Summer lovin’ …….. for your four-legged friend

SUMMER seems to be happening in fits and starts in the UK and while we all look forward to scorching hot days, it can be a difficult time for our four-legged friends.

Cooling off in the water … our neoprene wetsuit coat starts at £36.99. Available in black, green – or bright orange or bright blue for better visibility in the water.

Dogs can’t wear a strappy top or carry a parasol – and unlike us, they can’t sweat to cool down.

So here are some tips to help make summer a happier time for our pets.

We probably shouldn’t even need to include this warning – given all the publicity in recent years about animals in cars but just in case you are new to planet Earth, remember that a dog left in a hot car can die within just a few minutes.

But first, here are some helpful doggie tips for the summer. Feel free to share your own helpful ideas in the comments section.

  • Put a couple of inches of water in a small child’s paddling pool in the garden so your dog can cool off
  • When leaving your dogs at home, make sure you leave them in a shaded room if possible
  • Always carry water with you when out for walks or dog trips with your pet. Some pet shops now sell a water battle with a mini drinking trough attached so you don’t need carry a bowl
  • If your garden is a real sun-trap, try to give your dog a cool spot to relax. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just a well placed garden chair with a towel over it will provide at least a little shade for smaller dogs
  • If your car has been parked outside, it can be unbearably hot both for them (and you) when you get inside. Try to park in a shaded spot – or better yet, buy one of our popular reflective car sheets to help keep the interior cooler 🙂
  • It’s multi-use and makes a great picnic rug/waterproof groundsheet too. Check out just some of its other uses here.
  • Don’t over-do it on hot days. Dogs love to walk but they can easily overheat and become dehydrated in very hot weather. If you want a long walk, make sure there are shady places to rest along the way (or plan your walk to pass a country pub where you can enjoy some refreshment too!) It’s also worth thinking about walking your dogs later in the day when it is cooler.

Dark coloured dogs feel the heat even more since their coats don’t reflect the sun as well as white haired dogs. All dogs will benefit from our reflective cooler coat  in direct sunlight and it also helps to avoid coat discolouration. Better yet, it is also great as a light raincoat (always useful for a British summer!). Guaranteed to least for years.

Sun reflective Cooler coat - from £23.50.
Sun reflective Cooler coat – from £25.00

On warm days, you can help your dog to stay cool with our budget Wet Wrap coat which can be soaked in water and then put over your dog to provide cooling through evaporation for 1-2 hours depending on temperature and activity. It can also be used as a handy towel on days out.

The wet wrap - soak in water to provide cooling for your dog on hot days. From £18.50
The wet wrap – soak in water to provide cooling for your dog on hot days. From £23.50
  • Many dogs love frozen treats on hot days – you can find some great recipes online. (Ours love to chase ice cubes around the kitchen floor tiles!)
  • Grooming is very important in hot weather since matted fur will trap in the heat

And if your dog is less active when temperatures rise, consider reducing their food a little to compensate for the lack of activity

Finally, many people don’t realise that hot surfaces can easily burn the pads on their dog’s feet. Touch the pavement or sand – if it’s too hot to keep your hand there for a few seconds, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Wait until it’s cooler to walk your pet – or, if your pet is happy to wear boots, they will offer some protection. (We sell quality Muttluks all-weather boots but if your pet will only need boots on a really hot day then you can buy boots very cheaply online. Just don’t expect them to last more than a few uses).

Heatstroke can be fatal for dogs – so make sure you know the signs and what to do in an emergency. Young dogs (who don’t know when to slow down!), overweight dogs and flat-faced breeds are most at risk.

There is a good guide HERE from the PDSA. (Please consider making a donation to PDSA when you click through – they do amazing work!)

DON’T FORGET – if you have any tips or tricks that other dog owners could try, please add them to the comments section. Enjoy your summer!

Remember, Remember ….

to keep your pets safe on Bonfire Night. Given the national lockdown in England, there won’t be any of the usual organised events BUT you can be sure that many people will be having their own fireworks displays at home.

Not sure about the rest of the UK, but here in the north east fireworks have been going off every night for almost a week now. There aren’t a lot of dogs who like to hear the noisy bangs but many are extremely frightened – some to the extent that they need sedatives from the vet.

Photo by Spenser Sembrat on Unsplash

It’s important to remember that dogs have amazing hearing – so even a distant bang can cause them distress. Given the lockdown, it may be they will now also have to contend with fireworks in a garden right next door for the first time – so it’s important to do all you can to minimise their anxiety.

