Doggy tips for beating the summer heat!

It’s that time of the year again here in Northern Ireland where we get a few scorching days then back to the usual. Although the good weather may be fleeting it’s important to keep our doggies safe in this heat so here’s my top tips for beating the summer heat!

Be very careful and considerate with the following  dogs that are prone to struggling more in this type of weather;

  • Young puppies
  • Elderly dogs
  • Brachycephalic dogs – flat faced dogs such as pugs etc
  • Thick coated dogs


Keeping them cool

Why you shouldn’t shave a double coated dog
  • Do not shave a double coated dog – make sure to brush regularly to get rid of dead coat
  • Cooling products such as cooling mats, cooling vests/harnesses, and bandannas soaked in water are great to help keep dogs cool – DIY options such as damp towels are also a good option


  • Give your dog some cooling treats – some ideas for frozen goodies are;
    • frozen kongs
    • homemade ice treats using low sodium broth, yoghurt, peanut butter, coconut oil, fish oil etc.
    • frozzys instead of human ice cream as it’s healthier for them
    • frozen fruits like berries, watermelon, banana
  • Always have water on outings, when at the beach make sure to provide lots of fresh water to help prevent them from drinking the salt water as it will dehydrate them
  • Ice cubes can be put into their water bowl to keep water cool and refresh the supply as it melts


Protection from the sun

  • Special dog sun cream should be used on dogs with short or sparse hair such as dogs with short white hair and exposed pink skin
  • If you must absolutely walk your dog on pavement then use booties or pad wax to protect their feet
  • Walk in shaded areas or if you’re hanging out in the sun bring a pop up tent or a wind break that can provide shade for the dog to escape the direct sun
Choose wooded areas for walks rather than walking in the direct sun


Avoid heat exhaustion

  • Walk early in the morning and later in the evening- avoid midday when the sun is strongest
  • Be careful when playing fetch or anything high energy as dogs can easily overdo it when they are having fun
  • Avoid any forced jogging or running on leash – let the dog decide when enough is enough
  • If there are any bodies of water nearby let them have a dip before or during their walk so the dampness will keep them cool
A little paddle in water will help keep them cool


Take care travelling

  • Goes without saying do not leave a dog unattended in a car
  • Make sure to cool down the car with the AC 5-10 minutes before letting the dog into the car as we know how stiflingly hot cars can get by just sitting in the sun
  • Use a non spill travel bowl to make sure they have access to water while travelling or provide a frozen kong to cool them down
  • Provide a cooling mat or dampened towel that they can choose to lie on if it gets too hot
  • If putting down the window in the car make sure the dog is secured and can’t jump out, also considering using a mesh window guard to prevent injuries to your dog if it likes to stick it’s head out the window, as debris from the road can get kicked up into their face


Do you have any top tips for beating the summer heat? We usually play a lot of fun games, mental stimulation and training inside when it’s too hot for outings.


You can also follow our adventures on FacebookInstagram & Twitter



Wishlist – dark & dreary dog walking accessories

It’s been a few months since my last wishlist post  so I thought we were due another one. Since today is the shortest day of the year for us in the northern hemisphere I thought I would share some accessories that might make those dark and dreary dog walks a bit more safe, fun and bearable until we start getting longer days and better weather!


First up is some reflective gear to help your dog be safe and seen in those morning and evening walks!

1. Chuckit Max Glow Pro Ball Launcher with Glow in the dark Ball – Perfect for those ball crazy dogs so you don’t have to stop your play in the dark! We are always impressed by the quality of Chuckit toys so no doubt this would be great too!

2. Hurtta Lifeguard Dazzle Harness and Hurtta Lifeguard Leash – If you walk a lot in dark conditions a reflective harness and lead set like this is great for making sure you can be seen. We have the training rope lead from Hurtta which we love (we reviewed it here) – it’s super sturdy, comfortable and reflective so I would highly recommend their products!

3.  Nite-Glo LED Collar & Safety-Dog Reflective Dog Vest – LED collars and safety vests are a great and simple way of helping to stay safe!



Make the best of the bad weather with this gear!

4. Kerbl Raincoat  – This raincoat would be perfect for long haired dogs like rough collies that take forever to dry or for those really yucky days. Sometimes a lead walk just isn’t enough and a good romp around off lead is needed, when its wet and mucky out the last thing I want to do is give Bonnie a full bath and groom afterwards so this would be perfect to keep the worst of the dirt off of her!

5.Ancol Muddy Paws Jumper – For going into town or on lead walks on damp days where the “jumpsuit” might be a bit overkill, Bonnie would suit a lovely little jumper like this – of course in pink to match all her other things! She does have a few jumpers already but as they are Halloween and Christmas themed it would be nice to have a more generic jumper and it can also be used while the others are drying out.

