Monday, 24 July 2017

Review - Pet Munchies dog treats

Pet Munchies make a wide range of natural dog treats. They are naturally low in fat and carbohydrates, so they are also very healthy for your dogs. Pet Munchies very kindly sent us three packets of treats for the dogs to try, so here is our review.

Product description 

Pet Munchies are premium, gourmet treats made with quality, human grade real meat and fish. All of their interesting treats are natural hand cuts that preserve the flavours of the finest chicken, duck, liver, venison, lamb and ocean white fish.
They naturally enhance their flavour by slow roasting them in their own natural juices..
Delicious, Nutritious and Wholesome… all made with 100% Natural  human grade meat and fish, Just like nature made them, with natural textures, flavours and exceptional palatability dogs love.
Today's consumers are demanding natural healthy products for their pets. And that's what you'll get with a Pet Munchies - the brand you can trust.
Their products are naturally low in fat & carbohydrates, and are low in salt. They are delicately roasted to perfection to ensure quality and flavour. No artificial colours or flavours are in their products.

Product links

You can see the range of natural meat treats here. They also have a range of salmon skin treatsgourmet stixtraining treats and 100% natural freeze dried treats for cats.


Review 

Pet Munchies have a wide range of different dog treats. They vary in size, texture and flavour, but they all have two things in common - they are all 100% natural and they are all extremely tasty! Our dogs tried three varieties of Pet Munchies treats - chicken strips, duck strips and venison strips.

Elgin trying a pet munchies venison stick.

The chicken strips and the duck strips are both 100% chicken/duck, so they are obviously very appealing to dogs - I don't know many dogs who will turn down 100% meat treats! The venison strips were a bit thicker than the other flavour strips, and they looked and smelt very 'meaty' so the dogs were instantly interested in them. They are made from quality venison fused with beef liver, and they are also 100% natural.

As soon as I opened the packets of treats, the dogs were super excited. Both Elgin and Cherry have very expressive faces and you can easily tell if they love the smell and taste of treats - and they definitely loved all three flavours of these treats! Cherry the beagle was literally spinning in circles with excitement after she tasted her first Pet Munchies treat! I had absolutely no chance of getting any photos of Cherry eating the treats as she simply wouldn't stay still. Both Cherry and Elgin ate the treats very quickly, they only lasted a few seconds, but they really enjoyed them.

I then borrowed one of my brother's lurchers, Skipper, so that he could try the Pet Munchies treats. The Skipper Challenge is usually quite a tough one as he's quite a fussy dog, but Pet Munchies passed the test with flying colours. After initially licking the chicken strips he soon discovered that they were very tasty and quickly devoured them. His favourite flavour seemed to be the venison which was Elgin and Cherry's favourite too.


Fussy Skipper loved the meat strips, especially the venison flavour.

The dogs ate most of the treats whole as extra special rewards, but I also broke some of them up to use as training treats. The chicken and duck strips broke up easily, but I had to use a knife to slice the venison ones as they were slightly thicker. The Pet Munchie strips made brilliant high value training treats for Elgin - he was so keen to earn a tasty treat that he learnt a new task very quickly. They also made great rewards for successful recalls when we were in the park, both Elgin and Cherry quickly returned to a call or whistle so that they could have a piece of the venison strips. The treats didn't break up in my treat bag either, so they didn't make a mess of the bag like biscuit based treats often do.

All of the dogs were crazy about Pet Munchies treats - they were very, very popular! The treats were very happy with the taste of the treats, and I was very happy that they were natural and healthy. I'll definitely be buying some more of these in the future and I'll also get some of the other varieties for the dogs to try. Elgin, Cherry and Skipper all highly recommend these treats.


Rating - the venison, duck and chicken strips all receive 5/5 stars 


Disclosure - I received three free packets of treats for the purpose of an unbiased review.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

French bulldog most desired designer dog to buy online, new figuresreveal

New figures reveal sheer scale of online puppy market - and increasing problems of unscrupulous breeders and dealers

French bulldogs are the most searched-for breed for sale online, new figures released today by Gumtree and the RSPCA reveal. 
As new figures show there were more than 66,000 searches for the fashionable breed in just one month (February 2017) on the popular classified online marketplace, closely followed by Labradors and pugs, the RSPCA is highlighting the risks and realities of buying puppies on the internet. 


