Growling Tums

Growling Tums is the great name of a new dog food company, based in Glasgow. The owners started the company this year with the aim to provide a balance between healthy nutrition and price. They do this by selling their dog food exclusively on their own website.

“Cheap Natural Dog Food for Smart Dog Owners”

What’s interesting about Growling Tums is that all their foods are hypoallergenic. Whilst Lupo doesn’t have any allergies, I try to avoid a high grain or cereal content in his food. This bulks the food out and is equivilant to us humans eating high carb fast food, in that we’ll probably be hungry shortly afterwards.

dobermann dog food bag

I remember when I was a child, we bought dog food because of the brand – Pedigree Chum, no conversation was ever had about the contents of the food, we just trusted the name. So as we’ve become more aware of what effects different foods have on our dogs, it’s vital you learn how to read the ingredients – what’s a good percentage and what do you need to avoid?velcrodog growling tums

We’ve been testing the duck and Potato adult dog food and I have slowly phased it in to Lupo’s twice a day meals, alongside the tinned meat he eats. Here are the ingredients:

Potato (min 35%), duck meal (min 26%), peas, beet pulp, poultry fat, brewers yeast, linseed, digest, minerals and vitamins.

Analysis: Protein 26%, Oil 12%, Fibre 4%, Ash 10%

Calorific value – 359.96kcal/100g; Omega 6 – 2.42%; Omega 3 – 0.64%; Omega 6:3 ratio – 3.78%

  • Single protein, top taste human quality duck.
  • Natural – No artificial colourings, flavourings or preservatives.
  • Wont upset their tummies.

growling tums dog food bag

Protein from the Duck is a minimum of 26%, which is great. You can see very few ingredients in total, the addition of potato and peas are much better than bulking out with cereal as they contain far more goodness for your dog. Growling Tums dog food is 100% natural and made from locally sourced British ingredients. Kevin from Growling Tums adds,

“These things are important to us because our aim is to help people, help their dogs to stay healthy at an affordable price.”

velcrodog dog food

Starting from £30.99, the Delicate Duck & Potato Grain & Cereal Free Dog Food is available in: 15kg, 12kg & 7.5kg sizes. It comes up cheaper than the likes of James Wellbeloved, but contains more goodness than the likes of Burns, at a lower price.

After nearly a month of Growling Tums food, twice a day, Lupo has a noticeably shinier coat and always leaves a clean bowl. I’d have no hesitation recommending this food to fellow dog owners looking for quality, a great price and to support an up and coming British business. Growling Tums also cater for puppies, and as food is so important for both growth and behaviour, you’ll be giving them the best start in life if you choose Growling Tums.

velcrodog with dog food bag

Visit to check out the full range. It’s free delivery over £29 and you can save 5% on your first order by using code: YUMYUM

Barker & Barker Natural Dog Treats

Since the 1970′s, Barker & Barker have been creating a healthy alternative of dog training treats, tasty toppers and supplements. All of the ingredients are human grade and contain no artifical additives, preservatives, colourings and are totally GM free. They also never use cereals or grains like rice and oats, which are all carbohydrate rich.

Lupo has been trying a selection of the training treats, which come in all sorts of weird and wonderful flavours. Blueberry and liver anyone? (he loves it). The treats themselves are small, but once Lupo knew what they tasted like, he couldn’t get enough. The company say their treats pack more nutritional goodness, gram for gram, than any other treat on the market. Impressive stuff.

Because the treats are so small, it means you won’t have to adjust your dogs diet around them. I checked on the back to see how many he could have in one day and it’s between 50-70, so no worries there!

The Tasty Topper to add to meals, is a great product as I often think dogs must get very bored with the same food each day. I know you should be careful about giving leftovers, but we always try and give Lupo something extra each day. His short coat means we can monitor his weight easily so watch out if you have a long haired breed that hides it well!photo

I packed a tub or two of these treats for our walk this weekend, and have to say I much prefer to have these to hand compared to a bag of crumbly biscuits (that I inevitably end up putting through the wash, arghhh)  Lupo likes the taste, whilst they work no miracles on the training front – my fault of course, they are great for a quick reward or distraction.

Barker & Barker treats start from just £3.25 for a pot of 120 treats. Check out the full range on their website



The Paw Box – Subscription for Dogs

Subscription boxes are increasing in popularity, particularly this past year. I’ve had the make up version – GlossyBox and the snack one – Graze, so it’s only right our dogs get one too. Others I’ve seen haven’t impressed me as much as The Paw Box, you’ve got to be careful about the quality of products you receive and whether it’s worth the subscription fee.

