DIY: Cheap Doggy Wax Cloths In 5 Easy Steps

As Anuko transitions onto a BARF diet, I find myself using clingfilm almost every day (plastic wrap to my american users). Clingfilm is great for the most part, excluding the fact it’s not exactly environmentally friendly nor cheap in the long run. It is also completely transparent, which isn’t such a problem for the majority of people. But being a relatively new veggie, it’s especially nauseating opening my fridge to thawing tripe, turkey necks and goodness-knows what else.

Introducing eco-friendly reusable wax cloths! A very easy D.I.Y that costs much less in the long run than clingfilm. A project for your kitchen in general, not just for your pooches food 🐶

What you’ll need:

  • Eco-friendly soy flakes*
  • Cloth of your choice*
  • Your dogs bowl
  • Cloth cutting scissors
  • A pencil
  • A ruler
  • An oven tray

*A fat quarter of cloth, which cost me £3 in a pretty paw pattern, was enough for me to make 3 decent sized cloth sheets and 2 large bowl covers. Soy wax flakes are cheap depending on how much you buy; I bought 1kg for £7 on e-Bay. A little goes a long way with these flakes, so unless you’re planning to make lots of wax cloths, you won’t need more than 250g for this project.

Step 1

Place your dogs bowl onto your cloth sheet. Using your pencil, sketch around the bowl.

Remove the bowl and then using your ruler, draw lines a few centimetres around the circle you’ve made.


How many centimetres away from the circle will be how much bigger than the bowl you wish the cloth to be. These lines will be where you cut the cloth and you’ll be left with a large square. You can trim the corners off of the square to make the cloth more rounded if you wish.

Step 2

Place your cloth onto a clean oven tray. I use this particular tray for DIY so I don’t need to protect it, but if you don’t have a spare one, protect the tray with kitchen foil before placing your cloth on top.

You’ll then want to start sprinkling your wax flakes on top of the cloth.

A little goes a very long way with these flakes. You don’t need to completely cover the top of the cloth; a small handful will do per large bit. If you use too much, the melted wax will be left on the tray once you take the cloth away. If you fear you’ve used too little, no worries – whilst it’s in the oven you can check to see how they’re melting, and if there isn’t enough to saturate the cloth, you can add a little bit more.

Step 3

Preheat your oven to 180oC then put your wax-covered cloth sheets in to melt for 5 minutes.

You’ll know when they’re ready, as all of the wax flakes will have melted. You don’t need to do this for both sides as the melted wax will completely saturate the cloth all the way through.

Step 4

Carefully remove your wax sheets, as they’ll be hot, and leave them to dry. Ensure to take care of dripping as you don’t want to ruin any carpeting!

I personally leave them to hang outside on my washing line, a process only that only takes a few minutes, but I leave them out there for 20 minutes to ensure the wax is fully hardened.

Step 5

Get covering! The warmth of your hands as you wrap produce and food will gently melt the wax enough for it to hold into place. You can also use thread or elastic bands if you want to ensure everything is properly secure.

I love DIY, pretty things and my dog, so these were great fun to make. You can even colour or pattern co-ordinate: doggy stuff in paw print cloth, meat in red cloth, fruit and vegetables in blue cloth! The ideas are endless. Have fun and be sure to send me your finished projects, I’d love to see them!

_______________________________________________________________________________________
General care

  • Your wax cloths will be sensitive to heat so should be kept away from fire and your cooker when it is turned on. If you live in warm countries or you’re having a particularly hot summer, you should keep your cloths in your fridge. Putting them in a freezer is fine too.
  • They will last you many uses, but when you feel the wax has come off too much, there’s no need to buy new cloths: simply start these steps again covering your same cloth with more wax flakes.
  • You can fold these into a tub for storage, or you can use an empty kitchen roll and roll the cloths up, securing into place with an elastic band/thread.

Grooming | Mikki Pet Review

Brush time. Whether you find it therapeutic or not, it needs to be done; especially if you have double coated dogs. Now that Anuko is an adult and his coat is fully matured, I had to sit down and devise a routine that’ll keep me itch free when it comes to blowing season. There’s only so much hair in my coffee I can take.

A part of this plan included the obvious: brushes. Which style, which brand, which size: so many questions and a lot of conflicting opinions online. I wanted tools that were stylish yet didn’t compromise quality, that were lightweight for prolonged use and affordable. Quite a list, right? Thankfully Mikki Pet did much of my work for me and sent me 5 of their best selling brush tools to try out.

