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  1. We all know that times are hard and will probably get harder over the winter months and into next year.

    People are tightening their belts, watching what they spend on their everyday essentials and scrutinising every purchase. So where does this leave the independent pet shop?

    We have been lucky. The pet industry benefited from the pandemic. Pet shops were deemed an essential business, so we stayed open, customers were happy to shop local more frequently and we welcomed a lot of new pet families into the fold with puppy and kitten market growing exponentially.

    With costs going up (for us too!) it is now time for us to help you save a few pennies and hopefully ensure we are here to support you and your pets for years to come.

    These are a few ideas:

    • Weigh your pet's food. If you are over feeding them this is not only bed for their health but bad for your pocket.
      Many dog food kibble brands supply free measuring cups or make one yourself with an old plastic mug or bottle. Weigh your pet's food allowance for the day into the cup and mark it using a permanent marker. Ensure that the whole family only feeds from this cup in a day (this avoids your pet being fed twice by mistake too!)
    • Make a bag of dog kibble go further: Add a handful of chopped raw veggies or cook a few extra’s when doing you own dinner and add these or even freshly cooked rice to your dog’s bowl. Remember not to add salt though!
    • Check your pet's weight. Most vets offer this as a free service and have scales in the waiting room. If they need to lose a kilo or 2 reduce their daily intake (see weighing your pet's food above) or cut down on treats.
    • Mix your dog treats up with the daily allowance of kibble (if using) and lesser value treats. Keeping your dog guessing will also benefit any training. Also buy bigger treats and break them up into small amounts.
    • Long lasting chews can also be excellent value. We often give these away during “Freebie Friday” so you can try before you buy!
    • Clear out your pet's toy cupboard and rediscover old toys or give them to charity (we collect for the RSPCA).
    • Buy multipacks or bigger bags of food if you have storage. Multi packs of wet food are usually cheaper and will save you money in the long run. With kibble though you need to make sure you do not have the bag open for too long. Most natural food (such as Canagan) shouldn’t be open for more that 4-6 weeks although if you are storing in an airtight container this could go a little longer and avoid waste. Keep an eye out for offers too or check to see if your local pet shop offers a discount on larger purchases. For example, we offer 10% off if you buy more than 18 Forthglade trays or Edgard Cooper and Canagan tins.
    • Make your own enrichment toys. You could even give these as gifts at Christmas. Think home-made snuffle mats or tug toys but do make sure the material you are using is dog friendly.
    • Make your own treat biscuits. Liver biscuits are easy to make, and dogs love them. Died fish skin is also a winner. Search for these online to find a recipe you like.
    • Worried about vet bills? Minor complaints can often be solved with over-the-counter remedies. Get to know your local pet shop and ask them for advice in the first instance.  Have something big coming up (like a dental or neutering) shop around. Call all local vets and ask them for a quote (after all you wouldn’t just use the first plumber you came across when needing a new boiler would you!?)
    • Regular home grooming helps prevent uncomfortable matts which ultimately have to be clipped out by a groomer for their welfare resulting in a chilly pet. Brushing at home regularly also helps you bond with your pet.
    • Review your annual pet vaccinations. Many studies seem to suggest that some vaccines can last longer than a year and in the case of elderly pets you may want to consider if you need to vaccinate at all. Of course, you should always do your own research and discuss with your vet.
    • Review your monthly flea treatments. If you are confident you have no fleas in the house a less regular regime or a cheaper option may still be enough to keep fleas at bay.
    • If you have decided to keep the heating low at home, make sure you have a good quality jumper for your dog. Equafleece is a firm favourite here at The Pet Shed, particularly for “non-standard” shaped dogs or come in and try our Hotterdog range made by Equafleece. A small heat pad can also be cheaper than heating the whole room/home.

    Have any more suggestions? Please feel free to send them to [email protected]

  2. Have you ever been thrown out or refused entry to a pub or cafe because of your baby? No! Of course not, but this does happen again and again when your beloved little one is a dog! Not only does it make you feel awkward (and ashamed?) but it certainly makes me feel uncomfortable about approaching other establishments to see if dogs are permitted.

    Never fear! If you are planning on supporting your local hostelry, I have done the leg work for you! I called each of the pubs and asked the following questions.

    1. Are you a dog friendly pub?
    2. What rules do you have in place?
    3. Do you have a water bowl and treats for dogs available?


    1. How would you describe yourself in one sentence?


    So, sit back and check out the following dog friendly establishments around the Fiveways area.


    Preston Park Tavern

    Very dog friendly with treats at the bar and water available.


    Contemporary British gastropub with an ethical and sustainable ethos, using locally sourced produce.


    Find them: 88 Havelock Rd,Brighton 01273 330517 (call between 10 and 12)



    The Cleveland Arms

    We all love dogs! Water and treats available.


    An independent family run pub with a local community spirit.


    Find them: Cleveland Hotel, Cleveland Rd, Brighton BN1 6FF



    The Park View

    Very dog friendly with water bowls and free treats on the bar.


    Smart pub upstairs, stylish restaurant serving Modern British fare below, plus an all-weather patio.


    Find them: 71 Preston Drove, Brighton BN1 6LD


    The Roundhill

    Very dog friendly. No specific rules (except don’t bite!!). Water bowl available.


    100% Vegan, Plant based community Pub.


    Find them: 100 Ditchling Rd, Brighton BN1 4SG - 01273 235884



    The Open House

    Friendly, genuine, local with a beauftiful garden

    Dogs allowed inside and outside. Water bowl and treats abailable


    Find them: 146 Springfield Rd, Brighton BN1 6BZ - 01273 880102



    The Crown and Anchor 

    Dog friendly both inside and out but please keep your dog on the lead. Water bowl and treats available.


    Really Friendly pub with a NEW garden and kids play area.


    Find them: 213 Preston Rd, Preston, Brighton BN1 6SA – 01273 559494




    Dog friendly with dogs kept on the lead. Water available and treats behind the counter.


    Family and dog friendly pub with a really nice vibe.


    Find them: 76-78 Ditchling Rise, Brighton BN1 4QQ - 01273 689783




    Dog friendly, but please keep dogs on the lead. Water and treats available.


    Part of the Green King chain this traditional pub serves classic British fare and cask ales, with TV sport and garden.


    Find them: 292 Ditchling Rd, Brighton - 01273 552005


    Funnily enough, during the course of my research is turned out that ALL the pubs in our small corner of Brighton are dog friendly!! That is good news!

    Unfortunately, I was unable to get through to the The Preston Brewery Tap & The Jolly Brewer when I was doing my research – so if you know their policy on paws… please let us know!


    Have I missed your favourite pub? Email me at [email protected] and I’ll be sure to add them!