Travelling on business with Pontus

Travelling on business away from home is always a bit lonely, but it just has to be done from time to time. When you have working dogs in training it is even more annoying to be away for a long time as the dogs are not being stimulated in all that time. Usually you come back and things have piled up, so there seem to be even less time to train the dog and before you know of it, all they have done is to lie on their dog beds and playing in the garden for a week with no training. This is not good for a young dog and if you ever had a chewing dog, the dog bed will be the first thing he takes his frustration out on if you are gone.

My dogs don’t chew, but they still miss the action if I am away on business with my dog beds. So to make myself feel better, I took Pontus along this week. What I, most embarrassingly, had not thought of was that we needed a dog bed for the front seat where he was going to sit. So I took a dog bed cover quickly and tied it on to the top of the seat so it could be protected a little from all the white hairs. With his harness fitted, he was quite interested in the Perthshire countryside:

Pontus on his hastily put together dog bed in the car.

Pontus on his hastily put together dog bed in the car.

But of course it got too boring after a few hours, so he mastered the art of sleeping (upright) in the car seat. A far cry from sleeping in a proper dog bed!!

Pontus sleeping in his car seat. Not as good as a dog bed.

Pontus sleeping in his car seat. Not as good as a dog bed.

As training is a MUST, I could not get time to do much on the first day and all he got was a “hunt” on the way up to the Wallace Memorial. It is not that important what you do with a nine month puppy, as long as you get it out and expose it to new situations.

Pontus visiting the Wallace memorial.

Pontus visiting the Wallace memorial.

Pontus will be a working dog and hunting strange ground is one of the things he needs to do so as I drove over the Pennines on A66, I stopped in a layby and took Pontus out for a hunt. No sheep and no nesting birds at the moment, so it was OK. We saw a hell of a lot of rabbits, so that was a good opportunity to teach him to behave. Here he is with the A66 lorries in the back ground.

Pontus just off the A66, you can see the lorries in the back ground.

Pontus just off the A66, you can see the lorries in the back ground.

We got to Leeds and Manchester and while I was in the meetings, he had to go in the back of the car on the big, bespoke dog bed. I didn’t want him to be in the front. We did have a quick dash in to the city where I was struggling to find a wee piece of grass where he could do his business. Very build up all over and the country boy was feeling a little out of place.

Pontus feeling out of sorts in the big city.

Pontus feeling out of sorts in the big city.

 

If you pay a little extra in some hotels, you can bring your dog and I did so, bringing a travel dog bed for the purpose. The lift was in itself something Pontus found very easy to adjust to.

Pontus takes the lift ride in his stride.

Pontus takes the lift ride in his stride.

 

Needless to say, we also took an hour just off the A66 on our way home, to hunt the ground.

IMG_0968 xxxxWe got home late Wednesday night and didn’t feel guilty having been away, my dog had had a fabulous and stimulating time. He is now with his friends in the garden on their waterproof dog beds.

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Dog Beds for Large Breeds

It can be a big problem to get good quality large dog beds. There are plenty of small dog beds for sale in UK, but large dog beds are more difficult to come by if you want real quality. Or at least it is difficult to find large dog beds that will last and will be supportive and warm for a big dog. Most of the time you can buy a big, fluffy dog bed for your Bull Mastiff or Great Dane, but it will be flat and unsupportive in a matter of a few months. A cold floor can be detrimental to a dog’s health and the problem is that a dog can’t tell you that he is feeling chilled. Good practice is to be able to tell your dog to go on its dog bed and stay there, but you really have to be sure that his bed is comfortable and healthy for him.

Maxine Pearson's Bullmastiff very happy on a Tuffies dog bed.

Maxine Pearson’s Bullmastiff very happy on a Tuffies dog bed.

It is easy and cheap to make small dog beds because they need to have less padding in the middle when the dog only weighs less than 10 Kgs. A thin padding can be OK for a small dog, but as dog breeds vary so much, from Chihuahua to Great Dane, a dog bed is not just a dog bed, it has to be many different things with different functions and necessary  construction.

