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Top 8 Essential Dog Products for Coping with Winter Walks

Top 8 Essential Dog Products for Coping with Winter Walks

Top 8 Essential Dog Products for Coping with Winter Walks - Lilly the Labrador in her Equafleece coat and ruff wear webmaster sniffin a bush in the snow

If you’re anything like me then you’ll already be dreading the long, wet, winter walks, the mountains of towels, muddy paws and soggy doggies! So I wanted to share my top 8 essential dog products for coping with winter walks with you. This list is made up of products that I have personally used and that I still have. So without further ado, lets get on with it shall we?

Equafleece Dog Coat Fluorescent Yellow

Lilly a yellow Labrador wearing a fluorescent yellow Equafleece

The Equafleece Dog Coat is the only coat we have for Lilly. I love that it’s 100% water repellent, lightweight and can be put in the washing machine too and dries really quick! It’s super easy to put on and is secured with a small square of Velcro and a parachute clip to the front, there is also a parachute clip around the torso. The hi-viz colours are really bright and also have a reflective strip on the back of the coat, perfect for winter walks. Made with polar fleece with beautiful binding, the webbing is high quality. I’ve had the Equafleece now for around 5 years, it’s washed regularly and it’s still in really good condition.

What I would say is that if you have a longer coated breed that once you take off any coat please ensure you brush them well, especially in areas of high friction! I wouldn’t want your beautiful pooch to end up with matting and having to be clipped short at their next grooming appointment!

Order your Equafleece here

Red Dingo Lumitube

With dark winter walks now a regular occurrence, many of us search for the best, LED Collars. Especially those who have breeds with a darker coat colour. The problem is that there are so many LED Collars on the market. Some cheaper than others, I’ve tried a wide variety of LED Collars, however, my favourite is the Red Dingo Lumitube, it runs on 1 x AAA battery something most of us have to hand. Though they are readily available to purchase at most corner shops. This collar isn’t bulky but is very bright and once adjusted to size, it simply slips on and off over your dogs head. I also love that they are weatherproof and waterproof, especially important if your dog likes to swim or roll in muddy puddles like Lilly!

I recommend ordering via Dapper Pets

Hemp by Hownd: Paw, Nose and Skin Wax

Hemp by Hownd skin, nose and paw balm top view of label
©lillythelabrador.com

With the cold winter walks comes the rock salt (grit) and antifreeze, both pose very serious risks to your dog’s health. I use Hemp by Hownd as a barrier wax for Lilly’s paws, this means that should we walk over grit or antifreeze it never actually comes into contact with her paws. I also use this in my own dog grooming business. When we get in from a walk all I have to do is wash her paws when we get home!  I also apply another coat of Hemp by Hownd to ensure that Lilly’s paws don’t dry out and crack. Hemp by Hownd is Cruelty-free, vegan and also has SPF included! I really believe this helps keep Lilly and the dogs I groom’s paws in really good condition.

Order via HOWND

Ruffwear Knot-a-Leash

Ruffwear knot a leash
©lillythelabrador.com

This is my favourite lead for walks with Lilly especially if we are on a busy road or even hiking a mountain. The lead itself has been inspired by rock climbing ropes and features kernmantle rope and a secure locking carabiner! The handle is really comfortable to hold for long walks, even the wet ones! I love that the lead also features a reflective trim which gives further visibility when walking in low visibility conditions such as on winter walks. I’ve become a massive fan of Ruffwear and the quality is amazing, it’s my go to lead for mountain walks and I pair it with the Webmaster harness.

I purchased mine at Crufts, so if you get chance to visit I would recommend it!

Ruffwear Grip-Trex Boots

Top view of ruffwear grip trex  boot
©lillythelabrador.com

If the weather is particularly cold, we are walking on very rocky terrain or if Lilly’s allergies are acting up I use these fab boots. Now, these are far from cheap but during the snow last year they were invaluable. They stopped potentially painful snowballs forming in-between Lilly’s toes, which if left to form can cause frostbite! I also use them to help reduce the amount of grit getting onto Lilly’s paws. These aren’t for everyone but we certainly do rate them. I’ve also used these boots if Lilly’s paws have been sore due to her allergies, to stop her licking and chewing them and making them worse. As I say they are far from cheap but if you are looking to walk mountains or just want peace of mind then they really are worth it in my opinion. Just be sure you follow Ruffwear’s size guide when ordering!

A Good Natural Shampoo

I’m a keen believer in using only natural products on Lilly and this includes shampoo, I use two brands they are Hownd and Herbal Pet Supplies Bless You Shampoo. Both these shampoos are natural and both do a great job at getting the coat clean without stripping its natural oils. I use Hownd in the groom room as it has such a fantastic dilution rate in the professional 5L bottles, however for my customers personal use I recommend Herbal Pet Supplies. This is purely down to cost 250ml of Hownd will cost you £9, whereas Herbal Pet Supplies Bless you Shampoo is only £10 for 500ml, that’s double the amount for £1 more! These are two of my favourite products for dealing with the aftermath of a wet and muddy winter walk.

