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Dog Leash 101

dog leash 101

Eliminate the confusion with our Dog Leash 101!

In our Dog Leash 101, we aim to eliminate the confusion from the massive choice in our online store. If you still aren’t sure which lead you need. please contact us.

Long Training Lead

This lead is used for extending your dogs’ range, giving them more freedom. They come in lengths from 5 to 50 metres. Our leads come in a variety of colours, such as black, royal blue, red, navy blue, cerise, bottle green, chocolate brown, purple, orange, yellow, white, fluorescent yellow, electric blue, emerald, lilac, baby blue, baby pink and sky blue.

There are various options for example padded handle, brass or nickel fittings and width choice of 19 or 25mm.

Training Lead (Police Dog Style)

This lead is like the Halti Lead, with a trigger hook at each end, an O ring at one end the 2 O rings situated along the lead, making adjusting the length of this lead easy. Ideal for double leading a dog, such as attaching to a head collar and a dog collar.

Comes in the colours as above, brass or nickel fittings and either 19 or 25mm widths.

Carabiner Dog Lead

A carabiner is a loop usually made of steel or aluminium and can come with a load rating (ours are 450 kilograms), they have a spring loaded gate, used where safety is critical. Sometimes called D rings, they are widely used by professionals where a rope is used such as construction, sailing, caving, arboriculture (tree stuff!), and where you might be more familiar, climbing and mountaineering.

Fairly new o the UK is the swivel carabiner. They are similar to the trigger hook you are familiar with that one usually finds on a dog lead, but they are a carabiner, thus called a swivel carabiner.

The typical mountaineering carabiner is not the one used on our leads, but we do carry stock of them and can make any bespoke dog lead within our power.

Our swivel carabiners are protected against unintentional opening as you have to rotate and pull to releases the gate. These are called twist and push lock.

Moving on to their use with a dog lead, we make the Carabiner Dog Lead and The Carabiner Car Boot Lead. The carabiner dog lead is just a dog lead with a carabiner instead of a trigger hook. The Carabiner Car Boot Lead is a car lead that is suited to boot anchor points in a car that is too bulky for the trigger hook.


Carabiner Dog lead

Bungee Dog Lead

The bungee dog lead is an elasticated lead popular with owners of dogs who pull on the lead. When made, these leads have a piece of elastic stitched into a piece of tube nylon which then looks like a concertina.

Caravan Lead

This lead was a request by a customer some years ago and has been popular ever since. When used with caution, these dog leads can be used to tether a dog. Comes with some common sense safety instructions on the product page.

The lead is a long double ended adjustable lead, used to tether a dog. Not meant to be used without supervision.

Figure of 8 Lead

The figure of 8 lead refers to the direction of the lead as it sits on the dogs head. It goes over the nose, crosses under the dog’s chin, up the sides of the cheeks and over the top of the dogs head behind its’ ears. The lead goes through a ring with a handle at the handler end.

Popular with dogs that pull on the lead with the contact point being at the top of the dogs head, unlike our Simple Leader Head Collar.

Double Up Lead

This lead can be halved in length, so if you purchase the 4 metre double up lead, it can be halved to 2 metres. With a special ring-webbing action sewn into the dogs’ end of the lead, you can thread the lead through itself, making a shorter lead.

Slip Lead

This lead is one length of webbing with a ring at one end. When the handle is threaded through, it makes a noose and its popular with dogs that pull.

Super Dog Leash

A Meg Heath design protected product, the Super Leash is an adjustable lead with a padded handle. A lead that was designed to everything, or at least be adjustable and have a soft handle to hold.

Dog Walking Belt

The dog walking belt is a belt that goes around your waist with various attachment points for leads to be clipped. Used in conjunction with leads that have rings on the handles and popular with dogs that pull or owners of multiple dogs.

House Line or trailing lead

This is a 2-metre dog lead featuring a light rigger hook and no handle. This lead does not have a handle because it is designed to be left on the dog, makes it less likely to get caught under doors etc.

Used for non-confrontational dog handling for example for when wanting to remove a dog from a situation like a sofa!

