Being a dog owner makes so many things in life so easy, like an evening being well spent by simply just curling up on the sofa. What’s not so easy, is being able to make spontaneous bookings for that trip you’ve just seen on PetsPyjamas’ travel guide, because there’s so much to plan. The last thing you’ll want is to arrive at your holiday destination realising you’ve forgotten the poo bags.
We’ve simplified it for you so you know exactly what you need to consider before you can up and go:
Check the accommodation
Booking through designated dog-friendly sites like PetsPyjamas will ensure you find the perfect place to call home for the holiday, with added touches like dog treats to make you smile and your dog’s tail wag. Find the perfect location for the whole family to retreat to after a long day out, muddy paws and all.
Visit the vet before you go
Before you jet off, make sure your dog’s up to date with any treatments, vaccinations and general health checks. Once this is ticked off your list, you’ll be able to watch your dog race across the beach and bound over the hills without a care in the world. If you’re heading abroad, check to see if there are any local diseases to be aware of and chat to your vet first.
Passports at the ready
Just like you, your dog won’t be allowed to cross the UK border (both in and out) without their passport. If you’re going abroad this summer, you’ll need to have your dog’s passport, find out everything you need to know here.
Make an essential item checklist
Imagine the look your dog would give you when you arrived at your long awaited destination to realise you’d forgotten to pack their favourite toy. Making a list a few weeks in advance will help you to make sure you’ve got absolutely everything you need – even if you do leave the packing until the last minute.
Refresh your dog’s command knowledge
Remember that scene in Marley and Me where Marley gets sight of a bird and runs after it, only to be chased down the beach by a mortified Owen Wilson and his friend in convoy? In reality, onlookers might not be quite so amused. You won’t want your dog terrorising local fauna, so practising commands together will give you added peace of mind when you’re off exploring.
If your dog’s not used to longer drives, getting some practice in before you go can help them enjoy the journey more. Make sure you’ve got a safety harness for when the car’s moving and stop regularly for breaks to stretch all the legs in the car.
Peace of mind
Unwinding into holiday mode is a glorious feeling and you’ve earned it. Just make sure your relaxed self is still keeping an eye on how your dog’s getting on, making sure they’re staying away from steep drops on cliffside walks, not swimming too far out in the sea and getting on well with other dogs and animals.
If you’re heading abroad with your canine companion this year, one of the things on your holiday checklist should be your dog’s pet passport. Here’s what you need to know:
What is a pet passport?
A pet passport is an official document that includes a record of all the treatments your pet has had. It allows animals to travel abroad to certain countries via Eurotunnel and ferries under the Pet Travel Scheme. Without it, your dog won’t be allowed to leave or re-enter the UK.
What information does it contain?
Your dog’s pet passport includes:
Details of ownership
Their description, including their unique microchip ID
Details of your dog’s vaccinations, blood tests and any treatments
How do I get a pet passport?
Pet passports are available from most vets. In order to apply, you’ll need to take your dog’s vaccination and other medical records with you. If your vet doesn’t issue pet passports, they’ll be able to give you the details of one that does. In order to leave and re-enter the UK, you’ll need to make sure your dog:
Has been microchipped
Is older than 15 weeks at the time of travelling
Is vaccinated against rabies
Has been treated for tapeworm
Note: Chat to your vet about the timelines needed for vaccinations and treatments.
Some countries that aren’t listed under the Pet Travel Scheme can be more complicated to travel to.
SheSays is an award-winning, global organisation running free mentorship and events to women in the creative industries.
At Christmas, they wanted to create a range of tote bags that combined female empowerment and achieving your career ambitions – with a little festive flair.
Kat Linger, designer extraordinaire, and I took on the challenge and created this range of lines and designs that were printed on tote bags and sold to the SheSays network and beyond. These were my favourites, but you can see the full range here.
Once the holiday’s booked, it’s time for the countdown begin. It’s time to download that countdown app on our phones and make sure the whole family’s up to date on how many sleeps are left.
