Lily’s Kitchen dog food review

Since deciding to take a more conscientious approach to feeding Muttley we’ve been testing out a whole heap of new dog food brands and seeing what we like and what agrees with him.  As you’ll know, it’s not all about the ethics, the packaging or even the fact as to whether it’s UK based – it’s whether your dog eats it that is the main thing!  Mind you, if he eats something that ticks all your other boxes that’s great – and we’ve found something that does that for us – Lily’s Kitchen.  Here’s our Lily’s Kitchen dog food review – spoiler alert, we love almost all that they produce!

 Lily’s kitchen dog food review – why I love it

As I said, we’re trying to be a bit more conscientious in lots of areas and one is by choosing good food for our dog Muttley, local if possible and from somewhere that truly cares what goes in to his food and not just what profits they can make.  Some dog food is so utterly dire and although I have fed it in the past to my old dog, I was young, didn’t have much money and didn’t have the knowledge that we have nowadays about food quality.  I really didn’t think twice about it then, and I suppose some people still don’t, but I am glad that we’re waking up a little and caring more about what we feed our dogs.

So, on to Lily’s Kitchen.  Now, I love this company.  I love all they stand for, their ethics and their love of dogs (and cats).  They truly believe that our pets deserve proper food and strive to supply that.  The food is made with natural ingredients and you can actually read the ingredients list and feel like you understand it and that it will be enjoyable!

I love their commitment to the environment too – they have organic food options and their packaging is eco friendly and recyclable.

Lily’s Kitchen dog food – Muttley’s review

As I said before, you can have all the best ethics and ideas in the world but if your dog won’t eat it then there’s no point really.

We’ve been trying out both the dry dog food and the wet dog food as Muttley likes to have a bit of variety in his life.  There is quite a lot of choice in the range and with the exception of a couple they’ve all been huge hits.

Lily’s Kitchen Adult Chicken & Duck complete dry food

This was our first test with Lily’s Kitchen and it was a complete success – Muttley could not get enough!  It’s key ingredients are chicken (31%), duck (8%) and sweet potato (30%) and the rest is made up of real foods and  vegetables that provide a host of nutritional benefits and vitamins.  Importantly, it’s also grain free which is really good for many dogs as grains can cause so much stomach upsets.

The kibble is a really good size and as I said, was thoroughly enjoyed by my dog!

The bags come in small 1kg bags, all the way up to 12kg size.  You can see the  different options here.

There’s also plenty of variety in flavours in the dry dog food too – you can also get Lamb, Venison & Duck and Organic Chicken & Vegetable.

For older dogs there’s Salmon & Trout and if you have a puppy then their Chicken & Salmon option is for them.

Lily’s Kitchen wet dog food

Once a day Muttley gets a wet dog food option and it’s probably his favourite time of day!  (His second favourite is his other food time)  Again we’ve been testing the variety of foods that Lily’s Kitchen has to offer – there are a lot!

I’ll say that the one flavour option that didn’t go down so well was the cottage pie one – not sure why, but he just didn’t enjoy it so well.

His favourites seem to be Sunday Lunch and Fish supper – although I think there’s still a few options we haven’t tried yet!

 

Lily’s Kitchen dog food treats – our review

As well as a host of proper dog food, Lily’s Kitchen also does a good range of dog treats and biscuits.  Again, we’ve not tried everything (Muttley would be needing some diet food if we had!) but we have given the bedtime biscuits a try which seem to be enjoyed.  I like them as they have chamomile in them and some other calming ingredients so if you have a dog that needs settled on a night time it would be a good thing to try.

Best automatic dog feeder with timer 2018

If you’re a busy person who is rushing around in the morning then feeding the dog at the right time is just another thing to add to the endless to do list isn’t it?  One way to get round that is to get an automatic feeder for your dog which will feed them at a certain time.  It’s also good if you have an unreliable schedule and want to give your dog a regular feeding time.  In this article I’m looking at the best automatic dog feeder with a timer so you can take that extra item off your to do list!

How to choose the best automatic dog feeder with timer

You have a few different options when it comes to automatic pet feeders.  You can get simple ones where the compartment with the dog food opens or is revealed at a set time or you can get some that dispense the food in to food bowls at a set time.  Either way, they’re simply a dog bowl with a timer!

The first kind needs more attention from you as you’ll need to make sure you’re on top of keeping it filled up – likely it won’t last longer than 2-3 days worth of food.  The latter can hold sometimes up to 90 days worth of food so just needs topping up when it gets low.

