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A Dotty Pet Directory

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get online and find all the places in your local area that accept pets or allow pets? Not have to call or stop into the shop or restaurant and ask if they accept pets? Alleviate driving around for hours finding overnight accommodations that accept pets?

One of the best directories we’ve come across so far, Dotty4Paws gives you the best of both, advice on the best places for your pets and product reviews. Plus, if you see the Dotty4Paws sticker in the window, you know it’s dog friendly, no questions asked.

As someone who has an active dog, her reviews are essential for product purchasing decisions. The last thing any of us pet parents want is to purchase a product only to have our hopes dashed when attempting to use them. So it’s nice to have an actual product tester with an actual dog, use the products and give real feedback.

Currently, Dotty4Paws directory is limited to the UK for local spots and accommodations, so if you’re planning a trip to the UK, let them be your guide. Also, there are merchants listed with her that do ship word wide. So if you’re interested in a product, don’t let something silly, like the Atlantic Ocean stop you – place an order and bring a small piece of the UK to your doorstep.

So, don’t just take our word for it, here’s Kate from Dotty4Paws to tell your about it

Dotty4paws is an online directory that is dedicated entirely to dogs! From dog-friendly shops, accommodation, attractions, events and eateries, to gifts for the discerning dog and dog lover.

Inspired by my own love for dogs, and a strong belief that dogs should be treated as family members, I created a website that would help ‘man’s best friend’ to live the life they deserve.

Using our interactive map or search facility, you can ‘sniff out’ somewhere close by to ensure you, and your four-legged friend, will receive a warm welcome wherever you go. 

We also have a range of qualified people to take care of your dog – from canine behaviourists, to physiotherapists, dog sitters, dog walkers and more….we really are the one stop shop for everything dog!

With a very willing model on hand, aka Poppy dog, we love doing product photography for brands and also offer a blogging service too where we put doggy products and dog-friendly places to the test.

Get Festive – Choose the Right Holiday Petwear

Want to dress up your pets this holiday season? Not sure where to start or what works for your pets? Well, read on and let our tips be your guide to festive pet apparel for your pets.

Prepping your pets for wearing apparel – as we have mentioned prior blog posts, is the first place to start before purchasing an entire wardrobe of holiday wear and you need to begin well in advance of the holidays.

If your pets aren’t used to wearing clothing or accessories, read our blog post here – Apparel Patterns + Pets. If your pets are used to wearing or have become comfortable wearing clothes or accessories, then we can start with choosing colors and patterns.

Ever come home with some clothing, you’re all excited thinking, it’s just the most adorable piece of clothing or accessory and it’s going to look so great on your pet. You cut off the tags, put it on, get your camera app ready and then realize while trying to take a picture, this doesn’t look so good or fit so well. Instagram or photo sharing moment spoiled.

You then think, well wait, this looked so great in the store and the picture of it on the dog looks great. Take another look at that great picture of the dog, notice anything about the coat color? It’s usually one solid color in either white or tan, which can handle the majority of color palettes. Also, look at the size of the dog too, the dog usually is a small breed size, so everything looks great on a small breed.

Festive holiday wear is sometimes difficult to get right because the pattern prints can be too busy or the colors overwhelming. Also, what looks good on a small breed doesn’t look good on a larger breed, a point we continually mention through out our other blog posts.

Let’s take a look at our model Jack, he has multiple coat colors of black, tan and white which makes choosing a color and pattern a bit trickier as you don’t want dark colors and too busy of a pattern, not only would dark colors blend in, but too busy a pattern becomes the main focal point, not the bandana itself. Wait – you’re thinking this dog has a black bandana with tossed print mittens on them, that’s everything we just said not to do.

Here’s why it works – let’s look at his coat coloring. The majority of the black color coat is on his back, not his front.  His chest is mainly tan and white colors, while there is the presence of some black towards the front of his chest, it’s not the majority coloring. The background of the bandana works in this instance because the lighter coloring on his chest helps to contrast the black color and not blend into the coat.

Also, the pattern colors are fairly bright and this is important for two reasons – one the colors in the mittens become the focal point on the bandana, not black background, otherwise, the bandana wouldn’t work with muted colors. As, we mentioned earlier, the multiple coat color does make it a bit trickier to choose colors.

The second reason is the pattern print is the perfect size, while it is somewhat busy, it’s not so large it overwhelms and it isn’t so small that it overwhelms by being too busy. There is a third reason this bandana works that we haven’t mention and that is the size of the bandana itself. The size is important as it also doesn’t overwhelm by covering the majority of Jack’s chest or hang down to the floor – a scenario that could lead to him trying to remove the bandana as it could get in the way when he walks or becomes irritating because it’s too big.

One last tip worth mentioning – you most likely know the colors and patterns that look best on you, whether its clothing, make up, jewelry, etc. The same goes for your pets, try to figure out what colors and patterns look best on them, it’ll make it easier when trying to determine if a particular print or color will work. If possible, take pictures of your pet wearing outfits, ones that you think look good and feel comfortable for them. This is a bit of a task in our busy daily lives, however, it will save on buyer’s remorse and alleviate any discomfort for your pets.  

