The dog beds are needed at the moment.

We have now hit the real signs of autumn and everyone has stopped worrying about their dogs  being too hot, it’s now time to think about having good warm dog beds.

It is amazing how cold it gets close to the floor, particularly at night when the central heating goes off. Most people appreciate this and get worried about the dogs in their dog beds. We see this in our sales and the concerns our customers show for their dogs.

It is important to choose the right dog beds for your particular hounds. If you have small  Jack Russells, they will probably need good, warm dog beds all year round as they have a relatively thin coat and the also love the outdoors, which means that they are often wet from their walks. Little Jack Russells often shiver and a deep nest would be great for them. Several of them, if they are friends, will huddle together in the deep, den-like nest and feel just grand. If they have been out rolling in the mud puddles or running through the wet grass, they will soon dry up in their own, shared body heat. If you have a very draughty house and want to give the little dogs some extra protection, nothing can beat our covered dog beds. We have a lovely sock for our nest beds and we also Tunnel Covers for the mattress beds.

On the other hand, if you have a big golden Retriever or even a Newfoundlander, he or she will probably prefer a mattress bed on the floor because these dogs usually have too much heat that they want to get rid off.

Choose the right dog beds for your dogs. If you have a big selection, a variety of dog beds will be necessary.

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Warm and Drying Dog Beds

Having worked my pointers for a number of days in August during the start of the grouse season, I got invited to stay in the oldest lodge in Scotland for a treat last week. The deer stalking has started and I was treated to that. By now, my dogs have worked around 18 days on grouse and the grouse season is basically finished. The dogs LOVE the hunting and will now reluctantly spend more time on their warm kennel dog beds. But they would rather be out working, getting tired and wet.

I know how tired dogs get. My pointers work all day at an incredible pace. This year the grouse has been scarce and the dogs work so much harder in those conditions because they hardly get a break. If there are more birds, the dogs find them more frequently and they get a rest after a shot and a retrieve because the guns admire the quarry and take time after a successful shot. With less game around, the dogs never stop, they keep on searching. When we finish a day on the hill, my dogs are exhausted and they are very happy to go in on their bespoke dog beds in the back of my vehicle, being rocked to sleep on the way home. The beds in the back of my 4×4 truck are of the waterproof dog bed kind with a soft, thick fleece cover over them. The attention to dogs’ welfare and the years of working dogs on the hill are hopefully good reasons why we make great dog beds that work properly.

My stalking day had a wonderful inter-species moment to it. We were four people, a ‘keeper and a pony-boy on the hill. When the first guy was going forward to find the beast with the ‘keeper, we all had to hold back and get a good chance to get a rest. We basically sat in a peat hag, freezing cold, waiting. The pony was just standing there, used to the wait, but it seemed interested in the dog. I took some lovely pictures that almost captures the funny moment as the pony nibbled the dog and the dog seeming quite content with the situation.

Pony and dog contact.

Pony and dog contact.

Pony and dog contact.

Pony and dog contact.

Pony and dog contact.

Pony and dog contact.

The dog didn’t get a chance to bury itself in to grass to make itself a dog bed, as you often see the dogs do. It was too busy talking to the pony and there was not much else but muddy peat anyway. Everything was a bit wet all day.

I gave the ‘keeper a dog bed, which he said the dog absolutely adored once it was back home in the kitchen.

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Draught Excluding Dog Beds

Try and sit on the floor in your house at night when the heating has gone off. Maybe you live in a modern, super well insulated house and your experience will be one of comfort. But then you will probably be in the minority. Most houses will chill down quite a lot during the night and as heat rises, the first place that gets cold is at the floor level. The floor, where your dog beds will be sitting, will be cool, then cold at night and in the early hours of the morning. Your dogs will be asleep at first, but may be getting very chilled during the night. You might get up some time after your central heating has kicked in and you will find comfortable dogs sprawled out on their dog beds leading you to think all is well. Your dogs can’t say “Good morning (wag, wag, wag), LOVELY to see you, but you know what, I was FREEZING between midnight and 5am when the heating came back on”. You may never know how uncomfortable it is on the dog beds in the night unless you try.

