Stress & aromatherapy

April 18th, 2019

National Stress Awareness Day took place on 16 April 2019.

Much research has shown the negative effect stress has on the immune system. It can raise blood pressure, increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke, increase vulnerability to anxiety and depression, contribute to infertility, and accelerate the ageing process. 

There’s no difference to our beloved dogs and it’s our responsibility as owners to recognise and identify the underlying cause of the stress.

Dogs can become stressed by environmental changes like moving to a new home, getting another pet or even having a baby.  All this can affect a normally happy dog and it may take some time for the dog to adjust.

Something else that happens is if we’re stressed, dogs are able to pick it up from our energy and may begin to feel the same way we do, without understanding why.

A stressed dog is very often highly reactive. He’ll become jumpy and vocal, his pupils will dilate and he may even shake and salivate. Other signs of stress are self-calming practices like yawning, lip licking, excessive self-grooming and excessive sniffing.

Chronic stress can cause diarrhoea or constipation, decrease appetite, increase sleeping and the dog may also start isolating himself from others. Aggression towards other dogs, animals or people can also be a sign of a stressed dog.

There are many complementary therapies that can be used together with behavioural adjustments and aromatherapy is one of them.

Vita Canis Calming Floral Spray has been proven by many dogs and their owners to help with tackling stress. The carefully selected synergetic blend of essential oils and hydrosols in the Calming Floral Spray has a natural calming and balancing quality and provides ultimate relaxation.

Synergy is where the action of two or more substances (essential oils in this case) achieve an effect of which each is individually incapable.

A few of the essential oils I use are:

Petitgrain essential oil – this oil has a relaxing effect. It helps overcome depression, anxiety and stress and is uplifting.

Sweet Orange – recommended for treatments of anxiety, nervousness and insomnia. Put a few drops in your oil burner and you will feel like summer is already here.

Spikenard – this is a more unusual oil I use in the Calming Floral Spray. It’s also known as ‘false’ Indian valerian root. In ancient times it was considered as one of the most costly and valuable of all aromatics. It smells similar to valerian oil, heavy, sweet woody and earthy. Spikenard has a sedative effect, reduces fearfulness and instils calm and balance.

Lavender – we all know this oil has a harmonising effect on the nervous system. Interestingly lavender can cause a sedative or a stimulative action depending on the body’s actual needs. Lavender is calming when there’s emotional agitation or unrest and it’s very good in alleviating fears. But when we, or our dogs, feel emotionally exhausted and depressed, lavender has an uplifting effect.

What is your experience with Calming Floral Spray?

Jitka xx

Peppermint magic.

April 11th, 2019

In the next few blogs I’m going to be talking about plants that you can grow at home. You can eat them, make teas from them or use them for medicinal purposes. They can also be bought from the store in the form of essential oils for a variety of other uses.

Today I’m going to tell you about one that is easily grown at home, is fresh smelling, delicious and very useful. The lovely Peppermint, also known as Mentha piperita.

The peppermint plant is native to southern Europe. It’s a perennial herb, which means they live for several years and it grows up to about 1m tall (not however if it is grown on a window sill).

This plant has a long cultural tradition. Fragments of the plant have been found in Egyptian burials and because peppermint is not native to this region it is assumed it was grown in the gardens of temples and used for its all-round healing properties.

Peppermint essential oil has many therapeutic actions, some being:

  • Analgesic – relieves or diminishes pain
  • Antiseptic – destroys or controls pathogenic bacteria (Menthol)
  • Decongestant – relieves and reduces congestion
  • Stimulant – stimulates the physiological functions of the body

When peppermint oil is applied it causes local depletion of cold receptors, suppresses sensitivity of sensitive nerve endings and induces a pleasant feeling of coldness that overlaps unwanted perceptions such as itching, burning and minor pain.

This is why this essential oil is one of the ingredients in Skin Relief. The local anaesthetic action is so significant, and when applied, dogs’ stop scratching or nibbling pretty much immediately.

