Category Archives: Lockdown

Calm Dog Games

Calm Dog Games

What is Calm Dog Games?

Calm Dog Games is a beautifully presented pack of cards, wonderfully illustrated with different dog breeds. It contains 52 individual challenges for dogs, along with a guide booklet to help you on your way.

As has been proven, mental stimulation can be just as engaging and demanding as physical exercise for the active canine. In situations such as our current lockdown or maybe for disabled dogs, or dogs recovering from surgery, or even just bad weather, these cards are the perfect solution.

The five categories

Calm Dog Games categories

The cards are divided into 5 different categories; Puzzle, Bond, Focus, Calm and Play, so you can quickly select an appropriate activity for your mood or desired aim. The categories are a mixture of scent games, stealth training, brain games, enrichment activities and bonding exercises to strengthen your relationship.

Whether you are training a pup, settling in a new rescue, or just spending time with your four-legged bestie, these games are great to help you bond, train and have fun together. Add joy, stimulation and enrichment to their day while developing positive behaviours such as calmness, confidence and connection with you.

How to play

  • PICK A CARD – Select from a category or choose from the whole deck.
  • FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS – Play the game for 60 seconds to 5 minutes max.
  • PLAY AGAIN OR CHILL – 3-5 games over the course of the day is sufficient.

(Some games require additional equipment)

From the creator

Creator of Calm Dog Games

Calm Dog Games is, first and foremost, for the love of dogs. Inspired by my own spaniel, Cam, my desire was to give him an interesting and enriching life.

Dogs really are the best of us, and they deserve to be listened to and heard. I believe many behavioural issues can be remedied through clear communication, gentle understanding and positive reinforcement. In essence, a calm default.

My aim is to help empower other people who have a dog in their life with the tools and strategies to communicate and connect with their dog, develop calmness and build upon that all-important bond.

Calmness isn’t just for dogs, it’s for us too.

What people are saying about Calm Dog Games

Calm Dog Games

“Great for any dog lover. Lovely cards with some great games on them. Simple ideas well thought out. Glad I bought them. I feel I have an ace up my sleeve with these.”

“A handy resource for enrichment and training. These cards are a great way to find games that will help you boost the behaviours you want from your dog.
Being able to pick a card at random is an easy way to make sure you include variety in your play.

They’re great for rainy days and handy for holidays, and they include lots of ideas that would work for dogs who are on restricted exercise.

I especially like the little book that explains the thinking behind the games and how to take them to the next level as your dog becomes an expert.

On top of that, they’re very pretty and easy to wrap, so I am working out who I can buy them for as a gift.”

“Honestly brilliant!

These are great little fun games to help focus, calm bond and play with my dog, and I love the fact that it has a little book that has higher levels of you can train further. It’s compact to carry around and to just whip one out, I really enjoy doing the focus games with my pup while out walking!”

Gardening with Pets in Mind

Time to mow the lawn

Time to mow!

The Garden Revolution

During the lockdown, there seems to have been a huge trend to transform the humble garden into something more glamorous. Areas that were perhaps neglected and were the domain of dogs, cats and rabbits are suddenly becoming our sanctuaries of peace and quiet, giving somewhere to sit in the hot weather, dine alfresco, or splash about in a pool or hot tub. Many have even created their own garden pubs!

Our lockdown project also focused on our garden. We have finally transformed an area that was once inhabited by chickens that ate every green shoot that reared its head, ducks who paddled around to create a huge mud bath, to something far more lush and sophisticated.

Ducks and chickens


Garden transformation


We should stress that this whole transformation has not been achieved during the lockdown. We have made several smaller changes over two or three years. However, it is fair to say that the garden has received a lot more of our attention over the last few months, as we have concentrated on creating a space that we could enjoy and feel proud of, and also to offer a haven to wildlife rather than poultry.

Wildflower garden with poppies

Buzzing with life

Grass, is it a Green Issue?

Grass has been a big talking point and as we all know, our dogs are not always kind to our lawns.

Their urine tends to burn yellow patches, and faeces needs to be disposed of. There are always holes to be dug, too, if your pooch gets the urge!

We have seen some amazing transformations on social media and one of the biggest trends seems to be artificial grass.

Artificial grassCan artificial grass, AstroTurf, be a  good alternative to the real thing? It’s come a long way over the last few years but is it really a viable alternative?

Pros and Cons

Surely the best things about it are:

  • It should look perfect all year round
  • It will never need watering or mowing
  • Weeding is unnecessary.

But it is not without maintenance, and:

  • It’s expensive to install
  • It gets very hot in the sun
  • It’s not considered to be environmentally friendly
  • It’s not wildlife-friendly
  • It needs to be cleaned
Artificial grass with stripes

It can even come with stripes!

Did you know you can buy a special hoover for artificial grass?

Despite the fact that even in the northeast of Scotland, our newly-sprouted lawn needs mowing once a week, we have not been tempted to take the artificial grass route. Perhaps you have? We would be interested to hear your experiences as a pet owner, and whether you have found it to be a truly a good alternative.

Making your Garden Pet Friendly

Of course, grass is only one part of a garden, and for pets there could be all sorts of other hazards lurking out there. Gardener’s World offers some top tips for keeping your garden pet- friendly by pointing out robust plants that can survive the onslaught of cats and dogs, and also poisonous plants that you may not have given a thought to (such as tomato plants).

Foxgloves can be poisonous for pets


We have an abundance of foxgloves in particular, which can be toxic.

Apart from the obvious things like ensuring you have a secure fence and/or gate, there are other hazards to consider: garden chemicals, and wee beasties like slugs. And don’t forget to secure your compost bins which may contain food scraps that might prove very attractive to dogs.

But hazards aside, remember to create some interesting and stimulating areas for your pet. A designated play area, and even a toileting area. With a little training, they will quickly learn to use it, and everyone can reap the benefits of a well-tended garden!

For us, and I’m sure for many others in this period of lockdown, the garden has been an absolute lifesaver and has brought much pleasure to peoples’ lives. After all the hard work that we’ve put into them, let’s all enjoy our gardens and our pets safely, whatever we chose to grow in them.