Thursday, 31 May 2012

How to Choose a Dog Walker - Choosing The Right Dog Walker For You

Choosing the right dog walker for your pet can be quite a hard task. You want to make sure that the person can be trusted with your dog and you should look for the same qualities in a dog walker than you would look for in a babysitter or child minder.

Here's a list of tips that I've put together that should hopefully help you to pick the right dog walker.

  • Ask friends, family or neighbours for references. If they can’t help you, contact your vet or local animal charity. They should be able to point you in the right direction.
  • Always ask for references!
  • Make sure they are licensed, insured and have  a Criminal Background Check – much the same as if you were looking for a baby sitter.
  • Make sure they can accommodate your dog’s needs – whether he/she needs a shorter walk, special diet or extra attention – your dog walker should tailor their services to each dog separately. There is no one size fits all when it comes to animal needs.
  • Make sure your dog likes them – Your dog will need to feel comfortable around them as they will be responsible for them on the walks.
  • Make sure you like them! You’re trusting someone to look after your best friend, make sure you like them and feel that they can be trusted.
  • Make sure you swap Emergency Contact information – If something goes wrong you both need to be able to contact each other as soon as possible.
  • Make sure that their transportation methods are safe. Overcrowded cars or vans are dangerous. You need to know that your dog is safe when it is being taken to or from it's walking destination.
  • Are they well prepared? Do they have poop bags, leash,  toys and fresh water to take with them on the walk? Dog walkers need to be responsible too!
  • How many dogs do they walk at the same time? The more dogs there are per walk, the higher the chances that something could potentially go wrong.
  • Are they comfortable? If you have a larger dog it's important that the walker feels comfortable and is able to control the dog in all situations. If you feel this might not be the case, do not hire them.
  • Do they know first aid? In the event of an accident, can they help by providing animal first aid at the scene?
  • Will they deliver the service that they have promised to? After all, you are hiring them for a service so you need to make sure they will do exactly what they have agreed to. 
  • Do they have someone to cover them if they are sick? Your dog shouldn't have to miss out on it's daily exercise if they fall ill or can't make the appointment.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions – You are trusting them with your family pet, if you are unsure of anything, let them know. Communication is the key to any successful relationship.
Bambi and Bear are ready for their daily walk.

 Hopefully this has given you something to think about when choosing a dog walker.
If you would like more information about our dog walking services in your local area, please feel free to drop us an email at

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ice Cream for Dogs! Billy + Margot Nutritious Iced Treats for Dogs

A few years ago I was delighted to hear of the K99 Ice Cream Van for Dogs, that would spend that summer touring the parks of the UK and serving up delicious ice cream to our doggy friends. I was so excited about the concept of this and thought it was a great idea, and the POOF! It disappeared.

But now we have an even better substitute for the elusive doggy ice cream truck. I would like to introduce you to Billy + Margot. An ice cream company for dogs! Hooray!!!
 Founder by Marie Sawle, a Nutritional Therapist, realised she needed to make a doggy friendly ice cream when her Labrador Billy used to chase ice cream trucks down the street, hoping that he would get a lick. 

“As a Nutritionist, I was worried that my dog was eating dairy, artificial sweeteners, artificial additives, colourants and a host of other unhealthy ingredients,” says Marie.

“I started my company to give our beloved dogs a frozen treat that was good for them and just for them. I wanted them to have the option to indulge occasionally, without ingesting nasty chemicals.”

 Iced treats are based on pure, authentic and honest ingredients with an emphasis on good health.

“I haven’t cut any corners or made any compromises – ingredients are clearly chosen for their health benefits and their great taste,” Marie points out. “Ask Margot our chef taster!”
It’s so nice to know that we can give our dogs a frozen treat without worrying about their health and weight;  and we can eat our own ice cream without feeling guilty that they can’t have their own.

Billy + Margot comes in 2 different flavours: Apple, Banana and Carrot and Strawberry and Apple and both flavours are suitable for vegetarian dogs.

