Category Archives: Product Reviews

Walkin’ Wheels Second-Hand Wheelchairs

Dog wheelchairs

Does your dog need a wheelchair?

How do you know when your dog needs a wheelchair?

This is a difficult question and one we pondered on for quite a while, probably too long. It can be a big investment, so it needs to offer a lot of benefits.

With Daisy and her DM, we knew only too well the progression of the illness, but we had no idea whether a wheelchair would help her or if she would even accept it.

We eventually decided we would go ahead and try one when she still had use of all 4 legs. DM was creeping along, and she was already unsteady on her back legs but could still run and walk about indoors.

If you are struggling with this same conundrum, why not read this article for some inspiration: Dog Wheelchair – Independent Dog Wheelchair Reviews – Canine Compilation

Which is the best wheelchair for my dog?

Walkin' Wheels Wheelchairs

Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchairs

Another difficult question. We started out buying a second-hand Eddies Wheels wheelchair that wasn’t the ideal size for Daisy. However, we spent a lot of time and effort customising it to fit her needs. We pretty much took it apart and put it back together again in a way that suited her best. It was perfect for a few months but then started to deteriorate. We found ourselves constantly repairing it on every outing.

Her second wheelchair was from Best Friends. It was also used and on loan to us from a charity. This one was a much better fit, but our customising options were limited since it didn’t belong to us. Several other dogs had used it before we got it, so again, it was in constant need of repair. When we noticed that Daisy was struggling on her front legs, we looked around for something more suitable.

We came across Walkin’ Wheels and purchased the 4-wheel option to future-proof it. This wheelchair was the perfect fit. We were impressed by how customisable it was out of the box and the sturdiness of the frame. She seemed far more comfortable in this one than the previous ones.

Will my dog take to a wheelchair?

Daisy in her Walkin' Wheels Wheelchair

Daisy in her camo Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair

For us, this was the most critical question and one that could only be addressed the first time we put her in it.

At first, the answer was no! She refused to move. Remember, she still had the use of four legs. She much preferred being walked in a sling where she would run around quite happily with one of us trying to keep up with her.

By combining her sling with her first wheelchair, we finally got her to use it. Once she realised she had her freedom back and could chase her beloved Puller, there was no stopping her – all she had needed was the right motivation.

Wheelchairs are not just for dogs

Walkin' Wheels Wheelchairs for cats

Other animals can benefit from a wheelchair

We’ve seen cats, goats, sheep, and even ducks benefit from a wheelchair, whether it be long-term or short-term, to cope with surgery or injury.

Take a look at our range of second-hand, hardly used wheelchairs

Second-hand Walkin' Wheels Wheelchairs

Second-hand Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchairs

If you face this dilemma and are undecided, we are now offering a range of second-hand/hardly used Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchairs for sale.

We may not have the ideal size available for your dog, so if you don’t see what you need or would like further advice, please contact us, and we will be happy to help.

Daisy

We never did use the front wheels. We lost Daisy in December 2019 and miss her every day. She was such a character. One thing we don’t ever regret was getting her that wheelchair. Watching her run around in her Wakin’ Wheels wheelchair was our greatest pleasure and left us with many happy memories. It gave her back some of what DM had taken away, and you could see on her face how happy and contented she was pottering around the field, sniffing out rabbits – just one of the gang and being a normal dog in her last few months.

Daisy in her Walkin' Wheels Wheelchair

Daisy – just one of the gang!

Licking Mats – Simple but Smart

What is a licking mat?

First and foremost, what is a licking mat? A licking mat is a plastic or silicone mat that can be smeared with a variety of different treats. These can include wet food, pastes, peanut butter or plain yoghurt – anything really that is spreadable and enjoyed by your pet. They come in a wide assortment of shapes and sizes but all of them have patterns of cavities and grooves to hold the treats.

Why would you want a licking mat?

Both dogs and cats find the act of repetitive licking soothing which can calm an anxious pet, so by participating in an activity that causes them to lick, they are releasing cortisol into their body – a hormone responsible for relaxation. Licking mats are a great way to help promote calm behaviour.

If you have pets that eat too quickly, you can extend their feeding time with a licking mat making them eat more slowly, produce more saliva and aid digestion. This also aids dental health helping fight off bacteria in the mouth.

And of course the big buzzword at the moment “enrichment”. The licking mat can provide mental stimulation which promotes mental health. A mentally stimulated pet is a healthy pet.

Licking mats can also be frozen thereby extending the game longer by presenting a greater challenge or maybe provide some much-needed refreshment in the hotter months.

When should you use a licking mat?

As a distraction. Maybe you’re still working from home and need time to make that Zoom call in peace.