Peppermint hydrosol or flower water is most famous for its digestive, anti-inflammatory and mind stimulating properties. Spritz it on your face when tired, or during hot weather and you will feel an immediate refreshing effect.

Peppermint is also commonly used in cosmetics. It’s incredibly refreshing and tones the skin and tightens up pores. It’s very good for excessive sweating, relieving the feeling of heavy legs and also refreshing your breath.

And what about the home-grown herb?

The leaves can be used fresh or dry. I use fresh leaves for making tea, or I just add a few leaves to my water bottle. You can also make your own mint sauce. I haven’t tried it yet but there are plenty of recipes online. I usually add fresh peppermint to dishes with legumes such as chickpeas, beans, lentils, peas or pasta or potatoes.

If you feel like experimenting at home you can make your own peppermint facial tonic:

For this you’ll need:

50ml peppermint hydrosol (flower water)
2ml glycerine
2ml natural liquid soap with no fragrance
100ml bottle

Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy as a gentle facial cleanser.  Please remember, because it is made with no preservatives, keep it in the fridge and use it in a few days. 

How do you use peppermint at home? 🌿🌿🌿

Richard is a Butternutter…

April 4th, 2019

Yip… Richard is a Butternutter.

I bet this title confused you 😊 … or maybe not if you’ve also been seeing the Facebook adverts for Butternut Box dog food. I’d been seeing the ad for some time but hadn’t paid too much attention to it as my dogs are on a raw diet. They’ve been on raw for some years now as I believe it’s the best I can give them. All of them love it and all of them thrive on it… apart from the special one… Richard.

If you follow me on Facebook & Instagram you’ll know that Richard is my 17- month-old, very immature and mischievous, Airedale Terrier.  Richard is a very fussy eater and because of this, he’s also very skinny.  When I got him last May we did a slow and successful transition from dry food to raw and he was actually doing well for a while. Slowly he then started to become picky and fussy, playing with his food and faffing about. All my other dogs eat fast, in fact, they almost inhale their food… but then there was Richard… thinking, licking and wondering around.

Over the next month I tried all different types of raw food, I even made him home-made raw food. I tried to hand feed him and I even tried dog biscuits just to get him to eat 😱. At this time we did have two girls, Martha and Adele, in season and that couldn’t have helped his appetite. Because he was so skinny we couldn’t even take him to Crufts. I don’t think he was too bothered to be honest 😂.

So if you don’t know this about me already I’m a big believer that things happen for a reason and that the Universe does listen, which is why I believe I received a phone call from Natacha Cottu from The Butternut Box Company! Somehow, they had found me and they liked my natural products!  Natacha then suggested I try their food with my dogs. In my head I was thinking, well my dogs are on raw, I’m a big believer and advocate of raw feeding and I don’t really want to change their food … but then a red light clicked in my head… Richard!!! I had nothing to lose, and he couldn’t get much slimmer so I decided to give it a bash!

I received my (Richard’s) first Butternut Box on Tuesday. It was beautifully packed, with a bandana for Richard, a wine discount coupon for me, referral cards for my friends and a booklet with lots of useful info.

The food itself looks and smells nice. It’s also a complete and balanced diet with no artificial colourings, flavourings, or preservatives. The ingredients are fresh and gently cooked and it also contains prebiotics and cold-pressed linseed and milled flax.

On Monday evening he had his first Butternut meal… and he wolfed it down like there was no tomorrow. Wowzers, he even licked the dish clean! He’s never done that before! On Tuesday morning, the same story.  He couldn’t wait for his food so much so that while I was giving the dishes to the other dogs he was even stealing from his own bowl that was on the counter lol. When he had finished I even gave him a bit more, and he ate it.

So far, I’m very impressed with the food and so is Richard 😊. I hope he keeps gaining weight so that we can start running again and showing him. The thing is, I stopped running with him, even though we both enjoyed it because strangely he would eat less on the days we went for a run. I could never understand this because I’d always be starving! 

