We provide dog lovers throughout Birmingham, Coventry and the West Midlands with articles, information and the opportunity to make their dog famous. Stay tuned to find out about legitimate businesses providing canine services such as training, grooming courses and dog treats! We are in no way affiliated or related to the RSPCA.


A1 Grooming opens in Leicester!

We are absolutely thrilled to bring you the news that A1 Grooming is now open for business in Leicester! Situated at the Old Library, Holmfield, Avenue West, Leicester Forest East, Leicester, LE3 3FF.

Building upon the success of their dog grooming courses (you can read more about this here), A1 Grooming now offer successful dog grooming students the opportunity to become an affiliated A1 Dog groomer. Customers (and dogs) can rest easy knowing that owner and master groomer Tim K. of A1 Grooming LTD has vetted and trained all A1 affiliated dog groomers to the rigorous high standards that over 15,000 customers (and dogs) have come to expect. With a presence East of the Midlands and a dedicated dog grooming Leicester centre, A1 Grooming aims to spread throughout the UK providing restraint free dog groom nationwide!

The key is in the sentence above “restraint free” – A1 Grooming do not use any form of restraints – no crates, leads or muzzles. Tim K. is a firm believer that the best way to ensure a positive grooming experience is by making the dog comfortable, allowing them to get to know their surroundings, become relaxed with their groomer and in essence “award” the groomer permission to groom their coat.

It is an ethos that has served him well and rewarded his company quite the following – A1 Grooming has an international fan base with followers of their social media accounts from all four corners of the globe.

Dogs and customers alike return regularly to A1 Grooming because of not only their attention to detail but also the quality of their products – all chemical free and suitable for vegans. Their fragrances are all natural and organic – meaning no irritable or itchy skin. A boast that not every dog groomer can truthfully claim.

Tim K. states that careful selection is given to A1 Grooming affiliates. Although almost 40 students have completed the A1 dog grooming course, only 3 have been offered the opportunity to become affiliates. Customers and dog owners alike can rest assured in the knowledge that affiliate selection is very selective and offered only to those that can groom to the standard that Tim K. expects.

Grooming prices at A1 Grooming Leicester start at an incredible £20 for a wash and go, £30 for a basic groom and £40 for a standard groom – these are comparable prices to other dog groomers that use restraints and do not use the luxury, organic and natural products that A1 Grooming has become known for.

For the months of October, November and December A1 Grooming is offering a 10% discount on all grooming packages for readers of our website – simply email or call them on: 07817 912676 and quote “gimme 10”.

Check out the video below of A1 Grooming in action:


Dog grooming courses Birmingham

We have lots of readers and subscribers that ask about dog grooming. There are companies out there that class a quick shave and nail clip as a groom and charge as little as £10.

Is this a real dog groom though? The dog groomer of choice in Birmingham for us is A1 Grooming – they provide 100% restraint free dog grooming. Their service is bespoke, artistic and scientific – each groom is dependent on the breed and personality of your dog and their results are utterly astounding (we have included a video of their master groomer Tim K in action).

Seeing an increase in what we deem as “poor groomers”, A1 Grooming are now running dog grooming courses Birmingham that aims to train people in how to correctly groom their four legged friends – all restraint free without the use of muzzles or leashes!

Learning to become a dog groomer is now very possible whether or not you want to simply know how to groom your own pets, to work as a professional groomer in a salon or boutique to owning your own business. All equipment is supplied including a provisional uniform. A1 Grooming will offer you a professional, clean, real dog grooming environment where you will not only learn to dog groom in Birmingham but you will also get to see the “business side” of a successful dog grooming business. Dog Lovers believe that this is worth the price of admission alone!

What we absolutely love about these dog grooming training courses is that they are multi-tiered. They are suitable for beginners all the way up-to them providing dog grooming courses for those that want to run their own dog grooming business! Even offering you money to work for them for 2 weeks once the dog grooming course has concluded.

They are proud members of PIF and have Crufts and Kennel Club experience. Visit the A1 Grooming website here.

Take a look at their dog grooming video below:

japanese knotweed

Japanese knotweed – harmful to animals?

Every Summer there seems to be a new horror story that the news, media, radio and TV reports on – whether it’s the worst pollen count in history or sand storms from the middle east coating our cars. One story that has been doing the rounds for the last few summers (from recent memory anyway) is that of Japanese knotweed.