Price is a factor of course with the more simpler self feeders being cheaper than the dispensers.

Another thing to consider is the size of your dog.  Larger breeds may find that the small automatic feeders aren’t nice to eat out of or perhaps won’t even hold enough food.  Often these feeders are designed for both dogs and cats so are a size that fit smaller animals.

Most of these are designed to work indoors and are generally battery operated – if you want something for outside make sure that it is well covered from the elements and they should be good.

Finally you need to think about what food you’re likely to be feeding.  If you want to use wet food then a dispenser isn’t going to work at all and you’ll want something that just opens up at the right time.  Personally I think these items lend themselves better to dry food.

Our automatic dog feeder reviews

 

PetSafe Healthy Pet Simply Feed Programmable Digital Pet Feeder

This digital pet feeder station from PetSafe is one of the top rated on Amazon and it’s really popular right now.  It is the most expensive item on the list though, but I think the options you get with this and the fact it’s suitable for bigger dogs too makes it a great item.

  • 2.4kg capacity
  • for dried or semi-moist foods
  • slow feed option to prevent dogs who like to gulp down food being sick
  • programmable to allow for any feeding schedule

perfect for… larger breeds

Check out this item on Amazon here

 

PetSafe 5 Meal Pet feeder

Another automatic pet feeder from PetSafe is this 5 meal feeder.  It’s a more traditional idea of a feeder where you fill up the tray with the portions and it will rotate so that when you want it to it will reveal the food.  I’d say this one is better suited for smaller dogs but perhaps if you have a larger dog who is fed more often during the day to prevent them gulping down too much it would be good too.

  • dishwasher safe feeder tray
  • 5 compartments
  • 230g of food can be fitted in each tray
  • good for any kind of food, dry or wet

Perfect for… wet or homemade dog food 

Check out reviews and the latest price here

 

Andrew James Automatic Pet Feeder

This pet feeder from Andrew James is another of the style of a rotating tray which reveals the food at set times.  One unique thing about this one is that you can record a message of up to 8 seconds long too.  So if you want to be able to tell your dog it’s dinner time it can do that!  It’s a good size feeder as well and can suit larger dogs so long as their portion sizes will fit in.

  • 6 portions – 175 ml capacity in each
  • can be programmed to open up to 6 times each day
  • voice recorder – leave a message for your dog!
  • Can be dismantled for easy cleaning

Perfect for… leaving your dog a message!

See the latest price on Amazon here

 

TD Design 4.3L Automatic Pet Feeder

This is a really smart looking automatic dog food dispenser which is welcome as some can really look pretty ugly.  I think this one would look great in any home and not look out of place.  Like the Andrew James feeder above this one can also record a message for you to play to your dog when their food is being dispensed.

This timed dog feeder can only feed up to 4 times per day so if you need more times than that you’d need to look elsewhere.

My favourite feature of this one is that if the tray ends up with more than 13 portions in it (each ‘portion’ is 10g and you can dispense up to 10 ‘portions’ in each feeding time), it will stop dispensing.  So, for example if your dog isn’t eating it won’t keep sending more food in to the tray and potentially making a mess.

  • 4.3L storage
  • can customise your portion sizes in 10g/24ml increments
  • programmable for up to 4 meals per day
  • battery or mains operated

Perfect for…  up to medium size dogs and dried food

See more reviews of this item on Amazon here

What’s the best anti bark device for dogs?

best anti bark device for dogs barkingWe’ve all been there, something spooks your dog and it starts barking uncontrollably.  You worry about what all the neighbours think and you try all you can to distract the dog from whatever it is that’s causing the noise.  If that happens just every so often you’ll probably cope fine with it.  If it happens numerous times a day then it’s likely you’ve thought about ways in which to stop your dog barking.  In this article I’m looking at the best anti bark device for dogs – there’s a few ideas to look at and I hope you find it all helpful.

Are anti bark devices harmful to dogs?

There are items on the market that aren’t very humane – make sure that when you’re choosing which one to go for that you look to how the item stops the dog barking.  Some use vibrations, smells, sounds or sometimes a combination.  I’d stay away from anything that gives an electric shock to the dog when it barks.

Does my dog need an anti bark device?

As you probably know already, dogs bark as a way of communicating so barking is definitely not something to be worried about.  If it’s excessive and causing distress to either yourself or your neighbours then something to try and train your dog to calm down and be less noisy is definitely worth a go.

