Top tips for pooch hygiene – even your pooch can be spring cleaned!

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If there is one thing we know about dogs, its that they love to get messy. Constant exposure to the elements however can leave a build up of dirt on your beloved canine. Here at PetLondon HQ, we have some great tips on how to keep your pooch clean and healthy, even if they insist on playing in dirt every day!

It is important to wash your dog regularly! Ideally, introduce your dog to bathing from as early an age as possible. We suggest that you bathe your pooch at least once a month using a specialized dog shampoo. If you wish to clean your dog more often than this its recommended that you just use water, as using dog shampoo too often might irritate your dogs skin. To make bath-time less of an ordeal for you and your furry friend, its worth trying to make a positive association for your dog. For example, make sure that bath-time involves lots of their favorite treats and affection. A great tip is to practice letting your dog sit in the empty bathtub for a while, giving them a treat so that they associate being in the tub with treat time! You can then gradually add lukewarm water to ensure it is less of a shock to the system! When bathing your pooch, be sure to keep the ears, eyes and mouth dry, therefore its best to wash from the neck downwards. Ideally, a little cotton wool over the ear canal is perfect for keeping water out, but we understand some pooches absolutely won’t stand for that!

 

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Here at PetLondon HQ we have some great recommendations for safe and effective dog shampoos. For example, one of our personal favorites is the Soothing Oatmeal Shampoo, available on our PetLondon website! Oatmeal based pet products are great for sensitive skin, and help to keep your pooch’s coat lovely and soft. When rinsing the dog shampoo or dog soap out, make sure that all of the product has been washed out. For a pooch with longer hair, perhaps opt for the Detangling Apricot Spray, a perfect product for helping to prevent matting of the hair after bath-time. This spray is great as you need only spray it directly on the knot, and then brush it through. It’s a good idea to also brush through your dog’s long hair before the bath to minimize the tangles.

The location of pooch bath-time is completely up to you. Small breeds can be bathed in sinks or purpose bought tubs, whereas larger breeds can be bathed, weather permitting, outdoors or in the bath. Its always good to use as many towels as you can spare when drying off your soggy hound, preferably one for the floor, one for your dog’s body and another to ensure the face and ears are bone dry. Pay special attention to drying your dog’s feet and paws so avoid any slips! After drying is the time to completely brush through your dog’s hair to avoid tangling, this grooming will also help you to bond with your pooch as it shows how much you care! When drying and grooming your pooch after bath-time, be sure to look out for any ticks or fleas.

Don’t forget the paws! Your pooch’s precious paws need taking care of too! Bath-time can be a great opportunity to carefully clip your dog’s nails. Guillotine clippers tend to work best.

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When it comes to pooch hygiene, its not just all about the exterior! Your dog’s dental hygiene needs taking care of too! That’s where we, as devoted owners, have to help our furry friends out! The most important way of looking after your dog’s dental hygiene is to brush their teeth. The ideal doggy toothbrushes are those at a 45-degree angle, and with bristles on both sides to brush smaller and larger tooth surfaces, like our Double-Headed Dog Toothbrush.

In addition to brushing regularly, there are a range of products that can be utilized to maintain great canine dental hygiene. For example, Fresh Breath Drops, available on our website, are a wonderful way to keep your pooch’s breath consistently fresh. Suitable for dogs and cats, simply add three drops to your pet‘s water bowl, they’re also made with natural ingredients!

 

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Keeping your pooch clean is all about ensuring that doggy hygiene is part of your routine. Factor in even just an hour a week to give your dog a good pamper session! Bath-time for your pooch may seem like a recipe for disaster, but if you start early and get them used to it, your squeaky clean pooch will thank you in the long run!

Work out with your pooch this spring! Mans best friend makes the best exercise buddy!

Spring has officially sprung in London, which means its time to get fit and ready for summer!

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We are on a health kick here at PetLondon HQ, and have been taking inspiration from the latest health trend to hit America, working out with your dog! We want to share the best ways to exercise with your pooch in the city, because having a canine workout buddy means you can work on getting fit whilst also keeping your pooch active, healthy and entertained!

One of the simplest ways in which you can exercise with your pooch is to take them jogging. The best way to do this is to do what has been referred to as ‘interval jogging’. This is a great workout to do with your pooch, as you and your pooch can chop and change from leisurely stroll, to brisk walk, to jogging. Your dog will love this supercharged dog walk! Having your pooch alongside you will serve as a great motivation and it’s a great twist on the usual daily dog walk. Let your dog canter alongside you as you run, and then trot as you briskly walk. Mixing up the speeds will stimulate your pooch, and serves as great cardio for humans!

