Being the publisher and editor of Canine Zone magazine, I often get sent products to review to include in Canine Zone and of course, I’m also a regular shopper for food, treats, toys and more for my own Drake and Holly.
I’m going to be blogging twice a week and I thought I would start off by giving you a list of my personal ten best items that I always have in my home – other than a good quality dog food of course. My list is in no particular order, but they are items and products that I strongly suggest you try out if you are a dog parent. I’ve tried to stock as many of them as I can in our own online store but not all at this stage, so you will have to visit your local pet store or even visit the company’s website for more information or to order. But watch this space as we will be including lots of new items in our own store at www.caninezonestore.com
Ricky Litchfield Topical Gel - For the last couple of years, I’ve never been without a tub of the Ricky Litchfield Topical Gel in our home. It may not smell great but it’s easy to apply and very fast acting. It sorts out hot spots and eczema in a wag of a tail and is also great for insect bites and stings and wounds – in fact, I’ve even used this on myself and my children in the past. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties and it saved my Bull Terrier girl Diza from an endless round of cortisone and antibiotics. She used to suffer from terrible grass allergies and at one point, her entire tummy was hairless. I hated having her on cortisone so much, but I’d tried other topical ointments, and nothing worked. I received a tub of Ricky Litchfield to try one day and we never looked back. I sometimes feel like I should be working for Ricky Litchfield as every time I’m in a pet store or a vet clinic and I hear someone talking about their dog’s skin problems, or I receive a query through Canine Zone magazine on skin issues – I cannot advise Ricky Litchfield strongly enough! Love, love, love this product.
Protexin - When people adopt a dog or puppy and they ask me what supplies they should stock up with, the first thing I always say is the Protexin Dog & Cat Probiotic Supplement. I have always given this to my dogs and puppies to avoid any tummy issues and I increase the dosage if they are feeling poorly – like when Holly decided to eat a dead bird! It is a completely natural multi strain probiotic to normalise digestion and stimulate immunity. It helps control diarrhoea and should definitely be used during, and after, all antibiotic therapy to restore stomach micro-flora. I also use it when I change my dog’s diets to help their tummies settle. And at the risk of sounding like a complete weirdo – I’ve even taken this product myself when I’ve had stomach issues and it works like a dream.
Dermavet Pet Wound Healing Cream is another product that I’ve shared with my dogs and it’s a fantastic wound healing cream. It’s indicated for the treatment of slow healing wounds, topical superficial wounds and topical septic wounds in dogs and cats – and in my opinion – it works equally well on humans!
Gravy – I’ve tried so many different gravies over the years. I’ve also been lectured by dog food manufacturers and vets who tell me that dogs don’t need gravy with their kibble. Probably not but who wants a dry bowl of food every single day, and I like making mealtime special for my babies. I always have a Bobtail Gravy with Chunks Multi Pack in my cupboard to mix with kibble and Drake and Holly love it. It’s reasonably priced and good quality as well. Drake and Holly are also huge fans of Bobtail Gravy Powder which is a wonderful meal enhancer and very affordable as a little goes a long way. Another firm favourite is the Montego Sauce for Dogs which is so easy to drizzle onto your dog’s food and smells so good that one get’s tempted to add it to a sandwich!
Durable chew toys and entertaining games – Being a mom to large and power breed dogs over the years, I’m always on the lookout for durable and safe toys and one of my favourites is the Amaka Long Neck which is available in a few pet stores. We are hoping to stock them on our own online store soon so watch this space. The Amaka Long Neck has a hard middle piece and a soft toy inner. Now here is my trick – the soft toy wouldn’t last a second with my dogs (and we’ve proven this – it lasted exactly 22 seconds with Drake) but the hard middle piece is where the magic happens! It such a simple item but it’s durable. You can throw it for your dog to fetch or fill it with treats and Holly and Drake will spend hours licking peanut butter out of it. You can freeze it as well. They last forever and I have about five of them scattered around my house and garden. The soft inner toys I have donated to people with small, gentle dogs. I also love games that challenge dogs and keep them mentally stimulated and my favourite is the Nina Ottosson range. Nina Ottosson puzzle games and toys exercise your dog’s mind and body. prevent and reduce boredom, behaviour problems, and strengthens your bond with your dog. I love seeing how proud Drake and Holly look when they play with their games and find a treat. Visit Nina Ottosson’s website on www.nina-ottosson.com for the story behind these games and then you can order them from our online store at great prices – www.caninezonestore.com They last
forever and your dog will love them!
