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.


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Tug-E-Nuff Dog Toys Competition

I thought I would share this awesome competition with you – enter for a chance to win over £500 worth of dog toys! We love Tug-E-Nuff dog toys so it would be great to win as we could choose a select few to keep then donate the rest to local rescues for the dogs to enjoy while waiting for their new homes.

If you want to enter using my referral link then please enter through this link. This means I will get extra entries for the competition if you enter through the above link.

If you want to enter without using the referral link then please enter by clicking the link from the Tug-E-Nuff Facebook post below.

I would definitely recommend checking out their products as we have a few of their toys that we love!

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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?

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Pet Munchies Treats Review

It’s been a while since we posted a review so I though I would cover some of our favourite treats! As we are continuously training Bonnie, whether it’s tricks, agility, loose lead walking or just general socialisation, we always have a steady supply of good treats to let her know when she’s doing well.

Pet Munchies are a great brand that use quality human-grade meat with no rubbish filler ingredients. They have a good range of products so you’re bound to find something that your dog enjoys whether they are a fussy eater or have a sensitive stomach or allergies. And even better they are pretty reasonably priced making them great value for money.


We purchased a box each of the Duck Fillets and the Liver & Chicken Training Treats from Amazon as it was cheaper than buying the separate packets in local shops – retail prices are around £2.99 for the 80g range of treats and £1.60 for the training treats range. And although the initial cost is higher they last a long time.  Each box contains 8 packets and each packet weighs 80g and 50g respectively.

 Very short list of ingredients – click to zoom

Although each packet looks quite small they manage to pack a lot of treats into them, the packets are like a little Tardis!


The Duck Fillets are a large treat – each about the size of a finger or slightly larger and are pretty chewy so they are better suited to using as high value treats in training or just as a special treat like when leaving them in the crate. We like to use them for recalls and other situations where it’s useful to force Bonnie to slow down slightly as it takes a bit of time to chew. In some situations I find myself running out of treats earlier than anticipated so the great thing about these is that they can be torn (with a bit of effort) into smaller pieces which are great in a pinch.

One big treat = Seven small but equally tasty treats

The training treats are the perfect size for doing lots of repetitive training such as clicker training and loose lead walking. They are quick and easy for the dog to chew and their small size means it would be difficult to overfeed using these.


To sum up the Pet Munchies treat range:


  • A good variety of treats with different meats and treat sizes
  • Quality ingredients with no filler ingredients
  • Reasonably priced
  • Good amount of treats in each packet
  • Come in a resealable packet which is convenient
  • Seem smelly and tasty enough to keep dogs interested & motivated
  • Also supply some cat treats if you also have cats


  • I really had to think hard to come up with this negative but sometimes the packets cannot be opened by hand due to the part just above the resealable seal – sometimes it needs to be cut with scissors really close to the resealable part to open fully – something to think about before you take them out on a walk just in case

Overall we love the Pet Munchies treat range! Here’s Bonnie thoughts on their treats;

Please insert treats here

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A harness that fits – finally!

Wow is it hard to find a harness to fit Bonnie! We have tried a few harnesses now which I’ll go over below and then I’ll reveal Bonnie’s new daily harness! This post may be a bit long so scroll to the bottom if you want to see the new one – I may be biased but I think it’s worth the read as she’s so adorable in it! 😀

EzyDog Chest Plate Dog Harness

2015-05-10 14.17.48

We got this in Pets at Home not too long after we got Bonnie as we wanted to walk her on a harness instead of her collar. We went into store with her to try it on so we wouldn’t have to faff about with measuring her and exchanging sizes online – this was a size medium.  The harness itself if quite nice as it’s lightweight, has reflective stitching, is easy to put on and take off – put one leg into the straps then clip the neck and girth straps at the back – easy peasy, and it also comes in a range of colours and sizes. Bonnie seemed comfortable enough wearing it but the straps dug into her armpits a bit so isn’t really suitable for daily use.

Ruffwear Front Range Harness


We then upgraded to this harness in size small and reviewed it over here. I still love the design and quality of this harness, it’s sturdy and has been through sand, water, mud, bramble, the washing machine and everything in between and has stood the test of time so far with only cosmetic wear since we got it around 15 months ago. Again the issue with this harness is how close it sits in behind her armpits – this is usually fine on a normal day but when she is wearing clothes like above or if she gets wet the harness rubs her armpits quite badly which has caused some hair loss over time. We will still probably use this from time to time when her other harnesses are wet and drying out but not for daily use so her armpit irritation won’t return.

