Gift guides aren't really my thing, I've not done one for a long time. But with the festive period on the horizon and the fact that I've had a plan to write this post for months it seemed like perfect timing. I'm sure if you're anything like me and you own a dog you probably buy them way too many things and find shopping for them more fun than shopping for yourself. Having a hound has been a learning curve for my shopping experience for sure and here are the best things that I've ever bought her that may be of use to your pup. Of course, this is more centred towards a hound but can definitely be used for not so long slender dogs too.
If you have a super fluffy pup then the need for a coat in the colder months isn't as urgent as if you have a short haired dog. Josie has very thin skin and fur and if it's too cold she will shake so she needs something to keep her warm and cosy. Here are some of my favourite options around. Also, her beautiful little shearling lined number she's wearing in these photographs is from Fetch & Follow* which is absolutely beautiful.
LEAD & COLLAR
In the past 6 months, I've spent more than I care to admit on collars. Hounds have longer necks and slender heads meaning that they cannot wear traditional dog collars, they have to be thicker to protect their necks from straining. We have a few options for Josie, a blush pink leather collar which we use for lead walks, a brown leather collar for woodland walks which she can get dirty and then her handmade Rifle Paper Co collar for in the house and car. Leads are generally pretty easy to buy, although I would highly recommend a tape extendable lead rather than a cord that can easily snap. Of course, you lead needs to be strong enough to hold your dog and preferably not something that they can chew at. Which if you've raised a puppy you will understand all too well. I've not included harnesses in here as were yet to find the perfect one, she had one when she was a pup that ended up giving her little scabs under her arms so if you've got any suggestions for a harness fit for a hound do let me know. And in general for lead walks with any dog I'd always suggest a harness so they don't pull their precious necks and hurt themselves.
Who knew the world of dog bowls was so complex? And also so expensive? Having a taller puppy has opened my eyes to just how hard it is to feed and water a dog when they have to bend so far to get to their food. And in general, lifting your dog's food up a little helps them eat and drink so much, we had this issue with my family dog Bella who is barely ankle height where she would vomit her food back a lot until we moved her onto raised feeders. I cannot recommend them enough and granted they're not as nice to look at and they are a little industrial looking in design but they make a big difference to how your pup eats and drinks which is all that matters.
Whether you get a puppy or you rescue a dog we've all probably fallen into the trap of buying a billion and one toys only to discover that they either last one play with or they never get touched. One thing I've found is an absolute no-go is rope toys, Josie tends to just rip them apart and the tiny bits of thread can go into their tummy and do nasty things. Here are the best toys we've found for her, you may notice she doesn't have any interest in Kong toys at all.
I've come to the conclusion that your dog either loves their bed or they never go near it and would rather lay on the floor. Josie loves her bed as well as blankets and bigger dog beds can be tricky to find. It's all well and good them being snuggly and soft but usually a lot of fleece we found that they tend to be easier for them to pull at or dig up when they're trying to get comfy. So something smooth and durable is what we've found to work best and it means they're easier to clean too, especially now we're in the colder months and your pup is more than likely muddy.
What is the most useful thing you've ever bought your pup?