Let’s face it, Midwest winters are tough, especially when you aren’t equipped with must-have gear for dog walking. I find myself waking up each morning vowing to walk my dog at least four times that day for at least 30 minutes per walk. Aside from life interfering with this plan, I’m almost always counting down the seconds until I can once again return to the warmth of my home. My initial 30 minute aspirations seem far fetched and unachievable when faced with sub zero temps.
So how do we combat this desire to avoid the cold? Get good gear. Below we’ll talk about the must-have gear for dog walking in the winter and in general.
I’ve been suckered in to trying the coats that claim to be so warm that you could wear them in Antartica with nothing underneath them but these coats don’t do anything for me unless I layer. Before heading out on any outdoor trek, long underwear is a must! Sometimes, I will wear long underwear, leggings and then fleece leggings on the outermost layer. Many people don’t realize that the two places that are the most exposed are your legs and head. We’ll walk through some favored face and head coverings later, but for now, checkout our list of BEST winter layering gear.
- LL Bean silk long underwear: I always prefer to wear silk long underwear, as they breathe better and are easier to fit other layers over. LL Bean’s silk options are also available in men’s.
- Athleta fleece leggings: These are my #1 winter must-have.
- Thermal Turtleneck: Yes, your neck does get cold when dog walking and will make you feel cold as a result! Cover up that neck with a thermal base layer.
Head and Hand Gear
There are so many hat and glove options that it’s easy to find yourself confused as to what is best! Here are our favorites:
- Starling Hats: Lining is essential in hats and what’s better than a FULLY fleece lined hat?! These hats not only keep you cozy but look good in the process.
- Balaclava: Even after COVID is done, balaclavas should still be worn when walking outside for excessive periods of time in frigid temps.
- 66 North mittens: I’ve dog walked professionally and personally for more than 10 years, two of those years during polar vortexes. Without a doubt, the best mittens are always from 66 North. I’ve had the same pair for more than 10 years and they are still in great shape!
Dog Walker Specialties
Below we list a few tools that can take you through summer to winter to make dog walking a breeze!
- Hands Free Dog Leash: If you have a strong dog or need your hands free for other things like pushing a stroller, then this will be the best thing you can buy! A hands free leash with treat pocket allows you to use your body when your dog tugs hard on the leash. It also allows you to walk more productively by treating consistently.
- Musher’s Secret: It’s no “secret” that most dogs dread wearing boots. Some even refuse to walk with boots on. This is where Musher’s comes in. Whether it’s hot pavement or salt, Musher’s is an easy-to-use paw wax that creates a barrier between your dog’s paw and the ground they are walking on.
- Dog Backpack: If your dog likes to work and doesn’t mind the extra warmth of a jacket, then we suggest you check out this awesome dog backpack where you can house, poop bags, water bowls, treats, and more.
Heated Must-Have Gear for Dog Walking
Did you know that heated jackets, pants, and shirts exist? These heated clothing options are now much sleeker and easier to use than in the past where bulky battery packs were necessary. If warmth is the most important thing to you, then these products are for you!
- Heated Pants: These pants will keep you toasty warm and can be layered under jeans or other looser fitting pants.
- Heated Jacket: This jacket is not only attractive but comes packed with ethically sourced goose down.
We hope you enjoyed Dogs Deserve It’s list of must-have gear for dog walking!
Are you searching for a dog walker in the greater Chicago area? Dogs Deserve It is a Google 5-Star rated dog walking service with on-leash etiquette, advanced GPS tracking solutions that ensure accountability and an absolute LOVE for man’s best friend. Learn more about our dog walking services today.