Discover Crossbreed Dogs with The Co-op

You’d have to have been living under a rock for the past few years to not realise the massive increase there has been in popularity for cross-breed dogs. I might be showing my age now, but a cross-breed used to be known as a Mongrel, or as our old rescue dog was affectionately called, a Heinz 57. They were never really coveted as they are now and certainly didn’t command the pedigree price tags, or more, than some breeders are taking advantage of.

There is no denying a clear fact though, cross breeds can be irresistibly cute and with their merged breed names making up new breeds altogether, it’s no wonder kids will probably recognise a Labradoodle before it’s originator.

Lupo’s dog walker also walks a Cockapoo, who seems to embody all the curly hair from a poodle but with the bouncy energy of a spaniel. A great mix! I know there have been good intentions for some cross breeds too. The Poodle gene tends to stop dogs shedding as much, making them better for people with allergies.

I hope breeders remain responsible with their cross breeding, knowing some of the difficulties even pedigree breeding has on some animals, such as the short noses of Pugs and Bulldogs causing breathing problems. Cross breeding can be healthy, after all, it’s how all of the dog breeds came about in the first place.

If you can’t get enough of cross breeds, The Co-op have created this addictive tool where you can click to choose dog breeds, then see what their cross-breed looks like. I just lost the last half an hour clicking and clicking, its fascinating stuff. Some of the pictures will make you laugh as you see what traits they took on from both dogs.

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You can share what you discover on your social channels too. Here are some of my favourites.

This is so cute, it’s a ginger Lupo, with the same ears!

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We used to have a Bernese and they are quite lazy, this combo would put some collie energy into the mix!

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What a face. He’ll eat like a horse (Labrador) and run like the wind (Greyhound)!

Screen Shot 2015-11-13 at 15.31.09


Have go yourself here:


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Review: Harringtons Natural Dog Food

I’m a big fan of buying from local companies where possible. We seem to be really lucky here in Yorkshire to have some fantastic pet brands on our doorstep. I’ve talked a lot about Pure Pet Food but recently was introduced to Harringtons who hail from Herriot country (famed from the popular James Herriot books about a vet practice) in North Yorkshire, so I thought I’d put their food to the test with Lupo. Here’s how we got on.

We sampled some of their wet dog food, that boast natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals. They are grain free and don’t have any of the nasties such as artificial colours and wheat. Just all of the good stuff your dog needs.


When I open parcels, Lupo has come to expect they are for him, so his nose went into overdrive as I inspected the mixed section packs. The meals come in 150g or 450g trays. They look a lot like the packaging you get for ready meals, in a plastic tray with a foil lid to keep things fresh.IMG_2591

I introduced them slowly, as you should if you are changing your dog’s diet in any way, to avoid any affects on their digestive system. You can clearly see the fresh ingredients, big chunks of meat and vegetables and it doesn’t have a nasty smell like cheap dog food does. That’s been a real eye opener for me, as all these years it’s easy to assume dog food must smell bad, but I’ve learnt it doesn’t have to!

Lupo loved all the flavours, but the duck was a particular hit as I’m not sure he’s ever tried that meat before. The meat content is high, at 60%, this is another good indicator if you are shopping around. If you’re trying to decide whether to spend more on your dogs food, make sure the actual meat content is high and you’re not just fooled by packaging or marketing claims.

The wet food comes in chicken, Duck, Turkey or salmon options, all supplemented by Potato and other interesting and tasty flavours such as Green tea and Rosehips! Well, if it’s good enough for us humans…


Harringtons can be found in many good retailers and available to buy online. Check out the stockist list here.

If you’d prefer to give your dog the traditional dry complete food, it looks like Harringtons offer a really good deal compared to their competitors. Let me know if you’re a fan of the brand or think you might make the switch!

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Thank you to Harringtons & Come Round for making this post possible.

5 Things Every Rescue Dog Owner Needs to Know

There are thousands of rescue dogs in shelters across the country that are in need of loving homes. If you’ve been kind enough to adopt one, you can be proud in the knowledge that you’ve given a dog a well-deserved second chance. Though rescue animals always come with a few complications, they’re definitely worth it.
When it comes to insurance for a rescue dog, there are a few things that you need to know. 