I have to say, if I’d have virtually trolley dashed all my favourite online pet sites, I wouldn’t have done a better job at putting items together than The Paw Box. Toys, treats and a useful product. Let the photos of Lupo let you know how well received it all was! IMG_0895

When I see a soft toy for Lupo, dread sets over me. I’ll usually be picking fluff up for weeks and going insane from the annoying squeak during Eastenders. But this one has neither problem! It emits a noise only dogs can hear (you can tell as they will cock their head to the side) and it’s flat with no stuffing, but still soft enough to chew. Lupo absolutely loves this, he grabbed it and ran straight to the garden to throw it around. I like to think in a ‘You’re next’ manner in front of the neighbourhood squirrels.

IMG_0890IMG_0941Dog treats are getting more and more human looking, aren’t they? These duck swirls and chicken popcorn are no exception. I’ll be adding them to the mix for walks when Lupo needs bribing…I mean, rewarding.IMG_0891IMG_0893We’ve tried a travel bowl in the past, one of those non spill ones, and I thought it was a bit pointless. This one however, after testing it today on a picnic trip to the park on a hot day, is just perfect. It folds flat and fits in the bottom of our pram or bag, then pops out when you want to fill it. It’s a great size for his big nose too. Top marks again The Paw Box.IMG_0892photoI’ve yet to see how long this lasts in the jaws of destruction, but I’ve high hopes. It’s made from rice husk, so no nasty chemical rubber here. It says it’s bouncy on the packet, but drops flat like a cannon ball, so not sure if we have a duff one! Either way, Lupo prefers to chew things like this so we’ll see how he gets on over the next few weeks.IMG_0894IMG_0955The Paw Box starts from £15.99 a month, with free delivery and you can cancel at any time. So if the above has tempted you in to trying a box for your dog, order your July version here: IMG_0896

Are You the UK’s Most Dedicated Pet Owner?

Dogs_Photo_Booth_25Regular readers will know that I love a good competition, especially pet based ones. So fellow dog owners, the latest competition from FRONTLINE Spot On should be right up your street. Here are the details and some top tips from me to give you a good chance of winning.

Is your pet your everything?

Do you spend more time pampering your pooch than yourself?

Does you pet’s healthy balanced diet put your own diet to shame? 

If this describes you or someone you know, then FRONTLINE® Spot On, the leading tick and flea preventative, want to hear about it. FRONTLINE will reward animal lovers who don’t just love their pet, but go out of their way to give them the best care possible.

To be crowned the UK’s Most Dedicated Pet Owner, simply follow these steps:

  1. Like FRONTLINE’s new Facebook page:
  2. Upload a special photo of you and your pet that shows just how much you love your furry friend, along with a short description on why you deserve to win
  3. Share your entries with your friends and family and encourage them to enter too!

Entries will then be judged by a panel of vet experts, including celebrity vet Joe Inglis, and the winner will not only receive a sparkling trophy, but also a UK-based, pet-friendly staycation for the whole family… including your furry best friend of course, and a pet hamper full of goodies! Five runners-up will also receive hampers and a special photo shoot for their family and pet. You’ve got until the 30th September 2014 to get your entry in.

As entries are judged and not picked at random, it’s important you get a good quality photo of you and your pet. Whilst selfies are popular, you’ll get a much clearer photo if you ask a friend to snap some shots. Take them outside on a summer’s evening for the best light conditions. Have a read of my previous post featuring more pet photography tips here. As for the description, try to avoid sob stories. If you can entertain or make the judges laugh, you are more likely to be chosen.

Joe Inglis comments, “This is a brilliant competition to reward those pet owners that go above and beyond. FRONTLINE has pets’ best interests at heart and wants to make sure they always get the best care possible, after all, they are one of the family! So calling all dedicated pet owners, make sure you enter this competition, you have to be in it to win it!”Dogs_Photo_Booth_26

The UK’s Most Dedicated Pet Owner competition coincides with the peak in flea activity that occurs throughout the summer. Monthly treatment with FRONTLINE® Spot On will help protect pets from fleas (and ticks), allowing them to enjoy the outdoors, explore or simply lounge around, while owners can be reassured that any nasties they pick up will be killed quickly. FRONTLINE® Spot On will also help keep fleas out of the home when used throughout the year.

First Aid for Pets


Accidents happen, and dogs can be like small children in the way they’ll come home with all sorts of scraps from the adventures they have in the great outdoors. Over his four short years Lupo has had a few ailments we’ve been able to treat at home, avoiding the need to claim on our pet insurance.

He has developed a limp or two, which I deduced from him being let off the lead to early on his walk. Like any of us, he needs to warm up before he hits 100mph, so we learnt to delay crazy time after him coming home with a pulled muscle or two. It might seem a bit weird but it’s totally safe, we gave him half an Aspirin (16p per packet at the supermarket) and it works a treat in easing the pain and stopping the limp after a day or so. We’ve since had family members use the same treatment with their dogs to great success.