Be aware that if your dog suffers from anxiety or stress related barking then these methods might not work so well for them and could be harmful – I’d suggest talking to your vet for ideas on how to combat that.

What to look for in an anti bark device?

Personally, I always look for good reviews with items like this.  It’s important to see that it has worked in the past for others!

There are many different types of anti bark products so what you look for will depend on your circumstances and how you want to control your dog.  Do you want to just control it while in the garden?  Do you want the bark to be controlled when you’re not around, perhaps when at work?  Or do you want something that can correct the dogs behaviour when you’re around.

Best anti bark devices – our reviews

Pets Finest Anti bark collar

This is my top pick for the best anti bark collar – there are some others that are worth looking at below, but this one has a much better success rate I think.  The collars use different ways of stopping the barking so have a think about which you’ll think will be more effective for you.

This one utilises both sound and vibration to cease the barking.  It starts with a sound and if barking continues to happen the vibration kicks in.  It’s safe to use both indoors and out.

It also comes in two different sizes – the large size being good for dogs up to about 150lbs (about 68kg).

check this item out on Amazon here.

 

PetSafe Anti-Bark spray collar

Another well reviewed product but one that works very differently is this one from PetSafe.  This one uses smell to suppress the barking.

It works quite simply – there’s a microphone in the collar and when it picks up the barking it shoots a small amount of citronella out of the collar.  Dogs find the smell of this unpleasant and so the hope is that it will stop them barking.  I think as well that the sound of the spray also has an effect too.

It does require refilling after some time and refills are available easily but it’s an added expense to a collar that is already one of the more expensive ones.  However, if you’ve tried the other kind with  no success it’s got to be worth a go!

You can see more info about this product on Amazon here.

 

PetSol Anti Barking Dog Collar

This collar from Petsol works very similarly to the Pets Finest one I looked at earlier and it has similar results – it’s a very popular product.

The Petsol collar uses both sound and vibration to suppress the need to bark in your dog and it has 7 levels of correction.  The first and second level just uses sound as a warning and once you get to the 3rd through to the seventh, it uses vibration alongside.  The collar will move to the next level if you dog barks within 30 seconds of the previous correction.

One thing I liked is that if it gets to level 7 and is still barking for 1 minute after that the collar will stop to prevent distress and to protect your dog.  I think this is a really important feature.

There’s also a sixty day guarantee with this item so a good one to try out even if you have no hope that it will work – but judging by the reviews, lot of people have been pleasantly surprised!

See the latest price of this item here

 

Pet Corrector

This is something slightly different and is used manually by yourself to help correct a behaves that is unwanted.  So that means it’s great for dogs that bark a lot and also for dogs that jump or are just generally doing something you want them to learn to stop.

It does require you being there, so this is great for someone who is home with the dogs most of the time or really just as a tool to help train a new dog in the house.

It is a compressed can or air and when pressed it emits a loud hiss that will take your dogs attention away from what it’s doing.  They can be then used as a training aid that means that when it’s used the dog should stop what it’s doing.  It should never be sprayed on to a dog.

It’s a cheap option and if you have the time and patience is a really great product.

You can see more about this item here.

 

Signstek portable ultrasonic dog repeller and bark stopper

This product and the next one again use a completely different way of stopping barking.  They use ultrasonic sound waves.  This can be inaudible for humans (very important!) but can be heard by dogs and will help them to curb their nuisance behaviour.

This one by Signstek is a portable device so it’s a good one to try out if collars aren’t working for you and you want to be able to take it out and about with you, perhaps to a park or even on holiday.  It can be used for more than just barking but also for digging, scratching and jumping.  Whenever your dog starts the behaviour you don’t like, just press the button and it will emit the ultrasonic sound.

There’s also an LED flashlight on the device which is good for night time walks but it also serves as a way to find out if the battery is running low – useful on a product that you can’t hear!

See more about this item on Amazon here.

 

Ultrasonic Outdoor Dog Bark controller – bird house shape

Finally we have a similar device but one that stays static.  It can be used both indoors and out, but with this design it’s definitely one that would look better in a garden!

It can pick up barking up to 50ft away and when it does it emits the ultrasonic sound.  It’s suitable for all sizes and breeds of dogs and is completely humane.  It has 4 different levels to set it at – test, low, medium and high.

It’s suitable for outdoors but does state to avoid extreme temperatures – if we’re due a cold snap outside it might be better to bring it in or avoid using it in the winter.