Hopefully everyone knows that pets (dogs and cats) should be kept indoors on Bonfire Night. Make sure they get their walk much earlier in the day (some people let off fireworks even before it’s quite dark). If your dog is used to walking offlead, then it is wise to keep them on a lead on Bonfire Night unless you know for certain that they are bombproof.

And if they usually eat at tea-time, then it’s worth bringing forward their meal time just in case they are too anxious to eat once the fireworks start.

Getting prepared:

Before the fireworks start, choose the room least likely to be closest to any nearby fireworks. Close curtains and blinds and try to muffle the noise with music. One of the CountryMun dogs is terrified by fireworks and always tries to find somewhere to hide. This year, we’re going to make a doggy den for her in the hope it helps her to feel a bit safer. All you need is a table and some coverings plus some of the dog’s special items. (There’s a great Dogs Trust video HERE which shows how simple it is.)

Many dogs also some to be less anxious when wearing a snug fitting garment. Our dog has a Kong thunder-shirt. It doesn’t mean she is okay with the noises, but we have found it definitely helps to calm her.

Top Top: we’ve heard in the past from a few owners of our neoprene dog wetsuit coat that this also works well to reduce anxiety if it is a snug fit. You could also try a human t-shirt if you have one which would fit snug on the dog’s body.

Remember that pets pick up on your anxiety – so if they can tell that you are stressed, it will add to their fear. Make sure you don’t raise your voice or show anger with a dog who is reacting to fireworks. This will only make them worry more. There’s scary stuff outside and now even their best friend is being mean to them! Talk in reassuring tones and if they want to hide in a corner or underneath furniture, don’t force them to come out.

Finally, the RSPCA currently has a petition calling for stricter control over fireworks and displays. You can visit its website HERE to support the campaign. You can also get more advice and tips with information on how to make a more pet-friendly fireworks display.

(If your dog is extremely nervous or elderly, it is always worth contacting your vet for advice).

Hallowe’en … trick or treat(ment at the vet)?

halloween dog ben-hanson

(Photo: Ben Hanson)

Hallowe’en is now a major fun date in the calendar for adults as well as children – but make sure that celebrations don’t put your pet in danger or cause it distress.

There is a growing trend of dressing up dogs for all sorts of occasions – including Hallowe’en but you should only think about doing this if your dog enjoys it.  (There’s nothing ‘fun’ about a miserable, confused dog.)

Be led by your pet – some dogs are happy to wear outfits  – but if your dog seems at all distressed, then don’t force it to dress up!

If your dog doesn’t mind becoming a spook or a ghoul, then take care not to use any headpieces which could cause an eye injury if clawed off – and don’t leave your dog unattended in costume in case it decides to make a meal of plastic pieces in the outfit.

Never seen a dog in a hallowe’en outfit? There is a huge range available online – although we certainly wouldn’t recommend some of them due to small parts etc.

But there are some cute designs that are basically “coat style” which can be fun – if your pet agrees.

Check out this pumpkin pattern coat!

If there are people in outfits which might worry your dog – long flowing capes, monkey suits etc – it might be best to leave your dog in a quiet room.

Trick or treaters may well knock at your door – and these days, they are often accompanied by special effects such as laughing skulls or light-up broomsticks. It is best to make sure your dog is not at the door in case he rushes outside in panic. (But it’s wise to ensure he is wearing a collar with identity tag just in case!)

Pumpkin lights are still a traditional favourite for children – and often used as room decoration too. If your pumpkin has a candle inside, keep it away from pets (cats included) in case they get burned – or knock it over and start a fire.

Sadly, as with Bonfire Night, there are often pranksters about so make sure your dog isn’t outside alone – and try to ensure he gets his walk before dark. Although it’s Hallowe’en, there are already lots of noisy fireworks going off.

Finally, if you have children or guests are in the house, they may be enjoying chocolate and other treats. Make sure they don’t offer chocolate to your dog because it can be poisonous and make sure the dog can’t get to discarded foil and plastic wrappers which could be a choking hazard.

However, some Hallowe’en favourites can be good for your dog.  Cooked pumpkin (not the skin) can help with weight loss since it’s low in calories so if your pet is overweight, you can replace some of its food with cooked pumpkin to help him to feel full.

Pumpkin seeds, dried in the oven, are also a good treat but introduce any new foods slowly to avoid upsetting your dog’s digestive system and if your pet has any health issues, always check with your vet before changing his food.

And be sure to have a spooktacular night!

halloween -heftiba

Off having a coffin break : Toa Heftiba


These boots are made for walking …

Great news … our new order of  Muttluks dog boots has arrived.  (We sold out of some sizes when the recent snow blanketed the UK.)

Originally developed for huskies dealing with Canadian snow, Muttluks are ideal for protecting your pet’s paws from icy pavements, snow and road grit or chemicals.

