Tag: poppy

Keeping Poppy Entertained in the Summer

It turns out that Poppy isn’t a massive fan of hot weather. We noticed this quite quickly when it got warmer back when the UK was enjoying a heatwave. She couldn’t settle and it was too hot to sit with us on the sofa, which is where she most likes to be. It also meant that we had to abandon her lunch time walk, as it was way too hot to go out. We moved her morning walk so that we went out at about 6am, when it was a little bit cooler, and moved her tea time walk so that she went out as late as possible (though sometimes it was still too warm then). Poppy wasn’t overly keen on the fan, but sometimes it was an essential. Despite being a small dog, she overheats quite quickly and we (well, I) was paranoid that she’d get heatstroke!

Early Morning dog walks

So, in a bid to keep her entertained, exercised and cool, we experimented with a few of the toys we already had for her. My sister also suggested freezing cubes of watermelon. This has worked a treat. Poppy wasn’t particularly interested in playing with or eating ice cubes, but she loves to crunch up the frozen watermelon cubes!

One of Poppy’s favourite toys is the Wobbler. You fill it with treats and then she bats and pushes it around to try and get them out. It’s a great way for her to use her brain and get rewards at the same time. Lots of people think dogs just need plenty of walks to keep them entertained but they also need mental stimulation. For example, the Blue Cross recommended that, as we feed Poppy dry food, we could simply throw it out into the garden and let her hunt for it. After all, that’s what she would do in the wild. It’s only through convenience for us that humans put dog food in a bowl. Poppy loves playing with the Wobbler. It’s much better than the treat ball we got her. It doesn’t get stuck quite so easily and it’s much more hard wearing.

Wobbler

Another favourite is a classic. It’s a Kong. This is amazing and disappointing at the same time. It’s amazing because the possibilities of what you put in it are endless. It’s disappointing because Poppy always seems to eat what you put in at an amazing speed! Ordinarily, we fill it with peanut butter, treats, the Kong liver paste, pretty much anything. There are tons of recipes online that you can try out that’ll keep your dog entertained. This summer, we’ve been focusing on how we can use it to help keep Poppy cool.

kong dog toy

One of the best things we did that Poppy really liked was to plug the narrow end with peanut butter and fill it with milk. We then popped it in the freezer until it was frozen solid. Poppy demolished in less than 10 minutes! But she has to figure out how to get it all out. We also filled it as normal, with peanut butter and treats, and popped it in the freezer. While she’s licking it, she has to work hard to keep it in one place so it’s a great way to get her to use her brain without getting overheated.

Hot dog

As Poppy doesn’t play with toys, using these is a great way to get her thinking. She also doesn’t really like playing in water, with the exception of rock pools. While we’re very lucky to live near some lovely rivers, we don’t live close to the beach! So while other dogs are leaping about in the water, keeping cool, Poppy is snuffling about in the undergrowth!

How has your dog kept its cool over the summer? Got any good Kong recipes? We’d love to give them a try!

Holly’s Little Bakery Dog Treats

While I was at Blognix, I met a fabulous baker called Nicola. Nicola owns Holly’s Little Bakery. Not only does she make delicious cakes, but she also makes gourmet, handmade dog treats. Nicola was kind enough to send me some for Poppy to taste. Here’s what Poppy thought.

The other day there was a loud knock at the door. Naturally, I made sure whoever was there ran away pretty quickly. Grrrrr! But then I noticed Mum had a lovely smelling box in her hands. It had to be for me because I’m the most important person here at Poppydog Towers so I snuffled around & barked in her face until she opened it & let me see what’s inside. It must be Christmas or something, because these presents were all for me! In the box were four packs of lovely smelling treats & a dog-friendly chocolate bar. I was so excited, I couldn’t stop jumping up & down!

Dog treatsMum & Dad didn’t know which one to let me try first: Peanut Butter & carrot, Lovely liver bites, Smoked Salmon Sensations or the Parmesan & Ham parcels. They decided to keep the carob chocolate & raw hide lolly til later, which was annoying because I wanted that first! Hope they don’t eat it! In the end, I tried all of the treats, one after another.

Delicious TreatsI liked the Peanut Butter & Carrot bones the most because Peanut Butter is my favourite, next to eating any food off Dad’s plate. But they are all really delicious. They are made with 100% natural ingredients, so they’re good for my tummy as well as my tastebuds. I can’t wait to try the carob lollipop on the rawhide stick, as I’m not allowed regular chocolate.