A small, cheap and thin dog bed can possibly survive a wash in the washing machine although it will probably get a bit matted and lumpy, but it’s not too bad. Large dog beds just cannot get in to the washing machine and very often you end up with a smelly dog bed that can’t be cleaned.

At Tuffies we manufacture thick, supportive and strong dog beds for all breeds including large breeds. All our beds are waterproof so you can use them as they are and when you want to clean them, don’t take them anywhere near the washing machine, simply take them outside and scrub them down with hot, soapy water and rinse off. They will be as good as new.

To wash: simply scrub with hot soapy water outside.

To wash: simply scrub with hot soapy water outside.

After washing, rinse down with water and leave to dry.

After washing, rinse down with water and leave to dry.

If you DO like to wash dog beds in the washing machine, we offer fantastic covers for our beds and you can simply take them off and they will easily fit in a domestic machine. That way you have a very big dog bed for your dog to keep warm and comfortable while you can still keep it clean and fresh. Bingo.

 

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Chew Proof Dog Beds

It is often a problem for dog owners that the dogs chew their dog beds. Some dogs never touch their beds and can have an inferior dog bed for many years without chewing or clawing it, but some really trash their beds in a short time, some times in minutes.

If you have a chewing puppy there is still hope that he or she will grow out of the chewing stage and all is well. Unfortunately some dogs get stuck in the habit and continue to chew their bedding all their lives. Some dogs even EAT the chewed material, which then results in terrible agony for the dog and horrendous vet bills. If the dogs chew the dog beds without swallowing they just leave despair, mess and dog bed bills for their owners.

Many people find that Tuffies’ Durasoft mattresses are the answer to otherwise chewing dogs. THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT OUR DOG BEDS ARE ALL CHEW PROOF, but many customers swear that their chewing dogs have chewed everything except a Tuffie. One delightful customer sent us this testimonial with a picture:

I have a Tuffies bed but left it in my house in Scotland. So I bought one of your competitors beds- see what my two Gordon Setters thought of it!!! I have orders two more Tuffies beds.

Dog bed chewed to millions of pieces. NOT a Tuffie.

Dog bed chewed to millions of pieces. NOT a Tuffie.

If you have a dog that chews his bed, you are best off buying a mattress bed because there is nothing sitting up in front of the dog’s face tempting it to chew. A flat surface is easier to ignore than a nest edge like this:

French Bull Dog in a nest. The sides are VERY tempting for chewing.

French Bull Dog in a nest. The sides are VERY tempting for chewing.

If you look at this mattress bed there is less temptation:

Flat, Durasoft mattress bed presenting less chewing temptation.

Flat, Durasoft mattress bed presenting less chewing temptation.

So it is nice if you can get away with giving your dog a nice, super strong mattress dog bed that he will not chew. If it is just a puppy phase you can, when you are sure he has stopped chewing, give him a lovely nest dog bed as most dogs adore that.

Should he never grow out of chewing his luxury dog beds your only options will be to get the ONLY warm, chewproof dog bed on the market: The Really Tough Tuffie. It is made from technically chewable materials, but the way these have been put together means the dog cannot get hold of any of the parts. It looks like this:

Two Airdales in a chewproof bed each. The solution to the problem.

Two Airdales in a chewproof bed each. The solution to the problem.

Some smaller dogs can be horrendous chewers of even the toughest dog beds and we now have smaller Really Tough Tuffies, but often several chewers fit in together in a large:

glynissullivan

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Buy the correct size dog bed

It helps to get the correct size dog bed when you are looking through all the perfect dog beds to choose from. However, there are many examples of beds, DESPITE being bought in the correct size  (plenty of space for each dog and a bed for each of them) where the dogs themselves decide to cram in to one, giving them far too little space. But of course, that’s their own decission and if they can get back to a bed each, no harm is done, in fact it’s great that they can choose to be lying on top of each other and sometimes apart. Here is a photo, sent in by a customer of a chew-proof dog bed where all her dogs have decided to share the one:

Three very large dogs cram in to one Really Tough Tuffie.

Three very large dogs cram in to one Really Tough Tuffie.

On the Tuffies web site we always give recommendations of sizes for each style of dog bed according to the weight of the dog so that customers can get an idea.

