PetLondon visits the National Pet Show

Here at PetLondon we know how to do Sunday Funday properly. The National Pet Show was calling our name, so on Sunday we decided to visit the show which took place at the London Excel Centre on the weekend of the 6th and 7th May 2017.

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For those who aren’t in the know; the National Pet Show is a bonanza for animal lovers of all ages. The show is jam-packed with of a range of activities and hundreds of stands for pet lovers. From facing painting & arts ‘n’ crafts in the kids zone, to the boutique  marketplace for those shopaholics; there was something for everyone.

The show was split into four main zones each with a focus and feel to them. The sheer size of the show, feels like each zone you enter into is like crossing into a different continent. The four zones were the: Dog Zone, Cat Zone, Small Furries Zone & Animal Zone.
Hidden away in the far corner of the show was the Super Theatre which hosted amazing spectacles such and captivating talks. Highlights included the Amazing Bird of Prey experience with Leigh Holmes featuring amazing acts with Owls, Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Vultures. We managed to catch Supervet Professor Noel Fitzpatrick’s Live Show where he talked about behind the scenes of Supervet on Channel 4 (just like we do on our blog) and the absolutely amazing stories he has from helping all sorts of animals over the years.

The dog zone featured a whole host of breed stands, where you could interact with dogs of all shapes and sizes and chat to the owners, many of which were associated with either breeders’ clubs or rescue charities. Everyone we spoke to was extremely knowledgeable and friendly, and we chatted away for hours.

Over the day we photographed a vast array of the happy exhibitors; some of them posing for the camera perfectly whilst others wanted to get up close and personal. Two mini arenas were located within the dog zone: The School4Dogs and the Dog Activity Ring. School4Dogs had trainers and experts explain the training and requirements for dogs in a variety of circumstances, such as in the workplace, health and social care, and the show business. They also have shows explaining positive reinforcement and types of training for puppies to learn different commands and tricks. It’s all about progressing from one stage to the next, with lots of praise and treats as rewards!

We managed to see the end of the timed agility course which saw dogs zipping under, over, through and around tunnels, seesaws and posts. It was like a Mini Crufts that they called Scrufts (hehe!). The highlight of the Dog Activity Ring was the spectacular UK Disc Dog Associations show. It was amazing to see the Border Collie leaping through the air catching Frisbees, dancing through legs and leaping up onto the trainers’ back standing tall and proud. 

After a bite to eat, we wondered over to The Cat Zone where all the ‘Top Cats’ were on show. Here were a diverse range of domestic and exotic breeds from the classic British Shorthair to the playful Siamese. Many of them were rescue cats, and the exhibitors were more than welcome to share their stories, and provide insightful information into involving yourself into cat rescue and the benefits of such. At periodic times during the day, national level judges took time to explain to audiences how cats are judged at competitions. A fun fact is that it takes four shows within a year with at least ten cats being entered into a new category for a new colouring of a breed to enter the CCG. The presentations, and the Q&As were a bountiful fountain of information, with everything from cat communication to tips for cat grooming and care.

The small furries zone was a warren of activity. Rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas running around in amazing complex play pens and runs. It made everyone walking through stop and look… there was so much going on! Little bunnies were running around in a jungle-gym like run with a large open air central area, connected on each side by tunnels, tubes, hidey holes and a container deep enough for some serious burrowing. All the super furries looked super happy and healthy… just like we want to see. Once again this was a menagerie of information, with specific talks for rats, rabbits, chinchillas and guinea pigs. It was amazing to see young children absorbed by the speakers and soaking up all the information on offer. All the talks that we saw were engaging, slick and up-to-date.   

Also on show was a charity which saved and rescued working hens from across the UK and a pen with a micro pig and Shetland pony, where farmers were educating the public and raising awareness for miniature animals’ welfare.  At PetLondon we are passionate about animal welfare so this was very encouraging and we were pleased the organisers were promoting such great causes.
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Overall we had a lovely experience, enjoying and engaging with fellow animal lovers. It’s well worth a visit, especially for families considering to get a pet whether a small reptile or a big shaggy sheepdog. A top tip for our readers… tickets were slightly cheaper on Groupon! The National Pet Show took place in Birmingham and London this year. Head over to their website for more information regarding next year’s show!

 

 

Boredom Busters, Ideas to Try at Home to Keep Your Dog Entertained

Make your pooch’s day by creating a fun doggy scavenger hunt!