This one has many positive reviews from people who have bought this due to a neighbours dog rather than their own – if you’re struggling with getting a dog to be quiet and nothing seems to change it then it might be worth trying.

See more about this product on Amazon here.

What’s the best vacuum for dog hair to avoid drowning in fur? 2018 edition

When we get ourselves a new pet it’s inevitable that we’ll no doubt then get a heap of shedding fur along side.  It goes with the territory!  It can make life unpleasant not least if you or visitors also suffer from allergies but, that doesn’t mean we have to put up with it and can’t strive to get rid of the dog hair – we just need a good vacuum cleaner that’s up to the job.  Which one is that then?  Well today’s article is all about which is the best vacuum for dog hair so let’s take a look at what’s available in 2018.

How to choose the best vacuum for dog hair

There are a few things to consider when choosing a vacuum cleaner for dogs that is going to be able to tackle your pet hair problems:

  • budget – how much can you spend?
  • Pet specific – do you want to get a regular vacuum or one that’s specifically designed to pick up dog hair?
  • Upright or Cylinder – which do you prefer?  I find cylinder cleaners easier to transport around and use tools with, but to be honest I think it’s more a personal preference.
  • Corded or cordless – do you want to take it outside, perhaps to clean the car, or have you a large house that would benefit from not being restriced by cords.
  • Bagged or bagless – I find most models are going the bagless route now, but we have heard great things about the bagged vacuum in our reviews.
  • Floor type – some vacuums deal with hardwood floors better than carpets and vice versa

 

Pet vacuum reviews

The following are our dog vacuum reviews – either from our own experience or those of friends.  Obviously there’s different kinds so I’ve chosen my favourite for each section, but do look at the pros and cons for each kind.

 

Best cheap vacuum cleaner for pet hair

 

If cost is the biggest consideration for you then this Zanussi ZAN2011AZ would be a great option for you and it’s also my top choice for the best upright vacuum cleaner for dog hair.

It’s a bagless upright cleaner and for the price I think you can’t beat it.  With a 180 watt motor it’s powerful and there is a pet turbo nozzle for getting all those hairs from couches and carpets.  It’s also suitable for both hardwood floors and for carpets.  Definitely the best budget vacuum for dog hair.

Check out the latest price of this vacuum cleaner on Amazon here.

 

Best cylinder Pet Vacuums

A friend of mine had this vacuum cleaner and I got to give it a go while helping getting her house ready for a party.  I have to say that for a bagged cleaner this one is great.  I often think that bagless is the way forward with most vacuums not having them but this one changed my mind.  It’s a little on the pricier side, but no more so than a Dyson.

The Miele Complete C2 Cat and Dog vacuum cleaner is amazing at picking up hair and if you’re reading this that is probably what you’re looking for in a vacuum!  Whether it’s human hair (I am shedding and moulting as much as my dog lately!) or pet hair this one really will perform fantastically.  It’s good on both hard floors and carpets.

Check out this vacuum on Amazon here.

 

Best cordless vacuum cleaner for pet hair

We have this one and it’s the best thing we ever bought recently  – we have dogs that shed and it tackles their fur with ease.

Dyson love to come up with innovative products and this hoover from them is yet another of their great ideas.  I love that it’s cordless and I can effortlessly take it upstairs, to the car and places that are hard to reach.  It’s also extremely light which is good for me and I imagine for older people whose strength is fading.

If, like me, you’re someone who likes to keep on top of the hoovering and doesn’t leave it to all build up it’s an excellent choice.  The downside is that sometimes it can fill up quickly and so if you don’t regularly vacuum this might get a bit annoying.

The charge on the Dyson V6 Animal Handheld Vacuum Cleaner lasts about 15-20 mins so if you like to do lots of rooms at once then I’d suggest going for a corded vacuum cleaner.

Check out the reviews on Amazon here.

 

Best handheld pet vacuum cleaner

 

The Vax H85-GA-P18 is a really good handheld vacuum cleaner that is perfect for caravanning, cleaning the car or just to have on hand so you don’t need to take out the big vacuum all the time.  It’s cordless and can last for about 20 minutes when fully charged.

The main advantage of this one over other handheld vacuums is the power – it’s got a great motor on it which is what you need when dealing with pet hair.  If you’re looking for a small vacuum cleaner then this one might be a good option.

Check out this item on Amazon here.

