This is a paid collaboration with M&S Pet Insurance
I can’t imagine not having a dog in my life now, but boy it’s such a big responsibility. Choosing the right breed to fit in with my current lifestyle was something that I was determined to get right when I bought my most recent dog, Lucia, and I’m happy to say that I did. I read, researched, asked questions and took my time to find the right pup. As I already owned a show strain cocker spaniel, Maya, I thought I pretty much knew what to expect but when I got Lucia, a working cocker spaniel home, I sometimes felt I was a new dog mother all over again.
This little bundle of golden fur had so much energy and was super smart to boot so the question buzzing around my head was how will I occupy this active little dog and keep her calm. If there was one thing that I had learned from my previous dogs that was going to come in useful now, it was that exercise alone is not enough. I remember walking my huskies for literally hours a day and wondering why they were still so hyper at home – then I discovered enrichment toys. Lucia absolutely adores the challenge of working for her food from her enrichment toys, and the mental stimulation relaxes her and makes her a joy to have around. Of course she still needs plenty of exercise and I find varying her walks and taking her to lots of new places really helps to keep her interested, taking in all the new sniffs gives her lots to think about too, and she is always ready for a nap when we get home.
If I had one question that I was desperate to find the answer to when I first owned a dog it was how to get some peace and quiet! It’s well known that cocker spaniels are velcro dogs and Lucia takes this to the next level, jumping on mine or my partners lap when she is either invited or sees an opportunity to do so. I can’t tell you how glad I am that one of the first things I taught Lucia to do was “settle” on her bed. I’ve also learnt the hard way that sometimes a dog is just overtired or overstimulated and what they really need is a nap in their bed or on your sofa!
Another thing that had me scratching my head when I first owned a dog was how often should I bathe it. Of course the obvious answer is when they’re dirty. Anyway the general consensus is that a dog needs a bath at least every three months but if you have any knowledge of spaniels you’ll know that Lucia sees the bath tub much more frequently than that! Although she is a lover of water in the great outdoors I don’t think she rates bath time very highly on her “favourite things to do list”. Still. she is a good girl and I always give her lots of cuddles and treats so it’s not all bad.
One problem I think many of us have faced when we’ve got a new puppy is chewing, or to be more precise how to stop puppy chewing on things they shouldn’t. Naively I suppose when I had my first dog I thought that just saying NO would be sufficient. I had a lot to learn, and remember having little teeth marks all over my hands and holes in my slippers only too well! Now I use a multi-pronged approach making sure Lucia gets enough rest and has plenty of toys she can chew on. (under supervision, of course) I would say these are a necessity, giving a dog something they can chew on safely really is the only way to stop a teething pup from becoming destructive.
What played on my mind the most though was would my dog forgive me if I went away on holiday? Well I can reassure you that all of mine have, in fact I think they enjoy a little break in a good 5 paw doggy hotel now and then. I like to think they miss me but I’m not so sure, as last time I dropped them off there they didn’t even give me a backwards glance. What really matters though is that we are all overjoyed to be reunited and I don’t think I need to feel guilty about enjoying the odd break away. However Lucia and Maya love nothing better than to come on a dog friendly holiday with us and I find it amazing that the already strong bond I have with my girls grows even stronger when we’ve spent a week exploring new things and making memories together. Call me a crazy dog lady if you like but it’s these holidays that I enjoy the most!
I’m going to be honest, when I bought my first dog I didn’t even think about getting him insured but it’s so necessary and now I wouldn’t dream of owning a pet without having them fully covered, just in case. The cost of treatment can soon mount up! M&S Pet Insurance provide a comprehensive service and they even have a vetfone so you can ring in and get advice from a qualified vet at any time of the night or day. Right now they are running an exciting campaign and have made an informative video answering the web’s most searched vet questions. The video certainly answered some of the other questions that I had when I first became a pet parent, such as “Can dogs get colds?” Dr. Martin tells us that they can – “Thankfully they won’t catch them from us, but they can get runny noses and coughs. If you’re worried about your pet you should contact your vet.” Why not check out the M&S Pet Insurance site and see if Dr. Martin has answered any of the questions you may have.
If you’re looking for somewhere to go dog walking in East Yorkshire you’ll be spoilt for choice as there are some amazing hikes in the area. There’s something to suit every dog, whether they prefer a romp on the beach, bouncing through open countryside or a sniff in the forest, read on to discover our pick of the bunch which coincidentally all have a dog friendly pub or café somewhere along the way!
The Yorkshire Wolds is one of my favourite places to take Maya and Lucia hiking, if you are ambitious perhaps you can plan a dog friendly holiday and walk the entire 79 miles of the Wolds Way with your dog from Hessle to Filey. Most of us though only have time for a shorter hike and because it is impossible for me to pick just one favourite walk here I’m going to list a few!
