Pets

As the days get shorter and wintry con­di­tions set in, per­haps you need some new dog ac­ces­sories to help them stay warm, dry, safe and vis­i­ble

EDP Norfolk - - Inside -

Keep your an­i­mals safe as nights draw in

THOSE LONG, warm, sum­mer days and nights are al­ready long for­got­ten as the evenings draw in and dark­ness still lingers long after your alarm clock goes off.

But while you might be­moan the change in sea­sons and short­en­ing of the days your dog won’t be put off by the cold, dark con­di­tions and will be just as ea­ger for its daily walk as ever.

How­ever, it is im­por­tant to con­sider pro­vid­ing some pro­tec­tion for your pooch. The pet ac­ces­sory mar­ket is now full of fan­tas­tic op­tions cov­er­ing all shapes and sizes of dogs, whether you are look­ing for some­thing to keep them warm, keep out the rain or to make sure they can be eas­ily seen on dark nights.

Here are some of our favourite ideas:

RE­FLEC­TIVE COL­LARS

Some are sim­ply made from re­flec­tive ma­te­rial, shin­ing brightly in a car’s head­lights or un­der street light­ing, while oth­ers come with built in lights to im­prove vis­i­bil­ity even fur­ther – and en­abling you to keep track of your pet if you let them off their lead after dark in an en­closed space.

The Trixie USB flash light band dog col­lars start at £18 and are made from light sil­i­cone with a steady glow and a range of flash­ing modes to choose from. They are de­signed for both short-haired and long-haired dogs.

DOG LEADS

You don’t need to stop at a col­lar; there are a great range of leads on the mar­ket which are fan­tas­tic for walk­ing in the dark. Most are wa­ter­proof, tough in de­sign and come in bright flu­o­res­cent colours. The Flexi Neon re­tractable leads come in five sizes and start at £10 and the lead, cord and cas­ing come in bright flu­o­res­cent yel­low.

CLOTH­ING

As well as mak­ing sure your dog can be seen – it is also im­por­tant to con­sider whether they are warm and dry. Some prod­ucts pro­vide warmth, oth­ers are wa­ter­proof and some will com­bine sev­eral el­e­ments to suit your pet’s needs.

There are a huge range of prod­ucts on the mar­ket cov­er­ing all bud­gets, but if pos­si­ble buy­ing a coat with some flu­o­res­cent colour on it – whether all over or sim­ply a strip of re­flec­tive ma­te­rial – will pro­vide ex­tra safety.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ken­nel Club, there are sev­eral things to con­sider be­fore buy­ing a coat for your dog. Some short-coated or re­cently clipped dogs can re­ally feel the cold so can ben­e­fit from a fit­ted jumper or coat while on walks in colder months while some long coated dogs may ben­e­fit from pro­tec­tive cloth­ing to keep them clean and dry dur­ing wet and muddy weather.

The most im­por­tant thing is to make sure it fits prop­erly, doesn’t cause dis­com­fort to your dog and that your dog will tol­er­ate wear­ing it. It is also es­sen­tial that you never make a puppy wear clothes in­doors.

Fi­nally it’s not just dogs that need to be seen while out and about – don’t for­get your cat. There are lots of dif­fer­ent re­flec­tive and light up cat col­lars on the mar­ket, but make sure it is a safe quick-re­lease de­sign.

Ol­lie and Lexi in their bright win­ter walk­ing coats

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