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We understand that it is sometimes difficult to always keep your dog entertained, especially when living in a city! With Easter just around the corner, what better way to entertain your dog than an indoor scavenger hunt? Dogs are natural scavengers, so this fun game creates a challenge and plays on their instincts, allowing them to exercise their canine hunting skills, even when cooped up indoors!

Warm up by having your dog in sit-stay, and show him/her a healthy treat – our Coconut Chia Treats are full of chia seed goodness and work perfectly. Place the treat behind a chair and say ‘Find the treat’, or something similar and let your dog search for and retrieve their treat. Repeat as many times as necessary until your pooch gets the hang of it.

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Once your dog has grasped the game, pretend to hide treats all around the room, but in fact only hide one or two. Keep it simple for the first few times. After a while you can make things more advanced by hiding the treats in empty boxes or wrapping them in a doggy blanket to mask the smell. Empty herbal tea boxes or toilet rolls work well for this. As well as providing entertainment on a rainy day, this indoor scavenger hunt allows you to practice your commands with your furry friend. Add an extra level of fun to the game by incorporating some toys! Filling one of our Mojo Flavoured Treat Balls with a tasty treat and hiding it will create even more of a challenge once your dog sniffs it out! The oblong shape of the toy creates a random and unpredictable bounce that is sure to keep your pooch entertained for hours, with the added bonus of cleaning their teeth and maintaining their dental hygiene!

Simply begin the game with your chosen command and let your dog scour the room for the prizes. Be sure to praise your happy pooch when they find them! Happy scavenging!

 

 

Marauding around Marylebone – The Ultimate Doggy Day Out

Nestled in the heart of London, Marylebone’s village-like atmosphere is the perfect place for a day out with your dog. PetLondon has been part of this community for over ten years; our showroom is a true-to-life Aladdin’s cave for all your doggy needs. The area is bursting with a variety of dog friendly activities and we want to share all the hidden gems with you. This is the only guide you will need for the ultimate adventure with your canine companion.

Start off your morning exploring Marylebone High Street, it’s a haven for shopping, food and culture – a perfect blend of individuality and character rarely found in a city centre.  This unique vibrant high-street is warm and welcoming, with a plethora of boutiques to explore as you stroll down the pleasantly bustling avenue.  Most of the shops are super dog friendly, but the winner all round has to be Lululemon – it hands out dog treats! We love their store, not only for their excellent range of premium quality and chic sports wear but also their ‘amour-propre’ laid back manifesto to life. It’s our guilty pleasure to indulge in some new apparel for the morning run with the dog. 

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After some well needed retail therapy, we implore  you to grab a luscious coffee at Coffee Fratelli’s on the corner of Wigmore Street, where the spacious seating outside is perfect to soak up some sunshine with your canine , and relax as the world goes by. Make sure to order their Cappuccino – it’s to die for! Don’t forget to visit us whilst walking up Wigmore Street. Our showroom is a paradise for dogs; we have a huge range of premium products, from grooming and garments to treats and toys. Just ring the buzzer of No.16,  we are on the fourth floor.

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With a new harness or lead in hand, head over to Paddington Street Gardens, located just around the corner, it’s a total hidden gem. Opened in 1886 by HRH Princess Louise, these beautiful public gardens are perfect for dogs and owners of varying energy levels to stretch their legs. This lovely secluded spot located between Marylebone and Baker Street is popular with local residents. Park dwellers  always seem to be  spotted relaxing on the deckchairs which can be hired, and these gardens are the home for the annual Marylebone’s Summer Fayre which takes place in June each year.  If you are visiting of a weekend, be sure to explore the nearby Marylebone Farmers’ Market which is filled with scrumptious goods from across the country with both locals and food enthusiasts alike sampling the best the capital has to offer.

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Whenever you fancy wander onwards to Il Baretto’s; their upstairs dining area is fully dog friendly. This lesser known spot is our hidden secret gem but we wanted to share this with you.  This restaurant is an ideal spot, to rest your feet and enjoy a spot of lunch. We have got to recommend fully their scrumptious Bufala pizza. It’s classically simple and authentic menu takes culinary influences from specialty dishes and regional produce of Italy.

Afterwards you must spend the afternoon perusing the  five floors of fashion and lifestyle goods at the globally renowned Selfridges, which is known for being extremely dog friendly. Just remember your companion has to be under-arm or alongside you in a carry bag!