How about bath time, nail trimming, grooming? You can get licking mats that stick on the wall, and on windows when out on a car journey.

Perhaps on Bonfire night? Something to soothe an anxious pet and take their mind off their fears.

If your pet is confined to a crate due to illness or an operation, and they need a low-impact boredom buster.

Trixie Junior Licking Plate

Trixie Junior Licking Plate

To distract and entertain your new puppy or kitten.

As a slow feeder, and of course, as a reward. At the end of a great training session, for example.

Just because you love them!

A useful addition to your toolkit

Aquapaw Feeding Mat Licking Toy

In summary, you may already have a whole stash of puzzle toys to keep your pet entertained but we believe it’s worthwhile adding this simple yet effective soothing slow feeder to your toolkit.

Bear in mind that these mats can be a chewing hazard so should only be used when supervised.

Our range of Licking Toys:

Licking Toys

Licking Toys range from left to right: iQuites Lick Treat Mat, Trixie Lick n Snack Ball, Junior Licking Plate from Trixie, Trixie Lick n Snack Platter, Aquapaw Feeding Mat Licking Toy

iQuites Treat Lick Mats

Trixie Lick N Snack Ball

Junior Licking Plate from Trixie

Trixie Lick n Snack Platter

Aquapaw Slow Treater Dog Feeding Mat Licking Toy

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!”

To squeak or not to squeak

To Squeak or not to Squeak, that is the Question?

Do your dogs like squeaky toys, and if so, why?

The theory is that your dog is motivated by an instinctual drive and the squeaky noise is not unlike the sound of prey that’s frightened or injured. When the squeak stops, your dog has successfully killed its prey.

Or maybe there’s another explanation; dogs get an immediate reward from the sound that’s emitted from the toy. The feedback tells them that their bite is effective, thus spurring them on to continue, unlike with a silent toy which doesn’t provide the same gratification.

We all know what it’s like when a dog is obsessed with a squeaky toy and it can drive us nuts, until, in the end, we take it away, much to the disappointment of the dog.

Not all Dogs love a Squeak

With our dogs, we have to be very careful. Tilly absolutely loves a squeaky toy. Archie and Jack aren’t bothered one way or the other, but Toby dislikes them intensely. More than that, they actually upset him.

He is not particularly sound sensitive. He loves the sound of a clicker! Thunder or fireworks don’t bother him in the slightest, but anything that squeaks or beeps will have him running for cover.

We once took him to agility classes and at first, he did well until another dog in his class came along with a squeaky toy. That was the end of it for Toby. He couldn’t concentrate and he spent the whole time cowering behind our legs.

When Tilly was confined to her crate after her surgeries, we gave her a fluffy lamb to keep her company, but first, it had to be operated on to remove the squeaker. We couldn’t risk traumatising Toby.

When new toys arrive in the warehouse, we are very wary about testing the squeak and usually wait until Toby is out of earshot otherwise he’ll be upset and fearful for hours.

It’s not that he doesn’t like toys, he loves the treat dispensers, especially Starmark and of course, KONG. Then there’s his all-time favourite, the Puller, but anything that makes a noise is a no-no for him.

It’s a good idea to take the time to find out what toys your dog likes and dislikes and what stimulates or comforts them. A squeaky toy can be a great motivator and grab your dog’s attention, thereby making an excellent training tool but beware it doesn’t have the opposite effect.

Regular Checking of Toys is a Must

Supervision with a squeaky toy is advised especially with dogs that get overstimulated easily. Squeaky play should be confined to short sessions and ask your dog to do something like sit or down before rewarding them with the toy.

Squeaky toys can be fun but inspect them regularly to make sure they are not damaged and that your dog doesn’t have access to the squeaking mechanism, which could become a choking hazard.

If you discover their favourite squeaky toy is damaged, then repair it or replace it with a new one.

The Ultimate Squeak

If you have a squeaky-obsessed dog, The Petsafe Ricochet is an excellent choice. These paired toys will have your dog going back and forth chasing the squeak. Tilly was enthralled with them but sadly cannot play with them in our home!

Petsafe Electronic Dog Toy Ricochet

Petsafe Ricochet: The ultimate squeak

The Thrill of the Chase or Food Fun

For those, like us that have a dog who is upset by a squeak, here are Toby’s Top Tips for squeaky-free fun:

Archie wearing Julius K9 Saddlebags

Dog Backpacks – The Positive Benefits

 

Dog wearing Julius K9 Saddlebags

Archie wearing Julius-K9 Saddlebags

The positive benefits of a backpack

Dog backpacks can have many positive benefits for your canine and can turn a basic walk into a rewarding experience.

