Category Archives: Shop

Medication for your dog

Medication – where do you buy yours?

Until recently, I was able to buy any medication from my vet, as you should do.  However, since Luna’s diabetes diagnosis in December 2017, I have had a bit of a re-think.  She has to have an insulin injection every 12 hours.  See my post about caring for your  diabetic dog for more details.  It’s pretty straightforward, but I must admit the cost of it all does start to add up.

Luna needs:

  • One VetPen kit
  • Needles – 2 per day
  • Caninsulin cartridges – 1 per week
  • Sharps disposal bin

She also has a special diet – Royal Canin Dry Dog Food Diabetic, which you can’t buy from Royal Canin 🙁

After a few months of getting her stabilised, things are generally settled, but we continue to need supplies.  Luna also has to have her ‘glucose curve’ done, which means a whole day at the vet with a blood glucose check done every hour.  The vet usually sends off her blood to the lab for analysis, so that they can see how things have been going for her.

medicationBuying medication online

Some of this is pretty straightforward.  I buy the Royal Canin Diabetic food from Amazon.  Or I can buy the food and the needles from Pet Drugs Online.  They are a  great company, really easy to use.  Delivery is normally free and it’s pretty prompt.

There is a challenge though; buying prescription drugs online.  For these, you must get a written prescription  from your vet.  You will have to pay a fee for this (about £14).  It’s a bit of a faff, but you do then pay a fraction of the price for the drugs themselves.

Once you have the written prescription, you then scan it and upload it onto the site in order to place the order.

A word of warning

I was not able to buy the VetPen cartridges from Pet Drugs Online as they don’t appear to sell these.  They sell vials for syringes, but I use the pen.  It cost over £60 to buy (from the vet’s), but it is so easy to use.
medicationAnyway, I then went to Animed to buy the cartridges.  Using their site was nothing like as straightforward and I wasn’t very happy with their service.  To be fair, this was partly because I tried to order more cartridges than it said on the prescription, thinking I could just order a bigger stock.  But they didn’t make it clear that I couldn’t do this and then didn’t tell me why they hadn’t sent my order.   This meant I had a total panic as I ran out of insulin for Luna!  Fortunately the vet was able to give me some and I did receive the order, so I do now have a bit of stock.
medication

Other medication

I give Sunny Metacam to help ease her arthritis.  I have saved around £50 ordering this online.  Overall, it has already saved me a significant amount of money buying the meds online, but it is more hassle.

NB:  I do not insure my dogs.  This is partly because I have so many and partly because I resent paying insurance when my dogs are generally pretty healthy.  Obviously I would have been able to claim for some of Luna’s treatments and meds, but I suspect there would have been an annual limit on this.

I appreciate that many people feel it is irresponsible not to insure your pets, because you might then be unable to pay for the treatment they need.  Personally, I would rather save the money elsewhere and use that fund when needed.  What do you think?  Do you buy stuff online?   What would you recommend?

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to contact me to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my new service.

Remember..

If you enjoy hearing about Ounce and her family and want more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you would like me to write about a specific topic?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think?

Fabric Dog Collars

Fabric flat collars for your dog

Well it is her birthday!  Some people give their dogs cake for their birthday (see the pic of Lenny in yesterday’s post, or the lovely Woofs Treats I talked about last week).  I just keep buying collars ;-p

fabric collarI don’t generally dress my dogs up in costumes, but I do like a nice collar.  And I found one, made by Rocky and Bud Isn’t it lovely?

fabric collarI had previously bought her a rainbow collar, as she was from The Rainbow Litter but I always wanted a lilac collar.  This one does not disappoint!

Collar types

There are two main types of collar – flat and rolled.  As you know, I am quite partial to a rolled leather collar, such as those sold by Dogs & Horses

fabric collarHowever, these are no good for agility.  You need a flat collar with no ‘dangly bits’ when competing.  If you have something hanging from the collar you will be eliminated.  Basically, it’s a risk to the dog as it could become caught on the equipment.

So we need flat collars.  I must admit I do love a flat collar, when they have a design as lovely as this one.  They are comfortable for the dog to wear and lovely and personal.  The D ring to which the lead attaches is bigger than on rolled collars, so it is easier to clip on.

fabric collarID Tags

If you need an ID tag to go on the collar, I recommend going to Indigo Collar Tags.  They are a bit pricey for a dog tag, but such great quality.  They last forever and are very secure, fitting easily but safely onto the collar.  In fact I struggled to take a picture where you couldn’t read the address on this one!

