cornwall and beyond. I use everything I have included in our summer dog walking essentials guide on a regular basis. Of course there’s a little variance day to day, depending on things like the weather, where we’re going and how long we’ll be out. I want to share this a comprehensive guide with you, to give you some inspiration and ideas for products to take with you when exploring this summer!
My Dog Walking Bag
I’ve never really been a bag person. They tend to annoy me. I lose things in them and most of the time forget to grab them when running out the door. In winter I live in my Barbour jacket, which has plenty of deep pockets for everything I need. Recently though, with the weather warming up, it’s far too hot to wear a coat. My other clothes don’t tend to have pockets, so I was constantly juggling bits and bobs while out on walks.
That is, until I discovered the incredible Dog Walking Bag by The Cosy Canine Company. It’s lightweight, waterproof and so comfortable to wear. It’s very spacious and easily holds all of my belongings, including my DSLR camera for shoots. The built in poo bag holder is incredible too, I’m no longer fumbling around in my pockets when nature calls. It’s safe to say this bag has revolutionised our walks. Lottie, who is based in Essex can personalise the bags too, we got The Cornish Dog embroidered onto it of course. My dog walking bag tops our list for summer dog walking essentials and I rarely leave the house without it!
Water Bottle and Bowl
It’s super important for humans and hounds to stay hydrated, particularly on hot days! We’re lucky that Cornish tap water is tasty and I always carry my CamelBak Eddy 1 litre water bottle* with me. I’ve had it a few years now and it’s definitely the bottle for me. I recommend trialling a few different types of reusable bottles, as there are so many on the market. I’m not a fan of metal bottles and I love the mouth piece and straw on my CamelBak. Now I’ve found the right bottle, I regularly drink 2-3 litres of water a day!
Woody has a metal water bowl too, which normally lives in the car. He doesn’t tend to drink when he’s out on a walk, however I always offer him some when we’re back at the car. I got his bowl when I first adopted him but you can find similar ones online* or in your local pet shop. I also keep a 5 litre bottle of water in the boot of my car, which we share on longer journeys. It comes in handy for soaking Woody if he’s rolled in something nasty or I’m worried he’s overheating.
Sunglasses and Suncream
Sun protection is something you should be taking seriously and it’s the next thing on our summer dog walking essentials list. We’re all guilty of forgetting to apply suncream and receive nasty, painful burns as a result. I now pack my factor 50 suncream in my bag, so it’s always on hand, particularly on those days that start out cloudy but end up being a scorcher! I use Garnier Ambre Solaire Clear Protect*. It’s not cruelty free unfortunately. I have sensitive skin that is prone to eczema, so it’s hard to find skincare that works at the best of times. Therefore I tend to stick to what I know works.
My sunglasses are a dog walking essential year round. I’m known for wearing them every single day. I’m an aviator girl and have been using and repurchasing the same pair for years. They’re nothing special but I’d be lost without them!
Treats and Trip Bones
My next summer dog walking essentials are of the tastier kind. An adventure is never complete without plenty of treats! I’ve recently purchased some reusable plastic containers to store Woody’s treats in on the go. They’ve been a great purchase so far, as the clip lids provide easy access and they’re the perfect size for my bag. Eat Play Bark remains Woody’s firm favourite when it comes to treats and I love how easy they are to break in half. They’re perfect for when we’re on shoots!
Another treat Woody has come to love are Guru’s Field Trip Bones. These tasty chicken cold pressed wonders and ideal for beach barbeques, meals out or nights away from home. They come in two sizes and can be the equivalent of a meal, depending on the size of your dog. I bought Woody the smaller size and he enjoys chomping on them at the beach. They never last long!
Beco Bags and Tennis Balls
I’m trying to be a more eco-conscious dog owner and am always looking for more sustainable alternatives to common pet products. I’ve recently swapped to Beco Bags, which claim to be eco-friendly. There’s plenty of debate when it comes to biodegradable poo bags and similar human products, due to the way we dispose them. Anything disposed in a black bin bag will be deprived of oxygen and the gases it needs to actually compost or bio-degrade. There are a few compostable alternatives on the market that I’m researching and I’ll be sure to update you with my findings!
If you’re looking for more sustainable alternatives to common pet products, I would highly recommend swapping to secondhand tennis balls. Tennis clubs up and down the country regularly have excess tennis balls that can no longer be used on court. They are however, absolutely perfect for dogs and their owners! You can pick dozens of them up at a time online, or pop round to your local club and see if there are any going for free.
Clothing and Accessories
My wardrobe is very minimal year round, it’s small but I use every piece most weeks. Summer is definitely my favourite season to dress for and I live in denim shorts! Dog walking brings with it its own demands, particularly when it comes to footwear. I have made a few upgrades and new purchases and am excited to put them to use in the next few months. These next few summer dog walking essentials are mostly for humans, however I’ve included a couple of pieces for hounds too!
Flipflops and Rigger Boots
I’ve seriously upped my footwear game recently and have reaped the rewards of investing in fewer, higher quality pieces. This method helps me be more sustainable, as I’m consuming less overall. My new Haines Flip Flops go one step further, as the straps and soles come apart. They were created as a way of prolonging the life of flip flops, as the straps commonly break before the soles. For me though, it’s the other way around. I’m always wearing holes through the soles long before the straps snap! Either way I think Haines are an ingenious idea and I’ve been loving my flip flops so far.
