Walkies App Review & Win £50 PetsPyjamas Vouchers!

Anyone else with a smart phone get a bit obsessed with the health tracker? It’s a free app but I am always fascinated to see how many steps I have taken in a day. Although I’d love it, I refuse to get a fitbit or similar device, as I think it would just make me feel more guilty for the evenings I don’t move in front of Netflix.

I am always interested in new bits of tech, with uses for us pet owners of course. So for the last few weeks I’ve been using the Walkies App from Direct Line. It’s free to download and even gives you a voucher for a free photography session at Venture Studios when you sign in, worth over £150! Maybe we can get some professional pics instead of #dogselfies…


The app has been created as part of Direct line’s campaign to help reduce pet obesity. The app aims to help keep dogs fit by allowing you to record the distance covered and the calories burned by you and your pet while walking. Whilst doing that, i guess it will also help owners to get out and about too, so if you need a bit of motivation, apps like this are a great way to monitor your progress.

So let me walk you through it!IMG_2161

After signing in, the first thing I did was add Lupo’s vital stats. I like that he has his own profile and all the data from the walks will get added in one place.

If you’re brave enough, you can add in your own weight and it will help calculate how many calories you’ve burned.


Next up I had a nosey at the other features. You can search for ideas on walks, according to your location, or wherever you are planning to travel to. This gave me a map in which I could zoom in and see suggestions. There were only a few near me, so I hope to add to those in the near future. IMG_2183

So now you know where you are going, it’s time to set the app to work. I’ll be honest, the first time I did this, I completely forgot to press the big red button. But once I got in the habit, it’s a 5 second job to open the app on your way out the door. Just don’t forget to turn off the location services when you’re not using it, as that good ol iPhone battery will decrease rapidly!IMG_2184

Lastly, the app lets you share walks with your friends, which is useful if like me you are constantly googling nearby reservoirs or walks to go on for a change of scenery. As extra motivation for your pet on their weightless journey, you can follow the Fit Fred Blog to see a real Golden Retriever on his quest to get trim using the Walkies App.

If you like to ride a bike or run with your dog, the app will still record all the details – just leave out the steps for cycling.

So to celebrate you and your pets getting fit and healthy, with Direct Line’s help, we are giving you the chance to bag a £50 voucher for PetsPyjamas. The site is full of awesome items for your dog or cat and you’re sure to find something to treat your favourite furry friend. Just click the link below and GOOD LUCK!

VelcroDog £50 PetsPyjamas Giveaway

Full T&C’s can be found on the Gleam page above, but as a recap. Entries are open until the 30th September. One winner will be chosen at random by Gleam. You can enter as many of the methods as you like, but remember, the more entries, the more chance it will be of you going shopping with those vouchers! Thanks for entering.


SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Downward Dog? Join a Furry Yoga class on the 4th October 2015

When I was in the midst of frantically exercising before my wedding, as many of us do, I did exercise DVD’s at home. Not only did I have a baby staring at me from a bouncing chair, but a Dobermann trying to claim his part of the same small rug I was doing star jumps, planks or push ups on. It wasn’t easy, I can tell you. So when I heard about what online yoga class, Yoogaia, is doing, by incorporating dogs into your Yoga routine, the mental picture did make me laugh. This is one trend Lupo may definitely have to sit out, but I love the idea if you have a small to medium-sized, and fairly obedient dog. Of which mine is neither. Here are all the details if you want to join in the fun next week.

Yoogaia will organize a “Furry Yoga” class on Sunday October 4th at 12 pm (UK time), which also happens to be world animal day, on http://www.yoogaia.com. The instructors will be Paula Solano and Border Terrier, Malva, who is happy to give hugs and kisses to her yogi mom, will join her for the class.


Furry yoga is a relaxed class suitable for everyone. You can do the poses even if your dog or cat is running around, promises yoga instructor Paula Solano. Everyone at Yoogaia loves animals and during the live classes you often see pets joining their owners. Some of them will just observe while others are jumping or stretching next to the owners.