It gives your dog a job

Many types of dogs like to be engaged in activities, and a dog backpack can help to give your pup a purpose. When they’re wearing their backpack, they know they’re helping in a tangible way, which will make them happier and ultimately, healthier. If you have a small or ageing dog,  an empty backpack is just as effective. They will still feel they have a job!

It calms them down

A bit like a pressure wrap for anxious dogs, a backpack can help to calm your dog and make them feel more secure.

Helps them focus

Is your dog distracted on walks? Maybe it’s other dogs, cars or bikes. A backpack can set them into work mode and help them focus and disregard the distractions.

They carry their stuff

Poop bags, for instance! You never have enough hands or pockets so why not fill the backpack with a collapsible bowl, water bottle, tasty treats and even a basic first aid kit?

It’s a workout and can build muscle

An extended hike with a well-balanced backpack can result in a good workout and help build muscle, and even on those dismal days when ‘walkies’ time is shorter, they will still get a decent amount of exercise.

Walking together strengthens your bond

Put the backpack on whether it’s a long hike in the woods or a quick trot around the park, walking together strengthens your bond and both of you will sleep better for it.

Dog wearing Julius-K9 Saddlebags

Improves physical and mental health

Walking is good for the body and the mind for both you and your pup. Not only does it increase stamina, but during regular exercise, dopamine levels in the body increase, which is associated with improved mood and a happier outlook on life.

Top Tips to teach your dog to wear a backpack

Step 1: Choose the right backpack for the job. Is it for long hikes or a quick jog around the park?

Step 2: Measure your dog to ensure you get a good fit.

Step 3: Get them used to the backpack. Let them see it and sniff it before attempting to put it on.

Step 4: When they wear it for the first time, let them get used to the empty weight of it on their back and adjust to walking through gaps with it on.

Step 5: Start slowly and add items to the backpack so that they get used to carrying a bit of weight. Do short walks at first.

Step 6: Gradually add items so they can get used to balancing and manoeuvring with the filled backpack in place.

Step 7: When they’re comfortable with it, go off and have adventures!

Adventure Hund also have some excellent advice on How to Train Your Dog to Wear a Backpack.

Dog wearing Julius-K9 Saddlebags

Archie, ready for an adventure!

See our range of Dog Backpacks and start your adventures here!

Training with a Long Line

Tilly on a long lineThe beginning of the line

Many years ago, we attended a number of workshops for reactive and aggressive dogs. Throughout the workshops, long lines were being used as training aids and at that time, they were hard to come by. We realised there was an unmet need, so began making those long lines and hence the name of our company, Training Lines.

We used climbing rope to make the original ones, and we are still using our prototypes today!

The use of a long line has been brought home to us again just recently because Tilly has been on restricted exercise following her elbow arthroscopy. We have also used the same long line in the not too distant past when Tracking with Toby.

Scent Work with Toby

In short, they are useful tools, training tools, and not to be confused with long leads or extending leads.

We prefer to use them with a harness rather than a collar and advise you should always, no matter what the weather, wear gloves. Rope burns are painful.

Why use a long line?

Well, although they could be used as a long lead, they take some management to prevent both yourself and your dog from becoming hopelessly entangled.

Managing a long line

It’s easy to get tangled up, especially when other dogs are around

They are useful for young dogs to give them a sense of freedom while still retaining that all-important control, or for teaching a recall. They are also essential in BAT (behaviour adjustment training) in reactive dogs and provide a physical connection to your dog as a back-up for your mental connection.

And of course, there are various ones for use in Scent Work or Tracking.

Our preference is no handle. A dog can get up a good turn of speed on a long line, and the last thing you want is a dislocated wrist. It can help to tie knots near the end so that you know when you are running out of rope.

Before buying a long line, you should decide first of all what you want to use it for and then how long you want it. As mentioned above, the lines can be very unwieldy if too long.

Although we no longer make them ourselves, they are now far easier to obtain and here is our pick of the ones available.

CLIX Puppy House Line

Puppy House Line

Puppy House Line

The Clix Puppy House Line is a lightweight lead that can be used in the house to interrupt a dog’s undesirable behaviours without the need for confrontation or misunderstanding. 

Preventing undesirable behaviour is always more effective than stopping it once it has started because your dog will not get a chance to find out how much fun it is to be ‘naughty’.  You do have to think ahead and predict what your dog might do next.

The house line helps you to get to your dog before he makes a mistake. If your dog is about to do something undesirable, pick up or step on the house line to restrain him.  Distract him from what he was about to do by calling him, encourage him to show the behaviour that you want instead and then praise and reward him for getting it right.