Lucky puppy!

Ask for help?

You are very welcome to contact me to ask for my advice.  I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues.  Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my new service.

Remember..

If you enjoy hearing about Ounce and her family and want more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you would like me to write about a specific topic?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think?

NB: If you read my posts in an email, you may be missing out on the lovely pictures!  Please click through to my website to see the post in all its glory?

Healthy Dog Treats – Good food for our dogs!

What are the best healthy treats to give your dog?

Following on from my post about Ounce’s prettiest eyes the other day, I thought I would just do a promotion for a lovely person I met at the Parks Trust event, the Big Doggie Do – Michelle from Woofs Treats.

treats

Michelle is clearly very knowledgeable about dogs and has worked hard to develop a great range of treats.  I was particularly impressed that she has researched and produced treats that are suitable for dogs on special diets, because I know how hard it can be to find something suitable for some dogs.

treatsOh and did I mention there are CAKES FOR DOGS!

Other Treats

Top treats can include:

  • cheese – mild cheddar is not too crumbly, nice and cheap.  Cut into small cubes
  • squirty cheese – lots of people buy tubes of cheese, which the dog can lick.  It’s a bit disgusting but dogs love it and it takes them longer to get a small amount
  • sausage – ordinary cooked sausage, cut small
  • frankfurters – I slice up quite finely and then cook in the oven for a while. This dries them out so them are easier to handle and last longer
  • liver cake – if you must.  I never do, but people swear by it: liver cake recipe

For now, I am going to keep buying these Wagg training treats I find them so easy to carry and use and the dogs still really love them.  I take them into school for the children to give to Busy when we are doing our voluntary work for Canine Concern.

 

However, if I am looking for something different, I will definitely visit this local company  for something homemade and healthy!

Remember..

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Cleaning with less chemicals

Super Cleaning!

I realise I may possibly be revealing my somewhat OCD tendencies to clean, talking about cleaning yet again.  Trust me, when you have 5 dogs (and a cat) there is plenty of cleaning to do!  I do try hard NOT to over clean my house, because I don’t think that is a very healthy option, for me or the dogs.  It’s about getting the balance in being clean without going overboard.

Yesterday I had a meeting with the lovely Joanne Todd from Norwex They are a Norwegian company, whose mission is to help people learn how to make your home healthier and more sustainable while saving time and money.

I did learn!  I learnt that using a damp microfibre cloth and a dry  glass cloth is enough on its own to clean my kitchen.  Fantastic!

Less is more

I realised when talking to Joanne, just how much I do want to use less chemical sprays and cleaning products around the house.  I currently use the following:

  • descaling spray
  • kitchen cleaning spray
  • stainless steel spray
  • marble and granite spray
  • glass cleaner
  • furniture polish
  • anti-bacterial spray
  • disinfectant and odour removing floor cleaner
  • washing-up liquid
  • washing liquid
  • dishwasher tablets (plus rinse aid)
  • toilet cleaning blocks
  • toilet cleaner

OMG!! And all of these come in plastic bottles.  All contain any number of manufactured substances, which may or may not be harmful to my health and that of my animals.  Surely I can cut down? I will keep you posted with how I get on.

washing liquidWashing liquid

Here’s a good idea; let’s buy some washing liquid that is fantastically concentrated, rather than containing large amounts of ‘fillers’.  This includes things like cardboard and abrasive materials, which wear out clothes and damage washing machines.  Let’s buy Norwex Laundry Detergent 1kg that comes in small plastic pouch.  Buying it like this reduces the cost of transporting it too – it’s a win-win situation!

Bags and Food Covers

Finally, I have ordered some reusable food bags to take shopping and some silicone food covers to use instead of cling film.  Slowly, we chip away at it all and with any luck, we can remain clean, healthy and hygienic.

Happy shopping!

Remember..

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Vacuum Cleaners

Only the best vacuum for my dogs.

When you have 5 hairy Border Collies AND a fluffy cat, you do need something that can cope!  Over the years I have had a variety of Dyson vacuum cleaners, but have finally decided they are too heavy and noisy, sorry Mr Dyson.

I have now decided to go with this one:

vacuum dog hairIt’s the Miele Blizzard Powerline Vacuum Cleaner – specifically the CX1 Cat and Dog.

