Winter Walking Essentials For Terrier Owners
One of the reasons that I wanted to bring a dog into my life is because I love to go for walks and, for me, walking without a dog just didn’t feel right. Of course, before we bring dogs into our homes, we can pick and chose when we go for a walk. Mostly, we will check the weather and pick the days when, hopefully, there’s no yukky weather.
Terriers Mean All-Weather Walks
When you have dogs, especially terriers, you don’t get much choice when you walk the dog, because owning terriers, generally, means that you will be out in all weathers! OK so some don’t like the rain, but our two like to go out come rain or shine, especially Barney, he doesn’t like to miss his two daily walks at all. In fact, he loves it when it’s frosty, cold and windy so he adores winter walks!
The definition of a terrier is: “a breed of small, active dog, originally used for hunting and chasing animals into or out of their underground holes”.
This definition should give you a pretty good idea of the type of walk to expect when you own terriers. They love to dig, to chase squirrels, go down holes and generally, well, be dogs, the muddier the better!
What Works On Walks With Terriers
So, being a terrier owner we know that practical, hard-wearing, long-lasting, good quality clothes are what is required when we are walking them, because one minute you may be walking with your terrier nicely trotting along beside you and the next they have shot off into the distance chasing something, usually, a squirrel or a smell, not to be seen for the next 10 minutes. Or, you go chasing after them, through puddles, mud, deep into the undergrowth so you don’t lose them!
I really struggle with the cold, over the past six years, I’ve tried out lots of different coats, hats, boots etc to keep myself warm and dry. So here are my winter walking essentials for terrier owners, they may not be stylish or on-trend but, they will get you through those chilly, wet, windy, muddy winter walks with your terrier.
My Winter Walking Essentials
Keeping warm is all about layering, but we all know that don’t we? It also depends on what your natural warmth level is, I am, pretty much, always cold, so I generally wear more layers than most people.
All of the suggestions below are what I choose to wear, obviously, everyone has their own preferences but these are what I like to wear when walking our two terriers in the winter.
So I’ll start with vests, thermal vests. These have been a revelation to me and during winter, I pretty much wear them every day. I really like these ones from Marks & Spencer, I have vests and long-sleeved thermal tops, but there are so many choices now for layering, so have a look at base layers for skiers and climbers.
I also love thermal socks, because my feet get so cold and I can lose the feeling in my toes on very cold days. Again Marks & Spencer do some fantastic thermal socks or look for ski socks.
Tip! Make sure to get the right thickness of socks for your walking boots though!
Over my thermals, I love to add a cosy hoodie or sweatshirt. They should be heavyweight cotton with a lovely fleece lining to keep you warm. Our unisex hoodies and sweatshirts are 85% organic cotton/15% recycled polyester and printed with non-toxic water-based inks. They are super comforting and cosy with a brushed cotton lining, with the longer length in the unisex style hoodies and sweatshirts they keep your lower back warm too. I love to wear them under my long duvet coat with the hoodie pulled up around my neck to keep me warm.
Our women’s hoodies and sweatshirts are shorter in length and whilst still heavyweight organic cotton, they are not brushed cotton lined, so perfect if you want to layer add another underneath.
I live in jeans, gone are the days when I dressed for office life, jeans are my daily uniform now. However, jeans aren’t great on extremely cold days, so I will wear a pair of thermal leggings (Marks & Spencer ones) under them to keep me warm. Also, jeans aren’t great if you get wet whilst out on a walk.
My sister has a pair of Acai Active Wear trousers which come in different styles, lengths, thermal and waterproof. She says they are brilliant and I’m just about to order a pair to try them for myself because, to be honest, I get fed up with wearing jeans and these do look more like trousers than jeans. I like the look of the khaki and black ones, I’ll let you know how I get on with them!
I’m sure every terrier owner walks their dogs, during winter, in waterproof boots of some kind. There are so many to choose from and it is all down to personal preference.
For me, I like to wear long boots, this is because it keeps below my knees dry, a bit warmer and protection from muddy paws! I very rarely wear short hiking style boots, because when I do, I generally end up getting very muddy! haha. So for me, it’s either wellies or waterproof leather boots. Comfort and fit are also important, especially if you are going on long walks. I keep a pair of wellies in the car all the time, for those stops that you weren’t expecting, usually in the middle of nowhere or a muddy field!
I have had my everyday dog walking boots for over five years now, they are a considered purchase but they are very good quality boots and cost per wear is low because I really do wear them all winter!
Tip! Take your walking socks with you when trying on new boots.
We lose 7 to 10% of our body heat through our head! But hats aren’t just good for keeping the heat in, they are also brilliant, if you get the right style, for keeping your ears warm on those bitterly cold windy days.
We stock 4 different styles of bobble hats from one of our favourite brands “Big Bobble Hats” on our website. There are four styles in different colourways, which will, not only, keep your head happy and your ears warm but you will stand out from the crowd in these.
There’s chunky cable knit and sparkly sequinned bobble hats, which are perfect for really cold winter days, they are snug to your ears, fleece-lined thick wool. For those not so cold winter days, we have thinner merino wool bobble hats, stylish and light, they come in star or stripey options, with one beanie for those who don’t like the bobble hat.
I have two go-to dog walking coats, one waterproof and one thick puffa style coat. Both my coats are long, down to my knee, so along with my knee-length boots, this means that muddy paw prints and wet legs are very rare!
I spent ages researching my waterproof coat (read my, blog post here, they’ve updated this particular style of coat, so that the warm lining can be removed. I’d love to have the updated version but there’s nothing wrong with mine so I’ll have to wait till it needs replacing), I’ve had it for five years and I’m really happy with it. Although I’ll be honest, I won’t win any modelling competitions for either of my dog walking coats, but both coats are very practical and keep me warm, which is more important to me than looking good when I’m out walking.
Tip! Make sure you wear a chunky jumper when you are going to try on coats, to ensure it isn’t too tight when you are layering up.
Dog Walking Bag
I love a good dog walking bag, one with pockets and plenty of space for everything needed on a dog walk in winter. This includes gloves, hat, tissues, dog wipes, a little bit of money, dog treats and a snack (just in case) and of course poo bags and keys (I always keep my phone in my pocket). I was very lucky to win a personalised dog walking bag from The Cosy Canine Company and I use it every day.
I love it because it’s cheerful in red and white polka dots (it comes in other colours too) and it has Scruffy Little Terrier embroidered on it. Not only that it is made of waterproof oilcloth but the inside is lined with wipeable fabric (perfect for muddy paw prints!). There’s a handy front pocket for poo bags and a snap closure pocket on the back. Lottie makes each bag personally so you really know you are getting a unique bag.
Walking With Terriers
That well-known quote “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” rings so true when you are walking terriers. Us terrier owners know that terriers aren’t cashmere jumper wearing types of dogs, are they? Whilst we can wear a cashmere jumper, we do need to be practical, warm and dry.
I hope my winter walking essentials has given you some good tips. Let’s be honest, I don’t look stylish when I walk the dogs in the winter BUT I am warm and dry, which means I can enjoy the walk more, because that’s what we want to do with our terriers, isn’t it?
Let me know what your winter walking essential is, I’d love to know!
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