Amazing finds for the furry kind

Dougal's Den Blog

  • Yak Snacks Dog Chew

    We are always being asked about the best dog chew for tough chewers, so we were very excited to start stocking Yak Snacks.

    These hard chews are made from Yak's Milk, Cow's Milk and a touch of lime juice and salt. Initially we did think that due to the price that not many customers would be interested in trying them. How wrong were we!!

    Since starting to stock them a few months ago they have been a top seller in the shop. What we really like about them is that there is no waste at all. With most natural chews you have to remove them from your dog when they become small enough to be a choking hazard. You still have to do this with the Yak Snack, BUT instead of throwing the small piece away you can place it in the microwave where it puffs up like a giant cheesy wotsit, which you can then let your dog munch...after it has cooked obviously.

    The all natural minimal ingredients also make them idea for dogs who have a sensitive stomach.

    When we tried them with Dougal and Alfie to be honest they were not that interested in them, but then they are lazy chewers. Both of them are really only interested in chew treats that they can demolish in less than 5 minutes. The Yak Snacks do take a bit more punishment with most of our customers saying that they last up to two weeks, although this is not with constant chewing, they are taken away from the dog generally after about 30 minutes.

    Yak Snacks come in three sizes so depending on the size of your dog  you can try out the small or medium size before purchasing the large size. The small Yak Snack is £2.99, but due to the small size ( around 8cm long ) it is really only suitable for small puppies and small dogs.

    They are available on our website here.


  • Smelly Dog Ears?

    Does your dog have smelly ears? Are you always telling your dog to stop scratching? Do you notice your dog licking their back paws?

    If so your dog might have the same problem as our little Alfie had...Smelly Dog Ears or to be specific one smelly dog ear which he would scratch and scratch leaving it enlarged, inflamed and looking quite angry and red. He would scratch it so much he made it bleed, then he would lick his back paws, scratch scratch scratch again. I would bathe it with cooled boiled water to remove all of the dried blood and general gunk, but it never seemed to heal.



    Until we tried Quistel Soothing Ear Cleaner.

    This purple ( it has Gentian Violet as one of the ingredients) liquid cleaner seemed to do the trick with Alfie. We applied it according to the instructions which are as follows.

    1. Warm the bottle of Quistel Soothing Ear Cleaner in a cup of warm water for 5 minutes.

    2. Shake the bottle vigorously for 2 minutes before each application

    3. Remove nozzle cap, insert nozzle in the ear and squeeze container until the ear canal is flooded with the solution

    4. Gently massage around the ear for 30 to 50 seconds then allow your pet to shake its head which will loosen the earwax, allow the solution to penetrate the canals fully and disperses any excess solution.

    5. Initially administer twice a day for up to 2 weeks depending on the severity of the condition.  Then once a day for the next one to two weeks.

    To be honest I only did it once a day not twice a day and I loved the trick of warming it up before putting it into Alfie's ear...he did not even notice I was putting it in his ear as I made sure it was just warmed through, so I could not feel a drop placed on the back of my hand.

    I now use it on a monthly basis to just wipe around his ears as since the initial two weeks we have not had any return of the dreaded Smelly Dog Ears!

    Alfie has stopped with the constant scratching and his once smelly and sore ear is now all better!

    As always we do advise our customers to make sure there is not something more serious going on, by consulting with their vet if no change is seen within the first few days of using any natural remedy.

    You can try out a small bottle of Quistel to see how it works on your furry friend's Smelly Dog Ears before purchasing the larger bottle, find them here in our shop.

  • Christmas Gifts for your Dog & You

    Bat Dog Decoration

    Every year we love to do a round up of all of the best christmas gifts for you and your dog. This year there is a bumper selection of gorgeous gifts available from a wide range of places.

    The best way to see the range of over 100 christmas gifts for you and your dog is to pop over to our PINTEREST board where you will find images of all of the Christmas dog toys we have selected on our annual search of the internet.

    You can link through to the site selling the gifts too but a word of warning...the popular ones will sell out fast so if you see something you like then our advice is to snap it up!

    Happy Shopping

  • Roxy's New Coat


    Roxy in her new coat, one of the new style Go walk Coat from Happy Pet which has a small zipped opening in just the right place for a harness!

  • Tips for Visiting Crufts



    It is that time of year again, yes it's time for the biggest dog show in the world. If you are visiting we thought you might like our tips for visiting so here goes.


    Wear comfortable shoes, the show takes place over five halls, it's huge, you will do a lot of walking so best to be prepared.

    If you arrive early in the morning the halls can be quite cold as the dogs competing will have been arriving from 6am onwards and all the main doors are open...however by about lunchtime they will be very hot so best to wear layers so you can regulate your temperature.