It first come to my attention in 2007 when the news was reporting on how much Japanese knotweed has cost the tax payer whilst building the new Olympic stadium in our nations capital. It was initially reported that it would cost £70 million to excavate the site and treat the Japanese Knotweed infestation.

So what is Japanese Knotweed

It’s origin is in Japan and is an ornamental plant that was introduced into the UK in the 1850s and it is now such a menace that it is now an offence to plant it under the Wildlife and countryside act!!! Here are some frightening facts:

  • It can grow upto three quarters of an inch PER DAY during the summer.
  • It’s roots can dig deep – upto 10 feet down!
  • It is not an issue in Japans because indigenous insects eat it. These bugs were introduced to the UK but consequently died out – so treatment is the only way forward!
  • It can grow through walls, concrete and even tarmac!
  • Mortgage lenders, banks and building societies can refuse to lend on properties where it is present
  • It can take several years to trat and eradicate fully, using various methods of treatments and tools.
  • It is now listed in the top 100 of the worlds most invasive species.

We decided to look for Japanese knotweed companies and wanted to locate a local knotweed company to ask them about how Japanese Knotweed can effect our pets and animals. We found a Japanese knotweed company in Birmingham called Arrow Services (they have a knotweed sub-division). They informed us that Japanese Knotweed was not harmful to animals and that even humans can ingest it. The problem is that letting your animals or pets (such as cats and dogs) graze at it could really have an adverse effect on your wallet. They informed us that Japanese Knotweed is extremely easy to spread and so whilst not harming your pets, allowing them to graze, dig, eat, chew or pull can cause it to spread and spread fast. If you cause it to spread it is an offence – especially if it is spread into a neighbours garden or property!

That’s quite a lot to take in, if you have or suspect you have Japanese knotweed, getting an estimate is easy using Arrow’s knotweed calculator – sending pictures is also free and identification can be very quick. It is important that when you chose a Japanese knotweed company to deal with your infestation that they are PCA approved. The Property Care Association or (PCA) is a government approved trade body that ensures members adhere to very strict standards. The application alone is thorough and guarantees that any company in the PCA is regulated and will not disappear over night.

So whilst not harmful to animals – we really don’t recommend you allow them to spread knotweed not unless you want treatment costs to spiral!!!

Check out these PCA videos and what they have to say:

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artificial grass Birmingham

Artificial grass for your pets

There seems to be a fallacy attached to artificial grass and that is that dogs and animals alike will not like or enjoy artificial grass as much as the real thing. This couldn’t be further from the truth and in-fact artificial grass comes with it’s own unique set of benefits!

Dog lovers particularly tend to stress about their best friend not liking the sense, odor or appearance of artificial grass, fearing that this may result in problems indoors as well as out. The truth is, pets discover that artificial grass is both delicate and pleasurable and will play on it and have fun pretty much as they would on real grass. We are a community of dog lovers based in the West Midlands, so we scoured the internet and yellow pages to find an artificial grass Birmingham supplier to find out a little bit more about artificial grass and how it can be of benefit to animals and owners alike. We contacted Wishaw Grass (part of the Wishaw Landscapes group) to find out what they think and also what they offer – they even provided an informative video, displaying how pain-free installation is!

The Benefits of their artificial grass

Due to the fact artificial grass is very easy to maintain – your dog or pet is able to use and play on it 365 days a year come rain or sunshine. There is also no need to keep your dog or pet inside, where previously you had to maintain your lawn by fertilising, mowing or weeding using chemicals. You won’t have to do any of this with artificial grass. Your garden will be available all year round and not just in the summer!

Maintaining and caring for your artificial grass

Wishaw Landscapes had this to say:

“Let’s be honest – dog, cats and generally pets in general can be uber messy. Whether its playing in mud or eating grass and then being sick. With our artificial grass Birmingham service, you won’t ever have to worry about stains or horrible smells!”

“Artificial grass is porous so urine and other liquids drains through the surface of the turf into your gardens soil. Pet poo can be simply removed, allowing a green, vibrant, flowing – undamaged lawn and garden. There will be no visible muddy patches on your artificial grass or inside your home! You lawn will remain looking as refreshing as your indoor floors and your pet will get the best of both worlds, without getting disciplined. It really is a Win-Win.”

Wishaw Landscapes artificial grass is a breeze to install. This means you won’t be without a lawn for long – installation can typically be within one day.

We have many readers that already have artificial grass installed and state that they would never return to having real grass again!

Special offer!