The picturesque village of Welton is the starting point for a couple of them, in the village itself there is a pub, The Green Dragon, which is extremely welcoming to dogs, inside and out. In fact on our last visit there seemed to be more canine customers than humans! According to legend it was at the Green Dragon that highwayman Dick Turpin was finally captured!
If you only have a couple of hours there is a 3 mile circular walk through woodland that returns via the dry valley of Welton Dale. Dogs do have to be on leads for some of this walk but the paths are wide and flat so it’s ideal if you just want a gentle stroll. There is free parking opposite the pub.
If you want to see a bit more of the Wolds though I thoroughly recommend this 61/2 mile walk from The Walking Englishman which begins at the same place and passes through Elloughton Dale as well as the beautiful Welton Dale.
I have to admit I do love a canal walk and so do Maya and Lucia! Pocklington Canal is 91/2 miles long, but of course you can choose the length of your walk. Much of the canal is now a site of special scientific interest and is really beautiful with an abundance of wildlife. On Sundays free boat trips take place from the Melbourne Arm on which well behaved dogs are welcome. the Pocklington Canal Amenity Society who organise the trips welcome donations though! There is a dog friendly pub in Melbourne village aptly named the Melbourne Arms that is dog friendly outside and parking either on the roadside or in the pub car park.
We usually park at Pocklington Canal Head though, just off the A1079 where there is a picnic area and information board and walk along to Melbourne which is just over 4.5 miles. (each way) The nearby Wellington Oak Pub welcomes dogs too so you can always grab a refreshment after your walk.
Millington Woods and Dale
Whether you fancy a short stroll through the woods or are up for a longer walk that takes in Millington Dale as well you and your pooch will have the time of your life here. You can park at the Millington Woods car park, but bear in mind that there are no facilities here, the nearest ones are at the dog friendly pub in the village, The Gait Inn, although this tends to be open only at weekends in the daytime except for in high season.
Not all of our favourite dog walks in East Yorkshire are in the Wolds though, here’s a few more great hikes that this pair of intrepid spaniels love.
The Risby Round
My dogs love having a good sniff and run around walking The Risby Round a 3 mile circular walk around Risby Park on the outskirts of Beverley that starts and ends at the Folly Café. The café welcomes dogs on the terrace and the tea and cake is good here too, parking for the walk is free in the cafes car park. If you’re in the Beverley area, Beverley Westwood is also a great place to walk your dog’s and Maya and Lucia especially enjoy the little woods here which in May are festooned with bluebells – perfect for that obligatory Instagram photo!
Hornsea Mere This circular walk doesn’t have much opportunity for your pooch to go off lead but it’s worth doing it at least once, as the lake is abundant with bird life including gadwalls, tufted ducks and golden eyes.
The walk which begins from the footpath on Hull Road at the south east side of the lake is approximately 6 miles and is known as the Hornsea Triangle.
There is a dog friendly café over on the eastern side of the lake and if you don’t fancy the circular walk you could just park at the café car park and have a little wander round – Hornsea mere is the biggest fresh water lake in Yorkshire so it would be a shame to miss it completely!
Bridlington to Fraisthorpe and back! If you visit East Yorkshire with your dog it’d plain wrong not to take them on a beach walk. We usually park in the private car park at Fraisthorpe, there is a charge to park that varies with the season but the most I’ve ever paid is £3.00 for all day. There is a gorgeous dog friendly café here, The Cow Shed, which offers treats such as doggie ice cream – great for when you return from your walk. The walk along the beach to Bridlington and back is about 6 miles. There’s a great dog friendly café, Richie’s Café-bar as you enter Bridlington on the promenade which even provides your pooch with a free sausage if you eat there, that’s probably the reason that my girls up the pace as we approach it!
Flamborough If you enjoy coastal walks you will be stunned at the beauty of the dramatic scenery at Flamborough and might be lucky enough to see puffins and seals too! There are several walks in the area of varying difficulty and distance and we normally take a circular walk from Flamborough Village which is a good 10 miles and a little challenging so really only for the more adventurous dogs and their humans! If you have less time on your paws though or fancy a more relaxing walk this 4 mile circular walk from North Landing is also a stunning hike. For the best enjoyment, time your walk for when the tide is out so that you can investigate the coves fully. There are dog friendly cafes at both Flamborough Head and North Landing. It goes without saying that there are quite a few parts of this walk near the cliff edge that it’s safest to keep your dog on a lead but my girls seem to enjoy it immensely none the less!
Where are your favourite places to walk? Let us know in the comments below so we can give them a go sometime.
