Splish Splash!

Isla and Jelli aren’t the only pupsters finding this heat no fun. No long walks in the day and especially none of our little trips into the city for coffee as the tarmac is too hot for little paws! The most fun they are having at the moment is walks in the fields in the evening which is a) boring , b) huge risk of grass seeds and c) no water to splash in. We’ve gone to the river on a few occasions in the evenings but the horseflies seem to divebomb and eat me or the tick army are out in their hundreds trying to eat the dogs (thank goodness for tick prevention treatments!)

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This leaves me in a predicament wondering where I can take the dogs to really burn off some energy, stay cool and still have fun? So when Clair from Chapel Farm Rehabilitation Centre got in touch and invited us to go for a fun swim in their large indoor pool we jumped at the chance!

Chapel Farm lies just outside of Bristol in Pensford, with easy onsite parking, a shop, pool and qualified staff on site it’s the perfect destination for pets who want to have fun or those recovering from surgery or illness where hydrotherapy or physiotherapy has been advised. They also have a dog crèche on site which looks fabulous fun and is on our list of places to visit!

Each fun swim slot is 30 minutes long and costs £24 for the first dog and only £12 for subsequent dogs from the same family. There is also the option of being able to get into the pool with your dog if you want to join in the fun too!

Isla and Jelli were greeted by the lovely Amber and Jenny when we arrived who helped them into their life jackets and escorted them to the pool. Both dogs had a nice warm rinse before going into the water to make sure they were clean and then they were ready to go!

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The pool is a whopping 10m by 6m which is great for a proper swim and is heated to a comfortable 29-30 degrees which is perfect for maintaining the dogs’ temperatures as they won’t lose energy trying to keep warm like they would swimming in the sea or streams. The pool is also super clean so no risk of any water borne bugs causing tummy upsets as there would be in the river and no ‘tide or flow’ which might make the dogs work harder or potentially cause panic to set in.

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Amber and Jenny were fantastic with the girls and made sure they were 100% happy and not stressed at all times. Isla is a very strong swimmer so was immediately playing fetch with a tennis ball that Jenny threw for her and was clearly enjoying herself!

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Jelli on the other hand was much more nervous, her experience of swimming starts and ends with the time she half fell half jumped into the river after Bracken who thinks all water is for swimming in! Needless to say she was VERY hesitant about going in.

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Amber was brilliant with her and helped Jelli gain her water wings super quickly. A few supported laps around the pool with lots of encouragement she soon realised how much fun she could have and ended up launching herself off the ramp after her ball or Isla’s! She actually needed to be held back a few times so she didn’t over do it!

After their session time was up they had another warm shower to rinse them off and a quick towel dry. Usually I would take their drying coats with me for the journey home but as it is so hot I decided it may be nice to stay a bit cooler and dry naturally!

I highly recommend Chapel Farm, the facilities are excellent, the staff are experienced, welcoming and brilliant with the dogs. They also offer a loyalty scheme for clients which offers great savings and an excuse to return!

We are definitely returning and taking Bracken with us too, I may even get in the pool and join in the fun! Hopefully we can go and experience the onsite crèche too, that will be a whole new blog post as the facilities there look incredible!

To get in touch and book your swim click here to go to Chapel Farm’s website or here for their Facebook page. Please remember to tell them you saw them through our blog and feel free to leave us any comments if you’ve been already or if you book to go!

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GURUlicious!

Pop the kettle on and put your feet up as this is a lengthy one…..

As a veterinary nurse and diligent ‘dog mum’ I feel it is my responsibility to make sure Isla and Jelli (& Bracken) are all fed the healthiest, most nutritious food possible. I completed a Small Animal Nutrition Certificate after qualifying as a veterinary nurse so I knew what I should be feeding and why – the problem was finding the right food!

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Rewind several years and we have tried numerous foods, not one had the desired effect for the dogs. They lost coat condition or lost weight. Had a noticeable increase in excretions (yup, I mean poop!) or just didn’t want to eat it.

We tried expensive, super premium foods but found these had a tendency to make the dogs put on weight but lack coat condition, cheaper foods just made them poo more. Raw food was always going to be the best option, however that is not without certain risks and complications which I was not prepared to take – such as salmonella and pretty much needing a designated dog food freezer!