The Butternut facts at the end of the leaflet also made me laugh. One of them is that every single person at Butternut has tasted a bowl of their food (apart from the vegetarians and 1 vegan). I’ll definitely not be trying the food myself but if I struggle with cooking ideas for John I may just defrost one for him 😂.

If you would like to try the food, you can get 75% off by using this link:

And one last thing… I’m so happy to report that Butternut Box is coming to Vita Canis Style to Rescue with their stand! The lovely Natacha Cottu will also be talking about their products and you’ll be able to catch her speaking at 12:50 on the day 😊.
P.S.  If you’d still like to donate to Style To Rescue just click on the button below.  Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed so far.

All Spring Creatures

March 28th, 2019

The days are getting warmer and the little creatures that were hibernating over winter are starting to appear – bumblebees, hedgehogs, frogs, and also the not so cute, ticks and fleas.
The first bumblebees you’ll see in March are the Queens which have survived winter. They’ll be very busy buzzing about seeking pollen from spring flowers. When you watch them, you’ll notice that they aren’t bothered by us or our dogs and all they’re doing is just minding their own business keeping busy with pollination. Now with wasps, that’s a different story… I don’t get that feeling with wasps. I don’t know if I’m paranoid, but I always feel like they are waiting and ready to attack me 😱.
Back to bumblebees… same as bees, these little flying, fluffy balls are some of the hardest workers you’ll meet. They tirelessly transfer pollen from the male part of the flower to the female part of the flower. About one-sixth of the flowering plants rely on pollination by bees to become the beautiful plant they are 🌺. I’m sure if bumblebees were included in this study, we’d see they are just as important. We need to appreciate both the bee and bumblebee and what they do by protecting them. The world would be a completely different place without them.
I’ve never been stung by a bumblebee, but when my dogs try to chase them and catch them I’m always worried that the poor, stressed bumblebee will sting their nose or mouth.
Queen and worker bumblebees have stingers, just like bees and wasps. It’s a defence weapon, and when they sting, poison is injected into the body. Unlike bees, bumblebees stingers have no barb, so once they attack they can withdraw the stinger back from the skin and fly away. Apparently, there is only a 1% chance you can develop an allergic reaction to bumblebee venom. I’m not sure about dogs… I think the sting would definitely make them jump and cause a bit of discomfort though. I tried to do a bit of research on whether a bumblebee sting is alkaline or acid but I couldn’t really find anything.  Do you know?
A bee’s sting is acidic and a wasp’s sting is alkaline, that’s why you should supposedly put bicarbonate of soda on a bee sting and vinegar or lemon juice on a wasp sting if you want to neutralize it and take away the pain. If my dog were to ever get stung by a bumblebee, I would first cool the area down with cold water and then perhaps even massage it with an ice cube for a few seconds. If it’s not on the mouth, I would apply Skin Relief to further cool down the area and treat the allergic reaction on the skin. If you are not sure what to do, you can always ask your vet for advice 👍🏻.
Other creatures that also start to peep their heads out at this time of the year are tick and fleas – not so cute at all! Unlike bees and bumblebees, it seems ticks and fleas are just here to annoy us and our dogs. Because of the disease they carry, it’s easy to forget that they’re actually also an important source of food for some reptiles, amphibians, and birds… perhaps some other woodland creatures too 🤷🏻‍♀️. This, however, doesn’t change my mind towards them and I can’t find any part in me to be sympathetic towards them.
Both fleas and ticks have different strategies on how to land on their host. As soon as a young flea hatches she is looking for a host. Fleas notice vibration and body heat and as soon as the potential host approaches they’ll jump straight on, bite and then feed on the blood whilst being hidden in warm fur.
Ticks don’t jump like fleas. They have a different approach…they wait, patiently in the grass, or bushes, or other vegetation and when their target approaches they just drop themselves on. They’ll then suck on the blood for weeks until we find them or if not, once they’re full, they’ll just let go and then lay their eggs in a nearby suitable area.
Ticks have a front pair of legs called Haller’s organs which detect smell, temperature, movement and carbon dioxide. This is how they know if a potential ‘victim’ is coming. They love warmth and moisture and are just waiting for a warm, moist environment to call home… such as your dog. A great discovery I made is that, for some reason, they are not attracted to the scent of some essential oils!