Can be used to stop jumping up, stealing, chewing, digging, chasing, play biting, pestering other dogs in the household, climbing onto furniture or running out through an open door.

It should never be left on an unattended dog.

Company of Animals Lightweight Recall Line

A lightweight recall line

Lightweight Recall Line

The Clix Lightweight Recall Training Line is ideal for puppies and young dogs as it is made from an ultra-light yet durable fabric. The recall line allows the dog to be seemingly free and yet remain under control, combining security with freedom. An essential tool for recall training and ideal for controlled socialisation of puppies and aggressive dogs.

The perfect training tool for outings in a public place and the soft padded webbing makes the recall line comfortable to hold.

Clix Recall Line

Recall Training line

Recall Training Line

As with the lightweight version, the Clix Recall Training Line allows the dog a feeling of freedom while ensuring that you have control. For teaching a reliable recall, the long line is an excellent proofing tool for testing your dog’s proficiency and doing it safely.

Two lengths are available (5m, 16 ft 8 inches, & 10m, 33 ft 4 inches).

Trixie Tracking Lines

Tracking Lines: Tracking Line with Ball (cord), Tracking Line (cord), Tracking Lead (webbing)

Tracking Lines

The Trixie Tracking Lines come in several different varieties and can be a powerful communication tool between the dog and handler. With proper use, the communication flows back and forth all the time during the track. A handler’s primary job is to keep the line from distracting the dog, keep it out of the dog’s way and do not let it get tangled. The correct tension on the line will keep it straight in the air from the dog’s harness to your hand.

Tracking leads can be used for scent work or as a long line for recall training. They come in various lengths and styles.

PVC Coated Tracking Lines

Tracking leash with a PVC coating or integrated shock absorber

The Trixie Easy Life Tracking Leashes are available with a PVC coating which is resilient and durable, and easy to wipe clean. Available in various lengths, they offer freedom of movement while training or walking, and are also ideal for tracking or searching.

You can even get one with an integrated shock absorber that helps to cushion any sudden pulling making it kinder on you and your dog.

Excellent for tracking, scent work and distance or recall training.

Lining yourself up for success

We hope that gives you an insight into why, if used correctly, a long line is such a valuable training aid and although we haven’t gone into detail on how best to use them, a lot of the products come with basic instructions which are well worth reading before getting started. Alternatively, it’s worth doing some research online before deciding which one is best for you and your dog.

Light up your Life

Scarab beacon dog safety light

It’s that time of year again when the darker nights and mornings are catching up with us fast. Like a lot of people, we find ourselves walking the dogs at twilight and let’s face it, it’s only going to get worse in the coming months. However, let’s think positively and break out the glowing dog balls, flashing discs, light up dog collars and flashing dog harnesses to brighten up the long nights, or at least, provide us with some much-needed illumination!

So what’s on offer in the world of Lighted Safetywear?

Beacons of Flashing Light

First up we have the powerful  Scarab Beacon rechargeable safety light for dogs. This is one of our personal favourites and it comes in two varieties. There is the Scarab Trio which gives you a choice of 3 colours (red, yellow, and green) all in the one device and 3 power settings depending on your requirement. It is waterproof, has approximately 120 hours run time and 4km visibility. Scarab uses every bit of the lens to ensure your dog’s safety making them visible from any angle. In safety terms, it maximises awareness that you and your dog are present – premium safety when you are outside in low light and the dark! Scarab stands out that’s for sure.

The second offering is the LED Scarab Uno. It has one colour (red), 4 light modes, and 3km visibility. Because Scarab flashes it heightens your dog’s location, on or off the lead this is a valuable feature. If you have more than one dog or walk in groups, you can easily identify your dog when off the lead by changing the RED light modes. The perfect beacon if you don’t need quite so many features or for the budget-conscious.

What’s in the box:

What comes with a Scarab Beacon

Scarab Beacon for dogs, walkers and trekkers, for runners

Our very own Archie is a huge fan of the Scarab as it fits nicely onto his harness, thanks to the Velcro uni-strap.

Archie modelling the Scarab

Orbiloc Dog Dual Safety LightNext, we have the Orbiloc Dog Dual Safety Light which we have been offering for many years now, and have watched develop into the versatile and we have to say, attractive, lighted accessory that it is today.

The design is modern and streamlined with a size of 35mm x 20mm, and it weighs only 19 grams. That means it won’t get in your dog’s way, even if he’s lying down or rolling around on the light itself. The Orbiloc Dog Dual is also very user-friendly. To choose the function you prefer, just turn the Mode Selector Ring to the left or right. It will flash or stay steady-on accordingly. The battery life is approximately 100 hours when steady-on, approximately 250 hours when flashing.