Yet, no matter how far in advance we plan, there always seems to be that one thing that we’ve forgotten. And when you’ve got four more legs coming with you, there are a few extra things you’ll need to pack in the bag too:
For staying hydrated:
Portable water bowl and water bottle
Travelling is thirsty work. For those stops when you all need to stretch your legs and big long drink, make sure you’re all stocked up for the whole family.
For getting comfortable:
Long journeys in the car are far more enjoyable when you’re comfortable. Your dog will thank you for making that hard back seat a softer cushion to lie on.
Home comforts (like that one toy they always bring to the front door when you come home) will make your dog feel much better about being in the car.
There’s a dog I know, he’s the one I dream of. As a dog owner, it’s natural to be looking for signs your dog loves you. Like when you come home from work and he’s brought you your socks. That must be an act of love, right?
Having a strong bond with your dog is important – for your happiness and for making sure your dog knows who the boss is (so that they behave). And having and nurturing this bond can lead to a happier and healthier life for the both of you. Your bond with your dog develops through the course of your life together and through the things you do, like walking, playing, exercising, training – and generally how you interact when living your life together.
Yet, just like Whitney Houston, you might find yourself asking, ‘how will I know if he really loves me?’ But don’t worry, we’ve got answers. Your dog will give you a few clues to show you that yes, he really does love you. Here are seven of the signs your dog loves you.
1. They’re happy to see you
The wag of the tail. The whine through the nose. The bringing of the toy. There’s no purer joy than the sight of a dog realising their owner’s just come home. The relief that no, you haven’t abandoned them forever and the joy that you’re home with them at last. This is perhaps the most obvious sign of love – your dog’s excited to see you! And you’re probably just as excited to see them too.
2. They’re relaxed when they’re with you
After the initial excitement and confirmation that yes, you are back and no, you were not gone forever, a dog who loves and trusts their owner is one who settles down into relaxation. You can spot relaxed body language in a few different ways:
Mouth slightly open, with that lovable lolling tongue
A roll over and request for a belly rub – which shows they trust you
That good old tail of theirs wagging from side to side
Relaxed, soft facial expressions – you’ll know the one
Eyes blinking regularly
Bowing down on the front paws, with the head lower than the butt asking to play
3. They make eye contact with you
In any loving relationship, eye contact means love and trust. And as we all know, dogs have definitely got that look of love nailed. It’s just like us really – if we’re nervous or intimidated by someone, we tend not to look them in the eye. But, if we trust them, respect them and feel comfortable around them, we’ll meet their gaze.
And it’s not just a sign, it’s also a thing we can actively do and get better at to improve our bonds with our dogs. Research from Japan showed that dogs who made eye contact more with their owners showed elevated levels of oxytocin (the hormone of love) and the owners experiences higher levels of it too. So there you have it, you can strengthen your bond, love and happiness levels with your dog by just gazing into each other’s eyes.
Emotional staring contest, anyone?
4. They look for your affection
Love me, love me, say that you love me. Was that Kylie? Or was that your dog who sang that? If your dog’s looking for some love from you like scratching, petting, snuggling, leaning against you, resting their head on your knee or even hugging – it’s a definite sign that they love you. Giving your dog this kind of affection (though, not excessively so) can strengthen your bond even more, too.
5. They check in with you
Even the most independent women dogs still like to check in to make sure you’re there. This is their way of maintaining their visual contact with you, and a dog who shares a strong bond with you will like to regularly come and see you, whether you’re in a different room in the house, or whether you’re off on a dog walk – they’ll want to know you’re close by.
6. They listen to you and respond to you
It’s what we all dream of, isn’t it? Just someone who actually listens to you. While your dog might not be intently listening to you about your terrible day at work that involved a run-in with your boss, if your dog’s listening to what you’re saying when you speak (and you’ll be able to tell by the way they respond) and obeying the commands you give, it shows you they’re attached to you.
Your bond can be strengthened by basic obedience training, and recall training (coming when called) is one of the most important commands for your dog to be able to respond to, because it can keep them safe if something goes wrong. And by making coming back to you worth their while, like showing them the utmost excitement EVER, they’re more likely to respond.