I confess that we returned the first one, because the brush head couldn’t cope with the hair!  But I think I might have been using it incorrectly, because there is a non-brush head which sucks the hair up brilliantly.  I have hard floors throughout the downstairs and it wizzes around those really effectively.

Then it is a second’s work to swap to the brush head for the upstairs carpet.

Positive features:

  • light and easy to carry
  • bagless
  • head swivels and is easy to manoeuvre
  • quiet
  • great suction
  • brush head works well on carpet
  • non-brush head works well on hard floors and ‘scrubs’ dog beds effectively
  • Cord rewinds at the touch of a button

This last feature is of course standard for all cylinder vacuum cleaners, but I am an upright girl, having had these all my life, so this is the best thing as far as I’m concerned.

Negative features

  • cylinder not upright, so there’s always a tendency to bend over it – important to adjust the wand length correctly
  • dust compartment isn’t massive, so needs emptying after each use (bearing in mind I have lots of hairy dogs and don’t vacuum every day)
  • cord not quite long enough
  • red

OK I’m clutching at straws for the negatives, I don’t really mind it being red.  The Dyson was purple though…

Price:       £295.18    from Amazon Prime  BUY NOW!

(Don’t tell my hubby, we paid the RRP of £350 from John Lewis :-/)

Other options

vacuum dog hairI know that lots of people nowadays are going for the ”wand’ type vacuum cleaners.  I think these are great if you clean regularly and don’t do much at a time.  They are cordless and nice and light and manoeuvrable.  I’d love to have one for a quick wiz round the kitchen and maybe then I’d clean more often…

Alternatively, many pet owners are now recommending this one: The Shark DuoClean which gets good reviews.  I’m not going to say anything about it, as I haven’t used it, I am merely suggesting it as an option.

We love our dogs, but it is nice when the house is clean.

Remember..

If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you have something you would like me to talk about?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.

 

14 Dog Walks in Milton Keynes – Get out and enjoy!

A guide to Dog Walks – recommendation

I recently talked about walking your dog and so when I was asked to promote this book for dog walkers, why wouldn’t I want to?  It’s a great looking guide, helping us make the most of living in the brilliant location that is Milton Keynes.

The town was designed in the ’60s to be a paragon of urban living, with a grid system (connected by roundabouts!) with the housing tucked away behind these wide roadways.  Each housing estate is linked to its neighbours via subways making it safe for local traffic to move around.  In addition, there are hundreds of miles of ‘redways’; cycle paths that allow you to travel from one side of the city to the other without touching a road.  There two large lakes; Caldecotte Lake, near my house, is around four and a half miles to walk round it.  Willen Lake, in the North of the city, is even bigger.

walkers guide milton keynes

A Dog Walkers Guide to Milton Keynes

This handy guide celebrates the best our area has to offer.  The walks are leisurely and circular, so the perfect way to enjoy our countryside.  This books gives you all the information you need to know, from parking, to poo bins, terrain and sites to see.  Oh and it also includes dog friendly pubs to visit at the end of the walk – the perfect incentive!

Dog walks Milton Keynes
Maps are provided and are easy to follow

Plenty of parkland

We have parkland running right through the heart of Milton Keynes, so you can walk along the river, through pasture, but along hard paths.  This is perfect for this time of year, when the ground is still wet and muddy – wellingtons are not required!  On the other hand, it is all safe for dogs to be off lead and running around – they love it!

dog walks in milton keynesLivestock

As I’ve said, there are areas of pasture, which do have sheep and cows in them over the summer.  These are usually dog friendly – I have walked my five dogs through the sheep and they barely notice!  You do of course need to pay attention to your dogs though; please do NOT let your dogs roar round livestock as this can be extremely dangerous for the animals and farmers are entitled to take action.

You also need to make sure that you keep gates closed as you go through these.  There are cattle grids at many of the gateways, which is great if you are on a bike, but not so good if the dogs are off lead!  There is usually an alternative gateway to go through.

Wildlife

I see a great deal of wildlife on my walks through the parks.  There are a wide variety of birds, including birds of prey and waterfowl.   There is a lovely variety of trees and plants to enjoy too.

To order the book

Please CONTACT ME to order the book, which costs £9.95.  Finally, I must ‘big up’ The Parks Trust, as they are responsible for the management of all our roadways, redways and parkland.