One thing that makes me so sad, and yes, angry too is the effect that plastic pollution is having on our environment and oceans. Most of us are probably already making an effort to reduce our plastic waste in the home, re-using or avoiding plastic bags, buying our fruit and vegetables loose etc and that all helps. But what can you do as a pet parent to reduce your pooch’s plastic paw print? Well several things really, a campaign that I became aware of on twitter from Paws On Plastic is such a simple idea but one that could be so effective if we all joined in. They are asking us all to pick up 2 pieces of plastic on our daily walks and empty them into your recycling bin when you get home. Why not check them out on Instagram, Twitter or even join their Facebook Group.
Something that’s almost unavoidable for us dog owners is using poop bags to clean up our dog’s mess. Many of us think we are being greener by using biodegradable ones, but recently I found out that most poop bags marketed as being biodegradable really aren’t much more eco-friendly after all. In fact the majority are actually oxo-biodegradable, simply containing a chemical that causes them to break down the plastic more quickly into smaller pieces, in fact many experts are sceptical that they ever fully degrade at all. Most poop bags end up going to landfill anyway so they could never break down as fast as they’re supposed to (1 year for products claiming to be biodegradable) due to being processed with all the other plastic items, so ultimately still have a devastating effect on our planet.
Most of us still need to pick up and bag though and the greenest answer to this is to use fully compostable poop bags which are usually made from maize flour and vegetable oil. Yes they can be a little bit more expensive but I don’t think any of us would grudge a few extra pennies if it helps save the planet.
Recently I was gifted a HandiScoop (you might recall seeing John pitching it on TV to the Dragon’s Den crew) in return for my thoughts. The HandiScoop is an ingenious poop scooper which allows you to use just one bag to pick up to four poops. It’s a great idea and according to the manufacturer can save 1100 bags per dog per year which by their calculation equates to 9.9 billion less bags used per year! Maybe as Maya and Lucia are raw fed and are only two or three times a day girls, I wouldn’t personally save quite so many, every little helps though so I was happy to give it a try.
The product comes in two different sizes, I received the HandiScoop Easy Walk to put to the test. It is actually well designed and really easy to use – you just preload it with up to 3 poop bags – especially handy if you work as a dog walker, are expecting a bumper day or just like to be prepared, then, when necessary pull back the trigger to pick it up and lock and seal using the elastic tab. The device measures 45cm and is very light so easy to carry and would be handy if you were going walking where you know there is an absence of bins. I can see them being a massive help to folk that find bending down difficult. Another advantage compared to other poop scoops on the market is that it’s so clean and hygienic to use – you simply dispose of the bag when you get home.
Where the device would really come into it’s own in terms of cutting down on plastic in my opinion is clearing up your garden or yard. The HandiScoop Easy Reach is especially designed for this as it is longer at 85cm so even handier for those that suffer from a bad back or similar. If you own a kennels or provide doggy day care it would save valuable time too. My girls refuse to poop in their own garden but I will definitely be taking my HandiScoop on our travels this year as they have no such reservations about christening the grounds of holiday cottages!
How does it work mum?
Still on the subject of poop, sorry, The Forestry Commission have a Stick and Flick scheme operating in some area’s. Dog walkers are encouraged to use a stick to brush their dogs’s waste off the footpaths into the undergrowth, in the hope that this will considerably reduce the amount of discarded full poop bags. A really good environmentally friendly initiative in my opinion as not only are they an eyesore and polluting our planet but animals can be endangered if they ingest them. Look out for the signs if you go to the forest letting you know that this policy is in operation, here’s hoping it leads to us all seeing less tree’s decorated with full poop bags too!
There are some other small steps that I take to reduce my dog’s plastic paw print such as buying their chews and accessories from brands that are doing their best not to use plastic packaging – do you have any ideas of what more we can do? Let us know in the comments below.
Love Sal, Maya and Lucia xxx
*Our HandiScoop was gifted to us in return for an honest review.
Summer is coming and we can all look forward to long evening walks, some fun at the beach or maybe even a dog friendly holiday with your best friend at your side. Summer isn’t without it’s dangers for dogs though, we all know the risks of leaving our pooch in the car in hot weather and I’m confident that no-one reading this would ever do that, but there are others and today I thought I’d blog about some of the more common ones and hopefully give you a few pointers on what to look out for and what action to take. Grass seeds start to become more prevalent from late spring through to the end of summer and these innocuous looking seeds can cause untold discomfort and pain for our dogs and can result in an expensive visit to the vet. They can attach themselves in between the toes or under the elbows then puncture the skin and work their way into the flesh, or enter the ear canal and make their way down to the eardrum or lodge in the nose. Signs to look out for in your dog include obsessive licking of their paws, rubbing their ears and shaking their heads in pain.
Get into the habit of thoroughly checking your pooch for the presence of grass seeds after every summer walk, especially if they have been running and playing in long grass, something that I try to discourage Maya and Lucia from doing!