The Orbiloc Dog Dual is 100% waterproof and offers your best friend the opportunity to take a swim or play in the snow.

The Orbiloc Dog Dual has a range of accessories so that you can decide how and where you want to place the light. Included is the Orbiloc Quick Mount Adjustable, which allows for a quick attachment on your dog’s collar, leash or harness. You can adjust the Quick Mount Adjustable to multiple sizes, without leaving a mark on your gear. There are other mounts and maintenance kits available to purchase separately, which also makes the Orbiloc perfect for runners or hikers or dog walkers. Get one for yourself and one for your dog, in matching or contrasting colours!

The Orbiloc Safety Light comes in nine different colours. Five Safety Colours (Yellow, Red, Blue, Green and White), giving you the opportunity to choose the right one for your specific needs, as well as one suited to specific weather conditions. And four Fashion Colours (Pink, Turquoise, Dark and Amber) allowing you to give your gear a personal touch. But don’t worry. Orbiloc Dark isn’t actually dark. It has a bright white light, but with a dark lens for a sleek style!

Or if you have multiple dogs, as we do, get them all a different colour and then you can identify each one in a flash!

Orbiloc Dog Safety Light Colours

Orbiloc’s Five Safety Colours

Orbiloc Dog Safety Light Fashion Colours

Orbiloc’s Four Fashion Colours

The latest colour, Amber, blends perfectly with the autumnal mood at the moment.

Orbiloc Dog Safety Light in Amber

Orbiloc Dog Dual in stunning Amber

Overall the Orbiloc Dog Dual Safety Light has managed to merge safety and fashion, giving a wide range of choice and making safety a lot more fun!

Daisy wearing the Orbiloc Yellow

Daisy wearing the Orbiloc in her pre-wheelchair days!

Be Safe Be Seen in our Light up Dogwear

In addition to the beacons, there is a whole host of Lighted Safetywear to suit your needs and help ensure both you and your dog can be seen.

Safer Life Flashing USB Collars and Safer Life Flasher

Around the neck and clip-on Lighted Safetywear

The Safer Life Flasher is a neat device that attaches to a collar so there are no dangly bits, or what about the Flash Light Rings which slip around the neck, can be easily cut to size and are USB chargeable.

We have items to wear on the body such as harnesses and vests and Safetywear for walking or jogging such as lighted safety belts.

Flash Active Belt by Trixie and Safer Life Flashing Safety Vest

Lighted Safety Wearables

For you, the Flash Active Belt is a comfortable neoprene belt with a flashing strip at the back for safety, but not only that, it has an assortment of pockets which can store keys, mobile phone, pick-up bags, etc. and straps at the front to hold your dog’s lead!

For your dog, the Safer Life Flashing Safety Vest has Velcro fastenings for an easy fit, and is both reflective AND illuminated.  It operates in both flashing and continuous modes and is available in two varieties, either battery operated or USB rechargeable.

And you really can’t forget your cat who would also benefit from being visible on dark nights. It may even help you to spot them when they’re hiding in the undergrowth!

Safer Life Flasher for Cats and Dog and the Safer Life Flash Light Collar

We have the Safer Life Flasher For Dogs and Cats, which hangs your pet’s collar and flashes with 3 small LEDs (Red, White, Blue).  Visible up to 300m and comes in vibrant colours (batteries are included).  And for those that prefer a traditional lighted collar, there is the Flash Light Collar for Dogs. Visible up to 500m, and a great way to illuminate your dog during morning and evening walks with it’s fast and slow flashing and continuous light modes. Plus it’s USB rechargeable.

Playtime Never Ends with our Glowing and Flashing Dog Toys

Finally, don’t let playtime end when the sun goes down; there are plenty of toys that light up in the dark.

HyperFlite Midnight Sun Flying Disc, Chuckit! Light Play Kick Fetch Dog Toy, Hyperflite Jawz Bite Resistant Flying Disc, Chuckit Max Glow Ball for Dogs, The Flashing Bal,The Flash Dog Disc, The Flash & Glow Illuminated Ball for Dogs

 

From left to right, HyperFlite Midnight Sun Flying Disc, the brightest and longest-lasting glow-in-the-dark disc ever made! Chuckit! Kick Light Play Kick Fetch Dog Toy, large enough to kick, and the contours make it easy for your dog to carry. The ‘glow technology’ charges up in bright light for a long-lasting glow! Hyperflite Jawz Bite Resistant Flying Disc, the toughest and best-flying puncture-resistant disc ever made in a Glow-in-the-Dark option. Chuckit Max Glow Ball for Dogs, a durable, grip-able rubber ball that glows in the dark to allow the game to keep going when the sun goes down.  The USB Light Ball Dog Toy is a robust and fun, silicone toy which illuminates when touched lightly and flashes for approx 45 seconds. USB rechargeable. The Flash Dog Disc is made from soft silicone that is gentle on your dog’s mouth. The centre can be set to continuous light mode, or one of three flashing light modes. The Flash & Glow Illuminated Ball for Dogs is made from a durable plastic which glows after being exposed to light, has a flasher inside that is motion activated and flashes for 25 seconds.  It floats too!