  • How old is your rescue dog?
    Insurers need to know your dog’s age before you can apply for a policy. When you adopt a dog, sometimes the animal shelter will not be sure of its date of birth. If the dog was given up for adoption by a previous family, they’ll usually have fuller records than if it was a stray.
    If the shelter doesn’t know your new pet’s age, the advice from insurers is to ask your vet to give the dog a physical exam and provide an estimation.
  • What breed is your dog?
    Likewise, shelters may not know the exact breed of your rescue dog, especially if they are a wonderful cross-breed, and this is also an important part of a pet insurance application. You are advised to speak with your vet and select the closest match.
  • Does your dog have any pre-existing medical conditions?
    When applying for a pet insurance policy, you will also need to specify whether your dog has any pre-existing medical conditions, such as diabetes or congenital heart disease – or even a more common condition like an ear infection.
    Again, the problem with this is the animal shelter you adopted your pet from may not know if it has any medical conditions. This doesn’t only apply if it was a stray – previous owners might not have known about them either.
    Guidance from pet insurance companies is to check with the re-homing centre, or ask your vet to examine your dog for any obvious signs. Be sure to let your insurer know if the vet finds any indication of a pre-existing medical condition.
    In the worst case scenario, your pet insurance provider may refuse to give your dog cover. If this happens, make sure to join the Bought By Many group for dogs with pre-existing conditions. The company that provides insurance for this group is happy to cover the dog, including the pre-existing condition, if the dog has not had symptoms, treatment, or seen a vet for it in the last 2 years. Join the group here to get £15 cashback on pet insurance for pets with existing medical conditions.
  • Do you have insurance?
    Some charities with rehoming shelters offer free insurance when you adopt a dog with them. For example, the RSPCA will give you 6 weeks of free pet insurance from MORE TH>N with up to £4,000 of cover per condition, while Battersea Dogs and Cats home offers 4 weeks free insurance from Petplan.
    Some, like Dogs Trust, offer third party liability insurance up to £1m, which covers you if your dog damages property or if someone is injured or falls ill because of your dog.
    However, it’s important to note that these kinds of insurance are either temporary, or incomplete. Third party liability insurance does not cover vet bills. And if the shelter gives you time-limited free insurance, you’ll need to renew it – or get a new policy – when this runs out, to make sure you and your pet are fully covered.
    To find the best insurance for your dog, have a look at this guide to the Best Pet Insurance for Dogs 2015.
  • Preventing a lost dog
    Finally, another vital part of any pet insurance policy is protection against loss. Rescue dogs are often nervous and unsure when first adopted, especially if they have a history of abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, this means that many attempt to run away from their loving new owners.
    So, as well as making sure your property is getaway-proof, be sure to look for an insurance policy that will cover the cost of leaflets and a reward just in case your dog decides they’re an escape artist.



The downside of having a dog

It gets everywhere. On my sofa. On my floor. Collecting in balls and rolling around. On my coat. On my socks. It also means I have to sweep the floor everyday. And don’t even mention that time one found it’s way into my dinner.

I’m talking about dog hair. The bane of many owners lives. One of the main reasons I didn’t even consider getting a breed of dog with long hair. I remember my mum in despair as my childhood companion Golden Retriever would leave half his coat against the fabric sofa when he got up. And I had to brush him, a lot!

Dobermanns have lovely short hair, but don’t be fooled. It moults just as much as any other dog. There is brief respite in the summer months, when it is thin and glossy. But in Autumn it’s back with a vengeance. No amount of sweeping, hovering mopping or cursing can stop it. You’ll clean, the dog simply walks through the room, and there’s a trail of hair. Argghhh.

The very worst place for those pesky hairs (apart from your dinner) is your car seats. If you’ve ever put your dog on the back seat in a rush and thought, oh how bad can it be without a towel there, just this once. YOU FOOL. If you could go back in time to that moment, you’d have a good word with yourself and go get that towel. Because the hovering of those car seats after a few hour journey will be painful. And your seats are never the same again. Even the towel isn’t a great solution as it loves to hold onto those hairs and spread them around again.

Which brings me nicely to an absolute essential product. Now we have a bigger car we put Lupo in the boot, which is protected by a boot cover. That holds all those pesky hairs and god knows what else, contained and easily cleaned.


But having been that person with the big dog and back seat scenario, I thought it best to share where you should spend your money. So forget those organic dog treats for a few months, and get one of these.

My friend’s gorgeous Basset hound, Edna, is modelling this back seat car cover from 4Knines. For £59.99 and free delivery, you’ll get a handy cover that fits perfectly in any car. It is tied into place and has a non slip back in case you have posh leather seats.


Now Edna is about ready to take 40 winks on that car seat cover so we can safely say comfort is not an issue. The only tricky part my friend came across was there were straps to fasten the cover down between the seat and the back, but her car seats are joined together. Not a big issue, but one to be aware of. It still does the job perfectly.


The folks at 4Kines also sell the boot covers and covers for the front seat if your pooch likes to ride shot gun. You can watch handy videos teaching you how best to fit the products on their site here.

If you’ve fallen in love with Edna, and who wouldn’t? Follow her adventures on Instagram and her blog.

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Home Interior Favourites for Animal Lovers

This month I’ve been browsing the gorgeous wall paper and interiors specialist Graham & Brown. I can’t decide from my list of favourites, which ones do you prefer? Let me know!

I recently read that items with Pugs on topped any other dog breed for items being sold on eBay. So if you are Pug mad, you’ll love Humphrey here (£25) I like this print as it’s pretty minimalist and would fit perfectly on a photo wall.

42-252-PUG-PRODUCT-SHOT-WEBI used to own horses, aren’t they such beautiful animals? It will come as no surprise they make great wall art too. This beauty is painted on wood, and makes a great change from the usual canvas. I love the effect it gives. (£25) 

42-245-HORSE-PRODUCT-SHOT-WEBThis dapper chap is named Ziggy, I love his bowtie! Zebra’s are the original monochrome trend setters, so he should be proudly displayed, with your tongue firmly in cheek of course! (£25)

41-710-ZIGGY-ZEBRA-PRODUCT-SHOT-WEBFor a pop of colour, this canvas cleverly featuring beautiful butterflies would be perfect against my white living room walls. Or it could be teamed with some smaller prints, leaning on the fireplace. (£35)

41-547-BUTTERFLY-KALEIDOSCOPE-PRODUCT-SHOT-WEBLastly, there’s no animals on this one, but it reminds me of walking in our local woods when the BlueBells appear. Lupo loves to run through them so I always look forward to spotting them. It would be great to be able to appreciate them all year round. (£35)



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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 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

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