Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Discover Dogs: Toys, treats and travel

Discover Dogs was a great chance to get all my questions answered about various doggy products, try some free samples and, of course, spend some hard-earned cash. Here are my best buys from the show.
I stopped by the Dog Friendly stand to grab a copy of ‘Pubs, Beaches and Days Out’. I take my dogs on holidays around the UK and they love the beach, but as we live in the land-locked Midlands we have to travel quite a distance to get to the sea. It’s no fun to reach your destination and find out that you have to travel even further every time you go out because your dogs aren’t welcome anywhere nearby. This book will give me a guide to pubs and beaches where the dogs will be welcome, including details of any restrictions so we’ll know where to go for a nice, relaxed holiday with plenty to do.

Next, a trip to Dogs’ Den where I found the recyclable, stuffable, tossable and tough Tux toy by West Paw Designs. This wasn’t the cheapest dog toy I've ever bought, but it looked as if it might stand up to Fargo the labradoodle’s formidable chewing skills so I splashed out. It turned out to be brilliant value for money. As soon as I got it home all the dogs went crazy for it, and it immediately became Fargo’s favourite toy. I gave it to him yesterday and he went and fetched it as soon as he finished breakfast this morning. It’s incredibly durable – Fargo’s chewed it like a pro and it’s not showing a single sign of wear and tear.  It’s also dishwasher safe and it floats – an invaluable property if, like me, you’ve had a dog that likes to take his toys in the pond. I haven’t even put any treats in the toy yet, as the dogs seem to love it just as it is. It’s a great toy that will last many years.

I had to pay a visit to Lily’s Kitchen. I don’t live in London so it’s not practical for me to take my dogs for a trip to the brilliant Lily’s Kitchen Diner pop-up store which is open in London until 23 December. So I thought I’d take home some Lily’s Kitchen organic treats for them. My dogs love all treats, so I knew they’d have no problem trying new ones – but they absolutely love these. The Organic Cheese and Apple Treats are a big hit. For a ‘biscuit in the house’, I’d like it if they were available in a larger size for my medium- and large-sized dogs. But they’re the ideal size for use as training treats and, since dogs go crazy for them, they’re an effective blackmail tool. The real winners are the new Organic Bedtime Biscuits, which are made with probiotic yoghurt, honey, chamomile and passion flowers and are designed to help your dog settle down when it’s time for bed. My three don’t need any help settling down for the night, but they do love these biscuits – in fact, they smell so nice I wish there was a version for humans.

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