Head Collar Safety Lead

Another design protected Meg Heath product. This lead feature 2 trigger hooks at the dogs head, designed to be clipped to a head collar and a collar. They can be modified to fit any 2 products, for example, a collar and harness or a head collar and harness.

Car Boot Lead

This car boot lead is adjustable, made to be short measuring 50-75 cm.

The Car Boot Lead can also be used to attach your dog to the headrest. A design protected Meg Heath product.

Carabiner Car Boot Lead

Same as above but the carabiner means you can fix to bulkier car boot anchor points. This car lead cannot be fitted to the headrest of your car.

Car Lead Lite

This car lead is a lighter budget alternative, made from lighter webbing with a trigger hook at each end. This car lead is adjustable, made to be short measuring 50-75 cm but is not suited for headrests.

More products being added regularly. New in July 2018, the Handy Holder and the Coupler.

If you loved our Dog Leash 101, like and share the page, we really appreciate it.

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Dog Rescue Organisations – Product Give-Away – June 2018

Dog Rescue organisations

Dog Rescue Organisations – Product Giveaway, this month, June 2018, 3 dog rescues will be the lucky winners of some of our products.

If you would like to be considered for this, please fill out the form below to be added to our list of entrants.

Tell us in a few words, why your organisation would benefit from winning this prize.

Dog Rescue Organisations

Every so often, we like to support dog rescue organisations in the UK. This June, we have some items that were used in a product shoot and are no longer of use to us.

The following items are up for grabs:

  • Martingale Harness and Lead
  • Collar and Double Up Lead
  • Head Collar and Safety Lead
  • Long Line


  1. We have 4 sets of prizes to give away to4 separate dog rescues.
  2. The entrants will be allocated a number and a random number generator will be used.
  3. Entries close at midnight on Saturday 30th June.
  4. The winners will be notified within 48 hours.
  5. Prizes will be posted second class Royal Mail.
  6. U.K. only

Reasons to support dog rescue

There are so many reasons why you should support dog rescue organisations and charities in the UK and abroad. Rescue volunteers work tirelessly to re-home lost, abandoned and unwanted animals through no fault of their own.

I spoke to Chris Whippey this week, ex RSPCA shelter manager, he  says “the number of dogs put to sleep in the UK is currently around 6,000, which is still unacceptable, although compared to the 1960’s, the UK as a whole put 50,000 dogs to sleep per year, we have come a long way with domestic animal welfare since those days.”

On the RSPCA website, they state many statistics, however oddly they don’t state how many dogs are put to sleep each year with no figures for 2017.

Dogs Trust goes one better and publishes a full report dated September 2016. Although there may be data missing as they rely on Local Authorities submitting their figures and some do not reply, this is why there is a big difference in my quoted figures.

Dogs Trust euthanasia figures September 2016












I am not clear if these are just Dogs Trust figures or nationwide. Still an unnaceptable amount given the amount of dogs bred by back street breeders, puppy farms and flippant breeding from accidental matings by people who are uneducated about how to deal with unwanted pregnancies in dogs.

Please feel free to comment below, we’d love your feedback. Do you work for a rescue organisation or charity? Tell us your story.

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Bee Stings, Honey Bees, White Clover and My Dog

Honey Bee

Bee stings and dogs do not end well. I have a paddock full of White Clover or Trifolium repens, the white clover (also known as Dutch clover, Ladino clover, or Ladino). We have to keep it mowed regularly otherwise the Honey Bees become a problem because as the field is solely used for walking the dogs.

The drone of the Honey Bees is an odd experience, but once we can hear this, we know it’s time to do some grass cutting.

It is a regular occurrence here to have to catch a dog limping off on 3 legs after getting stung by a Honey Bee. It happened today, poor Maisie ran off on 3 legs, wondering what the heck happened. I caught her and pulled out a minute sting. It’s only through experience that I knew what to do, but I can imagine many a dog owner seeing their poor dog limping around on 3 legs and not knowing what to do.

If this happens to you, don’t panic, there’s no need. Just follow the instructions below to deal with it quickly and without fuss.

What do I do if I suspect my dog has been stung?

If you are walking on a grassy area where White Clover is prominent, then there is a fair chance your dog has been stung. Here’s what to do.

