Lungworm – is your dog safe?

March is Lungworm awareness month so we thought it would be good to write a piece for people who don’t know about this awful parasite. If it saves the life of just one dog it’s worth it!

Dogs can become infected with lungworm in a number of ways – but the most common way is through eating slugs or snails that are carrying the parasite.

lurcher mollie

Until fairly recently, lungworm was only a problem in the south of England but latest reports suggest it has moved further north – so wherever you live, it makes sense to ensure your dog is protected.

Even if your dog doesn’t eat snails or slugs, he could still be hit if he chews toys which have been left in the garden or drinks from water which snails have accessed.

snail - lungworm

Dogs infected with lungworm can be quite ill and in some sad cases,  it proves fatal so it’s not worth taking the risk.  You can get a simple preventative treatment from your vet – or many online sources (but make sure you buy from a reliable retailer!)

The symptoms of lungworm can be vague and easily confused with other dog ailments but a blood test can show lungworm infection. Signs can include a dog who seems generally under the weather, a cough,  changes in behaviour, sickness or breathing problems.

You can find out much more on the lungworm website.  It is sponsored by a large pharmaceutical company so obviously it suggests using their product but it has lots of valuable information.

 

 

Meet Robbie – the amazing Gordon Setter

All dogs are special – and we love to see pictures of our “customers” but just occasionally we meet a doggie who is extra special.

Robbie, checking out the beach in his CountryMun ultimate dog drying coat

Robbie, checking out the beach in his CountryMun ultimate dog drying coat

Robbie the Gordon Setter is one of those dogs. His owner, Gill got in touch before Christmas hoping to get a drying coat quickly because she was taking Robbie to the seaside for Christmas.

Robbie and Gill on the beach

Robbie and Gill on the beach

It was important he stayed warm because beautiful Robbie has skin cancer. He was receiving chemotherapy at the time and had lost quite a lot of his fur.

We pulled out all the stops to ensure he got his poppy red ultimate drying coat in time for his train journey to South Wales. Although it is intended for drying, it has a deep wadding sandwiched between the towelling layers so it also makes an ideal body warmer.

Robbie, who is almost 11,  had an amazing time in Wales – and even got the red carpet treatment when a couple holding a Christmas wedding asked him to join them for wedding pictures.

Robbie - enjoying the wedding :)

Robbie – enjoying the wedding🙂

Since then, Robbie has taken delivery of our Challenger fleece-lined coat – to make sure he stays dry on his winter walks. Gill is taking things a week at a time. There is no cure – but treatment is giving Robbie some extra precious time to spend with her.

robbie on beach in challenger

As Gill says:  His lovely vet Ingrid had to explain that without any treatment he would have a life expectancy of around six weeks.  No treatment was not an option and we chose chemotherapy to give Robbie the best chance of extending his life.   We are not going to win the war but we take three weeks at a time in which he has a blood test to check his liver profiles and this is followed two days later by four chemotherapy tablets which he takes with some cooked meat or sausage.  He is responding well to the treatment albeit palliative and we are trying to give him the best quality of life for the time he remains with us.”

It has been a difficult time for Gill and Robbie over the past three months but they have both shown real courage – and are making the most of the time they have left together.

Gill has set up a special Facebook page for Robbie where people can keep up-to-date with his story and owners can talk about their own experiences.

You can visit and join Robbie’s facebook group – it already has 350 members and Gill really enjoys hearing from other dog owners.

See our dog wetsuit in action on Youtube

Our neoprene dog wetsuit coats are popular for wet and muddy walks because they keep your dog dry – and help to give a little chest protection.

Ecology dog, Stig in his wetsuit coat

Ecology dog, Stig in his wetsuit coat

But they are also ideal for keeping your dog warm when swimming – and with the help of Spaniel Nell, a real swimming fanatic, we have uploaded a video to YouTube showing the wetsuit in action.

(The wetsuit coat is available in a range of colours and sizes. It adds a little buoyancy when swimming but it is NOT a life preserver. If your dog is not a confident swimmer – or is swimming in deep water – you will need the RuffWear lifejacket – also available on our website🙂

The wetsuit is popular with many owners whose dogs get into scrapes – in bramble/rough undergrowth etc – because they provide some chest cover. Please note – the wetsuit is not body armour !  It is made from fabric and will puncture/tear if the dog runs into something sharp. However, it takes the brunt of the collision and can reduce the risk of your dog being injured and needing vet treatment. After all, it’s better to have a torn coat than a bleeding dog!

You can see the full range of colours, sizes and prices here.

 

Don’t Have a Hot Dog This Summer

SUMMER finally seems to have arrived – so we can all enjoy picnics, barbecues and trips to the beach.

But although most of us enjoy summer, it can be a difficult time for our four-legged friends.

 

Cooling off in the water ... Ruffwear dog lifejacket - special offer £63.99

Cooling off in the water … Ruffwear dog lifejacket – special offer £63.99

They can’t take off their coat when they become too warm – and dogs can’t sweat to cool down in the way that we do.

So we thought it would be good to provide a few tips to make summer a happier time for our pets.

