Dog lover and walker Harriet found she was spending so much time cleaning up muddy paws for her four legged clients that she decided to invent dog trousers for them to wear.
I was approached by her PR about getting newspaper coverage for her innovative and quirky product and wrote this feature for the pet page of the Sunday People newspaper which you can read here
DOG owners who are tired of their pooch plodding mud everywhere are kitting them out in TROUSERS.
The quirky £75 pants were invented by Harriet Sinfield-Day, a former teacher turned dog hiker who was fed up with cleaning muddy dogs.
Harriet, 37, who lives in Chobham in Surrey, walks six dogs a day for her clients and fretted about them dirtying their houses.
She explained: “My clients live in the stockbroker belt and when you’re taking a muddy cockapoo back to a £20 million house with white interiors, you find yourself frantic with worry about the mess they make.
“I would towel dry them off as best I could but they would often run in and shake up the walls, jump on the sofas or just lay their muddy tummies down on the kitchen floor.
“I’d be mortified and would frantically clean up. It was very time consuming and I began to dread the winter coming.”
The former schoolteacher who is married to movie producer David, 38, spotted a set of dog trousers while on holiday in America and decided to create her own, and set up The Dog Trouser Company.
At £75 a pair, they’re not cheap, but Harriet says they can last the lifetime of a dog if cared for properly and popped in the washing machine after each wear.
They’re manufactured in Wales and made of durable, waterproof, rip proof and machine washable fabric, similar to the material used to make sailing jackets and kit bags so they can tackle torrential rain and thick mud.
Harriet tested them on dozens of dogs, letting them scamper happily through puddles and brambles and has sold over 400 sets since launching in April this year.
They cover all four legs and the tummy area of the dog and come in either a red or grey camouflage print with elastic at the top and straps across the back to hold them in place.
She said: “When you take them off, underneath, their fur is totally clean and dry. You only have to clean their paws.
“We humanise dogs and treat them like children, so if there was something that would prevent your child leaving mud all over the house, you’d use it. It’s the same for dogs.
“People often laugh when they see you out walking with a dog in trousers, but dog owners understand what a nuisance it can be and think they’re a brilliant idea. I’ve even had a lady chase me down the road asking where she can get them from.
“It means the dog can still enjoy muddy walks, but without the hassle of the post walk clean up.
“I have clients who use them after their pet has had surgery, and did so with my own dog Alma when she had an operation on her elbow rather than a cone.
“Those with grass allergies can wear them too, meaning they can enjoy walks like any other dog.”
Animal lover Harriet also donates a portion of all sales to the Romanian dog charity 1 Dog At A Time.
Alma, three, a Romanian Shepherd, came from the rescue last year. A street dog, she’d been savagely beaten and kicked while pregnant and was found tied up with barbed wire around her neck.
She was so badly injured her puppies died, and the woman who rescued her from the attack contacted the charity in a bid to find her a home as she was living in a chicken coop.
Harriet heard about her tragic story on Facebook and fell in love and arranged for her to come to live with her in the UK.
Harriet said: “It was her shaggy, mud attracting coat that first put the idea of dog trousers in my head. She’s a big dog, 35 kilos, so putting her in the bath every day wasn’t an option.
“It’s lovely to see her settled and happy now after all she has been through and that something inspired by her being a mucky pup is helping other dogs enjoy life too.”