However, the alternative is of course to prevent the cold experience for the dog. If you get  draught excluding dog beds, all will be well. A dog bed with high sides that don’t collapse is ideal. The Tuffies Nest dog beds are sturdy and thick all round. A think futon mattress dog bed in the bottom and thick sides right round. The dogs can snuggle right in and be free of that sneaking cold from draught.

The other good solution to the cold floor is a raised bed. NOT one that looks like a trampoline, as they are freezing cold. The trampolin type dog beds have no sides to protect the dog and the draught is furthermore chilling the dog from underneath. If you have ever slept on a trampoline, you will know just HOW cold you get all over. The ONLY type of warm raised beds are ones with a thick base and sides right round. The dogs can rest super comfortably and feel snug all night on one of these. The Tuffies Raised bed comes with a liner that is quick and easy to take off in order to wash in the washing machine for total hygiene.

Remember, you have to guess how your dog was during the night. He can’t tell you.

I once had a friend in the back of my truck for a short journey. He was in with my dogs and it was January. I had driven out to the West Coast of Scotland the previous day and he told me how cold it was in the back. I had completely forgotten that I had both windows open for ventilation for the dogs since the summer, but during the winter my poor dogs were freezing in the back on long journeys. They obviously had great, thick, bespoke size dog beds in the back, but that could not make up for the terrible draught. I was most embarrassed about this and it really brought home to me how important draught excluding dog beds are.

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Dog beds for veterinary surgeries

Here at Tuffies we are often asked for the best beds to have when a dog has been through an operation. Having spoken to vets we know that the best bed for recovering at home after surgery is our waterproof dog beds, the Wipe Clean Tuffie bed. When your dog comes home after an operation that requires cage rest and very restricted exercise, the best option is to have a Wipe Clean Tuffies dog bed mattress made to fit the cage exactly. We can also make Luxury Fleece covers for all beds if you wish. With a perfectly fitting bespoke dog bed, it is easy to clean and extremely comfortable for the dog.

When the dog comes home from an operation it is possible that there will be a little bit of leaking going on from the wound and hygiene is extremely important. The cover can be washed in the washing machine and come out completely clean and you can take the bed out and scrub it thoroughly with hot soapy water and rinse it down. The rinse at the end can even be done with hot water straight from the boiling kettle. Washable dog beds are handy in many situations, but essential when you have a post-op dog.

A dog that needs, and wants, to rest a lot very much MUST have a comfortable bed to lie on. The Tuffies dog beds all have a thick futon mattress inside them and the dog will never be uncomfortable even if he can’t reposition himself very well during his sleep and during the day.

Many vets’ surgeries use our dog beds in their recovery rooms and swear by the comfort and hygienic ease of cleaning, which matters hugely in a ward. We supply dog beds to many vets’ surgeries and to veterinary hospitals and specialised operations units.

We have also recently supplied a veterinary hospital with a massive Tuffies dog bed for their scanning room so that they can lie the animal down on one very large, comfortable surface while they do the scanning.

We are very proud that we are recommended by vets.

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Waterproof dog beds

Ahh, the RAIN!!!!  The rain is simply persistent to say the least. SUCH an understatement. We are rural and run a rural business. That means that we inevitably follow the seasons and know what is going on in farming. This time of year is one with quite a bit of noise and it clearly marks the various seasons. We hear the combiners, the grain trucks and the corn dryers. However, as I am sitting here in the warm office and the dogs are lying outside on their warm, waterproof dog beds in their kennels with full access to grass garden and woodland, I can only hear the rain. It is pouring down.