Even a visit to the park with your pooch can be a great opportunity to exercise with your dog by doing activities together, such as playing frisbee or catch. Repetitive throwing actions are a great form of exercise for your upper body and arms, and it goes without saying that dogs love to play fetch! To make playing fetch a workout for humans too, instead of watching your dog, race them after throwing the toy/stick and see whether you or your furry workout buddy retrieve it first.

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If you feel like you would need some additional motivation working out in the park with your dog, and would rather be part of a group, then why not join one of the more unusual fitness groups, Barking Fit! Brainchild of Georgina Jackson-Sytner, Barking Fit allows you to work out with other dog owners and their dogs. Costing only £10 a session, this outdoor fitness class held in leafy Battersea Park describes itself as, ‘a constantly moving outdoor group fitness class where dog owners get a work out and their dogs get a run.’The Barking Fit class of humans and canines gather at 10am every Thursday – meeting at the iconic Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park. As well as providing a broken down work out session, which focuses on cardio, gluts exercises and abs, this is a great class for meeting new people and bonding with your pooch. Your dog might even make some new furry friends!

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For a more relaxed and creative fitness activity to do with your pooch, think about trying out the latest trend, Doga! This is doggy friendly yoga, where your pooch can join you whilst you practice your postures. Yoga has a plethora of benefits, and your pooch will appreciate being brought along! A great place to practice this is with the leading pioneer in Doga, Mahny Djahanguiri, who holds classes in Camden. Mahny firmly believes that practicing Doga with your dog can deepen the bond between owner and their pooch. There are even private ‘Paw-2-Paw’ sessions, which provide a more tailored yoga therapy experience for you and your furry yoga buddy. It is easy to see the benefits of merging yoga with spending quality time with your pooch; yoga is primarily about relaxing and focusing on core breathing, and this in turn can remove the controlling emotions we often develop with our pets, and can replace this with a refreshingly natural and equal bond. Combine the all important meditation and human yoga postures with one of Mahny’s canine massages for your dog and your pooch is bound to be eager to return!

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City life can be hectic, and we understand that often a home workout is all that can be squeezed in to a busy schedule! A great way to include your pooch in your home workout is by using one of their toys or a treat whilst doing your exercises. You and your pooch can work out at home by merging a game of fetch with your abdominal workout. Begin by doing some sit-ups whilst holding your pooch’s favorite toy, and when you sit-up pretend to throw the toy, so that your dog will race to retrieve it. Of course, every few reps be sure to actually throw the toy! Your dog will be thoroughly entertained and go wild, and you will be getting a great work out.

It can’t be denied that dogs make the best workout buddies. They won’t ever cancel on you, and their unbridled excitement to be out and about is brilliant motivation.

 

 

Hudson and Bertie for River Island

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River Island have recently started an exciting new venture into dog clothing and accessories and contacted PetLondon Models for two dogs to promote the new range . They required two friendly, photogenic pooches who matched the specific sizes of the products. Lots of our fabulous dogs were suggested, and after much deliberation, the two lucky pups selected were Bertie the Pug and Hudson the Shih Poo.

Bertie the pug is no stranger to the camera, having previously taken part in a shoot for Mattel. He loves to work with other dogs and is very well socialised, and has an impressive skill set for such a young pooch. Shih Poo Hudson is as equally as friendly and talented, and when he is picked up he will wrap his paws around you and cuddle back! Both dogs are very happy modelling clothes, which comes across in the photos as both pups look very comfortable in the range of stunning garments.

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Bertie looking festive in the RI Dog Christmas Jumper

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Bang on trend: Hudson in Khaki Green Bomber Jacket

The exclusive River Island Pet Apparel Collection features nine items, including cable knit sweaters, a bomber jacket, collars and matching leads. Hudson and Bertie look fantastic in the clothes, and did a great job of showing off the new range.

There has been a lot of media attention surrounding the RI Dog launch, with several articles released from publications including The Independent and The Daily Mail. The images of Bertie and Hudson also appeared on ITV’s Lorraine, promoting the collection and showing off some of the wonderful photos from the shoot. The collection has so far proved incredibly popular, with sizes selling out fast and people taking to social media to share their excitement.

