Our Journey so far..

We recommended making your own treats as a great Christmas doggy gift in our last blog post, so here is a recipe for Gingerbread Men which we found online.


Paddy and I hate massive blurb before recipes so we'll give our review afterwards.


This recipe contains peanut butter so if this is a gift for a dog you don't own please check the owner doesn't have any allergies!


Ingredients

  • 170g self raising flour

  • 85g peanut butter (make sure it is dog safe, no xylitol)

  • 4tbsp warm water

  • 2 tsp of ginger

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 200degrees Celsius

  • Measure the peanut butter into a bowl and add the warm water

  • Mix until you have a smooth paste

  • Add the self-raising flour, ginger and cinnamon and mix

  • Add a small amount of water until you make a dough than can be rolled

  • Once you have your dough, roll to about 1cm thickness

  • Cut out your desired shapes and place onto a baking tray

  • Cook for between 15-20minutes


We found this recipe incredibly quick and easy to make and would highly recommend!

Roly did a little taste testing and she was very impressed and was begging for more.


The recipe makes a lot of biscuits depending on what size and shape cutters you have and the original post suggested keeping for 10 days, although we found they could keep for longer.


We didn't use the full amount of ginger or cinnamon, just a little sprinkle of each. You have to be very careful not to add too much cinnamon as it can irritate a dog's mouth. Self raising flour can contain salt so make these treats in moderation. We used doggy peanut butter we had but you can use human peanut butter as long as it does not contain xylitol as this is toxic to dogs.


We put smaller biscuits into Roly's stocking and left some larger biscuits out for Santa Paws!


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Here in the Miller house, we love Christmas and we love buying things for Roly so she definitely gets spoilt! Roly has heard the name "Santa Paws" so many times she knows it's an exciting name, although Paddy is convinced it's all to do with my tone. I like to believe that she believes in a furry dog in a red suit! We thought we would share some of the gifts on Roly's Santa Paws list.


Obviously this year has been hard for a lot of people and we will be trying to keep costs low, but at the same time we want to support small businesses. We will share some of the items we have been able to purchase as well as others we think would make great gifts! Not only that, we will share some of our homemade gifts too.


All whilst trying to be as eco-conscious as possible!


Buddy Bubbles Christmas Soap

We love Buddy Bubbles! Soap bars are an excellent alternative to bottles and these soaps are amazing! Not only are the products fantastic to use but the costumer service is outstanding! I can't praise these products enough. We've been using Buddy Bubbles for a while now and love them! Roly is definitively receiving one of these Christmas jumper shaped soaps.

Hiker Hounds Dog Collar

A friend of mine shared Hiker Hounds with me and I have wanted to buy Roly a collar ever since. These are made from upcycled climbing ropes and many of them are named after local spots to our home town in Northern Ireland. We have purchased Roly one and we can't wait to see her in the new collar!

Smug Mutts Dog Toy

Natural dog toys made from hemp and wood. We've shared our thoughts on dog toys before and these are the perfect sustainable solution! Smug Mutts have even made some Christmas adjustments to their engravings which we think are super cute! Roly will be receiving this, but from another supplier which we will share more about below.

Green and Wilds Dog Toy

We think the Green and Wilds dog toys look super cute, especially Rudy the Reindeer! These toys are made from jute, split leather, waste cotton or recycled plastic. Roly has already received one of these toys in her Collar Club subscription box and it's a new favourite.

Green Fang Selection Box

There are an increasing number of small pet shops with an environmental focus appearing. One of these is Green Fang who have put together an eco-friendly selection box, with the Smug Mutts toy, an olivewood chew and some tasty treats! This is an excellent way to purchase more than one gift and reduce the postage and packaging. They also sell other treats, chews and dog toys so I would recommend checking them out! Roly will be receiving one of these selection boxes.

Hundr

If your dog doesn't like the rain or the cold this is the perfect gift for them. Hundr make THE nicest dog jackets out of recycled human coats, and compared to some of the big brand dog coats the prices are very reasonable for an eco-friendly alternative. Before we discovered Hundr we made our own dog coat for Roly (it looks hideous) but we will definitely purchase one of these in the future.

Adios Plastic

Every dog owner needs poo bags and I have mentioned before how we think compostable ones are the way forward! Adios Plastic have just launched new colours so if you love all things bright these are perfect for you. They offer a subscription service which is so easy and means you never have to worry about running out ever again! We already have these festive bags and are using them now but why not add a few rolls to your pets pressie and make the switch to compostable!

Recycled Toys

We have saved a large number of soft toys Roly has destroyed over the past year, Instead of throwing these out we have salvaged those we can and given them a stitch up. We can't wait to see Roly's face when she sees her old favourite soft toys back again! Obviously, we will only save those we think are safe to do so and Roly will never be left alone with any of these toys. If you decide to do something similar please be aware of any choking hazards!