  • Get a firm hold of your dog or get someone to help you
  • Lift up their paw
  • Look underneath on their pads for the bee sting
  • You are looking for a small white-ish thing
  • Pull it out with your fingers, then throw it away
  • Your dog should now be none the wiser
  • If any swelling occurs, it will very likely go down after a few days
  • If in any doubt, please see your vet as bee stings are painful for them

Bee Stings

It will look something like this –


bee stings

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Knuckle Bones for oral health in dogs

Knuckle bones

Knuckle Bones are my top recommendation for keeping tartar at bay in dogs.

Ok, I’m no vet so you really should not avoid getting vets advice, but read my blog and make a sensible decision about your dogs’ teeth and their oral health.

I have always been a multi-dog household and have never had a better method for keeping my dogs’ teeth clean. Roast knuckle bones are great for when:

  • Teeth are starting to brown and cleaning the teeth with dog toothpaste is not working
  • There is tartar on your dogs’ teeth
  • There is very thick tartar on your dogs’ teeth!

Do not rely on this method when:

  • Your dog has cavities (which may not be evident as the tartar is covering it)
  • Cavities mean extractions, so please see a vet
  • Your dog guards bones and is aggressive (if you can safely leave them alone while chewing the knuckle bone then this is your call)
  • If you have a guarder, use a lead like one of our house lines to lead your dog away when they get a bit silly around the bone

When using this method, make sure you:

  • Allow supervised sessions of chewing
  • Throw the bone away 1-2 days
  • Watch their pooping as bones will firm your dogs’ stools


  • Discard bones after a day or two as they can splinter
  • Make sure you supervise as your dog may actually eat the whole bone (yes believe it)
  • Throw the knuckle bone away afterwards if it is really hot

Knuckle Bones and daily/weekly checks

This is my routine for my dogs’ oral health.

  • New dogs, get them used to being examined. Lift their lips and get them used to having their teeth examined
  • Check your dogs’ teeth weekly so you can monitor how dirty they are getting
  • It is possible that some dogs teeth will stay pearly white versus a dog of the same age with disgusting thick tartar
  • If you can clean your dogs’ teeth with a toothpaste and brush then this is great as well as using knuckle bones
  • I recommend Logic Oral Hygiene Gel for Dogs because you can actually just put this on your dogs’ teeth without doing much else if you find brushing their teeth difficult


Nylabones are great if your dog will chew but either you or your dog is not keen on the whole real bone thing. That’s Ok because I use Nylabones too.

I recommend you make sure you are using the right type of Nylabone for the type of life stage of your dog. Don’t do what I stupidly did once and thought I was saving money by buying the puppy Nylabones for an adult chewer, they don’t last long and can even be dangerous.

The bits that break off an unsuitable chew can become stuck in your dogs intestine and may even prove fatal, so mark my words.

That’s about all folks. If you have any questions about this topic, remember I’m not a vet but have been using this method successfully for many years.

Feel free to comment below.


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Prototype Dog Apparel

We make prototype dog apparel, dog leads & collars here at Meg Heath. If you have a design that you would like making up and/or pricing for manufacturing then we are here to help.

It’s a great idea to try and make a positive impact on the well-being of dogs and helping to make their care easier for dog owners is something we encourage.

The top products people make are generally dog harnesses and head collars also called dog halters. Dog leads are also popular as people come up with fresh and innovative ideas.

We only use the best materials & never cut corners on quality, sourcing all of our materials from the UK.

If you are considering contacting us, make sure you have an NDA you can email us to sign or make sure that you already have your design protected.

What to do:

  1. Contact us for a chat via our contact page
  2. If your design is not protected yet, email us your non-disclosure agreement
  3. If your design is already protected, send us (in the post) the products you would like us to look at if they are already made up as a prototype or a drawing by email or post if it it hasnt been made yet. Our address is on our contact page. We do not post products back unless you are happy to pay for return postage (by courier).


I have been in the dog leads and collars business since 2006 and do all my own web design and WordPress maintenance myself (since 2015). I have a strong background with dogs having owned them since I was 17. Prior to that, we were a cat family and so grew up with cats all around me in the family home.