Now fast forward to June 2017! The pitter patter of tiny paws graced the household and we had 4 extra mouths to feed! Fast forward a further 10 weeks and due to some unforeseen circumstances it became apparent that one of these bundles was going to be staying put! Welcome to the family Jelli!!

As a super active working cocker spaniel with no fear or trepidation I knew I had to find a food that would support Jelli during the critical growth stages and one she actually liked – we tried several foods that she would be totally non-fussed about and then found Guru – since that point we have never looked back!

All three dogs are now fed Guru and I can honestly say that Guru is the best food for our spaniels (and no, i’m not being paid to say this either)!!

Jelli has reached a year old now and adores her food, the bowl is always licked clean, she has a fabulous coat and body condition and totally thrives on it. Isla and Bracken are also doing amazingly well on it. At the age of 8 Isla looks and acts like a puppy which I truly believe is down to being fed a great diet – Bracken on the other hand has always been a very lean dog and can sometimes look a bit ‘ribby’. Feeding more of his previous food just resulted in him bloating and then having an upset tummy. Since changing him to Guru he is fitter, has put on more muscle and weight and his coat condition has improved massively! It’s great that it will feed all the dogs regardless of their age too!

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So what makes Guru so great? Its cold pressed for a start which means it hasn’t been cooked at really high temperatures which destroys a lot of nutrients in foods. It also means it doesn’t need to be coated in fats and preservatives to make it taste nice! The pellets don’t swell up either like other kibbles do – this can lead to bloat and other very serious conditions in dogs – especially large or deep chested breeds – which can be fatal.

Have a look at the video here —> Cold Pressed Video to see how it works!

It contains natural ingredients (click here) including beef, sea fish, sweet potato and green lipped mussels. The food is pressed into a pellet form which is perfect for adding warm water and re-hydrating into a porridge  – perfect for weaning puppies or for the golden oldies who need something a bit softer! Guru comes in two flavours as well! Full on Feast (think roast dinner for dogs) and Surf and Turf (our favourite) which is a blend of beef and fish!

There are no additives, E numbers, artificial flavours or nasties hiding in the Guru food and this is extended to their treats too! Isla inspects each nag to make sure there are no little bits hiding!
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(Gosh – it really does just keep getting better doesn’t it!)

So what to treat the dog who will only eat the finest of foods? Venison Sausages perhaps, or maybe Reel Fish Skins (these are new and super yummy!) We use the Venison sausages (contain sweet potato & apple too) for our agility and obedience training. Both the cockers will work their socks off for these as they are soooo tasty!

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The Reel Fish Skins are a new addition to the Guru Family and are a ‘reel’ winner (see what I did there!) with all the dogs – a little crunchy they are super for dental health but can be soaked for a slightly softer treat! They come in a resealable packet too so great for keeping in the car for a treat or in your bag with no worries of people getting a meaty or fishy whiff!

 

BC40BB0D-5DFD-4B39-A1CE-D09EBC0C29CBFinally (yes I know i’m going on but it is a FURbulous food) for those nights away or long road trips it can be a bit of a faff to measure out and pack dog food! Introducing the Trip Bones! These can be a longer lasting treat or a meal substitute – still full of the same health benefits and absence of additives & nonsense but a chicken flavour instead of the normal Guru flavours!

 

So in conclusion (yes i’m finished now) I cannot rate Guru highly enough – it has transformed our dogs and I recommend it to friends, clients and anyone else who stands still long enough to talk about the dogs! We love being part of the Geekstar Crew and have our paws crossed we may get to be official Geekstars soon! Both Jelli and Isla would LOVE a Guru bandana to wear with pride and continue to spread the Guru Love!

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Check out their website here —-> www.gurupetfood.com/shop and change the way you feed your dog today (plus add some treats into the basket cause they are super Paw-some and your dog will love them!) Plus it’s usually next day delivery!

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(This blog is based entirely on my own experience with Guru, we have received no monetary or product incentive from Guru in return for this article)

No Nonsense & Natural!

After being super choosy and fussy deciding on the food to feed the girls, it would feel wrong buying artificial, processed treats that are full of additives.

So when we stumbled across JR Pet Products all our problems were solved! They have a huge range of tasty treats that are 100% natural, with no colourings, flavourings or anything else nasty!

There is an enormous range to chose from so we have selected a few of our favourites to tell you about!