Best pressure washer for patios in the UK 2018

If you’ve got a dog and a patio then you’ll know that that keeping it clean is one of life’s chores!  A pressure washer is high on my necessities list because we do have a patio and if we don’t keep on top of it it starts to smell – not pleasant!  It took us a while to find the right one though so I figured having a list to help you choose the best pressure washer for patios would be a helpful thing.

If you don’t have time to read the whole review – check out my best choice of jet wash which is either of the Kärcher washers in this article.  You can see the one I like here, although if you have small patio the K2 version might suit you as well.

How to choose which pressure washer to buy

how to clean a patio when you have dogsWhats size home pressure washer to buy?  If it’s to clean a patio and you have a huge area, then a more robust model might be worthwhile getting.  If you have only a small section to clean and maybe a little patio furniture, then a cheaper and smaller model might be sufficient.

What pressure?  The cheaper models will not have the amount of pressure as the more expensive ones.  This might not be a big issue to you though as long as it does the job!

Cost – the cost can range from about £50 for very basic pressure washers all the way to £250+.  Again, your usage will determine what cost represents good value.  If a cheap pressure washer won’t last with the amount of work you have planned it won’t be the best value!

What do you plan to clean? Is it just some concrete flags?  Or do you have plans to clean all sorts from your car to your patio furniture?  Check that the washer you want will cope with what you want to clean.

Does it have any accessories?  Lots come with a patio cleaning head which helps apply the cleaning fluid – you can also get car accessories too.

Best pressure washer – my reviews

 

Kärcher K4 Compact Home Water-cooled pressure washer

Best Karcher pressure washer

This is the first of my Karcher pressure washer reviews (skip to the bottom to see a cheaper K2 version).  If you’ve spent any time at all looking at power washers you’ll know that not only are Karcher a really good brand, but that there are also a myriad of options to choose from just within their range.  You can go really cheap, get the basic with accessories at all for about £50, or you can spend much much more.  This one is a middle range option that I think is great for anyone wanting to clean their patio well and have a machine that will last a long time.

It’s a water cooled motor which allows it to more efficiently cool down as you’re using it and mean that it shouldn’t overheat. The pressure of this one is 130 bar.

The patio cleaner attachment makes cleaning your stone flags a breeze and means you don’t get splashed as well.  It can also be used on vertical surfaces as well – so doors or garages.

You get with the K4, the T350 patio cleaner, a dirtblaster (a rotary nozzle), a variable pressure lance, a 6m high pressure hose and also a bottle of stone detergent.

 

Nilfisk C110 4-5 PC Xtra Compact High Pressure washer

Best budget pressure washer

I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of this brand before but they are definitely well liked and the reviews of this item show this.

The pressure washers from Nilfisk are in the budget range and they have a few different models without a huge price tag so if you’re on a budget definitely check these out.

This model is a compact version and comes with a patio cleaner too.  The motor is air cooled and the pressure is 110 bar.  You get 2 different nozzles with it, the patio cleaner and also a detergent bottle that foams up any cleaner.

 

Vax P86-P2-P Pressure Washer

Best high pressure washer

This product has the highest pressure out of all the ones on this page at 140 bar and it comes from Vax who are more well known for making vacuum cleaners.

This is an excellent value high pressure washer, not only do you get an extremely powerful machine, but you also get with it a whole heap of accessories.  A patio cleaner is included, along with detergent and you also get a car cleaning kit too so a double whammy!

On the downside, it could do with somewhere to keep all the attachments – they have a likelihood of getting lost!

 

Bosch AQT 35-12 Plus Pressure Washer

Bosch are a big name in power tools so you’d expect that a water pressure cleaner by them would be as good as their other things.  This one doesn’t disappoint and at 120 bar has a decent pressure suitable for most every day tasks such as patio cleaning!

One thing about this power washer that is different is that it doesn’t have a load of accessories that can get lost.  It has a 3 in 1 nozzle that can be adjusted rather than changing every time to want to do something different.  I like that.  Less chance to lose them!  You also get the patio cleaner head with this model as well.

It’s a good model and for the price I think it’s great value.  You can see more reviews on Amazon by clicking the link below

 

Kärcher K2 Compact Home Air-cooled pressure washer

Best small pressure washer

I’m going to end with another Karcher washer – they are one of the best brands available and they do have a good range that cater to many price points and this one definitely deserves the spot as the best value Karcher pressure washer.  At under £100 it’s going to be cheaper than hiring something and will work really well for smaller patios or just cleaning once in a while.

