It’s nearly April mother puppers!

So at Hair of the Dog we have been getting our Spring clean on. Rest assured that we use dog friendly products to disinfect the salon and keep our clipper blades and brushes squeaky clean. Whilst I wouldn’t suggest eating your dinner from anyone’s floor, I’m pretty confident that the filtered water in the dog’s bowls is clean as a whistle.

We have a new security fence as well as the internal gate to keep your pooches safe and relaxed whilst in our care and look forward to planting dog friendly flowers in our garden area.

So what’s new for Spring?

Well having had a love affair with Red+Ginger products for sometime, we have become proud stockists of the canine fashion designer’s stylish unique pieces, so much so that they have designed a Spring Collection just for us. Ideal for dog Mums, human Mums on Mother’s Day and for dandy dog owners who do their darnest to keep on trend. Zero waste products lovingly made into harnesses leads and collars and we said YES to small, medium and large sizes. Fashion in the dog park just got fierce. Bring your doggo in  for a collar lead or harness fitting.


We also have some beautiful Harris Tweed items by Herbert&Maisie as well a some unusual and funky fully machine washable bed mats and memory foam beds. 

Appointments: We’re getting busy. It’s Spring and it’s shedding season. Call 07539605752 on the hot- doggy- hotline to book a Spring makeover or just a bath and blow dry to keep your pooch pristine between cuts.


Lean green canine fashion machine

So we all agree that we consume a shed load of plastic in our daily lives, we love our dogs and love being outdoors. We want to treat our environment with respect some of us are using biodegradable waste bags.  Increasingly people are turning away from mass produced dog fashion and the plastic fantastic coats made in China, are not sitting so comfortably on the smart dog owner’s conscience.  Lets face it, along with reindeer alice bands, natty Christmas tank tops and squeaky plastic novelty Santas, we have just about enough of landfill fodder gifts for our pets.

Winter leaves our dogs susceptible to the cold if they have sparse coats, are recuperating or just need an extra layer. The perils of internet shopping for our dogs mainly lies in sizing- just like for humans.  If the Spaniel coat you bought looks fit for a Chihuahua on a hunger strike then you are not alone. Most companies will give an indication of breed size and from there you are kind of winging it. Going to a smaller or bespoke company gives you the option to send in your dogs measurements, which takes the disappointment out of the gamble of online choices. Then of course there is the issue of ethically sourced fashion.

We love  for sustainability, low waste and their crazy ability to upcyle clothes into the cutest outfits for your dog to hit the park. Before Lisa had her paws on the beating heart of  unique dog clothes, she worked in fashion and lived her former life as a stylist. It  is no surprise that the energy and creativity honed in the human world has been repackaged, upcycled and lovingly crafted into one off pieces that fuse vintage and contemporary style. You can help mirror your dog’s personality by commissioning a one off piece or choose from her versatile range.  I’d rather buy a figment of someone’s blood sweat and creative tears, than buy from a sweat shop and fast forward to landfill.The best of their sale items include a fully reversible dog jacket for £12


Now back to those plastic santa dog toys. Not only has there been a huge controversy  around dog safety with plastic and rubber toys, we might be more than a little weary of the interminable squeaker symphony. For this reason  whilst shopping around I came across http:// they sell durable jute toys.


These are refreshingly simple. Long lasting and so far have  passed the teeth test of Moses, my teething German Shepherd- part dog, part baby landshark. Four layers of jute are sewn together and their products are sustainable and 100 percent biodegradable. When the toy comes to the end of its life, the dog can simply bury it in the garden. They are the brown rice of the eco-dog toy world there is something exciting about their scaled-down functionality. No matter how “safe” it is deemed, I’d rather my dog wasn’t wolfing down layers of paint on novelty items . I feel rather sorry for the mangled face of Postman Pat on the squeaker I bought in a fit of misplaced nostalgia. I also live in dread that he brings it to the door on the day my post is delivered!


Even better than not buying new plastic is of course using old plastic. Hair of the Dog  love the lupine collars made from recycled plastic bottles that have a thick long lasting durable weave. http://

In the next post  we will look at reducing the miles of delivery by going local. Essex and Suffolk are teaming with canine craft artisans. From dog fashion to soothing organic dog products we  take an impartial   peep  at the top ten in the region, guaranteed to get your dogs tail wagging.















Veganuary: Transatlantic Eco Dog Fashion.

Being a dog owner can feel as if you are slinging money into a bottomless pit. Pet insurance, specialised dog food, smart feeders, memory beds and pet trackers and late night online cheer up shopping. After Christmas the clothes still fit my dogs, me not so much.