Lupo practicing his downward dog…


A pet can also be a good source of inspiration for a yogi as cats and dogs stretch a lot. Solano advises you to prepare for the pet yoga class and any yoga class in general according to what your pet is like. If there is a lot of movement in the class, it might be easier to tell your pet to stay in his own spot as one of you might get hurt. During floor poses it doesn’t matter that much if your pet is by your side.

Yoogaia have kindly given VelcroDog readers a discount code which gives you a 14 day subscription totally free. perfect if you want to see if the classes are right for you without making a commitment. use code: MODERNDOG 

Will you be logging on to join the class with your pet? Let me know in the comments below!


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Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee

Today’s post has been written by author Cee Tee Jackson, who has kindly shared the story behind his book, perfect for dog lovers. Enjoy!

Being made redundant any time is unfortunate; life changing. Twice in two years, though? Why, that’s just plain careless, and points to poor decision making, particularly as regards the latter job. I know. It happened to me. And as an ex-Bank manager seeking employment as the financial sector crashed, a prolonged period on Jobseeker Allowance followed.

Eventually though, almost as much through desperation as my love for animals, I started my own petcare / dog walking business. That was over eight years ago and illustrates perfectly that some things are just meant to be. I love my job.

Marley - Damp Dog 800

My days are spent principally outdoors and encompass moments of laughter; concern; confusion; emergency, smells and mess. I experience situations that educate, plus some that warm my heart, while others can almost break it.

I’m also very interested in music and for many years interviewed and wrote features on new bands for a national music magazine in addition to my own ‘Loud Horizon’ music blog. As I’d always planned on writing a book, a comedic fantasy, I thought it would first be a good exercise to try writing about something I knew well – my job.

There was no initial intention to publish the book. However the feedback I was continually receiving from the various writing sites I showcased and edited on, encouraged me to do so. ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee,’ is the result.

Published at the beginning of August 2015, it has already been stocked by Dunbartonshire Libraries. Readers have commented that it is both humorous and compassionate. You decide:

…………… We entered the park at the point where the local kids were jumping off the rocks into the icy, but calm river. They were naturally blissfully unaware of Marley’s impending whirlwind arrival. Had they known he was fast approaching, they surely wouldn’t have been so careless as to leave their outer clothing so close to the path.
By the time I breathlessly caught up to Marley, there was something hanging from the corner of his mouth. He sat there, a look of proud, self-satisfaction on his face, while exuding an innocent air of:
‘What, me?’
If dogs could whistle, I imagine he’d have been casually doing so while avoiding direct eye contact with me.
I managed to open his jaws and found to my horror that he’d picked up and half eaten some lad’s football sock, leaving just three inches of it trailing from the side of his mouth. I started gently pulling. Gradually, like a magician drawing a line of knotted handkerchiefs from a top-hat, I succeeded in retrieving the saliva-soaked sock from the back of Marley’s throat.
By now, a crowd of laughing youngsters had gathered round.
“Erm, sorry about that,” I sheepishly offered to the sock’s owner, handing it to him by my finger-tips.
Exit stage left.

…………… But no matter how hard I tried to remain stoical, I couldn’t help but think:
“That’s the last time he’ll paddle in the river.” “That’s the last time he’ll fetch a stick.” “That’s the last time he’ll pee up against that tree.”
Can dogs sense impending death? Can they sense their own death? I don’t think Oscar could. Taking him for a walk with his pals that day was most certainly a good move.
I dropped him back at his house, gave him a biscuit treat and a quick cuddle, said ‘goodbye’ and returned to my van. Sometimes being ‘in’ on a secret can be difficult. I couldn’t hang around in case my emotions transmitted to Oscar.

‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee,’ is available through Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats.

Trending Puppies

In August 2014, Bought By Many revealed the UK’s favourite puppy by analysing internet search data from Google.

But which puppies’ popularity has increased the most in the last 12 months? Bought By Many looked at the latest data to find out.