Until 28/02/2016 – Wishaw Landscapes are running a special offer for our readers! Get 10% off by quoting “dog lovers” to them when enquiring about their excellent services!

Watch Wishaw Landscape’s artificial grass installation video below:

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Starving puppy found tied to a tree in the rain

Abandoned pup wouldn’t have survived the night

RSPCA inspector Helen Smith has expressed her shock at the discovery of a starving puppy dumped in the rain on a cold winter’s day.

The 12-week-old pup was tied to a tree on park ground opposite the Cherry Tree public house by Haunchwood Road in Nuneaton. Found at 3pm on Monday, the lurcher/whippet cross has a member of the public to thank for his life as vets have said the malnourished dog would not have survived the night.

“I am appalled by this abandonment,” said inspector Smith. “It is indefensible for anyone to discard any pet by tying them up to a tree, or a fence or by a road and leaving them to it. What sort of person considers this to be acceptable behaviour?

“Anyone who abandons a pet by dumping it on the streets is leaving that animal in huge danger. In this case the puppy is lucky to be alive as he would not have survived the night in the cold. The dog is young, underweight and has such a thin coat so he was particularly vulnerable.

“I believe this puppy does come from the local Birmingham area and I believe someone locally will know who he belonged to. I plead with this person to please contact me,” said Helen.

The puppy, which is now in RSPCA care, has been named Star by the charity due to the white star shape on his back. Star was found wearing a black plastic collar with silver metal studs and a blue clip on rope lead.

Under the Animal Welfare Act, it is a criminal offence to abandon any animal in a manner likely to cause suffering.

Anyone with information can leave a message for inspector Helen Smith by calling the RSPCA national cruelty and advice line on 0300 1234 999.

We believe all puppies should be as happy as these:

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RSPCA Animal Centre

The RSPCA Animal Centre, located on Coundon Wedge Drive sits between the areas of Allesley and Brownshill Green (click here for map and directions) and is open to the public between 11am – 4pm every day except Tuesdays.

With the help of experienced and dedicated RSPCA staff, we successfully rescue, rehabilitate and rehome over 1,000 animals every year at an average cost of £800 per day. This vital work is only possible because of the generosity of our supporters who offer donations and legacies and the kindness of local animal lovers who devote their time and energy to raising funds.

We usually have an appealing selection of dogs, cats and small animals eagerly waiting for a kind loving new home so please remember to visit us if you decide to enrich your life by adopting a pet.

Most animals arrive fit and well but a small number come to us with problems; sometimes as a result of cruelty or neglect. Although we can never guarantee the long term health or temperament of any animal in our care, we make sure that each one is carefully assessed and given the appropriate individual attention it needs before being offered for adoption.

Contact – RSPCA Animal Centre, Brownshill Green Farm, Coundon Wedge Drive, Allesley, Coventry, CV5 9DQ – Tel 024 76336616

Click here to find out more about adopting an animal from the Centre and to view animals currently available.

Click here to make a secure online donation

Click here to sponsor a kennel or cat pen…

24mm decking rope

24mm rope dog leads

A hot topic of discussion is what sort of lead\leash should I use for my beloved canine? We recommend purchasing your own rope and rope end fittings and creating your own high quality rope dog lead. This ensures you aren’t going to waste your money purchasing an inferior Chinese import or something of equal poor quality.

We recommend using 24mm decking rope as the main component of your dog lead. The reason we suggest using 24mm decking rope is because it’s made from a natural, strong, durable fibre with a perfect three strand construction. It’s also not too thick for your dogs neck and is also lightweight – meaning less pressure is applied to your dogs neck and jugular area. The rope that we recommend is provided by ridethewaves.co.uk and is top quality marine rope that’s designed to last.

Once you have your rope, it’s time to determine the length of your dog lead. Once the length is decided, your next step will be to choose from one of the many decking rope end fittings. It’s always a good idea to have a solid brass end fitting for your lead to complement both its look and quality. Creating a robust dog rope lead with a beautiful brass end and clip will keep even the largest breed of sea dogs under control!

Creating a dog lead out of 24mm decking rope ensures a traditional look is achieved and also ensures that your dog will remain on its lead without it breaking, splitting or fraying. Rope is strong and will provide your dog with enough room to explore during your walks out together. It is important that you select the length of your rope carefully. Most dog leads are created at either 4 foot, 6 foot or 8 foot for the larger breed of dog. Ensure you choose and cut your rope to a length that supports both your dogs look and size.