Most dogs love water and there’s so much fun to be had for your pooch splashing about in the sea or swimming in lakes – Maya and Lucia adore it. It’s also a fantastic way to ensure your dog is getting enough exercise when it’s too warm to walk far, as a 5 minute swim is apparently equivalent to a 5 mile walk for a dog. However don’t just assume your dog can swim, some need to build up confidence in the water first and learn they can do it! Think about investing in a float vest for your dog for extra peace of mind, especially handy if you’re thinking about taking them boating or paddle boarding.
There are some hidden dangers that you need to be aware of though, watch out for toxic blue green algae in ponds and lakes, especially when it’s hot and dry. This is actually a bacteria called cyanobacteria that has the appearance of a blue-green scum or foam, or can gather together in greenish clumps. Swimming in this can be fatal for dogs so please be careful.
Ticks! As the temperatures start to rise in spring so do your dogs chances of becoming host to an unwanted visitor – a tick. Ticks are vectors and as such can transmit diseases to dogs or humans, like Lyme disease for instance. Ticks are becoming more prevalent here in the UK and are more commonly picked up on countryside, woodland and moorland walks from March – November but they are active all year round, and in towns and cities too.
It is vitally important to protect your dog from ticks and it’s a personal choice as to whether to use a mainstream tick treatment (which I do) or an alternative natural product. I don’t really want to get into the pros and cons of each in this post, (maybe some other time) but I advise you to both talk with your vet and research alternative methods before making your decision, you must, however take some action!
BBQ’s are a quintessential part of summer, I love them and so do my girls but I have to keep an eagle eye on them, especially Maya! Firstly many common BBQ relishes are toxic to dogs, think onions, chili and garlic and some guests may unwittingly feed them – not everyone has dog sense – and if your dogs are anything like mine they won’t say no to free food! Secondly there is the risk of your dog getting burnt if he ventures to close to the grill or discovering something he shouldn’t in a friends garden. Enjoy but just be careful.
Heat Exhaustion and Dehydration are biggies. I plan to publish an in-depth blog on this subject soon, but for now here are my top 6 tips to keep your dog comfortable.
1. Plan to walk your dogs early, before the day heats up or/and late in the evening, or better still take an early morning trip to a lake or the beach for a swim. Watch out for the pavement being uncomfortably hot for your dog to walk on too – if you find it uncomfortable to keep the back of your hand there for 7 seconds it’s too hot for your pooch to walk on!
2. Always make sure your dog has an adequate supply of fresh water and ensure you remember to take plenty with you on walks. Don’t forget some for you!
3. Keep air circulating in your home, invest in a couple of fans if need to and if you spend time out in the garden like us make sure there’s somewhere shaded for your dog to lay.
4. Cool down your dog by giving him frozen treats, Maya and Lucia love ice cubes, either plain or with a raspberry or piece of apple in, frozen kongs filled with peanut butter are a big hit with them too, or why not have a go at making your own dog lollies!
5. Cooling mats are fantastic for your dog to lie on in the house, and what pooch wouldn’t enjoy a splash around in a paddling pool. If you don’t have access to these you can always use wet towels to cool him down if he’s too hot.
6. Hot summers days entail a total ball ban for Lucia but when it’s slightly cooler I do allow her to play with the breathe easy range from Chuckit. (not an ad, just really rate these products)
Hope you all have a fabulous summer with your dogs, why not let us know your top tips for staying safe in the comments below.
More and more of us are now including our dogs in nearly everything we do, from holidays to eating out, our pooches certainly make every occasion more fun. Of course most dogs spend quite a bit of time indoors, so I was thrilled when Laura Ashley invited me test their dog products and to share my tips on creating a home that works for those of us on two legs as well as four without sacrificing style to celebrate National Pet Month.
Living a dog friendly lifestyle means giving some extra thought to your interior dog-erating. Wooden or tiled floors are obviously easier to maintain than carpet and throws and blankets are essential if you opt for fabric sofas. In my home I allow my dogs to wander wherever they want, so of course sometimes they run in from the garden unannounced, I’ve found placing doggy mats in strategic places means I don’t have to get the mop out too often!
Dogs spend over half their lives snoozing so giving some thought to their sleeping arrangements is essential. Thankfully purely functional, unsightly dog beds, stuck out in the utility room, are now confined to the history books. Instead most of us are choosing stylish, aesthetic dog products that fit in with our décor for our four legged friends. Personally I love pieces that express my girls vibrant personality which is why I adore the “Dogs on Parade” range from Laura Ashley so much. My pooches are both literally obsessed with their new “Dogs on Parade” bed, it must be extra comfy! It’s really good quality too, as you would expect.
Maya and Lucia, my two cheeky cocker spaniels, have beds dotted all round the house, so they can keep one eye on me whatever I am doing. Because dogs perceive the home in a totally different way to us and love a den like environment I try to place beds in an alcove or in a spare corner. Under the stairs would be a perfect space for your dog to call their own if you have an open plan house. Not only will your dogs feel safe and secure when they settle down for a snooze but it adds interest to an often unused space.