I ran my own rescue from 1999 to 2008, ran a dog training school from 2006 n to 2010, boarding kennels from 2008 to the present and the dog leads business from 2006 to the present.

I test all my own prototypes on my dogs and have several unique designs registered to myself.

Please feel free to call for a chat to talk about your products.

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Pet articles – Dog articles

Guest posts are invited on our site, here’s what we look for:

  • Quality, well written, bespoke articles and posts
  • Please contribute something that is in keeping with our brand
  • Guest posts that reach a wide audience and provide accurate informative content to the readers
  • Posts that attract buyers to your websites
  • We like to build long-lasting relationships with our guest bloggers so we can write for each other
  • A great guest post will generate quality referral traffic for our websites
  • Posts that attract influencers to our store so we can review pet products and also have our products reviewed by influencers
  • Guest posts that increase our exposure and brand awareness
  • Your posts must be a minimum of 300 words
  • Make sure your article is written for us and not repeated
  • We encourage bloggers and influencers to write for us
  • Become an author on one of our pages and submit a post for our consideration
  • Why not submit a tip for one of our pages
  • It works both ways, if there is a guest post we can write for you, please suggest a topic / subject

Good quality animal/ pet/dog websites inviting guest posts are hard to come by, but here you can guarantee you will get a speedy response to your email and we will always try to accommodate good quality guest posts.

Taken from Search Engine Journal –

The company [Google] doesn’t frown on guest posts or syndicated posts in general, but lately there has been an increase in spammy links stuffed into these types of posts. That’s the reason behind this sudden warning from Google.

Distributing content on a large scale when the main intention is to build links back to your own site is strictly prohibited under Google’s guidelines on link schemes.

What Google does allow are guest posts and syndicated posts which “inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your cause or company.


Using the same or similar content across these articles; alternatively, duplicating the full content of articles found on your own site (in which case use of rel=”canonical”, in addition to rel=”nofollow”, is advised). Search Engine Journal, (2018)

We check all links to make sure they are genuine and will give substance to our site.




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Dog Owners – 10 Clever Hacks

For dog owners, owning a dog can make your life more exciting. However, take note that such decision carries with it a huge responsibility and commitment. Note you will be taking care of it for several years. That said, you really must prepare for the arrival of the new member of your family, especially if it is your first time to take care of a dog. It is crucial to be committed to all the responsibilities linked to adopting one.

As a Dog Owner Things to Consider Prior to Bringing Home a Dog

Before signing the papers that will legalize bringing a dog home, you must consider a few things, so you can do all the preparations. Here are just a few:

  • Specific needs of your chosen breed – Note that each dog breed has specific needs, so you must research them prior to bringing one home. Find out whether the needs of your chosen breed suits you and the lifestyle of your family. For instance, you can find large hunting breeds that require more training and physical exercises.

Small and toy breeds need less exercise, but they get easily injured, making them poor companions, especially if you have small children. If you still have small kids, then you also must think about the fact that 5-month old puppies still have lots of energy and sharp teeth, making them capable of biting or scratching your young kids unintentionally. Think about all those things when deciding on a breed.

  • Budget – Another important factor to consider when planning to own a dog is your budget. Note that, aside from the initial amount you will be paying for purchasing the pet, there are also many products you have to invest in. Make sure you have enough budget for all the pet products you need, including crates, collars, leashes, and gates.

You will also be paying for smaller things your dog needs regularly, like shampoo, food, heartworm medications, and flea products. It is also important to factor in how much your veterinary bills will most likely be.

  • Size of your home – Another important factor to consider is the size of your home, as it can also help you decide what breed is suitable for you. If you are living in an apartment, then you may want to choose those dog breeds perfect for apartment dwellers, such as smaller ones. However, note that not all small dog breeds are excellent choices for apartments. For instance, Chihuahuas have the habit of barking excessively, causing disruptions in the neighbourhood, so you must choose carefully.

Breed Choice

You can still choose larger breeds, even if you have a small living space. The best choice would be those dog breeds with low energy and only need moderate exercises. In this case, you can go for Great Danes as they are known for being quiet and happy, even with their large size. If you want a breed that needs plenty of physical activities, such as the Labrador retriever, ensure you have a large outdoor space or yard where they can play and run around.