Firstly rabbit 🐇 ears! These are a firm favourite with the dogs and us! Unlike some treats, they are totally odourless so perfect for having in the house as there is no smell and they are very clean to eat. No greasy residue on carpets or the dog bed and the ears are easy to eat so don’t turn into the soggy pulp that some of the mass produced raw hide chews do.

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If you want a treat that’s safe to leave with your dog when you go out or they just need something to concentrate on, then we can highly recommend the Pure Pate! It comes in three flavours and two sizes and for the indecisive among you, they come in a variety pack so your dog can try them all!

We found there is numerous ways to use the pate, slicing, cubing or stuffing! It slices and cubes really well which makes it perfect for training treats and it’s PERFECT for stuffing into a Kong toy or similar for hours of entertainment! With three flavours to choose from, chicken 🐓 , turkey 🦃  or salmon 🐟 you can give your dog a different flavour very few days!

Jelli’s favourite flavour is the salmon pate and she spends ages making sure every last morsel has been licked out of the kong! To make it last even longer once it’s been stuffed, we freeze the kong for a summery treat that lasts twice as long! The added benefits of Pure Pate is it is Grain and Gluten free! So even the pups with sensitive tummies or intolerances don’t miss out!

We have been on the hunt for a chew that lasts longer than 30 seconds, isn’t hideously processed rawhide and is completely natural. So discovering the JR Pet Products beef tails was a great find! Each pack contains 5 to 7 tails (ours had 6!) so plenty to share in multidog households or enough to last a couple of weeks if given every other day!

Jelli and Isla loved their tails! Both are usually very quick to gobble up treats but it took them AGES to finish these! Fortunately they are also low in fat, which is hugely beneficial for Isla since she has been spayed so does put on weight a bit easier! As an added benefit I’ve also noticed Isla’s teeth looking cleaner which has come from chewing against an harder surface! Similarly to the rabbit ears, the tails are odourless which makes them a great evening chew that is totally inoffensive!

The girls were lucky enough to also be sent some rolled venison sticks! Word of advice! These are VERY strong smelling so you may want to give these outside or in a ventilated room if you don’t like the smell! That aside they are again very long lasting and excellent for dogs that like to chew! The rolls take a while to soften up before ‘bits’ are able to be chewed off which means it keeps your dog occupied for longer!

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we HIGHLY recommend the natural treats from JR Pet Products and cannot wait to try more of their range! Head to their website here —-> https://www.jrpetproducts.com to shop online or find your local stockist!

Let us know what you think of the treats and what your favourites are!

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As with all chews we do not advise leaving your dog unattended whilst eating them as small bits can become lodged between the back teeth or even in the throat which could be very distressing for your pooch!

Awesome Animology!

We were asked by the lovely team at Animology to test out their Fox Poo Shampoo and Clean Wipes. Jelli especially always seems to find rather disgusting things to roll in whilst out on a walk so we didn’t need to wait long to test out either! So off we set to one of our favourite walks!
Fast forward a few hours after a lovely walk across the Mendips, we bundle back in the car with the windows open trying to minimise the smell coming from the boot! Once home it’s clear just how dirty and smelly Jelli has got! The once beautiful, clean Cocker Spaniel is now a rather unfetching shade of black, brown and smells awful!
Due to the frequency this happens, we have a warm water shower outside for the dogs and after getting Jelli wet, a small amount of Fox Poo Shampoo is lathered into her fur. It smells lovely and immediately starts lifting the dirt and mess from her fur and making her small MUCH better. Unlike other shampoos, only a small 50p size was needed to wash Jelli so the bottle should last a reasonable length of time. The shampoo rinses super easily and within a matter of minutes the once dirty, smelly pup was looking more like her former self!
After trying numerous shampoos, Fox Poo is clearly the best we have tried so far! Many of the other shampoos we have tried leave a greasy residue, don’t rinse out very well or simply just don’t do the job – the added benefits of the Animology Fox Poo Shampoo is the long lasting pleasant smell after washing (no more wet dog smell) and how soft Jelli’s coat felt once dry. This is now a bathroom essential for the girls along with some of the other grooming range from Animology.
However, not ever walk we go on results in a full blown bath being required – sometimes its just muddy paws, dirty heads or mucky legs that need a quick wipe down, towels are great but that means more washing for me and getting the dogs quite wet. This is where the AMAZING Clean Sheets come in useful!
The dual sided blue sheets, have one soft side – ideal for sensitive areas around the face – and a courser side to tackle tricky areas such as paws and in-between the toes! The wipes come in two packaging sizes, a brilliant tub of 80 sheets which is perfect for keeping in the car for walks and a handy bag size pack of 20 which is ideal for popping in a dog walking bag or coat pocket. You never know when you may stumble across a dog friendly pub or cafe and need to wipe those dirty paws and noses!
Both packaging options are resealable so no risk of the sheets drying out and not being usable, they are impregnated with a no rinse shampoo formula and similar to the Fox Poo shampoo they smell lovely! The handy travel pack sheets are an awesome 18×18.5cm so large enough for paws and faces, the sheets in the larger tub are even bigger at 20x27cm so great for dirty tummies too! We highly recommend Clean Wipes and will make sure we don’t run out!
You may have noticed the vibrant pink collars, harnesses and leads the girls are wearing too – also by Animology (yes we are a bit obsessed with the brand!) We were VERY excited to be sent a set each to test out. So with Badminton Horse Trials that weekend it was the perfect opportunity to put them through their paces!