Certain essential oils smell so disgusting to ticks (like the smells of food you don’t like or something even worse… cooked tripe… blegh!), that they would rather go hungry than come any closer to your dog! These include geranium, grapefruit, cedarwood, rosewood, lemongrass.  All of these are in Vita Canis Tick Off, of course!

The active ingredients found in lemongrass essential oil are also very unpleasant for fleas. It won’t kill fleas but it can convince them to leave a pet host and stay away from your house.

When the sun is up, enjoy watching the flying bumblebees and bees and appreciate their hard work 😊 but at the same time… don’t forget to protect your dogs from ticks and fleas.

Jitka xx

Spring has sprung

March 20th, 2019

According to astronomical definition, today is the first day of Spring 2019. How exciting is that! Finally! It’s felt like it’s been raining forever because of the last few weeks and don’t even get me started on the wind.
I’m really hoping the weather will be nicer over the weekend as I’m planning to do some gardening. 🌸
If you also like gardening and dogs you can spend a lot of time together outside, however, there are a few things to be aware of (apart from the fact that he or she may steal your tools, pots, or gloves!)
I have a raised plant bed behind the salon that I need to get ready with some good quality potting soil or compost. The raised plant bed was John’s idea as we don’t have a lot of space and I love my gardening. The best benefits are that I don’t have to bend when I’m gardening and mostly that the dogs can’t jump into it and pee on my plants. How good is that?! 😂 What’s also great is that when I’m outside playing with my little garden I can have my boarding dogs running around without worrying that they might try and help.
Does your dog love to help you in your garden too?
If you’re using fertilizers and mulch I think it’s better to keep your dog inside. To stay on the safe side rather keep your dog away from the garden or lawn until the fertilizer is absorbed by the soil. If it’s a spray on product wait until it dries or if it’s a pelleted product wait ‘til it’s absorbed into the grass after the rains or a good water. Don’t forget to always follow the instructions on the label.
Surprisingly, organic fertilizers can be more dangerous to our dogs than other fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are fertilizers derived from animal matter, animal excreta, human excreta and vegetable matter. Some of the organic fertilizers are by-products from the meatpacking or farming industry like bone meal, feather meal and fish meal. You can imagine these smells are so delicious to our dogs and are often highly palatable.
Picture an unsupervised greedy dog (I could see my Rosie doing it) easily digesting a large amount of bone meal.  You can imagine what it would do to her digestion! Vomiting, diarrhoea, foreign body obstruction as the bone meal would congeal into ball-like concretions or even severe pancreatitis. If you catch your dog munching on your organic bone-based fertilizer, seek veterinary care immediately. Your vet will do a thorough examination, induce vomiting to empty the stomach and maybe even do an X-ray and prescribe fluid therapy.
I usually use horse manure as a fertilizer.  When I drag the bags around my dogs always follow me with piqued interest. They would love to munch a little bit of horse poo💩😂.
It never bothered me too much when we were on walks and the dogs picked at a horse poo ball here or there until I learned that there’s a risk of toxicity due to chemicals in worming medications that are passed in the faeces. Horse worming treatments often contain a chemical called Ivermectin, which is effective against many different parasites across a range of species. It’s also used as a de-wormer in cattle and sheep. There are certain breeds with a gene mutation which predisposes them to toxicity from Ivermectin at low levels.  These are Shetland Sheepdogs, Australian Shepherds, Old English Sheep Dogs and Merle Pomeranians.
I feel safe to use horse manure for fertilizing my gardening patch for a few reasons. It’s too high for my dogs to reach it and thanks to the composting process the Ivermectin residue disappears.
If you catch your dog munching on manure, watch for these signs:
 * slobbering
* excessive drooling
* diarrhoea
If you see any of these seek veterinary help immediately.
If you’re using mulch in your garden be aware of what kind of mulch you are using. Pieces of mulch can be attractive to dogs and they like to pick it, toss it and chew on it. This may result in a foreign body getting stuck in your dog’s digestive system.
Mulch is usually shredded tree bark and comes in different forms that we need to be aware of.
  Pine Bark – a versatile mulch that decomposes slowly
Waste Wood – This brightly hued mulch makes for an attractive garden landscape
Cocoa Mulch – (made of shells or hulls of the cocoa beans) – has a lovely chocolatey smell which can result in dogs being tempted to eat it. There can still be a small amount of theobromine, the chemical that causes chocolate poisoning in dogs however a dog would have to ingest a really large amount of the cocoa mulch to cause chocolate poisoning.  I feel it’s better to be safe than sorry though.
Recycled tires – not sure I would have this in my garden…

