I am passionate about supporting small indie businesses and this year I think many others feel the same. For those that had to close their bricks and mortar stores, online has been the lifeline that has kept them going. I’m sure that many of you discovered online shops you didn’t previously know of during the long lockdown months, but in the run up to Christmas here is a selection of our favourite shops for hound delights!
You’ve probably noticed if you follow us on Instagram that George and Winnie have two beautiful collars from Brindle & Whyte. A gold number that they wore throughout the warmer months in 2019 and a beautiful chilli red that they sported this year. Anya the creator and her lurcher Coco are the team behind B&W and they offer some of the best collars on the market. Comfortable on sensitive sighthound necks and extremely practical for those who like to roll in the stinky stuff.
A subscription box for the dog in your life is a fantastic gift for you or for someone else. Jo curates an incredible selection of natural treats and toys to go into her boxes and you can interchange things if your dog suffers from any allergies or is particularly rough with toys. George & Winnie are always so excited when their Collar Club subscription arrives, and I love to see what Jo has selected, making it easy to treat your dog as often as you would like, we do a monthly subscription but other options are available. Jo has recently launched a selection of her own natural treats that can also be ordered from her online store.
We’re very conscious of trying to make sustainable changes in our lives, Redhound as a business and what we’re buying for George and Winnie. I’m sure we all want something that is good for the environment as well as safer for our dogs. Smug Mutts is an eco-friendly company here in the UK. All of their toys and leads are made from hemp, felt and beech wood which are not only far more sustainable materials but they’re also responsibly sourced too. The owners have two beautiful hounds and it is clear that love and care goes into making each and every item.
For the dog lovers in your life there is no sweeter gift than a personalised pin from the Little Charm Store. Elaine creates the most beautiful and delicate sighthound (alongside other breeds, even cats) pins that are based on photographs of your dog. All the proceeds from these pins go to sighthound charities too which makes them the absolute perfect gift for anyone fanatical enough about their dog they also want to wear them on their clothing too. There is often a wait, as Elaine makes them all herself, but I’m sure you could order one for a friend and put the promise of it to come in a card, to arrive in the darker days of winter the other side of Christmas.
Having two hounds that absolutely love a role in the stinky stuff means a quick shower is a regular occurrence in our household and our soap shampoo of choice has been from the Dog & I. Natural grooming products that give your dogs a silky smooth delicious smelling coat and they’re completely plastic free. As well as the beautiful shampoo bars they have a number of other grooming products available, we also would not be without the Soothing Skin Salve, it’s brilliant for cuts and grazes and bites and stings.
Kerri also offers a range on online Soap Making Courses, a brilliant gift idea!
We’re big fans of Charley Chau in the Redhound household. I have never regretted spending the money on their amazing beds. The hounds are happy in their comfy warm beds and the humans are happy they don’t get woken up in the night with a sad looking whippet who wants to be tucked in. We have the Snuggle bed for undisturbed nights and the Ducky Donut for general lounging. They’re a big investment but one that is so worth it and one that will last your dog many years.
The ladies work flat out to provide a great service but Covid has created some supply issues, but the website is full of hound snoozing luxury so, I am sure you will find something to treat the hound in your life or that of a loved one.
Dee at The Slumbering Hound has faced some really hard times this year, having just opened her very first shop in the grounds of Hatfield House, lockdown restrictions meant she was forced to close the door.
But, being the super skilled lady she is, she turned her hand to painting portraits of hounds and their humans, I commissioned one and I absolutely love it! Quirky and fun. But Dee is also a talented seamstress who makes a range of lovely snuggly blankets, personalized beds and bandanas and greetings cards – all of which make great gifts. I’m off to order a couple of bits for my two right now!
So, that’s a small round up of a few of my tried and tested places for gifts this Christmas, I know from the overwhelming support we have had this year that many of you are spending on your hounds – and I think you will find something for everyone in this selection.
Just one more thing….
I will be holding a 12 days of Christmas Charity Auction from December 11th – 22nd live every evening on Instagram stories – please save the date, it’s all for charity and I have some cracking lots this year including a gorgeous hand knitted Christmas Jumper or two…..