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With so much to do, you consider staying a few nights in the area. For those visiting from near or far, we highly recommend The Langham. This prestigious and  iconic pet-friendly hotel has been praised by many for its excellent customer service for both owners and their pets and is ideally located to explore Marylebone. To top it off,  the glamorous Artesian  Bar has been dubbed the ‘World’s Best Bar’, winning  the coveted Drinks International Best Bar award for four years in a row.

We hope you enjoyed our suggestions for a dog friendly day in our beloved neighborhood.  We are proud to call Marylebone our home, it’s definitely the picture-perfect place to explore all year round, with plenty of fantastic shops and spaces no matter what time of year.

Virgin-Dogs on a Train!

Virgin Trains contacted PetLondon Models with a very exciting job; six dogs and one snake would be taken on a train journey from London to Newark as part of their new advert, promoting Virgin’s pet friendly policy. Customers can bring up to two domestic animals with them on their Virgin Train journeys for no extra cost, so you can enjoy the festive adventures knowing your pets can be part of the fun.

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The lucky animals chosen were Eric, the Harlequin Great Dane; Darcey, the Poodle; Quincy, the British Bulldog; Atlas, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog; Dorothy, the Yorkshire Terrier; Maisie, the West Highland Terrier and Cleo the snake.

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The team assembled at Kings Cross, ready for their round trip to Newark. There was an wary morning meet and greet so all the animals, large and small could get acquainted and have a good sniff!

The train had a first class carriage reserved for the animals, making sure all the pets and their handlers were comfortable on their journey. PetLondon’s Animal handler Adam made sure the dogs were settled in and let them get used to their new and exciting surroundings before the shoot began.

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The photoshoot included lots of fun tasks, including the dogs playing board games, reading the paper and enjoying the view from the train window. Other shots included four dogs sitting in a pod of four and enjoying the journey together. The dogs were even served some special food and beverages and had their tickets checked by a Virgin Trains Inspector.

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The dogs all found the carriage very comfortbale. Virgin Trains’ refurbished interiors provides the best possible customer experience whatever your species ahead of the arrival of the Virgin’s Azuma trains in 2018awfcf6euwxzbhhxifpflbugxczbzar5k_virgin_trains___2_

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The dogs seemed very relaxed on their journey, particularly Quincy who looked right at home having a well deserved lie down on one of the tables and Darcey who especially ended the view from the window and watching the world go by.

There was also a non-canine on this shoot! Cleo the snake also did a great job showing that Virgin Train’s pet friendly policy is not just for dogs. Cleo is a Royal Python who is four foot long. She is very calm and enjoyed all the limelight.

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Snakes on a train

All the animals involved did a fantastic job promoting Virgin’s pet friendly policy, and enjoyed their exciting first class adventure. Well done to all those involved!

Starina for VOGUE

Vogue China were in touch with PetLondon Models looking for a cat to star in one of their editorials for the June edition of the magazine. The cat selected was Starina the British Shorthair, who is no stranger to the camera, and has featured in a number of exciting shoots such as the recent project with Thomas Cook. Starina has an incredibly unique look, with stunning ‘David Bowie’ style eyes, one pale green and the other bright blue.

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Starina is an incredibly calm and relaxed cat, and loves being in front of the camera.”Starina was walking around the studio all day like she owned it“, Saz, Starina’s owner joked. Starina’s chilled attitude and model behaviour impressed the whole Vogue China crew, who were able to get all six shots they hoped for. Regina Chan, Fashion and Accessory Editor, adored Starina so much, that she now follows the feline’s Instagram account.

Saz also commented that the crew made the pair feel very comfortable, and Starina seemed very relaxed during the entire process: “It was one of my favourite shoots, and we had a great time.  Starina kept herself entertained during the day by playing with the brightly coloured backdrop paper on set.”

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Playing with the set

 

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Modelling with a range of models, shoes and bags, Starina’s love of all things luxurious meant she was a perfect fit for the shoot, and looks natural and relaxed surrounded by the designer products. Starina was a particular fan of sitting in one of the luxury handbags, and made herself very comfortable and had a well deserved cat nap. Using Starina’s favourite chain toy, the crew were able to get her attention and get some fantastic shots of her in the bag.

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The image below was taken just after Starina’s shut eye, and turned out to be one of the best shots of the day.

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Staring did a fantastic job, and the spread came out beautifully. Keep an eye out for more Starina in the future!

