Over 3,000 dogs and cats were used in experiments in Great Britain in 2012. They endure a life of misery caged in laboratories where they may never see the sky or feel grass under their paws.
The BUAV, the leading non-profit organisation campaigning to end animal experiments, have launched ‘Our Best Friends’ campaign to raise awareness about and end the use of cats and dogs in research.
Celebrities who support the campaign include Mary McCartney, Kirsty Gallacher, Jilly Cooper, Ricky Gervais, Paul O’Grady, Kimberly Wyatt, Chris Packham, Miranda Richardson, Helen Skelton, Dave Spikey, Wendy Turner Webster and Ann Widdecombe.
The BUAV, quite rightly, believe that dogs and cats truly are our best friends and don’t deserve to be in laboratories, which is why they are currently running a photo competition to promote this campaign. There are some shocking statistics on their Facebook page, and if like me you are probably guilty of not looking in to the products you are buying, there are plenty of resources to help. Like this cruelty free gift guide. Make sure you take a look before doing your Christmas shopping this year.
So let’s do our bit as loving pet owners by entering this competition. Make sure you show everyone on your social networks you’ve entered and you can help raise awareness. I can’t really stress enough how important it is for us to talk about these things. It’s only through sharing this information that shopping habits will change and therefore animals lives will be saved. So if you do one thing today, make sure it’s a click on one of the links in this post.
There is an exciting goody bag of prizes for the winning cat and dog, including pet portraits of the winning photographs, 3 months’ supply of pet food, pet pamper packages worth over £65, dogs treats, cat toys and cruelty free cosmetics for their owners. The winners will be judged by Rachael Millar from Dogs Today magazine and Sue Parslow from Your Cat magazine.
The competition opened on 4th November and will run through to a closing date of 16th December. All you’ve got to do is submit a photograph of your best friend via the Facebook page, explaining what makes your cat or dog so special. So far, the competition has received over 250 submissions, make yours the next! https://www.facebook.com/theBUAV
Gone are the days of giving your dog one of those Christmas stockings with a rubber squeaky toy and some dry chews. Oh no, standards have risen and the bar has been set high Ladies and Gents. Christmas presents for dogs just got serious.
I hadn’t heard of PetsPyjamas before they got in touch, but they have probably the best collection of stylish pet products I’ve seen. We were sent a Christmas Treat Box, worth £24.99, for Lupo to try out. And what a treat it was!
PetsPyjamas Christmas Dog Treat Box contains:
Mucky Pup Nose & Paw Balm
Creature Clothes Slip-On Bandana in Christmas red with a festive star print
Edible Snowman Greetings Card
Knotties Medium Sized Bone in Christmas colours
Medium Sized Christmas Cracker
Squeaky Gingerbread Man Toy
Treat Sized Cookie Tree
I love the idea of this box and so did Lupo! He’s come to learn that a lot of the packages that arrive are often for him so he could smell the treats in here before I’d opened it. Here are our favourites.
We started with the Gingerbread Man toy and it is as soft as my baby’s teddies, with a squeaker that he loves.This adorable tree is made from dog biscuits! I gave him the star and will keep the rest so he can have one each day.
The rope toy lasted approximately half an hour of careful picking and shredding. He had fun, especially watching me pick up the soggy remains from the rug. The things we do for our dogs.
Looking dapper in his bandana here. I must confess I saw it in the box and thought it would never fit him, but it’s actually a clever design that you thread the collar through, so it fits any size of dog. We’ll definitely be using this on Christmas morning for some fun family photos!
********** COMPETITION ************
Fancy winning a Christmas treat box for your dog? There are five up for grabs! Just enter your details here: http://www.petspyjamas.com/velcro-dog/
If you fancy a shopping spree now, and who could blame you? I have another treat for you. Use this code for 15% off, until the 31st December: VELCRODOG15
It’s a very British thing, to apologise in reaction to something. Even if it’s someone else’s fault. Recently I’ve found myself constantly apologising for owning a Dobermann. Sorry his size intimidates you. Sorry his loud bark scares you. Sorry you got bitten as a child and have a phobia. Sorry he just wants to play with you dog. Sorry he ran fast past you.
Quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I won’t apologise anymore.
When a small dog off the lead comes running up to us and barking, the owner either doesn’t say anything or laughs as they think its cute. When a small dog on a lead growls and barks as we walk past on the footpath, still nothing. Why, just because of my dogs size, is it any different? Would you think differently if I told you Dachshunds are one of the most aggressive dogs? Closely followed by Chihuahuas and Jack Russell’s. Not so cute now eh.
Quite often we are faced with dogs off the lead whose owners don’t even try to get them under control. Lupo has been bitten twice by smaller dogs like this. There are aggressive dogs we have to walk past who rush their gates and snarl at him. But you can bet if Lupo did any of this to their small dog, someone would have something to say.