 I can't wait to get my hands on a pot (or two!) and see just how crazy Bambi and Bear go for it. If it goes well I might even see about stocking it in the shop :)

Hayley xo

Monday, 28 May 2012

The Kennel Club's Stop the Suffering, Stop Puppy Farming

Kennel Club research has revealed that as many as one in three people may have unknowingly bought their puppy from a rogue breeder, as they hide behind the anonymity of the internet or sell their puppies through pet shops. These breeders, or puppy farmers, are in the trade purely for the money and keep their puppies and breeding bitches in awful conditions, not caring for their health of welfare. 

The research has also shown that more than half of puppy buyers do not know what assurances and paperwork they are entitled to when they buy a puppy. The Kennel Club's Stop the Suffering, Stop Puppy Farming film looks at the perils of the puppy farming trade and tells puppy buyers how to avoid falling into the hands of one of these rogue traders. The Kennel Club gives advice about how to find a Kennel Club Assured Breeder, who agrees to care for their dogs' health and welfare and how we can all work together to stop the cruel puppy farming trade.

Friday, 25 May 2012

How To Keep Your Dogs Cool in Summer: Ice Lollies for Dogs - PUPSICKLES!

While everyone is out enjoying the glorious weather with BBQ s and beers, we have to spare a minute to think of the animals. Many animals can face health problems such as sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration because their owners have not taken the appropriate measures to keep them safe during the hottest parts of the summer days.

Photo Credit
ITV This Morning's Marc the Vet has some great tips on keeping your pets safe this summer which you can find here, and I thought I would share with you one little tip that I have come up with to keep my Chihuahuas cool when they is out in the garden: PUPsickles! Ice Lollies for dogs!

PUPsickles are so easy to make, tasty and most importantly they keep your pet cool and hydrated throughout the day. I always give Bambi and Bear one when we come back from a particularly hot walk, along with a nice fresh bowl of water.

To make a PUPsickle all you need is an ice-cube tray, some fresh, clean water and a "filling" of your choice.
For my dog I use chicken, but I have also tried ones with carrots in. You can use any vegetable that your pet likes, and tuna is great for making PUPsickles for cats. (Mice Lollies? LOL!)
  • Firstly, cook your meat or part boil your vegetables and leave them to go cold. You can use raw vegetables if you like.
  • Fill the ice-cube trays half way with water.
  • Add the cooled meat or vegetables of your choice.
  • fFill the tray the remainder of the way with fresh water.
  • Put in the freezer for a couple of hours.
PUPsickles not only keep your pet cool and hydrated but they also keep them entertained and stimulated as they have to work to get the food inside the ice cube. Remember to always make sure your pet has access to a bowl of water whenever you give them a treat.

 Another thing I always do in the Summer months is to make sure I always have an area of shade set up with some blankets in the garden if I'm working outside. I also have a children's inflatable paddling pool which I fill with clean cold water so that the dogs can cool off whenever they need to, if it gets really really hot. A quick dunk can really cool them down for quite a long time.

Bambi enjoying a swim.

I'll try post a picture soon of my dog with their PUPsickles, and if you try them at home make sure to send me your pet pictures to and I will put them up on the blog.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Your dog could be the UK's TOP DOG MODEL!

ITV 2 are looking for the UK's next biggest model, and no they aren't looking for another Kate Moss - this time they want someone who can model on all 4 legs!

If you think your dog has what it takes to be the next top dog model then see the details below on how to apply...


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Save Leyton Marsh: Dog Taken Ill After Being Chemically Poisoned After Walk At Olympics Site

I've just read on Twitter that there are reports of 3 dogs being poisoned after walking on Leyton Marsh, so I'm urging anyone who is using the very popular dog walking area in East London to be very careful.

In an open letter to the authorities, local businesses and local vets, Save Leyton Marsh writes...