The most common mistake is by people wanting to get “the best” for their dog and hence choose a dog bed that is too large. This is almost always in nests. We highly recommend that you get a nest dog bed that provide a really snug fit for the dog, not only to ensure the benefit of these draught excluding dog beds, but also to give the dog the right snugness like they have in the cave of their ancestors. Many customers ask us for a bed that would be too large because they would like the dog to be able to stretch out. The result is that blankets, toys and other fillers end up being put in to take up the remaining space.

An Extra Large Durasoft nest gives a bit too much space for the Labrador.

An Extra Large Durasoft nest gives a bit too much space for the Labrador.

On a mattress dog bed where the aim is not to give snugness or draught exclusion, the size doesn’t matter as long as it is big enough.

On a mattress bed plenty of space doesn't make any difference.

On a mattress bed plenty of space doesn’t make any difference.

Of course, when you buy for a puppy, you will try and gage how big he or she is going to grow before you buy them the correct size dog bed to grow in to.

Wirehaired Vizsla puppy in a nest that is too big. For now!

Wirehaired Vizsla puppy in a nest that is too big. For now!

On our testimonials page we are have tried to add the exact type and size of dog beds that the customers have sent pictures and text about. This, we have realised, helps many others to choose the right size. Most of the dogs are of a known size and if you have the same type dog, it helps to see how those other ones fit in.

It must be remembered to mention our bespoke dog bed service. If you have a certain space that you know your dog(s) fit on to, we can make a luxury dog bed to fit that space exactly. See below.

A bespoke bed from Tuffies fitting dogs and space to perfection.

A bespoke bed from Tuffies fitting dogs and space to perfection.

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Dog beds made in UK

There are many dog beds for sale out there, but a lot of them are made abroad. It goes without saying that if you are importing dog beds in a container from China, you can’t import good quality ones that have weight and substance because you need to pack and stack them high and wide in the container for the long journey in order to make money out of them.

NOT so with our top quality dog beds made in UK. Here at Tuffies we manufacture the best possible dog beds in the best fabric that is available on the market. We source as far as possible at all, fabrics that are made in UK as our raw materials. In our quest for the best dog beds, we take our materials extremely serious and over half of the fabrics we use are actually made to our specifications. We look for thickness and density and durability, which is tested in independent laboratories. We also request the dyers to make our colours and we are hot on the coaters to make sure the fabrics are coated to our heavy-duty specifications.

Wipe Clean fabric for waterproof dog beds.

Wipe Clean fabric for waterproof dog beds.

Our Luxury Fleece products are very unique as the weavers (knitters) who make this quality don’t make this for any other dog bed manufacturers. We decide the exact thickness and quality and we decide all the designs so that we can have them made exactly the way we can be proud of. In terms of the fleece designs we try to be as up to date with interior design trends as possible.

As we make the futon mattress in house, we have with experience developed the best methods to make stuffings (we make a futon mattress for each and every dog bed we create) and we never cut corners in terms of quality and attention to comfort and hygiene for the dogs.

Dog beds made in the UK do not have to worry about being as light as possible, we can concentrate on making a dog bed product that is fantastically comfortable from the very start AND in years to come.

 

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Versatile dog beds in the car.

It is handy to have a dog bed in the back of the car, which covers the entire base because dogs are not very good at arranging their dog beds to their best advantage. Dogs are funny in that respect: if there is for example a bone or a toy lying in the middle of the bed, they cannot think to push it aside in order to have more space and be comfortable. They simply try to worm their bodies around the “obstruction” and lie down around it.

If they feel that their dog beds are not quite comfortable enough, they will dig around aimlessly in the hope that the bed will get softer. Almost as if they are digging imaginary grass round their imaginary den.

With a large dog bed in the back of the car it is important that if the dog moves or digs, the bed will not be pushed around. Look for a good, well made dog bed that is firm and thick enough to stay in place while you travel with one or several dogs. In most cases you can have it made as a bespoke dog bed service so that it fits the base of the car even with the wheel arches protruding in to the space.

Firm dog bed fitted exactly to the back of a truck pickup.

Firm dog bed fitted exactly to the back of a truck pickup.