The downsides to this one, especially compared to the more expensive one I spoke about above is that it’s air cooled, which isn’t as efficient as water cooling and so it heats up more quickly and can overheat if you’re using it a while and are not being careful.

The pressure isn’t as high either, 110 bar, but in saying that it still gives some really good results as you’ll see from the many positive reviews on Amazon.

You get with this one, a patio cleaning brush, a dirtblaster (a rotary nozzle), a one way lance, a 4 m high pressure hose and also a small bottle of patio and deck wash cleaning fluid.  Being on the small side it’s also a good portable pressure washer.

For the price and also bearing the Karcher name I think this one is an excellent budget pressure washer.

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Dog rocks review – does it really work?

There’s a sure fire way to tell that your dog spends his time urinating on the garden and that’s by the patches of dead grass that start to appear.  Sometimes, no matter how often you try to get your dog to wee on his walks, he still does it!  I can truly sympathise!  There is a product that claims to help prevent the urine patches – dog rocks.  So what are they, do they work or are they a waste of time?  I plan to answer all in this Dog Rocks review -read on…

Dog Rocks Urine Patch Preventer – our review

I was really excited to give these dog rocks a go – I mean I’m all for natural ways of living along side our dogs and this is the main sell of this product.  A natural way to prevent the pee patches appearing on your lawn – too good to be true?

What are Dog Rocks?

Dog Rocks are basically a special kind of rock that the makers have imported all the way from Australia.  The rocks help draw out the impurities in your dogs urine that are the causes of the patches.  It draws out tin, ammonia and nitrates, among other things – it’s actually too much nitrogen which burns the grass and kills it.

How do Dog Rocks work?

It’s really easy to use Dog Rocks – you simply place them in your dogs drinking bowl and add the water to the bowl.  What it does is draw out and filters the impurities in the water that also causes the urine to kill off the grass.  In fact, they say that without the impurities that it actually helps fertilise the lawn!

What it doesn’t do is alter the PH of the water or of your dog’s urine and it’s completely safe for dogs to drink the water the rocks have been in.

The dog rocks last for around 8 weeks and then they need replaced so they are an ongoing cost which needs to be born in mind, however if you want to get rid of those unsightly patches on your lawn you might agree that it’s worth it.

Check the latest price on Amazon here

 

Do Dog Rocks actually work?

Well, this is the big question!   I have to say that the internet world is mixed on whether they do work or not – they are certainly a bit marmite with people and I have done a lot of research on these.  Dog owners either feel like they have found a miracle product or that they are the biggest waste of time going.  Your mileage may vary is definitely a phrase that comes to mind.

What we found is that it took a little while for our lawn to recover from the dog burn patches – of course, the grass was dead!  We didn’t find any new patches but I think it might take a while for our lawn to look amazing again.  I do think they have made a difference though and we’re really happy to have a much nicer garden to sit out in now.  I wish I’d taken photos at the beginning so I could compare!

For the price I definitely think they are worth a go – it’s cheaper than the cure to your lawn!  I’d suggest not expecting to wake up to a lush green lawn the day after using them, obviously that isn’t going to happen, but be patient and see how it goes.

 

See more reviews on Amazon here

 

Best dog ramp for cars, 4x4s and SUVs

best dog rampIf you go out with your dog in the car you might be thinking about getting a dog ramp.  They can be a great idea especially if your dog is old, prone to injuries or simply if you have a car that is quite high up like a 4×4 or an SUV.  This article is looking at the best dog ramp for cars and I hope you find it helpful if you’re looking for advice on buying one.

Why consider getting a dog ramp?

Some dogs jump in and out of cars with ease, but others really struggle.  It could be that their joints and muscles aren’t up to it, perhaps they are getting old or have been injured in the past, or it could be that they are scared of the height, the jump or maybe the aren’t big enough to reach.  If a dog has jumped and hurt themselves in the past it can cause anxiety when trying to then get them in and out of the car.

Having a dog ramp is a good idea for many reasons then.  The first is that it really helps to minimise injuries and any stress and anxiety from accidents.  Some dogs are prone to getting joint problems like arthritis and those might be even more better to refrain from big jumps regularly.

Older dogs simply can’t always do the big jumps that they could do when younger so a ramp helps them get in to the car while not needing help.

Finally, some dogs are so big that if they can’t get themselves in you could cause injury to yourself by trying to lift them!  In my opinion, if you can, get a dog ramp in the car.  You never know when you might find your dog struggling to get in or out.

What to look for in the best pet ramp?