Calming medication – It’s vitally important to always have some kind of calming medication in the home when you have dogs. Dogs can be stressed by situations like a visit to the vet, driving in the car, a move, visitors in the home, lightning and thunder and fireworks. I prefer to go the natural route when I need to give my dogs something to take the edge off and I swear by Pegasus Calming 30c which helps reduce anxiety and helps your doggo to cope with stressful situations. I’m a huge fan of homeopathic remedies. I’ve also always got a bottle of Regal Pet Health’s Stress and Anxiety Remedy in my home. It’s got a delicious artificial beef flavour and has been specifically formulated with three effective herbs known for calming stressed, anxious and problem dogs. Although my dogs are fortunately not scared of fireworks, I have always given them a dose, soaked into bread, on New Year’s Eve – just in case.
Treats – Number one on my list has to be the various treats from Pawsome Raw including the Carni-Salami which is made from venison muscle meat, heart, liver and lungs. To a vegetarian like me, this sounds disgusting but as carnivores, dogs obviously love it. Then there’s Drake’s personal favourite, the Carni Muesli which I sprinkle over his food. For
training, you need something that’s small enough to carry in a little training bag, that smells
great (to your dog) and that your dog doesn’t have to chew for long which will distract him or her. Pawsome Raw’s Liver Biscotti is absolutely ideal for a quick reward. It’s made with duck and dandelion powder so your doggo will love it – making reward-based training a breeze.
Shampoo – Now as a mom to a Rottweiler (Drake) and medium-sized cross breed (Holly), I don’t shampoo them all that often – probably once a month – and I have used many different shampoos on my dogs over the years. I received a bottle of Pannatural Pet Shampoo at one of my Canine Zone Pet Expos, when the company had a stand there. The smell was absolutely delicious. A friend bought a bottle of the puppy shampoo and she actually uses it herself as you just can’t get this fabulous, lingering smell from a human shampoo. I use the Pannatural Pets Shampoo – Fluffy & Clean as it’s a shampoo combined with gentle conditioner which softens and detangles fur. The added Safflower and Jojoba oils soften the coat and gives shine while the delicious smell of Jasmine and Honeysuckle flowers provide a naturally fresh pure scent to the skin and coat. I never thought I would share a shampoo with my dogs until I got my hands on Pannatural. Containing 100 percent natural and clean ingredients, eco-friendly and certified cruelty-free – this is a must-have product!
A good quality bed and blankets are so important to keep your dogs warm and comfortable. There are many good brands around, but I wanted to give a special mention to Hound Sleeper. My Hound Sleeper beds outlasted three Staffies, a Bull Terrier and a Pitbull. They are so easy to clean, are attractive, and comfortable. I’ve simply added a few cost-effective blankets from Westpack Lifestyle or Pep, and we are all set. I buy the cheaper blankets as my two are prone to destroying their blankets, so they usually only last a month or two. That being said, I’m careful to buy the ‘human grade’ blankets as sometimes the cheaper ones are so thin, you can literally poke your finger through it. I also wanted to mention the Wagworld K9 Camper which will outlast and outplay your dog! I had one for many years and I’m saving up to get another one before winter for Drake and Holly. They aren’t that cheap, but they do last forever.
Pet medical – I’ve included having a pet medical as one of the things that every pet owner should have. Medical treatment can be costly and a situation so very heart breaking is a dog or cat owner who cannot afford medical treatment for their beloved fur kid. With pet medical, at least that stress is taken off your shoulders and you can tell your vet to do his very best for your dog. I personally have Drake on Rogz Pet Insurance and Holly is on Dotsure. I’ve been with Rogz for years and they have seen me through very tough times with my older dogs. Holly is with Dotsure and although we thankfully haven’t had a chance to use the medical cover as she’s such a healthy girl (as all cross breeds are!), I found the service and membership rates very affordable.
In my upcoming blogs and videos, I will do in-depth reviews on all the products mentioned above as well as other products not mentioned, products featured on our online store and new products on the market. Drake and Holly will be helping me to do the reviews of course! If you enjoyed this blog, remember to give it a thumbs up and share it with someone who might find it interesting.
Remember to visit our online store at www.caninezonstore.com and our Canine Zone magazine website on www.caninezonesa.co.za and remember to register to receive our monthly newsletter and to get notifications when we go live with a new blog or video.