Ruffwear Palisades Pack Harness


We recently purchased the palisades backpack in our pet product haul in size small. I specifically choose the palisades pack as the packs could be removed so that the the harness could be worn by itself. I hope to do a review soon on this as so far we are loving it! It fits perfectly as all the straps are adjustable – including the length of the strap that runs from the chest to the girth which means the girth strap sits nice and far back from her armpits which is great! This is almost the perfect daily harness except it seems to really wear Bonnie out on warm days – although the fabric is pretty breathable it still covers a lot of her and seems to make her start panting much quicker so we will be saving this, and the backpack, for when it is cooler as I don’t want to risk her overheating.

Perfect Fit Harness


We were really excited to try out the perfect fit harness as it is a modular system with separate back, chest and girth parts which should fit most dogs. It is fleece lined, has front and back attachment points, isn’t restrictive as it doesn’t cover the shoulders or the throat and is perfect for putting on nervous or sensitive dogs as it has four clips so no need to lift legs or put it over the dog’s head. The customer service was absolutely fantastic and I really liked the idea of the harness but unfortunately it didn’t work out for us. We were sent the M and L back, S and M chest and the M girth.

The M back, S chest and M girth combination fit really well around the neck and chest with some room to spare but again the straps were too close into her armpit even with the bottom strap full lengthened.

The M back, M front and M girth sat further back – I was able to fit 3-4 fingers between the harness and her armpit rather than 1 – but the neck was now too big as I could fit my whole arm through even on the tightest setting! It wouldn’t have been such a big issue for us as she isn’t really an escape artist but while using the front lead attachment it would completely twist the harness out of place. Unfortunately as the neck strap and the strap determining the length behind the armpits are the same section no combination of sizes was really going to work for us in particular so we had to return it. I cannot fault their product or service at all – it just didn’t work for us.

Red Dingo Harness


And finally we have found Bonnie’s glass slipper with the Red Dingo harness! This is size large in the Flanno design. There are 5 sizes and tons of designs in this harness all of which feature the cute bone buckles which I love! All the straps except the back strap is adjustable so this sits nice and far back from her armpits. The front of the harness sits on the chest so doesn’t restrict the neck and the ring at the front can be used as a front attachment for a lead.

The harness goes over the dog’s head and fastens with two buckles. There is still a good bit of room left for adjustment in the girth in case she changes weight or for wearing over coats and jumpers, the neck is at it’s smallest setting but isn’t too loose and sits comfortably. I’m pretty excited that we found such a cute harness that fits Bonnie and was reasonably priced so I’m really hoping this stands up to our daily (ab)use! I’ll let you guys know how it fares in the future.

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Chuckit Kick Fetch = Tired, happy doggy!

We had a little fun in the garden today with her chuckit kick fetch ball that we bought after she punctured a cheap football in about 2 minutes! She loves chasing it when I kick it for her then picking it up and hiding it behind the shed, I go retrieve it and the game repeats. It’s like her version of fetch except I’m doing most of the work!

Look at her crouched ready to chase!
Little bunny hop with her back feet hehe
Carrying it proudly with tail held high, ready to hid it behind the shed
Taking a short break to listen to next door
Oops accidentally dropped it!
Gotta keep my eye on the ball!

Needless to say she tuckered herself out and was ready for a little nap.

Who needs Pokemon Go? I’ve already captured this Snorlax!

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Big Pet Product Haul!

Yesterday was like Christmas come early as all the packages arrived at the same time! As I was opening all the packages I kinda thought to myself ummm how much did I buy?! It was super exciting though as we haven’t done any large purchases for the pets in quite a while so it feels good to be able to spoil them every once in a while 🙂

This was the point of realisation of how much I bought –  oh dear! xD

I’m just going to show what I ordered and not give any in-depth opinions on the items right now as I haven’t been able to use all of them or test them out properly, so I want to wait a while to be able to give a fair review in future once I’ve thoroughly tested them out. I’ll also leave the links of where I bought them in case you’re interested in trying out any items (All non affiliate links).