7. They cuddle up to your things
Like in rom-com films where girls wear their high school boyfriend’s ‘sweater’, your dog loves things that smell like you. In a strong bond, dogs are attached to their owner’s scent, and can often look for things to cuddle up to when you’re not around. And because dogs don’t always have the same good manners as us, this can sometimes mean extra smelly ones, like worn socks or shoes. Nice. Your smell means home to your dog, and of course, they want to feel like they’re with you all the time.
If your dog’s beginning to take their love of your things a little too far, like hoarding dirty washing or ruining your favourite pair of shoes, this could be a sign of separation anxiety, which won’t be good for you or them. If you think your dog may be struggling with anxiety, you can find tips from us on how to ease your dog’s separation anxiety here.
8. They just want to be next to you
Whether it’s napping next to you on the sofa (if they’re allowed up there), lying close to your feet as you sit at the table or just essentially being your shadow, this is a sign of trust and a sign that your dog just loves being close to you – which shows you that you’ve got one strong bond.
How can I improve my bond with my dog?
If you and your dog have had a rough patch recently (it happens to the best of relationships), you can build on your bond and relationship in a few ways. The easiest and best way is to spend around 30 minute together – just the two of you. And it’s not just walks, being out in the garden of being curled up on the sofa together. ‘Bonding time’ needs to be focused and active. You can do things like:
It goes without saying, that the best way to bond with your dog is to spend time together that’s full of love and care. Dogs respond to people who treat them well, so if you’re taking good care of your dog on an emotional and physical level – their lifetime of unconditional love is all yours.How have you encouraged bonding time with your dog? We’d love to hear your stories, so post them in the comments below!
Ah, France. A country known for its cheese, wine, champagne, bread, pastries and exquisite, romantic culture. Surely, we hear you say, it’s not possible for this country to have even more things for us to adore?
Well think again, for another of France’s gifts to the world is their dogs, and we’ve gone and found 15 of them that you’re sure to fall in love with. From the popular French Bulldog to the perhaps lesser known Barbet, these dogs are national treasures. So alors, let’s take a look at these 15 French dog breeds, and see which one is your favourite.
Perhaps the breed most associated with France, the fabulously fluffy and floppy-eared Poodle is actually a French imposter who actually originated in Germany with ancestors from Asia, Hungary, Russia but also (thankfully) France. Before becoming style icons, the Poodle was bred as a water dog – and are as home in the water as a fish would be. Now, they’ve seen the light of luxury and make chilled out house dogs, as well as impressive dog show contenders.
A fun fact for you: Poodles have been favoured by celebrities through history, with famous owners such as Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Streisand, Priscilla Presley, Jackie Kennedy and Rihanna.
Dogue de Bordeaux
The handsome Dogue is a big dog, with a big wrinkly head and a big heart for its family – with a big tendency to snore and drool, too. The Dogue de Bordeaux, or the French Mastiff, has been around since the Middle Ages, becoming hugely popular in the UK since its introduction in the 20th century.
A fun fact for you: Beasley, was the name of the handsome Dogue de Bordeaux who starred alongside Tom Hanks in the 1998 film Turner & Hooch. If you’re likely to watch the film soon, stock up on the tissues.
Pyrenean Mountain Dog
With humble beginnings as a livestock guard, the loyal and lovable Pyrenean Mountain Dog rose through the ranks of French nobility, eventually becoming an official court dog in the 1700s. How about a great career, right? They’re people-oriented dogs, and are often used as therapy dogs due to their soft fur and calm, affectionate nature. Truly, a good dog.
A fun fact for you: This French dog breed was seriously adored by royalty, with owners like Louis XIV, Marie Antoinette and even Queen Victoria across the English Channel.
Whilst definitely a dog (we checked), the name ‘Papillon’ is actually the French word for butterfly, given to this little breed because of the resemblance its ears had to a butterfly’s wings. Dating back to the 13th century, the Papillon was bred as a companion dog, ideal for ladies of court to carry tucked under their arms. They’re smart, lively dogs from the Spaniel family, who need lots of exercise to exert their energy.
