Ready for some Ruff & Tumble?

Being typical spaniels, the girls do have a tendency to return from their walks far dirtier than when they set off! If there is a puddle or mud, you can be sure they will find it! So we teamed up with Ruff and Tumble Dog Drying Coats to see if their drying mitts and coats are up to the job!

Ruff and Tumble are a quintessential British company nestled in between Leicester and Peterborough. The company started life by making coats for family and friends which proved super popular and so the business was born.

The coats are a double thickness cotton towelling which is really absorbent and can be machine washed and tumble dried too! In the summer they can also be soaked in cold water to act as a cooling coat for those blissful hot sunny days!

It isn’t just wet walks the coats are useful for however, they can be used after hydrotherapy sessions, beach walks, baths and showers!

So we set off in the car to one of our favourite walking spots near Wells. Plenty of opportunity for off lead running, streams to splash in and mud to be rolled in! Fortunately the stream is the last part of the walk so the girls get to rinse off before going home. This means its the perfect opportunity to test out the drying coats as usually they end up being wet and soggy and can only get towel dried before home.

The coats themselves are very simple and easy to put on, after their walk the coats simply slide over the girls’ heads and the large belly strap neatly comes up and around the whole of their tummies, neatly velcro’ing to the side. The deep collar is perfect for keeping long spaniel ears toasty warm and dry inside which is a fabulous difference when compared to other drying coats available to purchase elsewhere. Ruff and Tumble are the only coats we have found that have this unique design.

 

If the correct size is chosen for your dog, the coats are long enough to cover the base of even the waggiest of tails and again unlike a lot of other drying coats, the wide belly flap covers the whole tummy – this is ideal for our spaniels who although aren’t hairy – do have lovely feathering on their tummies which is covered up nicely.

It takes us approximately 25 mins to get home from this walk and I am pleased to say the girls were nearly dry by the time we got back. The only damp bits were their legs which obviously aren’t covered by the coats! However in comparison to the usual soggy doggy that disembarks from the car, even their legs were noticeably drier than on previous walks!

I believe the difference in their legs was down to a) being curled up with the coats on but also b) the wonderful drying mitts we were sent to test.

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Made from the same material as the coats, the drying mitts are perfect for drying those hard to reach places before popping the coats on or keeping by the back door to dry paws off after rain.

As fabulous as the coats and mitts are, it is important to us that they wash and dry well. We popped the coats and mitts into the wash on a low 30 degree cycle and then into the tumble drier on a low setting – the result? Brand new clean and dry looking coats and mitts! We have now used these at least a dozen times over a three week period and they still look like new!

When the coats and mitts are not needed, they come with their own storage bag. Perfect for labelling which coat belongs to which dog and the handles mean they can hang tidily on a coat peg or door handle. We are delighted with the quality of both products and would recommend them to any of our friends!

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The coats and mitts come in a huge variety of colours, from the beautiful burgundy seen on the girls, right through the colour spectrum including but not limited too Navy, Red, Bottle Green and Heather. For a bit more style there is also the option of purchasing a coat from the Country Collection which has a stunning Faux Leather trim. The Cockers in the Country are spoilt princesses deep down so we were lucky enough to try this style and even after numerous washes and tumble drys the trim is still looking perfect!

I think it’s safe to say we are suitably impressed with the coats & mitts and for the dogs that have it all there is also some brilliant bed covers! I think this may be next on our shopping list to try out! I think the girls love their coats as much as they love each other!

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Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog when we team up with Animology to road test some of their exciting products!

Tea & Cake for Humans & Hounds!

With summer almost here and the days staying lighter long it’s now the perfect time to explore the countryside with your dog. Finding new walks is a favourite pastime of ours, the Somerset and Wiltshire countryside is full of hidden gems with most walks starting or ending at fabulous dog friendly pubs and tea rooms.

We were honoured to be approached by Sarah – owner and baking goddess at the No 10 Tea Rooms in Avoncliffe near Bradford Upon Avon. So groomed and tidy wearing their gorgeous Hettie Company bandanas we set off.

 

Nestled at the bottom of a steep hill overlooking the Kennet and Avon Canal, No 10 is a dog walkers haven! Several walks can start and end here and the tea rooms would make a perfect pit stop part way through an amble through the Wiltshire countryside. To be honest, I can come up with plenty of reasons and excuses to stop here!

When we arrived at No10 we were warmly greeted by Sarah and shown through to the beautifully presented garden. Borders of daffodils and tulips surround a large lawned area leading onto a gravelled section with picnic benches overlooking the aqueduct and canal below. Sarah had thoughtfully already got the girls a fresh bowl of water and a little blanket to lie on and asked us what we’d like to order. So much choice!

No 10 has two very key factors. The first is everything is homemade by Sarah and her team. None of the scrumptious cakes or snacks are made offsite and bought in to sell. EVERYTHING is made in the little kitchen area which is easily seen inside. Even the dog treats are homemade by Sarah (more about these later!) The second impressive string to the bow are the food miles. All the ingredients are sourced as locally as possible – this even includes the tea & coffee! The tea has the longest journey coming from the UK’s first tea plantation – Tregothnan in Cornwall.

I selected a mouthwatering slice of coffee and walnut cake – this is actually phenomenal and the best C&W cake I’ve had! Teamed with a large cup of coffee it was a perfect way to relax on a sunny afternoon. The coffee was as amazing as the cake, a smooth roasted blend from local micro coffee roasters Dusty Ape based near Bath. The coffee is even in the cake and very appealing to little noses!