I took all three dogs off their warm dog beds in the house this morning and tempted them with a walk. They don’t mind, of course, but I have to say I did need to convince myself that this would be a good idea. However, it is funny how the motivation increases when the dogs are so happy to leave their cosy dog bed nests in favour of a walk. They wag their tails all over the place and can’t wait to get out the door. Once I have walked half a mile, I am soooo glad I got out too. It all feels much warmer than anticipated and it’s only water. It feels like I am the only person enjoying the outdoors while everyone else is hiding from the rain. Very smug feeling and I am so glad to give my three dogs a good time although hunting is always their preferred activity.

On my return to the house, the guilt sets in. I SHOULD really allow them all to come inside to dry off on their most suitable waterproof dog beds so that they can be let out feeling good. But I didn’t. I stood by the front door and hoped that they would all have a good shake, but no, they always seem to wait till they have got inside, standing in front of their cosy waterproof dog beds before they give a good old, muddy shake, leaving road mud right up the walls on all sides. So cruelly, I got the key to the garden gate and pushed them through that. It must be said, it is not cold at the moment and given how happy they are to walk in the rain, I thought they would be fine. They go in to their little kennels, placed on the patio and sleep in their dog bed nests, giving them full draught exclusion. They also have some extra blankets in there that they dig around, just like the wild wolves would enjoy doing with grass in the den.

I just had another glance out to them and two of them have come out having a play-fight on the patio. They look very happy indeed.

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Really Clean Dog Beds

We were having a little bit of a rant this morning. About, well, pooh. Here in the Tuffies office we were obviously talking about dog beds and about how to clean them. Or rather, WHETHER you clean them and how often. We are in a rural location and we got to talk about working dogs. In summary, not all working dogs have the romantic life we would like to associate with them.

My own working dogs live that romantic, idyllic life where they have their own private patio equipped with small individual kennels containing super insulating and comfortable dog beds in addition to dog beds placed out on the decking for sunny days. They have a large, fenced garden with a small part covered in woodland, where they have access to a little pond and plenty of grass to eat for their stomachs. All fencing is solid and the whole garden is covered on CCTV. The dogs get out every day, either for training, walking or for real work on grouse moors or other shooting situations.

Well, SOME working dogs are barely granted a dog bed. You do see some so called working dogs that are simply shut in a kennel with some straw and they rarely get out. Consequently they foul their own kennel and because they are so desperate to get out for walks, and WORK, they jump up and down in the kennels, covering themselves in the pooh.

I don’t like writing these little articles about dog beds and instead rant on about badly treated dogs, but really!! There are a lot of poor dogs out there, being neglected and badly treated. The cattle and sheep we use for food are treated better than SOME dogs.

In fact I LOVE looking after my dogs and i enjoy washing the dog beds so they are nice and clean and hygienic. The beauty of the beds that we sell here at Tuffies is that they are so easy to keep clean. The fleece covers come off and can go directly in the washing machine. If the waterproof dog bed underneath is dirty, then it can be scrubbed with hot, soapy water and rinsed, giving a nice, clean bed. But of course it starts with keeping your dog in reasonable conditions and not leave them shut in a kennel with no other option but to pooh in their own run.

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Dog Beds for Working Dogs

Pet dogs taken for very long walks may also get extremely tired, but working dog take the edge. I have three working pointers and there is an extra dimension to their exertion. The pet dog that runs around is of course in essence “hunting” when it looks like it is just running about enjoying himself, but most pet dog breeds are not bred for their tenacity and endurance. They may like to meet other dogs in the park to play with or they might have the freedom to be let off the lead in the woods to have a hunt around, but often will they come back to you and walk for a while in between.

Working dogs, however, are exposed to very hard days, which they love. The working dogs are not only using their physiques, but their minds too, which is exhausting for them.