Remember that owning a dog is a commitment you have to stick to for the long term. With that, you must have a stable housing situation. You also must clearly understand the pet policies regarding rental property and your neighbourhood and homeowner’s association.

Preparing your Home

Once you have finally decided on the breed you would like to take home, the next thing you have to do is to prepare your household for your dog’s arrival. Consider all the factors mentioned above, so you can effectively prepare everything. You have to check out everything in your house, so you can start dog-proofing your home.

For instance, tape or tuck lose electric cords to the baseboards and store household cleaners and solutions on high shelves. It might also be necessary to take small rugs from your home temporarily. As for breakables, you must pack them up while you are training your dog. Also, ensure the dog crate and gate are set up in their designated areas. Dog foods and water should also be set in their proper locations.

Finding a Veterinarian

Owning a dog also requires you to look for an expert and professional veterinarian whom you can easily consult to figure out your dog’s needs. Choose a vet whose philosophy is similar to yours. You may also ask your neighbors and friends for recommendations. Just make sure the people you ask are those who follow a similar approach to dog care as you.

Visit offices and meet different veterinarians, so you will have a clearer idea about what they’re like. You can also tour their facilities and determine if their standards fit yours. Create a checklist of all the things that matter to you and ensure you consider all these when searching for the best veterinarian.

Once you have all these things prepared, you can finally bring the dog home. Do not forget to introduce him to the entire neighbourhood and familiarize yourself with the best diet for him and how you can properly train him.

Some of the Best Hacks for Dog Owners

Now that you have finally brought your dog home, it is time to learn things about how you can properly take care of him. With the help of these 10 clever hacks, you can surely raise a happy, calm, and obedient dog that you and your family will love to be around:

  1. Invest in a dog crate – One of the first things you must invest in when you have a dog is a crate. Using it correctly can help improve the sanity of your pet and the people around him. It is helpful in potty training and preventing your dog from chewing electric cords and other harmful things. It is also a safe place for your dog to take a break after doing a lot of activities.

Just teach everyone at home to leave your dog alone when he retreats to his crate. Training your dog to love staying in his crate is also easy. One tip is to feed him while he is inside. Also, ensure that that the crate can make him feel comfortable by putting a soft bedding.

  1. Use a pair of tweezers to remove dog ticks – If you have no tick remover around, then note you can also use a pair of tweezers to get rid of these unwanted pets from your dog. The best option is fine tips. Just grab the tick using the tweezers via the mouth area, which is closest to the skin of your dog. Then pull it firmly until removed.

Kill the tick by putting it in a jar containing alcohol. Ensure you’re wearing gloves when removing ticks to prevent them from causing diseases to other people and pets.

  1. Keep dog products and supplies in a shower caddy – Shower caddies are not actually designed for use only in the shower area. You can hang one in your garage or closet and use it as a storage area for extra dog treats and dog care products. You can also hang leashes and harnesses in there. Just be creative during the installation to ensure everything is organized. It is the ideal solution for organizing and storing all the things your dog needs in just one place.
  2. Remove urine smell with vinegar and baking soda – Do you have problems with your dog’s urine smell? Vinegar and baking soda are ideal solutions. Just use a paper towel to soak the urine. Then create a solution of half baking soda and half vinegar. Spray this solution to the stain. Let it soak for around 10 minutes.

Use another paper towel to absorb any excess moisture. After that, sprinkle the affected spot with baking soda again. Allow the area to dry. When doing this procedure, ensure you keep your dog and other pets away, since baking soda is toxic for them. Wait for the area to dry then vacuum it. Remember that dogs have the tendency of eliminating in the specific area where they can smell their past markings. With that in mind, it is advisable to deodorize and clean the area to prevent the same accident from happening again.

  1. Use bitter apple if your dog chews a lot – If you notice your dog chews a lot of things in your home, particularly electrical cords, then note that bitter apple is one of the safest solutions. With bitter apple, he will be deterred from taking another bite. It is mainly because most dogs find the taste of bitter apple too potent. The good news is it is safe to ingest, so there is no need for you to worry about it being harmful to your dog.
  2. Invest in a front clip harness – This product is essential, especially if your dog pulls his leash a lot.  In this case, you can use a harness, which can be clipped in front to prevent your dog from pulling on a leash. Avoid harnesses you can clip on the back as they cause more pulling.

