Sunday, 31 August 2014

Black & White Sunday: Pond Dog

I had a lovely lakeside walk today, with swimming and icycream. But Hooman said I smelt like pond when I got home, so had to have a bath.

This is my new drying coat that we were sent for review - full write up to come!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Product Review: Thirsty Milo travel portable water bowl

We recently received a Thirsty Milo water bowl to review, JUST as the British summer decided to turn into the British rainstorm.  But we soldier on, and bring you this review of this nifty little design.

How did Thirsty Milo come about?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Grooming Basics: Top 10 Tips for brushing and dealing with mats

A Spaniel's Tail: Top 10 tips for brushing and dealing with mats

You may have seen my post the other day about my trip to the groomers.  Well, while we were there, Hooman took down notes for this post from our lovely groomer, Katie, who runs Rascals Pet Boutique in Woburn, Bedfordshire.   She has agreed to help us write some posts on those all important basics of grooming, to keep your pooch in tip-top condition between those trips to the groomer (if required!) or even your own grooms if you do them yourself (Hooman tries, with mixed results!)

So here are the top tips from Katie! 

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Wordless Wednesday: An afternoon at the hairdressers

Hooman normally does my grooming, but we went to a groomers for some extra hints and tips today (plus we took notes for our first grooming guest post which we will be starting a series of soon!)


Oh no, what's about to happen...

Not shampoo?!!!


Blow dried...


Ta daah!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Product Review: Beco Ball 2

Hooman would like to firstly apologise to BecoThings for the lateness of this review. Unfortunately (well, for the review), I liked it so much I kept hiding it in the garden so she couldn't find it!

About BecoThings

Since founded in 2009, BecoThings have had a simple mantra: "Design environmentally friendly products that outperform and cost the same as our non-green competitors."
In that time, they have designed and produced innovative products for both pets and babies that follow just that - dog beds filled with shredded soft plastic bottles, toys created from rice husks and biodegradable potties that can be buried and composted. The plastic they use is a bio plastic manufactured from bamboo sourced from recycled chopsticks (amazing, huh!), and the rubber is made from rice husks, a waste product of the grain agricultural business.

So, introducing the new and revamped Beco Ball!

Not having played with a Beco Ball previously, Hooman did a little bit of research to see what issues were experienced with the original Beco Ball, a solid rubber ball. Too heavy and solid for small dogs, plus some dogs seemed to to take great delight in shredding it.

So what does it look like now?

Looks the same on first inspection, but look, it's hollow now! 

This new and improved design means that the ball is lighter, bounces more irregularly, it floats until it fills with water, and it also howls when you throw it! The hollow design, coupled with the fact that BecoThings have made it with a new tougher rubber, means as well as preventing shredding as dogs will find it harder to get a purchase on the new design, also means that it will be marketed as a treat ball, as it can be used as a treat dispenser. The lovely lady who sent me the details suggested doggy treat sticks and peanut butter as a great filler.

The ball is made from natural rubber that uses rice husks in its makup, albeit in less quantities than the previous version to increase the rubber strength. Additionally, there are no synthetic colours or scents added (I believe the original version smelt of vanilla, nice for owners but not really necessary for us doglets!).

Verdict and where to buy



I think the fact I kept hiding it in the garden is testament to just how much I love this bally!! Hooman was actually surprised as I am not a ball orientated dog....until this one! I love the way it bounces all over the place (and really high) due to the irregular shape, and find it easy to carry around... away from the Hooman! I also had lots of fun chasing it around my paddly pool! 

The Beco Ball mark 2 is shortly to be launched onto the market - clicky here to see the range of products from BecoThings and to keep an eye out for when it is launched! They also do a range of rubber toys in all sorts of shapes, plus bowls, beds, poo bags and rope toys.  Top barks BecoThings - I love this ball! 

This product was provided for review.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Black & White Sunday: Our little corner of Blogville

Having done far too many posts with a laptop on her knee and having had review prodocts scattered all over the house, Hooman finally sorted her stuff out.

So here it is, the spot where the magic happens, all contained in one corner at last! And of course, me posing....

Friday, 15 August 2014

Safety Week: First Aid equipment for your pet

It's Safety Week on Blogville this week, and as we were planning a post on useful items to have in a pet First Aid Kit, what better time to share! 