We sell the all-weather version which are also great for hot weather when pads can burn and blister with the heat (although at the moment, hot weather is just a distant dream!)

We have now restocked in all sizes … but you need to be quick because popular sizes don’t hang around for long!  Check out the sizing guide and order your Muttluks  heremuttluks collection 2

Cold Weather is snow joke!

Most dogs  love to play in the snow and are having a great time in our current arctic conditions.

BUT remember that in very cold weather, even their fur coat may not be enough to keep them warm.  When temperatures plummet, dogs can suffer from hypothermia and it can be life threatening.

When your dog’s temperature drops below normal, muscles begin to stiffen and the heart and breathing rate slow down.  Of course, some dogs such as huskies were bred for this type of condition but most UK dogs are not used to the low temperatures we are having at the moment.

So don’t take any chances with your precious pet:

Limit the time spent outdoors – and always stay with your pet

When you are outdoors, look out for signs that the cold is affecting your dog.  Shivering is an obvious sign of distress but earlier signs might include whining/barking, trying to climb up at you or even standing motionless.  Your dog may also lift a paw because the snow/ice is affecting its pads.

Take steps to help keep your pet warm.

Our body-hugging neoprene dog coat is perfect for this type of weather. It helps to retain body heat without restricting your pet in the way a normal coat might do. It is also a great everyday coat for wet and muddy walks as well as helping to keep your dog warmer when swimming.

Available in sizes to suit most dogs, the neoprene coat comes in four colours and prices start at £38.99.  Buy now and  SAVE  by using code Special10 to get 10% off.

You can see the neoprene coat here – and make sure you check out the great reviews on our Facebook page.

Elderly, vulnerable and thin-coated dogs are especially at risk in freezing weather. Many owners use our Ultimate Dog Drying Coat as an outdoor body warmer during winter.  Although it’s not waterproof, its special padding helps to keep your dog warm. Some people use them for dogs in unheated rooms during winter too.

The Ultimate Dog Drying Coat is available in midnight navy or poppy red. It is reversible and dries your dog FAST. Priced from £36.50 – you can buy online here .

If your dog suffers from snow/ice balls on its underside, the neoprene coat will prevent this – or, for full body coverage we make a Mutley snow/mudsuit. This is not padded so in extreme weather you may want to put a thin coat underneath. As well as covering the tummy, this is also ideal for long-haired dogs who get snow balls on their legs.


The Muttley Snow/Mudsuit is available in black, green or red. We keep limited sizes in stock so please allow 7-10 days at busy times.

British Bulldogs

Our Challenger weatherproof bulldog coat flies off the shelves at this time of year, so it’s obvious this famous breed is still a popular choice of family pet.

First mentioned way back in the 1500s, the breed is typically associated with British-ness.

There are a number of websites and forums devoted to everything bulldog and if you haven’t yet checked out Collectibulldogs, then what are you waiting for?

Run by bulldog lover, Eiffion Ashdown, it features all manner of bulldog collectibulls 🙂  and is now recognised as an official collection by Brighton Museum.

Challenger bulldog coat – styled for the breed. Also suitable for bull terriers and French bulldogs.

Hassle-free Christmas shopping

They’re back!  In response to many requests, we have relaunched our Country Mun gift vouchers.

Ideal for dog lovers, the vouchers can be used to purchase any product from our wide range of dog coats, travel and car range or even training books and DVDs.

gift voucher red

Available in multiples of £5, each gift card comes with a plain envelope. You can either have it delivered to you to hand over personally or you can include a gift message and we will send it to the lucky recipient.

We will also include details of our most popular products with details of how to order.

Gift vouchers are an ideal option when you are not sure what colour or size will be preferred. So that’s the birthday or Christmas gift sorted 🙂

You can buy gift vouchers  on our website here .


Red-y, Steady, Go …….

You asked …. we listened !  After many customer requests for new colour choices in our dog stopper pad protecters, we are trialling them in red for a limited time.

We’re often asked for different colours but the most popular request by far is for red so …. here they are!


We have also introduced red in our Mutley mud and snow suit, our dog raincoat and our dog show boots – so you can now fully kit out your four-legged friend in a brighter colour for autumn.

The stopper pad protectors are ideal for dogs who stop fast on hard ground; agility and flyball dogs or those prone to stopper pad injury. As well as helping to avoid the distress of injury, they can avoid costly vet bills for treatment.

The protectors, which are also on sale in black, cost £14.99. They are available in small or large and you can buy them here .