The figures also reveal that the use of online websites to sell and rehome dogs has exploded within the last decade as Gumtree recorded a 785% increase in the number of dogs being listed on its site in Great Britain in the past 10 years (2007-2016)*.
Teaming up with Gumtree, the RSPCA has warned buyers to take care when looking for dogs online as the internet can provide the perfect marketplace for the unscrupulous puppy trade which puts profit over welfare.
“These figures are hugely concerning as they show the sheer number of people using the internet to buy and sell dogs. These are living, sentient creatures, which are being traded as easily as a second-hand car or a piece of furniture,” Justine Williams, from the RSPCA, said.
“While classified websites, if used responsibly, can be an effective method of advertising for responsible breeders and rescue organisations, sadly, far too many people abuse the internet and this has led to many animal welfare issues arising.
“The web provides the perfect marketplace for unscrupulous breeders and dealers to advertise puppies without arousing suspicion. And traders are finding clever and cunning ways to fool not only the buyers, but also the websites themselves. 
“The RSPCA has found that 87% of calls it receives on puppy trade issues are those where the puppy was bought online.”
Gumtree’s research shows that in just one month (February 2017), almost 10,000 listings were posted on the site advertising dogs, while there were more than 286,000 searches by prospective buyers for ‘puppies for sale’. And over a year, 204,182 adverts for dogs were posted on the classified site. 
“Whilst most people have safe and successful experiences rehoming dogs on Gumtree, there are a minority of unscrupulous breeders and dealers who put profit ahead of the health and welfare of the animals,” Morten Heuing, general manager at Gumtree UK, said.
“We take the welfare of animals very seriously and work hard to ensure our site is a safe place to find pets in need of rehoming. Our dedicated safety team takes steps to make it as hard as possible for illegal traders to operate on the site. For example, we do not allow ‘wanted’ ads in our ‘Pets’ category and we delete any ads we believe are encouraging or indicate signs of animal cruelty. If users have concerns about an ad on our site, they can use the ‘Report an Ad’ button on our website and our safety team will then investigate it.
“Furthermore, Gumtree works closely with the RSPCA and the Pet Advertising Advisory Group
(PAAG)*** to help educate users on how to buy pets safely and responsibly. Gumtree’s own Pet Advice Hub includes lots of useful advice for people looking to buy a new pet or find a home for a pet they already own.”
Top ten searched breeds
Based on data from Gumtree (February 2017)
Search term  Number of searches
French bulldog  66,439
Labrador  57,771
Jack russell  55,013
Pug  48,296
German shepherd  47,406
Chihuahua  47,110
Dachshund  44,341
Pomeranian  37,690
Yorkshire terrier  35,829
Shih tzu  33,109
The most searched for breeds included pugs, chihuahuas, dachshunds, Pomeranians and Yorkshire terriers, each attracting more than 35,000 searches. The RSPCA fears the soaring demand for these fashionable breeds is fuelling the puppy trade as demand drastically outstrips the numbers coming to market via legitimate and responsible sources.