Homemade treats

Biscuits always seem to come in plastic wrappers or can be extremely expensive to buy in recyclable packaging. Why not make your own tasty treats with ingredients you have in your house already? We will share one of our favourite recipes before Christmas so you can give them a try.


Wrapping?

We don't wrap Roly's presents. Dog's don't really care and in our eyes it's really unnecessary. We do however have a homemade stocking for smaller gifts to fit in to that we can then reuse every year.

We hope this gift guide has given you some inspiration for your pooch! Let us know what you are gifting and if you have any other eco-friendly gift ideas.

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We probably all know at least one person who has stepped in some dog poo, if we haven't done so ourselves. Uncollected waste appears to be on the increase in my local area, which genuinely infuriates me! Most of the time, this will be off main paths and on grassy areas, but this does not mean that it is OK. If you are a dog walker and you don't collect your dog's waste, please note, you are not only bringing a bad name on all dog owners, but you are making the local environment unsafe. Dog poo can cause infections such as toxocariasis, which can cause dizziness, asthma, nausea, blindness and seizures. This is why it is so important to always pick up after your pet! You don't know when a small child might be playing in the area you have just visited!

Not only our we seeing an increase in dog waste on our favourite walks, there has been an increase in discarded litter.

According to Keep Britain Tidy it is estimated that the UK has over 8 million dogs, which produce over 1,000 tonnes of waste a day! That is a lot of poo! If all this waste goes to landfill, that is over 365,000 tonnes of poo, many of which will be in plastic bags. Therefore, it is not only important to dispose of dog waste but to dispose of it responsibly.


My home town is great, in that dog waste can be disposed of in the compost bin, no bags needed! The area we live in does not allow this. It is all based on how the council then contain and dispose of the compost waste, so it is worth checking what your local area does. I wish all council areas within the UK would adapt a compost waste disposal method that allowed for dog waste to be composted.


The other issue is then what bag do you use. I used to believe that the term biodegradable meant that it was always environmentally friendly, but after seeing a social media post late last year on biodegradable plastics, I began to look in to this more. I strongly recommend that everyone does their own research in to biodegradable plastics and forms their own opinions. Personally, if I can find a compostable option, I will always choose this over biodegradable. Currently, companies can use the term biodegradable on such a broad definition, with no set time frame for items to break down and no specification as to what the material breaks down in to, meaning that some items labelled biodegradable could potentially take 200 years to break down into the microplastics that are polluting our oceans. Therefore, we've decided to use compostable poo bags.


Yes, it may seem like a waste that we are having to throw compostable bags in to landfill, but they will break down faster and in many cases, leave behind nutrients for the earth. We decided to look at a number of different compostable poo bags and here are our findings:


Ecovibe Biodegradable Compostable Poop Bags

The cheaper of the three bags we compared. We purchase a range of other items from Ecovibe for ourselves, so it was convenient to add a box of poop bags on to our order. There are 25 bags on a roll, which is slightly too big if you use a poop bag holder (we use a Beco compostable one). The bags felt thinner than the others we compared but were still strong enough to carry waste on a long walk. All in all, if I was needing poo bags at the same time as ordering things for myself I might consider ordering them, but would otherwise order from elsewhere due to the inconvenience of the size of the rolls.



Adios Plastic

The most expensive bag price but when adding postage, it it cheaper than others. We ordered a sample pack from here. The samples arrived promptly and were packaged really nicely, with information about the product. These come with 15 bags on a roll if you are OK with the no handle option. If you want handles then they are not on rolls. As we ordered samples I'm not sure if they will fit in the poop bag holder but I suspect that they will. These bags are not only strong and durable but I love the colours they come in! For every purchase they donate 1% to help clean up our oceans. You can create a subscription which gives you 10% savings. They are definitely one of my favourites!




Fetch It

Again we ordered a sample pack. I'm not sure how many bags are on each of the rolls but the pictures look like they should fit inside a holder. The bags were strong and durable and they come in lovely blue and green colours. They support dog charities and offer a reward scheme. These are another one of my favourites!



Choosing which final product is going to be a hard one!


To finish, I wanted to share some other dog waste removal options I found when researching. One was purchasing flushable poo bags and flushing the poo down the toilet. Personally, I do not feel comfortable with idea, and you must check your local area allows for this! Another option is installing a dog poo bin, that will breakdown dog waste naturally and flush it. We bought this one from Amazon although I have seen it for sale in Pets at Home and Wilko. We have yet to install it, so keep an eye out for a future review on this product!

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