Vetgood Protective Waterproof Dog Boots

Vetgood Protective Waterproof Dog Boots

Vetgood Protective Veterinary Dog BootsBoots are In! Collars are out!

If you have ever been to the vet for paw or leg wounds, you will know that most of the time you are sent home with a neatly wrapped bandage or even worse a cast or splint and an uncomfortable and hideous Elizabethan collar to prevent your dog from interfering with the wound.  Your dog walks into walls or your shins, slobbers in the collar and lets you know by barking or whining that the hot and uncomfortable collar has to go! Finally, someone has thought of an answer!

Vetgood Protective Boots keep your dog's wound clean

Vet wrapping versus Vetgood

Vetgood Protective Waterproof Dog Boots

We are delighted to distribute the Vetgood line of boots for wound care! These lightweight and durable protective boots cover all types of wounds and have so many benefits to us the pet owner. First, you can get rid of the Elizabethan collar-hooray!  Second, you can protect the wound not only indoors, but also outdoors allowing your pet to get the much-needed exercise to heal and to resume his normal routine even with the bandage, cast, etc. And finally, it reduces the number of times you need to return to the vet clinic to get a bandage re-wrapped or re-casted which is so inconvenient for you and a real relief for your dog!

Vetgood offer a range of boots for all your needs

Vetgood offer a wide range of sizes in their protective boots

So which boot do you need?  (See the chart below to choose the right one for your pet.)

VetGood-Boot-Comparison-Chart

The Vetgood Extreme Dog Boot

If they have a cast or splint or a bandaged wound that will last more than 2 weeks? You need the Extreme boot with the durable, moulded bottom.

The Vetgood Extreme Boot for longer-term injuries

Vetgood Extreme Protective Veterinary Dog Boots

The Vetgood Basic Dog Boot

If they have a soft bandage then you need the Basic boot.

The Vetgood Basic Boot for bandaged wounds

Vetgood Basic Protective Veterinary Dog Boots

The Vetgood Slim Dog Boot

There is even a boot for open wounds that have no bandages – perfect for hot spots or lick granulomas – lined in a soft bamboo and nanosilver fabric that has antimicrobial properties to promote healing.

The Vetgood Slim Boot with a microbial lining for open wounds

Vetgood Protective Slim Veterinary Dog Boots

So stop struggling with the E-collar.  Boots are in!

How to size your Vetgood boots

Tested by Daisy!

But we use Vetgood boots as we find they are great protection for Daisy’s delicate paws, whether she’s being carried in her harness or out and about in her wheelchair.

Daisy wearing her Vetgood Slim Boots

Daisy shows us a clean pair of heels in her super smart Vetgood Slim Boots.

The Ricochet Electronic Dog Toy

Petsafe Ricochet Electronic Dog Toy

Tilly tests the new Ricochet dog toy

A new type of interactive toy

When the new Ricochet Electronic Dog Toy landed on our doorstep, we couldn’t wait to give it a try. It is, in fact, two toys. As your dog plays with one of the interactive paired toys, a fun and exciting squeak sound is heard from the other toy. When your dog rushes to investigate the second toy, the sound bounces back to the first toy, hence the name. It will keep your dog entertained ping-ponging between the two units trying to capture that illusive squeak!

The paired Ricochet Dog Toys

The Ricochet is made of hard plastic with rubber top

Tilly is a keen tester

We chose Tilly to be the chief tester because she loves squeaky toys. We took her out to the field where we could hide the toys in the grass.

She was a little confused at first and couldn’t quite grasp what was going on, but after a few minutes, she got the hang of the game and was dashing back and forth between one and the other and attempting to round them up!

You can see how she got on with our video of her first encounter.

Product details

While not a chew toy, the Ricochet is durable enough for intense play. Change up the game by hiding one of the toys behind furniture or in a nearby room. The toys have a range of up to 30 feet. When your dog is done for the day, it will automatically turn off after 60 minutes of non-interaction to conserve the battery life.

