Autumn is definitely upon us and although the weather for the time of year in the UK has been mild so far, it holds the promise of much colder weather to come. As a dog owner, there are few things that are nicer than watching your happy pup romping around in the leaves on a crisp autumn day, but when the season starts to show its colder side, how do you and your dog continue to get the most out of your walks together?
As the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes once said: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing”. This is true just as much for your dog as it is for you. If you get ready to go out by wrapping yourself up in several layers of warm clothing, plus a waterproof layer and wellies, then you should probably spare a thought for your dog’s apparel too.
Although dogs come equipped with their own fur coats, some dogs are more able to adapt to colder temperatures than others. Huskies and St Bernards, for example, are genetically adapted to colder temperatures and would be uncomfortable if they wore a coat, whereas dogs with thinner coats such as Greyhounds, Jack Russells or Chihuahuas can really use the extra insulation. Even if your dog is of the fluffier kind, its likely that the fur on its tummy is more sparse than the fur elsewhere on its body, so a little insulation in that area might be needed. Older dogs will also start to feel the cold more as they get older, and will appreciate a little extra warmth on their daily outings.
Dog coats can also provide a valuable waterproof and windproof layer to protect against the worst that the UK winter can throw at you and your dog is likely to appreciate this just as much as you do. The Dog Overall Long II (pictured above) not only provides warmth and insulation, but has extra long legs to keep off some of that pesky winter mud and muck. As an alternative, the Grizzly II dog coat (pictured left) provides multi-layered warmth with a waterproof outer and padded, fleece lining. The coat comes in a variety of sizes and is fully adjustable to keep out those chilly breezes. Both of these coats are real favourites with zooplus customers and get great reviews.
Dog clothing can also be useful indoors when temperatures fall, especially if you’re saving on your energy bills by wrapping yourself up in an extra layer and keeping the thermostat turned down low. Another way to keep your dog warm indoors (or in its kennel) is to use an electric or microwaveable heat pad that can be placed under the dog’s bed. Much like a conventional electric blanket, heat pads can be placed under your dog’s blanket to give them extra warmth: this can also be soothing if they are stressed or ill.
If you are heading out on an expedition into the cold and dark, you and your canine explorer also need to make sure that you have the right equipment to make it back to base camp safely. In particular, it’s vital that you and your dog can be seen by car drivers and cyclists if you are planning to walk near roads. The Polar Bear dog coat (pictured) has reflectors on all of its seams and straps, to make your dog easily visible in traffic at night and is available in a wide variety of sizes. It is waterproof, windproof and breathable, but also keeps in the warmth, so your dog stays comfortable in even the meanest weather conditions.
A variety of other neon or reflective dog coats are also available in our dog shop, along with a selection of flashing pendants, which can be attached to your dog’s collar. This Trixie Bones pendant can help to make your dog visible in the dark, from a distance of up to 200m. This can be especially useful if you are walking on off-road footpaths, which may also be used by joggers or cyclists, with the added bonus that you can see where your dog has sped off to if you have chosen to let him off the lead!
We also stock a selection of reflective dog leads, reflective and flashing dog collars and other safety accessories in our dog shop. Take a look today and see how we can make Winter a brighter and warmer time of year for you and your canine.