Last year, the UK’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity saw its busiest year tackling the underground puppy trade, receiving more calls than ever from people reporting questionable breeders and dealers. 
The RSPCA is seeing a steady rise in the number of complaints coming in about the illegal puppy trade and, in 2016, dealt with 6% more calls than the previous year, and 132% more than five years before**. 
RSPCA chief inspector Ian Briggs, who leads the charity’s special investigations into the puppy trade, said: “There’s huge demand for certain breeds of dogs that have been popularised and, as responsible breeders struggle to keep up with demand, underground breeders and traders are filling the gap in the market and are offering buyers the chance to buy puppies at cheaper prices and without waiting lists - often with disastrous consequences. 
“This is the price of poor puppy breeding - buyers faced with sick and dying puppies who need intensive treatment or lifelong behavioural support; a surge in these breeds coming into the care of rescue centres from people who did not do their research before taking on a dog that requires a lot of time and commitment; and an increase in the number of these breeds being abandoned either because, as puppies, they didn’t sell or became poorly, or as breeding stock they couldn’t produce litters anymore. Organisations like the RSPCA are left picking up the pieces, and the animals are paying the ultimate price - often with their lives.
“That’s why we’re urging families considering getting a puppy over the summer holidays to be cautious when choosing who and where to buy from and - as hard as it may be - to walk away and contact the RSPCA or the local authority if something doesn’t seem right. 
“Anyone looking to buy a puppy should use the Puppy Contract to help ensure they are buying a happy and healthy dog.” 
The RSPCA has released a video warning buyers what to look out for, and is encouraging prospective buyers to consider rehoming a dog from a rescue centre. 
If you’re concerned about a breeder, please contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999. And to help the RSPCA continue investigating the illegal puppy trade and rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming dogs saved from puppy farms please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message). 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Review - Stainless Steel Water Bottle by Dubblin


I purchased this product at a discounted rate for the purpose of an unbiased review.

Water bottles are so useful, I'm sure most of us have at least one in our kitchen cupboards. I use them a lot, both in the home and when I'm out and about. As a wheelchair user it can be awkward carrying glasses of water from one room to another, so after getting fed up of spilling my drinks everywhere I started to use water bottles instead. They are also very useful for taking cold drinks with you on walks, to work etc. I was happy to have the chance to review the Dubblin stainless steel water bottle as I immediately liked the look of it when I saw it online.


Product description 

  • LEAK PROOF - Our air tight screw lid ensures your bag stays dry no matter how active your lifestyle is.
  • BPA FREE - By using natural stainless steel as oppose to plastic we ensure your water is toxin free.
  • TEMPERATURE CONTROL - With a thermal vacuum double wall built in, your liquid stays warm for 12h and cold for 24h.
  • LIFETIME DURABILITY - With over 9 years of experience manufacturing water bottles, we source the most premium metals and ensure our production is exceptional.
  • 500ml/18 oz


Price - £14.99


Purchase Link 


Review 

The Dubblin water bottle is available in a variety of colours, I chose mint blue and it looks great. I must say that this is a very stylish looking bottle, it looks much nicer than all of my other bottles. It has quite a tall, slender shape that even with my poor hand strength and dexterity is comfortable to hold. The lid is also easy to unscrew and it has a leak proof seal. I have tested this out my carrying it around in my wheelchair bag, and I've given it to my assistance dog to carry in his little bag for me when I needed my hands to propel my manual wheelchair. So far the leak proof claim has proved to be true, with no leaks at all, even when it was jostled around in the bag. This is very important to me as I've recently had a water bottle leak in my wheelchair bag and it a real pain as I find it difficult to clean out.

As this bottle has a double thermal wall it will keep liquids cold or warm for a long time. The company claims it will keep cold drinks cold for 24 hour and warm drinks hot for 12 hours. I admit to being dubious about this but I've tested this claim and can confirm that it is 100% true - infact it kept my fruit juice cold for longer than 24 hours. It's so nice to be able to have a lovely cool drink when out and about in this hot weather we're currently having, it really does feel like you've just taken the bottle from the fridge. 

This bottle is slightly more expensive than I'd normally pay, but having compared this bottle to my usual cheaper bottles I'd definitely buy another one of these bottles at the full price. Cheaper bottles have proven to be a false economy as they never seem to last very long. The Dubblin stainless steel water bottle is top quality and very durable, I'd definitely recommend it.


Rating- 5/5 stars 

Monday, 17 July 2017

Little dog has major surgery after swallowing lollipop stick duringheatwave

During what may be the hottest June since 1976, a dog was admitted to Blue Cross after she was spotted swallowing a lollipop stick in one gulp. The five-year old Shih tzu’s owner contacted the charity’s Grimsby animal hospital where she needed surgery to remove the stick
Vets first tried to make Amy sick but the stick did not appear. She was put on a drip and given an anaesthetic for an endoscopy to be performed. Vets could see but not retrieve the lolly stick so Amy needed surgery for it to be removed.
Tracy Nicholson, Blue Cross vet Nurse at Grimsby said: “We can’t blame Amy for trying to keep cool in this hot weather but there are safer ways to do it than gobbling up the remains of a lolly. When she first arrived she was happy and quite pleased with herself but she would have become very poorly and could even have died. Thankfully her owners saw what she did and we were able to save her.”