Not all ramps are the same and your priorities will likely be different depending on the kind of dog you have, his personality and also what kind of car you have.

  • Look for some form of grip on the ramp.  If your car is high up then it’s going to be steep and your dog needs to be comfortable walking on it.
  • Easily portable – you can get large sets of steps but I wouldn’t recommend them for constant use in the car (I’ll be reviewing some of these soon as well – keep an eye out)
  • Foldable – space might be an issue for you and if so you might need to make sure they fold to a good size.
  • Suitable for your dogs weight – if you have a small dog then your worries won’t be as much here but large dogs need to have a ramp that will take their weight.
  • Long enough – the higher your tailgate the longer you’ll need the ramp otherwise it will be too steep.  Get a tape measure and see how steep it will be from your car before buying.
  • Wide enough – if your dog is nervous you’ll want to make sure that it’s wide enough that he feels comfortable walking on it.
  • Most ramps also have raised edges or rails at the side – these are important so that your dog doesn’t inadvertently place their foot too close to the edge and it also can give some comfort to dogs who are nervous.
  • Best dog ramp – our reviews

Trixie Pet Ramp

The Trixie Pet ramp is a good all round ramp that would be suitable for most general cars.  If you have a car with a high tailgate then you might find that it’s a little steep for it.  The measurements of the ramp are 40cm wide by 156cm long.

It comes in a black plastic with moulded rails along the side which will allow your dog to safely walk up or down without his feet getting too close to the edge.  The ramp has a rough surface to grip which is a little like sandpaper.

It’s a bi-fold design to easily fit in a car boot.

It’s suitable for dogs up to 90kg.

Check the latest price here

 

Pet Gear Tri-fold Pet Ramp

This dog ramp from Pet Gear is a really strong and sturdy option.  It’s a trip-fold design so it folds down fairly small.

The dimensions of this ramp when fully extended are 71″ x 19.5″ (approx 180cm x 50cm) so it’s much longer than the Trixie one mentioned previously and also slightly wider.  PetGear state that this will take a dog up to 200lbs which is around 90kg.

It has a good non slip surface and rubber grippers on the bottom of the ramp so that it doesn’t slip on the ground either.

Check out more reviews here.

 

Solvit Deluxe Telescopic Dog Ramp

This dog ramp from Solvit is a different design to all the rest because it’s not foldable – it has a telescopic design that enables you to extend it as far as you need.  It will extend from 39″ to 72″ (99cm – 182cm) so suitable if you have different cars with different needs too or simply if you have a little less space to use it

This is the one you need if you’re looking for a dog ramp for big and heavy dogs – it has been tested up to 400lbs (approx 180kg)!

It comes with a really nice traction surface so not slippy at all and has rubber grips underneath for more stability.

It is one of the more pricier in the range but one you can be sure will be up to the job.

Check out the latest price here

 

 

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How to look after your dogs teeth

Your dog can’t tell you when they are having problems with their teeth so it’s up to you to keep an eye on them and make sure that looking after them is a top priority.

Tooth problems in dogs can be indicative of some underlying issues so if there are any concerns at all then do contact your vet and have a word with them about.

Our top tips for looking after your dogs teeth:

  • get your dog used to you being around their mouth so that you can make it a regular check.  If your dog hates it then start small and reward your dog for letting you near them.  Eventually, with some time and patience you should be able to see more inside.
  • Make it a regular check up – every week is good.  If you have a grooming schedule then stick to that and just add in a mouth check up.
  • Dog chews that are specifically for teeth are a good addition for your dogs health – they are especially good if your dog is nervous when you’re around his mouth. These are a good option.
  • Choose dog toys that are good for your dog’s teeth – there are many different options of chewing toys available, some with nodules that help get rid of plaque.  Rope toys can be good and encourage chewing.
  • Dry food is good to be added to your dogs diet as the rough nature of the food helps to clean the teeth.
  • Finally – if your dog will allow it, a good dog toothpaste is a good addition to your grooming routine.  There are many different kinds on the market right now and in addition to a good toothbrush it will help to reduce the build up of plaque and in turn reduce tooth decay in your dog.  Less bad breath is a nice side effect!

Our favourite gifts from dog to owner

Dogs are amazing at giving hugs, sloppy kisses and just generally bringing joy to every day.  Sometimes they want to let their owners know how much they love them by buying a gift for them on special occasions, like Christmas, birthdays and Mothers/Fathers day.  Now, they do need some human help in getting their perfect gifts so if a dog you know has enlisted your support in this quest I hope this guide to our favourite gifts from dog to owner is helpful!

