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About 5 weeks ago I welcomed into my home our new addition in the form of a flat coat retriever but of course at about the same time the very cold weather had set in. For those of you familiar with the breed they have a thick medium to long coat and are a hardy breed due to being a gundog. However, when they are puppies they are yet to have this wonderful long, thick coat and look no different than a Labrador retriever (I have one of those too!) other than having a slight wave to their coat. On his first few outings I could see he was cold which made him want to sit down and not go any further so the need for something warm was required.
My Labrador although a working dog has a variety of coats (proper coats not jackets/jumpers you can get!), despite being a working dog she lives in side and is treated like a member of the family and is therefore just a little spoilt. Last year I had bought her an Equi-Theme Polar Fleece Dog Rug from an equestrian event and this year I did the same for my flat coat puppy. Equi-Theme is predominantly an equestrian brand but with horses come dogs and I guess only a natural progress to bring out a line of dog coats and fleeces.
The Equi-Theme Polar Fleece Dog Rug as been going for a couple of years now as a few of my friends have also bought them for their dogs and is quite simply a fleece dog rug which is made from 100% polyester anti-pilling fleece and being a fleece rug it is intended to keep your dog nice and warm. They can come in a variety of colours depending where you buy from. My golden Labrador has pink with grey binding and my flat coat puppy has the chocolate and pistachio binding. Both fleeces were bought at different times but they are the exact same simply just a different colour.
To ensure the fleece rug stays on the dog there is a chest fastening which is made up of a metal buckle or surcingle which are also used on horses rugs to keep them secure - this isn't adjustable so if you do have a wide chested dog you may want to try before you buy. Around the belly there is another metal surcingle which is attached to one side of the rug and clips into place on the other, this strap is adjustable so it allows an easy fit on most breeds of dog. At the back of the rug on the inside of either side are little elastic leg straps which the dog's back legs go through which not only keeps the rug secure but keeps it in place and stops it slipping over.
To find your dog's size it is a relatively easy process. Simply make sure your dog is standing square and with the aid of a tape measure, measure from the base of neck to the start of the tail. This measurement will be the size you would need unless of course your dog is big built and you may want to opt for a size up.
Now, I have two of these and I find that they do fit my breeds well but then retrievers are quite simply in their body shape apart from with my Labrador because she is slim she doesn't have much of a chest or the width of one and I find that the adjustable strap does it's job well and does stop the rug from gaping around the shoulder area by being able to get a closer fit. The puppy however is of course covered in puppy fat and I find the fit on him is absolutely fine. Being a fleece dog coat they are not big and baggy and do fit quite snug which is nice as it obviously keeps them warm.
I've had the one fleece dog rug for about 9 months now and of course the puppy's was bought only a few weeks ago. However, in terms of durability I have found them easy to wash (a simple 30 degree wash is all it needs) and they dry within an hour due to the fabric used - the metal buckles don't rust either. They don't lose their shape or shrink they simply come up as good as new so I can't find any reason to complain. Obviously with paler colours like my pale pink one the belly strap is slightly discoloured now because of the mud and dirty water my Labrador can go in on a walk but I knew that when I bought the coat.
Overall, these coats have managed to keep my dogs warm especially with the snow and freezing temperatures we have had. They are lightweight, don't pull or rub at the coat/skin and my dogs are more than happy wearing them. I really cannot find fault with them personally as they do the job that they promise. I would highly recommend them to anyone wanting a decent dog fleece which is durable and well made. Prices can vary but you can often pick them up for between £10.99 to £12.99. 5 stars from me.
== Product Information ==
Price: From £10.99
Availability: Equestrian stockists - online or in stores