Monday, 31 October 2011

Turning Fido Fluoro

Dog mess. 

We all hate ending up with the stuff on our shoes and it’s particularly tricky to avoid in the dark. So what if we could make it, well, a bit more visible?

Well, Fluo-Can can — or, more accurately, it can’t yet because it’s only a rather silly, but also rather brilliant, idea. It’s simple — make dog food glow in the dark and then what comes out the other end will be luminous, too. 

Maybe. Or it might just kill your beloved pet labrador, so don’t try this at home.

Passage and Photo taken from Article Flourescent dog food and a brolly for your book! Bonkers? Yes, but these inventions are heading for the High Street by Jenny Stocks for The Mail Online. 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

You Won't Believe The Bizarre Toy Expected To Be The UK's Top Seller This Christmas

Industry experts have told The Telegraph that a game revolving around scooping up dog poop to be one of the most successful gifts in the UK this Christmas.

Doggie Doo is actually a very simple game, involving a plastic defecating dog, conjured up by children's toy manufacturer John Adams.

Players take it in turns to "walk" the dog knowing that at any moment nature might make its call (in the form of a plastic fecal pellet). When that happens the player walking the dog scoops up the offending foreign body with an oversized, and to be frank impractical, plastic shovel. First to do this three times wins! Or loses, depending on your attitude to scooping up dog poop.

The game even has its own brief, haiku-esque, poem: "Feed and walk your little pup/When he makes a mess/You clean it up."

Curious? Why not have a look at the commercial for the game:

Article by Nick Jardine for Buiness Insider Europe
Youtube video uploaded by

Career of the week: dog groomer

Bernice Allen is the owner of Tell-Tails, a dog grooming parlour based in Wacton near Long Stratton. She is also a part-time dog grooming tutor at Easton College. Donna Capleton speaks to her about life in the industry.

Why is it a good profession to get into?

I absolutely love dogs, and this job enables me to work with them and be around dogs all day.

I first trained as a hairdresser, but soon looked for a new direction. A friend suggested dog grooming, and the idea sounded brilliant. I re-trained and have never looked back.

What does the work involve?

Every day is busy! Sometimes hectic.

At the parlour some clients will bring their dogs to me in the morning because they have to go to work, so first thing is usually about checking dogs in. I then get started on the grooming. Some dogs will have been booked in for a short treatment such as nail clipping and brush; where others will have a longer process such as hand-stripping, washing and brushing. At the end of the day, I will clean everything and prepare for the next day.

When I am teaching at Easton College, my day is about teaching students different methods of grooming and all the different areas involved in running a parlour. This includes preparing and grooming dogs prior to bathing, bathing and cleaning the dogs, cleaning and maintaining the equipment, controlling and restraining the animals, dry and preparing coats for styling, basic trimming and maintaining the cleanliness and bio-security of the working environment and reception skills.

What are the positives/negatives of this profession?

Getting bitten! But this very rarely happens. I don’t like when a dog is put through undue stress because the owner has failed to keep the dog in a healthy condition. I have had dogs whose coats have been horrifically matted, and it is not a pleasant experience having to groom the dog when it is distressed and scared.
Is there much local demand for people trained in this area?

Yes there is - people are always looking for a trained and professional groomer for their dog(s). My parlour is very busy and I know that others are too.

The industry is definitely growing; more people want their dogs to look good, but do not have the time to do it themselves, either because of work or family commitments. This has resulted in the dog grooming industry growing.

What would employers look for in someone applying for a vacancy?

Ideally people should be patient and committed. The job is physically demanding as you need to lift and control dogs. Being qualified is something clients will look for when choosing a dog groomer for their dog(s) and there are various qualifications available for those who want a career in dog grooming.

Tell-Tails is at Hall Lane, Wacton, Norfolk. Phone 01508 531550 or visit

Fact file: dog groomer


You can start this role through a number of ways: attending a course at college, finding work with a qualified groomer and training on the job or starting an apprenticeship.

You do not usually need any particular qualifications to begin training but would normally need some experience with dogs. You could consider voluntary opportunities.


