All posts in handy tips



Non- slip bath mat- our dogs seem much more comfortable if the bath isn’t as slippery

jug and 2 sponges

shampoo (I use a gentle baby shampoo- in case they wriggle and it gets into their eyes- and I think it makes them smell lovely)


plastic apron 

treats/ bribery (only if they’re not keen)

Our dogs react in one of 2 ways when it’s bath time- the Labradors are happy and the Beardies are grumpy. (But they like Kat, our groomer, and seem happier in her professional set up- sadly I only have our domestic bath to work with). 

At first I bathed them all on their own, but when it was a beardie’s turn, the Labs would sit outside the bathroom whining in jealousy- I could almost hear “Listen! she’s having a bath! AND she’s getting cheese! AND being told she’s beautiful AND a good girl!” but now I bath them two together- the Labradors enjoyment is catching and it cheers the beardies up, so we need fewer treats.

First I mix the shampoo with some warm water in a jug, it’s much easier to rinse off if already diluted. Then, once the dog is in the bath, I sponge on the mixture and rinse it off. I work neck to tail, wash their bottoms and change sponges to do their head and faces, rinse and we’re done. I ask them to hop out of the bath, stand to their side and hold a towel up so that when they shake it doesn’t go quite everywhere.

*** If your dog shakes after swimming, stand in front or behind them- the water will go out from their sides as they shake ***

I dry them off firstly with a towel then the hairdryer, but many dogs don’t like the noise, sensation and the air being blown about.

You can make them used to it, but you need 2 people. Have one person hold the hairdryer (off at first) in one corner of the room and another in the opposite corner of the room with the dog and some of their dinner or some treats. Slowly walk the dog towards the hairdryer, rewarding as they progress. If they don’t like it, go back until they’re relaxed and try going forward again. Once they are eating biscuits as close as can be, start the process off again, this time with the hairdryer on. Once they are used to the hairdryer, then start giving fewer treats so in the end, they get one treat once they are dry. This process can also work if the dog doesn’t like the hoover.

Tip of the week!- Stop your dog chasing their dinner bowl across the floor

P1020366If you have a tiled or wooden floor and your dog’s bowl slips about as they eat, it is very easy to keep the bowl in the same place by putting a tea towel down first. The bowl stays stationary, the dog can eat their dinner in the one place and there isn’t the unpleasant scraping noise as it moves around the floor.

If they are a messy eater it doesn’t matter as the tea towel is easily washed.

It’s a quick and simple solution to an irritating problem (for dogs and people) which is also cost free- fantastic 🙂

Check out  our tips for healthy, happy, easy lives here and info about dog training theories and methods here

Make a scoop, hand spade or trowel from an old plastic milk carton

I saw this handy tip to recycle an old bottle into gardening tools on the internet and I had the idea that it will be useful for cleaning up the lawn after the dogs! It’s very easy.

You need scissors, a clean, empty plastic milk bottle and 1 or 2 minutes…  Mark out with pen or by eye this shape on the bottle … and cut!











You could always round off the end if you preferred to make a trowel shape.


Road test … what worked well

The spade shape works very well as a scoop and I will continue to use it in our garden. So pleased 🙂 Our dogs are Labradors and Beardies and so if your dogs are this size or smaller, it is worth trying.

As gardening tools, they would both work well if the soil was fine and dry- perfect for things like moving new compost from the bag into a pot. 

What didn’t work

The trowel shape had a tendency to be bendy and was a little tricky to use.

Neither the trowel or spade were able to cope with cleaning up after our neighbours Newfie, I had to find something else in the end. I don’t think it would work for dogs much larger than a Labrador.

The spade is by far the more robust shape but both bent in wet hard soil.

Other uses

Other spades could also be put to good use in the kitchen for measuring out rice or flour etc, in the children’s sand pit, water play area or pretend box, or for scooping up the Lego.

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