Small and Large Sizes

Apparel Patterns + Pets

Poppy is wearing a size x-large from the Poppy Blooms Collection. The color contrasts nicely with her coat color and the scale of the pattern doesn’t overwhelm due to her size.

When selecting  pet apparel with a pattern, be it a sweater, coat, etc., it is important to consider your pet’s size. The type of patterns that look good on a small pet doesn’t always work for a pet who’s larger.

Let’s consider the design of a pattern itself, whether it’s a complex or a simple pattern. If the pattern, for example, is mosaic or has elaborate scroll design or drawings, this may work for a smaller pet. The same design done for a larger pet, however, may be look overwhelming on the dog and put the entire focus on the sweater’s pattern. So if you have a larger pet and don’t want the plain vanilla flavor look, then choose pet apparel with simple, less complex patterns. Try to find a pattern with a simple design, one that compliments your pet, but doesn’t overwhelm where it look better as wallpaper then as a sweater.

The dog above with the white fur could wear a busy or repeating pattern as the apparel covers a small area of the dog. However, the pattern on a larger scale would be too busy. The apparel would compete with your pets rather than compliment. Also, color is important too as dark colors may look good on a dog with lighter color fur, but pets with darker color fur, the apparel may blend in, where as a softer shade, such as a pastel or a neutral tone with a simple print would coordinate well.

So if you have a larger pet and don’t want the plain vanilla flavor look, then choose dog sweaters with simple, less complex patterns.  If the pattern on the pet apparel, coat, bandana, etc. looks better as wallpaper then as apparel, then less is more works in this instance. Choosing apparel with a simple pattern will compliment, not overwhelm.

Simple patterns such as stripes, two tones, pattern at the top and bottom with simple design in the middle or just a simple repeating designs on the apparel work for a large breed pet.

So You Want to Have a Pawty

A Gathering of Party Tails

Having a social gathering that includes your furkids can be enjoyable and a lot of fun. Planning ahead to accommodate both guests and pets can help make the party run more smoothly.

Yes, sitting down and making a check list can seem old fashion and tedious, so we’ve done it for you.

  • How much space do you have to comfortably fit both guests and pets? Is the party inside or outside?
  • Is there enough room for a large gathering or would a smaller number of guests be a better fit?
  • Do you have enough water bowls to accommodate your pet guests? Some pets can handle drinking from the same water bowl at the same time, others prefer on their own .
  • Have your pets been socialized around your guests’ pets? Can your pets get comfortable around other pets their unfamiliar with?
  • Are your pets territorial? Can they handle other pets coming to their home?
  • Do you have separate feeding areas for pets and guests?
  • Do you have accommodations for senior pets?

When having non-resident pets into your home, family or friends, it’s best to consider whether your pets have been socialized around other pets. You may need to introduce your pets to friends and family pets prior to your social gathering to get a feel for how they interact with each other.

As mentioned earlier, you may also need to make accommodations for senior pets. Older pets may need a non-skid rug or extra pillow/crate bed to lay on instead of the floor, especially in the winter time with tile and wood floors.

Keep in mind too that human food and pet food should be kept separately – especially if you’re providing any cakes (chocolate in particular), sweets or candies at the party, these need to be kept out of the reach of all pets.

Hey, just pass that of plate of food my way – I’ll take of the rest

If you can, provide a low feeding area – a table or platform where each dog can be spaced out with his or her own food.

Plus a few other items to mention – you may want to hide away your pets’ toys. Since your furry guests may have free range of your home or yard, your pets may not like or understand the concept of sharing with others their unfamiliar with.

Look at from your pets perspective. If a stranger were to walk through your door, raid your fridge for a snack, sit down on your sofa and start watching TV while waiting for their dinner order – you would feel as if someone had invaded your home.

Just have patience with your pets when they have to temporarily “share,” their home with unfamiliar pets. It may take a small gathering of pets they are familiar with to start off with, but over time you should eventually be able increase the number of pets at your gatherings.

Choosing a Pet Coat

http://www.fourpawsouterwear.com/Harthbury-Falls-Pet-Coats-p/htbf-299280.htm

We all want our pets to be comfortable and warm when wearing coats, but how do you know which one to choose?

There are a variety of pet coats on the market in different options and fabrics. Some look as if your pet could scale the Andes while others are just for looks.

A good place to start is with the type of clothing your pet wears already. Can they handle a coat with a hood? Do they require a loose fit to ensure they move with comfort? Do they need a coat that’s made with cotton or fleece versus polyester or the latest fabric?

Another area to focus on is a good fit, this is key as well. How does the coat feel? If the coat feels rough on the inside like sandpaper, would you wear it? Or would you wear a coat that’s a size too small? Does the lining provide enough warmth?