However, there are times when a floppier dog bed would have been handy. I drove home yesterday through the highlands and there, in the side of the road, was a newly killed young red stag. I stopped to have a look and decided it was perfect for dog food.

road-killed-young-stag

I wouldn’t have used it for human consumption as it had burst the stomach slightly. It was still warm, but I was just not in the mood to go in to all the cleaning and clearing, so I gralloched it and hoisted it in to the back of my truck. However, my large waterproof dog bed with its Fluffie Tuffie cover was in there with my dog on it and I had a job folding this top quality dog bed over in order to protect it from too much blood and mess. I managed to get the dog out and in on the front seat, fold the bed over and then, with danger of doing my back in, manhandled the animal in to the car. My guess is that I had around 50 Kgs of dead weight to lift on to the tail gate and then further in the back.

The road killed stag in the car had to lie beside the dog bed.

The road killed stag in the car had to lie beside the dog bed.

When I got home, I got the stag out and butchered it completely and put it all in an out door bucket for the dogs. Then I took the cover off the car dog bed and put it in the washing machine. All is clean again.

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Extra warm dog beds

It’s winter and after a far too long spell of warm weather where any form of dog bed is fine, we now need to make sure that we have really warm dog beds for our dogs. Tuffies supply a range of products that allow you to build up levels of warmth in the dog bed and also allows you to dismantle the layers later when the temperature rises towards spring time.

Anything from a mattress bed with a soft, thick fleece cover all the way up to a nest with full nest cover and a sock, these are your choices for keeping your dog warm. If you have a Labrador with a thick coat and a house or kennel that is not draughty at all, the mattress bed is sufficient. But if you keep your dog in a place where there is draught, you really need to put him in a nest dog bed or a raised bed as these both have sides to protect against any chilling draught.

Raised dog bed with warm lining.

Raised dog bed with warm lining.

Nest dog bed with draught excluding, high walls.

Nest dog bed with draught excluding, high walls.

Raised dog bed. Perfect for draught exclusion.

Raised dog bed. Perfect for draught exclusion.

If your dog has a fine coat and is in general a skinny dog with little insulation, he might like to have the nest dog bed extra lined with fleece for superior warmth, comfort and hygiene. If you already have a Tuffies nest dog bed, you only have to get a cover in the right size that you can put on your nest. It is a wonderful addition to your nest and your dog will hugely enjoy it. It also means that you can clean it easily by putting the cover in the washing machine where it washes well and it dries in very little time.

Large nest with black fleece cover.

Large nest with black fleece cover.

Should you be exposing your dog to very low temperatures for his nature, you may want to add the ultimate in cosy dog beds by adding a sock. This gives your dog perfect warmth on his body, tucked under the cover, yet an opening for him to have his head out and watch the world.

Nest with nest cover and sock for ultimate warmth and comfort.

Nest with nest cover and sock for ultimate warmth and comfort.

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Where to put the dog beds at Christmas?

As Christmas approaches, it is easy to forget the real needs of your dog. Everyone gets more and more busy and your dog will notice every change in the household without knowing what is going on and why. Basically, it is important to see Christmas from a Canine point of view. Dogs love routine and slot in to any habit they can get used to. I have one dog in particular, who will get off his kennel dog bed at 4.30pm in order to start commanding food, which is served at 5pm. He never fails (except when the clocks change spring and autumn, where he will then be exactly 60 minutes out) and it can drive you mad if you are not quite ready to go and feed. Habits are strong, but there is no doubt that most dogs LOVE Christmas as there is lots of company, the family is all home and the food left-overs stretch to the dog bowl with delicious “Christmassy” bits. Humans want to walk off some of the bloat and everything is very dog! If you have a bold, happy, confident dog, his dog bed can almost be placed in the middle of all the goings on so that he can be part of the party even when he is so tired he falls asleep in the Luxury dog bed, that you have no doubt given him. Lots of our customers also take Christmas as an opportunity to either give the dog a whole new dog bed or at least freshen it up with new dog bed covers in our great, contemporary colours.

