Things new dog owners need to do across South Wales in 2019.
Things new dog owners need to do in South Wales in 2019
Hi all, if you’re reading this now then you have probably just got your first puppy or adopted your first rescue dog. I remember bringing Bane home as puppy, how exciting it was but also how over whelming the situation can be. what food shall I use? How often should I walk him? Where is the best vet? How do I groom his coat…… The questions and the anxiety over this were basically endless! Don’t worry we have you covered. This blog is going to be a long one but it should help you cover some fundamental bases to set you on your way. Lets dive in
South Wales Dog Walking Club
Full disclaimer, We own this one! This is a group we set up when we first brought bane home and discovered we were having some behaviour issues. I felt people were looking at me and Bane and we were being prejudged. No one wanted to walk with us and I had no where to turn to solve the issue without paying a trainer. We also had to then choose a trainer from a huge variety online. SWDWC was born. This is a facebook group where you can go and discuss dog related topics with people in your specific catchment area. You’ll see posts that range from Raw food to demodex mites. I absolutely promise you that you will learn something from this group! It has over 8.000 people with all sorts of backgrounds, experiences and qualifications ranging from vets to pet photographers (Bet you can guess who they are). Our ethos on this group is simple, its community based (which will always remain free) and be nice to people! Head over and take a look if it’s a community space you think you may be interested in.
Action petz - Bridgend, Newport and Cardiff.
Action Petz is an indoor play park for dogs. The centres are large industrial warehouses that have been kitted out with dog agility sets, fake grass, a large pool in the summer and a outdoor area to match. The centres come with a cafe so you can grab a coffee or cold drink and a small shop to pick up some bits as you travel pass. They have two premises at the moment based in Bridgend and Newport with a third in the process at Cardiff. Action Petz is great if you want to take your dog off lead in a safe and controlled environment. They also run events throughout the year that range from craft markets to breed specific pop ups. I think its a fair statement to say that Action Petz is not for every dog owner, we are prime examples of that! Bane is a large German Shepherd who can be very boisterous! He would cause havoc at Action Petz but that is his issue and not that of the centres. His preference would to be at a forest or a beach where I can really stretch his legs. Action Petz really does find is niche if you have a dog that’s a touch less boisterous than ours and loves to play and mingle with others nicely. Don’t be put off by this though, if you would like to see if you are a good fit for them I would encourage you to contact the local centre and have a chat about your circumstances and how they can help you. They have qualified dog trainers on site that can help and guide you as you go along. They also have other bolt on services like doggy day care, over night boarding, residential training and much more. On a final note, the centres that I have visited all have great disability access! Having friends who have partners in a wheel chair, I know this has even a huge positive and made a massive difference when it comes to being included with the family outing with the dog.
If you would like to book your own photoshoot with us, or go through a free, no obligation consultation, contact us here.
“To err is human, to forgive is canine.”
Dog rescue centres and dog adoption
Why are you including this in something we should do? Well we are very much pro adoption to begin with so I want you to be aware of the two charities that are local to us, why you may need them, events they run and what you can do to help.
Hope Rescue are based across South Wales. They have a kennel in Llanharry and a charity shop in Pontypridd (this is where out studio will be as of reading this Jan 19) Hope run amazing events through out year! I would highly recommend signing up to the news letter or following the facebook page for regular updates on what you can do. Hope Rescues Barking Mad show is a big draw every year. you can find out more about Hope Rescue and all the afflictive links on the button below.
Cardiff dogs home and Friends of the dogs Wales
Another dog rescue centre that is close to our hearts! Cardiff dogs home is a council run centre that is supported by the kind work of friends of the dogs Wales. We have visited the centre multiple times over the years to visit the dogs, staff and undertake charity shoots to help with the marketing and rehoming process. The centre has a new outdoor play garden that the dogs can come off lead and let off some steam. If you want to sign up to volunteer to walk a dog you’ll need to undertake a introduction. You can find more information on the website below. Friends of the dogs also operate out of the kennels in Newport which we are hoping to visit in Jan, keep your eyes out for some new rescue pictures!
Every dog needs home
Meet Tyson, he’s a long term resident of Cardiff dogs home.
Raw Pet Supplies
Something that needs a lot of thought is your dogs diet. Just like human children, it’s very important that your fur-kids have a well balanced healthy diet. A treat every now and again is, of course, fine (just like we like a takeaway every now and again!) but high fat/sugar food every day will have consequences for your dogs health, teeth and coat. We started our dogs on raw diet, it was so much fun! You get to experiment with different meats, see what your dog likes and dislikes and also learn a massive amount about nutrition which is super important when it comes to a raw diet. When we first started, we went to the Raw Pet Supplies team for help. They were so nice and helpful. They answered all of our ‘stupid’ questions and didn’t pass any judgement. They showed us how to start off with chicken and tripe and then told us about a balanced raw diet (the standard is 80% meat, 10% bone and 10% offal). We raw fed for quite a while, but unfortunately it wasn’t for us. As much as we loved it, and the dogs adored it, we had issues with Harley and complex allergies which has meant that we have had to switch to high quality kibble, or biscuits. So if you are interested in introducing your dog to a raw diet, speak with the team at Raw Pet Supplies.
