Two Plus Dogs

Two Plus Dogs

Lifestyle and Dog Friendly Living

Recent Posts

Vanderlyle Review- Quality Food in Cambridge:

Vanderlyle Review- Quality Food in Cambridge:

Vanderlyle– a new inventive restaurant offering quality food in Cambridge. As a huge fan of ‘The Hole in the Wall’, I was extremely excited to hear about Alex Rushmer and Lawrence Butler’s latest venture on Mill Road and couldn’t wait to try it. A seasonal, […]

Handmade Dog Treats to Buy Online- A Review:

Handmade Dog Treats to Buy Online- A Review:

I like to know exactly what I am feeding my dogs so look for training treats with no additives, preservatives, or salt. These small businesses make handmade dog treats to buy online, using quality human grade ingredients which are tasty enough to distract and motivate […]

Quality Dog Friendly Hotels in Norfolk

Quality Dog Friendly Hotels in Norfolk

ways to tire your dog

Norfolk is crammed full of wonderful dog friendly places to eat, drink, visit and relax. Here are a collection of high quality, really dog friendly hotels in Norfolk to enjoy with your furry family.

Titchwell Manor:

Beautiful Victorian farmhouse, Titchwell Manor has chic rooms and offers delicious, inventive food too- we loved the afternoon tea! Very dog friendly treats are on offer at reception, and ground level rooms are available with access to outside space (the herb garden courtyard). Dog beds are provided so arrive and enjoy a touch of luxury!

The Ship Inn:

Brancaster based The Ship Inn is a boutique hotel offering great rooms and food. The rooms (six of which are dog friendly) are beautifully decorated and have dog bedding and a welcome pack provided. A really dog friendly feel.

The Hoste:

Burnham Market based, award winning The Hoste is a luxury boutique hotel, offering beautifully furnished rooms and an equally high quality restaurant. Also boasting an onsite fitness centre, beauty spa and even a cinema for guests to enjoy, this is a real experience. Dogs are charged at an additional £15 per night per dog. and common sense rules apply (click here).

The Victoria Inn:

The Victoria

Holkham based The Victoria Inn welcomes dogs and can offer rooms that have access to outdoors for a really relaxing stay. Well behaved dogs are welcome throughout the ground floor of the inn which makes for a really relaxing stay. Secure kennels are also available on site if needed. Beautiful bedrooms and a stones-throw away from the fabulously dog friendly Holkham Beach-which happens to be my favourite beach in the world!

The Gunton Arms:

The Gunton Arms

The Gunton Arms (near Cromer) is a traditional pub with rooms set in a historic park. The menu showcases great local, seasonal produce. Residents can enjoy the cool decor including artwork by Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst . A dog friendly welcome ,with treats, beds and water bowls provided.

The Brisley Bell:

Dog friendly hotel in Norfolk

The Brisley Bell offers beautiful rooms and is set in 2 acres of gardens- great for dog walking! Superb food using delicious local produce, in fact the Brisley Bell was winner of Best Pub in Norfolk. A great option for a night away with the furry family, with lots of space to enjoy.

Morston Hall:

If you fancy a Michelin starred experience head to Morston Hall. Dogs are allowed in some rooms and kennels are available for guests wishing to indulge in the amazing food.

bedroom Cow Parsley Cottage

We hope that you enjoy these dog friendly hotels in Norfolk. For more of our recommendations click here.

Parker’s Tavern Review- Afternoon Tea in Cambridge

Parker’s Tavern Review- Afternoon Tea in Cambridge

The University Arms Hotel has always offered afternoon tea in Cambridge, but never like this! After its recent refurbishment and the opening of Parker’s Tavern, the traditional treat has been given a substantial makeover. Parker’s Tavern: Tristan Welch has worked in many Michelin starred kitchens […]

Help for Calming Nerves before an Exam:

Help for Calming Nerves before an Exam:

Exam season is upon us and many young people are facing the pressure of tests. Here are some strategies for calming nerves before an exam and ways to help with the feelings of anxiety surrounding test stress. Preparation: Remind yourself that you are prepared. Revision […]

Dear New Whippet Owners… Tops Tips & Advice:

Dear New Whippet Owners… Tops Tips & Advice:

Embarking on the life-changing journey of pointy-nosed parenthood? Congratulations! This advice for new whippet owners offers a collection of top-tips and fabulous nuggets of knowledge shared by us and also the wonderful community of whippet and hound owners in the Mad About Whippets Facebook group

new whippet owners
Whippet wander.

The Breed:

Whippets are a fabulous breed. They will make you laugh every day with their crazy antics, and make you marvel as they effortlessly zoom around in the world with grace and elegance.

New whippet owner
Jarvis warning his paws on a chilly day.

Loving nothing more than to snuggle up with you under a blanket, they are extremely loving, loyal dogs and make a wonderful addition to the family.

dear new whippet owner
The love to snuggle up.

