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15 February 2015

Best. Day. Ever! Make Your Own Dog Treats!

Well what a day today was! The smells, the tastes, the drool!!

Today was “Make your own Dog Treats Day!” and me and my mate Dexter were the tasters – heaven.

Waiting for the treats

I think my She is going to test 2 different types of treats every week or so – the beginning of a great new career for me.

So for this week the treats are both from a book by Mindi Berg; Dog Treat Cookbook: 27 Pooch-Approved Homemade Recipes

Peanut Butter Banana Bites

This is a great really easy recipe and suits Dexter as it’s got no Gluten in it. The “cup” amount is an American measure and a full Cup is about 100g or 3.25 ounces.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup rolled oats – (66g)
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
Peanut and Banana Treats Ingredients

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • Mash the banana with a fork in a bowl
  • Add the peanut butter and mix well
  • Add the oats and mix until a dough forms
Peanut and Banana Treats Mix in the oats

Make sure you have plenty of flour on your hands and then roll dough between your palms to make 1” diameter size balls

Peanut and Banana Treats Rolling the dough
  • Place them on a baking tray – you can use parchment paper if you like
  • Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool
  • Makes around 15
  • Feed treat to mesmerised dog!
Dexter waiting for treats

Recipie Number 2

Puppy Pate - super easy and fast to make

  • 2 Cups or 200g of Whole Grain Flour (We substituted Rice flour)
  • 3oz of Chicken Pate
  • 1 egg (or 2 if using rice flour)
Puppy Pate Ingredients
  • Mix the pate and egg in a bowl until it’s combined
  • Mix in the flour to form a dough – We used Rice flour because Dex is an Allergy dog and we found we needed a bit more liquid to make the dough. You can either add another egg or some water
  • Roll the dough – make sure you flour the board as this can get sticky!
  • Cut out with small cookie cutters- we used round discs about the size of a 10 pence piece
Puppy Pate cutting out
  • Bake for around 20 minutes or until golden brown

Makes around 25

Well I guess you want to know what we thought? They both tasted pretty good! Even before they were cooked! So we decided to do a taste test. And after we were allowed too choose both Dex and I decided we liked the Puppy Pate the best.

Testing the dough

Woof!
Charlie

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15 February 2015

Charlie the Shaggy Schnauzer

Woof!

I’m Charlie the Shaggy Schnauzer! I’m nearly 2 and live in the countryside just outside London, UK.

Groomed Charlie

I’m slightly bonkers, slightly smelly and dead gorgeous as you can see!

Officially I’m a Black Schnauzer (they call me a Standard Schnauzer in the USA) – did you know that we were the first Schnauzers-before the Mini or Giant? Apparently I’m “not only highly intelligent and an excellent family companion, but I’m uniquely handsome, even aristocratic, in appearance”.I think that might be desribing some of my slightly more groomed relatives! Shaggy is the way I’d describe myself apart from the week after I go to the groomers! My She keeps threatening to have me “done” properly but so far so good! Not sure about the summer though-I’ll keep you posted!

Charlie on Holiday

I don’t see many other dogs like me -not my size anyway – in 2010 there were 279 Schnauzer puppies born in the UK but over 5000 Mini Schnauzer! No wonder I keep meeting them in the park.

I live at home with my He, She and their 3 teenage daughters so you can imagine it’s not a quiet life! I have a great bark and often use it especially when someone I don’t know comes to the door! My long lost relatives were, after all, bred as farm guard dogs so I think I shouldn’t let them down! It is said that the bark of a standard Schnauzer is deep and loud and sounds like it should come from a much larger dog. The delivery man that threw the parcel in the air and ran certainly thought I was massive!!

I also live with 3 guinea pigs – so far I haven’t been allowed to play with them as my great great Grandfathers were Ratters so the family seem to think I may play with them a bit too hard. My favourite pig is called Custard and we often give each other a good sniff through the bars!

Charlies Wriggy friends

Now I’m the first to admit that I may be slightly spoilt! I take my She for a nice long walk every day usually with my best friend Dexter the Boxer – he’s a laugh and what a runner – I have to cut a lot of corners to keep up with him but when I do we “box” and jump.

Award winning photo sep 2012

Jumping is something I’m particularly good at- apparently not quite as good as my Dad who managed to jump to my She’s head height the first time they met! I love my food but am slightly fussy. I have 2 favourite dinners – my She cooks me a nice chicken, fish and veggie combo or this month I’m trying Raw- my bowl is licked clean I can tell you – tasty! My favourite thing to do in the whole world is to chase squirrels- I LOVE them! They are so wriggly and I love the way they dart about! One of these days I’ll catch one or learn to climb that tree in my garden. In fact I think that’s one I see – bye for now!