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I immediately noticed how comfortable the leads were to hold. The black webbing is complimented by the vibrant pink (other colours are available) which is made from a non absorbent neoprene – this means after muddy walks they can be hand washed in warm water and look good as new – trust me, we can vouch for this!!
The harnesses are very easy to adjust to fit each dog and the quality of them is clear  – the metal work is double coated so rust resistant and finished in a subtle black which blends in well with the webbing. The neoprene padding backs all the webbing so even when altered as your dog grows, the soft padded section is against your dog which minimises rubs and sores compared to other harnesses on the market.

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Once fitted we were ready to go! We had a lovely time visiting our friends at our favourite trade stands and a lovely walk along the cross country course. Both dogs were walking beautifully, neither appear in any discomfort or tried to remove the harness which has happened in the past where it has irritated them! We had LOTS of lovely comments from people admiring them and giving the girls a fuss.
It’s lovely to have some vibrant, well made walking gear for them to wear as some collars and leads are a bit boring and not very comfortable to hold! The collars were just as comfortable and padded like the harnesses and the lead is simple yet strong and had the signature colour as padding around the handle.
For the owner who likes a bit of ‘matchy matchy’ the Animology Crash Pad beds match the blue, pink and green collars and having such a choice of colours means each dog can have their own identifiable set! Bracken our Springer Spaniel looks super cool in the lime green!
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So we can concur Animology have designed and created the best collars, harnesses and leads we have seen! Only problem now is having the self control not to buy the other colours!
Head over to our Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/cockersinthecountry or Instagram @cockersinthecountry to win a bottle of Fox Poo Shampoo AND a collar in the size and colour of your choice!
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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!

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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Cleaner Car Rides!

We all know how much fun it is to load the car and take the dogs to the beach or perhaps on holiday with you. If your dogs are anything like ours you will understand just how long it takes to clean the boot of the car after! Hair stuck to the carpets, mud and sand in every tiny gap – it really spoils what was a fun outing or trip away!

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That was until we discovered the Hatchbag! An ingenious solution to our problem in the form of a tailor made boot liner and we were delighted when Hatchbag asked us to road-test several of their products!

So the first part of the road test was the easiest! Choosing what colour liner to have and selecting the make and model of my car. I chose a grey liner for my Land Rover Freelander. It’s important to chose your car carefully as each liner is specifically produced to fit that model of vehicle exactly. So the liner I have wouldn’t fit the previous model Freelanders as the boots are different shapes nor would it fit a different make of car. There are quite a few different colours to chose from including a lovely vibrant orange and stunning girly pink!

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The website states a lead time of around a week for orders to arrive – so I was initially very impressed when a package arrived two days later containing my liner plus a rear seat cover, bumper protector and also a tailgate cover.

Full instructions and a fitting kit was included in the package and it is perfectly possible to fit and install the liner single handedly although two people would make the process easier! I however had help and supervision from three Spaniels – not entirely helpful but lovely to see how excited they all were with the prospect of a car ride somewhere! I think Bracken the Springer Spaniel was hiding from the hoover during these photos!

 

One thing I would point out is how important it is to prepare the car surfaces before fitting the liners. The liners attach to the car using Velcro (provided) but if you try and stick to to the car’s internal surfaces without cleaning them first the silicone on your car’s interior will stop it adhering and fall off. The fitting instructions clearly explain how and what to clean with so I really do recommend following their guidelines.