Jitka xx

The beautiful Lakey

March 13th, 2019

There are a few facts about this lovely breed that you might not know…

I couldn’t help myself… I had to write about the Lakeland Terrier again. The reason is simple, we did really well with two Lakeys on Saturday at Crufts. Saredon This is England, aka Banjo, won Best of Breed and his daughter Polly, Saredon Finest Things, won Best Puppy. It was only their second show for both of them and they performed exceptionally well and made us proud.

I think between the people, the lights, the noise and the heat, Crufts can be quite tough on dogs. The shows outside are much easier on them, especially when the weather is nice 😊.

As I mentioned in my last blog, Banjo is a 5th generation of Lakeland terriers winning BOB at Crufts and we really hope this streak continues.  It definitely looks like Polly is on the right track!

Lakeys are cheerful little rascals, hardy and agile. They can be obsessed with water, and very often you can see them standing in water bowls and digging and dunking their heads in it.  They have so much fun doing this!

Did you know Lakeys come in different colours?

  • Black and tan – similar to the Welsh Terrier, but the colours are not that rich. The tan is more biscuit like and the black is more charcoal black than intense, rich black.
  • Blue and tan – personally, I’ve never seen one.
  • Wheaten – very often called red. The intensity of the colour depends on breeding but also on grooming technique.  Hand stripped dogs have richer, darker colours while clipped dogs are paler, more wheaten.
  • Red – looks like darker wheaten colour
  • Grizzle – grizzle is a very interesting colour. It is a colour pattern that appears as mixed hair on the dog with no discernible pattern. The colour appears blended together, making it look like just one color until you look a it closely. Grizzle colouring may mix black hair with some tan or brown hairs, or white with black, making it appear grey.
  • Red grizzle – this is the most common colour and together with red, my favourite. The shades of red grizzle vary, and basically, it’s red hair with a few or a lot of brown and black hair in between. This occurs only on the jacket though as the legs, head, front and back end are wheaten.
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Sometimes we can see small white tips on the feet and chest. It is undesirable but permissible in breeding.

Did you know the Lakeland terrier is one of the vulnerable native breeds?

In June 2003 the Kennel Club tried to identify the breeds which had declined most in popularity. As a result, 300 British and Irish breeds with 300 and less annual registrations were considered vulnerable. Looking at the registrations, Lakeland Terriers were pretty popular in the late ’40s, ’50s and ’60s but after that, the number of registered litters started to decline. Last year there were only 196 registered pups. So sad, isn’t it?

Back to Crufts… did you know that the first Lakeland Terrier Best In Show winner (back in 1963) was Ch Rogerholme Recruit, handled by John’s grandfather Les Atkinson? The second Lakeland to win was Ch Stingray of Derryabah and he went on to win the famous Westminster show in the USA the following year.

There’s something so special about these flashy little rascals, isn’t there?

Are you a proud Lakey owner? Or would you like to be one?

I’d love to hear from you 😊

Before I go, just a little reminder about Style To Rescue. If you’d still like to make a difference and donate, please click here. Thank you.

Jitka xx

Crufts – the most exciting time of the year.