Also, when you are training your dog with leash manners, ditch a retractable dog leash and use a standard 6-foot one, instead. Such can make him realize what it feels like to walk with a loose leash.

  1. Use a clicker – You should consider using a clicker to reward your dog’s good behaviours. It is useful, especially if you find it difficult to be consistent when you are giving him praises. Begin clicker training soon to make it easier for you to mark your dog’s good behaviours.
  2. Keep your dog secure with the help of a carabiner – A carabiner actually refers to a metal clamp, with a gate loaded with a spring. It is often used by mountain climbers and in safety systems as a means of quickly, yet securely, obtaining a firm hold.

To use it on your dog, just put it around the loop of his leash each time you go outdoors. Such will allow you to secure it to all stationary objects with ease. The carabiner is also useful in connecting multiple leashes, making it easier for you to walk more than one dog simultaneously.

  1. Create an elevated food bowl – You can actually use a table to create an elevated food bowl for your dog. An elevated food bowl is actually very useful for your dog, especially if he has joint problems and arthritis. This will prevent him from bending down too much.
  2. Invest in a food dispensing toy – This product is especially helpful for dogs considered to be fast eaters. If you notice your dog eats too fast, then using a food dispensing toy can help. You can also put tennis balls in his bowl as a means of slowing down his eating. Aside from preventing your dog from eating too fast, it also helps in giving him an excellent mental workout.

Final Words

If you have a large furry companion you will have to feed him special food for large breeds since their dietary needs differ a bit from medium and small breeds.

A dog is one of man’s best companions. Just know exactly how you can take good care of one once you bring home a pet. This can help you build a stronger bond and relationship with your beloved canine friend.

Guest Blog Author Bio:

Ash Babariya is the co-creator of Simply for Dogs and a life-long dog lover. Ash’s many adventures at the local dog park with her Boxers, Janice and Leroy, have turned her into the local “crazy dog lady”. She shares those adventures, as well as her research into the world of dogs, around the web to promote well-informed pet owning. Ash, Janice, and Leroy share a home in the Midwest with a brood of hens, all sorts of wild critters, and the occasional litter of puppies.


The content and links within this post were not authored by Sarah Gleave of Meg Heath Dog Leads, they are the opinions of the post writer.


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A Day in the Life

A Day In The Life – wow, where do I start? What does a day in the life of me consist of? Its pretty much an 8-8 day with some breaks in between, basically kennels start at 0800. I mop out the luxury kennels then let out all that I call ‘walk 1’s’. Once the yard and runs are spotless, I walk the dogs. During the time I’m washing it is a plate-spinning exercise as dogs may need checking in or out, those kennels may need cleaning ready for new dogs etc.

Dog walking

Walking is another plate-spinning exercise as I try to maximise time out for each dog. So all the walk 1’s get the most time out; they are playing while I wash down. Then they get walked by me too when I’ve finished cleaning down. Some then get put away and I get the walk 2’s out, which are just the next walk. Also, ones that can mix with some or all of walk 1’s, and walk 1’s that don’t mix with walk 2’s get put away. Then there are the walk 3’s, these are generally the ones that don’t mix and need lead walks; the ones with more individual walk requirements. Once walking is done we put everyone away and feed.

My dogs and all the kennel dogs now get fed and the sleeping areas get their initial clean of the day. At 10.00 3 days a week my kennel maid comes in, the kennels get their thorough clean (second clean of the day). She then does all her jobs plus any extras including housework etc.

Days off

At 11 am on my days off I usually go out to take time out from the kennels. On my days at home, I sew up my dog lead orders which takes me through until about 2-3 pm. During this time I’m also doing admin. That includes updating the website and Facebook, taking bookings, lead orders, checking peoples vaccination cards / preparing for dogs coming in, cleaning the house, washing beds, doing our washing, mopping floors, doing PAYE, accounts, any outdoor work such as mowing and any other bits that crop up such as on spec viewings and signing for deliveries.