Smart Clinic - Cardiff
Smart Clinic is a company which has literally saved Harleys’ life. For those who don’t know, Harley was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia at 8 months old. We were devastated to say the least. Of course, we thought the worst and thought they were going to have to put Harley down. We had a discussion about what we would do if the question was put to us, what we would do if she needed a double hip replacement and we were unable to (for any odd reason) claim on the pet insurance. We were preparing for the worst case scenario. We then spoke with the consultant, they recommended therapy so we asked for a referral to the Smart Clinic in Cardiff after a recommendation from South Wales Dog Walking Club (one of the many reasons The Dog Walking Club is of good use). Walking into the Smart Clinic and speaking to the vet there was one of the best things we’ve ever done. She took one look at Harley and said “Oh yeah, we can help her, no problem”. It was like the biggest weight had been lifted from us. Onver the next year, we were going to weekly, then fortnightly then monthly appointments of hydrotherapy and acupuncture. Fast forward 3 years and you would barely notice Harleys hips if you were to meet her. She runs a little funny, and we will never be able to take her up a mountain, but shes okay and she has a happy life. The Smart Clinic are just amazing. They have a lovely surgery and just of the nicest vets and nurses. We really feel comfortable there and are happy to recommend them to anyone who asks. Harley is a barker and it can be so embarrassing, but they put us at ease over it. We all joke that she’s the loudest dog at the clinic (although…I think it’s true!).
K9 Plus 1
Barry Island is becoming a hugely popular place for dogs and their owners. Following on from the success of Gavin and Stacey, Barry Island has become a popular dog walking, chippy and coffee stop spot (dare you to say that quickly 5 times!). Many of the coffee shops along the beach front weren’t really dog friendly which was causing a little bit of an issue with the dog walkers…Until K9 Plus 1 appeared. Opening around 4 years ago, the staff are friendly, the food is good and the coffee is just excellent! Of course, them being dog lovers is just an added bonus. When sitting down and eating or drinking in K9 Plus 1 you really feel like part of the community..a little bit like ‘Cheers’! They have excellent afternoon teas and can even accommodate your dog with home made dog treats! You can guarantee that April, the owner, will be around to have a chat and cwtch your dog.
Walks - Kenfig Nature Reserve
Kenfig, Bridgend, CF33 4PT
One of our favourite walks! We love this place and what it offers. Parking is free, although a donation goes along way - There are donation boxes in the car park and this is what helps run the reserve. Kenfig is a mixture of sand dunes, grassy areas, small lakes and a huge beach. Generally, its pretty quiet but this is a popular dog walking spot so, even at the quietest times, you will most likely come across another walker. The area is huge which means you can make the walk as short or as long as you want. We have been there for an hour, and we have been there for 5 hours. It really is up to you and you can make it what you wish. The scenery at Kenfig Nature Reserve is second to none, its beautiful and I find it great to practice my mindfulness. The only downside is that there are horses with their riders on the beach every now and again so you need to be careful and watch out for them (but the beach is so long and wide that you would be able to see them from a mile off). The other downside is that sometimes there are livestock roaming around, but you can always check on South Wales Dog Walking Club to see if anyone has been there recently and is able to advise.
Walks - Cwm George, Dinas Powys
We are very lucky to live close to Cwm George and its beautiful scenery. What we love about this place is that there are so many routes to take! We’ve been there hundreds of times and I don’t believe we’ve seen everything there. Its quiet, peaceful and, again, great for mindfulness. The main entrance, by St Peters Church, is quite small and has room for a maximum of 5 cars. This leads to a small pathway past fenced fields with a couple of uninterested horses. If your dog is severely reactive with other dogs, this may not be the best route for you as, if you come across another dog walking coming the other way, it can get a little tight. After the pathway, you can either turn left which takes you up a small incline, or keep going forward which takes you across the fields. This is where you can take many pathways and different routes. There are streams where your dogs can play and cool down, huge fields, wooded areas for your dogs to investigate..Everything you could need from a dog walk. The only thing you need to be careful of is any livestock in the enclosed fields. These are far from the main pathway and are obvious before you get any where near them. Parking is completely free, and as previously advised there are two car parks which are easily accessible. The second car park is up Penny Turnpike Hill and left towards Michaelston-le-Pit.
So Canis Daycare offer a fantastic service. They pick up your dog from you home address, walk them for the entire day and then drop them home to you later on in the afternoon. What I love about Canis is that they dont just pick up the dogs and walk them in the field down the road from your house. They go out of their way to walk them in locations that enrich your dogs mind so that when they are returned to you, they’re exhausted with fun and excitement! The staff at Canis are all trained, trustworthy and reliable. There are very few people we trust with our dogs, but Canis is certainly one of them. Bane ADORES going on daycare. If you could see him when they get picked up, you would never believe a German Shepherd squeal could get that high! He knows them as soon as they come through the door and he doesn’t even look back when they take him! They take good care of both of our dogs, and the dogs know that. That is why we book with them.
Thank you for reading this blog and we hope you find the information and recommendations above useful. For more useful hints and tips, sign up to the newsletter here and receive regular updates on what we’re doing, what pet related companies local to you can offer and first look at some of our favourite images.