A fun fact for you: It’s said that one of notorious dog lover Marie Antoinette’s beloved companions was a Papillon named Coco.
Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen
This little short but strong scent hound was originally bred to sniff out hares and other small game on hunts. It’s French name is the perfect, simple description for the breed, literally translating to ‘small, low to the ground, rough coated, from the Vendée region of France’. With a confident and curious nature, this friendly little dog will be quick to lick the hands of any human willing to give them attention (relatable).
A fun fact for you: In 2013, the winner of Crufts Best In Show was a Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen called Jilly.
Another French dog breed loved by the nation’s nobility, the Barbet is a rare dog that’s thought to be the ancestor of our other French four-legged friend, the Poodle. The breed’s name originates from ‘barbe’ – the French word for ‘beard’ – and has webbed feet and a water-resistant coat that meant they were originally ideal companions for sailors and hunters to retrieve waterfowl. Later in the 1800s, the lovable, loyal and intelligent Barbet became a companion dog.
A fun fact for you: After World War I, the Barbet was faced with near-extinction, despite their long history. Thankfully, they’ve made their comeback in recent years. Phew.
Braque du Bourbonnais
Part of the Pointer Sisters family, this intelligent gundog is one of the oldest Pointer dogs that exists today. The Braque du Bourbonnais is an old, old French dog, originating from the original French Pointer in the 1500s. During the 1960s, the breed almost became extinct, but began to increase in popularity and breeding again in the 1970s. And we’re ever so glad they were.
A fun fact for you: All French Pointers are named after the region they were developed in, with other notable breeds including the Braque d’Auvergne and the Braque Saint Germain.
France is home to the origin of many Spaniel breeds, originally bred for hunting, pointing and retrieving – which they historically all did excellently. Whilst the French Spaniel originated in the Middle Ages, the Picardy Spaniel (named after the Picardy region in France) was only separated from the generalised breed name and give its own recognition in the early 1900s.
A fun fact for you: The Picardy Spaniel is pretty rare outside of France and Canada, with huge waiting lists for big time admirers to bring one of these gorgeous dogs into their families.
Perhaps not known so widely as a French dog, the Briard is an ancient herding dog with a handsome, bearded face. They’re known for their unwavering loyalty and protectiveness, used by the French military as sentries and ‘pack dogs’ during World War I. Today, the Briard is still used as a sheepdog, by search and rescue organisations and the police.
A fun fact for you: It’s said that Napoleon Bonaparte owned a Briard – and you can’t get more French than him, can you?
The Pyrenean Sheepdog is one of France’s oldest and beloved dogs throughout the nation’s history, wagging its tail since medieval times. With it’s high energy and high intelligence, it’s no surprise that this breed was used for herding sheep, and also as a courier, watchdog and rescue dog during World War I. Pyr Sheps are devotedly loyal, but also harbour a delight for mischief, too.
A fun fact for you: Pyrenean Sheepdogs can be so attached to their owners, that they’ll follow them around the house to ‘help’ with daily chores.
Believed to be the oldest of the French scent hounds, the Porcelaine was bred to hunt hare, roe deer and boar. Sadly, Porcelaines are rare these days, with only 14 puppies bred in the UK since 2009, after disappearing post-French Revolution. Currently, many breeders and clubs are working to help the breed regain its once stellar popularity.
A fun fact for you: Perhaps obviously, but ‘porcelaine’ means porcelain in English, referring to its shiny white coat. But you probably guessed that already, didn’t you?
Thought to be from the Mediterranean (or Côte D’Azur, if you’re fancy) region of France, ‘Le petite chien lion’ (the little lion dog) was originally a companion dog for the elite only, appearing in French literature and art dating as far back as the 15th century. It’s name comes from its traditional haircut, featuring a rather fantastic mane that Simba would envy, for sure.
A fun fact for you: Despite its French origin, ‘Löwchen’ means ‘little lion’, but in German. Go figure.
