On winter evenings when it’s dark by 5pm, and snowing outside, it’s tempting to just stay indoors and hibernate. In the summer, when it’s hot and sultry, it can be difficult to summon up the energy to go for a walk too. Unfortunately, those of us who are dog owners don’t have that luxury. After all, your dog needs plenty of fresh air and exercise each day to keep him/her happy.
The best clothes for dog walking include:
- Base layers, jackets, coats, and gilets.
- Hats, socks, and gloves.
- Warm trousers.
- Dog walking boots and footwear.
Later, I’ll cover the footwear you should plump for and point out what accessories every dog walker should have on hand.
First though, let’s discover more about the best dog walking gear to look for.
Best Dog Walking Gear
Here, I’ve listed several items you’ll want to consider when looking for good quality dog walking clothes and gear.
Layers are essential if you want to stay dry and comfortable when you’re out dog walking. Wearing several lightweight layers will allow air pockets to form which will trap heat and keep you warm. If, on the other hand, you get too warm, you can easily shed a layer to cool down.
Base layers can help you stay warm and comfortable too. Avoid cotton as this may soak up sweat and get heavy. Instead, go for a material that has good ‘wicking’ performance, and draws sweat and moisture away from the body.
Jackets or Coats
A waterproof jacket or coat is a must when out dog walking. These are the best features to look for in a jacket to wear when walking your pup.
- A hood – The hood should be big enough to cover any head gear you’re wearing.
- Pockets – Some pockets should be big enough to carry dog treats and poo bags, or even a toy. Is there a safe pocket that’s suitable to keep your money or phone in? This is something well worth thinking about before making a purchase.
- Length – Is the jacket an appropriate length for where you’ll be walking? For instance, if you’re going to be walking across fields, is it too long to allow you to climb over styles easily?
Trousers should ideally be waterproof and washable, especially if your dog is highly active and enjoys jumping in muddy puddles, often getting you dirty too.
Trousers should also have an elasticated waist to allow ease of movement. Are there zips at the bottom of them to close around the ankle so that you need not remove your boots to put the trousers on?
The best dog walking trousers are made of a breathable material to stop you overheating and sweating and have lots of pockets in which you can carry toys, treats and poo bags.
Body Warmers or Gilets
Gilets and body warmers are fantastic if you’re going the layers route. They will give you an extra layer of warmth where it’s most needed — around your back — while still allowing free movement of your arms so you can play with your dog and throw a ball to your heart’s content.
Hats, Socks, and Gloves
Remember to wear a hat to stop cold rain from trickling down your neck or getting into your eyes. SEALSKINZ have a range of good waterproof hats to choose from.
It’s also a good idea to buy a good thick pair of woollen socks and a good quality pair of gloves. Read my review and see the dog walking gloves that I recently bought.
Dog walking gloves should be warm, waterproof and provide you with good grip. Many brands of dog walking gloves have silicone mesh on the palms and fingertips to give you better grip so you can comfortably hold your dog’s leash. For more on the best dog walking gloves to buy, check out ‘What Should You Wear when Walking Your Dog in Winter’ over on the excellent Beans blog.
Now it’s time to cover what is arguably the most crucial element of your dog walking attire, the footwear.
What Footwear Should You Wear for Dog Walking?
As tempting as it may be to don your favourite pair of trainers, they are unlikely to be much use off road and will not stand up to the test of a lengthy walk across all types of terrain. Instead, invest in shoes that will support and protect your feet, allowing you to easily keep up with your dog.
The best shoes for dog walking have tough soles with good grip and are both breathable and waterproof. Leather shoes are probably the way to go in the winter, but you might want to plump for a lighter mesh fabric in summer.
Here are 5 of the best dog walking shoes on the market.
These shoes are suitable for a range of outdoor activities. They offer good support and grip, which makes them ideal for dog walking. They can feel stiff when new though, so break them in a bit, before you go for a long walk in them.
These walking shoes are ultra-lightweight. While still offering great stability and protection. The material is breathable, so your feet won’t get sweaty. You may want to use waterproofing spray on them to ensure your feet stay dry, as they are not waterproof. The soles absorb shocks from the ground and protect the sole of your foot well.
These are super comfy and boast a lot of flexibility which makes for good support, and a snug fit that still allows your feet to breathe. They are durable and are a smart choice for dog walking.
Karrimor Supa for Men
Technically, these shoes are made for men, but the colours used are versatile and I don’t see why ladies couldn’t wear them. These shoes have excellent grip but aren’t waterproof. They are excellent value compared to some competitor brands, though.
Skechers are comfortable, practical, and of good quality. They are perfect for those who need a wide-fit shoe.
Next, I’ll highlight some useful accessories to have on hand on a dog walk, now you know the best clothes to wear.
7 Accessories Every Dog Walker Needs
Be sure to pick up a few of these dog walking accessories to make your experience easier, more enjoyable, and safe.
A good quality lead
You need to make sure the lead you use is durable and able to stand up to your dog pulling on it. If you buy a lead with a hands-free option, you can tie it around your waist to keep your hands free so you can play with your pup.
It’s important that you clean up your dog’s poo when out walking. Doing so benefits you, your dog and the environment. You should ensure you always have plenty of durable poo bags on hand that won’t easily rip.
It’s not uncommon to find some poo sticking to your dog’s bum after they’ve done their business on a walk. Keep some dog wipes on hand to help keep your dog clean and comfortable.
A dog walking torch
If you’re walking out in the early morning or late evening after sundown, it can be a good idea to carry a torch with you. You will make yourself and your pup more noticeable to motorists, cyclists, and joggers. It will also help you see the path or road before you and avoid any obstacles. Read ‘Best Dog Walking Torch’ to find the best one.
A water bowl
No matter the weather, it’s possible that your dog might want a drink when on a long walk. Instead of making him or her wait until you make it home, why not take a collapsible water bowl with you that you can use as needed. This is especially important if it’s hot outside.
Do you have a hard time holding your dog’s attention? Are you training them and want to reinforce good or desirable behaviours? Keep some treats in your coat pockets. If you have more than one dog and are walking them together, treats are great for gaining your dog’s attention and keeping them together.
A bum bag
You must have started to wonder how you are going to carry all this paraphernalia with you on your dog walks. In a bum bag, of course! Bum bags offer a comfortable way for you to carry stuff, without having to use your hands, and they allow you to walk comfortably too, so you can keep up with your dog. If bum bags aren’t your style, a shoulder bag will do the same job.
There you have it. I’ve covered the best clothes for dog walking, discussed the perfect footwear, and detailed several useful accessories that no dog walker should be without. Hopefully, you now know how best to kit yourself out for a dog walk and make your rambles an enjoyable part of the day for both you and your pup.