When I’m not wearing flip flops, you’ll find me in my Trailbacks. A recent purchase that took months to decide upon, as they’re very pricey! I’m planning to do a more in depth review on them soon, as for a while I wasn’t quite convinced. I tend to wear these boots on colder, rainy days, which are part and parcel of summer in Cornwall! The boots are inspired by many of Cornwall’s best-loved walks and while they are crafted in Spain, the company is based in Perranporth.
Bandanas and Leads
Of course Woody has his own summer wardrobe too. He’s acquired quite the collection of bandanas in recent weeks, as we’re hoping to launch our own range soon! Our bandanas are inspired by our favourite walks, many of which we’ve already reviewed. They’re maybe not summer dog walking essentials but I wanted to include them because they’re something fun. Woody always gets complimented whenever he wears one and I’m looking forward to sharing our creations with you soon. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on our progress by following our new venture on Instagram!
I’m super excited to share with you our next find. Sustainable dog leads by Mable and Merryn. I discovered them a few weeks ago and have been obsessed ever since. Jenny, the creative behind it all is based in Stithians and makes her 100% hemp leads by hand. Hemp is sustainable to grow and doesn’t use any nasty pesticides or chemicals in the process. Of course the brass buckles aren’t hemp but they’re sourced locally in Redruth. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jenny in person and she’s the loveliest lady! She gifted Woody one of her slip and regular clip on leads and I’ve been using them ever since. In fact, we love the leads so much we’ve commissioned her to make us a collar!
Shorts and Sweatshirts
As I previously mentioned, one of my number one summer dog walking essentials would have to be a good pair of denim shorts. I live in short shorts throughout the summer and am known to wear them in the winter too. I just love the feeling of bare legs and it comes in handy when Woody randomly decides to not fetch his ball from the water. My denim shorts come from everywhere and anywhere, I picked up the ones in this post from Sessions Surf Shop in Falmouth.
The Distinguished Dog Company are a new discovery too. They sell an impressive range of products for both humans and hounds. When I stumbled upon their Walkies Sweatshirt I was incredibly excited, as it’s carbon neutral! The sweatshirt itself is from Earth Positive Clothing and is manufactured using solely renewable energy. It’s 100% organic cotton, which uses far less water than its non-organic counterpart. The slogan has been printed using non-toxic inks in Exeter, where The Distinguished Dog Company are based. I love oversized, baggy jumpers and decided to purchase mine in a size Large but I’m usually a Small.
Fourth Element Bikini
Another sustainable piece on my summer dog walking essentials list has to be my bikini. Now, I don’t know about you but I find it incredibly hard to find a bikini that actually stays put. I’m not the sunbathing by the beach kind of girl. I’m a very active person, who enjoys sea swims, gig rowing and paddle boarding so it’s important my swimwear doesn’t slip off! When I found out about Fourth Element, I was relieved. Their bikinis actually cover and support you where it’s needed. I love the design of the top piece, it’s just like a sports bra, with racer back straps that ensure I remain decent at all times! The bottoms actually cover my behind too, something I didn’t expect to be so challenging when shopping for women’s swimwear!
Even better though, the whole bikini is made from recycled nylon from fishing nets, how incredible is that?! Both pieces are reversible but I tend to wear it pattern side up. The design is inspired by the ocean and its fishing net origin. I think they’re quite flattering and I love the colours and abstract design. I’ve started wearing my bikini most days under my clothes, as you never know when you might fancy a spontaneous dip while out on a walk! I’m really looking forward to more sea swims with Woody in the coming months, we’ve been working together to build his confidence in the water.
Now, there are a couple of dog walking summer essentials that need a mention but I wasn’t quite sure where they fitted in. So here are a couple of extra things I’ll be using while walking with Woody over the next few months!
National Trust Card
I use my National Trust Membership card on a near daily basis, as many of our favourite beaches are owned by them. Grebe beach is one of them and where these photos were taken. It’s one of our regular haunts so my membership is definitely well used! Many of Cornwall’s car parks are also owned by the National Trust. In high season they’re no longer free, unless you have a membership card. My card lives in my car, so I don’t forget it when we’re out. It’s the first year I’ve been a member but I’ll definitely be renewing it in next year!
I am a little reluctant to include this one in my list, however I do use it more than I’d like to admit. The harsh reality is that it rains in Cornwall. In fact, it rains a lot! For every heatwave there are plenty of storms and summer is no exception. My Seasalt Long Sea Folly Jacket is a firm favourite and a staple in my wardrobe in warmer months. I love the bright yellow colour and the accents of duffles and rope. It’s a quintessential fisherman’s jacket and is made by one of Cornwall’s best-loved brands. I originally picked this jacket up secondhand online in my usual size (10.) However after a few months I repurchased it in a larger size (16.) Like jumpers, I like my coats to be long and roomy and I love this jacket even more in its larger size.
So that’s a wrap on my summer dog walking essentials. What do you think? Is there anything I’ve missed? I’d love to hear about your summer dog walking essentials in the comments. We’re always looking for new products to try!
To keep up to date with our adventures, be sure to follow us on Instagram!
* indicates an affiliate link.