A dog normally likes to give gifts which reinforces the bond between himself and his owner – this normally comes in the form of humorous items which show how much the owner REALLY loves dogs and in particular the gift giver!

Our favourite gifts from dog to owner

Mugs

Let’s start with mugs because every dog knows that once a long walk has been given the owner just loves to sit down with a cup of hot tea or coffee and relax for a while with the dog sitting contentedly at his feet.  Or lap.  Let’s be real!  There are so many different ideas and witty designs out there – here’s two of my favourite:

See this item on Amazon here See the latest price here

 

Clothes

Dogs like to get the word out to other people about how great it is to have a dog and be a dog owner so they like to adorn their owners in adverts to the lifestyle like with this T shirt:

See sizes, colour options and price on Amazon here

 

Books

Just for fun and to have along side the cup of tea when you’ve finished your big walk, a book about their favourite thing – dogs of course – is just the ticket!

Buy on Amazon here

See more about this book on Amazon here – there’s quite a few in this series!

 

Other dog inspired gifts

Of course the ideas are endless – here’s a few other items that I came across and liked and would be a perfect gift from dog to dad or mum.

A scrapbook to remember all the fun times you have together!  See more about this here.

 

A bag to use when carrying all those yummy dog treats and food!

Lots of colours to choose from – see more here

 

And lastly, a little bit of class with some sterling silver earrings.  Perfect for reminding owners of their wonderful pets every time they look in the mirror!

See more about this item on Amazon here

Andis dog clippers review

I’m a big fan of grooming my dog at home and I have started to become a dab hand at getting his coat just the way I like it.  He was always so afraid of the grooming parlour so as soon as I could I invested in a set of dog clippers so I could keep on top of his crazy coat.  I’m really glad I invested because some of the more cheaper options out there break easily and can be way too noisy for dogs (you can see my review here about the top dog clippers) and one of the best to invest in is this set I’m reviewing today.  I hope you find this Andis dog clippers review helpful and can guide you to making a good choice about some clippers to make hair cutting day a breeze!  Ok, at least not a nightmare!

Our Andis dog clippers review

When looking for a set of dog clippers it’s always good to look at what people who use them each day choose to buy – and quite often professional groomers will choose the Andis range.  They are experts in the dog clippers field (and make clippers for humans and horses too!) and so have designed a really great product with dogs in mind here.

They are so comfortable to use, again if you’re using them all day long you’d want that wouldn’t you?  So if you only need them to trim your own dog you’ll find them really nice, comfortable and lightweight.  They are also really robust too though and definitely feel like a good quality product.

 

>>> See the latest price of this item on Amazon <<<

 

Powerful but quiet

One of the stand out features of the Andis AGC2 dog clippers is that it has such a powerful motor, yet it’s quiet.  If you have a skittish dog then you know how important a quiet set of trimmers can be!

The motor has 2 speeds and runs at 4000 strokes a minute on high speed and 3400 at low speed.  It’s mains powered which to be honest you do need to keep the power going to the blades – you don’t want them slowing down and getting all caught up!

 

Selection of blades available

The Andis clipper comes with a No 10 blade which is a fairly short cut at 1.5mm so if you need a different blade to that one you might need to invest in another length.  You can see all of the blades available here.  Best thing to do is to search online for your breed of dog and the recommendations for what length to cut them to.  The No 10 is a good blade though especially if you do need to go quite short with your dogs hair.

 

Features and specification

  • powerful two speed motor
  • comes with a No 10 blade
  • blades are easily attached
  • Quiet and comfortable to hold
  • 12 month manufacturers warranty
>>> Check out this item on Amazon <<<

 

What others have to say

As well as giving my own views I like to check the internet to get a general view of what people have said about these clippers.

There are quite a lot of positive reviews about this product – the main positive points are that they do not overheat and they make cutting dogs hair so much easier.

The negatives are the price tag – these are on the higher end of the scale when it comes to clippers, especially when you add in buying extra blades.

>>> Check out more reviews and buy on Amazon <<<

 

Conclusion

Overall these are a significant investment but a really sound one.  If professionals rate them then an amateur groomer is going to love them.  Add up the amount a few trips to the groomer will be and you’ll soon see that they’ll pay for themselves in no time!
The winning feature for me has to be the quietness of the motor.  It really makes for such a stress free grooming session and once you and your dog get confident with them it will be just another day.