I’m an online shopper most of the time. My working day is spent grooming the dogs of Braintree Chelmsford Witham and Coggeshall. My free time is spent training and walking my dogs. I don’t spend my outdoor time shopping for my pooches. I’m on doggy play dates and trying to get my dog out to as any different experiences as possible. Note to self drive- through coffee shops are a terrible idea, with a large  lively barking dog in the car. Having a German Shepherd stuffing a curious nose up the window of Starbucks and barking a hello, made the member of staff jump backwards. Not good.

Online shopping however from major retailers seems to bring with it a tidal wave of plastic waste and huge unecessary boxes. I love walking on the beach, so I’m not comfortable with adding to it’s pollution through cheap manufacturing  and unecessary plastic. I don’t turn up to lunch parties with a spare tree for a spot of post- bite guerilla gardening wearing a Save the Whale T shirt and a pair of recyclabe crocs- but I still like to feel that if I am not saving the planet, I am at least not contributing too much to killing it.  Least of all for my dog, an animal that I love.

So that brings us nicely into the world of eco-pet shopping. Yes it is a thing.No you do not have to be vegan to buy eco friendly products. So who are the retailers and what are they doing?

Eco Pup are fab when it comes to funky functional dog wear. Made in Canada ( and let’s face it they deal with a lot colder than last year’s ‘Beast from the East”) This eco savvy company have dog and cat wear made from recycled fleece and use organic printed fabric trim. They sell breathable bamboo hoodies for the pug thug in your life. I love them and at coats from 28 dollars, they are affordable. They aren’t just cute designs at a decent price they are doing the following:

  • we reuse packing boxes for large orders
  • reuse plastic and cellophane bags for packaging
  • all cardboard, paper and plastic packaging that cannot be reused is recycled
  • orders are taken electronically
  • we try to use email and the phone as much as possible instead of printing paper
  • any bottles and cans we use are recycled
  • all of our printer ink cartridges are mailed back to the manufacturer to be recycled
  • all of our business cards and catalogs are printed on eco-friendly recycled paper
  • Our hang tags are printed on eco-friendly cardstock with vegetable based soy inks. They withstand shipments and shelf life.
  • our products are 100% eco-friendly by using certified organic, reclaimed and recycled fabrics
  • we take public transit and carpool whenever possible
  • we use biodegradable poop bags to clean up after our dogs

So for a clean conscience they rank pretty highly as far as mindful shopping goes.


Next up Funny Fur. Funny Fur have a lot more variety but a lot less to say about how they contribute to eco-economy.They do however raise money for animal resuce and shelters and have an eco friendly pet apparel section.

They have everything from cable knit sweaters to polka dot dog scarves. They have party dresses for Yorkshire terriers and are everything you might expect from an American Designer. Their clothes however are eco friendly and this business is based in Houston and proves that everything does indeed seem to be bigger in Texas. Away from the Stars and Stripes tank tops for dogs, they have some effortlessly stylish nautical designs that make me wish I had a Basset Hound called Claude. I am astounded by the choice at this store and what it has to offer. They even have dog strollers ( prams!!!)  for dogs who for whatever reason can’t get around in the tradtional way. This is like the Willy Wonka’s of Dog Fashion. Everything you can imagine is sold at this store which feels like a Vegas Wedding and a beauty pageant went on a three day bender together. It is both sightly car crashy and terribly compelling.  It’s not all bamboo hoodies and herbal ( silent H)  chai, but it is a great balance of eco concious and  outrageous.

Tomorrow we will look at some of the trail blazers in British Dog Fashion and how the eco mindful dog owner spends their hard earned wages.






Veganuary for discerning dogs @hairofthedogcoggeshall

Hair of the Dog, Cherry Lane Garden Centre Grooming and Training Braintree Essex.

We are checking out cute canine  coats, Winter knits and vegan cosmetic dog products.  Vegan coats available online or for keen knitters we are going to take a peek at Winter woolies that will be sure to get you reaching for the needles. ( You don’t need a dog to knit, you could start knitting for shelter dogs. ) For those of us who are more Crufts than Crafts we will explore the latest in high end sustainable dog accessories. 


We believe fully in a species appropriate diet for dogs, my dogs eat a complete  raw meat diet and thrive on it, from Bella& Duke

However if you are weighed down by last year’s consumption and excesses we are going to look at the best sustainable canine clothes, how to be waste savvy when shopping for your pooch. Zap your dogs mind  with  brain stimulating games that can be set- up or upcycled at home.