6. Dog Drying Coat – This coat would be so handy for those days you get caught unprepared by the rain or even after a bath so Bonnie could lounge about and relax while drying rather than being subjected to a long and drawn out affair with the towel since we can never seem to get her fully dry when she’s got soaked!

Do you have any “must have” products to get you through those dark, damp and less than ideal walks?

You can also follow our adventures on FacebookInstagram & Twitter

Dog Storage Tour

I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself recently as I have a pinched nerve in my lower back which has been giving me a bit of grief but I’m determined to continue regular posting!

I’ve been doing a bit of spring (still winter really) cleaning recently and as we aren’t the most organised people we try to keep the doggy stuff gathered in a few places to keep it from overrunning the house or forgetting where certain things are.

So here’s our doggy storage tour!

Corner cupboard


This is a bit awkward to reach so we keep less used things here like dentaflexs, overflow treats, wet food and peanut butter.

Fridge drawer


We don’t have much in it now but at any point in time it usually has some of the following – wet food, cheese, ham, salami

Freezer drawer


All of Bonnie’s frozen stuff has it’s own side of a freezer drawer. There is usually frozen kongs but they haven’t been made yet. It also houses raw food and treats – duck neck and wings, turkey necks, chicken feet and hearts, and salmon and coconut treats.

Under-stairs cupboard


We keep Bonnie’s food container here, which holds her 15kg bag of food, with her Kong Wobbler on top. On the left is the treat storage drawers which is from IKEA. On top of the drawers is her Nina Ottison Dog Brick, a bowl that we use sometimes when feeding raw/wet food, and her Kongs waiting to be made.


In the top drawer we have higher value meaty treats like fish skin cubes, duck breast fillets etc.IMG_20160220_121021


In the second drawer we have lower value treats like schmackos, wainwrights lamb mini bones etc


The bottom drawer is a bit of a mix up with some freeze-dried raw treats from Natures Menu, random duck and orange treats I found in TK Maxx and a few other bits and pieces.

Box on top of crate


On top of Bonnie’s crate we keep all of her toys and chews that are not in rotation. We also store some cleaning supplies on hand in case she is sick. Her grooming supplies (nail clipper, file, slicker brush, rake brush, Kong zoom groom) and her muzzle for muzzle training is kept here. I’m hoping to get a wicker basket or something soon that will look nicer than a cardboard box at least!

Expedit drawer

In the hallway near the front door we keep all her things that we need for going out and about.


At the top layer we keep her leads, harness, treat bag and poo bags at the back. To the side is a James Wellbeloved promotional folder we received which we use for any documents, medication leaflets etc.


Just underneath is her jumper, coat (reviewed here) and a shoulder bag for if I want to bring my camera, toys etc on our adventures.

In each room we also have a mini Pringle pot filled with kibble for reinforcing behaviours when we need to, for example when we towel dry her mucky feet in the hallway before letting her into the living room.

This one needs refilling!

So that’s how we keep Bonnie’s stuff stored about the house. We also have the travel kit that stays in the boot of the car which I covered in this post.

Now when it comes to Degu storage don’t even ask, it’s all a bit of a mess at the minute! But maybe once it has some semblance of order I will do a Degu storage tour. 🙂


You can also follow our adventures on FacebookInstagram & Twitter

Doggy Car / Travelling Kit

Recently we’ve been doing a lot of car journeys with Bonnie and sometimes in a rush to get going we forget things that could come in handy so I decided to put together a doggy car kit. I wanted to include things that would be useful if we forgot anything important, stayed out longer than expected or were in an emergency.
Dog Car Kit general items for travelling with dogs - poo bags, kitchen roll, towel, kibble, treats, water bottle, collapsible bowl and tennis ball

I packed some general items; poo bags, an air tight container with some of her food, a bag of treats, a collapsible bowl, a water bottle and of course a back up tennis ball 🙂 As Bonnie is attracted to mud and because the rain is never far off in our country we have also packed a towel and kitchen roll to help keep the car (relatively) clean. Dog Car Kit for travelling with dogs - spare accessories including collar, EZYDOG chest plate harness in red and Outhwaite Dog Lead in blue and black

I included a spare collar, harness and lead just in case of her usual gear being damaged or misplaced. I’m also going to order some duplicate id tags. A slip lead might also be a good idea to include as I’ve heard of people using them to safely lead stray dogs where it isn’t wise to grab for an unknown dog’s collar. Dog car kit for travelling with dogs - first aid kit, vet wrap and first aid reference notesMost importantly I’ve added a first aid kit and vet wrap, which I got from a Rhodes2Safety K9 first aid course I attended. It gives us a bit of peace of mind as if anything happens to us while on the road we can use this to deal with any cut, sting etc or at least help the situation until we can get to a vet. I’ve also included the notes handout we were given at the first aid course for reference.  Dog car kit for travelling with dogs - all items packed into an Ikea container

I packed all of the contents into a storage box from Ikea to keep it neat and tidy in the boot of the car.  I’m really pleased with the doggy kit as it takes the worry out of forgetting things or wondering what to do in an emergency. It’s totally customisable for your dog and if you don’t drive you could always use a backpack that you can grab as you go out the door. 

