My top 10 buys for your dog

19 January , 2023

We have a sprocker spaniel who is like most other spaniels, full of life (AKA a bit of a loon!)

These are my top ten buys, after 6 years of being a dog owner


Apart from the day she was collected from the breeder, Dakota has always traveled in a crate in the boots.  We decided due to going camping sometimes and generally having a full car that it would mean we could still use half the boot.

Initially, we just used a normal metal crate as you have in the house, but when she was about 4 months we purchased a proper crash-tested crate.

They have a safety door on the back, so if you are hit from behind and can’t open the boot you can still get her out from inside.

They also are lockable, so if you need to leave her in there for some reason but leave the boot open as it is warm (never leave her in any heat obviously) she is secure.

I kept an eye on the safedog website as they list second hand crates and we bought one from there and got it delivered via courier.

We have vet bed bedding in the bottom that is non-slip and washes well.  She happily goes into it and then lays down.


These towelling coats are brilliant, I put hers on at the end of a walk and by the time we are home she is dry and a lot of the mud is inside the towel.  They wash and tumble dry really well. You can see her in her red one above.

She happily puts it on, and does become like a statue with it on, but that’s not a bad thing as it makes it easy to remove at home.

We rely on these so much, we purchased a second one so we always have one clean and ready.

It goes perfectly with number three on the list…


If there was ever a spaniel essential, the Mud Daddy* is it.

At the end of any muddy walk (which is most of them!) we have this ready, give her a wash down, put on her ruff and tumble coat and when we get home she is clean and dry.

We rarely bath her now as we don’t need to.

We fill the Mud Daddy up with hot water before we leave and put it in the car, and even an hour or more walk, when we are back to the car, the water is still warm.

Does she like it? Nope, but she stands and accepts her fate, it doesn’t have any noise as you pump the handle to get the pressure, and then it comes out through the brush, powerful enough to be effective, but not too powerful its hurts them or sprays it too fast.

We have had ours for over 4 years now and it works the same as it did new. But you can buy replaceable parts for it all, and they even have a new one that is USB charged so no more pumping.


For the first couple of years we used fabric collars and just washed them when they were dirty, but as Dakota goes in the stream and lakes any chance she gets they were often soggy.

I purchased our first biothane collar from Etsy and they are brilliant!

They look like leather but are waterproof and just don’t get dirty (and if they do you just wipe them)

They are still soft and comfy to wear and look great.

Ours was from here on Etsy


I first ordered a bag of these* from amazon, then saw on the back of the packet about a discount on their website.  So ordered some more direct from their website as they do a 50% off your first order, and they are cheaper than amazon without the discount too.

They are a great size, nice and solid so I can fill my coat pocket with them and they don’t fall apart or stink.

They have no rubbish in them and Dakota loves them.  We use them for training treats at home and when out on walks.  The bags are really big compared to most other treats too.


We have tried various shampoos from the big pet brands ( animology and pet heads) and I have always found them both hard to apply and lather and rinse.  

After spending (too long) reading reviews on Amazon I thought I would give this a try*

It is so much easier to use, and the results are brilliant.  The best dog shampoo we have used. It does have the baby talc smell, but I quite like that!

I have since also tried their Bright White shampoo* and it is also great for getting our #bogdog back to white again, and it rinses away really well.


In the summer we are careful and did very early 5am (or even earlier!) dogwalks, and with the bonus of where we walk has lots of streams and lakes it gave Dakota the opportunity to cool down lots. 

But I also used one of these bandanas* on her, you soak it with water and then it keeps them cool as it dries.  

She is happy to wear it too and it doesn’t get in the way of all her fun. They come in different sizes too.


As a spaniel, Dakota loves a ball, but we don’t love losing yellow tennis balls or having to pick them up when soggy. So we use ChuckIT balls, their colour makes them much easier to find if a throw goes in the wrong direction and they are far less revolting to hold when wet!


Who doesn’t want their dog to have a dinasaur coat?

I can’t say Dakota loves wering it, but once it is on she doesn’t care! Its a lovely thick warm fleece and you can’t lose her on cold dark mornings in it!

We use it in the snow or when the temp drops below zero and she stays clean and warm.

You can buy the coats here, you get to choose the design and colours to!


We have a few of these in various sizes and they are great. We use a mix of baby food, dog safe peanut butter, 0% fat greek yoghurt and treats on them. Put them in the freezer and they last her ages.

Great for enrichment or to keep her quiet whilst we are eating.

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All products that I recommend, I have used, and loved, and I am giving my honest opinion on them.

Life with Jo

Life with Jo

It started as 2 stars and a swirl baby blog in 2008.

And is now a blog about the things in life I love.

Crafting, reviews, baking, no-faff gardening, tech, and the things that I love in life.

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