A little about Mikki

Whilst searching for grooming equipment, Mikki was a name that popped up repetitively. Mikki Pet is a company who are most reknown for their professional grooming products but have since gone on to develop other items necessary in the day to day life of pets. They’ve been making their award winning grooming tools since 1984 and are loved by groomers and pet owners alike.

The Mikki Pet grooming range alone is enormous, offering a tool for just about every coat type there is out there. The selection I was sent was created in mind for Anukos thick, plush double coat.

Before:

The 3 tools that immediately caught my eye were the Anti-tangle rake, the Undercoat take and the Moult master. In that order I tackled one half of Anukos body, giving each tool 5 minutes to get as much hair out of his coat as possible.

The results speaks for itself. The Moult Master, despite being the 3rd brush to try on the same side, destroyed the other 2 in terms of how much fur was taken out in the time period given. Given this circumstance you may be inclined to reach straight for the Moult Master and be done with it, however I found great benefit in the routine and order I went through when grooming Anuko.

The first brush to be used was the anti-tangle brush. This brush has long metal teeth which dig deep into thick fur, whilst dently tugging away any knots and tangles. Whilst it didn’t get a great deal of fur out, all of the fur that was excavated were knots that would’ve otherwise been painfully ripped out had I gone straight to either of the other two brushes. Plush and woolly coats especially would benefit greatly from this brush passing through the fur at the beginning of any grooming sessions.

The second brush, undercoat rake, is shorter in width with thicker teeth that have plastic coating at the bottom, giving a dagger-like effect. Double coated dog owners everywhere know that our dogs don’t tend to go poof evenly all over their bodies, and instead develop clumps that stick out from their fur. This brush is amazing at removing those clumps because of the shape of the teeth, especially on the hind legs where fur gets thick and unruly. Since these clumps are not tangles, the anti-tangle rake passes through them. The Moult Master worked a little at removing them, but clumps imbedded Into the undercoat could not be reached. For clumps that were especially deep I’d angle the brush and gently tug the clump out with the end teeth.

The Moult Master polished off the job by removing all of the fur the other two brushes did not get. The teeth are short and close together, and do not cut live hair, instead removing the dead hair beneath. Out of all of the brushes it was the most time effective one at hair removal, and left the beautiful wind strokes through Anukos fur that I love. In total it took me about 20 minutes on each side, and 5 minutes on all other areas of his body such as his tail and legs.

After:

Aside from the performance of the brushes themselves, they’re a pleasure to work with. Being lightweight means they’re not taxing on my arms when in use and I can perform a whole groom without needing a break. The handles have red rubber strips running down them alongside the plastic, which provide a comfortable grip. Another great feature is that some brushes provide a grey flexible area between the handle and brush which gives to some bending. On my right hand I currently have a cyst on my wrist which limits its movement and it was pain free the entire time, so I feel these brushes would be ideal for arthritis hands and wrists.

I was in love with the results. Other grooming sessions with other products did not result in the natural wind strokes in Anukos fur that I favour, and instead left his fur soft but fuzzy all over. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it just isn’t my preference.

Did they all work?

The Massage Slicker brush admittedly didn’t do much for grooming Anukos fur. After a good few strokes it picked up perhaps a couple of strands. However I feel that isn’t the main purpose of the brush; it is instead to stimulate blood flow and improve the growth and condition of the fur in one loving massage brush. For this reason I feel it would be an epic brush for bath time and I will try that out when Anuko is next smelling a little stinky. I will keep you updated on how that goes.

The last brush technically isn’t a grooming brush but is still one of the best tools in grooming I’ve used, and that’s the Pet Magnet Tool. Fur clings onto my carpeted house, so when I groom Anuko my floors look like there’s been a snow storm in my living room! I’ve been using the Dyson pet Vacuum cleaner for a while now however with how much hair Anuko produces, I usually need to empty it in the middle of cleaning up after a grooming session. No more!

With one effortless sweep all of the hair is picked up and bundled. It takes me perhaps a few seconds to scrape up all of the fur clinging to my carpet, bin the bundle and vacuum the remaining few hairs left behind. It can also be used on clothes which saves a fortune in sticky rollers.

Final opinions…

As I go on my journey to creating Anukos personal bullet-proof grooming session, Mikki Pets will be a name I know will end up in my final routine. At such an affordable price whilst delivering a professional performance, I can see why they have won so many awards. And what do I do with all of the hair I end up with, you ask…

Faith In Nature | SFV + CF dog shampoo 

Finding products that cater to our dogs skin is very important to maintaining their overall health (find out why here). Let’s face it: from paddling in mud and dirty ponds, to encountering skunks and peeing on themselves, dogs can get pretty stinky. Whilst healthy dogs will always have some odour to them, excessive smelliness can get pretty rancid and that’s when dog hygiene products become useful. Here is the start of my series exploring various brands and products available across all budget spectrums, discovering their effectiveness and value for money.