First of all here are the items from Amazon!

Toys and treats!

We got a bunch of new toys and treats as well as getting some more kongs for our collection. From left to right we got;

PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-a-Jug – Medium/Large

KONG Classic Dog Toy – Large, Red

Thrive ProReward Chicken Treats for Dogs – 500g MaxiTube

Nylabone Dura Chew Hollow Stick, Wolf

Pet Munchies 100 Percent Natural Duck Fillet, 80 g (Pack of 8)

Pet Munchies Liver and Chicken Training Treat 50g, Pack of 8

Sanzang Outdoor Interactive Dog Toys Extendable Flirt Pole (L, Blue)

At first look the treats  seem to be high quality, good value for money and should last us some time.  We have tried the duck fillets before and highly rate them but the other two treats will be a first for us. The Tug-a-Jug seems quite interesting so I will update with how Bonnie gets on with it. I don’t know how Bonnie will react to the flirt pole so again I’ll let you guys know in a future update.

Eyeing up her new toy 🙂

I forgot to include in the above picture but we also got this Kong Traxx Dog Toy Medium/Large . She has already had a little play with this and seems to enjoy it so far, she seems quite intrigued by it when we roll it along the floor for her.

Canine conditioning equipment

I ordered these two items as I wanted to start doing some body conditioning work with Bonnie – first of all as another fun way of bonding and building confidence through training and also to help increase her overall fitness, core strength and balance. I thought this would help reduce Bonnie’s chance of injury as we start our agility training together because I am a total amateur! We will slowly work these into our routine.

ResultSport® Balance Pods with Pump

66fit Wooden Wobble Balance Board 50cm

Degu goodies

I couldn’t leave out the degus so I ordered them some new bedding, new food as we want to switch them from their current food (Pets At Home brand), 3 woven balls for their play pen and a cat treat ball as it’s a perfect size for the degus.

Beeztees Plastic Cat Treat Ball

Kerbl Hemp Rodent Mat, 40 x 100

Supreme Petfoods Science Selective Degu 1.5 kg

Rosewood Boredom Breaker Small Animal Activity Toy Trio of Fun Balls, Medium

Finally I ordered the following two items from Camddwr Canine.

Hiking gear – for me and the Bonnie

I’m probably most excited about these items, I seriously can’t wait to try these out on our walks and build our way up to a full hiking day out! I will be building up Bonnie’s tolerance to the harness and the bags slowly as it is so different to what she is used to and it will take a while to build up her ability to carry extra weight. We had a little try on session and she didn’t seem to mind it too much which is promising! I’m really excited to try out the hiking belt so I can keep my hands free while out on our walks and it will be perfect for if we start canicross, bikejoring etc together (I’d really love to do the Couch to 5k program with Bonnie – just need to get off my butt and do it!)

Hurtta Outdoor Hiker Belt

RuffWear Palisades Backpack – Small

I can’t wait to try out all these items and do some updates and reviews later. If there are any reviews you definitely want me to do let me know in the comments!

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Pet shopping haul inbound!

Guys I am so excited! I ordered a lot of new pet things, mostly for Bonnie but some degu goodies, from Amazon, Forthglade and Camddwr Canine. I can’t wait for all the items to arrive so I can do some posts and reviews! I bought quite a lot and it was a bit expensive but I had an amazon voucher to use, we had a bit more spare money this month as we finished saving for our new sofa (needless to say Bonnie is loving it – see below!) and we saved £80 from not continuing the agility classes xD so it wasn’t too bad in the end.

Bonnie loves her home comforts and she’s no longer wary of the sofa seats reclining!

Two of the items arrived already so I thought I would give a sneak peak of what we got!

First of all we ordered some wet food from Forthglade as Bonnie loves their food and we love that they contain only good natural ingredients. We ordered a multipack from the both the grain free range and the just 90% range. The food arrived super quick and we asked Bonnie to pose with the boxes by asking her to put her front paws up. What we didn’t expect was her to climb on top of it and perch like a little statue xD

Also we ordered an agility chute since we are going to do our own agility training at home for fun. It’s the type of tunnel with the floppy material at the end rather than the rigid tunnels, so we are teaching it in steps to keep Bonnie’s confidence high. First of all we kept the tunnel folded so it was like a hoop, then we opened it out and folded back the excess material of the chute so it was like a normal tunnel and now we are slowly unfolding the excess material so she can gain confidence pushing out through all the extra material at the chute end!