You can buy some very comprehensive First Aid Kits for pets - the Bambino Pet First Aid Kit or the Hi-Travel Pet First Aid Kit are some great examples, but if you want to use what you already have (and pets aren't THAT different to hoomans when it comes to First Aid requirements) then this is a useful list to go through. 
  • Scissors - can be used to cut through mats, entanglements, and for cutting bandages
  • Sterile saline wash - useful for flushing out wounds, and eyes if your pet should get something in their eye
  • Tweezers - for removing thorns, stings, or any other embedded objects
  • Muzzle - although we may all think that our dogs won't bite, they can react very differently when in pain and scared.  A soft muzzle can be a useful thing to keep for emergencies. 
  • Tick Removal Tool  - hopefully if you use a good tick preventative treatment, this should rarely be a problem, but it is so important to remove those disgusting little critters, to reduce the risk of Lyme Disease and infections.  We swear by the O'Tom Tick Remover - such a simple little tool, but does a fantastic job at removing them cleanly (please do not pull off with tweezers or the such, as you risk leaving the mouthparts in your pet, or cause the tick to regurgitate its stomach contents into your pet, both of which can cause a nasty infection).
  • Toenail clipper - to remove a torn nail, so it doesn't catch on anything.
  • Medical or micropore tape (ideally at least 1" wide)
  • A roll of gauze - can be used to bandage splints, as wadding or to hold dressing in place.
  • Vet wrap - this is great stuff, a bandage that sticks to itself and not fur.  Great for holding wadding in place over a wound.
  • Dressing pads - ideally non-stick ones, to be used over wounds with the vet wrap.
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Plastic bags - great for covering up foot injuries to prevent blood spillages and to keep clean.
  • Medical gloves - for you!  This can also reduce further contamination of a wound
  • Benadryl - for stings and allergic reactions.  Check with your vets about what dose to give.
  • Thermometer - the normal temperature range for a dogs or cats is 37.5-39°c.  And learn how to use it - if needed, also keep some lubricant for taking temperatures.
  • Waterproof box - to keep everything in
  • A blanket or towel - it is important to keep pets that may have gone into shock warm.
  • Telephone numbers - of your local vet, emergency vet
  • Medical Records - it is worth keeping a copy of any medical records that may be useful should your pet experience a trauma, that might be useful to the vets.
  • Medication - lastly, it can be very useful to keep a small amount of any regular medication your pet takes to one side for emergency.

Hopefully this is a comprehensive list for most pet owners - can you think of anything we might have forgotten? 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Product Review: Fish4Dogs range of complete food and treats

Fish4Dogs were generous enough to send us a bumper pack of goodies to try out! We are not completely new to Fish4Dogs, but all bar one of the products were new to us, so I was drooly mouthed waiting for them!

So many goodies!

Who are Fish4Dogs?

It isn't a surprise that Fish4Dogs specialise in fish products, but they produce a range of high quality treats and food and have established a reputation for their products. The fish is sourced from a number of small fish farms along the Norwegian coast, all of which operate under a strict set of controls and licences, to ensure the healthiest fish possible. Sourcing and sustainability are at the top of their priority list. They also carry out the manufacturing process in Norway, to be as close as possible to the source ingredients.

Kali & I waiting to sample some of the delicious fishy treats!

About Fish4Dogs products

Fish4Dogs product a range of nutritionally complete food and treats.

Two varieties of complete
Fish4Dogs complete food
There are a number of varieties: in the Finest range that we sampled, there is Salmon, White Ocean Fish, plus specialist kibble for puppies and small breeds. Fish4Dogs pride themselves on the fact that they do not store food in silo's (as some other companies may) but instead iimmediately pack the food into bags for freshness. The kibble is comprised of simple ingredients, namely fish, potatoes and various vitamins and minerals. As soon as the kibble finished cooking, it is coated in salmon oil (produced from the same fisheries) and left to cool.  The fish is an easily digestible form of protein, and the high levels of Omega oils contribute towards healthy skin and mobile joints, all important for keeping your pooch in tip top working order!

Which treat to try first!
(wrap on left, jerky on right)
Fish4Dogs treats
Fish4Dogs don't let anything go to waste, and make delicious, healthy, low fat and low calorie treats out of the fish skins, in varous shapes and guises (twists, wraps,.sea jerky, tiddlers and jumbo sized chews). Some are pure fish skin products, whereas others include tasty ingredients such as sweet potato. They also produce a range of mousses, namely Salmon and Trout, which can be enjoyed on their own or to complement a meal.

Our verdict and where to buy

All products are available direct from Fish4Dogs, as well as other online and retail stores. We have put links to the products on the Fish4Dogs website, plus a price guide at the end of each product. Fish4Dogs also offer free delivery - top marks!

Fish4Dogs Finest Complete Dog Food
Hooman is always a little careful when we get sent food for review, as obviously she can't just change my food over just for a change (you should always change your dogs kibble over gradually, ideally over a 7-10 day period). However, she does add a handful to my regular food and tries me on it as training treats, and the results were very positive, aka I acted like a loon for them! They sent us two varieties to try, the Salmon and the White Ocean Fish. All their kibble is grain free (Hooman refuses to feed me any grain kibble so we were delighted about that) and includes ingredients such as potato and pea. They also offer a "No Quibble Kibble Guarantee", so they will refund your money if your dog doesn't like it. How great is that! Although I can safely say that wasn't the case in this household - this is actually one of the kibbles on Hoomans much researched list of "Hooman Approved" kibbles. The Finest range is available from £8.30 (1.5kg) to £49.00 (12kg).

