Black dog Tom standing in the snow with a mound of snow on the tip of his nose
Folks often ask me how I get out in the cold with the dogs so often. What is my go-to gear. A few words: YakTrax, Musher’s Secret, Flip Mittens and Fleece Lined Cap.
4 products that make walking in the cold, ice and snow do-able for the canine crew and me.
I have no vested interest in any of these companies, I just really appreciate their products, have used them for many years and wanted to pass along my field tested experience with them. Your experience may differ or vary, that’s ok.
YakTrax if you are unfamiliar are sort of like crampons, only less of the impale your dog’s foot with a spike when you accidentally step on them risk. YakTrax design is a rubber webbing of sorts that fits around your shoes or boots, then the rubber is surrounded by a thin metal coil that grips into the ice increasing your traction. No spikes. Just wire. Safer for dog feet around a klutz like me.
Musher’s Secret is amazing stuff. Especially when you have a dog with an over anglulated rear who when he walks his rear feet brush his front feet meaning no dog boots ever made will actually stay on his feet. Trust me I’ve tried. So many styles, so many times. It’s a paw wax that I smear on their feet right before we go out, it helps to keep snow balls from forming between their pads and if we happen to cross paths with salted areas, helps to keep the salt from causing ouchy feet. Over the years I’ve tried the brand name and the off brand ones, I always end up back to the Musher’s Secret, it just seems to work more effectively with less need for reapplication.
Flip Mittens. Are my best winter friend. I wear thin fleece gloves under them, then my thick bright orange flip mittens. When it’s super cold, I switch to down filled mittens over my fleece gloves, but for most of the winter the flip mittens are my go to.
A couple of years ago I came across the fleece lined cap that Duluth Trading makes and it has become my winter go to. Brimmed hats are a necessity anytime I step outside my door, and most winter hats don’t have a brim, this one does. I also need the option to not have something over my ears so I can hear the traffic. Duluth makes a fleece ear thing they call the Shoreman’s Ear Flap that fits around any brimmed cap that I love. As it’s easy for me to keep 1 or both ears uncovered, or depending on where I am both covered (like in the woods).
Do you have any favorite go-to winter gear that enables you to get out with your dog?