The RI Dog range is available both online and in selected stores, including the flagship branch on Oxford Street. Sizes come in Small, Medium and Large, and are perfect Christmas gifts for your canine friends!

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River Island Dog Collection at the Oxford Street branch

Further images from the shoot can be found on River Island’s website under RI Dog.

Great job Bertie and Hudson, you both performed outstandingly!

Cooper for FEARLESS

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A fun job request came in from the University of Northampton. They knew exactly what they were looking for! A Blue/Grey French Bulldog with a white patch on his/her chest to open and close their fashion show and to be the star visitor for the event.

We were provided with a copy of their invitation that featured a French Bulldog that they were trying to match as closely as possible. We had a couple of options for them to choose from that fitted this precise brief. After exchanging several model profile details and checking availability with some of our dogs and handlers the chosen Frenchie was the very lovely Cooper !

This was a great choice. Cooper is extremely friendly with everyone, very well socialized and used to lots of people around him. He accepts cats, very friendly with all dogs and loves children. He is very relaxed in busy environments. He can sit, shake, stay and give paw and learn special requests .

Unlike some of our jobs, this client was very well organised and left of plenty of planning time, so Cooper had quite a while to get ready for his trip and look forward to the event.

On the day of the show, Cooper and his handler travelled up on the train from London. They arrived to find that Cooper was presented with a specially prepared and branded dog coat so that he would match the theme of the evening. The colour really suited him.

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Cooper loved his raincoat!

Cooper had a specific schedule and plenty of time to relax, rest and enjoy meeting everyone. Everyone was very excited to meet with him before the show started and lots of people wanted to take pictures with him of course.

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Cooper is a very well behaved and boy and was able to roam freely around the venue taking in the sights and showing off his new coat.

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Cooper was the star of the event and everyone absolutely loved him. When it was time for the show to start Cooper took pride of place at the front of the show.

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The client was very happy with the the models performance and even dropped us a message saying  “Just a note to say that Cooper the French Bulldog was a complete success, he did everything and more that we needed him to do. Cooper welcomed our VIP Guests on the steps of the University, then moved to the Art Gallery, then he queued up for an ice cream and then walked to the front of the Marquee and laid down in exactly the spot we wanted him to – PERFECT!”

Well done to Cooper for a very successful assignment and on being able to being smiles to so many faces 🙂

Dinner With Poppy

Feeding your pup is a meaty affair. Supermarket aisles are chockablock with dog food and treats, claiming to do everything from cleaning your pups teeth to teaching an old dog new tricks. A lot of what is on offer is heavily processed, and not as natural or healthy as the packaging would have you believe! A quick Google of dog food ingredients is enough to put you off the tinned stuff for life.

Every dog is different, and there is no perfect answer, but one of the easiest ways to know what your dog is eating is to put it together yourself. If the idea of cooking for your canine gets you into a cold sweat, don’t fear! PetLondon are here to give you a helping hand. It is not as tedious and messy as you might think, so put your nicest pinny on and rustle up a little gourmet feast for your pup tonight.

(Just a quick reminder before we get into the good stuff, PetLondon wouldn’t recommend overhauling your dogs diet overnight, any big changes can make their tummies funny. Take the time to slowly tweak their diet)

Choosing the ingredients for your dogs meal is as easy as 1, 2, 3. You need the energy, the greens and the protein. We’ve jotted down Poppy’s favourites to give you an idea:

The Energy: Brown Rice or Sweet Potato

The Greens (and the orange): Poppy loves kale, green beans, brocolli and spinach. Feel free to pick and mix your veg of choice, just avoid garlic and onions. If in doubt- Google! There are lots of lists of dog friendly fruit and veg, and we’ve got a couple saved to our Pinterest page.

The Protein: Turkey, beef or chicken.

The Extras: Poppy gets an adult multi-vitamin, and Pro-fibre (available from all good veterinarians).

You can rustle up a batch of your energy on a Sunday afternoon, if you have a spare thirty minutes pop a big pot of rice on the stove or throw a couple of sweet potatoes in the oven to bake. Once cooked, let it cool down before storing in your fridge.

Poppy has all her veg steamed, but choose whatever method works for you. You want it soft enough to dice up with the rest of the dinner, whether that means boiling your carrots or sautéing your spinach, do what works for you!

