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
20170622_073719.jpg
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
IMG_20160410_114130
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


 

Advertisements

Taggart’s Famous Liver Cake Review

I’m really excited to share one of our favourite treats and a secret weapon for high distraction training! Taggart’s Famous Liver Cake is made locally in Ballymena Northern Ireland from an innovative dog owner who practises reward based training and wanted to create a natural, healthy and high quality treat. I love that it is made locally and by a dog owner with similar ideals as regular readers will know I love to train using positive reinforcement and I’m always coming up with new things to work on with Bonnie.

The liver cake comes in 2 varieties;

  • Treat sized bag – cut into small chunks ready for training
  • Pre-sliced 1kg loaf

Both varieties are meant to be stored in the freezer until ready to defrost for use. It’s hard to miss their lovely branded freezers in store! As we like to do a lot of training with Bonnie we always have a loaf stocked in our freezer. Their products are stocked in independent pet shops and stockists can be found here.

livercake.jpg

20170122_150227.jpg

We defrost slices in the fridge and then they can be used for up to 5 days after defrosting so is really convenient. My absolute favourite part of the loaf is once it’s defrosted it is so easy to cut up into whatever size of treats you want to use whether you want larger or smaller pieces. It’s also really easy to break up by hand when you’re on the go so really is a versatile treat!

livercake2.jpg

To sum up the Taggart’s Famous Liver Cake range;

Positives

  • Healthy treat with good, real ingredients with no cheap junk fillers, additives or preservatives
  • High value treat – Bonnie loves it even in high distraction training scenarios
  • Soft texture which is easy for dogs to eat – great for rapid rewarding and repetitive training such as clicker training as less time is spent chewing
  • Get a lot of treats per loaf
  • Easy to cut and break into whatever size training treat you want to use
  • Made locally
  • Reasonably priced

Negatives

  • If you wanted to be picky you could say that it needs defrosted before use but I will just chuck a slice into the fridge the day before a big trip out

Overall I cannot fault the product, both me and Bonnie love it and would highly recommend!

20161204_112120.jpg
Taggart’s liver cake? I love that stuff!

Check out their website here and their Facebook page here.

Do you have any favourite dog products made locally? We are very lucky that more and more local dog products and services are popping up regularly and I can’t wait to try more out!


You can also follow our adventures on FacebookInstagram & Twitter


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.

IMG_20160827_105354

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!

IMG_20160827_105741.jpg

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.

IMG_20160827_110055
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.

IMG_20160827_110204.jpg

To sum up the Pet Munchies treat range:

Positives

  • 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

Negatives

  • 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;

IMG_20160816_073712
Please insert treats here

You can also follow our adventures on FacebookInstagram & Twitter


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 🙂

IMG_20160714_191519.jpg
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!

IMG_20160714_192335.jpg
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.

IMG_20160714_193656.jpg
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.

IMG_20160714_193302.jpg
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

IMG_20160714_192942.jpg
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.

IMG_20160714_193448
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!


You can also follow our adventures on FacebookInstagram & Twitter


 

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.

IMG_20160406_112632.jpg
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!

IMG_20160406_112212
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.


You can also follow our adventures on FacebookInstagram & Twitter


 

Treats Wishlist

It’s been a while since I last done a wishlist so it’s good to get back to it! I love finding new treats for Bonnie as it gives a bit of variety to her diet and it’s fun to find out more about her tastes as although she loves all food she definitely has her preferences, especially when training in distracting environments!

treatsWishlist

 

1. Armstrong’s Twisted Fish Cod Skin Jar – Armstrong’s Twisted Fish is a brill high quality local brand that I’m ashamed to say we haven’t tried yet! These cod skins look like a tasty high value treat and they come in a handy jar (a cute Birthday option with ribbon is available) which you can reuse with their refill packs

2. Pet Munchies Venison Strips – We have tried a few treats from this range now and they all have been a hit with Bonnie so would like to try this venison variety as she had some venison sausage over Christmas which she absolutely loved.

We’re always on the lookout for small tasty treats for training so all the treats below seem like great options for clicker training or anything repetitive where you don’t want the dog to be stopping and chewing a lot, for example in loose lead training.

3. ZiwiPeak Venison Daily Dog Cuisine Pouches – Yes this is supposed to be actual dog food that you would feed as their main meal but it would be perfect for training treats as it is basically small air-dried pieces of raw meat. It’s expensive but using it for treats would last ages and it’s sure to be a high value reward judging from the ingredients. Also they are highly rated by Ian Dunbar so must be good!

4. Treats 2 Sit Training Treats Starter Pack – This pack comes with 6 varieties and can be bought in 25g or 50g sizes. It’s a great idea to be able to try out the different flavours and see which is your dog’s favourite.

5. Barker and Barker Multi Pot Treats – This pack comes with 6 varieties and comes in different treat sizes which is good for catering to different sizes of dogs or even just if you prefer to give fewer larger treats or more small treats. They are also low calorie so don’t need to worry as much with overfeeding which is a bonus.

6. Teddy Lu 80% Chicken, Duck & Turkey Treats – These treats seem to be a good size and has a high quantity of meat content with some rice so no fillers like corn etc. which I really like, as well as being pretty inexpensive.

 

Any recommendations for treats please let me know in the comments as I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting treats to try 🙂


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

IMG_20160220_121110

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

IMG_20160220_121142

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

IMG_20160220_121211

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

IMG_20160220_120934

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.

IMG_20160220_121005

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

IMG_20160220_121038

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

IMG_20160220_121338

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.

IMG_20160220_122109

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.

IMG_20160220_122127

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.

IMG_20160220_122209
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