Our Daily Essentials; From Treats To Toys
To properly kick off The Adventures of Josie & Edie I thought I'd go old school blogger on you and share what is in the dog's bag and their day to day essentials. Before having a dog who is solely my responsibility I never quite realised just how many things there were to buy for them or just how much joy I would get from buying them new things either So here is everything we love from leads to treats to toys.
LEADS, COLLARS, BANDANAS & HARNESSES
Any hound owner will know that our long-necked boys and girls cannot have traditional dog collars. As Edie is still too small for a hound collar we've not been able to purchase one for her yet but Josie has a few that we rotate and they each have their own use.
TRADITIONAL MARTINGALE COLLAR
This is our preferred collar for Josie if she is going to be on her lead for a long time as it's cloth so it's incredibly comfortable on her neck. The slip close design means if she does ever pull it's more gentle on her neck and doesn't cause her to choke or retch. We found this Rifle Paper Co fabric collar on Etsy, it's worn and washed incredibly well and it will be passed down to Edie when she's big enough. We're currently looking into the Brindle & Whyte collars as they look absolutely beautiful and should see Josie through the next few years now she's fully grown. Now to just pick a colour...
The black leather collar is what we use on Josie's off lead walks when we know she will be playing around with another pup as it's super sturdy and can withstand just about anything. It simply wipes clean and is ready to go again and considering how much use it's had it's barely worn. It's from a brand called Ancol who are very popular in the dog world and I really rate this collar as it's padded too. Then we have her beautiful Fetch & Follow* collar which is a natural tan shade now and was almost like a blush pink when we first received it but now it's aged it's gone a little darker. It's so soft and lightweight but it's very sturdy and substantial and has worn wonderfully over the past 8 months. She could definitely wear this when playing with other dogs but as it's our favourite we're a little precious with it.
After getting far too fed up of getting tangled around other dog owners and not feeling fully in control we ditched the extendable lead and stuck to short ones and it's made a vast improvement in Josie's lead work. We've been using the matching Fetch & Follow* lead to the collar and its hands down one of the best things we own. A beautiful leather that is kind to the hands and is incredibly strong so you don't have to worry about them being able to break away. The substantial brass buckle is such a lovely twist on the traditional silver options that many leads have and it's so sturdy so again you don't have to worry about your pup getting free. As we now have two pups we've passed down the Fetch & Follow lead to Edie and it's ideal for her as it's so lightweight. And Josie has a new lead from the beautiful brand The Foggy Dog* an emerald green rope with brass finishes and it's absolutely stunning. We've had to customise it slightly with the addition of some knots to make it the same length as Edie's so we can walk them successfully together. I've always feared rope leads in case they ripped my skin to shreds if Josie ever pulled but even when she has this has been comfortable to hold and the emerald green colour is absolutely beautiful. Something that I've learned when it comes to leads and collars is that when you pay a little more you typically don't have to pay again as there is nothing worse than a frayed or even worse a snapped lead within just a few uses.
When Josie was younger we always had a collar on her in the house as it made it easier to grab her if we needed to. But now she's truly out of the manic puppy stage she has a couple of bandanas so that we can grab her if we need to but they're more relaxed around her neck so aren't uncomfortable for in the house in any way. I picked her first one up from one of my favourite brands Whiskers & Stitched. They have a huge array of bandana prints and we settled on a wonderful William Morris print. I'm a such a sucker for botanicals and it looks lovely against her fur. Another item from The Foggy Dog* is that wonderful Rifle Paper Co toucan print scarf which you can fashion a number of different ways. Personally, I love to twist it around and create a little triangle bandana and the toucan print is absolutely beautiful.
The hunt for a harness to fit a hounds shape is something that is way too difficult and we've still not found the perfect one so any recommendations are welcome. The one we do have that works pretty well is from a brand called Trixie and because it's so soft and cushioned it doesn't give her sores under her arms. A common problem with whippets and their sensitive thin skin is that it's prone to cuts and tears so you need something soft and cushioned. This fits her body pretty well and doesn't slip off her shoulders or come up and over her head which is what we were finding with the standard harness options out there. In general it's much better when worn over one of her jumpers but still works well when she's a naked whippie!
When it comes to buying the girls toys, I have to admit I'm a real sucker for anything cutesy but it more than likely doesn't last two seconds and soon the stuffing is sprawled all over the floor. So we have strict rules now on what we can buy and the places that we buy them from. We generally shop in the likes of; garden centers, TK Maxx and HomeSense are our all-time favourite places to find toys as they have more unique options and a lot of tough toys which are key in our household. The genres of toys we like to have are;
- Soft (minimal stuffing) - for general play and catch.
- Tough - for tug of war and wrestling.
- Squeaky - for general play and tug of war.
- Rubber toys, antlers and buffalo horns - general chewing and antlers and horns are great for cleaning their teeth without the worry them being sugary or damaging like bones can be.
- Cardboard - when Josie went through her awful second teething stage someone suggested giving her cardboard to rip up and it works wonders as she didn't eat it and it just gave her
- Rubber frisbee - when out and about on a walk to practice recall and sprints.
Our cupboards are full to the brim with different treats and snacks for the girls. We try and keep things as simple as possible to avoid any bad tums and here are the things that we absolutely love. We have our in-house treats, walk treats and then training treats so we have a fair few options and there are always new things to try.
For Josie at the moment now she doesn't really require many treats inside as she's somewhat fully trained indoors. So we use these little biscuits which you may have seen in a pick n mix display in stores such as Kennelgate and Pets at Home. They're such a cost friendly way of giving your dog a little treat, seriously you get so many for your money. We can't give Josie anything too heavy in cereals as it gives her a bad tummy but these are ok for her. She's a big fan of the salmon and charcoal bites in particular! In terms of long-lasting chews etc we've never found anything that is quite right so again we'd love to know what you find good for your pups.
TRAINING & OUT AND ABOUT
Walks and training is where we spend the most on treats as we need something as high value as possible. Things that have worked well for us are; dried sausages, sprats, tripe, dried pork, dried chicken and salmon bites. Treats like this are a little more expensive but are way more effective for training. Especially recall because if you've got something they really want they tend to want to come back and get it, most of the time anyway. We are talking about whippets after all...