If like me you are one of the 40% of people in the UK that let your fur baby come up to your bedroom at the end of the day, you might want to consider putting a comfy bed under your dressing table at night – since I did this Maya and Lucia have preferred to cuddle up there instead of sleeping on the “big” dog bed and much as I love being close to my girls I value a good nights sleep more!
I love to see my pooches having fun, so have to admit to buying them far too many toys. It’s a good idea to position toy boxes in the rooms they frequent most often to save you finding a trail of balls from the kitchen to the bedroom. My top tip for a tidy house though is training your dogs the “put away” command, my pooches so enjoy playing this game, but be warned if you leave your gloves laying around it might be a case of finders keepers. The Dogs on Parade dog toy storage basket is perfect for this, and looks so much more stylish than a chunky toy box too.
Now that so many of us crazy dog ladies are out of the closet we can embrace our desire to mix and match our dogs accessories to compliment our outfits. The dog collar with matching bow tie, bandana and lead from the Dogs on Parade range are just so gorgeous and fabulous quality too, I think Lucia really approves of these additions to her wardrobe. To be honest I get just as much of a thrill hanging a new set for the girls on their lead hooks as I do when I put away a new dress of my own.
I also love to dot some dog inspired homeware around my house – that’s normal, right? The fun and funky items from the Dogs on Parade range co-ordinate with their doggy products and have definitely added a touch of woof to my home, hopefully they will soon be brightening up yours too. T
There are so many dog friendly beaches in Yorkshire, some allow pooches the freedom to frolic in the sand and sea all year round and others that have seasonal restrictions. Some are close to all the amenities you would expect of a traditional seaside resort, others allow you to admire the breathtaking scenery of the Heritage Coast and there’s a few that I drive an extra few miles from home to just for the cake! One thing they all have in common though is that your dog will have the time of it’s life.
Beaches where dogs are allowed all year round – no restrictions
Hunmanby Gap – If my dogs were going to put Yorkshire’s dog friendly beaches in order of preference this one would definitely be a candidate to top their list, so it seems only right for me to start here! The beach which is just 4 miles from Filey is absolutely massive and extends right along to Reighton Sands (also dog friendly all year round), with plenty of sand for your pooches to enjoy. The stunning scenery of the Heritage Coast is an added bonus for us humans! There is a car park at the end of Sands Road for which there is a charge of £1 per hour up to 3 hours or £5 for all day, but you do have to walk down a bit of a hill to get to the beach. Don’t miss out on treating yourself to a yummy slice of cake at Hunmanby Beach Café which is dog friendly inside and out.
Fraisthorpe Beach is another firm favourite of ours, it’s actually part of Bridlington Bay and you can walk along the sand to Bridlington which we often do. This flat, sandy beach which stretches for miles is very popular with dog walkers and you can even take your horse! My dogs never fail to meet new friends here and would probably move here if they could! There is a private car park at the top of the beach, charges vary according to the season but even in summer it’s only £3.00 for all day. The Cowshed café is dog friendly and the food is delicious, sometimes they have doggie lollies in stock which Maya and Lucia love.
Runswick Bay is arguably one of the prettiest seaside villages in Yorkshire. This sheltered sandy beach is just 9 miles north of Whitby and all facilities are available in the village. There are plenty of fossils to be found in this location if that’s your thing, and the location is just so beautiful. Well worth a visit. Parking is available in the car park just a short way up the hill and there is a wonderful dog friendly pub in the village.
Cayton Bay, just 3 miles south of Scarborough is another large sandy beach. It’s popular with surfers and there is a surf shop in the car park where you can hire boards etc or grab a coffee. I love the natural feel of this beach, and the dramatic scenery. It’s also interesting to have a look at the WW11 pill boxes at the northern end of the beach, apparently this area of the beach is popular with naturists (although this is prohibited!) but I have visited many times and have never seen any!
Flamborough North Landing is small but so, so beautiful. the white chalk cliffs are just breathtaking. We have been lucky enough to see puffins whilst visiting here. The beach is sand and pebbles and is accessed by means of a ramp. There is a café, toilets and car park, if you are intending to visit Flamborough Head (we usually do as we think the fish and chips at Headlands is the best in the area! Dogs are so welcome here both inside and out ) you can buy a special ticket that covers you to park there and Danes Dyke as well. Danes Dyke beach is actually also dog friendly, it’s a white pebbled and sand beach with ample room for your pooch to have a romp except at high tide. Maya and Lucia love it here as there are woodland walks to be had from the car park as well as the beach. The best of both worlds! There are toilets in the car park but no café.