Dashing around the woods at said 100mph, with the equivalent of thin leather shoes on, means Lupo’s paws have been cut a few times. This is a particular tricky injury to treat in that it’s important to keep clean but the dog still needs to walk around. If this happens to Lupo, we’ve usually spotted little red marks on the floor along with him licking it, we use salt baths to help clean and heal the wound. We’ve got a bowl we keep under the sink for such occasions, so we boil some water, let it cool and then add a good amount of salt. The bowl is just the right size to dunk his paw in and we use cotton balls to clean any stubborn dirt or fluff. Then kitchen roll to dry it off. It takes around a week to heal up and depending on how deep the cut is, we usually walk him on a lead to give it a good chance to heal.

Those are my home remedies but there are some pretty good kits for sale you could keep in the cupboard just in case. This one from Hi-Travel seems comprehensive enough to make your pet comfortable until you can get to a vet. It contains:

  • 2 x 20ml Pods of Saline – to wash away dirt and debris from your pet’s eyes and other areas;
  • 2 x Medium Dressing Bandages with Ties – to cover an injury;
  • 1 x Foil Blanket – to retain body warmth and help combat shock;
  • 5 x Gauze Swabs – for cleaning up fluid or after saline use;
  • 1 x Microporous Tape – to help hold dressings in place;
  • 1 x Conforming Bandage – for use with suspected sprained joints;
  • 2 x Pairs of Latex Gloves;
  • 4 x Plastic Pouches – to cover foot injuries and help keep them clean;
  • 4 x Alcohol Free Cleansing Wipes – to clean wounds;
  • 1 x Scissors;
  • 1 x Tweezers

Do you have an accident prone pet? Let me know in the comments below!

#Reasonstoshop Competition with Rakuten’s

Rakuten-Play-LogoTo celebrate the launch of a new range of pet products, Rakuten’s are hosting some fun competitions. Perfect for you pet owners who love taking snaps of your furry friends. All you need is a camera and a Twitter account to take part.

This week they are looking for photos of dogs, hence me telling you all about it of course. Keep an eye out on their account @playcom, retweet a message and send them a photo of your pooch. You can be in with the chance of winning an amazing pet hamper, worth £50. Not bad for a few minutes work, and lets be honest, you’ll spend most of that scrolling through the hundreds of dog photos on your phone. Or is that just me…


If you have other pets, they’ll be a competition for those too. they are running right up to the 19th June, so there’s plenty of chances to win.

Good luck and let me know if you bag a prize!

My dog deserves a holiday because…


In the last 12 months, it’s fair to say we turned Lupo’s life upside down. Bringing a baby into our home, that for three years had been his alone, meant he had to adjust and it can’t have been easy for him. He’s not always managed to resist the abundance of soft toys lying around, leaving them in a soggy heap for us when we return home. He’s been penned in to the kitchen behind a baby gate that he rests his head on forlornly when I’m keeping him away from meal times and his big nose has playfully prodded our little person on more than one occasion.

But he’s actually coped better than we could have wished for. He’s become a big brother, putting up with his ears being pulled, his fur being stroked the wrong way and sharing his place on the sofa. We can proudly call our Dobermann a family dog.

Ten reasons Lupo deserves a Canvas Holiday

1. He kept me company on maternity leave before my daughter arrived, the perfect partner to snuggle on the bed with and watch an entire series of Mad Men.

Watching Mad Men

2. He is so much fun when it’s snowing!


3. When our daughter joined us he was curious but gentle. Sniffing her ears and even hiding his nose under his blanket when the smell of nappies got too much.


4. As baby paraphinalia took over the house, he shared his space and became an imposing looking guard dog for the youngest member of the family.

IMG_29545. Lupo has always had a talent for curling into a ball to a third of his size. This is handy for keeping close no matter where we are sitting (velcro dog in full swing) In this photo our daughter wouldn’t go to sleep unless she could touch him.IMG_3499

6. When we were married in August 2013, we brought Lupo out for photos. He posed perfectly in his co-ordinating blue ribbon and didn’t drool on my dress. Good dog.


7. Due to having a young baby, we honeymoon’ed in the UK and Lupo joined us. He sat patiently as we ate outside cafe’s on the sea front, chased seagulls on the beach and walked for miles with us every day.IMG_1421

8. He actually puts up with this at Halloween. I don’t take him trick or treating because, well, would you answer your door to a Dobermann? Even in a daft hat… IMG_2133

9. I started this blog in 2012 (with this photo as the header) since then Lupo has reviewed, endured and destroyed products and gadgets from the pet industry, helped my rants and got used to a lens longer than his nose pointing at him a lot. I am never without anything to write about when Lupo is dobermann10. That unconditional love you get from a dog like Lupo. It can’t really be returned in taking him on one holiday, but it will go someway to creating even more memories for us as a family. Two adults, a Dobermann and a little lady.Lupo & I