By 3 pm I am ready to do afternoon kennels, so I spot clean the yard, then start the walk routine again. Feeding again after walks is about 4.30 – 5.00 pm. If I haven’t had a kennel maid in that day, house floors need doing.

The days end

5 pm is the end of the day for any phone answering etc but admin continues, mainly because I enjoy doing my website etc and fiddling with new ideas etc. Today I’ve been adding new pages and posts including this one! At about 6.30-7.30 pm my dogs get their final walk of the day which is one lap of the field, just enough to do their toilets. In the evening I prepare dinner for 7 pm or when Seb gets home.

I generally settle down for TV or watch TV in bed.


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Vaccinations for Dogs – A Guide to using Boarding Kennels

Vaccinations for dogs – Each kennel you go to you will find a variation on vaccination rules. The core vaccinations that EVERY kennel should ask for are –

D – Distemper

H – Hepatitis

P – Parvovirus

Pi – Parainfluenza

L – Leptospirosis (L2 or L4)

Kennel Cough Vaccination

Some kennels ask that your dog is vaccinated against kennel cough and some don’t. We DO.  Whether a kennel requires this or not, there is something you need to be aware of. After a dog is given the kennel cough vaccine, they can shed the virus meaning other dogs that come in to contact with your dog are at risk. I have personally seen a dog cough 14 days after being given this vaccination, this is why our rules mean that 21 days must lapse between vaccination and check-in.

I did a bit more research and found this page to be good  

We make no bones about being strict with vaccinations and will ask you to make alternative arrangements for your dogs’ care should your dog not be vaccinated properly. In 8 years we have had one incident of kennel cough and sent 2 dogs home, both of which left the premises within 2 hours of a cough being heard – we did not mess about. This is why your ’emergency contact’ should be just that if we need to send your dog home. We believe that our strict hygiene procedures and good air flow through our small establishment mean that we have been able to keep the high standards we constantly aspire to. We have a deep clean procedure that involves a total wash down and thorough misting (spraying the air!) of the kennel block and associated concrete areas and that is done TWICE. Thankfully we have only had to do this twice in 8 years.

We appreciate your patience on this subject and can assure you that the recent clamp down on vaccination protocol is because we have been let down by some of our customers. Our standards were high before, now they are higher and ask that you bring your dogs’ vaccination card/s with you every time you check in.

Thank you


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Microchips – is the registered address correct?

Microchips – Today I had an unfortunate conversation with a new customer at my boarding kennels. We were manually filling out a booking form as she does not have internet and we got to the question – “Is your dog microchipped?” Yes they were and she casually mentioned that they were registered to her old address still. So, me being me, I did what I believe to be the right thing I said “oh it’s important that you get that changed, do the dogs have collars and tags on?” “No”, she said, “my dogs don’t wear collars” <sighs>. Any way I said (as politely as I could), “what would happen if your dogs got out, no one would know who you are to return them?” She said “they wont get out of my garden”. So, I said “what if they did?” …. her answer shocked me as she was bordering on getting mad with me, she replied (snapped) words to the effect of “Ive had plenty of other things to do”. So I tactfully left it at that.

Please register your dogs’ microchip correctly

So after she had left the kennels, I felt like I’d said all the right things without being rude and that I’d covered all the important bits about dog ID and lack thereof and its’ consequences. So why did I feel like I’d somehow done the wrong thing? What makes it worse is this lady has NO INTERNET, she isn’t interested in it. So she wont be privy to any social media that could help a lost dog. Don’t get me wrong Im not knocking her for having no internet, crikey sometimes I wish I didn’t, but all the odds are stacked against her success of finding a lost dog.

I’m glad I made her aware, she may even come back to me and say she’s changed the address and the dogs now have collars and tags on. Wonders do sometimes happen, I live in hope.

Please share this blog and even print it out and give it to someone you know who has dogs like the ones above whose owners also have no internet. Maybe you know someone who has dogs who has just moved house? Ask them if their registered address is correct? Give them some advice for theirs and their dogs sake.