Trending Puppies: Biggest change in number of internet searches since June 2014

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
St Bernard
Shih Tzu
German Shepherd
Lhasa Apso
Caucasian Shepherd

Trending now: BIG dogs
Perhaps the most unfamiliar name in this Top 10 – to UK dog lovers at least – is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog (also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka). Hailing from the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbijan, Caucasian Shepherds were originally bred to hunt bears and kill wolves – skills which are unlikely to be needed in most parts of the UK. Caucasian Shepherds can grow up to ten stone in weight, sometimes dwarfing their owners.

Also trending are two other sizeable breeds: the water-loving Newfoundland, and the original moutain rescue dog the St Bernard.
As well as physical strength and discipline, new owners of these giants breeds will need deep pockets. Big dogs have big appetites, and the cost of pet insurance can be 4x higher than it is for smaller dogs.

Toy Dogs: The Next Generation
At the other end of the size spectrum, interest in Toy Dogs is also evolving. While French Bulldogs and Pugs are now firmly established in the Top 10 most searched-for puppies, it is other small breeds who are now making the running – literally in the case of Papillon-cross Konjo, recently crowned the world’s fastest dog on two paws.

Meanwhile, another diminutive member of the spaniel family, the Cavalier, is the top trending puppy of 2015.
Other toy dogs to win new fans in 2015 inlcude the Dachshund, the Pomeranian, and the oft-confused Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso.

Preferred Pooches: The UK’s Favourite Puppies by Total Volume of Internet Searches
Change in position vs 2014 is shown in brackets

French Bulldog
German Shepherd (+1)
Cocker Spaniel (-1)
Golden Retriever

First Aid for Dogs

There are many similarities between owning a dog and having a child. One of the most similar aspects is feeling the element of danger. You feel danger lurking round every corner when you’re a parent and are constantly saying “be careful” (reminds me of a Friends quote: Monica: Careful. Careful. Careful! Chandler: I’ll tell you what. For the rest of our lives, I’ll be careful unless told otherwise).

With dogs there is less of the nagging, but as a protective owner it still hurts me when Lupo gets hurt. Thankfully it’s never been two serious. Bites from other (smaller) dogs required Vet treatment, but things that shocked me at first such as his pads being cut, has happened a few times now and I know what to do to help him heal. If you don’t notice there will be red paw prints all over your floor, so always do a quick check after  a walk! I presume when it’s happened to him in the past he’s cut them on glass or sharp stones when he’s racing a million miles an hour around the local woods. Or rolling around on god knows what…


We’ve always had a bit of a makeshift First Aid kit for Lupo. Cotton wool pads, a bowl we use for cooled boiled water and salt to wash any wounds. But it was about time, especially now he’s middle aged, that we got some proper kit to help us deal with any situation that can be helped before seeing a Vet.

I came across the brilliantly named Cuts and Bruises site and noticed they not only have first aid kits for families, but they offer the same for pets. I ordered a family holiday kit for our upcoming travels and then one for Lupo. Take a look at what’s inside.

Firstly, any package that is sent containing chocolates and a lovely thank you card pretty much guarantees my loyalty. Why don’t more companies do this?!


The family holiday kit is the perfect size to pop in your suitcase and the contents won’t get squished due to it’s hard plastic case. It’s got all you need for minor cuts and ailments and will give us peace of mind having it in the holiday villa.

The pet version didn’t disappoint. In a sturdy zip close bag with carry handle, it has all the bits and bobs you’ll need for treating your cat or dog at home for cuts, bruises or strains. As well as the usual bandages it has things you would hope to never have to use, but will thank the stars you had one, such as a foil blanket for treating shock and even plastic gloves to stop infection.IMG_1971 IMG_1972
IMG_1974 IMG_1975 IMG_1976

For £13.99, it’s worth every penny for the peace of mind it brings. It’s strange to say but I hope it gathers dust in the cupboard and I never have to use it. I do feel like a responsible dog owner now I have the kit. I have similar First Aid items for my child and as part of our family, Lupo deserves the same consideration.