Dobby for Racecourse

The Beverley Racecourse contacted PetLondon Models seeking a very special hound to attend their annual Ladies Day event. They knew exactly which breed they were looking for! A Dachshund who would be wearing a specially fitted ‘Dasch Cam’ during the event. We got to work and sent them details of all our Dachshund models who fit this brief. The job was to take place in East Yorkshire near Hull.

After some contemplation the lucky chosen dog was to be DOBBY. This rather famous little chap is a great personality and loves going on adventures.  Still under one years old, Dobby has a great list of special skills and tricks and already has several model jobs with PetLondon under his belt.

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There was a lot of press interested in Dobby’s attendance at the event and several articles were published surrounding the story. The public were very excited for the chance to meet Dobby at the races. Normally when Dobby leaves the house he is always being stopped by people wanting to say hello to him and he is somewhat of a celebrity in his local town.

3Dobby was looking very handsome on the day of his event and set off from the Midlands with his owner wearing a very dapper bow tie that would be sure to impress the ladies.

Upon arrival he parked up and came onto the grounds where he was introduced to his co-star Rosie and had his special camera pack fitted.

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Dobby loved exploring the Westwood course and meeting lots of new people. Dobby’s assignment was to capture all the glamour of the races on his ‘Dasch Cam’. Thousands of attendees had dressed up in their finest attire, hoping to get spotted for the best dressed competition. Dobby made his rounds all the way around the racecourse, sniffing out all the best looks (and shoes!) to be found. All this was captured to create a fantastic social media video that we are delighted to share with you below.

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 🙂

Stella for CIF

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Cif are cleaning the roof of the O2! The O2 arena’s roof will take 72 days to complete.The iconic multi-purpose indoor venue in Greenwich, London, is currently midway through a dramatic make-over as part of Cif’s ‘Before & After Project’, which will see the 50 metre building receive a spruce up using the floor cleaning product.

The lengthy project, which aims to turn the building’s roof back to its bright white colour, is being documented on the the brand’s official Facebook page and website. To help promote the project CIF called on PetLondon Models to provide a cat to star in their viral video.

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The chosen kitty was Perla the Persian, a stunning female cat who is almost pure white but with some striking markings. She attended for filming in a location flat specially selected because of its view of the O2 from its living room window.

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Perla was given some time to explore the new environment and settle in and she particularly enjoyed chilling on the windowsill. For one of the scenes the female actor was to hold Perla whilst speaking to the camera. Perla was happy to oblige in a cuddle and show off her gorgeous coat to the camera.

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Perla is a true professional and as usual gave an outstanding performance for the client. You can watch some of the final footage below and this is being aired across CIF’s social media channels and as viral videos.

Arthur for DogBuddy

A fun and very hands-on  job that came into PetLondon HQ was one requiring a medium sized dog with lots of personality and the ability to do various actions including some active jumping on set. The assignment was for DogBuddy. They are a company that will find Dog sitters, Dog walkers and Dog boarding services near you. Dog Buddy aim to provide a comfortable and caring home from home.

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DogBuddy were planning a big campaign shoot for a some promotional images to appear on the London Underground. Their campaign message was all about promoting the fact that you would not spend your holiday in cage so why should your dog?

Once a full brief had come in with all the actions required and that the dog should have a very expressive face, we set to working matching up the perfect PetLondon Model for this unique shoot. Lots of of options went back and forth but it was Arthur who was chosen in the end as the perfect model. Arthur is a three and half year old Labradoodle. He is a happy-go-lucky dog who absolutely love attention and meeting new people.

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Arthur arrived at the studio very excited and ready to get his perfect shots. He had a quick prep and got to know everyone on set including the crew and make-up-artist. We do not really use make-up on the animals but this made for a fun picture and Arthur enjoyed being pampered!

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Arthur really enjoyed all the attention being on him and could not wait to get started in front of the camera. He knew he was the real star of the day.

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Arthur has done several theatre rolls and is very well trained in Agility, he often competes in outdoor shows. He was more than willing to show off how fun it was to jump over his hurdle. In post-production the hurdle could be edited out to show Arthur’s action leaps.

111There were some real humans at the shoot too and they were the ones who had to sit in a “cage” whilst Arthur was free to roam about and have fun. Here is one of the final shots. The playful message showed some role reversal to promote a cage-free holiday for your dog.

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Arthur took everything in his stride and had an excellent time! He loved all the attention on set and had a fabulous adventure.

Look out for his friendly face on the London Underground, he is sure to make you smile.

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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!