Features

  • Hide and Squeak – The PetSafe® Ricochet Electronic Dog Toy features 2 paired toys that will have your dog bouncing back and forth as he tries to catch a “moving” squeak sound
  • Surprise Sound – The PetSafe® Ricochet is perfect for single-dog households; when your dog interacts with one of the toys, the other toy makes a squeak sound from up to 30 ft. away
  • Automatic Exercise – Dogs will love to chase the squeak between the toys, and you will love knowing your dog is staying active
  • Mental Stimulation – The moving squeak provides a fun puzzle for your dog, as the sound is never where he expects it
  • Free from Stuffing – The PetSafe® Ricochet has no stuffing or fabric to tear, making it a no-mess toy
  • Long-Lasting Play – Playtime with the Ricochet lasts up to a month of daily use; both toys turns off after 60 minutes of no activity to save battery life
  • One-Year Warranty – The PetSafe® Ricochet is backed by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Each toy uses 3 AAA batteries (not included)

Available now!

Training Treats. Which ones deserve a Click?

Training Treats for Dogs and Cats

Left to right, Rattle and Reward Treats for Dogs, Trixie Trainer Snack Poultry Balls, Trixie Trainer Snack Lamb Balls, Pet Munchies Stix, Pet Munchies Training Treats, JR Pure Training Treats, Pet Munchies Natural Cat Treats, Homemade liver and garlic treats, Rattle and Reward Natural Treats for Cats, Davies Puffed Jerky

What not to use

There are a wide variety of ‘training’ treats available on the market and whilst many of them are no doubt tasty and tempting for your dog, not all really deserve that name. We take a look at some of the best-known dog treats and give our honest opinion of them from a training perspective.

Unsuitable training treats

A few years ago, when we ran our own training classes, one of the biggest problems we encountered was owners bringing inappropriate treats to the class. When training a dog, whether it be clicker training or not, a treat must be large enough to be seen, but small enough to be consumed quickly so that you can reward and carry on. Munching on a biscuit for a few minutes is not the best way to achieve results, and large quantities of unsuitable treats can result in weight gain.

But not only must a treat be small, it must also be palatable, tempting and motivate your dog.

From our own experience, we found the very best treats which worked on 99% of our client’s dogs were our homemade liver and garlic treats. We would buy a whole cows liver, cut it into tiny pieces, around the size of a fingernail, sprinkle it with garlic and then nuke it in a microwave until it was dried but not crunchy; you could still squash it between finger and thumb. Where that failed, tuna cake would be the answer.

For those not wishing to go to such lengths, we have tested many of the commercially available treats and with the willing help of our own dogs have come up with the best ones for the job.

Our testing results

Rattle and Reward Natural Training Treats

Rattle and Reward. Actual size of treats compared with a 5p coin

Rattle and Reward Treats for Dogs are now available in both poultry and fish flavours, but whichever flavour you choose, your dog is sure to love them. They are natural, grain-free and come in a variety of sizes. The small bone or fish shapes are actually not a bad size for training. However, the one drawback with them is they are crunchy, so they take a few moments longer to eat.

Handling:  Slightly greasy, hard treats
Ease of Use:  Easy to get a grip on and dispense
Palatability:  Our dogs love both flavours
Motivation:  The dogs are very happy to work for them
Training Treat (TT) Rating 6/10

Pet Munchies 100% Natural Dog Training Treats

Pet Munchies Training Treats. Actual size of treat compared with a 5p coin.

Pet Munchies Training Treats are available in five different flavours, Liver and Chicken, Chicken, Duck, Venison and Sushi. These 100% natural dog treats are low fat. They proved popular with our dogs who were eager to eat them. The pieces are just a tiny bit too big to be ideal, and the Sushi treats are slightly larger than the others, but they are soft and easily consumed.

Handling:  Soft and pliable, flat treats, apart from the Sushi which cube-shaped
Ease of Use:  Not that easy to get a grip on a single treat
Palatability:  The Sushi ones were very popular
Motivation:  The dogs were keen to work for them
TT Rating 7/10

Pet Munchies 100% Natural Chicken Stix

Pet Munchies Chicken Stix

The second offering from Pet Munchies isn’t strictly a training treat, but we have to confess that we used them throughoutToby’s training classes. Pet Munchies Gourmet Stix Dog Treats are 100% natural and tasty too, judging by how keen Toby was. They don’t fit the profile of the perfect training treat, but they are soft and chewy, and we cut them up into very small pieces before every training session. So they do require some work, but if you get the size right, they make an excellent reward worth working for.

Handling:  Soft, pliable treats that tended to dry out if left for a few days after cutting
Ease of Use:  They had to be cut to the right size (this takes some experimentation) before each training session
Palatability:  The Chicken Stix are loved by all our dogs
Motivation:  Toby went through all his training classes using these treats
TT Rating 4/10

JR Pure Training Treats

JR Pure Training Treats. Actual size compared with a 5p coin.