The liner fits very easily with step by step instructions and I’m honestly very impressed with how well it fits. The Hatchbag conforms to all the contours of my car and is like a second skin inside the boot! There are several fitting points the liner secures too which holds the liner in place and the edges are all very neatly attached with Velcro. Velcro tabs are pre-sewn onto the underside of the liner and it comes with pre-cut strips of Velcro to stick inside the car which then the liner attaches too holding it in place.

 

Even the edges of the Hatchbag have been designed to tuck neatly inside the trim of the car so it seamlessly blends in and creates an all over cover. The sides of the liner Velcro neatly to the rear section and fit perfectly again maintaining a complete coverage of the boot with no gaps or messy looking edges.

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There are several add on’s for the Hatchbag and different features to include. Such as a split down the back (created and secured with Velcro) to allow one seat to be folded down while the other remains in place. Rear seat covers which attach to the top of the Hatchbag liner and go up and over covering the rear seat headrests, bumper covers to prevent scratches to the paintwork when dogs are jumping in and out and tailgate covers to protect the inside of the boot.

We have the rear seat, bumper and tailgate covers and the quality and finish is still very much exceeding our expectations. The bumper cover especially has been revolutionary and I’m sure my car breathed a sigh of relief knowing it will no longer get scratches by excited dog claws and paws jumping in and out! The rear seat cover has also been a fabulous addition as dog hair can no longer ‘float’ up and require hours of hoovering to remove!

28459120_10155211739747805_1642045029_nHatchbag liner fitted with rear seat cover and bumper protector (folded back)

 

 

So we are delighted with the design and look of the Hatchbag. It’s fits perfectly (much better than the genuine Landrover liner), the colour choice is great – we stayed conservative with grey but with the options available you can match your car’s interior or be bold and chose a vibrant colour! The additional options are great for versatility and tailoring the system to your needs! The liners are made from a very durable PVC material so damage is highly unlikely to occur (it isn’t chew proof so don’t leave those cheeky monkeys unattended!)

 

On the road! So the Hatchbag needs to maintain its glowing record once we get on the move! My dogs are in and out of the car a lot for trips to dog training, walks and other doggie destinations. So the Hatchbag needs to do its job once my car is off the driveway and on the road! I was a bit sceptical how well the Velcro would hold, if the liner would slide around and become detached with the weight of a dog crate on top of it and the movement of the car and corners etc. I needn’t have worried! I do t think it has actually budged an inch! We have been using the liner for about a week now with dogs jumping in and out approximately 5-6 times a day. The bumper liner hasn’t moved or detached from the main part and is very durable I don’t think it would be possible for claws to puncture or rip the material and it’s dead easy to wipe and muddy paw prints off with a damp cloth.

The main liner itself is well and truly attached where it started. The Velcro is holding well on the car and keeping the edges in place beautifully and having no nooks and gaps means hoovering the boot now takes me 30 seconds instead of 30 minutes as there is nothing for the hair or mud to stick too.

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I am so impressed with the Hatchbag. From start to finish the service has been excellent and their product is wonderful. When speaking with them initially my emails and queries were answered within minutes in some cases and certainly within an hour or two at the longest. Delivery was very quick and much sooner than expected and the liner itself is perfect. Perfect fit, perfect design, simply perfect.

It has made travelling with the dogs super easy and as the car won’t take as long to clean we can use the time saved to add onto our walks! Although we tested the Hatchbag with our dogs in mind the versatility doesn’t stop there. The Hatchbag is great for protecting your boot from all sorts of dirt and grim. Pushchairs and buggies, household waste and recycling, muddy boots, trips to the garden centre and even bales of hay and straw for the horse owners amongst us! It’s ideal for anyone just wanting to keep their car looking new and make cleaning easier. On a slightly more financial aspect. It will also help hold some of the resell value of your car as many people can be put off buying a car who’s boot has been used as a kennel or wheelbarrow!

To purchase your own Hatchbag liner head to – https://www.hatchbag.co.uk/boot-liners and follow the instructions to tailor the perfect Hatchbag for your car and tell them we sent you! They even have a clearance section so you may be able to grab an absolute bargain!

Thanks for reading our review – please feel free to leave any comments below!