March 6th, 2019

Adele at Crufts 2015
It’s that time of the year again. Is everyone as excited about Crufts as I am? 
Crufts is the most iconic dog show in the world. Some of my friends are so excited to go they call it Cruftsmas 😂. You’ll still find others who are dreading it because it gets very busy, especially over the weekend, but everybody feels a buzz of excitement inside nonetheless.
I remember spotting Crufts in our dog magazine when I was growing up and was mesmerised by the green carpet and the spotlights in the main arena. It looked incredible! I never thought, in a million years, that one day I would get to go there.  Luckily enough, however, the day came in 2005 when I attended my first Crufts, and I was wowed. The space, the number of dogs and people, the stands, all the things to buy, and of course, the expensive food and drinks 😂!
At that time, I was showing Denis, the Lakeland Terrier, CH. Broccolitia Reality at Saredon, for John’s mum Judy. He was such a sweet boy and we had an amazing relationship. We first went into the ring and won our class which was then followed by the CC (Challenge Certificate). This is a title awarded to dogs and bitches at the championship level dog show. It’s a document signed by a dog show judge, stating that the judge thinks that the dog has what it takes to be a champion (which means the dog meets the breed standard). We then went for Best of Breed and Denis and I found ourselves standing there against John and the girl Beryl that he was showing. I remember the pressure as if it was yesterday. And then… we won! My first Crufts and my first (and so far, the only) Best of Breed. Denis was made champion at this show so it was a double celebration.
It was because of Denis that I fell in love with this breed which I had never seen before moving to the UK. He started an amazing line of Lakeland terriers. His daughter Ginger, CH. Saredon For Your Eyes Only, won Best of Breed (BOB) at Crufts 2009. She then went on to win Best in Show (BIS) at the National Terrier show which is very well-known amongst terrier people. Following in her mum’s “paw steps”, Ginger’s daughter Adele, CH. Saredon Don’t Stop Me Now, also won BOB at Crufts in 2015. Two years later, in 2017, Adele’s son Alan, CH. Saredon Enigma, won BOB and then went on to win the Terrier Group. He was the first Lakey in 50 years to win the group. Alan then went on to the next show, National Terrier, and won BIS. Just like his grandma Ginger!
This year John is showing Alan’s son Banjo, Saredon This is England… no pressure. We really hope he enjoys the day (he is a such a poser). It will be amazing if he can follow in the “paw steps” of his ancestors, but if not, there is always a next time.
We are showing in Hall 1 at Crufts on Sunday. If you’re there come pop past and say hi.

Before I go I’d also like to remind you that you have till Sunday the 10th Midnight to get 20% off Vita Canis 100% natural products in the  Vita Canis shop. Happy shopping!


What is happening?

February 27th, 2019

My friend tagged me with a ☹️ on Facebook which took me to this article found on According to this article, “The Scottish Terrier, more famously known as The Scottie dog and as the face of famous brands such as Radley, has entered the Kennel Club’s list of dog breeds ‘At Watch’ because they number fewer than 450 annual puppy registrations. The breed, chosen as one of the iconic Monopoly counter pieces, has declined by 38 percent in the last five years and only 438 dogs were registered with the Kennel Club in 2018, according to new registration statistics released by the dog welfare organization. More native British breeds, than ever before, are at risk as their popularity declines in the face of ever-increasing demands for new breeds such as the French Bulldog.” Read about it here to see the inspiration behind the Kennel Club’s #savebritishdogbreeds campaign.  From what I can see, there is an increasing demand for crossbred dogs.  I love every dog, but I don’t like the way “breeders” are starting to, for example, cross different breeds with a poodle and then sell it as hypoallergenic, low maintenance or easily trained etc. I understand why people go for them, as they are super cute when they are small, but so are little Scotties, Lakelands and Welshies.

🐶 Has it got to do with temperament?  Yes, terriers are more independent, more challenging and can be a bit feisty with other dogs, but I wouldn’t say it’s a rule. It’s evident in the salon that the crossbreeds can also be nervous, difficult to handle, scared of noises and snappy.  

