Happy New Year! We’re starting off 2020 with my annual blog post of favourites. These are a few products that I absolutely loved during 2019 and I hope you will too.
I bought this snuggle sack from Dee at Slumbering Hound a couple of years ago. But I feel like we’ve not properly used it until this year [Or this winter]. Wilma seems to love snuggling even more these days, so the snuggle sack is perfect. If you’ve not seen one before it’s sort of like a mini sleeping back for dogs that they can walk into and have a blanket underneath and over the top of them. If you’ve got Whippets or similar breeds who are always chilly then this will be perfect for them to cozy up in.
Dee does a range of Snuggle Sacks, I went for the Deluxe Snuggle Sack because I liked the look of the Teddy Bear fleece on the inside that is so soft to snuggle up to. I’ve got the Medium which is £60 and comfortably fits a large Spaniel or Cockapoo [Or both if they want to snuggle together].
2019 was a year where Wilma lost a bit of her oomph and confidence, especially when competing in agility. So it was down to me to be able to have fun with her and build our bond whilst playing. Tug E Nuff have so much information on playing on their blog so with all their tips and advice I also went along to an Interactive play workshop with Craig Ogilvie which was so eye opening. With all of this new knowledge I was able to use a range of the Tug E Nuff tug toys to teach Wilma how to play during a training session with me. We started off with Clam toys filled with food for her to chase, then onto lunge with a chaser encouraging them to chase after you, then shorter tugs or her favourite which is a Rabbit skin bungee.
You can get 10% off everything at Tug-E-Nuff with the code THECOTSWOLDSPANIELS
Just playing with your dogs will strengthen your bond so much more, but can also help with recall [Read our recall blog post here], or just a positive reward whilst training which your dogs will love. Your dogs might prefer sheepskin or rabbit skin toys, they might be more food driven or love frisbees. You’ll find what they love and they’ll flourish!
Last year I started walking the dogs a lot more in the dark due to my working schedule and the dark winter nights. So I bought some LED collars for the dogs so they could be seen by people in cars and other walkers, but also me so I can see them when they’re of lead having fun. Where we live there aren’t and street lights so a torch is the only way you can see in front of you. But these LED collars are so bright, much better than others I have bought in the past. You can choose which colours you’d like, and they’re rechargeable so you just recharge them after each walk [Remember to do that as mine died as we were halfway around the walk and spotting a dark spaniel in pitch black isn’t easy].
They come in one size and you just chop off the plastic tubing to the right length for your dogs collar. These are £9.99.
My house is full of Sophie Allport products, I feel like they are the perfect addition to a home and there’s so many different patterns and ranges. So being a mad spaniel lady I just loved the new spaniel print and we received the Pet Bed Mattress covered in beautiful spaniels.
The Medium size fits my spaniels perfectly, and I even catch them both snuggled up on there together. The dogs have beds all over the house [You can never have enough right?] all different designs and brands which they usually have as a favourite for a couple of weeks before they move onto the next one. But the Sophie Allport Pet Mattress has been their favourite ever since we received it, so the majority of 2019! I think because it’s so squishy and cushioning so it’s comfortable for them to sit on [And for you, I’ve tried it!]. Cover easily comes off and goes in the washing machine so it stays nice and clean even after muddy pawprints take over.
Towards the end of last year I shared that Dubarry were having a sample sale at their headquarters. I never realised they were based local to us so of course I went along, they’re at all the country shows we go to and I’ve so many friends who raved about their boots and lived in them when they have dogs. So I just had to pick up a pair of Galway Country Boots. As they were in the sale the Walnut [Brown] wasn’t in stock, just the Olive [Green] which I don’t think they stock any more, hence being in the end of line sale, but looks much more subtle in real life than the green in the images online.
Although these are quite expensive I always say you should spend good money on shoes and your bed; because if you’re not on your feet then you’re asleep. Let me tell you they are SO comfortable, I am not disappointed!
It’s becoming a favourite annual tradition of mine that we head up to North Yorkshire and stay with Holiday at Home, the best luxury dog friendly accommodation we have found! In fact we are heading up later this month for our third trip. The first time we stayed at Brompton Lodges which were just incredible! Then last year a cosy stay at Woodcroft Cottage. The best thing about their properties is that there is so much to do around them. I think last year we did the best trips to Ingleton waterfalls, a fantastic walk with the dogs around gorgeous waterfalls and scenery. Also Ribbleshead Viaduct which we just happened to come across whilst driving, it was like being in a film, so photogenic also!
You’ll have to wait and see where we are staying this year! [It’s a good one].
We bought a new sofa last year to replace the old ‘Dog sofa’. This is the one sofa the dogs are allowed on [That rule didn’t last long], so they could trash it with wet and muddy paws. However a new leather sofa we wanted to protect as well as letting the dogs use it, and having spent a lot of money on it we didn’t just want to cover it up with a throw.
Having a few other products from The Lounging Hound I knew what good quality they were, so of course we just had to have a sofa topper to protect it. I went for the colour Grass Velvet as it ties in with one of the colours in our kitchen curtains, but they have SO many colours to choose from so there will definitely be one to suit your interior.
These start at £150 and you choose how many seats it will cover, or they offer a bespoke service so it will be a perfect fit for your furniture. When it gets too mucky I just pop it in the washing machine and it’s ready to go again! Plus it’s kept the sofa in fantastic condition, no muddy paws and also no scratches on the leather from their claws.
Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing what else we can add to our favourites in 2020.
Megan, Woody and Wilma