Happily, Amy has since made a full recovery and is safely back home with her family, who are keeping their icy treats well out of her reach.
Amy’s owner Zoe Weakley from Cleethorpes said: “As a nurse myself I knew swallowing the stick whole would not be good for Amy. She is quite a greedy dog and does tend to eat her food in one gulp so I’m not completely surprised she did this. We will be keeping an even closer eye on her from now on.”
Zoe is taking part in the Beacon trail half marathon in the grounds of Beacon Hill Country Park to help raise funds for Blue Cross. To support her visit justgiving.com and search Zoe Weakley.
For advice on keeping dogs cool during the heatwave visit www.bluecross.org.uk/dogheatwave.
To find out more about Blue Cross animal hospital in Grimsby, to make a donation towards the care of sick and injured pets, or see cats needing a new home in the area visit www.bluecross.org.uk.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Review - Top Collar dog treats

I have to admit that my memory is atrocious! So it's not really surprising that I often forget to buy things until I've nearly run out - and much to Elgin and Cherry's horror than includes dog treats. I find it difficult to get to shops (I'm a wheelchair user and live in a rural area where a lot of shops aren't wheelchair accessible) so I order most things online - and every month I seem to have to do an emergency order of dog treats and pay for next day delivery! So imagine my delight in discovering Top Collar, a fortnightly subscription service that delivers a pack of tasty handmade treats to your door every two weeks.


Purchase Link


Price

£5.99 per box (including postage)

Scroll down further to find out how you can get your first box FREE (just pay £1 for P & P)

Review 

When you sign up to Top Collar you are asked to upload a photo of your dog. This photo is used on the envelope's address label, which I think is a lovely personal touch, Elgin must have recognised himself as he seemed to know the parcel was for him - or maybe it was the smell of the treats that convinced him it was for him!

The treats arrive in an envelope with a personalised address label 

Each fortnight a different flavour of treats is sent, and I must say that the flavours are very inventive and different from the norm. Elgin was sent Pork Pie flavour which sounded very tasty, even to me! Other flavours that I've seen photos of on Top Collar's Instagram page include meatloaf, Sunday roast, full English and cheese board. The treats are all made with healthy natural, human grade ingredients and they are all wheat and gluten free.

"Mummy please can you stop taking photos and let me eat my treats?!"

Elgin absolutely loved these treats, he would have eaten the whole pack of I'd let him! They are heart shaped biscuits and are a nice size for a special treat. They looked good, very natural like you'd make at home - if I was any good at baking that is! They had a nice smell to them, that unlike some other treats, didn't smell artificial or overpowering. They were certainly very popular with Elgin.

Because his photo was on the packaging, Elgin was convinced that they should only be for him! But he was a good boy and shared with his sister Cherry. They made Cherry very happy and excited - so excited that I couldn't get her to stay still for a photo, so I had to take a video instead. As you can see, she loved them.



Top Collar currently have a wonderful offer where you get your first pack of treats for free, all you have to do is pay £1 for P & P. You do have do sign up for a subscription, but there is no commitment and you can easily cancel after the first box if your dog doesn't like them. Judging by Elgin and Cherry's reactions though I think most dogs will love them!

Here is the link to sign up:

www.topcollar.co.uk/join

One of the things that I most love about Top Collar treats is that they are gluten free. When Henry was alive we had big problems finding tasty treats that wouldn't flare up his colitis. He was intolerant to gluten, among other things, and at the time not many companies made treats that he could eat. He would have absolutely loved these treats, I wish I'd discovered them before he passed away.

I was very impressed with these treats - and I know the dogs were too! I highly recommend that you give the free pack offer a try.

Rating - 5/5 stars