Pick your First Aid kit for Pets up here: http://www.cutsandbruises.co.uk/products/pet-first-aid-kit

The Life of a Dobermann


10 years.
120 months.
3652 days.
The average lifespan of a Dobermann is this long, just ten years. Big dogs simply don’t last as long as smaller breeds. Which doesn’t make sense when you look at mammals in general. The Blue Whale lives for 80 years, yet a Bat will only live for a maximum of 10 years. Yet within species, such as dogs, the larger the animal, the shorter it’s lifespan. The same happens in Horse breeds and even Mice. After a good Google, it seems it’s the accelerated growth in the first year that causes this lack of longevity. Big dogs simply die younger, because they age quicker.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently as I started to notice the first grey hairs on Lupo’s chin. It seemed to happen overnight or I just hadn’t noticed. And it was a really sad moment. You are suddenly reminded, by a very human trait of hair changing colour, that this dog won’t always be there. He’s five years old now, he’ll be six next April. I hope he lives a long and happy life, just like these dogs in this brilliant video:

If you like that video you can find out more about the individual dogs here: http://www.eukanuba.co.uk/longevity
So how has Lupo changed in his five years? The bitey, jumpy, endless energy puppy stage that you think is never going to end, lasted a lot longer with him, or at least it felt that way. Only when he got to two or three years old had he slowed down. Whilst he still has a lot of energy and will whine in your face until you take him out, he’s equally happy laid on the sofa all afternoon. Something he’d never do as a pup, when we had to have frozen Kong toys on the go constantly for his amusement.

We’ve tried numerous dog foods, on the search for one he likes and that won’t break the bank, but he also gets small leftovers (bits of meat) as a treat. He has turned his nose up at many a dog treat sent to me for him to test for this blog, so much so I’ve stopped accepting them as he is way too fussy and doesn’t represent most dogs! He loves chewing on an antler, even though I can’t hear myself think with the grinding noise, we let him indulge. He still gets walked everyday by our trusty dog walker, and enjoys longer runs with us at the weekend.

He’s not escaped drama in his short life, he has a few grey hairs from scars that other dogs have given him. He’s not very good at sticking up for himself and has been chased and then bitten, twice. You may think that’s daft form looking at him, but I’m kinda proud he didn’t fight back (I wasn’t at the time) because it just goes to show the kind of dog we have raised – and how little care other people can give to moulding their dogs personality. Diet, discipline, exercise and affection are what we’ve based bringing Lupo up on. But of course he’s not perfect…


The traits he has kept from puppyhood are the oddest ones. He still sucks a blanket like a baby until he falls asleep with it in his mouth, and I can imagine he will do this until his last day. He also still has a particular fondness for bikes – bicycles, motorbikes, you name it, if it zips past him at a pace he is gone. I imagine the cyclist will feel like that scene in Jurassic Park with the T rex in the mirror when Lupo sets off, but he has never hurt anyone and doesn’t know what to do when he catches up to them apart from bop them with his wet nose.

How old is your dog and have their kept any puppy traits?

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Pet products for summer from Amazon


As the weather heats up, you’ll want to provide the best environment for your pets, keeping them cool, and providing lots of shade and fresh water. It got so hot here in the UK recently that I asked our dog walker not to walk Lupo if the pavements felt too hot. That’s the first time in 5 years I’ve had to have that conversation!

I’m a big fan of Amazon for all sorts of items, but did you know they have a great category for pets? I’ve picked out my favourite products to keep your dog sun safe, hydrated and still looking cool. See what you think.

Sun Safe

These items are so handy and essential if you have a dog with a pink nose for example. I think Lupo would prefer the wipes as the spray would scare him, but you’ve got three options depending on your dog’s personality.

