New dog bed designs

By far our most popular optional covers for the waterproof dog beds is our Luxury Fleeces. For several years we have found that the Autumn Check is the most popular along with the classic Black Watch tartan. These are both very colourful, but that also helps to cover up all manners of wet, dirty paws and dog hairs.

However, we do like to look at designs and in fact we engaged with two professional designers, but they could not come up with anything nice that we felt was contemporary and in the right style for dog beds. There is also a limit to what colours are available in the polyester that the fleeces are made from. Mixing some of them can obviously give a wider range of combinations as is seen in the Autumn Check design, but bottom line was that we felt we had to take action ourselves. Here at Tuffies there is no shortage of creativity and we played around with the colour possibilities first of all to get some practical, yet contemporary colours on the go. Next, it was a question of designs. For a long time we have wanted to use birds and swifts or swallows are a special favourite because they are easy to recognise and they represent summer and freedom. Grey and a splash of strong colour is very vogue, so here is what we settled for:

Red Swifts on Slate Grey.

Red Swifts on Slate Grey.

We were also missing some blue in our collection and we have a navy blue with Fleur de Lit on the go to be produced shortly, but today we took delivery of a beautiful design of a delicate blue-and-grey check. We wanted it to be Petrol Blue, but this one is a little bit lighter in colour than Petrol and it gives it a very summerly feel of sea and blue sky and water. Here it is:

Blue and grey check.

Blue and grey check.

The factory is shut now for the summer break, but we shall certainly get going and have these two new designs available by September.

Dog beds are more than just a perfect place for a dog to sleep, it is also an item that has to fit in with your interior designs and styles.

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Easy to Clean Large Dog Beds

It is the biggest dilemma of large dog beds: how to keep them fresh and clean. Some dog owners simply capitulate and buy new, cheap dog beds as frequently as every couple of months. It’s a choice, but for many of us, and in the general culture in our developed world, it is not the right thing to do. In our developed world, educated people try to move away from filling our bins unnecessarily with stuff that goes to landfill. It seems much more attractive to own good quality and to keep washing and even repairing it so that not much gets chucked away. Good quality dog beds is all you need in order to keep them for years and only wash smaller parts and only replace smaller parts. That is the essence of Tuffies dog beds. We offer a range of waterproof dog beds with fantastic and lasting stuffing, which your dog can use as it is (either the Wipe Clean type, which you can hose or wipe down or the Durasoft type, which you can hose down and leave to air dry).

Wipe Clean Tuffie mattress

Durasoft mattress bedHowever, if you prefer to give your dog a more luxurious dog bed, you can simply get one of our covers to put on it. This makes life a lot easier and possibly it makes life, for the dog, a lot cosier.

We have a range of covers. The Luxury Fleece is by far the most popular. It is cosy and warm, but is very easy to wash in a washing machine.

Luxury Fleece w Gollum

There are plenty of other styles in Luxury Fleeces and there are several other types of covers too.

For the summer, we have a very popular product called the Summer Cover and we have sourced some beautiful designs.

Summer mattress cover w TippexIf you want to go to the extreme of luxury, we have also sourced a fabulous range of 100% wool tweeds from Moon fabrics. These covers can only be washed at 30 degrees, but that is ok because it is amazing how this totally natural material is less likely to get dirty and sheds the dirt very willingly in a gentle wash.

So do NOT buy cheap throw-away dog beds that are never nice and thick. Buy top quality dog beds which can be hosed down. For extra comfort, add a machine washable cover if this suits you.

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Fantastic dog bed sales at Scone.

Last weekend we had a record Scone show. We have been going to The Scottish Game fair at Scone for around 15 years, selling our popular dog beds. It is a wonderful game fair full of happy people and happy dogs. I do sometimes wonder if we are trying to sell our waterproof dog beds to a saturated market because it does seem like everyone passing by already has a Tuffies dog bed. However, while it might be the case  that a lot of visitors already have our luxury dog beds, we experienced a record year of sales at Scone.