Berger Picard (Picardy Shepherd)
Another ancient French dog breed, the Berger Picard is a herding dog originating from the mountain region of Picardie in France. After World War I and World War II, they nearly became extinct and still remain a rare breed today. They have short legs, but big personalities and are loyal, lively and people-oriented – as well as highly intelligent.
A fun fact for you: Three Berger Picards (Scott, Laiko and Tasha) starred in the film Because of Winn-Dixie which led many fans of the film to mistakenly think that ‘Winn-Dixie’ was their mixed-breed.
Those well-travelled, or excellent at Geography will put two and two together to realise that yes, this breed is from the Brittany region of France. Bred originally as a gun dog in the 17th century, the Brittany excels in this sport still today. This breed has a calm and curious temperament, but can also sometimes be shy.
A fun fact for you: Like many dating profiles on the internet, this dog loves long walks and exploring the countryside.
And of course, who could forget the iconic and hugely popular French Bulldog. Often referred to as the ‘Frenchie’, this endearing breed currently ranks as #2 in the UK’s most popular breeds, just trailing behind the Labrador. These dogs have a playful attitude and gorgeous nature, but as with many brachycephalic breeds, can face breathing difficulties due to their flat noses and faces.
A fun fact for you: As well as being popular with us regular non-famous folk, celebrity Frenchie owners include Madonna, Hugh Jackman, Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock), Reese Witherspoon and countless others.
So, there you have it. Our 15 French dog breeds. Do you own a French dog? Send us your snaps across our social media channels, or tell us all about your dog in the comments below.
As the cold weather continues, we’re piling on the layers to wrap up warm. The last thing we want is to be freezing cold while we go about our daily business. It’s not just us humans who feel the cold, our dogs can feel the chill too. Here are 7 ways to keep your dog warm:
Jackets and jumpers
As well as giving your dog the opportunity to make a fashion statement, jackets and jumpers are great for keeping warm. Make sure any clothing you purchase is a good fit for your dog, as well as warm and soft. Some jumpers are much harder to put on than others, so for dogs who aren’t so flexible, look for clothing with buttons or velcro tabs.
Warm beds and blankets
During the winter months, a cosy bed is the ultimate haven to retreat to. Invest in a warm bed with plenty of comfy blankets and try to keep it in a place away from any draughts.
If your dog really doesn’t like going out in the rain, a waterproof coat can prevent them from noticing the rain falling on their skin and coat. A coat will also keep your dog dry and add an extra layer of warmth.
Keep fur longer
Your dog’s fur is their source of warmth during the winter, so when it’s cold, try to keep it as long as possible. Make sure you brush their coat thoroughly, as matted hair doesn’t insulate a dog from the cold as well and is less efficient at keeping out snow and rain.
Minimise the amount of baths
In colder weather, it takes a lot longer for a wet dog to dry. Try to minimise the amount of baths you give your dog and when bathing, do so indoors with warm water and dry your dog thoroughly as soon as you can.
Increase exercise in the home to avoid longer walks
Even if the weather outside is frightful, your dog still needs both physical and mental exercise! Mental stimulation is just as important for your dog as physical exercise is, and is key to their mental development throughout their life. If it’s too cold for the two of you to head out on a long walk, try bringing some exercises indoors with some homemade obstacle courses and running up and down the stairs.
Don’t be tempted to overfeed
It’s tempting to feed extra food in colder weather to help your dog keep warm, but it’s an easy route to weight gain, especially if your dog is spending less time exercising outside.
It’s also worth noting that during the winter months, dogs are more prone to illnesses and respiratory infections, so keep an eye out for any changes in health conditions. If your dog seems to be especially cold, check their ear tips and tail tips. If the tips look and feel cold, this could be a sign that frostbite has occurred. In this case, wrap your dog up in blankets and towels to warm them gradually and head over to see your vet as soon as possible.
Life with your dog can be full of surprises, like that one you found behind the sofa when you only nipped out to the shops for an hour. 💩
When it comes down to poo, us dog owners have seen it all. Meet the 9 poos you’ll have picked up at some point in your dog’s life.