    If you are planning on visiting specific retail stands check out their location on the Crufts website using their  Search for Retailer Stand page and try to plan your route. Remember the stand numbers have the hall number first then the actual stand number so if you are looking for stand 23 in hall one look for 1-23. Retail stands are located in all of the 5 halls so it is best to try to cover them off one hall at a time.

    The halls are arranged in a U shape with Halls 1 and 5 being located on either side of the Main Entrance as shown on the diagram below. So if you are in Hall 1 and want to get to Hall 4 its quicker to walk out of Hall 1 straight across the main Piazza into Hall 5 then up the stairs to Hall 4 instead of walking all the way around the other halls.

    Crufts Hall Layout

    In fact it is possible to access all of the halls via the Piazza and sometimes it is easier to walk out and around the Piazza instead of trying to battle your way through the crowds. This Map of the Piazza shows where lots of the food areas are located too.

    Consider taking a small trolly style suitcase ( or a larger one of you plan on doing a lot of shopping) you can then take  your own supply of water and even a sandwich or snack, although there are lots of outlets selling food, they are expensive and the queues can be off putting.

    Most of the retail stands are open from 8.30 until 6.30 but if you want to visit a specific one best to plan your trip early morning or late afternoon, they all get very busy over lunchtime.

    If you are mainly going for shopping then the Thursday and Friday are not as busy as the weekend when you will find there are lots more families visiting.


    If you are planning to stay over in one of the hotels near the arena then be prepared for hotels full of dogs and doggie people and unfortunately massive queues for everything from the lifts to a drink at the bar. We have found that it is easier to order room service than to wait and wait and wait for service in the restaurants.

    It is far better to book into one of the (much cheaper) hotels at the airport, there is a free shuttle link train between the airport and the NEC and there are lots of slightly more reasonably priced eating places at the airport terminal.

    At the time of writing there are still some rooms available at the ETAP Hotel which is within walking distance to the airport terminal. But our best advice on this one is to book up for the next year as soon as you get back this year as all the special offers go really really quickly.

    Viewing the competitions

    If you are going to see the Agility competitions then this is the Show timetable for Agility for each day and this is the Arena Timetable.

    If you want to visit the Obedience Competitions then these are held in the Arena in Hall 5

    If you are going to see the Young Kennel Club Competitions this is the timetable for 2016.

    Watch on TV

    If you are not able to attend then you can watch live on the Crufts YouTube Channel.

    The highlights from the show will also be available on More 4 and Channel 4 these are the programme times

    On More4

    Thursday 10th March: 18:30-21:00 Friday 11th March: 18:30-19:30

    On Channel 4

    Friday 11th March: 19:30-21:00 Saturday 12th March: 19:00-21:00 Sunday 13th March: 19:00-21:00

    Whatever you do at Crufts we hope you enjoy your visit, we won't be there this year so say hello to all the woofers from us. And if you are not visiting watch out for special offers on our website which will be available from 7th to 13th March.

  • New Competition Coming soon

    Fancy Dress Fancy Dress

    Keep your eyes peeled for a new competition we will be running in December 2016....oh and make sure you are following us on Facebook as that is where we will be giving details of the competition!

  • Doggie Shopping Bag helps save pennies and the planet


    From 5th October 2015 all major retailers will have to charge 5p ( at least) for each non reusable carrier bag they give to customers. The good news about this is that the money they charge has to be donated to a good cause or charity.

    The bad news is if you are like us you will probably forget to take those bulky reusable bags out with you and end up having to pay the 5p or more!  So we have found this super cute folding Doggie Shopping Bag which will fit in your handbag and can be used again and again and again.



    The bag folds up into a cute doggie shape, and when the bag is in use the doggie sits at the bottom of the bag on the outside, looking like he is keeping an eye on your shopping. Made from Polyester the shopping bag is sturdy and can be used again and again.

    We thought that the doggie shape would appeal to our customers and they are selling like hot cakes in our shop at the moment, as an extra little incentive we will have them on sale at a reduced price of £3.99 until the 31st October. After that they will be at the normal price of £4.49.

    You can buy them on our website too now so why not stock up for friends and family, they would make a great little stocking filler present.

    The rule on charging does not apply to small businesses but as an extra little incentive to our customers we will be donating 5p to Moorlands Dog rescue for every customer who does not require one of our paper carrier bags when they shop at Dougal's Den between the 5th and the 31st October.

    Oh and just think of how many more dog treats you can buy with all those pennies you save!