Jodie, our chief workshop manager, came along for the first time this year (her first game fair with Tuffies ever) and we had a great time. It was such a pleasure to have Jodie along. No fuss, no hassle and she courteously served all our customers. Here at Tuffies we do not believe in hard selling, we simply show our products and they then speak for themselves. 75% of our sales are through word of mouth and re-orders anyway, so we have an unbeatable reputation.

The dog bed stand a Scone game fair.

The dog bed stand a Scone game fair.

The dry weather allowed us exhibit right outside the marquee.

The dry weather allowed us exhibit right outside the marquee.

At Scone there is other stuff going on apart from us selling warm, supportive dog beds. There are various exhibits from the Game and Wildlife Conservancy Trust and there is a main ring, where there is a daily, non-stop programme of shows, all something to do with the wonderful life in the country. There are falconry displays and somebody herding ducks with his well trained Collie dog (who incidentally has a bespoke dog bed in the pick up car that they use).

There are also craft tents and a large food marquee where everyone is selling food and drink, mostly Scottish produce.

Next door to our stand is the scurry ring and the queues are NEVER ending. It costs £3 to have a go and all the money goes to the Game and Wild life Conservation Trust. We donate three mattress dog beds with Fleece Covers, one for each winner each day. This is a great way of show casing our Durasoft, very strong and durable dog bed sporting a thick Luxury Fleece cover as it sits right where the queue is forming for the scurry. Everyone gets a chance to see it and feel it while they wait.

Lots of visitors (dogs also) come visiting and even little ones try out what they may be treated to sooner or later.

Labrador puppy testing out a Small Tuffies Nest.

Labrador puppy testing out a Small Tuffies Nest.

Some dogs you see at the show look slightly fed-up being taken along, but it is still good for them to be exposed to all the people and commotion. And some meet new friends to have a wonderful play-fight with. These two Border Terriers met for a fab fight at the end of their respective leads.

IMG_1946 xxxxx

No doubt they slept well on their dog beds on the way home.

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Making dog beds for the game fair

We are currently preparing for the Scottish Gamefair at Scone Palace. This is a yearly event for us and Tuffies has been selling dog beds at this show for the last 15 years.

The Scottish Gamefair must be the friendliest show of them all. People who shoot and who are genuinely interested in the country side and the animals living there, all come to this show. Maybe not every year, but it’s a place most will go to on a regular basis.

Apart from looking at which luxury dog beds or maybe chewproof dog beds to get, everyone is shopping for food, shooting gear and fishing equipment.

There is also a ring with all sorts of entertainment, showing hawks, gun dogs, horses, pipe bands of course.

Dogs are very welcome and next to our stand is the famous and much visited scurry. People queue up waiting to take their dog to this competition on speed. It is all about how fast your dog can retrieve two dummies. The first one is thrown only about 30 meters away, but the grass has been left to grow and it is not always easy to find the dummy in this tall grass. Once the dog has brought it back, you put it in a bucket at which point the clock stops. Then, when you are ready, there is another dummy thrown at the other side of a small fence and again the dog has to run out and fetch this one. The scurry competition has more to it than this simple exercise. The fact that dummies have been landing all over the grass for the whole day makes it harder for the dogs to scent them for locating them. Also, for male dogs, once someone has been cocking his leg, they are all at it. Further, the fact that there is an audience watching all the time all around the ring makes it a different experience for the dog and it can be challenging, especially for a young dog.

Tuffies sponsor the scurry every year and we give a beautiful Durasoft mattress dog bed complete with a Luxury Fleece Cover for the fastest dog every day for the three days. One year one dog won two waterproof dog beds at the event because it managed to be handled by a lady on the lady’s day and a child on the junior day, hence going home with two brilliant, washable dog beds. A happy dog.

The Tuffies stand at Scone gamefair last year.

The Tuffies stand at Scone gamefair last year.

Do come and visit us and the fair, it is a lovely venue and you might find a durable dog bed you like….

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Cooling Dog Beds for hot weather

Your dog may be suffering a bit in the heat wave. Imagine having a coat like a Labrador or even like a Newfoundlander and never be able to take it off! It is a miracle that dogs don’t die from heat stroke more often than what is the case. If a dog is in a warm dog bed, he or she will be able to get off to cool down, but he can’t take his coat off. If you plan to strip or shave your dog, this is a good time to do it. At this time of the year the farmers shear the sheep and it is probably only in our minds, but it looks like the sheep are so much happier when they come back out on the grass after the shearing with their heavy jumpers off.