She’s loving it so far as she get’s lot of tasty treats like ham and chicken for doing “through” which is the cue we’ve started to use.


We have lots of more fun goodies ordered which should be arriving soon so I can’t wait to share them with you guys!

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DIY Dog Nail Scratch Board

For a while now I have been thinking of making a nail filing board for Bonnie as a fun, stress free way of keeping her nails short and healthy – she already knows and loves her “dig” trick so I thought it would be an easy transition to get her to use the scratch board.

As far as DIY projects go this is as simple as it gets, which gets a thumbs up from me! All that’s needed is a bit of wood or other material that will stand up to your dog pawing against it, fine grit sandpaper ( not coarse as it would be too rough on their nails and pads -we used a 120 grit) and double sided tape or other adhesive. Simply stick the sandpaper to the wood and voilà your very own dog scratch board!

Easy Peasy!

Of course it’s even easier when you have a doggy helper! As soon as I started taking photos Bonnie came over to pose and looked at me as if to say “I know this game now, where’s my treat?”

When we introduced it to her she pawed at it straight away so we were able to reward her and she kept offering it. Bonnie is used to offering behaviours as we do a lot of shaping in our clicker training but if your dog isn’t used to that or you haven’t done clicker training before you can always try to get them to give their paw so it hits the board, “good dog” and treat or alternatively, lure them with a treat so hold it close to their mouth then slowly pull it up so their paws end up on the board .

Her first attempt at scratching

Bonnie soon got into it and was scratching like a pro, it seemed like she really enjoyed it as she was properly extending her nails out so maybe it fills some need for digging? If your dog likes to dig or scratch the grass after they use the bathroom then hopefully they should find this easy to get into and enjoy.

From our first session I’m really impressed with the results, after about 2 minutes her nails were much shorter and it took much less effort than nail clipping and then filing the rough edges. The only downsides is that it’s not really possible (for me anyway, a better trainer might disagree!) to use this for their back paws and also as the nails file down so fast it could end up hitting the quick, so check carefully to see that the nails aren’t getting too short or that they are not damaging their pads.

Overall I think it’s a brilliant way of keeping dogs nails short and healthy as well as being much less stressful for dogs, especially if they already have a fear of nail clippers.

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ZiwiPeak Dog Food Review

I decided to take the plunge and order the ZiwiPeak dog food after featuring it in my Treats Wishlist recently. I decided to order the Lamb version as Bonnie can sometimes get an upset stomach with new treats but she seems to do better with poultry and lamb than other flavours so thought it was a safer bet.

ZiwiPeak daily dog air dried food lamb review
Bonnie was straight over and furiously sniffed the bag

I chose to get the 1kg bag and as we were running out of treats fast I was glad to see the size of the bag as it should last a good while. The food itself is a great size and can even be halved for lots of small training treats. Ian Dunbar actually recommends cutting them into 8 or 16 pieces for classical conditioning.

A handy measuring cup is included for measuring out meals

ZiwiPeak is a premium raw meat air-dried food with 100% natural ingredients and costs around £17 for 1kg or £78 for 5kg for the Lamb and Beef varieties and more expensive for the Venison and Venison & Fish varieties at £23 for 1kg and £98 for 5kg so is very expensive especially for larger dogs that need more food.

ZiwiPeak daily dog air dried food lamb review
No nasty filler ingredients, all high quality stuff

It is a premium dog food with high quality ingredients and is well rated over at the The Dog Food Directory scoring 4.7 out of 5 but is quite expensive (£2.27 per day for 15kg dog) even in comparison to other highly rated dog foods like Orijen (£0.73 per day for 15kg dog).

ZiwiPeak daily dog air dried food lamb review
Bonnie’s first taste test

Bonnie’s first reaction was hilarious as she must have loved the smell so much that she carried it across to the rug, dropped it and rolled all over it before finally eating it!

First impressions – smells so good I need to roll in it first!

I couldn’t justify the price to use as a main dog food but overall I’m really happy with using it for training treats. It’s has high quality ingredients, is a great size that is easy to rip into halves or quarters and should be pretty high value for most doggies.

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