Robin Hoods Bay is one of the most scenic beaches in Yorkshire, best visited when the tide is out, you and your pooch can enjoy a fabulous walk to Boggle Hole. (Depending on the tides – please check!) My girls had a whale of a time running through seaweed, although admittedly they were both in need of a bath afterwards! There is a wealth of dog friendly eating and drinking establishments in the picturesque, cobbled town, many serving doggie bar snacks! The only downside here is that the car parks are right at the top of the hill but even factoring this in it’s well worth a visit.
Beaches with seasonal dog restrictions – Like almost everywhere in the UK some beaches enforce restrictions as to which areas our dogs can enjoy especially in the summer months. Happily though here in Yorkshire there is usually still plenty of beach for your pooch to enjoy even then
Sandsend is a gorgeous sandy beach a couple of miles from Whitby. Seasonal restrictions for dogs apply in some areas May to September. There is the lovely Sandside café with fabulous views over the bay where you can dine with your dog on the patio area. We love exploring the caves at the far end of the beach when the tide is out. Maya and Lucia especially enjoy jumping in the river’s here that run into the sea. You can walk the couple of miles along the beach to Whitby from here at low tide as well if you fancy it.
Bridlington has two huge beautiful sandy beaches, North Beach (above) and South Beach. Out of season there are no restrictions on either, but, May – September dogs are only allowed beyond the coastguard station on North Beach, and beyond the Boat Launch (next to Richie’s Café-Bar) on South Beach. Richie’s Café-Bar by the way is extremely dog friendly, both inside and out, offers free doggy sausages and serves delicious fish and chips. When we visit North Beach we tend to walk up to The Ship Inn at Sewerby (about a mile) which even has it’s own Doggie menu!
Saltburn is another huge sandy beach where dogs are welcome out of season and confined to areas either side of the pier May-September. Saltburn-by-the-Sea is still reminiscent of the Victorian seaside resort it once was, I found it really rather charming. There are an abundance of dog friendly cafes and pubs in the town. Just a couple of miles further north lies Marske Sands which is dog friendly all year round. In fact you can walk there along the beach, I bet your pooch would love it!Hornsea Beach is one of my dogs favourites, yes the seasonal restrictions are in place in the parts directly on the promenade May-September, but either side of town there is fun to be had. Recently we have been heading over to the north side of town, parking for free in Morrow Avenue car park and then enjoying a coffee and snack in the Floral Hall Café. The beach is a bit more peaceful on this side of town and is accessed by some wooden steps just across from the car park. Hornsea beach is a mixture of sand and shingle and there’s plenty of parking at the main end of town too. Of course there are many more dog friendly beaches in Yorkshire, these are just our favourites. Let us know below if you think we’ve missed out a gem, hope to see you on a beach in Yorkshire sometime!
Looking after your dog’s teeth is so important and as February is Pet Dental Health Month I thought I’d blog about what I do to try to make sure Maya and Lucia both have a sparkling smile! Shockingly although canine dental disease is the number one health issue affecting dogs in the UK only 2% of owners brush their pets teeth on a daily basis, I must admit that I do miss the odd day myself and have resolved to up my game!
I tend to use a multi-pronged approach, so as well as brushing their teeth and annual vet checks I give the girls a variety of chews to help remove plaque. WHIMZEES dental chews are one of the girls favourites, they are made of completely natural ingredients and contain no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, GMOs, gluten, or meat, and according to Maya and Lucia they are delicious too! WHIMZEES come in a variety of sizes to suit your dog and in some fun shapes too, such as hedgehogs and aptly for Pet Dental Month a toothbrush. The chews are endorsed by a global expert in pet nutrition, Dr. Danielle Bernal, who commented “WHIMZEES offer the perfect aide for dog owners to clean their dog’s teeth in an easy and tasty way and – when given daily – the benefits of a chewing a WHIMZEES dental shape means dogs have substantially less plaque and tartar than just eating regular dry food, as well as better breath and improved gum health. These are the exact benefits that can help minimise the incidence of dental disease”. The girls were delighted to receive a gift of a supply of chews from WHIMZEES the other day and as you can see in the photograph above Lucia can’t stop smiling.
Can you blame Lucia for drooling when asked to “hold” a Pizzle?