Woof!

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01 March 2015

On the hunt for Cool Stuff!

Charlie here... Another day out where I wasn’t allowed to go! But I SUPPOSE it was all in a good cause! My She spent the day yesterday at PATS – one of the UK’s largest trade exhibitions for all things PETS with 140 exhibitors - on the hunt for Cool stuff!

Now frankly I’m not nearly as cool as my mate Dexter the Boxer but I like to think I can pull it off and as one of the main Dogs About Town Testers I am definitely looking forward to the next few weeks.So watch out for me modelling some super Cool Collars – hand made from the finest leather in London or lounging in my new uber cool bed- not yet available in the UK but coming soon all the way from the very cool and glamorous Miami. Or how about playing with some (almost!) indestructible colourful toys and finishing it all off with a snack from a fabulously designed sleek new dog bowl?Watch this space and don’t forget to tell us if you’ve come across any Cool doggy accessories as we’re always on the hunt for new and different things.

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03 March 2015

Country Park Dog Walk

Well! What a day! A new walk! I love a new walk although I’m not sure there was a lot of waking involved really. I spent most of the time bounding around sniffing out all sorts of lovely things and in and out of the woods with my BFF Dexter!

My She decided that she fancied taking a new walk and after a quick trip in the boot we arrived at Black Park.

Charlie and Dex In the Car

It is massive! It says on their website that there’s over 500 acres of woodland, heathland and open space, including over 10 miles of well-surfaced tracks and I think me and Dex had a good go at covering most of that!

There’s a huge car park as well with lots of spaces although you do have to pay £3.50. If you’re planning on going a lot then you can park in Black Park Road and walk for 3 minutes for no charge and no restrictions. If you don’t live nearby but you like the idea of a nice woodland walk, check out the Forestry Commission’s website here and you’ll find some good woodland walks near you – and don’t forget to let us know what you think if you do one! And if you’re planning to make a day of it, dogfriendly.co.uk will have some recommendations of places where your woofer will be as welcome as you are.

Right, back to Black Park….We started off walking through the heathland with huge trees all around. There are some incredible smells (apparently only Dex and me could smell them, though) and a couple of excellent streams to run through. We met lots of other dogs to have a good sniff at. One of them told me there’s a really large lake although we didn’t go near it – I’m not sure why as I really love jumping in and splashing! I like swimming a bit more than Dexter as not all Boxers are natural swimmers!

All in all a great day out! Watch us and check out our paw rating below!

Paw Rating:

Criteria Description Paw Rating
Ease of Access Black Park is signposted from the A412 between Slough and Iver Heath), Black Park Road, Wexham, SL3 6DS. You need a car to access the park.
Car Parking Large car park but it does cost £3.50. Limited Street parking with a walk.
Type of route Woodland, heathland and open space including 10 miles of well surfaced tracks. Flat terrain
Distance From 1 mile to 10 miles.
Facilities for humans Café and toilets.
Flexibility Good choice of shorter or long walks.
Dog Restrictions There are a few “dog free” areas including the Picnic area. For full details see here
Opening times 1 January – 13 February 8am-5pm14 February – End February 8am-6pm1 March – 28 March 8am-6pm29 March – 18 September 8am-8pm19 September – 11 October 8am-7pm12 October to 24 October 8am-6pm25 October – End December 8am-5pm
Number of poo bins Limited- we actually only found one at the North end of the Lake near to the Car park entrance. I suspect there are more but they are not in large numbers.

Hope you have as much fun as we did! If you’d like me and Dex to review your favourite dog walk then just let me know! Woof!

Charlie

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04 March 2015

Chill Out With A Puppy Massage

Much like this gorgeous little puppy - sigh....
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05 March 2015

Dexter, the (allergic, bouncy, fantastic) Boxer

Woof! Hello, I'm Dexter. I'm a 4 year old brindle Boxer and I live with my family in the countryside just outside London.

I'm on the small(ish) side for a boy Boxer, weighing in at 25kgs (Adam & Jo think its quite enough!) and I'm quite high maintenance because I'm allergic to lots of stuff - mainly dust, cooked / processed chicken and some vegetables. Oh, and the preservatives in most processed dry dog food!

