This year has been a bit rubbish for everyone; but Christmas is one thing we can all look forward to, even if it will be a little different this time. My Christmas gift guide supports a range of businesses every year, most importantly small businesses. This year more than ever we need to support them. If like me you’re not feeling very festive yet, have a read of this and start buying gifts for family, friends and your dogs.
We recently were sent a Barka Parka Dog bed and we love it so much I knew I just had to include it in this gift guide. These beds have been around since 1979, and seeing that the bed still looks very much the same as the originals you know they must be doing something right! [Don’t fix what isn’t broken]. My dogs love a ‘squishy’ bed that they can curl up and sink into, so this bean bag type bed they can snuggle up in and feel secure.
I chose the colour ‘Country Squire‘, the perfect fit for a Cotswold cottage. But they do a range of funky colours for every interior, you can even have a bespoke bed made unique to you and your home. The bed is filled with beans, with an option for Bio foam beans instead of Polystyrene which is much better for the environment. The particular feature I love and you will too if you have muddy dogs is that there is a removable cover. It sits over the bed a bit like a shower cap would with an elasticated edge so you can easily take it on and off, no worrying about trying to squeeze a bed back in with zips. You can then easily wash this cover and pop it back on, so easy and straightforward to have no muddy paw prints!
Bedford and Bark is a range of clothing for dog lovers. Sustainably made with recycled or fair-trade materials Suzie created this brand with nervous/reactive dog owners in mind. Most clothing items available for people to wear to warn others that their dogs might not be friendly are often quite simple and not stylish, but with these you can look good and feel comfortable whilst also aiding your dog’s training. It’s not only for people with nervous dogs as there are a variety of options for everyone to choose from.
A few of my favourite pieces are the Windbreaker a lightweight waterproof jacket which I use for Dog agility or walking the dogs whilst it’s raining but still warm outside. Mine has Bedford and bark down the arm, but you could choose the reactive range which will say Nervous dog or reactive dog on the arm and back. Both of these options are £45.
I could list all of their products as they’re such good quality and Suzie is so kind and helpful and can answer any questions about her products. But one more I’d like to share with you is the ‘The Basset‘ a bum bag. I’ve always struggled walking in the summer not having enough pockets without a coat or jacket with all the things I take on a walk. I’m a bit of an over packer, for a long walk I’d usually take Poobags, treats, Emergency tennis ball, Phone & keys. Which is a lot if you’ve got no pockets! It was made worse this summer when I unfortunately broke my wrist, so I was down to one hand holding the dogs leads and everything else and the Basset bumbag was just perfect!
If you’re a dog walker or trainer I’m sure you’ll find this very handy also, it’s great to have everything within easy reach to quickly whip out when needed. This is £15.
Woody is a Working Cocker Spaniel which in the U.K. is one of the most common breeds, he’s quite big so more of a Springer Spaniel size which is still a medium sized dog; yet when it comes to dog clothing he’s often too big to fit them. Lot’s of fashionable dog brands size XXL wouldn’t even fit him, whereas I’d think of an XXL as a Great Dane or Bernese etc. So discovering Hugo and Hudson it’s so lovely to have trendier dog outfits that fit him properly but also a range of dog breeds all shapes and sizes.
My favourite product of theirs has to be their Puffer jackets, they’re so unique and the bright colours really make the dog’s stand out. They’re also reversible so they can have a different colour for the start and end of the walk! I’m really impressed with how well made all of their products are made, you certainly get what you pay for and they’ll last for a long time! Woody wears the M50 which is £45, and Wilma the M45 which is £41 . Follow their sizing guide for exact measurements of which one would fit your dog.
They have a whole range of coats and jumpers though so it’s hard to choose [I say get one for each day of the week]. Here Wilma is wearing the Red Quilted Jacket which looks perfect for a walk around a Cotswold town. In her size the M45 is £32.
I’m always in awe of people with craftsmanship skills, so how gorgeous is this handmade leather dog collar. Simple yet stylish the perfect gift for your dogs or a friends which will last for many years of daily use.
These collars are all bespoke and hand made by Louise in Dartmoor, they’re a perfect fit as they’re made to order after sending over your dog’s measurements. I love the bold red leather, it will suit any dog and coat type, with a metal buckle and ring to attach the lead. If you wanted to have a full matching outfit then Louise also makes dog leads for the full set. One step further and you could accessorise with a handstiched leather bag or belt, treat yourself as well as the dog! For fluffy dog owners such as Doodles I’ve also heard that rolled leather collars prevent matting around the neck which is a big bonus! This is £55.
There are many pet activity monitors on the market at the minute, so the difference in the Animo from others that I have tried is the range of data that it tracks. As well as the time your dog is active throughout the day, how much they’ve run, walked and rested, it works out the calories they have burnt. It measures how well they sleep during the night and works out a pattern of your dog’s behaviour over time; so if they start shaking or barking more it alerts you to say that there could be something wrong.
The tracker comes with a range of attachments to fit different width collars, easy to attach and also switch between different collars. Connecting over bluetooth to your phone, here’s what the layout looks of Woody’s activity. This tracker is £60 with no on going subscriptions like some brands have.
If you follow us on Instagram you’ll know I’ve always been a huge fan of Louise’s work. This Christmas she’s brought out a few new products which of course I absolutely love. First thing is the “2020 at home with the dogs” bauble, a positive tree decoration that will remind you of 2020 and how we all survived everything it threw at us. I love how Louise’s products for humans are still dog themed. The bauble is £5.99, and you can choose the ribbon colour and if you’d like dog or dogs written.
A reusable Christmas bag is the perfect eco friendly way to wrap gifts every year, or as an alternative to a stocking. You can even pay a little extra and have it personalised with your child or dogs’s name. I’ll certainly be using this for many years to come. This bag is £10.99.
With Christmas likely to be a little different this year why not have Christmas delivered to your door. If you’re self isolating or don’t have much time to go out and buy a Christmas tree you can have it delivered straight to you. I’ve not heard of a service like this before, but Good Elf do a fantastic job of finding the best Christmas trees for you. Not only that but lights and decorations are included, so you have everything you need to make it sparkle!
I know lots of new dog owners worry about how they’ll have a tree inside the house for their dog’s first Christmas but they’ll cope better than you think! Don’t make a fuss of the tree or decorations and they’ll soon learn to ignore it. If you’ve got a young or mischievous dog don’t leave them alone in a room with a tree in case they hurt themselves, but the most damage we’ve ever had is Woody bringing a present from under the tree as a gift whenever we arrive home.
There’s nothing better than cosy pyjamas and festive bedding at Christmas time. I absolutely adore this bedding from Sophie Allport. As always their products are always such good quality with a variety of gorgeous patterns; perfect as a gift or just to treat yourself.
There are a variety of illustrations across the fabric as a subtle Christmas theme, it’s not until you look closer you can see each one is a Christmas scene with trees or people giving presents.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas whatever your plans, and try to support as many small businesses as possible – they need you more than ever!
Thanks for reading,
Megan, Woody and Wilma xx
Disclosure: Most of the items in this blog post were gifted but I don’t share anything I wouldn’t honesty recommend.