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The review above is entirely our own opinion based on our personal experience using the Hatchbag.

Food Glorious Food

There are many things as dog owners we may sometimes put off doing – be that for a few hours or a few days. However feeding is the one thing we do at least once daily and I know our dogs wouldn’t let us forget!

Wet or Dry…?      Nutrition is super important – we as humans should try and avoid junk food and eating lots of rubbish, so surely our dogs should be allowed the same.  I am a veterinary nurse so analyse and research everything my dogs eat so after doing lots of research into the best types of food for our spaniels and not having the freezer space to try RAW feeding I decided to give Forthglade a try.

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Forthglade…     The team at Forthglade (based in the neighbouring county of Devon) were super helpful when I contacted them. Having three dogs of differing ages and needs can make feeding one food pretty much impossible. However their ‘Just 90%’ suits all three dogs perfectly regardless of age and can be mixed in with the Forthglade Cold Pressed kibble which is also suitable for all ages.

When our goodies arrived the dogs were all rather excited! The ‘Just 90%’ Wet food is steamed in a little water before being packaged so its got all the benefits of a RAW diet, with no added fillers, additives or nasties BUT can be stored in a cupboard which obviously eliminates the need for freezer space! It also means you don’t need to remember to defrost anything which is another bonus!

All the ingredients are locally sourced too – so for the environmentally minded, that means less ‘food miles’ and less impact on the world as less diesel, etc is used to get the product to the plant in Devon.

Win Win so far!

The Food…     So the real test is not which of the 8 delicious flavours to chose from. The real test is if the dogs like it! We did spend a few days as recommended, gradually switching the dogs over from their current food to Forthglade and we can safely say they LOVE it!

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The feeding guidelines are easy to follow – all three dogs fall into the medium category now with Jelli being just over 10kg  so they all need 1/2 to one tray a day. We decided to give Jelli 1/2 a tray a day alongside her kibble and Bracken and Isla 3/4 of a tray each as they are both a bit bigger – it also made it easy to avoid wastage as it was 2 trays a day between all the dogs. It is important to point out that the trays will keep for two days in the fridge though if you don’t use it all at once. Just don’t peel the lid off completely and slide the outer sleeve back on.

As Forthglade also make a cold pressed kibble – this means it’s still jam packed with goodness as the 100% natural ingredients are cooked very quickly but not at high temperatures so the goodness stay inside. The other huge benefit of Cold Pressed food is it dissolves from the inside out as it isn’t dehydrated like normal kibbles – this means it wont expand in your dog’s tummy which HUGELY reduced the risk of bloating. This can lead to a condition called a GDV or gastric dilation-volvulus which is when the stomach fills will air and can then twist around. Unless veterinary intervention is sought, the condition is fatal. GDVs are common in deep chested breeds such as setters, retrievers but can occur in any breed.

The Results…     We have been feeding Forthglade for almost three weeks now and can already see the difference. A very big difference is the dogs’ erm …. poos! Not a pleasant topic but again something as dog owners we need to be responsible for as our dogs aren’t able to clear up after themselves! All the dogs have gone from producing ‘normal’ firm poos to passing much smaller and harder parcels! This means more of the food is being utilised during digestion instead of wasted and passed through so less of my hard earned money is being wasted! This also means less poo bags used on walks!

I have also noticed the dogs have maintained their weight nicely and their coats are beautifully shiny! Jelli has actually put on a bit of weight which is great. As a growing puppy of 9 months she was looking a little bit lean and Forthglade has helped her fill out during this important growth period.

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So in conclusion…     Forthglade is definitely a diet we will continue! The variety of flavours is great for keeping things varied and the cold pressed kibble is perfect without having additional worries of the dogs bloating after eating. Cost per day is very reasonable for a nutritionally balanced and healthy food with minimal wastage. It may appear a little more expensive than other brands but the quality is far more superior and less waste produced means less money wasted too – not too mention the reduced number of poo bags being used!

Alongside the food Forthglade produce they also have a great range of treats! perfect for training or just treating your pooch! Rest assured the treats are all 100% natural too with no additives or nasties added making Forthglade our food of choice!

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Forthglade can be purchased direct from their website http://forthglade.com and if you use this code you can get a whopping 20% off your first order!

https://forthglade.mention-me.com/m/ol/ov6sx-johanna-page

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