Advice♥, Living With Dogs, Uncategorized

What To Know Before Getting A Dog – Breeds

For the second part of my ‘what to know before getting a dog’ series, I want to talk about breeds. Like with coats, there is a breed type that will probably be best suited to you, your lifestyle, and your living situations. If you haven’t read my first post about the different types of coat types and how to look after said coat, here is the link! –

I have owned dogs with 2 different coat types – double and smooth. The reason being that they are easy to groom at home and personally like those kinds of dogs better. I currently have a Husky and two French Bulldogs. But, being a dog groomer I have groomed all 5 types of coats and have picked up quite a few facts and opinions on most common breeds.

When we are looking to buy a dog it’s important that we know everything we possibly can about the breed. It’s also important you understand what you will need to provide for this breed.

When picking a breed, do some research, write down;

  • Prices for food and treats (more or less depending on the size of the dog),
  • Bedding, blankets and toys (is this breed bigger and there for need a big bed? is this breed known to be destructive with certain toys?)
  • Harness, collar and lead (again, depending on size of dog, prices will vary)
  • Vet bills and insurance(will they be castrated? It is also the LAW in the UK to have your dog microchipped, failure to do so can result in a fine)
  • Flea and worming medications( these have to be done monthly in most cases and the bigger the dog, the more it will cost to keep these up to date)
  • Groom costs (whether you’re going to get a groomer to groom them on a regular basis or do it yourself, you need to work out average costs for that, see my last post that I linked earlier to get the run down on coat types and grooming prices).

By doing this before buying or adopting your dog, you know an estimation of how much you are going to need to spend monthly or annually. This will give you a better idea if you’re able to financially able to afford a dog. A lot of dogs end up in shelters or being neglected because people do not realise how much dogs can be yearly. You need to be sure you are able to pay for your dogs needs. They need; food, water, blanket, grooming, flea and worming, vet checks, exercise, and attention to thrive and be healthy, happy dogs.

The next thing to think about when looking to buy a certain breed is your living situation. You need to think about these things;

  • The size of the breed – a big dog that needs plenty of space needs a bigger place to live. A flat isn’t the best option for a large dog like a Husky or Labrador.
  • Other animals – not every animal likes each over, if you own a cat or another dog, you need to think about the kind of dog you want to get. Is it suitable for a home with other animals?
  • Children – although dogs have hearts of gold most of the time, they don’t quite understand their strength or that they could hurt their new family members by being too boisterous and playing. They will see it as having fun with the children but they can easy get carried away and knock children over. So most big dogs are not always suitable for a family with babies or small children. Although, with proper training, food guarding shouldn’t be an issue, it may still be with children. So, you need to be careful with any dog around young children who don’t understand that when the dog has a treat that you shouldn’t try and grab it off him/her. However, if you’re willing to get your dog trained in the right way from a young age and you watch your younger children around the dog while he/she is eating, everything should be fine with most breeds.

The final most important thing to think about before getting your dog is your lifestyle. Everyone has different lifestyles, they work different hours, they have families or maybe they travel a lot. Here are a few things to think about;

  • Do you go away for work or on holiday a lot? If so, who will look after the dog? Have you asked a friend if they will or will you pay for a kennel stay?
  • What hours do you work? Will you gone more them 8 hours at a time? If you are, is there someone else who can check in on the dog or be home with him/her?
  • Do you have a baby or small child? Do you have the time for a dog right now?
  • Are you able to walk the dog each day? Remember some breeds need to have more exercise then others and require longer walks. Do you have the time to walk the dog each day?
  • The most important question is, do you have the time and energy to give the dog all the attention he/she needs to be a happy dog?

Each breed is different. They’re known to have different personalities, temperaments and they all look different. Meaning, you need to pick a dog best suited to all the things I have listed above. Whatever dog you do decide to take home with you, remember that they rely on you, they need you, and if possible, always adopt, don’t shop.


Shannon x


Living With Dogs, Uncategorized

What to know before getting a dog – Coat Types.

