Whilst the days may be lengthening (you are forgiven for not noticing) here at Henry Wag the feeling that we are in the midst of winter have never been stronger. With half the team having been off with cold and flu bugs and the rest of us recovering, springtime still feels a long way away.

Those of us who have hounds to exercise really feel the impact of the winter weather. The effects of the relentless rainfall blight our every outing with footpaths and fields wet and muddy and impassable to all but those in wellies or stout walking boots. Even when the clouds clear and the sun shines (as it is today) the underfoot conditions remain poor, resulting in filthy footwear and even filthier dogs.

So, what can be done to minimise the “Dirty Dog Effect?” Well, if you have active dogs, not going out is not an option, so let’s strike that from the list! All dogs (Like Scout here) need exercise to remain physically and mentally fit and, as with many things in life, the secret lies in preparation for what we know is going to happen and in preparation for the unexpected.

Firstly, if you transport your dog in the car to the place of exercise, carry a towel. Not a bath towel, which will get wet, stay wet and smell. Use a high absorbency, quick drying microfibre towel. Then you are prepared for the unexpected with an immediate wet dog solution, so eliminating the dirt and wet from the car and ensuring the dirt and water never make it into the car or your home.

To be truly prepared, you could fit a boot area protector or seat cover into the car. This will give you peace of mind that even if the dog does jump into the car uninvited, your high value investment will be protected from the “Dirty Dog Effect.” Other products which can help in dirt control include a Dog Drying Jacket, particularly useful for long haired breeds. The jacket will wick the water out of the dog’s coat during the journey home reducing the effects of shaking and leaving your dog dry, warm and fresh. A dog drying bag has a similar effect.

If you walk your dog from home, keep a microfibre towel or drying coat close to the door. That way, when you return from your wet walk, you can grab the towel and eliminate the “Dirty Dog Effect” before it even enters your home.

Like some one important once said, “There’s no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothes”, so it is with dog walking. Dogs need exercise and with the correct clothes for you and the right dirt control products, you and your dog can have a fun and active outdoor life regardless of the conditions.