Marine rope and decking rope end fittings are used throughout the pet world and not just for the use of dog leads. Cats use rope for scratching and stretching and dogs have been known to rest and balance on rope! So why not purchase a little bit extra and see what else you can build and create for the entertainment and pleasure of your best friend!

Take a look below to see how else marine 24mm decking rope can be used to entertain your dog:

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Escape artist Max makes a bid for freedom!

The centre has a new resident who can let himself out of his kennel!

Handsome crossbreed Max was found wandering the centre one evening after all the staff had gone home. Centre Manager Nikki found him walking around the cattery as she made her way home. With the use of biscuits, she caught him and put him back in his kennel, convinced his door hadn’t been shut properly somehow.

However 30 minutes later, Nikki saw him again going for a wander around the cattery. The clever dog had taught himself to open the kennel door with his teeth!
The front of his kennel was chained to prevent him for taking himself for walks, yet overnight Max decided to relieve the boredam but trying to chew his way out of the back of this kennel. He wasn’t successful but did manage to create a 6inch long, 2 foot wide gap in the kennel, rendering it out of action.

Thankfully he has now gone on reserve before he can damage anymore kennels!…

Are we a nation of Animal lovers?

‘Animal Centre feels the strain as the numbers of animals needing their help treble’

The RSPCA Coventry, Nuneaton and District Branch which takes in and finds loving homes from as far away as Brandon, Coventry to Tamworth is beginning to buckle under the demand for the spaces available.

The Animal Centre based in Coventry is currently home to over 200 dogs, cats, rabbits and small animals whilst the centre staff work desperately hard to find them new homes.

Unfortunately the number of animals waiting to come in to the centre has trebled over the last year with nearly 400 animals of which a massive 242 are cats currently on the centres waiting lists, in private boarding or coming in via the local inspectors.

Every week more and more cats arrive through the local veterinary practices within our area all needing further treatment, mostly being involved in Accidents.

The centre is appealing for help in a number of ways:

1. Pet owners must realise that taking on animal is a life decision not something that can be discarded
2. To consider adopting one of our many animals we are the only independent local multiple species rescue dealing with everything from Mice to Great Danes!
3. To help with donations we urgently need cat food and litter or cash donations to help fund the work we do.
4. To ensure their animals are neutered to prevent unnecessary breeding

Glenn Mayoll Centre Manager says ‘My team and I have worked really hard to increase our rehoming to enable us to help animals quicker during 2011. Although our rehoming is higher than it’s ever been we are still unable to meet the demand on our resources’

‘Already this year the animal centre has found new homes for over 600 animals a number we expect to more than double by the end of 2011. However we can only do that with the support of the local people of Coventry, Nuneaton and surrounding areas’

The animal centre is completely independent of the National RSPCA and relies entirely on local support to fund the work we do.

Louise Labram Deputy Manager says ‘we also ask for people who genuinely need to rehome their animals to be patient whilst we work our way through the lists. The last thing we want to see are more animals being dumped like Belle the Rottweiler who was found last week on the A444’…

dog grooming training courses Birmingham


‘Looking for a new home after owner convicted of cruelty’

The RSPCA Coventry, Nuneaton & District Branch are appealing for a loving home for one of their longest staying residents Cassie.

Cassie is a beautiful Staffordshire bull terrier cross who is desperate for a second chance in life. She was brought into the centre after being rescued by an RSPCA inspector after her owner had repeatedly beat her and finally thrown her down the stairs.

Once she was rescued she was taken straight to the vets where she spent over a week recovering from her injuries.

Merry Martin Animal Care Assistant who has been working with Cassie says ‘Obviously Cassie’s trust in people has been severely affected by the way she has been treated by her previous owner. Cassie has been with us since January and has received plenty of socialisation and training and is well on the way to becoming a great pet’

‘She will require on-going training and socialisation to build on the work we have done here with her. She really is a lovely girl and I would urge anyone who thinks they can offer Cassie a suitable home to get in touch’

Cassie is 1 ½ years old and would need to be the only pet in the household she could live with children over 12 years. She would benefit from an experienced owner who can give her the time and love she needs.

Cassie’s owner was successfully prosecuted by the RSPCA and received a 10 year ban from keeping animals. Anyone who thinks they may be able to offer Cassie a home should call the centre on 024 76 336616 or visit the centre on Coundon Wedge Drive, Coventry during their opening hours Wednesday to Monday 11am to 4pm more information is available at www.rspca-coventry.org.uk.