Natural chews are a great way to reduce plaque and keep gums and teeth strong and the dogs love them! They are long lasting so are a good way of keeping your pooch occupied as well. I get most of the girls chews from Devil Dood Direct, who stock a wide variety including Buffalo, Camel Mega Chews and the girls favourite Bully Beef. Raw bones are great too as the live enzymes they contain help break down and kill harmful bacteria lurking in the gums. Maya and Lucia also really enjoy chewing on a split antler but remember whole antlers are very hard and can result in fractured teeth and cooked bones can easily split and cause choking. So choose wisely.A couple of months ago we were gifted a tub of Pro Den Plaque Off which Lucia has been trialling. It is a powder that you sprinkle on your dog’s food once a day and it helps to control plaque and tartar. It works by altering the enzymes in the saliva to prevent plaque and also softens deposits already on the teeth. Your pooch will also benefit from much fresher breath. As I already brushed Lucia’s teeth regularly I only noticed a slight difference but I definitely think it did something. Maya is being a bit fussy with food at the moment so I didn’t dare add any to her meal, mind you so little is needed she probably wouldn’t have noticed if I had! I imagine if your pooch is less than keen on having their teeth brushed it could be a god send and might prevent them from having to have their teeth scaled at the vets. The product has recently been awarded the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance, which is fantastic news. The active ingredient is Ascophyllum nodosum which is an algae and the powder contains no additives or artificial preservatives and is gluten free. The company also sell Dental Bones and bites for dogs as well as products for cats, horses and humans.
Even with all that chewing Maya and Lucia do still need their teeth brushed regularly! Of course it’s best to introduce this to your dogs when they are puppies, but it’s never too late. I use a liver flavoured dog toothpaste (never use human toothpaste as it contains fluoride which is toxic to dogs) and a soft pet toothbrush when brushing the girls teeth and they actually seem to love it. Let’s hope their dazzling smiles are enough to bag them a Valentine!
What do you do to maintain your dog’s dental health? We’d love you to comment and let us know.
Love Sal, Maya & Lucia xxx
*Maya and Lucia were gifted some of the products mentioned in this post – a supply of WHIMZEES and some Pro Den Plaque Off Powder but all views are my own.
It’s January and I am busy planning adventures and holidays for Maya and Lucia, there’s so many things I want them to experience and places I want them to see and I’m sure most of you are doing the same. Imagine though that instead of looking at dog friendly holiday locations, researching this beach or that, you were instead scouring through dogs for sale ads or indeed just staring at your beloved pooches empty bed. It doesn’t bear thinking about does it? This is the grim reality for some folk though, whose dogs have been stolen and it’s more common than you think. In fact in the UK roughly 2000 dogs are stolen each year. Some are sold to breeders or for the disgusting sport of dog fighting and the lucky few end up in a new home, their “owners” blissfully unaware that someone somewhere is utterly heart broken and missing their fur baby.
DOGLOST (a not for profit organisation that exists to try to reunite owners with their lost or stolen dogs)got in touch with me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I could share a couple of stolen spaniels stories on my blog and see if by some miracle my readers would recognise them, paws crossed that one of you does! If not though why not spend a few minutes looking through their site to see if any of the other missing pooches look familiar.
Lily, a 7 year old Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel vanished from her own garden in March 2017
Lily, pictured above is a 7 year old Blue Roan Cocker Spaniel who vanished from her own enclosed back garden in Stratford-upon-Avon back in March 2017. She was happily playing with her male pup who usually followed her everywhere, but when Lily’s owner went to check on them the pup was alone and there was no sign of Lily. Her owners searched the local area and are offering a substantial reward for her return, but as yet there have been no sightings. Sadly there had been a similar incident in the area the week before when another cocker had gone missing from their garden, again her puppy had been left behind, suggesting that this may have been a targeted theft. Lily is microchipped. Poor Lily’s family are devastated but they haven’t given up hope of being reunited with her.
Willow a Brown Sprocker Spaniel went missing in September 2018
Willow, a Brown 3 year old Sprocker Spaniel who is microchipped and spayed went missing from her garden in Homer, Shropshire. It seems that she escaped from the back garden with her rescue puppy “sibling” but although the puppy returned to the front garden Willow did not and there have been no sightings of her. I know many of us on Instagram shared Willows story a couple of months ago on our stories but lets not forget her. Willows mum has set up a facebook group Let’s Get Willow Home so please do visit it as there are lots of other pictures of Willow. If you have any information get in touch directly with the group or Doglost.
It’s quite scary to think that your pet could go missing from your own garden and after reading these dogs stories the first thing I did was to pop outside and check that mine was still completely secure, luckily it was but why don’t you all do the same. Another thing to remember is to make sure you take a few clear photographs of your dog (as a precaution as in the worst case scenario you might need them) and that he or she is wearing an ID tag on their collar when outside also make sure you keep their microchip details up to date.
Maya and Lucia are always excited and think it’s Christmas when the postman brings them a dog subscription box to review, and this time there were even more spaniel squeals of delight than normal as when the postman delivered Paw Package it really did contain Christmas! Paw Package aims to make your dog happy every month by sending them a monthly box full of healthy, natural treats and toys as well as a small gift for the human. The contents are mostly sourced in the UK and are of premium quality and you can sign up for a single box (although this is on a pay monthly rolling subscription so do remember to cancel if you don’t want a regular box) or for periods of 3, 6 or 12 months, the longer subscriptions are obviously more economical but Paw Package do require that you prepay to benefit from these discounted prices. I really like that the brand offer a Treat Selection only box as well. The boxes can be tailored to your pooch in terms of size, allergies etc and are dispatched on the 15th of every month.