The danger of leaving a dog stuck in a hot car is something we are all aware of and every effort is made by dog owners to ensure that dogs don’t cook in the cars in the summer.

Taking all this in to account, there is still the question of which type of dog bed you should get for your dog in the summer. During an acute heat wave you will kind of need to allow your dog to lie where ever he is most comfortable. If that is the tiles in your utility room, then he should probably be allowed to lie there. It is a hard floor and not the best for joints and elbow callus, but even during a two week heat wave, the tiles are not going to do him any harm.

However, as a standard dog bed for the summer, it might be a good idea to change from a cosy, warm nest dog bed that your dog enjoyed in the winter to a flat mattress bed that allows air to flow and cool around him.

If you prefer to have covers that can be machine washed, we have now got two types of covers: The Twill Cover in a 100% cotton:

Tuffie Twill cover with stars

Tuffie Twill cover with stars

And the Summer Covers that are 100% Polyester:

Tuffie Summer Cover

Tuffie Summer Cover

Both of these light, airy covers are great for helping your dog to stay cool during a normal, warm summer.

The best idea is to allow your dog to have a choice between the mattress dog beds and the nest (if you have the space for this).

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Dog Beds for the Summer

Just like when we kick the heavy, high TOG, winter duvet off and eventually put it away for the summer, our dogs are also benefiting from a lighter version of their dog beds during the warm summers. Should a dog get really hot during the night, he will of course just flop on to the cool floor and be happy, but the truth is that he will be better on a supportive dog bed if you can get him one that gives him the right amount of freshness during the summer.

If your dog is treated to a Tuffie nest usually, he might find that it is a bit hot and a plain mattress bed in Durasoft or Wipe Clean is likely to give him just the right sort of dog bed, where he is supported and comfortable, but not smothered in heat. It might seem a bit extravagant, but to give the dog the choice of bedding is a good idea and at the end of the day, dogs spend an awful lot of time on their beds, so dog beds are an essential part of dog owners’ equipment with little else of much importance. Just the food, food bowl, lead and collar seem to be what is needed. Dogs are not demanding creatures, but they do spend all their idle time on their dog beds, so they deserve the best.

You might have one of the mattress beds with a warm, cosy Luxury Fleece cover, which is fantastic for winter use and all you need to do is to take the cover off, wash it and leave it off for the summer. Your dog then has a cool place to sleep if he is hot.

For travelling in the holiday period, the Tuffies Puppy Tuffie/ Travel Tuffie is ideal. First you can of course use it as a puppy bed, but it is designed to be folded out to double size when puppy has grown. In the out-folded version it is light and easy to put in the back of the car and take along with the dog. You can take it to the holiday house or friends’ and again, you can use it with or without the Luxury Fleece cover depending on the weather.

Finally, most dogs prefer to be outside on their dog beds and when the weather permits this, they love to spend the whole day outside. If you give them a comfortable bed, it is best for them. There might be a sneaking cold draught, so it is advisable to still have a dog bed with sides on. The Tuffies Raised Bed is fantastic for this. The warm liner makes it cosy and the surrounding walls give draught protection.  Just perfect.

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From Puppy Dog Beds to Big Dog beds

Nothing is more delicious than taking the new little puppy home. It is almost like taking the new baby home from hospital as you kind of set aside everything else in your normal, busy life and devote the day to take in this next chapter where the new little being is going to be part of your future life and your house. You reluctantly let go of the puppy in your lap and place it on the puppy dog bed that you have bought in advance in order to give him a little time to sleep on his own. You might even have left the new, soft dog bed with the puppy’s siblings for a while to bring the smell home with you. Friends come round to see the new arrival and there is no end to the warmth and excitement. You will always remember this day as a very special day.

