William Gadsby Peet lists some of his favourite local companies for pet pampurring (sorry!) From doggy day care and vets to raw food and grooming, these companies all offer services for your hairy companion that are absolutely the dog's ... elbow
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Like Uber or Deliveroo the idea behind Borrow My Doggy is so simple and brilliant that it will change the way you live your life forever. As the name suggests the concept behind the website involves a sort of doggy time share. Dog owners in need of a helping hand with fido are connected with dog lovers who for whatever reason can't fit a canine companion in to their life, but still want to experience the joy of a four legged friend every now and again.
Whether it's just a quick walk in the park or several days dog sitting, the Borrow My Doggy website matches those wanting to lend their dog to those wanting to borrow one and best of all it's free. There are several security checks in place as well as member verification, and access to a 24/7 Vet Line with included insurance is also provided for borrowers. And with 600,000 people already signed up in the UK, there's always someone nearby ready to help with walkies.
I've used this website a lot over the past couple of years with my Staffie Islay and she has developed quite the rapport with a lovely (and absolutely bonkers) old Irish gentleman called Bob who used to work in the Metropolitan Police's dog unit.
Whether you're looking for a spot of grooming for your smelly pup (or cat), or some professional training to deal with doggy behavioural issues like diddling on the rug, you will struggle to find somewhere with a higher pedigree (sorry again!) than Paws in the City.
The company is owned by Karen McCarthy who has an MA in Canine Behaviour, Pyschology & Training, and has represented New Zealand twice at Crufts (2007 & 2008). She is renowned locally and internationally for her ability to get even the most stubborn of pooches on their best behaviour and can deal with all shapes, sizes and temperament of dogs when it comes to bath time.
Eating junk food can be as damaging to your pet’s health as it would be to your own. With this in mind, Natural Instinct has developed a range of raw dog and cat food using ‘human grade’ meat that’ll benefit your furry friend in everything from digestion to coat shine.
And if you’re looking for an interesting treat to reward Fido or Mittens next time they’re well behaved, the company also sells unique snacks like duck necks and whitebait.
There are dozens of local stockists situated throughout Surrey & SW London, or you can order online at naturalinstinct.com
Chances are, if you're a Kingston dog owner who's enjoys a good holiday, you've heard of Wagging Tails. The company covers the entirety of the KT postcode and really takes dog boarding to another level. The Kingston branch is lead by the dog-mad Roz Bourne who well understands the stress of finding someone to look after your baby from her own experience as a dog owner "When looking for a carer for my own dogs I need to know that who ever looks after them doesn't think I have lost the plot when I give them a list of their individual needs and quirks!"
Boarders are assessed and matched up with the most suitable person on the company roster to ensure your canine has the best possible time on their holiday. Roz even insists on a 'Sniffing Out' session at the carers home where you and your dog get to meet the proposed host so you can have peace of mind your furry friend is in safe hands. With costs starting as low as £22 a day, this is a far cheaper and more enjoyable option for your pup than standard kennels.
Pets Pyjamas is a brilliant online store that's essentially the Amazon of dog and cat accessories. Along with the usual stuff you'd expect like dog coats, collars, cat scratching posts etc. there is a wonderfully eclectic mix of unique pet gifts like doggy beer or cologne for male dogs and a 'Peach Bum' perfume for classy lady dogs. They even sell a kitty litter tray that flushes and cleans itself!
As well as awesome pet products the company also specialises in dog friendly holidays in the UK, so the next time you're looking for a bit of RnR you don't have to find a sitter or kennels. The range of different doggy vacations is incredible; you can go tramping in the highland moors of Scotland, ramble through the gorgeous Lake District, or just laze about on the beach in Cornwall.
Your pet is a much-loved member of your family, indeed when I think of some of my family I'm pretty sure my dog is a more beloved member than myself! Anyway, you want the best for your family and that absolutely starts with their health so the vet you choose is really important.
Molesey Veterinary Surgery has a strong local reputation and a superb track record for excellence in service. The practice is independent (owned by the vets that work there) which makes for a really friendly and dedicated service, as the vets you see have a stake in the business and a pride in their work.
You can see the Surgery’s team (or they can come visit you at home) seven days a week at whatever time is most convenient to yourself. The Molesey practice even has its own dedicated, award-winning 24-hour service on-site, and the team can treat any pet species.
Richmond Rascals is another fabulous local grooming spot for hairy hounds, offering a spa like range of different luxury treatments. Along with traditional beauty treatments the Richmond Rascals team offer services brushing teeth, cleaning ears, and even have a paw pedicure option.
The store also offers an array of other pet services like dog walking, daycare, boarding, cat sitting, microchipping, and an array of boutique pet accessories including a bespoke dog bed making service where you can control the fabric, shape and size of your pup's new snooze pad. Uniquely, the store also has an affiliation with several specialist animal artists and photographers including the wonderfully talented Daniela Ria who specialises in painting your dog in a classic aristocratic portrait style as you can see above.
In need of a canine companion? Check out Pine Ridge Dog Sanctuary in Ascot. The shelter has been providing quality shelter and accommodation for dogs since 1958.
It was founded by Bernard Cuff after learning of a new by-law introduced in Slough banning unleashed dogs from the highways. Dog wardens were appointed to pick up and impound any dogs found on the streets, regardless of whether they were sitting outside their own front gate or were actual strays. There were no local rescue centres open at the time, so after seven days, if the impounded dog had not been collected it was destroyed.
Now, Connie Cuff, widow of Bernard, continues the work of her late husband, ensuring dogs go to the right home by matching the owner and dog on an interview basis. All dogs are fully vaccinated and spayed/neutered if they are old enough before they leave.
With the closure of Gay Dogs (brilliant name for a pet store) in 2015, the team at Reigate's Shed DIY saw a gap in the market and started selling basic pet products in a small corner of the store. Fast forward two years and the entire 1st floor is a dedicated pet emporium with everything from collars and beds to specialist cat and dog food. The store's selection of jerky and bones for dogs is particularly impressive and recently they've even opened a dog grooming department to help your hound look perfectly prim and pruned.
I think my favourite thing about this store is the knowledge that I could go in and buy all the raw materials and tools to build a dog house and then all of the accessories and food for aforementioned dog house. Now whilst that's never going to happen due to a fundamental lack of DIY knowledge on my part, I like to know the option is there.
With stores located in Weybridge, Wimbledon and Chelsea, these parlours provide the usual fare of clipping, trimming and bathing for dogs and cats, as well as ‘creative design’ where your pooch can opt for a spray-on party colour which will last for one wash or semi-permanent treatments, which last 10 washes.
I'm sure there are definitely more fulfilling things in life than walking around with a partially pink pooch, but for the life of me I can't think of them right now.
There are many reasons I love the Pets Corner in Horsell; for one it's a family run business founded in 1968 by the current owners mum and dad, for another it keeps its carbon footprint as low as possible, recycling 99% of its waste and buying electricity exclusively from renewable, zero carbon sources, but the main thing I love about the store is the incredible variety of different animals it caters for.
Whether you are the proud owner of a Bearded Dragon, Golden Retriever or humble goldfish, you'll find an impressive array of products, and a friendly, knowledgable member of staff to hand ready to help you figure out what'll work best for your beloved pet. The Horsell store also has live furries, reptiles and fish to look at, and runs a brilliant 'Puppy Hour' where dogs under 12 months old can play with other pups their own age.
Other store locations include Barnes, Camberley, Dorking, Crawley, Guildford, Reading and Horsley. Visit petscorner.co.uk
Check out another one of the pet-tacular features from our special March Pet Issue
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