The special part of our visit was not just the fact the dogs were welcome – they also have their own little menu to choose from!

No 10 prepare the sweetest little puppachinos! Dogs have their own mugs with little paw prints on with a warm frothy goats milk beverage – a complimentary biscuit is given to all four legged visitors and there is the option to buy a delicious homemade peanut butter and coconut ball for your pooch! The peanut butter is specially made by Neoh and Nobo a small batch, organic dog treat company in Birmingham.

We had a lovely time at No 10, fantastic setting, wonderful food and perfect hosts. The girls thoroughly enjoyed their drinks and snacks and we can’t wait to return!

We highly recommend a visit here and to sample as much as your tummy will allow! Click here to visit the website for No 10

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Special thanks to Judith White for taking more beautiful photos for us!

 

 

The PitPat Pack!

With obesity being one of the largest problems (no pun intended…honest) for people in the UK it is no surprise that our pooches are also piling on the pounds.

Lots of us humans own an activity tracker of some sort to act as a bit of a motivator to get more active and battle the bulge. With easy syncing to phones and tablets its simple to see how many calories we have (or haven’t) burnt and how well we are sleeping.

Although Jelli and Isla are not overweight, it is always interesting to monitor their activity levels, especially when I’m not home and also to make sure they are getting enough food to sustain their busy lives!

So the lovely team at PitPat sent us one of their pawsome activity monitors – the PitPat 2 –  to try out and review!

When the PitPat arrived we were impressed with the compact little box it comes in and how easy it was to just get going with. To start with you need to download the free app on either Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store – once downloaded, the app will take you through the set up step by step.

 

Once you have an account created you can add your dog’s profile to your phone, there is even the additional touch of adding a photo too! The app cleverly works out how much exercise a day your dog should be getting – although this can be overridden if required. The general rule for puppies is 5 minutes exercise per month of life – so a 5 month old puppy needs 25 minutes exercise. The app seems to follow that rule which is nice to see as so many puppies are over exercised which can cause severe joint problems when they are older.

 

The monitor itself is incredibly light weight and small – the PitPat 2 is roughly 34 x 32 x 15mm and weighs 16g. Unlike the PitPat 1 – the newer model also has the capability to track how far your dog has run/walked. This will be available on the app soon!

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Once your account is up and running and your dogs profile is set up (you can have multiple dogs on one account, but each pooch needs their own PitPat) it’s time to attach the device to your dog!

The PitPat comes with a standard velcro strap  – our collars are an inch wide and they are a perfect fit – for wider collars it is possible to purchase a longer velcro strap so be mindful of this when ordering. The strap very simply folds over the top and bottom of the collar and sticks back to itself on the other side.

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Once attached you are ready to go! The monitor is also waterproof (hurrah the spaniel owners shout!) to depths of 1m for short periods of time. So no need to be removed for trips to the seaside, rivers or ponds! However it is advisable to remove them if your pooches collar needs a rinse after playing in such places!

The monitor works using a special three-axis accelerometer that tracks motion. The advanced algorithms interpret this motion and translate it into specific activity types (walking, running, playing and resting).

From the PitPat Website – PitPat judges walking and running by sensing the natural gait motion of the dog. PitPat judges the difference between walking and running by the intensity/exertion. If a dog is constantly changing from walking, to running, to stopping and changing direction this is characteristic of many dog games and the activity is interpreted as playing. PitPat looks at the different activities over a 5-10 minute period and then classifies the activity as the one which was the most prominent in the period. For walking and running PitPat also looks at the consistency/regularity of the motion in the period of time to make sure it is owner initiated exercise that is counted towards the goal (as opposed to the dog pottering around the house).

So lets go! We went on several (wet) different walks, went to agility training and had a snoozy day to see how the tracker would fare!

 

On our walks the tracker didn’t move an inch. The velcro is very strong and even after several soakings in the river it’s still in the same place on the collar! Due to the small size and weight it certainly didn’t annoy or distract Jelli on her walks. A previous tag on her collar made her stop and scratch constantly!!! The water hasn’t affected it at all either, in fact looking at the times and activity done I think it is very, very accurate! It easily identified the zooming around at agility!

It was really interesting to see how active she is when syncing the data to my phone.  It’s also impressive how quickly and easily it syncs. Making sure bluetooth is enabled on your device simply click menu on the dogs profile and select ‘Fetch Data’ The PitPat device will show on screen and you then just press the paw on the actual monitor! You can see completed days that your target has been hit as they have a star next to them, incomplete days show a little tracker icon to prompt you to sync the monitor.

Jelli is clearly super active and does way more than I thought she did! She burns lots of calories and this is a really good way of being able to make sure your dog is getting enough nutrition. As a result I have increased her food slightly to make sure she continues to grow properly and maintain her athletic figure without looking too slim!

So it’s a huge paws and thumbs up from us! We can’t wait for the app to update so we can track the distance and we will be buying both Isla and Bracken monitors too!

You can find the monitors here —> https://www.bhequestrian.co.uk/PitPat_Dog_Activity_Monitor/p3362941_18468471.aspx and use the code ‘COCKERS’ for 10% off with free delivery!

Thanks again for reading and we’d love to hear any comments or feedback from you!

Plus keep your eyes peeled for our next review on the amazing Ruff and Tumble Drying Coats & Mitts and the awesome Animology grooming Range!

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