These treats are too big straight from the packet

JR Pure Meat Training Treats for Dogs are 100% meat, a single source protein and grain-free. Great if your dog has allergies as you know exactly what they’re getting. They come in a huge variety of flavours so there should be something for everybody. These treats are a nice consistency, but they are too big for training treats. Cutting them in half, produces a treat around the right size.

Handling:  Firm, dry but pliable and easy to grip
Ease of Use:  Each one would need to be cut in half to be a good size for a training treat
Palatability:  They don’t have a strong odour and we found the dogs inspected them thoroughly the first time they were offered
Motivation:  Once they had the first taste, they were keen for more
TT Rating 6/10

Trixie Trainer Snack Balls in Poultry or Lamb

Trixie Trainer Snack Poultry Balls. Actual size compared with a 5p coin.

The Trixie Trainer Snack Balls in poultry and lamb flavours are gluten-free, with 80% meat content and no added sugar. They are soft rather than crunchy and are the perfect size for a training treat, so can be consumed in a flash. Probably the best size of training treat we have ever come across. Available in 500g tubs.

Handling:  Very small soft treats
Ease of Use:  Because of the round shape, easy to get a grip on and dispense
Palatability:  We’re not sure if the dogs actually got a taste before swallowing
Motivation:  The size of the treat left them eager for more
TT Rating 8.5/10

Home baked liver and garlic treats

Homemade liver treats

There are dozens of different recipes for liver treats and liver cake, and if you have the time and want to create your own dog treats, this is the way forward. Liver cake can be crumbly and difficult to cut into small enough pieces but chopped liver can either be baked in a low oven until it dries out, or in a microwave if you don’t have much time, or better still, use a dehydrator. All the goodness of the liver is retained, and your dogs will love them. A sprinkling of garlic before cooking will make them pungent and irresistible.

Handling: Can be messy and smelly
Ease of Use:  There is effort involved in making them and they need to be refrigerated
Palatability:  99% of dogs love them
Motivation:  Dogs will work hard to earn these treats
TT Rating 9.5/10

Jackpot Joy

Davies Puffed Jerky

Puffed Jerky

One other thing to consider, especially with clicker training is the ‘jackpot’ treat. The one where the dog does so well that a tiny treat is just not enough. This can be larger and can take longer to consume, just to ensure that they know they’ve done really well. We use Davies Puffed Jerky Dog Treat, which is basically dried lungs. This is quite simply the best ever jackpot treat we have come across and our dogs will jump through hoops for it, literally! It is best saved for special moments or to reinforce an outstanding behaviour.

Handling:  Slightly greasy
Ease of Use:  Easy to snap into bite-sized chunks
Palatability:  The dogs adore it
Motivation:  Will encourage and reward the dog in equal measures
TT Rating 10/10

All of these dog treats have been tested on our dogs with differing results. Some were more popular than others, but one thing we did notice was that if one liked them, the others generally did too. It is essential when training to find something that your own dog likes and will motivate them. This may take some experimentation with different treats until you find the one(s)! And if your dog is prone to food allergies do ensure that you check the ingredients carefully. Just because something is called a ‘lamb’ treat doesn’t mean that it is exclusively lamb!

And remember if you are training, do adjust their main meal(s) accordingly to take into account the number of treats you are feeding.

Training your Kitten or Cat

Teach your cat tricks with tasty treats

Train your kitten or cat before mealtimes, as a food reward won’t be so enticing on a full stomach

And don’t just treat your dogs; cats can be trained and treated too. Although training is more traditionally associated with dogs, you can also teach your cat a few tricks and reward them with cat treats! Your feline can learn to recognise their name and come to you when you call them. To help your pet pick up these skills, it’s important to train your kitten from an early age and as soon as possible, but just like dogs, you can teach an old cat new tricks, especially with the right motivation!

Pet Munchies Gourmet Cat Treats

Pet Munchies 100% Natural Cat Treats

These Pet Munchies 100% Natural Cat Treats were a great hit with a cat-owning pal, particularly the Gourment Fish Fillet which proved to be the paws-down winner! The small, bitesize pieces are highly tasty and ideal as a training snack or just for pleasure.

Natural Treats for Cats

Rattle and Reward Natural Treats for Cats

How many times have you been calling your cat at the back door? With Rattle & Reward Natural Treats for Cats, there’s a healthy way of calling them home. Perfect for training them to behave that little bit better or just a delicious healthy treat for any time of the day (or night)! Available in 30g, 270g tins or refill pouches.