Product review: ThinkPet Rubber Treat Dispenser Interactive Dog Toy Red Small Size

This is one of the first toys Betty had, and along with her Kong and Busy Buddy Dog Toy Tug a Jug, it’s stood the test of time (well 3 months).

Pretty quickly she understood that she had to make it roll to get the treats out.  After 3 months she’s the knack of kicking it so it rolls the length of the room and stopping it from going out of reach (under furniture etc).

The maze inside slows the release of treats which means she uses more energy getting them out and once filled, it’ll keep her entertained for half an hour or so  (depending upon the size of the treats I put in).

It’s easy to clean, both inside and out (which is surprising given there is a maze inside).  The only thing is that it picks up the hair and fluff from the carpet – but I think that says more about the regularity of my house-cleaning than the toy!

I’d definitely recommend this for any dogs that are food orientated.

From show dog to yard dog

One of the many things Betty has had to get used in her new home is yard life.  Cavalier’s aren’t know for being street-wise and Betty certainly wasn’t yard-wise when she first came to us.

At first she stuck to my heels like glue, couldn’t bare Abbey between us and couldn’t connect Abbey’s front legs with her back legs. On more than one occasion she ran under Abbey’s belly to come to me on the other side.  :O

Now, she’s a healthy respect for hooves, horse-legs and giant heads. The latter a result of trying to steal some of Abbey’s dinner. Yes, ‘Betty the Belly’ will eat chaff and pony nuts!

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3 months into dog ownership…

Betty’s been with us for 3 months now and already, it’s hard to remember what life was like before she moved in.

In the last two months she’s been spayed (LPT: cavaliers fit into 12 month baby grows, stops them getting at their stitches and the awkwardness of a lampshade!), had 11 teeth out, caught up with her jabs and settled into a routine.

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It’s not the routine I had envisaged but that’s not how it seems to work with animals.  The pony is the same – there’s no point in enforcing a routine or approach that doesn’t suit, it’s easier and less stressful for everyone if there is flexibility in system. On the whole it suits us:

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Betty’s first 10 days; finding a routine

Betty’s first 10 days were very busy.  Her previous owner did say that if we had any problems she would take her back but Betty’s taken everything in her stride.

With some bank holidays and working from home, I’ve been around full time for Betty’s first 10 days with us.  We’ve taken her to the pub, she’s been to the yard and met Abbey the horses as well as cattle, met my parents (and their cat), visited my Gran in her nursing home, met the neighbours dog, met the yard dogs and we’ve started training (who says you can’t teach an old new tricks?!)

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On the whole she’s settling in very well.  It’s a big change from her previous home where there were lots of other dogs.  Here she’s the only dog in the household.

Her previous owner warned me of Betty’s passion for food….she wasn’t wrong, it’s definitely her weakness! It’s all food…dog food, human food, horse food….

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Finding Betty

In my last post I wrote about how I came to the conclusion that a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was for me. Making that decision, it turned out, was the easy part.  Finding the one for me on the other hand….

Sadly, like all breeds, Cavalier can suffer from a number of inherited diseases.  The Kennel Club has a good (short) summary of the three main diseases: Mitral Valve Disease (MVD), Syringomyelia (SM) and Hereditary Cataract & Multi-focal Retinal Dysplasia (MRD).

Obviously I wanted to minimise the risk of taking on a dog likely to develop any of these.

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Choosing a King Charles Cavalier

Choosing the right dog isn’t as easy is it sounds.  Before settling on a Cavalier I spent hours researching the different breeds, I spoke with dog trainers and rescue centers.

There was a lot of thought before this too. How much room do I have for a dog?  How much exercise could I give a dog? Where the dog would be while I was at work or on holiday? How often was I actually out and about places I wouldn’t be able to take a dog? To what extent was I equipped to deal with behavioural or health issues?  Whether my OH would actually put up with a dog….? The list goes on.

I concluded that while I have a relatively active lifestyle (I have a horse and yes she has a blog too!), in reality I couldn’t offer more than a hour’s (dog specific) walking a day – even that would be a push on some winter days. Most of my dog-time would be in the evenings on the sofa and what I like best are cuddles! Having said that sometimes I ride with friends and they take their dogs and I do quite enjoy a long 2 hour walk.

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