You have most likely got a crate for your new puppy. The ideal puppy dog bed to have in there, is the Tuffies Puppy/Travel Tuffie. The clever thing about this dog bed is that it starts off as small and exceptionally soft and cuddly, fitting your infant exactly. It is a thin, waterproof dog bed with a beautiful, thick fleece cover, which you can take off for washing. The cover washes and dries very quickly, so if puppy has an accident it is swiftly dealt with. The best trick about this dog bed is that it is designed to be opened up to double the size once puppy has grown out of it. There is very little point in buying a dog bed small enough for a puppy, when it will only be used for perhaps three months. With the Puppy/Travel Tuffie, you will find that this bed is useful, especially in the car, as a light travel mat for years to come.

Pontus, the GWP, was 26Kgs at six months old and 30Kgs at 12 months. This shows how fast they grow into almost adult size, where they will need a bigger bed.

As a folded-out bed this is very practical solution because it won’t fill up your boot so you can’t get much else in. It is not a permanent dog bed because it does not give nearly the support that our Tuffies Mattress dog beds give, but it is fine for a week away or during the daily trip somewhere, maybe to come with you to work or the long, muddy walk.

As you progress and puppy becomes a big, adult dog, you may like to offer him a more cosy and draught proof nest dog bed. This is especially welcomed for dogs in any kind of cold or draughty room. The Nest dog beds provide security and warmth at the same time.

 

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My Dog is Chewing his Dog Beds

Dogs chew their dog beds for many different reasons.

Boredom, Anxiety, Loneliness, Discomfort, Insufficient exercise, Insufficient mental stimulation, Habit, Copycat behaviour, To relieve itchy sore gums as puppies when teething.

There are several ways you can relieve boredom and anxiety, sooth sore gums, overcome habitual chewing and prevent copycat behaviour while protecting your home and the dog beds that you would like to have for many years.

The following suggestions apply whatever the cause of the chewing/destruction may be and whatever the age of the dog or puppy.

1) Confirm with your vet that your dog is physically fit and well. An underlying ailment can lead to inappropriate behaviour.

2) Ensure your dog’s freedom is restricted to an area (preferably a house cage or kennel) where he/she has sufficient chew toys that are safe for his or her size. In the beginning of the training, your dog should have nothing else in there while you are not near. Not even a dog bed, EXCEPT if you have one of our guaranteed chewproof dog beds, The Really Tough Tuffie.

3) Make sure your dog has sufficient exercise before being left for any period of time.

4) Make sure that the exercise you give your dog is interactive with you, mentally stimulating and rewarding.

5) Leave a radio playing softly.

PLEASE DO NOT PUNISH!

Do not punish your dog for chewing his dog bed. Such behaviour happens within the first 30 minutes of being left so when you return 2 or 3 hours later, although your dog may look guilty he/she has no idea why they are being punished. They do know, however, that their owner’s homecoming his not a pleasant experience and as a result the dog’s anxiety increases and probably so will the chewing and destruction. Remember your dog is a pack animal and it is up to you to teach your dog to enjoy being left alone.

Does your dog have plenty of toys and chew toys? If they are left with your dog constantly they become virtually valueless simply because they are there all the time. If your dog has 10 toys, remove all but 2 of them and CHANGE THEM OUT ON A DAILY BASIS. That way, they retain their value to your dog. Make sure play toys are safe to be left with your dog, such as Nylar bones, hard rubber rings etc. Squeaky toys are too easily “de-squeaked” and cuddly toys too easily lose button eyes etc.This is also the reason why you should not leave a chewing dog with dog beds, except guaranteed chewproof dog beds as this can be dangerous for the dog (ie life danger or large vet bills).

Edible chew toys are great and should be:  Bones (knuckle or shin, raw or roasted. Sterilised bones (stuffed) or Kongs (stuffed with frozen mince or any other stuffing that is hard to get out).

Remember, that in time, when your dog becomes accustomed to being home alone, relaxed, he will be able to have his dog beds back and it is then a great idea to have waterproof dog beds that are easy to clean as they will get rather greasy and dirty with chew toys and food.

UPON YOUR RETURN

When you come home and greet your dog and take him out etc, then remove the toys and chew toys and food toys. Wiggle out those really tasty bits at the bottom that he maybe could not get out (and you will be considered a hero).

Allow your dog to have his dog bed back as you are now around to supervise and distract your dog in case he has a go at the bed. A good long walk with interaction and fun on your return is a great way to make the transition from being home alone and home with you and on to a comfortable dog bed.

