Ten Top #dogselfies!

I am loving  the #dogselfie trend so I thought I’d put together a gallery of some of my favourites. Click through the slideshow below to see some pooches perfecting their poses!

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DIY dog-safe Easter egg treat for your dog!

Dog joining the fun at Easter celebrationsMake sure you remember to lock away all of those chocolate Easter eggs in the next few weeks because as little as half a bar of chocolate has enough poison to kill a small dog! There are over 2000 cases of chocolate poisoning cases in dogs every year and is the most common poison to affect our pampered pooches.

A customer of mine that came into the Dog Salon told me great way of including your dog in the family Easter celebrations! She gave me a simple recipe to make a safe, dog friendly Easter egg!

All you will need are several packs of doggy choc drops, an Easter egg mould, a saucepan and a bowl.

  1. Empty the chocolate drops into a heatproof bowl. Fill the pan with water and put the bowl on top. The chocolate will slowly melt so just keep stirring!
  2. Next, grease the egg mould and spread the melted chocolate evenly around it. Put the mould in the fridge until set.
  3. Once set, fill half of the egg with some of your dog’s favourite treats.
  4. Next, glue the two halves together by spreading melted chocolate around the edge of one half of the egg and stick the second half in place. Leave to cool and you’re all done!

If you’re feeling fancy or are making an egg for a friend’s dog, you could wrap the egg in cellophane and tie with a decorative ribbon.

I have made these Easter eggs for my dogs for the last two years and I can’t recommend them enough! I’m planning to go a step further this year and arranging an Easter egg hunt for them in the garden, so stay tuned if you’d like to know how it goes!

REMEMBER! Dog-safe chocolate is a treat so only feed it to your dog in small amounts.

Addicted to Agility

For years I have watched Cruft’s on the television and I absolutely loved to watch the Dog Agility competitions. However I never really knew how I could get involved until me and a friend decided to take the plunge and joined K9 Brats Agility club nearly 2 years ago. Me and my shih-Tzu Wilma have been totally addicted to agility ever since! So if there are any dog lovers out there who have been thinking about joining a club, this post is dedicated to telling you all you need to know including the pros and the cons of starting your dog agility career!

Choosing your Club

There are a range of clubs throughout the UK so picking one will probably be based on one that is close to you. At K9 brats they run a range of agility classes suitable for dogs of all breeds and abilities. Agility classes are held at both Wirral (Glenbrittle Kennels) and Runcorn (Sutton Fields) venues.

Myself and my friend started with a pre-beginners course. This ran for 6 weeks and was designed to ease us into various agility concepts for dogs and their owners that are new to the sport. It’s a good idea if you haven’t already done so, to have attended some sort of obedience class with your dog so that your dog has a good level of general obedience before you start agility classes. All of the classes at the club are ongoing and you attend weekly. Although you pay up front for 6 classes at a time, any weeks you miss are carried over so you do not pay for classes you cannot attend. You can find more information on their prices by clicking here. I can guarantee it is cheaper than any gym membership! After the 6 weeks of pre beginners we were moved up to the beginner’s class. It was here the fun really began! We learnt different kinds of jumps and sequences, and how to use different equipment. At this level the jumps are kept low whilst dogs develop their confidence further and we can develop our handling skills.

One thing I would definitely recommend is investing in some agility trainer’s. I lasted two weeks before purchasing some as I found I needed more support for my feet, and grip for a sometimes very muddy field!

To give you an idea of the kind of runs and jumps we do in the beginners class, take a look at the video of me and Wilma below.

Competitions

At first I wasn’t looking to compete, but soon changed my mind after 2 months of beginner’s classes and my confidence began to grow. Wilma gets so excited; attending the class really is the highlight of our week. We both get so much out of it! With this in mind I thought I would just try one competition to see how it went. Attending the agility classes was just meant to be a bit of fun, and I was conscious that I didn’t want this to change, however my worries were soon put aside and I’ve never looked back since! Wilma loves to take part in the competitions and the atmosphere is electric. Everyone has been really friendly and helpful. It has also really helped to bring Wilma out of her shell and is so much more confident in day to day life.

I hope this post has provided you with some basic information about what is involved in the sport and hopefully has inspired you to start thinking about taking your dog to agility classes. Not only will classes strengthen the bond between you and your dog, it will help to fulfil and satisfy their natural instincts of hunting and not to mention will keep you both in shape!

Three essential Tips for keeping your dog in tip top condition between visits

On average my customers’ will visit the dog salon every 6 weeks but it really depends on the condition and breed of your dog. My customers will often ask me what they can do to maintain their dog’s coat and keep it healthy and in top condition in-between visits. I recommend to put at least few minutes aside every day for grooming, you will not only promote a healthy coat but will also give you and your dog some extra one on one bonding… bonus!

So if you would like to keep your pooch pampered for longer read our top tips!

1. Start Young!

Start young In addition to the obvious obedience and toilet training that you must give your young pup, often people forget about the importance of introducing them to the grooming brush. By the time the puppy is old enough to go for its first salon visit; their first experience of a brush can be quite a scary one, despite Aunty Carol’s reassurances!  I cannot stress enough that you should really be grooming your Puppy as soon as his first week with you. If you do this and stress to your Puppy that the grooming is a positive experience it will be a much loved part of your dog’s day!

2. It’s all in the wrist…

combHow you groom your dog depends on the type of coat your dog has. If your dog has a long coarse coat I recommend you invest in a good quality slicker brush and a comb available from most pet stores including pets at home for no more than £5 each. The comb and the Slicker brush that has fine wire bristles are particularly useful for removing mats and tangles.When brushing your dog you should always be gentle and take your time gradually brushing the hair the same way as it grows. If your dog has a particularly difficult coat, your groomer will be able to give you specific details about the best way to brush the coat

eating

3. You Are What You Eat 🙂

We are all familiar with the phrase you are what you eat, and the same goes for our dogs! To help give your dog a shiny coat, it’s not all about maintaining a coat on the outside; it’s just as important to look after what’s on the inside too!  By adding fish that are packed with omega-3 fatty acids such as Tuna, Sardines, and Salmon you can really make a difference to the healthiness of your dog’s coat. It can also be an excuse to give your dog a delicious healthy treat that they are sure to love!