From dog spas and weight loss retreats – seriously – to biscuits to help your pooch’s insomnia, it seems pet health becoming the new, well, health
We all know friends, or maybe we’re culprits ourselves, who pander perhaps a little too much to a pet’s needs. Everyone will have different opinions, but for those who have a furry friend, that little chap or chapess can mean the absolute world. But how much is too much? There are now products and treatments out there to suit creatures (great and small) with any kind of requirement, and I’m sure there will soon be doggy versions for every beauty or fitness activity out there.
For a healthy and happy tum, you can find a huge selection of pet food at Lily’s Kitchen. The brand was born out of founder Henrietta Morrison’s ‘desire to do the best for our pets’. She found that when switching from canned food to freshly prepared meals, her border terrier Lily’s itches and scratches all vanished, and she was an all-round brighter dog. All the food for dogs, cats, puppies and kittens is organic and holistic, using the best raw ingredients. If you’re dog is finding it hard to sleep, their Organic Bedtime Biscuits could be the answer. They’re baked and contain yoghurt, honey and passion and chamomile flowers – sounding pretty tasty, am I right?
There’ll be no more howling at the moon – just snoozing under the stars. Lily’s Kitchen also sells Rise and Shine Biscuits (for those lazy, teenage mutts), and a full Christmas lunch! You can find this all on the shelves at Wholefoods – you won’t miss them, the packaging is stunning.
In their recently published book, Barking Blondes, presenters and dog-enthusiasts Anna Webb and Jo Good revealed that it was just as strenuous packing for their dogs when going away as it was for them. Although not as bad herself, Jo writes that Anna’s packing list for bull terrier Molly included 20 different supplements (from fresh royal jelly to zinc, acidophilus and Chinese herbs), two rolls of bandages, a carton of paw plasters, a sack of calves’ hooves, bottled water, plastic cartons of frozen green tripe, a cashmere blanket, toys and a wardrobe which included a life jacket! Maybe Anna’s packing needs to be put on a leash, but at least you can’t accuse her of not caring…. I’m half way through the book and already planning the list of people I’m going to lend it to next. You’d have to be an animal lover to understand the crazy, but it’s so well written and it’s a roller coaster of a story.
The Pet Spa at Harrod’s was founded in 2007 by Stephanie Mehanna, an ex-city lawyer and owner of three cats and three dogs. Although some of their more, um, inventive treatments include massages, cologne spritzes, blueberry and vanilla facials, and afternoon tea (where you can sample a variety of pupcakes – yes, cupcakes for dogs), there are some beneficial ones too. Every Rover and Rex can be booked in for personalised health checks with a qualified veterinary nurse, physiotherapy sessions, and behavioural consultations, which tackle all issues from social-anxieties to aggression. One of my favourite service in the Pet Spa’s catalogue is the Old Age Pensioner Club, where owners can bring their elderly pets along to gain advice on gentle exercise, weight management, diet and joint care. You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can certainly make sure they’re live well into their teens.
But for some, the traditional walkie is fast becoming a thing of the past. If your pooch needs to lose those extra inches around the collar before the holiday season, boutique weight-loss boot camp NuBeginnings will be holding the UK’s first ever joint Dog-Human week-long retreat. Well-being expert and director of NuBeginnings Victoria Wills believes that it shouldn’t just be humans who are given the chance to lose weight, and after looking at recently published figures. You may be laughing, but recent figures reveal a very sad truth; owner’s bad habits can often be reflected onto the diet and wellbeing of their pets, and it was found that in the UK alone, a quarter of our four-legged friends are overweight. Carrying that extra unwanted fat is just as dangerous for animals, and by giving a bit attention to your pet’s weight their life expectancy could be increased by up to two years. The first course will run from 15th-22nd November, with an additional post-New Year detox retreat from 14th-21st February. It costs £2,900 per week (slightly barking!) for both human and dog, including accommodation, training, all meals and a bit of pampering too.
So if you’re already planning what to put in your dog’s stocking this year, we hope we’ve helped for even the fussiest of customers. Hey, if all else fails, a manicure is always nice.
Lydia Jones blogs at abitofwhatifancy.blogspot.co.uk
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