However, beware- these angels are stealth food thieves and will whip a tasty treat from a kitchen surface silently in a matter of seconds! Divas, they will try to steal your bed, demand warmth at all times, and challenge you with their ‘sketchy’ recall skills.

So many of us whippet owners are completely and utterly in love with them and often go on to extend the whippet pack, so what does a new whippet owner need?

The essentials:

equafleece dog jumper
Jarvis and Finn wearing Equafleece.

Our ‘What Whippets Need’ post details our favourite (and essential) things. There are many beautiful hound products available so enjoy shopping for them.

warm coats for dogs
Finn sporting his Redhound fleece and Brindle and Whyte collar.

Martingale collars-essential whippet kit due to a hounds skinny neck. If you opt for a harness make sure it is well fitted to avoid any wriggle-outs. We love our Perfect fit harness which is fleece lined and can be bought in sections to (as the name suggests) fit perfectly.

Perfect Fit Harness

Beware retractable leads! Whippets go from zero to fast quickly (and unpredictably) so imagine the impact and subsequent damage this can cause? Instead opt for a shorter lead, or a long line for training. Halti make a fabulous lead which can change lengths to suit your surroundings. Long lines can also be really useful for recall training.

silver peacock martingale collars
Silver Peacock Martingales
Jarvis and Finn wearing their Blizzard Coats from Pointy Faces.

You will discover that whippets are fair weather beasts and dislike being cold or wet. Walking on a rainy day may be a challenge so invest in a raincoat and also a fleece for your dog.  In short you will need:

  • A martingale collar
  • A lead (not retractable)
  • A bed and a quiet space for your dog- including blankets
  • Toys
  • A coat/ fleece – details of our recommendations for these products here.

Recall, Recall, Recall:

new whippet owner

As sighthounds, the natural see-chase instinct is extremely strong. Working on recall is vital, starting as young as possible. This is not always possible, particularly when re-homing an older dog, but train little and often and as regularly as you can.

new whippet owners

We use whistle training which is successful- though not 100% when up against a moving rabbit. Always be mindful that curve-balls will occur and instinct can take over (squirrels, rabbits, deer etc.)- these guys keep us on our toes!

sighthounds will chase!

A top-tip from one of the lovely Mad About Whippet owners:

“When recalling your dog try to make it for a positive reason- a treat, praise etc. For less pleasant interactions (removing something yukky for example,) move yourself towards your dog.”

Mad About Whippets Member

Beware all Food!

Whippets are terrible counter-surfers, so hound-proof your kitchen surfaces to avoid them getting hold of any toxic foods (see this list for danger foods) that they may steal. Foodie presents under the tree may be a thing of the past, but these dogs are completely worth it.

The world around them:

new whippet owners

By enrolling in a local puppy training class, you can work on recall and other important commands whilst offering it the vital experiences of socialising and help them develop their dog manners, for example how to greet other dogs.

new whippet owner

Out and about allow your pup to see this exciting world full of new experiences by meeting friendly dogs (big and small), cats, children (who are respectful of the puppy’s space),  passing joggers, cars and buses, people with umbrellas etc. Give lots of praise (and treats) for the desired response- a calm, relaxed and happy dog.

If you intend to travel with your dog, start young and with short journeys to get them used to the motion of a car. For more on this click here.

Inside the house:

scent games for dogs

In the house, your dog will love to follow you. Many owners report always having eyes on them- even in the bathroom!

new whippet owner
A whippet owner made this from a photograph I took- fabulous!

Puppy-proof your home by tucking away wires and storing shoes away, and putting fluffy-toy type ornaments out of reach for little mouths. Supervision is key- Some owners use a bitter apple, or grape spray as a deterrent and to signal ‘do not chew’.  Provide plenty of toys and chews that are allowed so they have a good chance of getting it right. For ideas of scent games to tire your house bound puppy (pre-vaccinations) click here.

Support for you:

new whippet owner
  • Find a good puppy training book. The Dog Guardian is excellent and I wish I had read it years ago.
  • Join and contribute to breed specific social media groups- there are a number on Facebook that offer a wealth of advice, and the chance to share experiences (and great photos!).

Accidents:

This breed is fast and due to the lack of fat and fur accidents do happen. Keep (and travel with) a first aid kit containing bandage, wound pads, and Manuka honey (for its super healing and antibacterial properties). For wounds on the body, medical pet shirts are fabulous, offering a much kinder alternative to the cone.

for dogs on the mend
Finn in his medical pet shirt.

Beware long, dry grass! The dreaded grass seed is a terror when dogs whip through it. As owners, we have had veterinary treatment for seeds in the ear, foot and nose! Keep your dog on its lead in these places to avoid this.