Adam & Jo took me to a special vet when they first noticed I was really itchy (my ears, tummy and paws were sore) and they put me on new diet and gave me lots of pills and lotions to get me back to normal. These worked for a while but I also had to have injections each month, which none of us liked.

Because of this, Jo did lots of research and found some recipes for home-cooked food (mainly oily fish and veg) and I had this for a while but then I got itchy again so we all went back to the vet to see what else we could do that didn't involve lots of pills and monthly injections and he suggested that I try a RAW food diet.

And looking back, what a day that was! Now I have mainly raw duck (without any vegetables added) and some raw chicken (its only the cooked stuff I'm allergic to) and lamb. It comes ready chopped, meat, bones, offal - the lot and I love it!

If you want to know which company Jo uses, get in touch and she'll be happy to give you the details. I also have some fabulous treats now - they are 100% dried liver and whenever we buy a packet another packet is donated to a dog shelter, which I think is nice.

Me on one of my morning walks

Me on one of my morning walks

One of favourite weekend walks!

One of favourite weekend walks!

I love a good snooze but I can also be quite active so I usually go on 2 walks a day (unless it's raining as I don't like getting my paws muddy) and we go across fields, through woods or around the town where we live. I usually stay quite close by unless one of my friends is with me (Charlie or Tia, in particular) and then I run and tumble around. And if it's a really good walk, I chase my ball. I think a ball might just be my most favourite toy in the world, I could play with one all day. I don't mind if it's a tennis ball, rugby, football anything that can be thrown and bounces is for me (I really like it when I catch it on the volley!)Charlie (the shaggy Schnauzer) is my best friend and he and I see each other most days as we come to the office. As long as we have a nice walk in the morning and a play at lunchtime we are pretty good and just snooze the day away whilst Kate and Jo do all the work.

Lunchtime Walk

Lunchtime Walk

Office Snooze....

Office Snooze....

I think that's probably enough from me for now as the sun has just come out and I can see a spot in the garden that's just asking to be snoozed in!Don't forget to get in touch if you'd like any more information about how Jo made my food or what they do now to keep me from being itchy, or if you just want to say hello. See you later,Woof!

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09 March 2015

Crufts Review – A great day out

Frankly I don't know why, but for this day out I wasn't allowed to go. I think I would have been perfectly behaved but apparently unless I am actually a show dog then I'm not allowed into Crufts 2015.

Now I know that from my pictures many of you will wondering why I don’t enter but I’m not sure it would be fair to all those other Schnauzers!So I'll just have to tell you all I heard when they got back.

Charlie in the woods

They started out early but not too early. The traffic on the M42 was super busy so rather than sit in it they decided to wait until a bit later –the show opens at 07.45 in the morning and doesn’t close until 19.30 so there’s plenty of time. Watch out though - most of the dogs go home just after 4pm so if you want to see a specific breed then make sure you look up what time their judging is so you don’t miss them. There’s a great section on the Crufts website with all those sorts of details. The NEC is very well signposted and so are the car parks. If you’re visiting then this year we parked in the North Car parks-you’ll need to allow £10 for this and hop on a bus to the venue. Top tip here- when you leave the NEC much later in the day take the first signposted turn out of the NEC even though it looks like it’s going North and you’re going South! It saves a huge amount of time as you can weave your way back to the M42.

In each hall there’s a good mix of stalls for all sorts of things- collars, shampoo, treats, toys to name just a few as well as 10 or so smaller judging rings where all the “Best” competitions take place.

Crufts Ring 2015

Things like Best Dog, Best Bitch, Best Young Dog etc. and finally they are all against each other for the Best in Breed.Once the Best in Breeds have been decided then it’s time for Best in Class and it’s these winners that go forward to Best in Show! All this (apart from Best in Show) takes place in the halls and not the main arena so you have a really good chance of seeing what you want.

All the dogs that were competing - all 21427 of them- have their own little raised stall area that they sit in waiting for their turn and frankly this is the bit that I'm not sure I'd be able to do! Apparently they were all just sitting there super well behaved and not barking or jumping up at all.

Imagine the self control!

Imagine the self control!

And each breed is in its own special area waiting to be called to compete. I heard that there were 342 Jack Russels! On the day they were there it was Working Dog class so lots of Boxers like my best mate Dexter – last year there were 231 of them. I’m in the Utility Class and there were only 77of my cousins there so maybe next year!! I’m sure there’s a Shaggy Schnauzer class?All in all a fantastic day and will definitely be back next year!