So from now I’m not going to apologise for my dog being a dog. I will keep him under control and always put him on a lead when another dog on a lead approaches, but we can’t say sorry for other people’s phobia’s or issues. He will bark as a signal to play and it will be loud. He doesn’t do quiet. He will run as fast as the wind as he’s a high energy breed, it’s in his nature. And if he slobbers on you, it means he likes you. Take it as a compliment and keep walking.
To the woman who told us this morning to keep him on a lead as his bark scared her(!) we say no thanks. That’s your issue and we won’t say sorry anymore.
Natural mineral shampoo for dogs from ScruffyChops – the perfect Christmas gift idea for your pampered pooch.
Rhubarb and Custard smelling shampoo and natural mineral conditioner, these products for dogs get more like something from L’Oreal don’t they? But they smell amazing, so if your dog smells, well, less than amazing, give these a try.
Made from natural and certified organic ingredients, allergen, paraben and sulfate free, these shampoos should be top of your dogs gift list. Priced from £5.99 for shampoo and £6.99 for the natural mineral conditioner, they are an affordable addition to your grooming routine.
We were sent these two products to try but it’s a bit chilly for bath time at the moment and I don’t fancy six stone of wet Dobermann drying off in our white-walled living room! If you give them a try, let me know what you think.
Want to chat to ScruffyChops or share your photos? www.facebook.com/scruffychops
As we do an increasing amount of reviews for you lovely readers, I thought I better set up some sort of system in rating products and services, so you can see how they fare against each other. Perhaps we can start Lupo’s Leaderboard?! But lets walk before we gallop , hey. First up to test using our new rating system, http://www.petnhome.co.uk.
This company manufactures pet and garden products in the UK. Based “in a converted farm located in the picturesque Cheddar Valley, at the foot of the beautiful Mendip hills and Cheddar Gorge in Somerset England.” Sounds lovely to me!
One of their key products is vet bedding. You may have heard of this, and a lot of you may use it in dog crates. My parents have a piece of it in front of their Aga for the dogs to lie on. I have never bought it due to Lupo the Destroyer (his alternative Pedigree name) opting for cheap blankets instead, so I was very grateful to be sent two pieces for Lupo to try.
Two pieces? Greedy dog, I hear you muttering. Well, there’s a reason for that. There are two types of vet bedding. The first has a non slip rubber grip on one side, making it perfect for wooden floors, or in our case, Bamboo. The other type is the standard version, and still claims to be hard wearing when it comes to chewing. Or Lupo’s favourite new pastime, scraping and scratching things to move them around the floor. So PetnHome kindly sent me both.
This is a daily scene in our house at the moment. The baby gets the rug, with a fleece blanket, and Lupo has his new vet bed that fits perfectly in front of the sofa. It’s actually plenty big enough for him to lie lengthways, he just always has to have a paw or two on the rug, just in case the baby takes her eyes off her rubber giraffe toy that he would LOVE to eat, for one minute.
Vet bedding comes in loads of colours. The white we were sent is perhaps not the best choice for winter, but I suppose makes it easy to see when you should wash it. I like the grey paw design and for the design conscious you can always choose a colour to match your decor. More marks too for being able to order it in any size you wish. 8/10
This stuff is SO soft. I mean, take your socks off and curl your toes in it soft. Preferably before the dog gets chance to claim it. Officially it’s 30mm, and it’s meant Lupo has been spending more time in his basket than usual, hugging the radiator and burying his face in the softness. 10/10
So far it’s withstanding a fidgety Dobermann very well. The non slip version has stayed true to it’s word, and the standard has not a rip or tear in sight. Some fluff has been coming off, but i think that’s due to the nature of it being rough cut to order. 8/10
Machine washable at 40 degrees, and quick drying, means there’s no mess or fuss when it comes to eliminating that ‘dog’ smell that comes from fusty bedding. Not quite ten out of ten if I can’t use my tumble dryer, but that’s being picky! 9/10
Order it cut to size and the price starts at just £5.99. Order by the roll, handy if you have kennels, or want pieces for different rooms and the car, and it starts from around £30. Lots of options according to your budget. But not as cheap as piling up fleece blankets or towels, as was my preferred method! 7/10
With an average score of 8.4/10, we happily recommend PetnHome if you fancy some vet bedding for your furry friend. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
A few years ago I carved this dog design into a Pumpkin:
This year I have carved one for my daughter, so I made Lupo do this:
“I hate you, but love you for the biscuit in your hand”
That is a look of utter disgust if ever I saw one! Sorry Lupo.
Happy Halloween to you and your pooches. Will you be getting dressed up or immortalising them in a vegetable? Let me know!