It’s a new year, which means people have made goals, they have ideas of how they want their year to go. Some will set a goal of moving out, applying for their dream job or maybe even getting the dog they have always wanted. When thinking about the first post of the year and what it would be about, moving out and dream jobs where good blog post ideas but one subject that is most important to me is pet care. So many dogs end up in shelters and on the streets because people get dogs not knowing how to care for them or how much work is needed to keep a healthy animal. There are so many important things to consider and know before you buy or adopt any animal. You need to consider what is best for you and your future pet. So, for this series of blog posts I thought I would talk about the important things you need to know and consider before getting a dog. As well as an added checklist you can use if you do decide a dog is the right pet for you.

This blog post is part one of six blog posts that will be about ‘What to know before getting a dog). This blog post goes over the different coat types and which one may be best for you. The next blog post will be about what breed will be best for you. The last post will be a summary of all I have been over and a total estimated cost to buy/adopt, feed, groom and look after your new dog. 

It doesn’t matter how big or small the dog is, what kind of coat it has or what breed it is, dogs need plenty of attention to be the happy, healthy animals they should be. When looking online, I see a lot of people asking for the best behaved breed or the easiest breed to look after and although you may get a breed that is less hassle then another, you won’t find a breed that is totally self affiant. A dog is not a cat and if you work all day and don’t have time or the money for a dog, maybe an animal that requires less attention and looking after is better for you. Consider a cat, rabbit or even fish instead of a dog.

However, the size, breed and coat type of the dog do play a massive role in how you decide which dog is best for you. A lot of people don’t know what kind of coat there dog has, hence not knowing how to take care of the grooming side of having that dog. There are 5 main coat types; double coated, wire, wool, silk and smooth/short. Each of these coats needs to be groomed and looked after in a different way. You need to do some research on the breed and grooming needs before getting him/her.

I would have to say that in terms of coats, a smooth coated dog would be easiest and cheapest to look after. You can take these dogs to get washed, dried and de-shedded at the groomers for around 15 to 30 pound(dependent on breed) or you can wash, towel dry and de-shed at home without much experience. I would suggest getting yourself;

  • a pair of nail clippers (although groomers will do nails for 5 pound without the groom),
    wipes(cleaning ears, any cheap wipe will do, as long as its not perfumed, they’re fine)
  • a de-shedding glove (Amazon and Ebay have these for around 3-8 pound)
  • A towel (any towel will do but getting one just for the dog may be a good idea)
  • Cotton buds (For dogs that have face folds like your Frenchie’s and Pugs, these will get into these folds and clean them).
  • A shampoo (one for normal use and a flea shampoo to use once a month)

If you work out the costs for these items, it works out cheaper to do it yourself but if you would rather not do it yourself, remember to factor in monthly/twice monthly costs for the groom. If you are on a budget, a smooth coated dog may be your best option as they require less grooming and the grooming can be done at home by anyone.
Examples of smooth coats include; Staffs, French Bulldogs, American Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Lurcher, and Greyhounds.

A double coated dog would come in second for me in terms of ease of coat, however they are no where near as easy to groom as your smooth coats. Double coats tend to shed and any double coated dog owner will tell you, the hair gets everywhere, so that is one thing to consider before getting a double coated dog. You can take these dogs to get groomed at the groomers for upwards of 30 pound but with most double coats you can groom them at home. Even if you take your double coated dog in for a groom every 2 weeks or month, you still have to keep on top of their coat by brushing it daily/twice daily. Again, if you want to groom your dog at home, I would suggest you buy;

  • Good quality nail clippers (bigger dogs have stronger nails and little nail clippers may snap when cutting down on the nail)
  • Wipes (cleaning ears, any wipe brand is fine, you don’t need to buy the ones in pet stores, just baby wipes will do, just don’t get the perfumed ones)
  • A towel ( a towel that is just for your dog may be best)
  • A blaster (you may want to invest in a blaster, these are like hair dryers but so much more powerful, they’re great for drying your dog faster and getting rid of loose hair, they go for about 60 pounds on Amazon)
  • Shampoo ( you may be best getting this in bulk as it may be cheaper, you will more shampoo for larger double coats so getting a diluted shampoo may be best, as you add water to a small amount of shampoo and the shampoo lasts longer)