I just love the dog sunglasses and they are crying out to be Instagrammed! I can see him now, hanging his head out of the window, tongue dangling, goggles on…

Petkin SPF15 Sunscreen Wipes, Currently priced at £4.10

Petkin SPF15 Sunscreen Spray, Currently priced at £5.49
Petkin SPF15 Sunscreen Stick, Currently priced at £4.02
Namsan Dog UV Protection Sunglasses, Currently priced at £9.50

Looking Cool

it may be hot but that’s no reason your dog can’t look cool. Bandanas are a great way to add a bit of colour to your dog’s collar and look especially cute on puppies. Lupo has a red one with white stars which I love.

How about this lovely Liberty print collar? Liberty print makes anything look ten times better in my opinion.

Toggles Nauti-But-Nice Puppy and Dog Bandana, Currently priced at £6.99
Lovemydog Amberley Liberty Print Dog Collar, Currently priced at £39


I was once sent one of these but it had used filters which were dirty, so I never got the chance to see it in action. Lupo prefers to drink out of our daughters paddling pool when it’s hot so something like this would hopefully tempt him away.

PetSafe Drinkwell Original Pet Fountain, Currently priced at £28.94

Pet Diner Pet Water Bar, Currently priced at £20.89
PetSafe Drinkwell 360 Stainless Steel Pet Fountain, Currently priced at £59.99


Ruth Langsford’s advice is ‘Spot On’

Ruth Langsford, instinct PR, Frontline spot on, Lorna Jane Newman, www.lornajanenewman.com

This Morning presenter and proud owner of rescue dog Maggie, Ruth Langsford, has teamed up with FRONTLINE® Spot On, the UK’s No.1 flea and tick protection*, to help the nation’s pets stay happy and healthy this summer. While higher temperatures bring smiles to many people’s faces they can make life difficult for our furry friends, so Ruth and FRONTLINE® Spot On vet Simone Pomerantz have created a series of helpful videos with hints and tips such as: · Give pets a once over after walks looking for thorns or grass seeds, as well as nasty parasites like ticks, which can transmit Lyme Disease to both humans and dogs -don’t miss out on those hard to reach areas like in between the toes! · Remember to exercise your dog at the coolest point of the day, to ensure they don’t overheat. Before 9am or after 7pm is best, which may mean some early mornings! · Invest in a water bottle specifically designed for dogs that can be easily carried on walks, so your dog doesn’t become dehydrated · And finally…help protect all cats and dogs in your home against fleas and ticks by treating monthly, throughout the year, with FRONTLINE® Spot On– prevention’s better than cure!

And it’s not only your pet which needs care and attention – keeping your house clean and clear of flea infestations, which can take three months or more to overcome, is possible by following the suggestions Ruth and Simone share below: · Treat all cats and dogs in your household with FRONTLINE® Spot On monthly all year round for continuous flea and tick protection · Regular vacuuming, particularly in dark places, will help to reduce the number of flea eggs, larvae and pupae in your home – don’t forget under rugs and behind cushions as well in between floorboards! Remember that pets pick up fleas from contaminated environments– not from each other · Always wash pet’s bedding above 60°C every couple of weeks to get rid of any parasites who may have made a home there · Use an environmental spray that contains an Insect Growth Regulator (IGR), to kill eggs and larvae – it’s worth remembering there are no products that will kill the pupae stage. Remember to use it everywhere your pet goes – not just throughout the house, but in your car for example · Make sure you allow your pets to roam freely around your house once they’ve been treated with FRONTLINE® Spot On – this ensures that, if newly hatched fleas jump on, they will be killed. Your pet is now acting as a walking flea killing machine!

Ruth Langsford said: “Maggie is a huge part of our family and, like all pet owners out there, her welfare is a real priority. And of course, keeping homes clean, and in particular preventing flea infestations, is something all pet owners will welcome advice on. By following these simple tips, and remembering to keep pets protected against fleas and ticks with monthly FRONTLINE® Spot On applications, owners can look forward to enjoying the good times with their furry friends this summer’.

