I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ‘c’.
Cheese. Which I like very much.
But it’s not the ‘c’ I was thinking of. Oh no, this one comes with a whole load of fuss and expense for you humans…Christmas!
With that in mind I thought I’d do a round-up of my favourite things and my favourite places to buy them in case you needed a bit of gift inspiration for your four-legged friends.
Now as we all know, Christmas is a season for the two-legged ones in your life to become total gluttons. Turkey, mince pies, nuts, chocolate, pigs in blankets (happy to help you out munching these) – the list goes on. Mostly unhealthy and all likely to make you feel like big fat bloaters if you eat enough of them.
Fortunately for us dogs, there’s an alternative to eating ourselves into a stupor and it’s called the Barking Bakery Company.
All treats are vegetarian, contain human-grade ingredients and are lovingly made by new owner Jojo. I’m the Flagship Dog for the company so I’m lucky enough to be a taste-tester which I take very seriously. In fact, so does mum and she personally tests all the treats too – she even nicks my Blueberry Bark and Ingwer Danes on walks!
I’ll be doing a separate post about my involvement with the Barking Bakery Company, as me and mum were the inspiration for Ma King, the original owner, to get cracking in the kitchen on these tasty doggy delights.
So if your new year resolution is to get fitter and healthier, why not extend that to your dog and try BBCo treats – and you’re supporting a small business too.
We have two other online companies that we love, and mum will always look at them first for birthday and Christmas presents (for me that is, not her human family. That’d be a bit weird).
We’ve bought numerous things from Barks & Bunnies, from the Ruffwear Front Range harness and the Road Refresher bowl, to toys including a Kong Crackle Bone, a Kong Quest Wishbone – which mum smears with Marmite and puts treats in when she leaves for work – and this beauty, a Kong Safestix.
Admittedly, the latter looks like something that should be used privately indoors, which given that ours is pink it most definitely is! However, it’s great for tuggy games and, obviously, much better than throwing a stick for your pooch. It floats too, so if your dog likes a dip then this Safestix is ideal for lobbing into the big blue yonder.
Added to this, every order includes a handwritten note from Amy – who owns Barks & Bunnies with her husband Leigh – which mum thinks is a delightful touch, and demonstrates that each order actually means something to the company. You definitely don’t get that from the online Goliaths.
We’ve ordered only once from Chew & Chase, but that’s not because we don’t rate the company – it’s just worked out that way. We bought a Chuckit Ultra Tug, which is used to this day.
It’s great for throwing (although as mum is a rubbish thrower – she nearly took out her PE teacher’s knee caps chucking a rounders ball – it would be even better if the Chuckit was slightly heavier), and perfect for playing tuggy.
For a dog like me, who can be rather too interested in finding mischief on walks given half a chance, it is A1 perfect for distraction purposes. The tough rubber ball withstands my teeth and the tough looped webbing provides the ideal handhold for mum. It’s definitely going to be taken on our Sunrise to Sunset Walk should mum need to divert my attention.
Some of you may follow me on Twitter – and if not, why not?! – and we love finding out what the three collie girls are up to on the Chew & Chase Twitter feed.
Of course, you could argue that buying from small online companies means you can pay a little more than from somewhere like Amazon. And who doesn’t love a bargain – that feeling that you’ve beaten the system by saving a few quid?
Mum gets round this by buying me fewer toys, but from independent companies. That same principle applies when she buys meat – often she eats vegetarian, but when she does have a juicy steak, it’s one that’s free range as minimum or more likely organic. Win:win really.
Especially when the strings of drool work their magic and she saves me some.
I’m the Flagship Dog for the Barking Bakery Company, and as such receive a free membership pack of treats each month. All other products mentioned were bought at normal retail prices. All opinions expressed are genuine, and not influenced in any way by any external party.