You can cook up your protein in advance too, Sunday afternoons are the perfect time to get busy in the kitchen and will make it easier for the rest of the week. If you’re making a Sunday roast for yourself, cook a little extra meat and put it aside for your pup. (Do make sure you don’t put any seasoning or sauce over the meat you’ll feed your pup though!) Meat won’t last the whole week, but you can prep enough for a couple of days.

Each evening muddle together your energy, greens and protein. Mix it together in the same way you would for a small child, and your pup will never notice they’re chomping down on kale.

Poppy also has an adult dog vitamin and Pro-fibre with her meal, they both go down easily by smashing the vitamin into a fine powder and stirring  them both through her dinner.

Have fun getting creative in the kitchen, and if you do decide to cook for your pup take a photo and tag us @PetLondon– Poppy would love to see your doggy dinners!

#CatsOnaPlane

A recent and very top secret project we have been working on a PetLondon Models HQ was a multi-cat job involving some very unusual requests! The assignment involved a large group of friendly felines needed for filming on actual airplanes at an Airport.

This job was for both Thomas Cook Airlines and its sister Airline, Condor. The airlines wanted some cats to test out the comfort of their new Airbus 330 and Boeing 767 and to create entertaining, promotional viral videos. The resulting footage and images were to become part of the #CatsOnAPlane campaign. The campaign, which launches as part of a wider advertising initiative for Thomas Cook Airlines in both the UK and Germany, aims to highlight the airline’s belief that customers “deserve better” when flying on their hard-earned holidays.

Travelling with animals by air, especially with cats is very difficult when you live in the UK  so this was a unique and one-off experience for some of our models to try out being in the actual cabin of a plane!

The initial brief was very detailed. There were ten roles up for casting and PetLondon Models was asked to help suggest cats for each position. Each character we had to fill had a brief about their individual personalities. We studied the storyboards and cross-checked these against our books to see who would be fitting for each role. In the end a variety of options went over to the client for each of the characters to be cast and they then had the difficult decision of selecting the final few. For many jobs there is strong competition for each position and behind the scenes the clients are often choosing between a few animals for each role.

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Once word was in of the clients final choices, the excitement began for many of our cats and handlers. The filming schedule spanned nearly a full 24-hour period. Travel arrangements and schedules had to be carefully planned in advance and practise began for each cat to get used to what they would need to do on set.

First up we had Starina. She was chosen for the role of “Princess Pamper”. Having worked with Starina on many previous occasions we certainly agree this was the perfect character for her to play! “Princess Pamper (Pamps to her friends) is a lover of the finer things in life.She was chosen because she’s renowned for her demanding demeanor.For Pamps to be happy she requires a certain set of guidelines to be adhered to. If all her needs are met, it’s a smooth ride for everyone”

Starina is a very easy-going cat who is used to going on lots of outdoor adventures. It was her first time on a plane but she took everything in her stride and took some time to select her favourite seat!

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Starina Settles Into Her Preferred Seat

Starina enjoyed looking out the window and meeting all the crew on set. Once it was time to get filming, she was as ever, ready to perform for the camera! This sweet girl has the most stunning eyes, one blue and one green.

Here is the final footage of Starina’s filming that we are delighted to be able to share with you. The online ad shows Starina relaxing on Thomas Cooks newly refurbished A330 and has subtitles to show what she might be thinking.

 

Next, was the role of “The Stray Siblings”. There were several litters in the running for this position but in the end it was six adorable Chausie brothers and sisters who were selected by the client. Only three were used in the footage but they took the filming in turns and this enabled the babies to get some rest in between the swaps. They loved all the excitement though and could not get enough of their first big adventure!

“Ben, Jane and Alice Stray are 3 siblings. They’re well known as the toughest, most challenging and rowdy bunch of testers… and they know it. They know how to push the buttons of cabin crew and how to truly stress test the friendly customer service.”

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The Chausie Kittens enjoyed all the excitement of exploring somewhere new

Here is their final footage. As you will see, these babies truly enjoyed themselves, having time to explore and play, watch some in-flight entertainment and then after all that excitement, taking a nap with their teddy bear!

 

Next was the very distinguished Zinedine. Zinedine (nickname Zinny) was cast as “Quality Ken”. “Quality Ken is a total cynic, he’s hard to impress and he knows it. He plays his cards close to his chest – he hates to show anyone what he’s really thinking… even if it’s good!Ken’s lived a quiet life, he’s the eldest of 18 brothers and sisters…always the most reliable. He doesn’t often let his hair down. Ken is one of those cats who’s ashamed of his feline instincts. Behaving cat-like demeans the air of authority he has worked so hard to achieve.”