I actually stumbled across Faith In Natures pet care range whilst restocking my own hair care products from them. If I had a tail it would’ve surely started wagging then! Faith In Nature is a favourite brand in my own skin care routine. They are a cruelty free and vegan company who use natural ingredients, and I knew I wouldn’t use a brand on my dogs skin if I wouldn’t use on my own so reached out to them and was fortunate to receive all of their dog shampoos to try! 🐶

Who are Faith In Nature and what does their company stand for?

Faith In Nature (FIN) are a multi-award winning British company who have been making and selling nature-based hygiene and cleaning products since the 1970s. They source their ingredients locally and ethically whenever possible, and take pride in being a “green” company, having ingredients that are well-researched and safe for use. Their packaging is gorgeous, brandishing plants and flowers on every bottle, not to mention that the bottles themselves are made from Bioplastic and recycled plastic. A quote from their website:

In business, we believe in making decisions that put our people and our environment first. That means manufacturing locally, treating people as we’d want to be treated, and being as green as we can in everything we do.

Faith In Nature Pet Care Range

Faith In Nature “Faithful Friend” pet shampoos are catered specifically to dogs skin and all have natural ingredients with a built-in conditioner effect for a shiny coat. Their range has 4 different shampoos designed for specific needs. They are…

Faithful Friend – “Happy Dog” Chamomile. A very pleasant and gentle smell, this shampoo is good for dogs who need a little wake up in regards to their odour and their fur shininess.

Faithful Friend –  “Calm Dog” Lavender. This shampoo offers a slightly stronger smell of lavender, which is a natural fragrance that helps to not only calm nervous dogs who hate baths but also to combat the majority of unpleasant odours.

Faithful Friend – “Dirty Dog” Teatree. This shampoo is most likely my favourite and absolutely ideal for Anuko when he needs an emergency odour extinguisher bath! I’ve yet to find an odour this shampoo does not defeat. We do not come into contact with skunks in the UK, but this shampoo worked well to rid the scent of fox faeces from Anukos coat. I’d be interested to hear how this shampoo works on skunk spray.

Faithful Friend – “Fresh Dog” Coconut. A close second favourite and one I’ll routinely use on Anuko every few months to keep his odour neutral rather than as a one off emergency necessity, which I’ll then use Dirty Dog. This shampoo spruces up his fur, leaving it shiny with a pleasant but not overpowering fragrance. The scent for me definitely trumps all of the others as I love the smell of coconuts.

img_5648-1

How do they perform?

Now I don’t know about you guys, but Anuko loves water and is an absolute water baby. If he sees a puddle he will go and lay in it so usually after walks he has particularly muddy legs and paws whilst his body remains relatively dirt-free. Often high speed water just doesn’t cut through the mud and dirt which means a teeny bit of shampoo is required. I was wary about what the impact of regular usage on Anukos leg skin and fur would be, so I have been using the Happy Dog shampoo for these specific incidents. I’m happy with how it’s been performing as it’s a gentle enough formula and fragrance to cut through the grime regularly without drying out his fur or skin.

img_5649

All of the Faith In Nature shampoos lather rather well. About 2 x 50 pence sized dollops cover Anukos entire body, and he has very thick plush fur. If when using these shampoos you find that they do not lather quickly, don’t panic – they’re meant to be that way! Brands that use ALS as apposed to SLS products won’t lather like other, cheaper shampoos. You will still get a very clean body with a little massaging, just whilst using harsher chemicals. You can massage with your fingers or you can use an Oster bathing brush or a Zoom Groom, which is a little more ideal for Anuko to get underneath his long top coat. I’ve yet to do a review of the Oster brush, so if you want to hear about it let me know in the comments below! To find out more about SLS and ALS, read my article here.

Overall Results

Once Anuko had fully dried, the fragrances were subtle enough to smell good but where not unnaturally overpowering. I had noticed whilst he was playing in the garden in the sun that his fur was unusually shinier than normal, which looks so healthy on black fur. This summer called for Anukos routine blowing-out his fur season, and this year he’s been spitting out more fluff than ever so his skin is doing great too. I really am very happy with these shampoos, so much so that I have given a spare one to a good friend for his huskies to try. Faith In Nature does wonders for my own hair and now they do wonders for my dogs!

