Walk Smart this Autumn
Have you dug out last year’s coat, hat and boots only to discover that they look, well, a bit drab? And are you dreading all the mud and wet that is the nemesis of the autumn dog walker? You’re in luck! We’ve been scouring the shops for all the best kit to help you, and your dog, walk smart this autumn!
The Lightweight but Warm Waterproof
As the leaves fall and the nights draw in, walking coat-less is not an option, but autumn coats need to be like Goldilocks and her porridge: not too hot and not too cold. You don’t want a full-on goose down coat only to be boiling after 10 minutes, nor something so lightweight that you shiver for the whole walk. The Barbour Headland WaterProof Jacket is stylish, lightweight, waterproof and cosy. At £179 this classic is not cheap but it will last, and it has a hood and lots of pockets for treats and leads, so it’s practical too. For £129 you can buy the Joules Allweather 3-In-1 Waterproof Coat which has a removable fleece, and is completely waterproof. For men, the Helly Hansen Waterproof Dubliner Jacket, at £110 in John Lewis, is a lightweight, waterproof and windproof classic jacket for the more conservative males amongst you!
These Boots are Made for Walking
Nipping outside in bare feet is suddenly not such an attractive option in autumn, so Ed swears by his Back DoorShoes which, funnily enough, sit by his back door! They are so easy to slip on and off without the palaver of putting on shoes. We’re rather partial to the doggy ones, but there are all sorts of funky designs and they are a bargain at £25. For walking in muddy fields, the Hunter welly is in a class of its own. This tall and comfortable boot is excellent at keeping trousers mud free, and we rather like the Hunter glossy quilted wellies which cost £125.
If you want a little pit stop on your autumn walk, you’ll be needing a waterproof blanket, and we loved this one from The National Trust. On longer walks there’s nothing quite so lovely as a cuppa at a favourite viewing spot, and we thought this flask and two mugs set from Lakeland, in its handy carrying case, was particularly clever.
Autumn Friendly Dog Toys
It’s OK throwing a ball in the summer – it doesn’t get muddy. But when autumn comes you may want to invest in a new Chuck It Ultra Grip Ball Launcher. This one has a great grip and solid handle, so no more slobbery balls for you to pick up thank you very much!
Handling the Mess of Muddy Mutts
Muddy, wet walks make dogs happy, and if they are happy, so are we. But, and it’s a big but, managing the mess makes work and is a hassle. We think that the answer to reducing the work is investing in the right kit. Alison swears by her portable dog washer. You can fill them with warm water, and the cheaper ones with a pump, rather than a battery, start at around £30. The Karcher OC3 Portable Cleaner is not cheap at £129, but is compact enough for the car, and the pump makes it quick and effective to use. Muddy wet dogs and cars don’t really go, so invest in some Ruff and Tumble Dog Drying Coats and Mitts which will dry your dogs in half an hour, keep them warm and protect your car and home. A Ruff and Tumble Sofa Throw is handy in the back of the car too. Double layered towelling absorbs wet and protects anything you want, not just sofas.
Happy autumn walking from us all at Ruff and Tumble!