A Kong full of
salmon mousse!
Fish4Dogs Salmon Mousse
Now I have had this before, right from puppyhood in fact. Hooman has added it to my dindins, given me some as a treat, or more recently, stuffed my Kong with it. It comes in handy small sachets which Hooman finds useful (she doesn't like having to open mahoosive packets of wet food when she doesn't give me a huge amount at once) and keeps pretty well in the fridge. High paws for this one - it is already a favourite in this household. The Mousse range is priced from £1.00 for a single sachet, all the way through to £30.00 for a box of 42.

Fish4Dogs Sea Wrap Treats
These were really interesting - chewy sweet potato batons wrappped in fish skins. These were almost like toffee for dogs and did get stuck in my teefs a little! But I really enjoyed them and so did my friend Kali the Cavachon who helped me sample some of my Fish4Dog goodies. Even more fantastic about these is that they are only 7 calories a treat, so great for doggies watching their waistline! Prices for the Sea Wraps range from £3.70 for a 100g bag, through to £32.00 for a box of ten bags.  Click here for the variety treats range.

Tucking into some jerky!
Fish4Dogs Sea Jerky
We were sent these in the "skinny strip" variety, but they come in a variety of shapes, eg twists, squares, tiddlers and whoppers, so can suit all sizes and shapes of dogs. As the wraps, these are great low calorie tasty treats (if rather fishy smelling but hardly surprising) that have a rough texture, which makes them additionally great for removing tartar from dogs teeth. I have had these in the twist form before and love them - they are crunchy, crispy and chewy all at once, and I can breathe my fishy breath into Hooman's face afterewards. which she greatly appreciates. For the skinny strips, prices range from £4.00 for a 100g bag. through to £72.00 for a ginormous 4kg box. Click here for the jerky range.

We are big, big fans of Fish4Dogs and having tried quite a range of products now, through this review and through personal purchases, we don't have a bad word to say about them. The mixture of natural ingredients, the ethical sourcing of ingredients and the fact that the treats are so healthy and low calorie, makes these products top paw products in our eyes!

These products were provided for review.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Mischief Monday: A lovely walk until.....

..... I found some LOVELY fox poo to roll in.. Sadly it was very dry and I barely got to rub my ears on it, till Hooman dragged me away,
She did take some photos of our walk though - it was a bit breezy, check out my eyelashes being blown back on the first photo!



Sunday, 10 August 2014

Black & White Sunday: National Lazy Day

Watching Sunday Brunch with the Hooman on this rainy Sunday morning - and it also happens to be National Lazy Day!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Senior Pet Month: 10 tips for caring for elderly dogs

August is Senior Pet Month, and although I am barely out of puppyhood, Hooman and I thought we should mark the occasion with a post, and write about how to keep your pets healthy into their twilight years.   Unfortunately, us doglets do not live as long as you Hoomans, and if you acquire a dog, cat or other furry friend, you have to be prepared for our inevitable decline.  But there are things you can do, to try and keep us healthy for as long as possible.  And of course, all these tips go for younger dogs too!

  • The most important thing is to feed your pet a good and healthy diet.  Weight problems as a younger dog are not so easily dealt with by the body in our older years, and can lead to joint and mobility problems,  If our activity decreases as we get older, so to should the amount of food we eat.  And of course, always watch the amount of extra treats you are slipping us! 
  • Protein in a diet is important to support muscle mass in your ageing pet - be aware of the ingredients and nutritional content of the food you are feeding us.
  • Keep our teeth clean!  Whether it be by brushing, chews or big meaty raw bones, help us to keep those pearly whites...well, pearly white!
  • Keep our mind active - don't stop training us.  Old dogs CAN learn new tricks, and helps us to keep our mind young.   It has also been proven that keeping an older dogs mind healthy can help to slow down degeneration of the brain, so however you want to do it - training, new exercise, new interactive toys - it's all good! 
  • Consider dietary supplements - things like chondroitin and glucosamine sulphate can help keep arthritic conditions at bay.
  • Do research on what conditions elderly dogs can get, particularly those that might be particular to that breed.  Learn the symptoms, so if anything unusual is spotted, you can act on it straight away.
  • Build a good relationship with your vet - maintain regular health checks and make sure you keep on top of all worming, flea and tick treatments.  A checkup every six months is ideal.
  • Keep us exercised, but adapt the level of exercise to our abilities.  We may not be able to do the ten mile hikes we did as a youngster, but we will still love our walkies!
  • Keep an eye out for signs that our sight or our hearing might be reducing.  There are plenty of things you can do to make your pets life easier if they are declining which we won't cover here, but the first thing is to recognise it and get it checked out by the vet.
And lastly...

  • We might be ageing, but inside we are still your puppies at heart.  We still want to be near you and your family, to love and be loved.  Keep us involved in your day to day life, and give us the same love and attention that you lavished on us as puppies. It is needed now more than ever, to make us feel safe and wanted.