Following my visit to Crufts last month, I thought I’d write a blog about some of the novel or stand-out products which were on show. The first year I visited Crufts, I bought so much stuff, I ended up paying extra baggage on the airline home. Now though, having attended Crufts for the past 15 years, there is rarely a dog related product I can really get excited about. Classed as ‘new’ the products in question tends to be a reinvention of the wheel, when in fact the original wheel was perfectly functional and more often than not, better than its reinvention.
Practically comatosed over dog beds.
The same boring dog beds crop up each year. Everything from Vet bed-functional but ugly to quirky beds-stuffed with cereal husk-which a decent set of nashers could destroy in seconds. This year, for me, one overall winner which (lottery win required) could be set apart from any of the dog beds on sale at Crufts was Tigga Towers. Not so much a dog bed, as a lavishly beautiful piece of furniture, the carefully created-to-order organic wood, sisal & wicker modular design made my heart flutter and my credit card throb with excitement. There is no other word to describe these beds other than beautiful. They don’t claim to be chew proof, hypoallergenic or orthopedic. But my goodness these beds would sit with pride in any modern house and be admired every time you walk into the room. Start saving now. The one which caught my eye was over a thousand pounds.
New toy gets the thumbs up from me and my dogs.
Before I mention this little gem of a toy, I should state once again that any toy is fair game for destruction if you have a dog who chews. Teach a great tuggy & out & remove toys to a safe place once the game is over. This really is the only guaranteed way of ensuring your money doesn’t get chewed up each time you introduce a new toy to your dog. About two years ago I was introduced to the Puller, a nifty foam ring which certainly wasn’t chew proof but which some dogs I worked with seemed to enjoy. It was big and chunky though, both for the dogs & for me which meant less tug ability than I’d like. Plus it was silly expensive, for what is essentially a purple tug ring. By chance, while wandering around the endless stands of dog toys, I came across the Liker Cord ball-on-a-rope. Made from the same lightweight but tough foam material as the Puller, the Liker Cord is soft yet highly durable. This means reluctant soft mouthed dogs like my Border Collie is happy to tug really hard, without hurting his sensitive little mouth. Bought on trial, reasonably priced, this ball on a rope gets all four paws up for design & fun. I’ve just ordered several more to add to the collection.
Practical, functional and sleek design in fun colour range.
The Hatchbag is a custom built boot liner which protects your car from wet, muddy dogs, hair & drool. Fitted carefully using velcro to cover the entire rear area, it is designed to adjust to split seats, dog guards & wheel arches. I really liked the thought which went into the product design, with the added bonus of being available in various fun colours.
An old favourite deserves a mention.
Tried and tested, with numerous lesser quality mats attempted over the years, the Turtle Mat really is the best doorstep mat out there for catching muddy paw prints & saving your flooring from ruin. This year I bought two more for the front & back doors, the last two having been washed to death in the machine over the past 5 years. Mr.Mats UK is the cheapest provider I’ve come across & you can order direct on 08007720985.
One last thing….Genius!
If you’re a fan of the classic Kong (who isn’t?) but you’re tired of food bits sticking to the inside, never to be removed again, this Toy Cleaning Brush has recently been used on my household’s 9 Kongs, with great relief. The medium & cleverly hidden (in the handle) small Kong cleaning brush is super strong & does a great job. I’ve even bought this as a present for several doggy friends.