If, however, you have a slightly nervous dog, he might look like he is wagging his tail and enjoying Christmas with so many people around, but you would do him a favour by giving him a choice of dog beds and where to find them. For a slightly nervous dog it will be of great benefit to be able to retrieve in to his own dog bed space, somewhere away from the party. This is of particular importance if the house has children. Young people are always greatly excited about Christmas and with that will inevitably come a bit of noise. If you have fairly small children they will all be quite excited and for a nervous dog it can all get too much. If you make sure he has a dog bed in a cool and quiet place, where he can get to it when he wants, you will make his Christmas. He can enjoy the fun and food and play, but when he has had enough of it all, he can discreetly disappear for a quiet snooze.

The temperature is also a consideration as all the extra people, the busy children and the candles on the tree all add to the raising the temperature. Your dog might like a quiet and cool place without getting cold. So the ideal place is in a cool room in a nest dog bed perhaps with a sock over the nest. A real warm and quiet den for your best friend, who can’t speak.

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Dog Beds for Sale

If you are not an expert, it could be confusing to choose a dog bed amongst all the dog beds for sale on line and in shops. If you don’t really know what to look for and what your dog would like, the dog bed market would seem a right jungle to navigate through. There are lots of colours and designs, most of them made to look very fancy.

Here is a simple guide to buying dog beds:  If you want the best quality dog beds, you will need the good, thick ones. Far too many dog beds for sale are thin and I have yet to see one in a shop that was worth it’s money. Dog beds have to be thick at the bottom to make sure your dog is insulated from that cold floor. Clearly, if you buy on line it can be difficult to determine whether the beds are solid and of good quality, but then you can look around in various forums to see what people are saying about their dog beds. In forums people ask each other for advice on both what to feed their dog and all manner of dog things like how long to walk your dog and what to feed it. Many questions are also: “What’s the best dog bed I can buy?” And hey, the answers are full of Tuffies recommendations. It’s amazing how many people use the phrase “You get what you pay for”. Tuffies are not the cheapest, but they certainly last many, many time more than something that cost maybe half that.

Then it’s a question of buying good quality waterproof dog beds. If your dog bed is not waterproof and your dog is NORMAL, ie loves muddy puddles on rainy walks, you will soon get a smelly bed that you want to wash and clean. Here is the dilemma: If you go for a thick, heavy dog bed and it is not waterproof, how on earth will you manage to get it washed? Even if you can squeeze it in to the washing machine, the process is guaranteed to make it grim and lumpy once it has taken hours to dry.

So the perfect solution is to have a heavy, waterproof dog bed. When you need to clean it, you can take it outside and give it hot, soapy water and rinse it off. If you have opted for one with soft, removable covers, you can take those off more often and quickly wash them in the washing machine. They will dry extremely quickly and keep their shape. It is always a question of looking for dog beds for sale that will fit in with your life style, your dog’s life style and your interior. The colours ARE important, but they are the last thing to think about when you buy dog beds. Go for a company that makes good dog beds and hope that they also will show some nice colour designs.

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Where to put the Dog Beds

When you choose dog beds for your dogs you will be considering every thing from waterproof dog beds to chew proof dog beds and you will be first and foremost concerned with the comfort of the dog bed for your dog. Last week we spoke about having the right kind of kennel dog beds, perhaps even two, so the dog can be inside in a snug sleeping area on a thick, warm dog bed AND outside, watching the world go by sitting on a draught excluding dog bed.

When it comes to indoor dog beds, our customers tend to choose something more “homely” and soft. The designs are also important and we have recently learnt that grey is the thing at the moment for indoor dog beds as the fashion is for grey colours.

Once you have decided whether you want a nest type dog bed or a mattress type dog bed you would need to think about where you are going to put it in the house. Some dogs are less keen on being in the middle of the home’s activities while some dogs like to be part of everything that’s going on. Try and figure out what kind of temperament your dog has before you decide where to put the dog beds.

You should also consider the draught and temperature in the house, especially at night where the climate changes inside. It is surprising how cold the floor can get at night when the central heating goes off. If you get up in the middle of the night or early morning you should check the draught and temperature near the place where the dog beds are and see if they are thick and insulating enough for the purpose.

Clearly, if your little dog likes to look out the window, you could put the small dog bed in the window sill so that he can sit comfortably looking at the traffic.

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