You take them out of their kennels in the morning where they have slept happily on their dog beds and are now feeling fresh and full of go for the day. For my pointers it is most often a case of driving for at least an hour, where they are too excited to make any use of their bespoke dog beds in the back of my truck. In the rear mirror I often notice that they are standing up on their Fleece covered dog beds in the back all the way. We get to the moor and they are bouncing in the truck. It can be difficult to keep them quiet driving up the hills, they are so excited. One day I must put a gps on one of them because it is astonishing how much they run and I wonder how many miles they actually cover.

Sometimes they have to work three days on the trot and although they take turns, they all walk the whole way and they are super alert all time.

Someone once told me, that he had a pointer for stalking and it had to sit totally quiet all day watching out for deer. It never moved an inch and when it returned home, it was so utterly exhausted it just fell on to its dog bed and slept for hours.

When I have worked with my dogs for the day, they no longer stand in the back to the vehicle, they all lie down on their thick, insulating and comfortable dog beds.

I was on the moor recently and the ‘keepers dog was straight in my vehicle, looking like it was very interested in the interior….

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The Absolute Best Dog Beds

….. are the ones with flexibility. If, for instance, you want a dog bed that can be a simple, waterproof dog bed in the warm summer and a cosy, snug dog bed in the winter, you can use the Tuffies waterproof dog beds on their own or fitted with covers. There are two types to choose from: You can get the Wipe Clean mattress, which is an exceedingly easy to clean dog bed by simply scrubbing it with hot, soapy water, rinse off and towel dry OR you can, if there is just a smaller accident on the bed, spray it with a normal household cleaner and wipe. No hairs will ever stick to the Wipe Clean fabric dog beds, so if you have a dog that casts a lot of hair, it is ideal for this as the Wipe Clean Tuffie will look clean all the time.

The other type is the Tuffies Durasoft Mattress bed. This is a stronger version as it is made from 1,000 denier texturised Nylon and has a extra thick polyurethane coating on the reverse. The advantage of this one is that it seems more appealing to the dog because it is more like an upholstery fabric and therefore perceived as softer and warmer. Dogs that cast a lot of hair will end up with dog hair sticking to the Durasoft, but only very lightly and they are easily vacuumed off. Washing the Durasoft is as easy as the Wipe Clean Tuffie mattress, but you can’t towel dry it and you can’t wipe it over with a household surface cleaner, you need to wash these dog beds on a warm day so that you can leave them out to dry in the sun and wind. It only takes an hour on a nice day, though.

In terms of the flexibility, Tuffies offer a fabulous range of covers to add to the basic dog bed. So if you feel that some more warmth and cosyness is needed, maybe in the winter, you can find just the right cover for you and your dog. The thick, warm ones are the Luxury Fleece covers and the Fluffie Tuffie covers. The Luxury Fleece is by far the most popular one and there are more, new designs in the pipe line. This one can be used on both sides and washes beautifully in the washing machine. Most dogs will, given the choice, pick the mattress with the nice fleecy cover on.

You can also use one of the lighter, summery covers for the mattress dog beds. This gives the beds a new, fresh look and if you prefer cleaning by machine washing, it is an ideal way of keeping things looking great without the thick, warm pile on the cover. Dogs are different and some dogs are hotter than others. A Labrador usually has a great, warm coat and may even find your house a bit too warm, which will make him prefer a cooler bed arrangement, not with a thick pile. A skinny Whippet will always go for the warmer bed.

If you have dogs that love water and swimming, you will benefit from using the Wicking cover. This cover is made from a so called spacer fabric, which is used in off-road vehicle seats so you don’t feel clammy sitting in wet clothes. The same happens with the wet dog: The water from the dog’s coat goes through the fabric and wicks away from the dog, leaving the dog comfortable and off the wetness.

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Brilliant Dog Beds

…….are made to last and they are made just like brilliant cars and brilliant pianos: quality ALL the way through, starting from the inside. There are dog beds out there with very little value because they simply look pretty and fluffy, but when your dog uses them, they soon reveal that there is not much substance and that they are all looks and no quality. Many bad products hide what goes on at the inside and it is only in the short use of them that you realise how important the back-bone of the item is and how important the unseen quality can be.

