Category Archives: Shop

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.

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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.

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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

 

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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!

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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..

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Snow Day Reading..

Recommended Books – February 2018












You’re welcome x

Why don’t you tell me what you like reading?

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Vet Bedding Man

Great bedding for your dogs

Today I am quite simply bigging up Vet Bedding Man because I love their products!  I have previously bought some of the large pieces of rubber backed vet bed in a couple of different designs.  I’ve had it a couple of years now and it wears really well.  It’s nice and thick and completely non-slip.  I’ve just treated myself to another bit, this time in brown with white paw prints, to go with my girls!  

As you can see, they sell a wide range of dog products at reasonable prices.

I must admit I am also looking forward to going to Crufts on Thursday 8th March, to do some more shopping!  I may well buy more vet bed while I’m there; I’m sure there will be bargains to be had.

In my view, it’s hard to have too much vet bed, as it is so versatile and easy to manage.  It absorbs moisture and dirt and yet is comfortable and warm for the dogs.  It is incredibly easy to wash and generally hard wearing.  I have had some of it for years!  Which is a bit annoying if you are trying to justify getting more…

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Flowers for Valentine’s Day

Something a bit different?

A few weeks ago I contacted Field Gate Flowers to thank them for my beautiful Christmas wreath, which was still going strong, six weeks after it was delivered to me.  I had really enjoyed it, particularly as it had a lovely smell.

I asked them if they would be able to do me a ‘Spring’ wreath, as I had previously been given an ‘Autumn’ wreath from a French market, which I had thoroughly enjoyed.

Happily, Field Gate Flowers said ‘yes’ and today I collected it.  What a lovely Valentine’s gift for us to have!I decided to add some hellebores as I have plenty of these in my garden.  I love the little pot of purple irises, don’t you?

Thank you – Field Gate Flowers!

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Dog Portrait Artist

Something a bit different?

Today I thought I would do a quick post to promote a lovely local artist – Rachel Baker.

I know that I am attempting to become capable of photographing dogs and of course I am indebted to my friend Kate Everall Photography for her support and talent.  But sometimes you want something more, well artistic.

Please go to Rachel’s website to see other examples of her lovely work.

TO ORDER:

Please contact Rachel Baker quoting Dentbros Dogs

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