Ahead of the Field & Country Fair, we're going to be interviewing some of the exhibitors. Today's it's Equafleece, who have quickly gained a loyal following with their protective kit for dogs. With summer on its way, ticks are going to be out in force, particularly when the weather is warm and wet.

There’s not much Mary Leigh of Equafleece doesn’t know about keeping a dog healthy and comfortable. She set up Equafleece 16 years ago and it’s quickly become a popular brand with gundog owners. We asked her a few questions.

Shooting UK: How can you protect your dog from ticks and burrs over the summer?

ML: Obviously you need to check your dog over carefully after it’s been out in the field, looking for ticks (which like to nestle deep in the dog’s coat) and burrs. Use a special tick remover if you find any and brush the dog down – most dogs enjoy this contact with their owner.

We designed our new Summer Suit for dogs to guard against ticks and burrs. It is a close-fitting garment in a tough fabric similar to lycra®. It’s mudproof, has a good degree of water-repellency, stretches so it’s easy to put on and off and most importantly, it’s machine washable. For a thin fabric it’s very robust and forms a protective layer between your dog and parasites. Just slip it on over your dog before you go out and see the difference when he comes back in!

dog in lycra

Stretchy and robust, this suit helps to protect against ticks

Shooting UK: What about dogs getting heatstroke or having allergies?

ML: On a hot summer day, a dog haring around can quickly get heat exhaustion, particularly if he’s young and hasn’t yet learned to pace himself. This is when our dog T-shirts and T-shirt suits can be useful. Wet one and put it on your dog and it will gently and effectively cool him down.

In addition, they’re useful for dogs with allergies – which may manifest as a skin condition. This is what they were originally designed for and in many cases have taken away the need for steroids. You can also use them to keep post-operative dressings in place.

dog in a t shirt

A dog T-shirt can be used to cool down a heat-exhausted hound

Dog T-shirts are also useful for combating behavioural problems in anxious dogs – with an aversion to fireworks say. They act as a comforting “portable hug”

Shooting UK: And when you have a cold, wet dog?

ML: This is where our fleece Jumpers and Suits come in. They are treasured as drying garments for gundogs because they dry a dog quickly, efficiently and warm an exhausted dog, preventing stiffness and leaving him fit for another day.

You can also use the fleece as a raincoat – it repels water very well and provides a warm layer in cold weather. In fact the Jumpers and Suits have a number of uses!

Lab in a fleece

Warm and dry, ready for another day in the field

Equafleece is a proper countryside company (diversifying from a farm/cottage industry) which manufactures its fleeces in Devon. The company has grown in the best possible way – by word of mouth from satisfied customers.

Visit the Equafleece stand at the Field & Country Fair and you’re likely to become one of them. You can buy your tickets here now.