Our model Poppy is wearing a coat in size large – her girth is approx 24.5″ and back length from collar to tailbone is approx. 20″. According to the size chart she falls between a medium and a large. We always recommend going up a size, especially if your pet falls towards the end of the size range. This ensures your pet has room to move, especially if they are prone to easily picking up weight. Also, the coat featured has adjustable velcro straps that allow you to adjust it to your pet’s comfort.

In the end, there is no one size fits all approach with pet clothing, you have to see what fits and what works best with your pet. If you measure your pet carefully and in a standing position, you can avoid some of the headache with the sizing and fit.

One last item to mention, allow your pet time to adjust to the coat or clothing, don’t assume when you put it on and they start jumping around they don’t like it. They have to be given time to adjust to the new clothing, especially if they not used to wearing clothing initially. So just be patient.

Allergies, Pets and You

Bundles of allergens

Are allergies holding you back from quality time with your pets or even from possibly adopting them? If you find that you’re allergic to pets or allergies have been holding you back, here are a few tips to improve the situation to spend more time with your pets or adopt pets.

According to NIH around 10-20% of the population are allergic to pets. The proteins found in your pet’s dander (dead skin cells), saliva and urine all cause allergic reactions.

Start with your home

Clean Routine

Furniture and Floor Coverings – Allergens can collect in furniture, rugs, drapes, etc. Using slipcovers and extra blankets on sofas or beds can also help reduce the number of allergens – plus most slipcovers and blankets are machine washable.

Vacuum and dust frequently. Your pet may not be the only contributor to household allergies. Dust, pollen and mold can come into our homes in a variety of ways, so frequently dusting and vacuuming can provide allergy relief as well. Using dusters and microfiber cloths are a great way to alleviate dust and other allergy irritants.

Plus, there are a number of vacuums available on the market now that are specially designed with attachments to deal with pet hair.

Clean pet bedding regularly – This can alleviate hair, dander, pollen, etc. that accumulates over time with your pet’s bedding.  It is best to purchase bedding that can be washed or bed covers that can be removed and washed on a weekly basis. If your pet’s bed doesn’t have a removable cover, with your next pet bed, you may want to invest in a pet bed with removable covers.

If find that you can’t wash your pet’s bed, as some covers aren’t machine washable or can’t be removed – apply a handheld vac to the bed or use a lint roller. This maybe time consuming – but it’s worth the effect to keep your allergies at bay. Plus, your pet isn’t lying a bed full of hair and dander and then spreading it around the house.

Wash clothing weekly too – Pet clothes are a magnet for accumulating pet hair. So, sweaters, tops, pants, etc. should be washed weekly too.

Clean carriers and totes – These items can build up hair and dander quickly – especially if your pets travel with you frequently.

Start with you

Your clothes – pet hair loves clothes – it’s a natural magnet. Washing your clothes frequently or using a lint roller to remove those “magical hairs,” as their often referred to can ease allergic reactions.

Rinse your hands after each interaction

Also, clean your hands after each interaction with your pet – this limits allergens coming into contact with your face.  

Create a pet free space – Having a pet free zone, such as a den or bedroom would give you several hours daily to avoid coming into to contact with allergens.

Keep your pets groomed

Pawsitively Clean

Washing your pets – weekly baths can also help prevent the spread of allergies as well. You do have to be careful not to dry out your pet’s skin, so check with your veterinarian to find a pet shampoo that works.

Groom your pets – There are a wide variety of grooming and shedding tools on the market for pets. While these tools won’t completely eliminate all dander and flake buildup with pet hair, it does help to alleviate the amount of hair be spread around your home.

Skin Conditions – Have your veterinarian check for any skin conditions which could contribute to excessive shedding.

All of these suggestions may make feel you like you’ve taken on a second job, but these tips whether you use some or all can help you take steps towards alleviating most allergies from your home.

If you don’t have time to clean or wash your pet weekly – other alternatives include weekly visits to the groomers, a cleaning service or both.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5809771h

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care

https://primereviews.org/best-pet-hair-vacuum-cleaners

Find Your Pet’s Comfort

When you see a pet apparel at the store that you like, it may look cute, but how does the apparel feel? Is the material coarse? Is it made from yarn that’s too thin? Will it last through several washings? Regardless of how adorable or colorful pet apparel is, picking apparel that has the right texture and thickness is important since the purpose of your pet wearing apparel is mainly to keep them warm (while looking stylish of course!).

These dog apparel shown above are made from soft acrylic yarn, not thin yarn material. Plus the collars are designed in a rib stitch pattern to allow for flexibility in the neck area. The pet coat pictured just below is made from flannel and fleece – which are nice, soft fabrics.

Also, if your dog has short hair, a fine coat or you live in a cold weather region, will a sweater made with thin yarn not only last through wear and care, but help keep your dog warm? How will the sweater feel on your dog after a few washings, especially if your dog has a fine coat or short hair, the coarseness of the sweater may bother them and hind your dog from wanting to wear the sweater.

Consider the next time you purchase a dog sweater whether the quality of that sweater or sweaters will satisfy your dog’s needs.