My greyhounds and I love to take walks through the local parks in our area. There is one park that they especially seem to favor; it’s a county park that borders the Platte River. It is handy to have gear for them that makes their walk that much more enjoyable and adventurous. Recently, I tried dog gear from RuffWear that the greyhounds were able to maneuver in comfortably: the K-9 Float Coat, the Headwater Collar, and the Web Master Harness.
The K-9 Float Coat is designed as a life vest for dogs who share aquatic adventures with their owners. It is built like a life jacket that allows safe enjoyment of water activities for a canine. Foam panels are positioned around the chest, belly and back of the jacket, and are designed with the movements of a canine in mind. I found this feature very attractive as Cinnamon, my smaller red fawn greyhound, is typically not one for harnesses or coats, but enjoys relaxing in the cool river water just inside the shoreline of the Platte River. As I walk her in an area where the slope of the shore is gradual and not a surprise in watery depths to her, I think of the importance of keeping her from drifting off too far from shoreline while on her lead. I was pleased to see that Cinnamon slid into the Float Coat quite comfortably with no interference in her normal gait, and did not try to shake off the coat. She gingerly stepped into the water, lying down ever so carefully. She did notice that she had more lift and balance in the water than she normally does, and ventured a little farther out into the river. As she is not a swimmer, the coat gave her additional confidence in pursuing deeper waters.
Cinnamon managed to get a few feet farther out in the water and seemed pleased by the buoyancy the coat provided to her. The coat she wore was a Dandelion Yellow, and was quite bright in the sunlight. This allows for easily spotting a dog in larger bodies of water. The coat certainly provided an added convenience for getting out of the water as well through its placement of a low-profile handle on the top of the coat. There is also a light loop on the top of the coat, which is handy for times when the sun sets before we do! The loop is wide enough to clip a LED light or beacon directly onto the coat, and can act as an additional layer of safety for hikes that tend to go late into the day. I found the coat provides an added level of safety for my hounds around bodies of water that may tempt them to go out farther than they normally would. Though the float coat is on the higher end of the price range, I think I’d get many years of use for the hounds due to the durable materials and build of the coat. What’s more, Ruffwear fully guarantees all of their gear against defects in materials and craftsmanship.
Technical Specifications for K-9 Float Coat:
Size: XXS Runs from XXS (13 to 17″); XS (17 to 22″); S (22 to 27″) M (27 to 32″);
L (32 to 36″); XL (36 to 42″) to XL
Materials: All nylon fabrics
Colors: Red Currant, Dandelion Yellow, Reflective
The Headwater Collar looked terrific on both Fame and Star. We chose the bright red currant collar for them. As they are solid black canines, the vibrant red color and reflective pattern really stood out on the both of them. The collar is easily adjustable and allows plenty of room for other tags. It is most certainly waterproof as the dogs were in and out of the river several times during our walk. The collar dried quickly between forays into the river. It also has an anodized, one-piece, aluminum, V-ring attached to the collar, which is important to my decision in making a collar purchase; as our greyhounds are sight hounds, I keep them on leads when out for walks or hikes. A secure lead attachment gives me confidence that the lead won’t come apart or break open if one of the hounds sees an animal of interest while out for a jaunt. Though the collar’s features are quite attractive, I found the price to be a little high for what I would comfortably pay for a collar.
Technical Specifications for Headwater Collar:
Size: M (14 to 20″) or L (20 to 26″)
Materials: Waterproof coating
Colors: Orange Sunset, Obsidian Black, Red Currant, Fern Green
Web Master Harness
The Web Master Harness shares the same bright red currant color as the collar. Though the harness itself lent a great deal of functionality for canine use, the harness was a tight fit on all of our greyhounds. The harness does have many points of adjustment, and might be better suited for a dog not as deep-chested as greyhounds tend to be.
The harness itself is not only visually appealing, but also very compact. It seems that many harnesses have too many adjustments or clips to make them as functional as they can be for human or hound. The transitions between one set of clips and straps and another was smooth; several clips and straps were tucked away in fabric, which, for our dogs, is a useful feature as they get into grasses and vegetation and could potentially hang up or become caught on a branch or bramble. Having the clips tucked away under fabric that covered the chest and belly was a benefit I found appealing. I would recommend this product to canine owners who take their dogs in or near water regularly, as canine water safety can easily be overlooked.
Technical Specifications for Web Master Harness:
Size: Runs from XXS (13 to 17″); S (17 to 22″); M (22 to 27″); L (27 to 32″); L/XL (32 to 42″)
Materials: All Nylon Fabrics
Colors: Red Currant or Twilight Grey