Remember..

If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you have a problem you would like me to talk about?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.

 

Dog Smells – How should we manage our pooch’s pongs?

How do you cope with all those dog smells?

When you get a dog, you have to put up with some horrible dog smells.  I am writing more about this topic today because my lovely new dog garden is already a bit smelly and I need to do something to fix it.  I’ve decided to get some disinfectant and this one looks like it will do the business:

I like the features:

  • Odourfresh – Powerful Triple-Action Cleaner, Disinfectant and Deodoriser.
  • 12 fragrances are available to choose from – Cherry, Bubblegum, Lavender, Lemon, Cinnamon, Peardrop, Spearmint, Baby Powder, Eucalyptus, Tutti Frutti, Freshly Cut Grass or Pine Forest – See description for details of how to choose. NEW FRAGRANCES FOR CHRISTMAS – Winter Berry & Gingerbread
  • Specifically designed for use around pets and animals, doesn’t contain harmful bleach or aldehydes. Cleans up animal mess, destroys odours and targets the sources of bad smells.
  • High level disinfectant with effective bactericidal and virucidal properties. Protects you and your family from nasty animal bugs.
  • Concentrated formula, can be diluted up to 100:1 as a deodoriser.

What flavours should I choose?

NB: Do NOT use ‘standard’ disinfectants such as Dettol neat liquid – these are not safe for use around animals.

Cleaning up ‘accidents’ on the floor

Normally, when mopping the floor, I use a generic floor cleaner such as Flash.  When clearing up wees etc I tend to use an anti-bacterial spray and just wipe with a cloth.  This is on the hard floors.  On carpets, I usually try and soak up the wee first, with a dry cloth or kitchen towel.  Then I spray with the anti-bacterial spray and then give it a good rub with the cloth.

When clearing up solid ‘deposits’ I usually gather up what I can with some toilet roll and then just flush it down the toilet, before cleaning as above.

Washing your dog

I have already talked about this in a couple of other posts; grooming your dogwalking in the rain  but I think it is worth repeating my top tip here:

Top tip: When your dog rolls in fox poo (when, not if) try rubbing in a handful of tomato ketchup.  Then wash out.  It really helps to remove the smell.  Or get some Fox Poo Shampoo

 

Remember..

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Ticks and Fleas – prevention or cure?

How do you cope with parasites on your dog?

Aargh!  Just found a tick on Aura’s face!  Didn’t expect to see these so early, but I suppose that just because the weather is still totally sh*t, doesn’t mean ticks aren’t hatching.  It’s not a problem, we just got our trusty tick tool remover and it came out, perfectly cleanly.

I love these tools, they work so well.  We cuddle our dogs all the time, so we find ticks pretty much straight away.  They can’t get attached in long, thick hair, so tend to be on the face or legs, and are easier to spot.

WARNING: I’ve just googled ‘dog with ticks’ to find a picture to show you (having disposed of Aura’s straight away) and now feel really sick. Don’t do that :-(.  This picture shows all you need to know.  See the tick?  Get the tick tool, slide it between the tick and the dog and twist until it comes off.  Then kill it.  Yuck.

With regards fleas, we did have a flea infestation a few months ago, thanks to a visiting cat.  We then had to use treatments (see below).  However, normally, because I have leather sofas and hard floors, and I regularly wash the dogs’ bedding, I don’t have to treat the dogs (or the cat).

Preventative Treatments

If you are worried that you won’t notice fleas or ticks, or cannot keep on top of it, you can use a ‘drop-on’ preventative treatment, such as Frontline.  These seem straightforward and easy to use.  However, they do contain strong toxins, which are not ideal to have on your pet.

At one time I was using a different brand and managed to get a drop of it in Sunny’s eye.  This caused an ulcerated cornea, which led to weeks of treatment with drops, followed by sedation and a ‘scratched cornea’ to heal it.  Which is another reason I don’t use it unless I have to.  :-/

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A Dog’s garden – what do they need?

The Perfect Play Area

Owning 5 dogs is quite unusual across the population as a whole.  Not amongst my friends and acquaintances of course – but then I am now officially a ‘dog person’.  I am spending increasing amounts of time with my dogs and mixing with other dog breeders and multiple dog owners.  I am therefore becoming increasingly aware of a dog’s needs.