Regardless of your dogs breed, every owner should put in the effort with training and socialization when it comes to their dog.  This allows for easier handling and for your dog to get used to new noises, sounds, situations and people.  Some dogs need more work than others just as some people need more work than others. Just as we are all different… so are our dogs. 

  🐶 Is it coat care?  The British native terrier breeds like The Scottie, Lakeland, Welsh Terrier, Irish terrier and Glen Of Imaal, all have a harsh coat which should be hand stripped.  Hand stripping is a very laborious task and therefore more expensive than clipping.  On the other hand, they do brush easier and don’t matt as easily as the cross breeds.  Terriers still look very good if they are clipped.  Yes, the coat gets softer and the colour is paler, but if clipped properly it can look great.   Hand stripping stimulation is very beneficial as well.  In this case, we use a Coat King to remove the undercoat and some of the top coat and then clip the rest.  I use this technique on my own Scottie, Mr. Tank, and he looks very smart.  I use it every time I bath him and his coat stays a good colour and texture. My dogs are a pretty good mixture of all the styles.  Tinker Bell (Lakey) is clipped, but so hairy at the moment that she looks like a teddy bear.  Her mum, Adele, has a hand stripped body while the rest is clipped (a very popular style with pet terriers). Richard, the Airedale, is fully hand stripped, as we are showing him, and my Welshies Rosie and Jazmine are clipped too.  Thanks to their breeding line and the coat kind they keep a fantastic colour.
🐶 Is it the sharp expression?  Well… that can be changed. Some of the terrier breeders and owners won’t agree with me but even when it comes to a terrier we can be flexible with styles and have some fun 😬.  In the end, it is only hair… it will grow back and the style can be changed again. 

What made you choose the breed you have? 
Jitka xx

Let’s go walking!

February 21st, 2019

Do you like walkies? Then, let’s celebrate! Walking dogs is a big part of my daily routine and takes up a big chunk of my time, but considering that we, my dogs as well as my boarding dogs and I love it, it’s so worth it! I recently found out that Walking the Dog Day is celebrated on February 22, 2019. How cool is that? Seems to me that there’s a day for every activity! I think dog walking is one of the greatest forms of exercise, and very addictive too.

My addiction to dog walking started when I was 13 years old and I got my first dog, a Miniature Schnauzer called Ajo. We spent a lot of time together walking and training. We were completely inseparable. I would get up early to take him out and run back home from school to squeeze in another walk with him.

We particularly loved our evening walks… just him, my mum and I walking around the block slowly, talking endlessly. These memories are amongst my most special and I’m sure this little dog contributed to the wonderful relationship my mum and I still have. These evening walks used to take at least half an hour or sometimes even longer. It wasn’t our pace that determined this but the amount of sniffing Ajo did. Back then it was ok to walk a dog off the lead and because he was so well trained we didn’t have to worry about him crossing the road or running away.

For a dog, walking is not just a form of exercise but also an opportunity to explore the world… kind of like reading the papers I guess. Sniffing provides a lot of mental stimulation and adds to the fun J. Next time you walk your dog, pause, relax and let him sniff as much as he wants to (apart from fox poo… there is no need to explore that!)

With your first dog, you try to do everything by the books. Back then we probably only had one or two books about dogs and they were like bibles to me. Some stuff is still relevant and some isn’t. Times have changed and with more and more studies being done on dogs, we now know more about their diet, behaviour and exercise than ever before.

Back in those days I also didn’t realise that puppies only need 5 minutes of exercise per month of age, up to twice a day (according to the UK Kennel Club). So, for example, a 3-month-old puppy will need 15 minutes of exercise up to twice a day, a 4-month-old 20 minutes and so on. Did you know that?

Regardless of your dog’s age they all enjoy exploring new areas and they just love the change of scenery. New sights, new sounds, and new smells make walking exciting not just for them but for us too! If you are looking for new places to explore go have a look at Kelly & her lovely dog Elsa’s blog . They explore all the dog-friendly places in the UK that you can go to.