One important thing to remember is that dogs are not odourless beings just like we aren’t. Many people go above and beyond trying to diminish every trace of odour from their dogs when the actual fact is that ALL dogs will have some smell to them, and the only way to rid of it entirely would be to cause damage to your dogs skin in the process. Love your dog for who he is – Dorito feet and all. Who knows, maybe we smell bad to our dogs too but they put up with it anyway as they love us so dearly? 😘

Woofs & licks!

Anuko | Emergency vets?

For the first time in almost four years of having Anuko, he had to receive veterinary treatment this week that wasn’t his usual vaccinations or yearly check up. The poor little sod had been having sickness and diarrhoea for the last couple of days, and I woke up on Wednesday morning to blood in his stool. He was also not eating much and drinking little too. So I rang the vet and had an appointment booked an hour later.


In the waiting room Anuko perked up a little bit when he saw other dogs and was vocally expressing how disappointed he was that he wasn’t allowed to play with them.  I was being careful with him as I had my ideas; Anuko had stuffed hooves the day before it all started and I was petrified that he was experiencing some kind of perforated or blocked stomach. Annoyingly enough, the same day he had the stuffed hooves, we also ventured out into an area of Telford we hadn’t explored yet. He got himself into a very stagnant pond that reeked to high heaven and was crawling with baby frogs. I had no idea if he had picked up any Giardia or Coccidia parasites in our woodland walk, bacteria from the pond, damage from the hooves or what.


Upon seeing our vet Duncan, Anuko got a quick abdominal exam and displayed tenderness and pain in his lower GI tract. He said he couldn’t feel anything in his upper GI tract which indicated that blockages there were unlikely. A thermometer up his rectum told us he was running a temperature and these alongside bloodied stools and vomiting indicated he was suffering from a form of acute colitis.


There was still a possibility of blockages, so Anuko was given an anti-vomiting injection. To say he screamed the practice down is an understatement! Even his microchipping when he was a puppy didn’t cause such a vocal commotion as that little injection did. I was told to keep an eye on his vomiting, and once the injection would start to work, if any vomiting persisted then it would be a sign of something a lot more serious and he’d need to be brought back in for X-rays and further testing.


He was weighed (21.6kg), Synulux antibiotics were prescribed as well as some probiotic paste and we were good to go. I also picked up some Panacur on our way home just in case his conditions worsened and Giardiosis were more likely to be the culprit.


It’s been quite quiet since. He slept for the rest of the day, his injections must have knocked him right out. The good news however is that no more vomiting has continued and we can all breathe a sigh of relief. He is currently on rice and cooked chicken whilst his body mends itself, but his appetite has also picked back up and he’s starting to drink more too. He is still sleeping mostly but I’m already noticing slight perks in his energy as it’s slowly coming back.


I’m still not entirely sure what caused this. I was almost adement it was the pond that carried and passed on something, but I’ve been told frogs do not breed or live in dirty water. Perhaps his wet fur picked up something on the way home? I did bathe him and put diatomaceous earth in his water when he came back that afternoon. He is also up to date with his vaccinations so I guess we will never know 🤷🏻‍♀️


Alabama Rot is making itself known in the UK, and Giardiasis/coccidiasis can get pretty nasty especially if dogs become dehydrated. My vet recommended I buy an extra syringe of probiotic paste to keep in my cupboard, so I bought some from Pets At Home Here. He suggested whenever any diarrhoea in the future from muddy walks or dirty puddles pops up, to squirt 5ml of the probiotic into his mouth just to help repopulate the good bacteria within the gut. This is good advice for my followers, too. 

Keep your doggies safe during walks, especially coming back from particularly muddy walks from wet or wooded areas. Hose down all the dirt from the fur, face and paws immediately. Cleansing and sterilising shampoo can also be used but aim to use sparingly. Diatomaceous Earth, which can be purchased here, can be rubbed into the dry coat to help combat fleas and also put into food to combat intestinal worms (ensure it is food grade DE). DE is essentially powdered fossils, which act like tiny shards of glass to puncture invading parasites and their eggs to dry them out and kill them. It’s completely harmless to our and canine skin.
Some symptoms of Giardiasis to look out for include lethargy, vomiting, poor appetite, flatulence, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. This parasite particularly likes wet areas and can be passed from animal to human, too. If you suspect your dog may be suffering from Giardiasis, Panacur (which can be purchased here) will help to rid of any invading parasites. Please check with your vet first and foremost. Dehydration an occur in parasitic infestation and can be potentially life threatening.

Woofs & Licks!