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13 March 2015

What We Look For In A Dog Friendly Hotel, B&B, Campsite or Pub

Sometimes we’re lucky enough to be taken away on holiday or for the weekend and whilst Kate and Jo might look up the star rating or tripadvisor review before they go, we have an altogether different criteria – we like to call it “Paws-itively”.

Now before we go in to our “Paws-itively” rating system, we should let you know that we’ve learnt a lot from Kate and Jo.They have both worked in the travel industry for (hundreds of) dogs years, most recently in luxury hotels but also airlines and travel agencies so they know a thing or two about choosing the right place to stay and how the occasion plays an important part in choosing a Hotel, B&B or Pub as well as budget. So, we’ve taken on some of their approach and made it our own and for that reason, you might find a country pub that scores just as high as a luxury hotel or a campsite that scores higher than both. It’s about why we’re going, what we can do when we get there, how welcome we feel as well as a host of other stuff and this is what makes up our “Paws-itively” rating.

Dexter On The Clifftop At TenbyCharlie Paddling in Cornish Sea

For almost everywhere we review, we want to know:

  • Is it easy to park & how much does it cost? (We take a lot of stuff with us when we travel so it’s good to be able to park close by).
  • What special facilities are there for us? A Garden? A field to play in or just a courtyard to do what we need to?
  • Can we go in the restaurant? Don’t get us wrong, we won’t be perusing the menu, but can we go in?
  • Is there anywhere we can’t go?
  • Are there enough poo bins nearby?
  • What is there for us to do close by? A beach? A nice woodland walk?
  • What do we need to bring with us for when we’re in our room? A Crate, a Bed or Blanket?
  • Are there lots of other dogs? We like to play but we know some of our fellow woofers prefer a quieter life.
  • Where is the nearest vet? Hopefully we don’t need to go and test them out but we do want to know where they are.
  • Plus we also give an overall rating for how welcome we felt when we were there.

We don’t really get in to the traditional rating points that humans use – e.g. whether or not they have tea and coffee or a full length mirror in the room although Kate and Jo often let us know how the food was (although they don’t let us share it with them), what the customer service was like and whether or not they would go back.And then we give our total score on a scale of 1 Paw to 5 Paws.We hope you like our reviews and find them useful! And if you think we’ve missed out something important, let us know.Woof!

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16 March 2015

Charlie’s Favourite Dog Beards!

So I’ve been thinking! I have a fantastic life but there is one thing I absolutely hate and that’s having my beard washed or combed-or worse still both!

My She insists on giving me a good wash after every meal –especially if I’m eating Raw food – personally I can’t see the problem with me wiping Raw Duck on the carpet but apparently it isn’t done!

Charlie the Shaggy Schnauzer with text

So it got me thinking -why do some Dogs have beards and some not? There doesn’t seem to be a definite answer but most people who know think that it’s because us Terrier type dogs need protection from working in the fields and diving down all those rat holes. Can’t say I’ve done a lot of either lately but at least I know that my face will be fully protected!!!Anyway, enough of me, here are some of my favourite Dog beards… be sure to post your favourites on our facebook page!

Yorkshire Terrier with TextSchnauzer WithTextShaggy West Highland Terrier with textBearded Collie with Text

Why not share your Beardy photos? Visit us on Facebook

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24 March 2015

Paws in The Park

This may be the year that we’re off the Paws in the Park! We’ve not been before but it certainly looks worth a visit… If you’ve been before then be sure to let us know what you thought.

Paws in the Park shows are the UK's largest indoor and outdoor dog shows for working, trained and pet dogs, and every year our shows get bigger and better! Over 20,000 people and 15,000 dogs came to the Autumn Paws in the Park last year, and over 1000 camped out overnight to enjoy the free evening entertainment.

There're 2 shows Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May 2015 A tail-waggingly exciting weekend of dog activities, displays and competitions at the lovely South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex

Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 September 2015 An action-packed weekend of doggy delights, displays and competitions, now in it's ninth year! Book your tickets now for our biggest and best Autumn show yet at The Kent Showground, Detling, Kent.

What’s more there’s the option to Camp! For those of you that know Charlie you’ll know how much he loves camping so here’s some more details;

Weekend Camping at Paws in the Park Paws - weekend camping tickets are on sale now!! If you’re looking for a Barking Weekend Break or a Doggy Weekend Away with your best four-legged pal, have we got a bargain break for you! Enjoy two days access to our dog show, free parking, free evening entertainment and a campsite right next to the showground. Camping is available for tents, caravans and campers.For tickets or more information just visit: Paws in the Park

Charlie helps Put Up The Tent
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