Double coats can be expensive to groom when going to the groomers every 2 weeks or every month and if you groom your dog at home, you need to be prepared for a lot of mess and you will need to carve out a good amount of time each grooming session for the groom and clean up. Either way, groomer or no groomer, you’re still going to need to brush your double coated dog daily. Examples of double coats include; Husky, Malamute, German Shepard, and Akitas 

Although Wire coats are easy to look after in terms of not needing to be brushed daily as they are less likely to matt up. They still need to be groomed every few months. This coat type is pretty simple to look after and most of the time you won’t even need to go the groomers every month, once every 8 weeks should be good enough for your wire coated dogs. You can groom these dogs at home but a little experience is required when it comes to cutting their coat. Examples of wire coats include; Fox terriers, Terriers, and Jack Russels 

I personally think the wool coats are one of the hardest to look after, even harder then the double coats. You cannot go a day without brushing your dog. Not one day. Think about that before buying a wool coated dog. A lot of people opt for a wool coat purely because of their cuddly coats and cute look but most people don’t know how to brush their dog to prevent matting and knotting up the coat. I cannot tell you how many bichons came into the grooming shop I worked in, matted and full of knots. People cannot be bothered to brush their dogs everyday, they would tell you they don’t have the time, they tell you they have been brushing him/her, but they don’t know how to properly brush a wool coat. A lot of people only brush the top layer with the wrong brush, this ends in matting and us having to shave the dog to the skin because their coat can not be saved. You need to use a comb and get right down to the root when brushing wool coats.  You need to be grooming these dogs daily and please remember not just to do this to prevent them from knotting but to help the groomer be able to groom your dog the right way, as lots of wool coated dogs are NOT tolerant to being brushed, combed and groomed as they are not used to getting it at home. You need to get these dogs professionally groomed every 4 – 6 weeks and you are looking at a cost of 30 pounds and upwards each visit. Don’t get them groomed enough and they will have to be shaved off because they are matted and this will end up costing you more as well. Examples of wool coats include; Bichon Frise, Poodles, and Cockerpoos 

These coats are similar to your wool coats in terms on grooming needs. They will to be brushed and combed everyday to prevent knot build up and matts developing. Most silk coats will need grooming at the groomers every 6 – 8 weeks. Like with wool coats, the price for grooming will be 30 pounds and upwards in most grooming shops. Examples of silk coats include; Shihtzus, Yorkshire Terriers, and King Charles. 

Costs for keeping a dog in terms of coat type/grooming needs; 

Double Coated Costs (estimated) :

Getting them professionally groomed – wash, dry, brush, comb, nails and ear clean.

  • £30 – (monthly, starting price, higher prices are possible) for groom.
  • £8 – Brush + Comb (even if you get a pro groom, you still need to brush dog everyday)

Grooming at home –

  • Nail Clippers (ONE TIME PRICE) – £6
  • Brush and Comb (ONE TIME BUY) -£8
  • Shampoo (500ml bottle lasts 2-3 washes, so around a month) – £6
  • Wipes – (monthly) – £1
  • Blaster (optional, towel drying will do off course, ONE TIME PRICE) – £60

Smooth Coated Costs (estimated) :

Getting them professionally groomed – wash, dry, de-shed, nails and ear clean.

  • £15 – £30 – (twice a month or once a month) for groom.

Grooming at home – 

  • Nail Clippers (ONE TIME PRICE) – £6
  • De-shedding Glove (ONE TIME BUY) -£6
  • Shampoo (500ml bottle lasts 4-6 washes, so around 3 months) – £6
  • Wipes – (monthly) – £1

Silk Coated Costs and Wool Coated Costs (estimated) :

Getting them professionally groomed – wash, dry, brush, comb, body groom, legs and feet groom, face trim/styled, bum and underneath shaved, and tail trimmed.

  • £30 – £45 – (Once every 4-8 weeks, dependant on coat thickness, style wanted and dog breed)

Grooming at home – You can groom your dog at home by buying your own clippers, scissors etc, but I advise letting a pro do these coat types as they know how to properly style your dog. However you still need a few things to keep on top of your dogs coat.

