The National Pet Show       Shopping Experience

Oscar Teckel shops at The National Pet Show

Any dog who has ever been to The National Pet Show knows it is imperative to check their human’s pockets, to ensure they are very deep!.  Although the girls had told me about previous shows,  I did not realise just how big the temptation to spend would be until I got to the NEC and saw the massive Hall 4 packed with traders of every description.


Cushions, beds, collars, leads, bandanas, jewellery, dishes, ornaments, human clothing and much more were jam packed throughout the venue. My early morning recognisance tour of the hall covered all areas so that I could pinpoint chosen retailers.    Sadly, rolled leather collars and leads were absent, but I found some very desirable purchases, although my allowance would not cover everything I needed.  However Mum was happy to help out, but refused to buy me one of the pussy cat lamps that would have given us so much fun!

I did not buy everything I wanted from the vast array of goods on offer but was fascinted by some exhibitors. For instance, Virtual Vet Derms were there, and gave us literature inviting readers to speak to a veterinary Specialist directly if their dogs have skin or ear problems.  The idea is that you get in touch with a top veterinary dermatologist via their website if you have pooches with these issues, upload up to three pictures along with a bit of history about the problem, and they can then help you with managing the condition.  For more information click


If you ever use them, please let us know how it works out for you.  Was it a help, and did it meet your needs?

One stand that surprised me was that of the Collar Club.  I assumed I could get my collar and lead here, but no! I was mortified to discover that this company sends out treats and eco-friendly toys to dogs every month, for a subscription of  course.  I refused their offer to give it a try, as I already have far too many toys, and Mum strictly limits my treats, which are either meat/fish based, and invariably  made by herself.  But if you are interested in getting your monthly goodies box go to


Of course, there were plenty of food stands, and we cannot review them all, but one I tried on Saturday evening and Sunday morning was ‘almo nature’.  That’s right, no capital letters.  At home I am a raw fed dog, but when I am away, I need something else if my food cannot be refrigerated. Well, we got talking to the lovely people at ‘almo nature’ and they gave me a goodie bag that held literature and some small tins of food!  Mum decided that rather than feeding just dry food, I should try the tins, each of which contained just a little less than my normal amount.  It’s OK, she topped it up with a bit of dry food also in the goodie bag.  I can tell you that this lovely, juicy food was delicious, and Mum will be buying some more for me for further fridge-deprived journeys.  By the way they do cat food too.


Going around I saw some beds offering the degree of comfort that befits my status,   I was particular  excited and  delighted to come across this baby, called ‘The Boneo’ from Ivy & Duke. 

Wow, that is comfortable, and if I had one it would be mine all mine, because it’s too tall for the girls to reach in to.  I love the classy fabric, which gave it the look and feel of upmarket luxury. Mum couldn’t stop stroking it, a sure sign that it was good.   In fact, all their beds and fabric were very desirable, so guess what will be included in  my shopping list for Crufts?  I am longing to stretch my full length out on this special little number.  Click

Of course, it’s no good having a comfy bed if you don’t have lovely warm covers over you on a winter’s night.  I have long coveted the lovely monogrammed cover Emma and Dolly got a few months ago, so I searched for the manufacturers.  Yes,  Mr. Mole was there, and up on the shelf was a demo throw, embroidered with my name.  “I would like one of those please,” I said to Naomi (Mrs. Mole, I think) but as it was a display model, I had my very own bespoke one, in British Racing Green, with “OSCAR” printed large in gold lettering.  Well, a man has his position to maintain!  

Mr. Mole also embroidered one for my friend Pickles, with whom the girls were staying.  We do recommend these covers, as they are personalised, warm and snuggly and yes, they do feel like moleskin.  By the way, they sell lots of other things too, so are worth looking up.


Of course, I popped by to see Oscar & Hooch…. well, it seemed right with a name like mine! They had some lovely leads and collars, but sadly not the kind that we wear, so I had to say goodbye, after giving the young lady there a little cuddle.