For some people dog walking is not only part of their daily routine, but it’s also their profession. Becoming a dog walker is the ideal job for anyone who loves caring for dogs and loves being active and spending time outdoors. Dog walking allows people to work independently, have flexible working hours and be surrounded by what they love most… dogs! There is however, as with any profession, necessary skills to learn and responsibilities to understand, therefore the dog walking profession should be taken seriously as it comes with similar responsibilities to those of child-care.

Did you know that dog walkers are now able to get their City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate of Technical Competence in Dog Walking through Vita Canis? During the course candidates will gain the practical skills and knowledge that is necessary when becoming a dog walker. If this is something you’re interested in or if you know someone that is, please have a look at our website where you will find all the information you need about this course. You know your vet is qualified…but is your dog walker?

Whatever the weather is up to, go and take your dog out, stroll around, relax, inhale, exhale and enjoy.

Jitka xx

P.S. Please don’t forget to donate to Vita Canis Style To Rescue . Every little bit is seen and appreciated and makes such a huge difference to these special dogs. Thank you so much!

Sharing the love…

February 14th, 2019

Happy Valentine’s, Pawlentine’s or Palentine’s Day, whichever version of this day you’re celebrating!  Perhaps you prefer not to celebrate any of them and that’s ok too.
I hadn’t heard of Valentine’s Day ‘til the late ’80s and even then it didn’t feel like a special day.  Perhaps I wasn’t (and still am not) a very romantic person.  I also don’t really like the pressure of having to buy something for my loved one just because the calendar says I should.  I prefer small gestures throughout the year without any particular reason, so for example, buying special chocolates here and there, eating out or a little break away together…
However, special occasion dates are important for a small business, so I, therefore, can’t ignore the 14thFebruary ❤! 
If you would like to treat your special one, don’t forget you still have time to use our 20% discount with coupon ‘PAWLENTINE’. Valid until midnight tonight, plus your fur-friend will receive a special surprise. You can pop over to the SHOP HERE
If you do decide to celebrate this day, and it’s just you and your dog/s, there are still lots of things you can do together.
Enjoy a Nice Meal Together
My dogs and I can’t really share our food 😋, as they’re on a raw diet and I am vegan!
They do however happily eat whatever I offer them. My young Airedale, Richard, is a fussy and picky eater, although I think he’s just too busy to eat.  All I need to do to encourage him to eat is add broccoli to his food.  
There are still a few things we can share, so I’m making them a special treat which is a slice of apple with peanut butter and a slice of banana on the top.  It’s sweet, special and full of goodness and love.
Go On a Trip Together
I think this would be the best overall prezzie for my dogs. Taking them for nice long walk’s to new places. Unfortunately, I can’t do it today, but the weekend is only a few sleeps away and then we’ll go and explore some fun new places.
Watch a Film Together
This could be a tricky one in our house.  We once tried to watch ‘Isle of Dogs’ and Richard wouldn’t stop barking.  We can’t watch anything with him where dogs are moving or barking as he gets very excited.  He looks for them behind the TV, door or the window and just can’t understand where they are.  It’s really quite funny to watch.
Donate to a Good Cause in Your Dog’s Name
I think your dog/s would love this gesture! Love is caring and sharing, and it makes everybody feel good. If you’d like to support rescue dogs you don’t have to go far 😁! The end of April is approaching and Vita Canis Style to Rescue is coming with it! We would gratefully appreciate every little bit of help and every small gesture or donation will go a long way towards helping the rescues.  Simply click the button below if you would like to donate:
Buy New Toys
For me, this would mean a trip to IKEA to get more rats, pigs, rabbits and balls.  My dog’s just love IKEA toys!  I like them too as they last a very long time, are washable and dry quickly.  They also don’t squeak so my terriors don’t ‘kill’ them in seconds!  Another great gift is Crocs but they are more expensive so I leave those for Christmas 😅.
With all these ideas, what are you going to do today? Or do you have any special things you like to do to show your appreciation for your fur-friend?

Jitka xx