Zinny is a six year old male Persian from London. He is very confident with being an actor and enjoys meeting new people or trying new experiences. Arriving at the airport he was not phased by the hangar but did appreciate a cosy blanket to snuggle up in.

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Waiting Patiently for the Camera Crew to get ready….

IMG_4989Sweet Zinny is a most expressive cat and his film reel certainly demonstrates this and entertains viewers about the airlines newly refurbished fleet. He was so cosy and happy in his seat that he was quite miffed when it was time to leave!

 

Finally we had brothers Orpheus and Ryder. These Norwegian Forest Cats are the best of friends. They enjoy to do everything together and so this was a perfect opportunity for them to be side by side. They were both working on the Condor Plane.

Orpheus played the role of “Captain”. Captain is a more senior role and he is a well versed flyer who has flown with Condor for a lifetime. He enjoys the welcome and warmth hwereceives on every flight. Orpheus performed like a true pro as he quickly settled into the new environment and relaxed into his comfortable seat.

One lucky cat was chosen to travel business class and this was Ryder! With his stunning pure white coat he looked very elegant in his oversized and reclining seat and was able to fully stretch out. He even managed to operate the controls himself.

This project was a delight to work on for all the handlers, crew and animals involved. As a special sneak peak we have some behind the scenes footage to be able to share with you if you have have ever wondered how on earth his all gets put tougher

The fabulous collection of viral ads are currently being promoted across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Tom Morey, senior group marketing manager at Thomas Cook Airlines, said: “No-one can assess comfort like a cat. They’re the hardest customers to please, which is why we wanted to test our new interiors with the best. And the results left the cautious kitties feline great.”

Gym Bunnies for Virgin Active

Virgin Active approached PetLondon Models with an EGGcellent idea for Easter Weekend…They were looking for 8 “Gym Bunnies” to create an adorable viral video campaign. The brief we were given was that the bunnies were to have their run of a health club in East London one Sunday and would be both filmed and photographed during their “workout”.

We had just the perfect Rabbit Family to take part in this shoot that are experienced on set and in studios and have wonderful temperaments.

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The rabbits all knew each other and got on well together which is a very important factor. They were accompanied by expert rabbit handler  to ensure that all their needs were met and that safety was paramount.

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Rukia enjoys a touch of morning Yoga

 

A total of eight furry friends attended the shoot, several Netherland Dwarfs (Bucks fizz, Kira, Bramble, Monte, Bubbles & Most) and even a Hare called Jerome who is 1 year old and very friendly and outgoing and has several best in shows under his belt. Jerome is an expert jumper and he has previously taken part in “rabbit jumping” competitions and displays.

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The smaller bunnies took everything in their stride. They were more than happy to sniff out the equipment, test out the treadmill and jump around the gym mats. After all that fun, they were rewarded with a delicious bowl of kale-yum and healthy too!

The end video is absolutely delightful and sure to bring a smile. The shoot was a huge success and the client was very happy, commenting “Just to say a big thank you for yesterday – the rabbits were fantastic, the animals were so calm and very happy to pose!

The rise of the Instadog!

It seems like no dog is without their own instagram account these days. Its a great way to show off your pet and to connect with other animal owners all around the globe. It is also terribly addictive and once you get started it can turn into a full time hobby. The more you understand how it all works the better you get at it, the more fans your dog gains and then the more you want their account to grow and grow. Sounds familiar? Well its all a lot of fun at the end of the day.

One of our best sellers, our iconic plush instadog toy is for the dog that has everything. The Instadog makes a great and quirky present as its design appeals to humans and dogs alike241-3003895-SM2_M.jpeg
This toy is perfect for the 21st Century pet who is trying to become #instafamous. The plush toy is made from a soft material your dog will love- and has a squeaker for added fun! Its the perfect size for them to carry around in their mouths and to snuggle up with a kind of pillow.

Just imagine the photo opportunities and the happy hash tagging moments! We have been so overwhelmed with fantastic tags of you and your pets enjoying their instadog that we wanted a place to show them off. Unfortunately there is not enough space for all of them but here are selection of our favourites.

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The Instadog toy is available from qualified retailers (call for your nearest stockist) and online here