When I am vetting owners for puppies, one of the questions I ask is about the size of the garden.  I also ask if it is secure – that is definitely important.  There is a general expectation that the bigger the dog, the bigger the space required for them.  There is also a feeling that more dogs require more space.  In fact, neither of these things is especially true.  However, they definitely need easy access to some outdoor space.

A dog’s needs

Many people take their dogs for multiple walks each day, thereby encouraging their dogs to toilet elsewhere, rather than in the garden.  Personally, I prefer my dogs to be able to go to the toilet as required, rather than having to rely on me taking them.  Of course they do toilet on the walk, but dogs still need an area to go to the toilet.  They will toilet on patios or gravel, but they do prefer grass, even artificial grass.

Dogs also need some space to run around.  How much space again depends on how often they are exercised and how this is managed.  My dogs have a long walk, entirely off lead, giving them plenty of opportunity to run around together. They are walked in different areas each day, meaning they have plenty of mental and physical stimulation.  They are also taken to training sessions and shows, ensuring that they are fit and challenged regularly.

My dogs also have plenty of space to run around indoors, as I am fortunate enough to have that.  And because I am around all day, every day, they are not ‘shut up’ anywhere.

Barking in the garden

One of the issues mentioned by people is that when dogs are left outside for any length of time, or have free access to the garden, they may bark. This is clearly a potential irritation for neighbours and in fact can cause major friction and even prosecution.

Any dog will ALWAYS bark if there is a stimulus to do so.  When they are on their own property, they MUST bark if something comes into their space.  This will include:

  • squirrels
  • cats
  • big birds
  • other dogs going past
  • people eg postmen
  • other people going past

If your property backs onto a footpath, then your dog will stand at the fence and bark.  If your dog can see the front garden and path, they will stand and bark if someone passes.  It’s their job, it’s what they do.  You will not stop them.

So, if you want a dog space to which they have free access, it needs to be away from these stimuli.

Artificial grass

 Increasingly, dog owners (even those with only one dog) are turning to artificial turf to replace their turf.  Dogs are hard on grass; they cause patching through their urination (bitches more than dogs), they also wear out the grass through running around.  If left unsupervised, they will dig holes in beds.  They also rummage around in beds and bushes.  The more space you have, the more difficult it becomes to clear up after your dogs.  But if you don’t do this regularly, this will also cause damage to the garden.

Since dogs wear out grass, small gardens quickly turn into mud baths.  This is then tramped indoors, making the house dirty and dusty.  When the winter is as wet and cold as this one has been, the wear and tear on the house can be significant.

I have now created a section of my garden specially for my dogs.  They have plenty of space to run around and toilet and ‘grass’ on which to do this.  They are safe and contained.  They have water, sun and shade.  They can ‘use’ the beds to toilet if they wish to and if they wanted to dig, it wouldn’t matter to much.

I have simply placed the artificial turf on my patio, as I have large paved areas available.  I hope to keep my lawn at the back of my house, as I don’t want to feel that I am replacing everything natural.  It’s a challenge though, as I have big trees, a mole family (hopefully now moved on!) and 5 dogs.

Of course my dogs will be allowed to go into the main garden once the weather improves (it will one day!)  Meanwhile, they are enjoying playing in their own space, while staying relatively clean and completely safe.  Happy dogs!

Remember..

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Dog Leads – only the best for my girls!

Fully purpled up!

dog leadsI absolutely LOVE these leads!  I bought my first collars and leads from Dogs & Horses four years ago, on my first visit to Crufts.  They were exactly what I wanted, beautifully made, rolled leather, in different colours for my different girls.

I started with three collars and leads in purple, red and pink.  I decided to go for green for Busy, before I realised she had one piercing blue eye – had to go for pale blue then!

When I had Ounce, I decided to go for lilac as her ‘colour’.  Surprisingly, this has proved difficult, but Dogs & Horses were able to produce a beautiful grey collar and lead for her.

Then I discovered that they were doing these split leads.  A perfect solution for my pack, and all in purple.  So on my visit to Crufts this week I decided to go for it.

They are a British company, offering great service and top quality products.  Thank you, Dogs & Horses

Remember..

If you want to know more, why not FOLLOW ME?  Then you will receive an email when there is a new post.  Please CONTACT ME if you have a problem you would like me to talk about?  And feel free to COMMENT if you want to tell me what you think.