"A dog who drank water on 18th May from a puddle at Leyton Marsh, next to the Olympic GTTV Basketball construction site, has fallen ill and a vet has diagnosed the animal as suffering from ‘chemical poisoning’. This appalling incident, the cause of which is not yet known, only adds to the fears of local people about Leyton Marsh, the now dreadfully damaged open access green space. Following the leasing of the land by the Lee Valley Regional Park to the Olympic Delivery Authority, and Waltham Forest Council’s highly unpopular and environmentally-nonsensical decision to permit a three-storey-high building to be constructed and then demolished on it, costly and unplanned special measures are now being sought to repair the damage and enable the land to be “reinstated” by 15th October."

You can read the rest of the letter and join the campaign to save one of the areas only green spaces here:

(Disclaimer: This blog and Save Leyton Marsh in no way infers or implies that the chemical poisoning of the dog was caused by any actions of the authorities, companies or councils mentioned in this letter).

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Dog Walking In Walthamstow, East London

When you think of London, you don't necessarily think of luscious green fields and great places to walk your dog, but it actually has some great parks and fields that are ideal for dog walking. As I'm leaving London next month, I thought I'd share with you my favourite place to walk the dogs where I live, in Walthamstow.

Walthamstow Marshes are a great place to walk the dogs. There is literally miles and miles of green fields and even a little canal that I always stop by to eat my packed lunch. There are always loads of other dogs walkers and runners there too so it's great for socialising your dogs, but if you go in the middle of the day, you can literally have the whole walk to yourself.

They even have bat walks and bird watching walks in the early hours of the morning, and there are always plenty of people fishing along the river.

I love looking at all the house boats on the canal. There are always so pretty and there is one in particular that has converted the roof of the boat into a garden. So pretty! I hope I can have a house boat one day. There is something about living on one that really appeals to me.

Even in the winter, when the canal is frozen over, it's still one of the prettiest places in London, especially as it feels like you could be miles away from the city.

Bambi and Bear love it here and it will be one of the things I miss the most about London.

Have you got any hidden gems that are great for dog walks? Let me know in the comments :)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Cupcakes for Dogs! Peanut Butter & Carrot PUPcakes


Dog Friendly Cupcakes

We all know that humans LOVE cupcakes. They are everywhere you look these days so it seems a bit unfair that dogs should miss out on all the cupcake fun. I've been making PUPCor FURRYcakes, whichever you want to call them, since I found the recipe for Bambi's birthday a few years ago and they've always gone down well. We've served them at puppy parties and even taken them to the park with us to share with Bambi and Bear's friends so when I was a bit bored this Bank Holliday Weekend I thought I would make them again.

The ingredients are usually things that you would have in your cupboard or fridge anyway, so they are really easy to rustle up as a last minute treat for your little ones.

The recipe below usually makes about 24 Peanut Butter and Carrot cakes, but as I only have 2 dogs that seemed a bit much for me and I didn't want to waste any food so I decided to make up the full amount, pop the rest into freezer bags and save them in the freezer for another rainy weekend.

1 cup white or whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup honey
1 egg


•Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
•Mix the flour, baking soda and egg all together in a bowl.

•Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.

•Put a teaspoon of the mixture into each paper cake case or use a greased baking tin.

•Put in the oven for approximately 15 minutes.

Once the PUPcakes are ready and have cooled down you can ice them by using nonfat cream cheese as a frosting, but I chose not to do that this time, mainly because I only had full-fat cream cheese in the fridge.

They have gone down very well with my chihuahuas, Bambi even licked the crumbs off the matt! Don't forget to take them out of the paper casing before you give them to your dogs though.

If you liked this tutorial I'll be showing you show to make PUPsickles,  which are a great way to give your dogs a treat and keep them cool in the summer months, all at the same time.

If you try out this recipe for yourself, please send me some pictures of your dogs enjoying their pupcakes. I'd love to see them!

Hayley x