A part time course takes one year to complete or you can take a short, intensive course

Local training

• Easton College 01603 731210/
Offering full and part time courses including apprenticeships in animal care. They offer the NPTC level 2 and 3 in dog grooming on a part-time basis with a course due to start on Monday October 31.
The college offers a monthly veterinary clinic in its new Animal Welfare Centre including a dog grooming parlour giving students excellent hands-on work experience.

• College of West Anglia 01553 761144/
Offering part time NPTC level 3 in dog grooming and a short course in pet care

• Dapper Dogs Grooming Centre 01603 749937/
Offering a variety of City and Guilds courses at all levels.

• Volunteering
Find out about voluntary opportunities in the area
For further information:

• Pet Care Trade Association
The national membership organisation for pet trade specialists including groomers.
The British Dog Groomers’ Association is part of the association.

 Salary range
Dog groomers can earn from around £12,000 to £18,000 or more a year.
Self-employed dog groomers can charge between £25 and £70, depending on the breed of dog.
Belle Jones

 Article and photo taken from EDP24

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Introducing... Elvis and Costello

Now promoting aliens - Elvis + Costello.

Elvis + Costello are part of our Doggles toys.  These Pentapull/Monsterpull toys have 5 arms (and squeekers) when folded out to allow for hours of tug of war fun for everyone!  Made with Eco friendly recycled fabrics, these Doggles toys are tough!   

"Shake it.  Tug it.  Throw it!"

Also available in other friends -

Cunning Racoon and Quakers Duck

Quakers Duck Pentapull toy is currently part of our Deals of the Week deal & so is on sale.  Hurry, get yours now!

Prices from £9.25 at our Scruff MacDuff store

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Two exercises can benefit dogs with arthritis

Here’s some health news for your dog —  especially if your dog is suffering from arthritis and having a bit more trouble walking and climbing stairs these days.

Researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, used a special treadmill and computer algorithms and studied dogs performing three simple exercises — walking uphill, walking downhill and walking over low obstacles.

What they found: Two of the exercises (walking uphill and walking over low obstacles) have therapeutic value.

A university news release on the study, which appeared in the July issue of the American Journal of Veterinary Research, said walking uphill could be used to improve the flexibility of affected joints (especially at the hip) and walking over low obstacles could help improve bending of joints in the fore- and hind limbs.

Dogs that have recently undergone surgery to the tibia shouldn’t walk over obstacles, however, due to the risk of tendon strain, the researchers warned.

Researchers also pointed out walking uphill and walking over low obstacles are exercises that can be done without special equipment and can be easily be supervised by dog owners.

“These types of exercise are often recommended to improve the flexibility of joints in arthritic dogs,” said Barbara Bockstahler at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna. “Nobody has yet taken the trouble to test whether they work but we are happy to report that they are of real benefit to the animals.” 
Read a summary of the findings in the veterinary journal at:

Article by 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Aliens have landed...

It was a cold dark & eerie night pierced only by the howling winds outside, Scruff was unsettled...  
[A NOISE!]  He lifts his head from his chest & pokes his nose from out with his warm fleece blanket... 

[Aaarrrggggghhhhhh......]  It sounded like a low humming sound from the living room.  Quiet follows & Scruff hides back into his warm bed.  

[Aaarrg//]  The noise suddenly stops, and the sound of [crumpling] follows.  Slowly Scruff inches out from beneath his blanket...  The wind was still howling.  Shivering as his paw touches the laminate floors, he cautiously moves towards the sound; ears perked & fur standing on end.  

"GREETINGS Scruff dog, I come in peace." 

[Thud!]  Scruff had fainted.  Before the fading black of unconsciousness Scruff had caught a glimpse of it...  A squishy green alien being held out in front of him.

"Trick or treat!"  Uncle Phyto had bought + scared Scruff with a new toy.

As Scruff regains his consciousness he chomps at the alien which is now lying next to him.  Shaking it, the green eyed monster was thus named Elvis, "all shook up".

Do you like this story?  Think you can do better, why not enter our Scruff Competition?

Would you like an Elvis for your Scruff?  Have a browse of our alien toys at our Scruff store
Alien Monsterpull Toy - Green
Alien Monsterpull Toy - Single eyed, pink 
Tuffy Alien Toy

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