Hopefully most people are now aware that a dog left in a hot car can die within just a few minutes. At the end of this article, we have provided a link to a quiz from Animal Friends Insurance so you can test your knowledge about dogs in cars.  There is also a chilling video from the Dogs Trust involving a rapidly-melting ice dog.

But first, here are some helpful doggie tips for the summer. If you have any ideas of your own, please share them by adding a comment.

  • If your dog likes water, you can put an inch or two of water into a small child’s paddling pool in the garden
  • If you are going out and leaving your dogs in the house, choose a room that doesn’t get direct sunlight
  • Always carry water for your dog on walks or day trips. Some bottles have a handy drinking trough attached and you can pick them up in bargain shops for under £5.
  • If you have a small sun-trap of a garden, try to give your dog a cool spot to relax. This doesn’t have to be anything expensive – just a well placed garden chair with a towel over it will provide some shade for smaller dogs.
  • We’ve already mentioned that dogs shouldn’t be left in a parked car.  But the heat can be unbearable for them (and you) when getting back into a hot car after a day out.  So try to park in a shaded spot – or better yet, buy one of our popular reflective car sheets to help keep the interior cooler.
  • reflecto sheet on car

 

  • 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!)

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. Doubles as a light raincoat (always useful for a British summer!).

Sun reflective Cooler coat - from £23.50.

Sun reflective Cooler coat – from £23.50.

 

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 £18.50

So, do you know enough about dogs in cars to keep your dog safe in summer?  See how you get on with this quiz.

And remember, if you have any tricks of your own to cool down your furry friend  we’d love to hear them🙂

Doggie gift ideas for Father’s Day

It can be very hard to think of a suitable gift for Father’s Day – but if your Dad has a four-legged companion, then check out our gift ideas!

1. Summer finally seems to be here …. so why not treat your Dad to our topselling car sun reflective sheet?  Made from specially coated stormproof fabric, it won’t crack or fray and it keeps the inside of the car cooler for you and your pets.

There’s nothing worse than going back to your car on a sunny day – it feels like you are climbing into an oven!  Our sheet helps to keep the car cooler.

It is also versatile- use it as a waterproof ground sheet, dog crate cover, picnic rug or conservatory sunshade. In winter, it covers the car in snowy weather and doubles as a thermal blanket.

And the best news of all? You can currently get 10% OFF at checkout with code Special10. Get more details here .

reflecto sheet on car

2. All dog owning dads (but especially those with a long-coated dog) will be thrilled to receive our neoprene  wetsuit dog coat. Ideal for swimming, it is also great for cold and muddy walks. Its figure hugging design makes it great for active dogs (it doesn’t flap about like some coats do). Available in a range of colours including black, olive green and blue – or traffic light orange for hi-visibility. Preferred by many working dog owners because it keeps the dog warm – and provides a little chest and tummy protection from burrs and bramble.  Thanks to its chest and tummy cover, it also helps to keep the undersides clean in muddy weather.

See the full range here

* Wetsuit coats are currently on sale – 15% OFF

Bones, sporting our new blue wetsuit coat.

Bones, sporting our new blue wetsuit coat.

3.  If you’re looking for a budget gift then why not get him a pair of our leather stopper pad protectors? Ideal to provide protection for active dogs that stop fast on hard ground. Stopper pad injuries are distressing for both owner and dog – and can mean expensive trips to the vet.

£13.99 per pair

Choose from small or large here

Great protection for your dog's stopper (carpal) pads.

Great protection for your dog’s stopper (carpal) pads.

WIN …. leather stopper pad protectors for your dog

It’s competition time again. Two lucky winners will receive a pair of our hardwearing leather stopper pad protectors.

Great for agility and flyball, they are also recommended for all dogs that run – and stop fast – on hard or rough ground.  Helps to protect your dog’s stopper pads (carpal pads)  – avoiding distress and expensive vet bills.

Enter now on our facebook page – click on the Giveaway option – or email your entry to sales@countrymun.com – giving us your breed of dog in the email.

If you are on a mobile device and the facebook giveaway icon is not visible, you can also enter by clicking

here.

Competition closes on April 17th.

Good luck!

Great protection for your dog's stopper (carpal) pads.

Great protection for your dog’s stopper (carpal) pads.

Have a Great Time at Crufts

It’s hard to believe that it’s a year since Crufts – but the world’s largest dog show takes place again this week at the NEC in Birmingham.

As usual, we’d like to say good luck to everyone taking part – and we’ll be watching on TV in the hope of spotting some of our ‘customers’ sporting their Country Mun towelling rug coats or benching boots (to keep those paws beautifully clean on the way into the show ring.)

Crufts has come a very long way since it was first held in 1891.  Find out more about it in this Birmingham Mail feature.

And don’t forget ….. you can still use special offer code Special10 to get 10% off your towelling rug coat on our website – and our neoprene wetsuit coats – as modelled in the latest colour by working dog, Bones, are currently 15% off.

Ideal for swimming or hydrotherapy, the wetsuit coat is also perfect as a warm everyday coat.

Bones, sporting our new blue wetsuit coat.

Bones, sporting our new blue wetsuit coat.