So what would you include in your doggy kit and did I miss anything important?

You can also follow our adventures on FacebookInstagram & Twitter

Dog First Aid Training with Rhodes2Safety at Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary

I recently attended a Rhodes2Safety K9 1st Aid Workshop which was held at Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary. I seen the event on their Facebook page and it made me stop and think, if I was ever in an emergency with Bonnie I wouldn’t have a clue what to do except to phone the vet, so I decided to book a place there and then.

Kerry from Rhodes2Safety demonstrating how to peform CPR on a dog

The workshop lasted around 4 hours and covered everything that could possibly (but hopefully won’t!) happen – from performing CPR and the heimlich maneuver to treating cuts, burns, stings and much more. There was a lot of information and theory to take in but it was split up with practical exercises like finding the dog’s heart beat and using vetwrap. Also her two dogs Axl and Chi, beautiful rhodesian ridgebacks, provided some definite aww factor as well as being super demo dogs and so well behaved.

Kerry from Rhodes2Safety demonstrating how to perform the heimlich maneuver on a dog

Kerry was a brilliant instructor and explained everything in simple terms so you don’t need any previous knowledge. She was friendly, knowledgeable, made it fun to learn and had lots of anecdotes which definitely helped the information stick in my head. She also gave us printed notes to take home too which is great for future reference.

Rhodes2Safety First Aid Dog Course at Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary

She offered a few different items for sale so I bought the first aid kit and a roll of vetwrap (pink of course!), both of which will be going into my “doggy car kit” which I’ll be posting about soon.

Contents of a dog first aid kit that was bought from the Rhodes2Safety First Aid Course

Overall I am so pleased I attended and would highly recommend going to her workshops if one comes to your area. For 4 hours of your time and £40 it is worth far more than that, just for the peace of mind knowing that you can handle an emergency situation that little bit better and not go into a blind panic not knowing what to do. Also you get a pretty cool certificate at the end!

Dog first aid certificate from Rhodes2Safety

If you can’t attend a session definitely have a look at their Advice & Tips section on their website as it has tons of useful info to check out.

You can also follow our adventures on FacebookInstagram & Twitter

Dog Accessories Wishlist

Another wishlist again, this time it’s dog accessories! I can’t get enough of browsing dog accessories – collars, harnesses, jackets, the list goes on! Here are some things I’d love to get Bonnie at some point.

Dog Accessories Wishlist contains Ancol Pink City Coat, Easidri towel, Allside Car Seat Cover, Ruffwear Float Coat in yellow, Ruffwear Approack Backpack in orange and Baskerville Ultra Muzzle in blue

  1.  Ancol City Coat Pink – Since the weather is getting worse coming into autumn this coat would be great for those rainy walks. It should keep her back and chest dry so I’ll only have to dry off her legs and paws when we get home. Because Bonnie is long haired it’s very difficult to fully dry her with a towel and I feel bad for her lounging about while slightly damp so this will help keep her dry and toasty.
  2. Easidri Towel – Another great item for the wetter weather. We usually use a spare towel to dry her but I would like to get Bonnie her own towel for after walks and baths. This one has great reviews and should help us keep on top of the wet mucky paws!
  3. Allside Car Seat Cover – We currently use a picnic blanket on top of the rear seats but it slips around a lot and isn’t the best at keeping the car clean. This cover is a hammock style that should keep all the dirt and hair contained so should be perfect for rainy days or days at the beach.
  4. Ruffwear Float Coat – Ever since taking Bonnie to Paws4Swim I’ve been dying to take her to somewhere she can swim but I’m still pretty anxious about letting her swim in case she gets into any difficulty (I’d be no use trying to save her as I’m a poor swimmer). With this jacket I’d have peace of mind and although it’s pretty expensive it should last her throughout her life.
  5. Ruffwear Approach Pack – I’ve heard a lot of people recommending wearing a backpack as a “job” for your dog to do to wear them out mentally and physically so would be interested in trying this with Bonnie. I would start with just the backpack before gradually increasing the weight in the pack, it’s recommended that dogs don’t carry more than 25% of their body weight. I think it would be cool for her to carry her own water, bowl, treats and poo bags on our adventures.
  6. Baskerville Ultra Muzzle in Blue – I purchased the black version of this in size 3 but it is too short for her snout to wear comfortably so would love to get the size 4 in this lovely blue colour. To avoid my sizing mishap here’s a handy sizing guide It is pretty hard to find the blue one but I managed to find the size 4 in stock at the website I linked so fingers crossed it will still be there when I have the money for it!

What has been the most useful accessory you’ve bought for your dog?

You can also follow our adventures on FacebookInstagram & Twitter