One company I found and loved was Albies Boutique.  Now regular readers of this newspaper will know that we are not a doggy-dressing-up family.  No, we are plain old loveable family dogs who dress only for purpose e.g. cold weather rather than for fashion.  However as you may know, The National Pet Show was just one week before Armistice Day, and Mum could not resist buying us all an Albie’s bandana, bearing poppies and the words, “Lest we Forget.” Of course, we bought one for our friend Pickles, who was home caring for the girls.   We all wore our poppy bandanas with pride on Armistice weekend.  Thanks Albie, for guiding us to them;  you are a pretty smart cookie, making them all by yourself!

Albie is a great little fellow, don't you think?  


Remember me talking about dog beds earlier?  Well when we met the motorised dog, he was ‘performing on the Petz Podz stand, which was very interesting.   The Podz, are described by the company as “ the worlds first replicated den environment for puppies and dogs.”  These structures look a bit like igloos, and appear to be made with a robust plastic material.  They  can be used for almost any animal, including chickens, rabbits, ducks etc., and provide a nice little hideaway when pets want an afternoon nap!


Here is a picture of the dog I told you about.  If you touched it, it moved and responded to you.  There's a video of this on our Face Book page.

As usual at these events, there were professional photographers wanting to take pictures of visitors.  I did not want to face the camera  but Mum did enter me in a competition to win a photoshoot and a canvas.  Haven’t heard anything yet!


Of course, all of this was exciting, but I was especially pleased to see a new dog magazine, and accepted a free copy to peruse on the journey home.  The magazine is ‘Edition Dog’ and I am impressed!    It is concerned with canine health & wellbeing, because the publishers believe our physical and mental health is very  important indeed. They point out that we are as important as all family members, and need the same level of love and care as everyone else in the home. Within the ‘Edition Dog’ Magazine, you will find an holistic approach to dog health, wellbeing and nutrition, which  should help our pawrents to do the very best for us.  This is a very attractive and informative magazine, with plenty of pictures.  I guess that like us, they know their readers just love photographs!

As you know, there were loads of different pets at the show, and their welfare was supervised by Tim Wass MBE, who is Chief Executive of  Safe Haven for Donkey.  We met him on our first night at the hotel and I was mortally offended when he told Mum I was too fat and too long!  We knew that of course, and he kind of repented when Mum told him of my circumstances and the reason for my portly girth.  As to my length…. That’s how I was born, and if I use ramps and generally take care, then I can minimise the risk of acquiring IVDD.  Of course, Tim was really a kind man and we saw him several times at the show going about his business.   I wondered if this little fellow, named Todd, realised he was being so well cared for.  

Now to the most exciting personal part of my day in the shopping area. I was looking round for a nice warm winter coat and visited the Mountain Dog stand because they had lots to choose from. The first candidate was gorgeous, a stylish dark blue number with contrasting trim.  I looked superb in it, but Mum put her foot down when told it was £64.something!  The gentleman who served us then went to a new range, called Tresspaws, and I tried a lovely red one that fitted like a glove. Wow!  Did I look good?  Judge for yourselves!  

Although my modelling experience is somewhat limited, I think I made a fair job of showing the coat off from all angles. I am, of course, the epitonme of sartorial elegance in this coat, which has a removable fleece lining, making it useful all year round. It protects not just my top coat, but also my under-belly fur, which really does get soggy in wet weather. Oh and it has a little hidden collar to protect my neck on wet and windy days. Can’t wait to go out in it….. if only the temperature would fall a bit!


I enjoyed my shopping experience at The National Pet Show and came away with lots of ideas about desirable dogphernalia for the next big event.  I plan to take a pantechnicon to bring home my haul!


I have another wrticle to write about the National Pet Show 2018 so watch this space!

Oscar Teckel

Major Events Editor

13th November 2018


Photography:  Diana Bailey

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