I was pretty impressed with the contents of the girls Christmas Box in terms of quality, it contained items from a variety of high end dog brands and I think most pooches would’ve found some things they loved in it. A box on a rolling subscription costs £22.95 per month so it would have saved you just under a fiver if you had bought the Christmas Box that we received – one of the longer prepaid options of course would be a better buy.
Bruce the Spruce was a hit with Maya
The Christmas box that we received to test contained the following :-
1.Silent Night Reindeer from House of Paws RRP £8.99 – I love the idea of a squeaker free toy, but Maya and Lucia were not so impressed, they love squeakers! I have noticed though that Maya has now sneaked the toy into her bed so perhaps it will become her new best friend.
2. Christmas Tree Eco Dog Toy from Green & Wilds RRP £5.45 – The girls love “Bruce the Spruce” as he can be used for tug and fetch which suits their active spaniel lifestyle. It’s recyclable too, so kudos for that.
3. Forthglade Christmas Treats RRP £2.99 – The girls loved these treats, cranberry and parsnip flavour. Forthglade are supporting Dogs on The Streets this Christmas, one of my favourite charities so paws up to them!
4. Forthglade Christmas Dinner RRP £1.49 – As most of you know, Maya and Lucia are raw fed so I have given this to a friends dog for Christmas Dinner. It’s a good quality dog food though and I’m sure it’s delicious!
5. Soopa Christmas Selection Box RRP £5.45 – A really healthy option. I had been meaning to get some of these for the dogs for a while so it was great that these were included, I thought they’d love them and as it turned out were their pick of the box. I’ll definitely get them some more of these in the future.
6. A cute dog themed Christmas Bauble from Wilko RRP £1.00 – It’s a nice touch to add something for the human.
The Soopa Christmas Selection Box was the girls favourite thing from the box!
Paw Package boxes usually have a theme and Michelle and Jonny who run the company told me that a previous box had an underwater theme and contained Plaice Dental Sticks, Mackerel and Potato Bites by Purely Fish, White Fish Cubes by Green & Wilds, Olive the Octopus Toy and a Strong Bone toy, the gift for the owner that month was a collapsible bowl for travel. So it seems that the contents are always of a high quality. The brand is an ethical one too and I was pleased to note that no plastic was used for packaging the box.
The toys were extremely good quality
Monthly boxes give you and your dog a chance to try out pawsome products that you might not normally buy, if you are thinking of subscribing to one definitely consider Paw Package, it really is a premium box, and after all don’t our dogs deserve the best? Paw Package are on Instagram, and Facebook so why not pop over if you fancy seeing some cute photographs of other dogs enjoying their boxes. If you want to impress your dog and get their new year off to a good start why not try a box before the end of January 2019 and use our discount code WOOFWAGWALK60 for a pawtastic 60% discount – now that really is a saving worth having!
Love Sal, Maya & Lucia xxx
Maya and Lucia received a free box from Paw Package in return for an honest review.
Christmas is a stressful time for all of us and I find that with all the comings and goings of relatives and friends my girls can get a bit hyper, so here are my pick of products that I’ve reviewed this year that might make the festive season more chilled for everyone.
Soggy Doggy Doormats will keep your floor clean as well as providing somewhere for your dogs to relax whilst they keep a watchful eye over Christmas Dinner preparations. The company also sell travel beds and crate mats.
Somewhere to nap is very important, Chester & Cooke make these wonderful personalised beds to order, they also do a range of quirky gifts for the garden if you’re looking for a last minute present.
An Orthopaedic Waterproof Bed from Berkeley dog beds is perfect if your dog is older or if you just want to support their joints. These luxury beds have removable washable covers and you can buy extra covers to mix and match with your décor.
Maya and Lucia absolutely love the affordable beds from at Country Pet, they always look so comfortable in them that I kind of want to join them! Why not check out their range.
Enrichment toys are a must to keep your pooch entertained over the holiday period, at the moment the girls are loving the GNAWT-A-CONE from Ruffwear, it keeps them entertained for ages and doubles up as an exciting toy for fetch too.
There’s so many social events to attend over the holidays and a Furbo Dog Camera is great as you can check in on your fur baby whenever you want and even get Furbo to give them a treat. I know I enjoy evenings out so much more now that I can see what the girls are up to! Furbo have a sale on right up until Christmas and you can bag yourself one for jus £129.
There’s nothing more relaxing for a dog than enjoying a good chew! Maya and Lucia adore natural chews, I get mine from Devil Dood Direct who stock a great range of chews and treats as well as enrichment toys.
Here’s hoping that you and your dogs have a lovely, stress free Christmas,