My dogs wardrobe
As the most loyal companion we can ever expect to have by our side, it is not surprising that dog owners want the best for their pooches. As I watched the brilliant show “Dogs behaving (very) badly” on Channel 5, I couldn’t help but gasp at the extravagance of some of those dogs’ lifestyle. They ate better than me, had better hair than me, better clothes and even a better car! Yes! One dog had its own Range Rover!
Dogs are our best friends and as such it is only normal that we want to treat them, and to a degree humanise them. No end of products have been developed to enable dogs to share the same lifestyle as their owners. As I scroll through the doggie influencers on Instagram, I marble at the Poodle sharing a spa experience with her owner as they both sip their Pawsecco and Prosecco; the Bull dog enjoying a pint of “Woof & Brew Bottom Sniffer” beer or the Boxer dog tucking into his own special birthday cake.
I must admit I have a much more traditional approach to dog ownership. No Pawsecco or birthday cake for Suki, although she does enjoy the odd healthy treat, long countryside walks, a lot of play time and endless amounts of cuddles. I probably should also confess that she has a few too many dog beds, one for every room to be precise, even though she is more than happy to lounge on the floor basking in the morning sun.
There is one thing though that Suki does have. And that is a wardrobe of coats. I’m not talking fashion coats to match my outfit, or garments to mark an occasion (Christmas jumper?!). I mean proper functional coats that serve a purpose that has nothing to do with looks.
Suki is a rescued mongrel from Spain. We think she has some Jack Russell in her and probably some Pointer too, as well as no doubt a number of other breeds down the line as well. She looks very much like an overgrown terrier with short hair and despite having been in the UK for 6 years now she still feels the cold. The cold isn’t an issue though if we are moving, but if we are going to be standing still at any point, or if we are indoors and we don’t put the heating on, she feels it and needs an extra layer. This is why she has a better coat wardrobe than me!
Our most used coat is the WeatherBeeta ComFiTec Reflective Dog Coat. It is made from a silver material that will reflect any light meaning that Suki is easily visible when we walk at night. She walks for the most part off the lead so it is really important to me that she can be seen should the smell of a rabbit catch her terrier nose and she dart off after it. I wouldn’t walk her in the dark without this jacket on as her safety is paramount to me. The great thing about the coat is that it is also waterproof which means it doubles up for those days when I have no choice but to persuade her to leave the warm house during a torrential downpour, something we both avoid whenever possible!
She never wears a coat during the day unless it is properly chucking it down as we tend to be on the move, and she can easily generate warmth by running about. However, when we go hiking in the mountains, I do take the WeatherBeeta ComFiTec Windbreaker Free with us. I carry it for the most part of the hike, but when we stop for lunch or a snack, she can’t help but sit with me and stare at my food in the hope I might drop some of it. It is very easy to get cold very quickly on the hills and it doesn’t take long for her to start shivering. That is why I carry the Windbreaker with me, to protect her from the elements during our chilled out moments. The Windbreaker is a much lighter coat than the Reflective one and therefore it is perfect for me to carry in my backpack. It is also fleece lined which means I’m not putting a cold nylon lining on her. This coat is described as shower proof rather than waterproof. We have been caught out in some horrendous weather on our treks and I must say, the water has never seeped through.
A large part of Suki’s time revolves around being at the yard whilst I ride. Although she has the freedom to wander around as she wishes, and could indeed run about to warm up, she is inherently lazy and after the initial sniff about she is quite content to curl up in the tackroom or stable, neither of which are warm. This is why she has a yard coat: the WeatherBeeta ComFiTec Premier Free Deluxe. It is warm, it is waterproof, it covers the belly area and it gets left at the yard as it stinks! In fact, that is a good reason for her to wear it, as otherwise it would be her that would stink of manure and fox excrement, her two favourite things to roll in! The belly wrap also stops her from getting an overly muddy belly therefore minimising the amount of bathing she needs (one of her least favourite activities!).
Her fourth and final outdoor coat is the WeatherBeeta ComFiTec Tweed dog coat. We don’t tend to use this coat as much but it offers a smarter option for outings during cold days when some standing about may be required. The pandemic has meant this has been few and far between, but in a life pre-COVID it wouldn’t be unusual for us to spend an afternoon watching some team chasing whilst enjoying a picnic in what was never particularly pleasant weather; or indeed a trip down to the local market or hours spent at competitions watching me ride. Not only does it look smart but it is also incredibly warm.
For indoors we have two coats. The WeatherBeeta Fleece dog coat (now discontinued and upgraded to the newer WeatherBeeta Fleece Zip Dog Coat and the WeatherBeeta Therapy-Tec Fleece which is a relatively new purchase.
The WeatherBeeta Fleece has always been our go to for after bath time as not only does it help dry her much quicker than au naturel but it also limits the wet dog smell. It also offers the perfect warmth for those days when we are trying to save money by not turning the heating on. Admittedly, I’m also from Spain and my tolerance for cold is on a par with Suki’s, so we often win the battle, and the heating gets turned on!
The reason we recently bought the WeatherBeeta Therapy-Tec Fleece is to help Suki in her old age. We already have the WeatherBeeta Therapy-Tec dog bed, which Suki always favours after a long run or walk, so we thought it was time to give her an extra helping hand with the fleece too. The Therapy-Tec range features ceramic fabric technology which enhances blood flow and therefore delivers extra nutrients whilst eliminating lactic acid and toxins. Since using this coat we have noticed Suki recovers much quicker from strenuous walks than when we don’t use it. I know the day will come when she won’t be able to join me anymore, however, she loves an adventure as much as me and I am grateful to have found a product that allows her to still enjoy them whilst remaining comfortable.
So as you can see Suki does have quite the functional wardrobe. In fact, we have the same amount of coats! Is she pampered? I don’t think so. I’m just like every other dog owner, in love with my pooch and wanting the best for her.