The dog beds made by Tuffies are quietly brilliant. At Tuffies each dog bed for dogs to sleep and rest on are made with unrestricted attention to the quality details right from the inside and all the way out. We start off by making the “stuffing”, which is actually a misleading term because we don’t STUFF the dog beds, we produce a standalone futon mattress, which is then covered. This means that the inside of each of our fantastic dog beds is able to hold its own and won’t disintegrate or go flat. When your dog uses a Tuffies dog bed, he won’t find that in a few weeks all the stuffing has migrated out to the sides. He will be enjoying top quality because the futon mattress holds its shape. Just like our own mattress (the human one you sleep on), our dog beds are firm, but very supportive and perfectly insulating instead of being of the smothering kind. If you imagine a dog’s natural den, it would have a firm base covered with a little bit of grass and plants and feel just like our mattress. Well, never quite a lovely as a Tuffies dog bed mattress, but the same principle. The den will have sides just like our Tuffies nest dog beds, providing total draught exclusion and of course a sense of security. In the wild a dog will feel more secure with solid walls round him (from where no enemies of predators could suddenly appear). This appeals to the domestic dog’s natural instincts.

Many dog owners start off with the new dog or the puppy being trained to stay in a cage till they are “safe” from chewing the furniture and till they are fully house trained and accustomed to being left on their own for short times. We often speak to customers, who seem slightly embarrassed that they “keep the dog in a crate”, but if you train the dog or puppy in the right way so he is not “shoved in the crate” for prolonged and unnecessary periods of time and if he has a lovely made to measure dog bed with a good futon mattress inside, he will LOVE his crate, especially if you put a blanket over the crate to make it feel even more like a den. You will actually find that the dog seeks the crate and even prefers the crate to a dog bed sitting out on the floor. You will often find that in time you take the crate away and the dog is perfectly happy to have a good quality dog bed, especially a nest dog bed on the floor, enjoying life as being in the midst of the family. But then, here comes dog number 2 for the household, often as a puppy, and is given the old crate. What happens? The old dog is delighted to see his crate reappear and goes straight in there, sharing it with the new puppy.

Where ever you keep your dogs, just make sure that they have great dog beds made with quality as number one priority and “prettyness” as second. Here at Tuffies we can of course handle both and we take great care, not only with the futon mattress inside, but also with the waterproof dog bed covers. More of that later.

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Images and dog beds

When we offer dog beds for sale, we are acutely aware that it is important for customers to be able to see the beds as well as possible. We do exhibit at shows, which certainly helps a lot of buyers to really see, touch and feel the dog beds, but on line it can be more difficult. Last week we showed you our new designs in fleece, which will be for sale in a month or two.

Red Swifts

Red Swifts

 

Images also convey the culture and the back ground of Tuffies. That is why our galleries on the web site are so popular. We can see in our statistics that you are spending a lot of time viewing our gallery photos.

This week I got Pontus out again on grouse and he performed his first, really positive point on four birds. Great to see, after so much training, that the dog starts coming together. Well, not quite together, because it will be a long time before he will have the full hunt, point AND retrieve. He will need to do the first bit on it’s own and then perhaps get a retrieve later in January.

Pontus on one of his first grouse points.

Pontus on one of his first grouse points.

I found this image in amongst all the images of waterproof dog beds and Luxury Dog Beds in our files, of Gollum seven years ago. What a smart dog.

Gollum as a youngster pointing some of his first grouse.

Gollum as a youngster pointing some of his first grouse.

And Gaia is not JUST a model for all our great dog beds, here is one of her early points.

Here is Gaia's first proper working season, on point.

Here is Gaia’s first proper working season, on point.

They all sleep really well inside in their dog bed nests or on their kennel beds in the outdoor kennel. Working dogs need good dog beds.

 

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