If the pandemic has taught me one thing, it’s that I’m so glad I share my home with a dog. Even when you’re having a bad day and miss everyone you know, a head on your knee with puppy dog eyes and a wagging tail is enough to snap you out of any bad mood. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say my dog has absolutely loved us spending more time at home with them (the cat not so much!) and in spending more time with them you get more familiar with their needs and what makes them happy. I have a Border Collie so all that makes him happy is running at full pelt after a ball, but I wanted to try some new products that would benefit him and make him as happy as he makes me.
Postman Pooch created their pub grub treat box to celebrate the reopening of pub beer gardens in England and luckily for me, that’s when I started testing products for this article. The box is designed to take with you to the pub along with your dog so that they can enjoy a drink and treats that are dog friendly. As someone who won’t give my dog table scraps or human food, I thought this was one of the best products I’d ever seen! Packed full of treats and toys, the box contains a pack of Pawk Scratchings, dog beer or posh pooch, dog safe chocolate bar, expandable water bowl, a chocolate flavoured gnosher (tough toy), pack of cheesy popcorn for dogs and a squeaky KONG tennis ball.
There was more than enough in the box to keep Luther entertained for a couple of hours and the beer and wine made him feel like he was part of what was going on. I feel like this would do well being sold outside pubs in the village where I grew up in the Lake District, rewarding dogs as well as their owners after a long day of walking the fells. Or just to keep your dog distracted while you catch up on a year’s worth of gossip with your friends! If you don’t want to take my word for it you can see many photos of gorgeous dogs enjoying the box on the Postman pooch website here.
If eating and drinking outside has taught us anything these last few weeks, it’s that you are more than likely to get very wet thanks to the wonderful British weather! As all dog owners know, you’ve got to take your dog out come rain or shine, but where you can cover yourself in waterproofs or take an umbrella, there’s not much you can do to stop a dog getting wet and muddy. Even if you hose your dog down before you come into your home, there’s still a wet dog leaving damp patches on your carpets, floors and furniture which can be a real pain.
Ruff and Tumble have come up with a range of drying coats which mean your dog can get as wet as they like without you having to sacrifice your home and car boot. Ruff and Tumble uses a signature double layer of natural cotton towelling. The inside layer wicks moisture from the dog’s coat and the body heat pushes the moisture through to the outer layer of towelling. This unique double thickness towelling prevents the dog from sitting in a cold damp coat helping to prevent arthritis.
Now I must admit I was sceptical of this, Luther won’t wear a dog coat when we go out and barely tolerates a lead so I didn’t have high hopes. However the first opportunity it rained and he came home soaking wet, I put the Country Dog Drying Coat with faux leather trim on him and his little face lit up! He loved being rubbed and cuddled and looked so smart, he then snuggled up on his blanket and had a sleep. If anything it was harder to get it off him. He now goes and nudges it whenever we come back from a walk as if to say “Well come on then, put my robe on peasant!” The coats come in a wide variety of colours and sizes (Luther has an XL as he’s a big collie) and can also be personalised with your dog’s name which of course I had to do as it really does give it such a personal touch. I absolutely loved this product and would highly recommend it.
Once he’s all nice and dry and wants to snuggle down for his 10th nap of the day, he likes nothing more than a warm blanket under him as opposed to a bed. Well actually it’s because he used to rip his beds apart when we left him alone at night and the stuffing would be all over the house so he only gets a blanket now! I got sent a Teddy Bear Plaid Dog Blanket in beige from designer canine product specialist Suzy’s and if I’m being honest it was so lovely and soft I wanted to keep it for myself! Expertly handcrafted in the UK the blankets are so comforting in texture that your dog will refuse to leave this incredible blanket. They are machine washable and light enough to take with you wherever you go so that your dog always has a place to relax. We loved this product and were really impressed by the quality.
Now from terrible weather to great weather, I absolutely love the sun. I will happily sit in it with a good book for hours and love it whenever the word ‘heatwave’ is mentioned. However it is always slightly tainted by the fact that most dogs suffer in the extreme heat. Luther especially can’t cope with his usual run in the hot weather and usually ends up covered in damp cold towels when we get home. So I was really thrilled to receive something that would help from pet product specialists Petzenya. They select some of the best pet products on the market including the Cool dog bed from Scruffs.
The inner Self-Cooling Mat is filled with a non-toxic gel and will be typically 5-10 degrees cooler than room temperature. When in use, the mat will maintain its cooling properties for approximately an hour depending upon the environment. This is perfect for Luther who tends to need a moment to cool down and sleep before he’s back up to no good again. To reset the mat’s cooling properties you simply leave unused for an hour, there is no need to freeze or refrigerate. It sounds too good to be true but it really does work and on the 1 hot day we’ve had in England (so far, fingers crossed!) he enjoyed returning to this bed throughout the day and night. It’s padded sides mean that it’s comfy enough for him to relax and sleep in as opposed to traditional cooling mats which tend to be flat. It’s chic design also means it’s nice enough to have on display in your home throughout the summer months.
Finally we come to a product that all dog owners will appreciate, a good dog shampoo. I’m always quite careful when it comes to dog shampoos as it can be so damaging to strip the natural oils from your dog’s coat. Thankfully this one selected by Petzenya is kinder to your dogs health than most human hair products!
From Animology the Deep Clean dog shampoo is an advanced formula that penetrates the coat to target, loosen and remove stubborn dirt and malodour to leave the thickest of coats clean and fresh. It can be used on all coat and skin types including sensitive skin, and is suitable for all dogs from 6 weeks old. I found it to be a really easy rinse and it smells absolutely amazing, it also feels like a proper clean for your dog that seems to get all the dirt out you can’t see at first glance. The formula is also 100% vegan and highly concentrated so that a tub will last you months rather than weeks. I can’t really say Luther enjoyed this product because he absolutely despises a bath, however the fact that it cleans effectively and rinses out faster means that he has to speed less time in there so I would assume it gets his approval!
So thanks to these products Luther is fed, watered, cool, clean and dry, which helps with caring for him an awful lot. Now if someone could invent something that walks the dog when it’s raining so I don’t have to I’d be eternally grateful…