The dogs and I are always outdoors exploring the countryside, so anything we use needs to be tough, durable and long lasting. This includes getting wet & muddy whilst still keeping my dogs safe and comfortable.
A normal walk for us includes fields & woodland, with rivers and lakes along the way. So we put these Ruffwear products to the test to see how they do on a proper spaniel adventure.
The Ruffwear sizing is very inclusive. The dimensions are online, and for all of the following products Woody is wearing a Small [He’s never been a small in his life!] and Wilma an XSmall. So many brands only cater for smaller breeds, so the fact that Woody, a large spaniel, is only a Small means that Labradors, Pointers and up can all join in the fun!
Wilma is catching up, but Woody is still my No.1 water obsessed spaniel, so it was only right that he got to test this out showing what he loves best! He is wearing the Float Coat in ‘Sockeye Red’.
When I shared this pointy toe’d photo of Woody on Instagram the other day I got a few comments asking why Woody was wearing a life jacket. Which is a totally reasonable question! Woody absolutely adores swimming, and certainly isn’t a weak swimmer so why would he need to wear a floatation aid?
Swimming is the only thing that tires him out. He could run and walk all day long, but a good swim and he is exhausted! So wearing the Float Coat means it takes some of the strain off his body and he doesn’t use up so much of his energy. Now he wouldn’t wear this every time he goes swimming, when he sees water there is no stopping him and I probably won’t have the coat to hand. However if we’re spending the day at the beach or are heading to a lake for some training and I know he’ll be in the water for a longer amount of time then i’d definitely put it on.
The handle on the back is very useful for helping to lift him out of the water where he chooses the steepest exit. It’s also easy to grab if you’re out doing watersports with your dog. I’ve always wanted to try Kayaking or Stand up paddle boarding with the dogs, [but I think Woody would enjoy leaping off and pushing me into the water!].
Woody also wears a Ruffwear Float Coat at Hydrotherapy like all the other dogs do. I thought beforehand that if they use them on all the clients in the water everyday then they must be very durable & they certainly passed our spaniel proof test.
Along the back there is a strap for Ruffwear’s beacon light, so if you’re out when the light starts to fade you can still keep an eye on them swimming. Underneath the handle there is also a clip to attach a lead, so you have extra control over them if you’re on a boat, board, kayak etc.
You can buy the Float Coat here.
If I’m out with the dogs somewhere where they have to be on a lead for a long period of time, e.g. at a show or on a long walk with livestock or it’s not safe to let them off, then they always wear a harness. But living in the beautiful Cotswold countryside means that most of the time the dogs are either wet, muddy or both, so finding something that’s comfortable for active dogs, yet durable and long lasting is an absolute must.
Ruffwear have always been recommended by dog owners that love hiking, running and anything outdoors so I couldn’t wait to put it to the test! Wilma is wearing the Front Range harness in ‘Twilight Gray’, but I’ve also had lots of recommendations that the Webmaster is perfect for those escape artists who can sometimes wiggle out of harnesses because there’s an extra strap.
The Front range harness is slightly shorter so suits Wilma’s body better. There is an extra lead attachment on the front, so if you have an older or slower dog that tends to be behind you this is more comfortable than a back attachment.
Wilma wore this whilst running through streams and having a swim in the river. It was lightweight, not holding her back whilst she swam, also not absorbing all the water to make it heavier. It then dries off really quickly with a quick run around in the sunshine.
You can buy the harness here.
In the same colour as the harness I went for the Front Range lead in Grey, to have a coordinating set with the harness. What makes this different to a normal dog lead is the Swiveling Crux Clip which I haven’t seen before [And I have a LOT of dog leads!], meaning it’s easy to attach using just one hand, and prevents the lead getting twisted.
Lower down on the lead is a handy handle [Aren’t all handles handy?], again a first for me but it gives you something else to hold onto if you need more control over your dog if a car is coming or you need to hold them etc.
You can buy the lead here.
After the recent warm spell this Jet stream cooling jacket was thoroughly put to the test! Every dog is different but after a good run Woody’s tongue will be hanging out of his mouth even in the winter months, because that’s how they let out heat. For me I can use this as a temperature gage for him. On a hot day I know if he’s cooling down if his tongue disappears. So after just a couple of minutes wearing the cooling vest I knew it was doing the job and keeping him happy and comfortable.
This wraps around his body and moves with him, so he can run, jump and do all things spaniel without it slipping or flapping around. The best bit for me is that it runs all along his stomach rather than just a strap underneath. The stomach is the first place I want to cool down so this is perfect.
He can wear this for the duration of the walk or all day around the house. I’d be worried if he was running through bushes and brambles as it’s only thin and lightweight so I wouldn’t want it ripping. But it stays cool for a while and i can just re-soak it throughout the day when all the water has evaporated.
You can buy the cooling vest here.
I absolutely adore the Ruffwear products we have tried and tested, and I know for certain I will use them for many years to come. Do you have anything from Ruffwear which you love also?
Thanks for reading,
Megan, Woody & Wilma
Thanks to Ruffwear for working with us on this post.