Make no mistakes about it. The weather has been wet! As professional dog walkers we know the importance of dressing smart and there is no more important time to do this than when the weather is chucking it down.
What’s the saying .. there’s no bad weather, only poor dressing for it .. how true is this. And if you own a dog then it makes sense to stock up on some of these essentials to make your life easier. I’ve listed my top three items below in order of importance (to me). What’s your “go to” item for walking in the rain? We’d love to know so get commenting below or over on Facebook.
Everyone will have their own opinion about the right shoes for walking in wet weather; some will go for a solid water proof walking boot, while others will stick to their trusty Duberry boots and look smart all year round. For me it’s got to be a quality welly! Don’t get me wrong, I love my Duberry’s but I see these as more of a city wander piece, something I wear when I have a nosy around town, perhaps stopping off in a pub for lunch with friends .. you get the point. I don’t see them as something I fancy wearing when trudging through mud! I’ve also tried the water proof walking shoes but found these were way too heavy and cumbersome, I felt I was walking around with a kilo weight around my heels, not for me.
Welly’s are just the perfect option in my opinion for wet weather dog walking. Of course if you’re going to go for a hike then this isn’t what you’d choose. Nor is it what you’d choose for hours and hours of walking anywhere. But for most average dog owners who get out for an hour or so a day they are perfect. But not just any welly. It’s important to invest in a good quality item which will not only fit well, but be comfortable to walk in (most cheap welly’s are not) and last you for a good year or two.
I have two which I love. The Aigle boot and a pair of Muck boots. The Aigle I find to be a bit more lightweight to wear. They are extremely comfy and breathable but I feel may not last as long as the Muck boots which are really sturdy and subsequently a bit of a heavier wear.
They are really comfortable and while I still wouldn’t recommend them for serious walking (talking a day out and about) they are the perfect option for professional dog walkers who need dry feet for a good 3 hours of walking in mud, snow or rain. They can be easily washed down at the end of the day and guarantee you will not be mid walk and find yourself in a puddle of mud which has not only ruined your running shoes but also the rest of your day.
I recommend having a small crate within the foot well of your car / van which you place the welly’s into after your walk; this will contain the mud and water to one place – leaving your vehicle nice and clean regardless of where you previously walked.
The next most important item you can own for walking in wet weather are water proofs. There’s no point in wearing your nice coat out when walking the dog as they always manage to get themselves full of mud and with a good ol’ shake post walk decorate your clothing in their mess! And for us dog walkers, there is also nothing worse than wearing tons of layers or a thick winter coat, only to find mid walk that we are overheating and miserable.
In my opinion, jeans are just too uncomfortable for a day out and about, they rise in all the wrong places and if wet become the most frustrating thing to wear. They don’t dry out quickly and will make your seat completely soaked which is most unpleasant to drive in but pretty smelly too! My go to time and again is a simple cotton long sleeve (if winter) with a thermal sweater on top. For bottoms I own 10+ leggings. These are so comfortable to just pull on at the start of the day and allow me to move without restriction. Before a walk all you do is pull your water proof jacket and trousers out of your bag and throw them on, tucking the trousers into your welly boots will ensure that no water trickles down your ankles making your feet wet. At the end of the walk you can peel away the soaking wet items and tuck in your bag which sits next to your welly container on the floor. You can then drive off as dry as when you set off and will have the added bonus of being clean enough to pick up the kids from school, go shopping, etc .. ! You can get water proofs just about anywhere, but do think about investing in something which will last. I bought my latest gear from Go Outdoors but you can also get good quality walking clothes at Cotswold Outdoors, John Lewis and other high street retailers.
Some people love hats to keep their head and ears warm in the cold, damp weather. But not me. I find a hat a bit too restrictive and a “hoody” is even worse as you can’t see the dogs to the right and left of you without actually turning your head. Annoying. I love these hand bands from Cotswold Outdoors as they keep my ears warm and also my hair back off my face. In winter we not only face wet weather but also gusty wind so these are just the perfect thing for combating both.