We know our dogs are washed with organic dog products at the salon, but can we find luxe vegan dog shampoos and conditioners that work well between trips to the groomer?  ( We all have days when we have dunk and dry our dogs at home, even if it does block drain!)


We will look at which clothing item look best on different dogs in our section- Does my mutt look big in this?

Buying sustainable, ethically-sourced accessories that contain no animal products and produce minimum waste. The gauntlet has been thrown down.

Veganuary: Hair of the Dog, Style.

Facebook :Hair of the Dog Cherry Lane Garden Centre Braintree




Why your hyper hypoallergenic dog needs grooming!

“My dogs doesn’t shed, he’s a doodle/cockapoo. ”

At Hair of the Dog Cherry Lane Garden Centre, Braintree, we love anything crossed with a poodle. Poodle’s are super- smart dogs and need their brains stimulated to get the best from them. If you have a poodle cross ( anything dooddley or with poo as a suffix) then you have a clever pooch with a “non shedding coat.” The coat doesn’t shed so you don’t have the twice yearly issue of your dog changing his coat, but you do have a potentially tangled coat.

I have long wavy hair and if I move around a lot or try and brush it after being in the sea it is painful trying to get a brush through it. Maximise that by a thousand and you have an idea of what a matted knotted or tangled coat feels like on a dog.

Comb Over:

For proper coat manitenance you will need a rake type brush and a comb. Brushing over the top is not detangling. It is smoothing down the superficial fur and does not tackle what lies beneath. Do not use a Furmintor or Zoom Groom ( These are for shedding coats).

Matting and Felting

Lift your dogs coat, you should be able to comb down to the skin with ease. If you cannot ,this means the fur is felted to the skin and the felting can cause behavioural issues, pain and discomfort. Felting does not feel like an obvious clump of fur like a matt. Ir feels like Fuzzy Felt where the coat has formed a layer over the skin stopping it from fucntioning. As your dog’s biggest organ the skin needs to to be free.

Matts are lumps of fur that feel like large knots. The welfare and comfort of our dog is paramount to us. We want you to achieve the fluffy teddy- bear look, but it requires regular brushing at home. Ask your groomer and explain your dog’s daily routine. They will help you select the right tools for the job and understand when would be the best time to brush the dog and which products might help prevent you both getting tangled up.

My dog hates the brush.

There are several reasons why your dog might dislike the brush. Perhaps they have not become accustomed to it. Perhaps it is painful, if their coat is tangled. They may have developed a fear of brushing. If this is behavioural, assosicate trainer Emma can help your dog learn to be brushed, using positive reinforcement.

Where’s and the how’s of it.

Flashpoints for tangling are around the hygene areas of dogs, arm pits, around the neck where the collar goes or anywhere where your dog might wear outdoor clothing.

Feel for Felt

Have a good feel of your dog’s fur beneath the surface and if you are unsure we will be happy to take a look.  We suggest that you bring your dog in regularly even when not being groomed. We want grooming to be a positive experience, so if your are passing, pop your dog in for a pat& chat. We will give your dog a treat just for passing by, or lavish him or her with attention without touching their coat or nails. Dog  then thinks SALON=GOOD PLACE TO GO.

Little and Often

We will love your dog like you do. We want the best for your dog and we want him to be health and happy. If grooming has to be divided into smaller more managable sessions with lots of praise owner-approved treats and snuggles then we will work with you to get your dogs coat looking fluffy and gorgeous.

Call 07539605752 to book an appointment or message us on facebook for a lightening fast reply.



New Year Resolutions:leading the way forward.

You and your dog have made it into the New Year, he has probably had to accommodate guests and disruption to his routine. On the run up to Christmas, long walks or playing in the park might have taken a back seat.