So whichever poo the day brings, rejoice – for the days of frantic poo bag pocket-searching are over. As part of your monthly tails.com bundle, your dog’s poo bags can be delivered with their tails.com food, straight to your door.
You’ve finally done it. After what feels like eternity, you made it through the endless cycle of the meetings (an hour of people saying the words: objectives, KPIs and touch base), standups (meetings masquerading as something edgier and inclusive), and powwows ( still meetings but take place at your desk so you can’t escape) you thought would never end.
Your freshly pedicured toes step out of the office door, onto the pavement of hope and dreams as you breathe in the freshly polluted air of freedom: because you, are about to be out of office.
You’ve set yourself a slightly salty, ‘see ya later fuckers’ out of office message that is mainly to tell Dramatic Dave in Marketing that ‘no, I am not available to do a ‘super-quick-one-that-I-forgot-to-tell-you-about-but-is-actually-urgent-but-is-easy-I-promise-but-actually-takes-up-half-a-day’ creative brief because I’m off having the time of my life on a yacht (pedalo) on the Côte D’Azur (Brighton), far far, far away from you in a distant land called Out Of Office.
It’s the dream. You set the response from now until the day you get back, which is so far in the future that the possibilities of change are endless: you might have decided to get bangs again, you might have adopted another dog or you might have even changed your entire look and return dressed as an extra from Avril Lavigne’s Sk8r Boi music video. Who knows – not you, but you do know it’s a ‘see you l8r boi’ to Dramatic Dave.
Sadly, the dream is not to be had. Bangs look terrible on you, you can’t possible have another dog let alone one because your flat is too small and having a garden is an unknown enigma that only parents have and Avril Lavigne is the only person who truly understood punk – and you’ll never be her. And to top it all off: there’s no such thing as truly being out of office anymore.
What’s happened to us? We close our laptops and switch off our desktops only to get onto the train and open up our emails on our phones. Whether it’s with fingers or with thumbs, we always seem to be checking in on our email inbox like we’re checking in on that girl who bullied you in sixth form’s instagram feed, to see if you’re doing better now than she is.
And holidays are no different either, there’s that one day where you think ‘I’ll just have a look…’ and suddenly you’re stressing because your emails are piling up and Dramatic Dave really does need your help on this one because you’re the only one who can do it the way he wants it done and he knows you’re on holiday but if there’s any chance you do see this could you possibly do it? You’re thinking about the pile of stuff you’re going to have to get through when you get back and before you know it, you’re almost hitting send.
It’s no good. We’re doomed. How are we ever supposed to enjoy a true digital detox away from work when we’re now succumbed to a fast and furious work culture of ‘everything is urgent and nothing can wait and everything is on fire’.
But have no fear, Emily is here. Here are 5 things you can do to make sure you actually do stay out of office:
1. Delete your work’s email app from your phone
Just for the week. Just get it off there. Avoid temptation and just get it gone, like when you’ve spent too much money this month and you have to delete the ASOS app so you don’t order that really expensive Whistles jacket whilst drunk.
2. Have your work colleague change your email password so that you can’t get on it
In case you can’t be trusted to not re-install the email app, just like you couldn’t be trusted with the ASOS app and still ordered that damn Whistles jacket anyway because your fourth G&T gave you the confidence to do so.
3. Leave your phone at home
Perhaps unrealistic. What else would our hand shaped claws cling onto on the sunbed by the pool?
4. Throw your work phone off the pedalo into the grey Brighton sea
More realistic. Would be a real middle finger up to Dramatic Dave. That would show him.
5. Attach your phone to the courier box of a Deliveroo cyclist
In fact, attach yourself to the box, eat the deliciously overpriced contents and let yourself whirled away through the traffic from the never ending cycle of work that consumes us all.
You know what, let’s face it – even going on holiday isn’t enough of a reason to ever truly be out of the office, is it? Dramatic Dave, you win. Please find attached the request from your creative brief, along with my soul.