Most dogs – including spaniels, border collies and labradors – need our small size but there can be variations even within breed so it’s always best to pop a tape measure around the dog’s leg (including the stopper pad in your measurement) to double check. If the leg measures between 11-17cms then small should be best. We can also make custom size protectors for extra small or extra large dogs.



Spotting the signs of Alabama Rot in dogs

The response to our last article on Alabama Rot showed just how concerned most dog owners are about the disease.

It’s obviously vital that you can spot any physical signs of the disease quickly so we thought it would be good to provide more images.

Many thanks to Chris at the Alabama Rot website for allowing us to use this gallery of images below which all show confirmed cases of the disease. You can click on the image to magnify.

Although there are other symptoms, skin lesions are the most common symptom and are found in virtually all affected dogs.  Lesions can cover an area as small as the size of a 5 pence piece but can also be much bigger.

If you have any concerns at all about your pet you should contact your vet as soon as possible.  Remember, the number of confirmed cases in the UK is still very low but it’s better to be on the safe side.

Finally, if you can spare even a couple of pounds, please make a donation to the ongoing research to find the cause and hopefully, a cure

Alabama Rot in dogs – What You Need to Know

Alabama Rot – the very mention of this devastating dog disease strikes fear into the hearts of UK dog owners!

Since it was first diagnosed in the UK five years ago, it has hit dogs in most parts of the country.


Sadly, the cause is still unknown and the survival rate is low – although getting the dog to an expert vet quickly will improve the odds.  (See more information at the end of the article on what to look for.)

So, that’s the really bad news – but the good news is that the number of reported cases is relatively low and  research is underway in the hope of identifying this terrible disease – and finding a cure.

Alabama Rot ( medical name Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy or CRGV ) appears to affect dogs of both sexes, any breed and any age so we all have a reason to support the vital research.

We are a small family business and sadly, we get more requests from good causes than we can help but we do what we can – and we were more than happy to provide prizes for fund raising for this worthy cause.

The fundraising charity – Alabama Rot Research Fund  (ARRF) aims to raise at least £240,000 towards research. So far over £10,000 has been raised but there’s a long way to go.

The charity is being supported by dog owner Jessica Worthington after the devastating loss of her beloved young spaniel, Pippa (pictured above.) After losing Pippa, Jessica set up a fundraising page on Facebook “Pledge for Pippa.”

Jessica, whose other dog Molly survived the disease, now raises funds for the ongoing research and attends dog events to raise awareness of the disease.

She said: “Pippa was two and half years old, full of life and a joy to be around. She was cheated.  I felt cheated that she was gone and my heart was broken and will remain broken. The 15th of December will be etched in my mind forever. The day we lost our baby.”

A minority of dogs who fall ill with Alabama Rot suffer kidney failure and this is usually fatal, as in Pippa’s case.

The picture below was taken when she was undergoing dialysis at the Royal Veterinary Collage.

“One of the nurses sent it to me to show me that she was still asking for tummy rubs even when she was really poorly,” said Jessica.  “It is a hard-hitting image but shows the sad reality of this awful disease.”

pippa dialysis

“I really hope we can get to the bottom of it and everyone’s support means the absolute world to me, every donation and story shared is a little victory for Pippa which makes it more bearable for me.

Jessica features in a Sky News video about the disease. You can watch it on Facebook here

Figures show that most cases (around 90%)  are confirmed between December and May which suggests  there may be an environmental trigger but this has not yet been established. Some owners are avoiding woodlands and muddy walks – while others wash mud from their dogs after a walk.  There is no evidence yet that any of these actions will avoid the disease but washing your dog’s legs after a dirty walk can’t hurt.

Images of lesions from Alabama Rot

There is an excellent website devoted to Alabama Rot which has more images, a map of confirmed cases in the UK and current advice for dog owners. The website, which can be seen here, was set up by dog owner, Chris Street who lives near the New Forest.

Here are some of the key signs of the disease:

  1. Skin lesions, ulcers, sores or bite marks
  2. Lethargy or a loss of energy
  3. Loss of appetite and a reluctance to eat
  4. Jaundice such as a discolouration in your dog’s eyes, gums or nostrils
  5. Vomiting or gagging have been observed in some cases at later stages of Alabama Rot
  6. Kidney failure occurs in a minority of cases and usually proves fatal

NOTE: ​It is important to understand that not all dogs display all of the symptoms, so if you notice any of the above in your dog, take it to a vet immediately.

If your vet thinks there is any chance your dog could be suffering from Alabama Rot, ask them to contact Anderson Moores vets in Winchester. (01962 767920) or by email:

Anderson Moores is collating data on all cases nationally and can  provide  histopathology to vets free of charge in suspected cases.

Anderson Moores also has an information page for dog owners.