Month: November 2017

How to manage the urge to hibernate as the days grow shorter

How to manage the urge to hibernate as the days grow shorter

It’s that time of year again, the clocks have gone back, the nights are getting longer and the days generally gloomier…there just aren’t enough hours left in the day to get things done!

With it comes this urge to hibernate, maybe it’s just me, but come 5 pm I’m fighting the urge to put my PJs on and just curl up on the sofa with the dog. It’s this time of year that many people get the first symptoms the winter blues. Please bear in mind I’m not talking full blown SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). If you feel like you are getting depressed, everything is too much and you really want to shut off from the world, then please seek advice from your doctor. For more information on SAD and its symptoms please click here.

The reduced daylight hours causes our bodies to produce melatonin, our sleep hormone, hours earlier than it would during the longer days of summer. It’s easy to feel like we need more sleep during winter as our bodies get confused with the longer nights, but our bodies sleep needs don’t change with the seasons….we just feel like they should! One way to help this is to try and get as much sunlight as you can during the day. This may mean going outside and enjoying that coffee break in the sun. The more sunlight you can give your body during the winter the better (even if this means working by a window).

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t stop for those of us that just have an urge to hibernate and slow down. It’s all go, go, go and with Christmas approaching there are presents to buy, relatives to organise…..and is it just me, or is Christmas day quite stressful? Anyway, I digress. It’s no wonder that with the world still running at a sprint and our bodies slowing to a crawl that we feel a disconnect, a feeling of overwhelm, lethargy and a hint of the winter blues. I do wonder, whether the stress of pushing ourselves to ‘just keep going’ causes us a certain amount of stress that only adds to feeling low.

So I propose this, how about we just embrace winter and slow down? Yes, I know things still need to get done, and I’m not suggesting that we throw our responsibilities out the window, stop exercising and eat what we like. But how about for at least 1 night a week we finish our working day, step away from social media and have some ‘me’ time. Some time to stop, have a long relaxing bath with a glass of wine and the lights down low….maybe even light a candle or two for good measure! We put on our favourite PJs, have a warm comforting meal (forgetting about the calories) and curl up under a blanket to watch a good film, read a book or just maybe listen to our favourite music. The world will keep spinning, and those things that need doing will still be there tomorrow, but for this evening it’s all about ‘me’. So relax, embrace the warmth, enjoy that snooze, give in and let yourself hibernate, just for tonight.

fire roaring in fireplace

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9 coats for chilly dogs in 2017

In the past week autumn has developed a chilly edge, reminding us that winter is on the way. For many dogs this means that their coats have come out and maybe, if you’re like me, you’ve realised that they might need a new one this year. I’ve put a shout out to all my dog loving friends and here’s my list of recommended dog coat companies with something to fit any breed.

1 - Active Hound

By being selective with what they carry Active Hound has become a specialist in ‘quality canine products’. Their dog coats are made by Hurtta and they carry waterproofs, body warmers and parkas to name a few. Hurtta are a Finnish company and they have a range of coats ‘for different thermal temperatures and for dogs of all sizes’. Active Hound’s helpline is manned by people experienced with the product and who have them to hand to help with your enquiries. To view Active Hound’s shop please click here.

Hurtta Quilted Jacket in Heather Colour

Hurtta Quilted Jacket -image from

2 - Mark Todd

A big brand in the equine world, Mark Todd also makes dog coats, so your dog’s attire can match your horse! Available in many equine outlets, Mark Todd coats (or dog rugs as they seem to be called) are available in fleece or waterproof versions and I’m told fit well and are easy to use. One place to find Mark Todd coats online is here.

Mark Todd Waterproof Dog Coat on Golden Lab

Waterproof coat - image from

3 - British Glory

Handmade in Essex for the pampered dog in your life, British Glory produce a wonderful array of coats. Whether your dog is in need of something showerproof, hooded, tweed, wax or maybe a set of PJs to keep them warm, British Glory has something to suit. They have a custom design service available so you can have exactly what your heart desires and perfectly fitted too. Having started as a company for Pugs and small dogs, all designs are now available up to Labrador sized dogs. To view these special coats you'll find their site here.

Pug in teal Harris Tweed Coat by British Glory

Harris Tweed Coat - image from

4 - Equafleece

Made using Polartec© fleece (found in mountaineering wear), Equafleece make dog coats that are “100% rainproof, breathable, warm and washable”. When you order, if you click “what size do I need,” they have a measuring video to ensure you get the right fit for your dog. Guided by the video you put 4 sizes into their form and it calculates which size coat you need to order. Their range includes standard coats, jumper, tankie, polo neck and a full 4 legged suit for extra warmth. There’s even an option for a zip up back, for arthritic/less flexible dogs, to make it easier to put the suit on. Their website is here.

Dachshund in red fleece jumper by Equafleece

Fleece Jumper - image from

5 - Danish Design

Danish Design makes an array of coats, beds and accessories. They have 9 different designs of coat, but the coat unique to them is their 2-in 1. It’s available in 2 styles, one for dogs who wear a harness and one for those who wear a collar. Both styles have an outer coat that performs as a light raincoat and an inner removable coat made from polar fleece to keep dogs warm in cooler weather. To view thier range click here.

Danish Design 2-in-1 coat

2-in-1 coat - image from

6 - Weatherbeeta

Another brand that has expanded their range from horse rugs to dog coats. They have an amazing array of coats from fleeces to wax coats, windbreakers to reflective exercise coats. I think the reflective coats are a great idea as they are made with hi-vis fabric, with reflective piping, and would be really useful for those dogs that like to go investigating at a distance in a field or open woods. Their vast range can be found here.

Weatherbeeta reflective exercise coat on black lab

Reflective exercise coat - image from

7 - Doodledales

Based in Suffolk, Doodledales specialise in making fleece suits for dogs. They are available in standard sizes, but they offer a made to measure service which also includes the option of a while you wait. Their shop is available to view here.

Cocker Spaniel in Doodledales onsie

Onesie - image from Doodledales Facebook shop

8 - Milgi Coats

Designed for the sighthound in your life, Milgi coats are unique as they say ‘you won’t find our fabrics being used by other companies’ leaving your greyhound, lurcher or whippet the best dressed in town. They make fleeces, raincoats, walking out coats, quilted and hi-viz coats. They even currently have a Christmas coat range in! To view their range you can find their website here.

greyhound in navy fleece coat by Milgi Coats

Fleece coat - image from

9 - A K Creations

Handmade to order, A K Creations makes coats for all sighthounds (and sometimes their humans) ‘using the finest materials’. They have an indoor and outdoor range of coats to cover every chilly hound eventuality. Their outdoor range comprises of Fleece coats - single or double layered, with the double layered also available with a hood, and Waterproof coats – fleece lined, quilted, lightweight or 3-in-1 combo.
Their indoor range comprises of 2 leg PJs, 4 leg PJs and house coats.
A K Creations really seem to have thought of everything when it comes to the sighthound in your life. You can find their website here.

Greyhound on beach in Milgi double fleece coat

Double fleece coat - image from

Hopefully I've covered enough styles, shapes and sizes of coat to keep all members of our canine family warm this winter with a price tag to cover every budget. My whippet has more coats than I do! (but she does have significantly less natural padding that me 😉 ) I wish you and your hounds a warm and toasty winter and may they wear their new coats with pride!

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Posted by 4 Legs Photography in Uncategorised