About Susan

Journalist, lecturer, wife, mother, dog lover and media law freak

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

 

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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