  1. FUN: Re-establish fun with your dog. This might be by setting aside time each day to play with your dog and give your significant canine some undivided attention. This will strengthen the bond as you break out into fun, rather than asking your dog for obedience all the time. Its telling your dog, I’m great to be around and can be used to teach your dogs some boundaries, in a fun context.
  2. De-Stress and Get Organised Book in your vet visits and grooming appointments in advance, how many times do we forget to pick up the wormer or leave their coats a little longer than is comfortable. All dogs need a good de-shed in Winter.Having a clearer schedule makes life easier for you and your dog. When you are dashing around last minute your dog feels the stress.
  3. Education: Call your vets and ask if they have any extra classes or workshops? Lots of vets these days are running everything for socialisation puppy parties, to raw feeding master- classes. If you have concerns about your dog, get to the vet for his health, the groomer for his coat and nails and a trainer for his behaviour.
  4.  Mental Agility: Blast his mind with new games, it’s the fastest way to tire him out. Mental stimulation will have your dog snoring before you can say bull mastiff. Teach him a new trick, play hide and seek, train him to bring you different toys. ( For more ideas contact our dog  trainer Emma. )
  5. Sport If your dog is in good health, it might be an idea to take a new sport with him or her. Try Cani- Cross, extreme frisbee, fly ball, to name but a few.
  6. Compete inTracking– join a local tracking or field event group to really work your dog’s mind. It requires obedience skills and dog and significant other get a huge sense of achievement.
  7. Diva’s Unleashed: Fun Dog Shows– Your dog doesn’t have to be a brain box like the dog in the Littlest Hobo- there are loads of fun dog shows in Essex and surrounding areas, where your dog can win a rosette just for being beautiful. Dog Diva’s welcome ( We suggest a spruce up at the dog groomer’s first- to make sure your dog is smelling his or her best. )  Fun Dog shows are great for socialisation and a good platform for those hoping to take their dog to the next level.

Wishing you a truly pawesome New Year from Hair of the Dog, Dog Grooming and Training, Cherry Lane Garden Centre Braintree Essex. Call 07539605752 or wizz us a message on Facebook @hairofthedogcoggeshall. 

Pads stripped bare: Clean from the feet up.

The pads are taking a Winter wolloping, as we start the New Year. Central Heating and then out onto cold sand, mud, tarmac or (sharp intake of breath) snow. Imagine if we had to negotiate all that in soggy socks?

The fluctuating temperature’s cause cracked pads, making pooches paws uncomfortable, not to mention increasing the risk of infections. At Hair of the Dog, we massage a mask onto cracked pads, replacing the moisture and in turn this protects worn out feet from further damage. We trim the bulk of hair from between the feet, helping to reduce slip-risks.

Dogs paws can pick up burrs, debris, dirt, ice and more recently there have been outbreaks of Alabama Rot. The chemicals in de-icing grit used on the roads can cause a lot of discomfort. Obviously, if you suspect serious damage get your canine pal straight into the vets. Regular pawdicures with a professional groomer should help reduce these issues.

Desensitising your dog to having his feet touched is really important. Settle your dog and start to positiviely reward him or her for allowing you to touch their pads and build up slowly to being able to touch inbetween the pads. This maybe crucial if your dog picks up a stone in his pad when out on a walk.

At Hair of the Dog we don’t just groom but we train too. If you have any training or grooming issues and you are within driving distance of Cherry Lane Garden Centre Braintree then please pop in with your pooch to book a training assesment, or grooming slot. Canine Welfare is at the heart of everything we do. We want dog grooming or  dog training to be a positive experience for your four legged family member. The fastest response is through our FACEBOOK page @hairofthedogcoggeshall but you can also call 07539605752.


We’ve got claws nailed.

Hair of the Dog Salon in Braintree pride themselves in turning out dogs with well clipped nails. Nails should not touch the floor or make noise when your best friend is walking inside or outside.

Dog Groomer versus the Vets

Why should I have my dogs nails done at the groomers? Well firstly, Hair of the Dog groomers have more time than the vets. A bad experience with nail clipping can result in a dog that is frightened of the vet or the salon. Both smell pretty similar if they have been cleaned properly. Having a frightened dog at either can result in accidental injury and distress.

The facts, nailed.
A lot of vets will cut the nails short in one go, this causes pain by cutting through the quick of the nail. It does produce fast results but is painful for your canine companion. If you have ever ripped your nails half way down then you’ll know how it feels. The quick of the nail recedes each time is is cut. So regualr nail clipping is essential to avoid cutting through the quick. Little and often is best. Your dog groomer would be nicking a little off the ends. With dark nails it is more difficult to see the quick. Your groomer can however get the ends of the nails cut. At Hair of the Dog, we encourage shy dogs to come in just for a pat and a treat between treatments so they have positive associations with the salon.

All dog groomers would love it if your dog stood patiently waiting for his hair cut or nails and there are positive reinforcement ways of training your dog to do this.

Reassure and Support
We know however that sometimes a dog is a jack in the box on the table. So we work slowly to reassure your dog that there is no threat. At Hair of the Dog, Cherry Lane Garden Centre in Braintree we have time to lavish on your dog. We will get there in the dogs time. We are not into jerking dogs around or pulling their joints. Dogs must feel supported physically and emotionally.

