The other day at the dog park, one of the other walkers asked me why I dressed so nice to take the dogs for a (muddy and sweaty) walk and swim. As good an excuse as any to talk about a Signature Wardrobe Dog Walking Outfit. The outfit I was wearing is for warmer weather, and shares elements with my exercise, yard work, beach, and house cleaning outfits.
It’s outdoor, and the park is fairly open and exposed so it’s full sun for the most part. There’s walking, chasing, and pulling dogs out of the water. There’s a bit of squatting to pick up dog scat. Sometimes there’s face blotting and nose blowing.
We go to the dog wash after (warm bath to cool down) so there’s bending, leaning, lifting, towelling down and getting even more wet than before. Sometimes water fights!
In my opinion, there is no reason why you can’t still look like who you are in the colours and styles that make you happy. And what with some of the dog owners I’ve met at the park, it’s a good idea to go right back to the concept of command presence (the dogs are the easy part). But you will still want comfort and coolness for the exercise part.
I wear a knee length, loosely fitted sheath dress, so it’s no real surprise my fellow dog walkers are surprised. However, it’s a cool linen/cotton blend that supports an excellent range of movement. Being Australian, I find white legs slightly repellent so it’s good for light tanning as well.
As well as the usual sports underwear, I wear bicycle shorts or leggings for modesty’s sake (I mentioned the squatting?).
A good all terrain shoe like sneakers or sandals that will shed water and dry relatively quickly without causing blisters. Ones that you aren’t going to have to throw out when you step in doggy do-doo.
Definitely a sun hat and poo bags. Discreet everyday jewellery that isn’t going to get caught up in dog melees or on tree branches. If you have a well behaved elderly dog, perhaps an SPF umbrella.
I generally put my hair in a ponytail or tuck it under my hat to take advantage of light breezes on the sweaty nape of my neck. Sunscreen is very important – don’t forget your ears if they are exposed. A spritz of a light fragrance to help you get past dog droppings that other pet owners haven’t picked up.
Fun though it is, dog walking is often not much more than being dragged around the countryside by a small creature. In cooler weather you could simply wear your usual exercise gear, but it’s still an event that you have to leave the house for so I think it’s worth making a little effort.