Aquasorb Towel

Drying dogs is part of my job as a Professional Dog Groomer, so I know a thing or two about towels! I’ve stopped using my own towels and use Aquasorb towels instead, these towels look more like a chamois than a towel, but they literally drink up the water! A single aquasorb towel will absorb 12 times its weight in water! Impressive huh!

Simply pop in the washing machine when done, then roll up and pop back into the container. Please note aquasorb towels are meant to be kept damp!

A good dog drying robe!

I have a few dog robes for Lilly and we wouldn’t be without them! I’ve purchased robes from Dogrobes and Surfdog Australia and we love them both equally. However, we do prefer the look and features of the Surfdog Australia robe. Though I must say we imported our Surfdog robe directly from Australia and it wasn’t the cheapest option. Dogrobes on the other hand are made in Scotland so are much easier to find! If you prefer the look of the Surfdog Australia robe but don’t want to import one then we can highly recommend Ruff and Tumble’s robe which has similar features.

I use Lilly’s robes frequently and find it much easier to use than fumbling around with multiple towels, simply pop on and let your dog dry off whilst they snooze, a great way to end a winter walk.

Conclusion

There you have it that’s our Top 8 Products for Winter Walks, do let us know if you have a product you simply can’t live without for Winter Walks.

Is the Equafleece a Must Have Dog Coat?

Is the Equafleece a Must Have Dog Coat?

Lilly the Labrador wearing the Equafleece in the snow

As the dark, cold and wet walks return, I find myself reaching to Lilly’s box for her coat and I’m sure I’m not the only one. At this time of year, the shops stock up on their dog coats. With so much choice it’s hard to choose. When Lilly was little I tried a number of coats with her so is the Equafleece a must have dog coat? Find out below!

Sizing

Lilly in the snow wearing fluorescent yellow Equafleece coat
©lillythelabrador.com

As with every product bought online whether, for you or your dog, sizing is super important. I personally waited until Lilly was almost fully grown before purchasing our Equafleece. Using the company’s sizing guide I ordered the 28″ Labrador size and waited for the delivery.

When the coat arrived a few days later, I tried the coat on Lilly before removing the tags. This is something I always recommend when purchasing size reliant products, this makes things much easier should you need to return it. As we are still using the same coat 4 years later we can safely say the sizing is spot on.

Features

When ordering Lilly’s Equafleece, I had the dark winter walks very much in my mind. Due to this, I ordered the fluorescent yellow which has a reflective stripe on the back of the coat. The coat has a velcro closure on the front, with a parachute clip on top of it and a parachute clip for the torso. I found the parachute clips really easy to do up and undo, even with cold, wet hands and they were just as easy with thick gloves on too!

The material that the coat is made from is a fleece type material, which Equafleece say is

“high performance woven polyester fleece of the grade and quality found in advanced technical mountaineering wear.”

Performance

As I’ve owned the Equafleece dog coat for a number of years, we’ve had plenty of time to put it to the test!  Living in Wales, UK we have our fair share of wet, windy and snowy weather. We have been on 4+ mile walks in the torrential rain and come back fairly dry, now the Equafleece doesn’t cover the entire torso, the belly area is open as are the legs. So these areas will get wet and muddy, the torso, on the other hand, has been reliably dry even in the most horrible of conditions.

Washing & Drying

Now we’ve washed and dried the Equafleece as per the manufacturers’ guidance a lot in the last 6 years and I’m pleased to report the coat still looks as good as new. We haven’t seen any fraying or bobbling and the colour hasn’t faded either. I do recommend fastening the velcro and both parachute clips before turning the coat inside out. This will help the velcro keep its stickiness and stop the parachute clips damaging your machine.

We personally dry the Equafleece on a ceiling rack which we are lucky to have in our house. The coat is usually dry by the next morning.

Potential Grooming Issues

As with any coat, there is the potential for friction to occur as the dog moves. If you own a  doodle or bichon type dog or a breed with a longer coat, I recommend brushing after every walk! If you don’t focus on brushing your dog after using the coat or after wet and muddy walks, the potential for the coat matting increases significantly!

Value for Money

So do I think that the Equafleece is worth the money?

Well simply put yes I do. When you consider that the Labrador coat costs £35. We’ve owned ours for 6 years it works out at £5.83 a year! That’s fantastic value for money in my opinion.

Purchase directly from Equafleece

*Lilly the Labrador doesn’t get any monetary compensation if you purchase an Equafleece coat, we also purchased our coat back in 2014.