Dog Friendly Holidays:

new whippet owner

When travelling take plenty (more than you need) of food in case of delays or mishaps. Take your first aid kit, toys, lots of blankets and a spare whistle if you are a whistle user for your recall. If at all possible take your dogs bed so they can have some comfort of home whilst away. For more information about travelling with a dog click here.

dear new whippet owner

New Whippet Owners:

blankets for whippets

Above all else, enjoy your new addition to the family. Embrace the feeling of falling in love with this silky bundle and prepare to cover the house with blankets and images of your whippet as you become ever so slightly obsessed. Life won’t be the same again…it will be so much better!

For more of our dog-friendly recommendations click here.

Where to Find the Best Burgers in Cambridge:

Where to Find the Best Burgers in Cambridge:

The independent restaurant scene in Cambridge has grown massively over the last few years. From the stylish and delicious tasting menus of Restaurant 22 to the laid back BBQ food of SmokeWorks, you can find a place to suit your tastes, mood and wallet! With […]

Step by Step Pizza recipe

Step by Step Pizza recipe

This step by step pizza recipe delivers for those wanting a fresh, crunchy base, with the extra bonus of being much lower in fat than the takeaway versions. Alter the base thickness to suit your preference and top with anything of your choice- or see […]

Our Favourite Scottish Gin- A Review:

Our Favourite Scottish Gin- A Review:

Scottish gin

This is an opportunity to celebrate some of the wonderful Scottish gin made by clever producers who capture of beauty of the land, sky and sea of Scotland using quality, local botanicals to give us the perfect G&T!

Hills & Harbour:

Made by the folk at Crafty Distillery, this gin is multi award winning. Using their ‘grain to glass’ base spirit of locally sourced Dumfries and Galloway ingredients, it features flavours of Noble Fir needles & Bladderwrack Seaweed as part of its 11 botanicals. This is a well balanced gin, with a smooth and clean taste- I absolutely love it!

If you can, why not visit the distillery and take a tour? You can have lunch (and of course a G&T) in their dog friendly dining area, enjoying the stunning backdrop of H.Q. whilst enjoying the food and drink.

Hills & Harbour can be bought by mail order (with free delivery) and is now stocked by John Lewis- so can also be collected for free at any Waitrose store. This is a MUST buy for any gin connoisseur. Prepare to be planing your next order as soon as it runs out- you have been warned!

Pickerings:

Edinburgh based Pickerings create their magic at a cool old veterinary school building in the city centre. Gin tours are available and include (of course) one of their delicious G&T’s. Winners of Scottish Gin award 2017 and Double Gold World Spirits Award 2018.

Based on a secret family gin recipe, it uses citrus fruits and fragrant spices. A smooth and easy to drink gin- extremely moorish! Look for the Christmas gin baubles which make an excellent gift for any gin lover. I love the Pickering’s gin served (as suggested by the producers) with a slice of pink grapefruit- so crisp and fresh.

Enjoy Pickerings, Original 1947, Navy Strenth or with Scottish Botanicals. Order Pickerings gin online or check stockists as I recently found it stocked in my local Cambridgeshire wine shop! A great buy and excellent value.

Kisty’s Gin- Arbikie

This is a new purchase for us, picked up on a recent holiday. Distilled from scratch by Angus based Arbikie, this is another artisan producer who make their own base spirit. Kirsty’s Gin (named after their Master Distiller) has a fresh and fruity flavour due to the kelp, carline thistle & blaeberry in the botanical combination.

Serving suggest blueberries and lemon- a lovely crisp drink. Order this gin online, or check stockists on their website and stock up!

Daffy’s:

Created from a French grain spirit, Daffy’s Gin is not only good looking (nice bottle isn’t it?) but fresh and well balanced. This gin also has plenty of awards behind it and is clearly recognised as a quality product. The distillery is based in the Highlands, where you can visit and even make your own gin at their Gin School. Or perhaps visit the Gin Den in Edinburgh?

Daffy’s Gin is stocked by Waitrose so pop some in the shopping basket, or order online

Hendricks:

Distilled in Aryshire, Hendricks is a firm favourite with many and hugely popular. The classic fresh taste of rose and cucumber make it a refreshing tipple which is also great in cocktails- check their website for a heap of ideas for this.

Hendricks is widely available in supermarkets and can often be found in lovely presentation packs.

Scottish Gin:

So many gins, so little time! Enjoy and cheers.

Dumfries and Galloway

If you choose to visit Crafty Distillery why not see our recommendations for Dumfries and Galloway by clicking here.

Halloumi & Vegetable Flatbread Recipe with Tahini Dressing

Halloumi & Vegetable Flatbread Recipe with Tahini Dressing

This is a super easy, healthy, and tasty recipe which can be pimped up or down to suit the taste-buds of your audience- see the adaptations through the recipe. Best served with our homemade flatbread recipe, but can be served using shop bought flatbread too. […]