~ Sarah

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Doggy MOT that any owner can do

Ever heard of a doggy MOT? Well, you have now. I call it a doggy MOT when my dogs get a once over by myself – not a vet. It’s something any owner can do when you just follow some simple guidelines, which is what I’m going to do here.

There are places where a follow-up consultation with your vet is recommended, so please heed this advice where necessary.

Disclaimer: I am not a vet, so please, if in doubt, take your dog to be checked by a vet without delay.


  • Your dogs’ coat – too many dogs come into my boarding kennels with neglected coats. All you need to do is keep them bathed, combed and infestation free. If you can’t for whatever reason, then take them to a recommended groomer or your vet, most vets have in-house groomers as well. Use grooming time to check your dogs’ skin condition and for any lumps that may be there.
  • Teeth – from personal experience, this is a biggy for me. Ive always been on the ball with teeth care but it still catches me out now. Debris that collects around the tooth/gum line can (ultimately) lead to a general anaesthetic and tooth extractions, at best an infected gum. I am going to do a new blog on oral health but for now, do this:
    • Inspect weekly or every few days
    • Note status of teeth and monitor
    • Give roast knuckle bones under supervision and take away when they start to become well chewed. (Avoid your dog ingesting pieces, can also cause constipation, it is your responsibility to use bones properly). Done correctly, roast knuckle bones can save your dog having to have an anaesthetic. I’ve seen the worst teeth come up beautifully on these roast knuckle bones alone. (NB I reiterate. Be responsible.)
    • A good toothpaste like LOGIC paste. This can be rubbed on to the gums with your finger or brushed in the traditional way.
    • You can sometimes chip off tartar with your nail. Do this!
    • Ultimately go to the vets, but check your dogs’ teeth weekly.
  • Nails – keep them trimmed to the right length. As dogs mature and become senior in their years they grow more or don’t wear so fast – whatever. Keep an eye on dew claws as they don’t wear and can grow full circle to dig in or puncture the dogs’ pads or skin – nasty, been there. Checking them saves this.
  • Anal glands – most owners don’t even know what these are. They are little scent sacks on either side of the dogs bum that are supposed to empty when they poop. If you think its funny that your dog scoots its bottom on the floor, or you can see them nibbling or licking their bottoms its time for a trip to the vet.
  • Eyes – do they run, get them checked. Do they look clear, can you see anything on the eyelids or in the eyeball that shouldn’t be there? Does either the top or bottom eyelid look like it is rolling in or out? Is there a pink stain or a visible stain on your dogs coat from their tear duct? Time for a checkup.
  • Ears – check your dogs’ ears and get them used to being looked at before there is an issue. Same with anything if you only ever check your pet when in discomfort or pain, they will never let you check them over as they will associate you checking them over with the pain or discomfort. Trust me I’ve made that mistake.

Have fun checking your dog, it’s time to bond and get them used to being handled.

~ Sarah


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Fancy Yourself as a Kennel Maid?

Fancy Yourself as a Kennel Maid? Don’t mind cleaning and love dogs? Well, look no further.

If you are looking for experience and would one day like to own your own kennels, then I will train you up.

Do you fancy the idea of buying kennels or are you lucky enough to have a builder in the family? Then I think you might just be the kennel maid I am looking for?

What you will learn –

  • Cleaning to high standards
  • Cleaning
  • More cleaning
  • … a bit more cleaning
  • Some dog walking
  • No cuddling of dogs, you won’t have time
  • Picking up poo
  • Getting poo under your fingernails
  • Getting wet and cold in the winter
  • Washing dog bowls
  • Running around after my dogs
  • Instantly becoming security for my most precious possession – MY DOGS and Customers Dogs when I’m not here
  • Tending to the dogs’ every needs
  • Mopping up wee
  • Cleaning walls
  • Weeding

In return?


If you want to learn everything and can clean to your heart’s content while being a responsible guardian for the dogs in your charge, then you might be my next kennel maid.

What you can learn as well as the above (unpaid) –

  • Telephone enquiries
  • Booking procedures
  • Learn to read vaccination cards and recognises errors
  • Learn to read Pet Passports and recognise foreign vaccinations
  • Record keeping
  • How to talk to customers correctly and what not to do
  • and much, much more…

This position is now closed.