Homework for ticklish dogs

At home when your dog is snoozing in front of you, gently take his paw in your hand and get him or her used to being handled, treat him after he allows you to touch his paw and make sure you touch the inside of his pads and nails.
This will help him be more relaxed when handled by your vet or dog groomer. Call 07539605752 to book your dog in for regular nail, clipping. We keep nail clipping deliberately affordable, so that your dog can benefit from regular trims.

New Year-New you- New Dog!

We have started our begrudging list of resolutions. The list is long and the time is limited.

I have show home aspirations with zero motivation. I live in the wilds of the Essex Countryside and basically until February if the footwear isn’t a welly or a muck boot then send help, because I have clearly been abducted. Mud is a key feature in getting in from a walk, either the dog is muddy, or I am muddy and mud seems to leach onto the porch way. This year I am going to try and fight the mud and preserve the hallway.

Winter Woollies
Dogs coats tangle in the mud and salt water itches dogs skin. Salt water needs to come off dogs, as does sand.

Now is a really good time to get a pre- new year clean on the go. With visiting animals, its a good idea to treat carpets, crevices in the floor boards and pet sleeping areas. Your dog will thank you for it. Even the most pampered pooches can pick up a passenger form the dog park, or on those long lazy Winter walks.

Some of your dogs might be the proud recipients of dog coats or jumpers. Dog coats look lovely and are great for smooth coated hounds, ill or elderly dogs. Like harness’ however on a curly coat, they can cause matting under the arm pit areas. So it’s time to pay extra special attention to those areas and brush as often as you can. IF you love your dog fluffy ( who doesn’t?) home maintenance is key. A trip to the dog groomer can either be about style or it can be about welfare. Ask your dog groomer if your coat-care routine is on the right lines for your dog. Some clients have their dogs clipped short in Winter so they can run free without collecting forest floor leaves or sand and they won’t overheat in their latest coat or jumper. Monitor your dog regularly for signs of over heating . If you have a lively jack russell who loves to tear after his dog pals on the beach, a coat might not be the best idea.

Cold hose versus Warm soak
My military friends talk about having a stand- up wash -down when they are on manoeuvres. Sometimes we just have to get the mud off as quickly as possible as it can harbour nasty bacteria.Make sure the pads get washed too. If tethering a dog and hosing it down with cold water is not having a positive effect on your dog- consider booking him in for a bath and de-shed at the Hair of the Dog dog salon in Braintree. We use warm water, inn a secure bath and if your pooch is a wriggler- you may stay with your dog. Many salons do not allow this. At this dog salon we want your dog to be as comfortable as possible. It needs to be a positive experience and if the presence of an owner helps, then we welcome you.

Around rural Essex we have loads of lovely dog walks and at Hair of the Dog we love to see working dogs and active dogs. A pup with sand in his pads or mud up his legs is a happy dog. He has debris from adventures and we are spoiled here for woodland and coastal walks. Your dog is shedding, dogs blow their coat twice a year and they aren’t programmed to stop at Christmas. Book your dog in for a professional de-shed or full groom to remove dead coat. At Hair of the Dog in Braintree we work with natural products as far as possible. We are a gentle dog grooming salon and happy to break shy dogs visits into a few sessions, to build their confidence.

We love your dog like you do.

The Christmas fall out.

Over the festive period, you and your dog have probably had a really exciting time. I saw plenty of articles about introducing dogs gently to new people, giving them safe rooms where they could retreat to and even advice to owners on how to deal with THAT relative who feeds dogs from the table or brings in the equivalent of Haribo treats for the dog you have brought up on a species-appropriate feeding programme. We hope you didn’t bludgeon them to death with a Christmas cracker.

The visitors are emptying out, the children have opened their presents and the back garden looks like you have relocated the recycling depot. Get the house back to normal as soon as you can. Get the dogs bed back in his usual place so that your dog can chill out, relax and process all the new information he has learnt about people and behaviour over the past few days.

The influx of visitors or new dogs can sometimes affect the behaviour of your dog, perhaps your dog was crated more than usual over Christmas, or perhaps it was difficult to manage his or her environment, with people opening and closing doors and letting them into the living room to eye the Christmas baubles, which lets face it look like balls for the park with a bit more glitter. If a behaviour becomes a habit, then you need professional training to address it. At Hair of the Dog, Emma our associate trainer can evaluate your dog’s habits and put together a programme for hourly sessions to encourage the best behaviours in your dog. Please enquire on our Facebook page or pop into Hair of the Dog in Cherry Lane Garden Centre, Coggeshall Road Cherry Lane – Braintree
A120/Coggeshall Road
CM77 8AE