BITTER ALOES

If your dog is still trying to chew his dog beds, even in your presence, you can spray bitter aloes on the bed in order to dissuade the chewing. You have to ensure that the spray is totally dry before your dog gets back on his dog bed as the substance can otherwise go on his coat, where he will find it unpleasant if he licks his coat. Your local pet shop or vet may stock this. But this is NOT a guaranteed solution.

Tuffies stock one large Really Tough Tuffie and one small. Both money back guaranteed chew proof dog beds.

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Comfy dog beds.

At last it looks like we have one dog that is not getting wound up about passers by. In all the time we have lived here with our dogs, it has been a set, daily pass time (or sport more like) to go nuts when a cyclist rides past the garden. The dogs leap from their comfortable dog beds and sprint down the garden along the fence line barking furiously. It does annoy me and it just isn’t good for neither dogs nor cyclist. Why, when they have both warm kennel dog beds and waterproof dog beds sitting on the patio, do they have to get off and bark?

Our new Pontus is, however, not like that. When I hear the barking and look out the window, Gaia and Gollum are racing along the fence line in the logical belief that if they bark enough, they will make the cyclist go away. Clearly they get the right result every time and it makes them feel very satisfied when the cyclist reaches the end of the fence and seem to be escaping up the road with his tail between his legs…. All along, Pontus is barely opening his eyes as he is just gassing on his cosy and warm dog bed. He can’t for his life see the point in getting so excited over a bike rider.

The dogs all have nice dog beds to lie on and in fact, if they have been out on long, long walks, they will still have a good go at the bikes.

I took them all to the beach last weekend and they absolutely loved the sea. I was watching how Gaia actually seeks a little surf on a wave. She would dive in to the sea and just wait for a wave that was big enough for her to leap on and she allowed it to take her in. Amazing to see dogs play just like humans.

They all really loved the beach and as it was on a Saturday morning, I allowed them to keep going. I did get a little worried as they just kept running till they were just little dots, barely visible. But they came back, flattening a runners nice Collie dog on the way.

As I drove home, they certainly enjoyed their warm, waterproof dog bed in the back of my pick up car after all that running and swimming.

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Bespoke Dog Beds

If you like nice things, you will probably like the idea of your dog beds fitting beautifully in to whatever space you have allocated to your dogs. Especially if you have opted and invested in one of our top quality dog beds that has a thick and supportive futon mattress inside it. Thick dog beds are not so easy to bend and they tend to look messy if they don’t quite fit in to their space.

Here at Tuffies we can make just about any size of mattress dog bed that you may want. So if you for example want to fit a dog bed in to a special transport box, we can make the bed to fit. All you have to do is to measure your space and tell us what it is so that we can give you a quote for the dog bed.  Philippa Hughes did just that and sent us a photo of her beautiful agility dogs in her car transport box. She wrote:

Hi Team Tuffies,
Attached is a photo of my agility Lurcher, Tansy with Tig, (a wee JRT rescue pup and agility wannabe) trying out their new bespoke Tuffies Durasoft mattress. They certainly approve!
Kind regards,

Philippa

Philippa Hughes' dogs in the bespoke dog bed in her car.

Philippa Hughes’ dogs in the bespoke dog bed in her car.

It seems that many of our customers make space for their dog beds under the kitchen work tops. That way the waterproof dog beds are out of the way and the dogs obviously enjoy that they can be near their masters in the kitchen. And, even better, they can spy any crumbs or scraps falling on the floor during food preparations.

You can, if you want to consider the details in terms of hygiene, whether you want a Durasoft or a Wipe Clean bed. The Durasoft is very strong and a good stable bed, while the Wipe Clean is easier to keep hygienic.

You can also have a cover put on the bed, which you can take off and wash in the washing machine. We make all the bespoke dog beds with an option of extra covers. The Luxury Fleece cover being the most popular. Here is a photo emailed in by Judi Gunning. She had a bespoke dog bed made to fit in this little alcove.

Judi's dogs on their bespoke dog bed.

Judi’s dogs on their bespoke dog bed.

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