  • Wipes – (monthly) – £1
  • Brush and Comb (ONE TIME BUY) – £8
  • Nail Clippers (ONE TIME BUY) – £6
  • Shampoo (500ml bottle lasts 2-4 washes, so around 2 months) – £6

Wire Coated Costs

Getting them professionally groomed – wash, dry, nails, brush, comb, ears cleaned, face styles, body clipped, bum and underneath shaved, trail trimmed and under feet shaved. 

  • £25 – £40 – (every 6-8 weeks)

Grooming at home – 

  • Wipes – (monthly) – £1
  • Brush and Comb (ONE TIME BUY) – £8
  • Nail Clippers (ONE TIME BUY) – £6
  • Shampoo (500ml bottle lasts 2-4 washes, so around 2 months) – £6


It depends on how much money and time you are willing to spend to make sure your dogs coat is kept clean, looked after and presentable, but if you do not want to spend your spare time brushing your dog every day, I suggest a smooth coated or wire coated dog. If you want to keep prices down grooming a smooth coats or double coated can be done at home and never needs to go the groomers. If you don’t have the time to brush your dog everyday, don’t want to spend a lot on grooming and don’t want to groom at home, a wire coat may be best for you. If you have the time to brush you dog every day and don’t mind going the groomers every month and spending money on pro grooming every month, a silk or wool coat may be for you. Whichever you pick, remember to look after your dogs coat and remember before buying or adopting, inform yourself on grooming routines for that coat type.

Next blog post will be about breeds and which breed will be best for you and your living situation. 








Living With Dogs, Uncategorized

Top 10 Dog Breeds in the UK

A massive population of the UK has a pet/s. Here are the top 10 dog breeds in the UK.

1.Labrador Retriever

Image result for Labrador Retriever  Image result for Labrador Retriever

Image result for Labrador Retriever
Black, Tan and Brown Labs

2.Cocker Spaniel

Image result for cocker spaniel Image result for cocker spaniel

3.Springer Spaniel

Image result for springer spaniel Image result for springer spaniel

4.German Shepherd


5.Staffordshire Bull Terrier


6.Border Terrier


7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


8.Golden Retriever

Image result for golden retriever 





Living With Dogs, Uncategorized

Adopt Don’t Buy

Dogs Trust alone had a 54% increase in dogs handled over during the Christmas period, with 127 unwanted dogs being given to the charity in just 2 weeks. I couldn’t be believe that over a third of these unwanted dogs were puppies. I have always favoured adoption over buying from a breeder and now that I am more involved in the dog grooming industry, it concerns me even more that charities like Dog Trusts are seeing an increase in unwanted dogs instead of a decrease. There needs to be less unwanted dogs, most of the time the sad truth is that people want a puppy or they don’t want what these centres have to offer when it comes to breeds, people are so obsessed with having a ‘cute, fluffy little dog’ that many loving and caring dogs like staff bull terriers and Greyhounds are being left at shelters and not with a loving family. But even puppies aren’t being kept long these days, as Dog Trusts alone start they were handed lots of puppies over this Christmas period.

This statement below, which I pulled from the Dogs Trust website, says everything I think is needed to say about this Christmas percentage of unwanted dogs.

Dawn Bishop, Dogs Trust Manchester Rehoming Centre Manager explains:

“After nearly 40 years highlighting our iconic slogan, “A dog is For Life, Not Just For Christmas” we hoped that this would be the Christmas message would finally sink in but it seems that, in this day and age, where puppies are readily available at the click of a button, people are still choosing to purchase a dog on impulse, without thinking about the long-term effect this will have on their life. Owners are realising that caring for a dog isn’t always an easy feat and charities like ours have to pick up the pieces when new owners decide they simply can’t give their dog the love and care it needs.”

Most people want a puppy, most want fluffy breeds like Poodles and Bichons but most of the time do not know how to look after them or their coats. People are spending upwards of £600 for cross breeds(mongrels) like Labradoodles, Golden Doodles and Cockerpoos. Why? That’s a good question because the only reason I would think as to why people are spending nearly 1,000 pound for a dog is because they want a fluffy, cute lap dog that can be used as an accessory. Why? When you could give a dog at a shelter a second chance for happiness for less then £200. Not only do you get the dog for a price drastically lower then buying from a breeder, most charities will Microchip and Vaccinate your dog for you.