Dog friendly treatsThese are some of the best treats I’ve tasted. Plus, as they’re made with natural ingredients & handmade at Holly’s Little Bakery, I know that they’re full of goodness and there are no hidden nasties in there. At least, that’s what Mum & Dad were saying. All I know is that you can smell the real food in the treats & they taste amazing. Look at my face – would I lie?! I want all the treats… now!

PoppydogJust give me the treats and no one gets hurt!

Huge thanks to Holly’s Little Bakery for sending Poppy these treats. The fact that they smell like the ingredients & you can see the ham etc shows how natural they are. Perfect for the pooch in your life!

Sunny Summer Walks

Having a dog has been the best excuse to get out into the fresh air. So this wonderful spell of warm weather is being enjoyed by us all here at Crafty Chai towers! We’re very lucky where we live, in that there are loads of lovely green spaces where we can walk Poppy, lots within walking distance of the house. One of her favourite walks is a nearby meadow. I know she likes it because she wags her tail the whole way around the walk!

Pretty walk

Not only that, but she really loves walking through & jumping about in the long grass. I can only imagine what she can smell but she finds smells that she wants to track. No wonder she loves it so much!

It’s quite a long walk around the meadow so she’s always really worn out when we get back, which is why we don’t go there every day. But when we do, Poppy is really in her element!

Poppy on the Beach

Last weekend, my OH & I went to visit my Mum & sister in Pembrokeshire. It was the first time they were going to meet Poppy & it was a weekend of many firsts for Poppy. First up was the lengthy car journey, made even longer by some pretty hideous traffic in the usual hot spots of Newport & Port Talbot. Poppy was ace the whole journey. When we adopted her, the previous family said she got really travel sick. But that hasn’t been the case with us. She got in the boot outside our house & didn’t make a peep until we stopped at the services to let her stretch her legs. The biggest challenge was going to be sharing the house (and me) with another dog, Harvey. Harvey is my sister’s dog & is getting on a bit. He’ll turn 13 this August & is going blind & deaf, as well as having a few other health issues. I was quite worried how these two were going to get on. Was Poppy going to get really jealous of the attention I paid to Harvey? Was Harvey going to accept another dog in his home?

HarveydogWell, it was quite interesting. Poppy desperately wanted Harvey to play with her, but Harvey wasn’t particularly interested in that. They seemed to tolerate each other, although Harvey did growl at Poppy a few times – when she got in his bed (after Harvey had been in hers), when Poppy tried to take back one of her chews (after Harvey had taken it off her) and when Poppy kept on sniffing him, again and again! Poppy did keep on following Harvey around but he wasn’t keen.

Poppydog

Another first for Poppy, as far as we know, was the beach. As we’d never been to the beach with her, we were looking forward to how she’d react to the sand and to the sea. (Because of Harvey’s age & poor health, we didn’t take him to the beach with us. He wouldn’t get very far at all!) Poppy pretty much loved the sand, as it had so many smells for her to enjoy. But, as I’d suspected, she didn’t like the tide much & ran away from it every time! However, she did enjoy playing around in the rock pools, especially if it meant getting closer to a seagull.

There were quite a few jellyfish on the shoreline & it wasn’t long before Poppy was taking quite an interest in them. She sniffed quite a few before she started to pick them up & try to eat them! We think that one might’ve given her a bit of a sting, as she then spent ages licking the sand, as if her tongue was itchy. (She consumed quite a bit of sand, as it came out the other end the next day!) After that, she pretty much left them alone!

Jellyfish

We walked from one side of Fresh Water West to the other & back again. The weather was amazing, warm & sunny, perfect beach weather. Fresh Water West is my favourite beach in Pembrokeshire. It’s long & sandy and due to the strong currents, isn’t packed with tourists during the high season. Plus, it’s a great place to walk dogs.

Smelling sand

Poppy on the beach

Poppy on the rocks

I think it’s fair to say that Poppy loved the beach. She loved being at my mum’s too, as she got double the love & attention, which is becoming quite the norm whenever we take her anywhere! I can’t wait to go back to the beach with her – Being by the sea reminded me how landlocked Oxfordshire is and there is nothing like the sea air in your lungs. (Plus it’s the perfect excuse for an ice cream or a cream tea, like the one I enjoyed below at the Castlemartin Cafe! Delicious!)

Cream Tea