  • Doggie Liver Wuff Muffins Recipe


    As part of the First Leek Food and Drink Festival which tool place this weekend, we decided to try some Liver Muffins as special doggie treats in our shop.

    We had so many comments about them and how much the doggies loved them that we though we better publish the recipe. We have to say though that if you decide to make these at home you will have a very attentive dog watching your every move. From the moment I opened the liver to the second they were cool enough to eat the boys watched my every move.

    You will need some muffin tins ( we did two versions with paper cases and without), we think the without worked better as they do tend to stick to the paper cases, but if you have non stick muffin tins they just pop out like a dream, you will need to grease the muffin tins if they are not non stick.


    500g Liver ( we used lambs liver, which was very cheap!)

    500g Wholemeal Flour ( you could use rice flour if your dog needs to have gluten free)

    3 eggs



    1. Pulse the liver in a food processor until it is smooth ( you can leave it chunky if you prefer but they will take a little longer to cook if you do this). Have to warn you if you hate liver you will detest it by the time you have watched it wiz around and turn into a sticky pink gloop, but your dogs will love you for life.

    2. Mix in the eggs, still in the processor.

    3. Put the flour in a big bowl, and mix in the liver and egg mixture.

    4. You will need to add water to make the mixture such that you can easily spoon it out, but not too thin that it is like a pouring batter

    5. Spoon into your muffin tin the mixture will not rise so its up to you how big you pile them up

    Cook in a 170˚C for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

    I left them in the muffin tins for about 10 minutes and then cooled them on a wire rack.

    You can pop them in the fridge where they will last for about 5 days or you can freeze them and defrost when required.

    I decided to decorate some with a little cream cheese on the top and I confess I did but some coloured ready made icing and cut out some small orange bones as an added touch, but you can leave this step out if you are a stickler for no sugar.

    You could also put this mixture into a shallow tin and use it cut up small as training treats.



    Oh and special thanks to all the people who bought a wuff muffin, we were selling them in aid of Mo0rlands Dog Rescue, we announce the amount we raised later this week.

  • No Peeing Please


    As many of you know we have a lovely little shop in Leek in Staffordshire as well as a website and some of you might also know that we were the people who set up Dog Friendly Leek ....Leek is exceptionally dog friendly with over 60 shops, cafe's and pubs with the woof factor. We define the woof factor as places which allow you to enjoy mooching with your pooch, so if you come to Leek your dog and you will be welcome in lots of places. But we have a complaint...... We recently invested in a very posh dog topiary frame, a lovely little scottie dog and after several attempts and help from Possibilities florists we filled said dog with some gorgeous moss. We decided to trial the moss as we expected it might not last unless misted with water every day, and also we are really not sure how it will survive a Leek winter. ( In case you were not aware, the Leek to Buxton road is one of the first to be closed in winter!) What I did not expect was to have to worry about how long little Hamish ( that's his name) would last if the local dogs peed on him. Let me explain... Tonight when I closed up I went to pick up the little dog, loving stuffed with moss, purchased from a local florist and next to his face, no actually dripping down his face into a nice yellow pool was yes you guessed it dog wee. No I don't know about you but when I take my dogs for a walk, both boys of the leg cocking variety I am really careful about where I let them have a wee. Hedge in the field, Lamp post, bush on the canal path, a tree in the middle of the woods, but never and I mean NEVER on a decorative topiary dog placed outside a doggie boutique. Or on a hedge belonging to someone else, basically I am very very careful in public places. I have spoken to other local shop keepers and it seems our dog pee incident is not the only crime to have been committed in our dog friendly town...bay trees, potted plants, and wooden furniture are just some of the items which have been liberally sprayed with the dog scented yellow stuff. So this is a plea to all dog owners....when you put on the lead please do not disengage your brain...think that the thing that your dog might be peeing against might

    • belong to someone else
    • have to be picked up by someone else
    • or be part of someone's garden

    I rinsed little Hamish off before I brought him inside but I fear that the damage may have been done now some local doggie was allowed to pee in his face. Please do your bit to keep Leek Dog Friendly by making sure you pay attention to where your pooch spends a penny!

  • Love Walkies Dog Training

    Love Walkies Dog Training in Leek

    We often get questions in the shop about dog training in and around Leek, we are happy to recommend organisations which we have personal experience of, in fact we would not think of recommending them if we did not know them individually. Love Walkies which is owned by K-9 behaviourist Rachel Trafford holds classes every Sunday at Longsdon Village Hall. Rachel has over 20 years working experience with dogs initially as a veterinary nurse and then with greater focus on re-training and re-homing rescue or “difficult” dogs. If you want to find out more about the dog training offered by Rachel and her team then why not pop along to the Love Walkies website.

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