This is what Dog’s Trust do for the £120 fee.

Our adoption fee is £120. ( £100 in Ballymena due to extra licence fees)

These fees help us to cover the costs of caring for over 16,000 dogs ever year. Every dog adopted from Dogs Trust is:

  • Neutered (or comes with a neutering voucher if a puppy)
  • Microchipped
  • Vaccinated
  • Vet Checked

You will also receive four weeks’ free insurance with Pet Plan and a collar and lead as well as having a pre-adoption talk to help your dog settle in.

Once they’re at home, you’ll be able to access advice from the centre team as needed for the rest of the dog’s life.

This is Carla Lane Animals In Need fee:

We will then request a rehoming fee. Almost all our dogs are £175, all our cats are £110 and kittens are £125. This includes their neutering, vaccinations, flea & worm treatment, microchipping, identity disc (dogs only), vet health check and one months free pet insurance.

I know, I would much prefer to pay £125 to rehome a beautiful dog that needs a second chance then line the pockets of these ‘breeders’ who you buy your puppies from, because most of the time, they don’t care about dogs, they are just looking for a way to make easy and quick money. We need to put these ‘breeders’ out of business and the only way we can do that is by not giving up almost a £1,000 for mixed breed dogs that aren’t even kennel club registered. I am more then sure you can find a dog you can adore and love from an animal shelter that NEEDS a home and is sat in a kennel at a shelter just waiting for you.

Here are some dogs from shelters locally to me:

Scooby At Carla Lane Animals in Need.

Eddie At Carla Lane Animals in Need

Harry At Carla Lane Animals in Need

Charlie At Dogs Trust (LEEDS)

Ashton At Dogs Trust (LEEDS)

Bailey At Dogs Trust (Merseyside)

Fern at Dogs Trust (Merseyside)



All I have left to say about these lovely dogs is I hope they all find their forever homes very soon! I really hope that people start to see how much more amazing it is to adopt then to buy! I will see you next week with another blog post!

Shannon x

Living With Dogs, Uncategorized

Living With Dogs(A New Series)

Did you know that 46% of households in the UK have pets? Of that 46%, 24% are dogs. That’s  about 9 million dogs according to a study based in the UK in 2014. Most of us love our pets, that’s clear but what do animal rescue centres like dog trust tell us? That having a pet isn’t for everyone. The sad truth is, the percentage of abandoned dogs is rising, this is due to a lot of things including people not knowing how to look after their dogs, neglecting and abusing them and simply not wanting them anymore. I hate it. I follow most local rescues on social media and as much as I love to see a happy ending for an animal that has found its forever home, there is too many sad and heart breaking stories on these pages. To many. I wanted to help, I already help by giving money to these charities that help these animals but I also give food and old bedding to rescue centres but that doesn’t feel enough. In the past  have felt like writing about it and expressing my opinion, giving my advice. Today, I have decided to do that, don’t get me wrong I am no expert but if my words can help guide someone to giving their current dogs or future dogs a better life, I am more then happy to give my advice. I wanted to start a series because there’s lots I could say and instead of saying it all one massive, boring and long blog post I thought a series would be better.

Over this series I will be talking about dogs mainly. I will be giving advice and tips on dog training, dog grooming and dog behaviour. I will be talking about the cost of having a dog, the time and effort of having a dog and the love and affection needed for a dog. I will also be talking about some of the big issues when it comes to dogs these days, like underground dog fighting, dog theft, inbreeding, puppy mills and abusive owners and the laws currently in place surrounding animals.

I hope that some people find this series beneficial and enjoy these new types of blog posts I am doing in 2017! The living with dogs series will start Sunday night with a blog post on adoption.

If you have any questions about animal care or owning a dog please contact me via Facebook, Twitter, Email or in the comment section below.

Like always, you can keep up to date on my blogging and contact me below –

Instagram – @lifeasshanx  AND @tv_quotez

Twitter      –  @lifeasshanx

Facebook –