Ruth Langsford, instinct PR, Frontline spot on, Lorna Jane Newman, www.lornajanenewman.com

To watch the series of Ruth’s videos, visit: Website: uk.frontline.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/FrontlineSpotOn Twitter: @FrontlineSpotOn

Top TV Dads of Dogs

It’s easy to name famous human and canine partnerships from movies. One of my favourite films growing up was K-9, which sees James Belushi playing a cop who owned a faithful Alsatian Police dog named Jerry-Lee. If you haven’t seen it, it’s perfect Sunday afternoon viewing. I’ve just made myself feel REALLY old by Googling what year it came out (1989), gah! But what about those partnerships on the small screen? Dogs often play important roles in some of our favourite TV shows as crime busters, co-presenters and members of soap opera families. But it’s their relationship with their owners that really tugs at our heart strings, as well as offering that observational humour that sees us saying, ‘my dog does that!’ In celebration of Father’s Day on the 21st June, I’ve put together a list of five of my favourite TV Dads. But the twist is that some may not have children at all, but they are all admirable and devoted fathers to their faithful hounds. From the computer generated to the real life duo’s, there will be at least one in this list that you know and love too. First up, he’s a cross-dressing, loud mouth Scouser, with a soft spot for animals of any kind. The loveable Paul O’Grady presents his chat show with his terrier Olga right beside him. He’s even named his TV production company after her. O’Grady is known for owning a menagerie of animals but when poor Olga was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, he didn’t hesitate in forking out thousands of pounds for her chemotherapy. She’s now fighting fit and back to work and it’s wonderful to see the two of them together. Paul O’Grady is a great role model for pet owners, as he truly worships his baby Olga. paul_o_grady_2008_10_01 Zoinks! I would never have paired a Great Dane with a hippy, but do you know what? Scooby Doo just wouldn’t be Scooby Doo without Shaggy. This crime busting duo may spend more time being afraid of their own shadow, but they are two peas in a pod. Goofy, a little bit dim, but hugely loveable, their relationship is one we’d all love to have with our pooches. Plus there must be some strength in those skinny arms to lift a Great Dane, so don’t underestimate Shaggy. You’d want him on your side in a fight with a ghost! scooby shaggy Travelling across the pond to another nation of animal lovers, I’ve chosen Fraiser and his Jack Russell, Eddie. Despite Fraiser naming his dog Eddie Spaghetti “Because he has worms”, there is no denying the love there was between the two. The story off screen is just as poignant. In 1994, Kelsey Grammer won an Emmy for best actor in a comedy. In his acceptance speech, he acknowledged the canine character of Eddie’s contribution to the show when he held up the statue and claimed: “Most importantly, Moose, this is for you.” The dog’s ability to stare at Fraiser for extended periods became a running joke on set and made brilliant comedy TV. In this case, humour is the way to the heart. pa-3781197 I love this picture. Irish wolfhounds are such beasts. Gentle giants but still beast looking! I think the Eastenders casting department got this spot on when they introduced loveable rough Keith and Ghengis. Unemployed and a benefit cheat he may have been, but that dog stuck to his side and his armchair no matter what. When Keith leaves the square, guess who is right beside him? Wellard gets all the Eastenders limelight, but Ghengis and Keith are the dog and Dad stars, in my eyes. I hope they live happily ever after in the Cotswolds! tumblr_lqowt3oCto1qe7yg8o1_500 Last but by no means least, it’s my favourite dad from Family Guy. Peter and his 8 year old Labrador Brian have quite a unique relationship (in that it’s completely ridiculous and that’s what makes it entertaining!) Peter picked Brian up as a stray (major Dad dog points right there) Peter is Brian’s best friend, despite Brian’s vastly superior intelligence. More often than not, Brian has had to explain Peter’s inability to do various things, such as haggling over prices. But if you support your dog with his cocaine habits, alcoholism and smugness at his superior intelligence, you’re the best dog dad there is. brian_and_peter_by_oscartomas-d4ia7sj   This post is an entry into the Currys TV Dads competition. Thanks for reading!