The Critters’ Choice: as voted for by our Pet Panel

We recently introduced you to Elvis, our four-legged (and two-wheeled) Less Ordinary Pets Ambassador; now it’s time to meet the five other companions making up our pet panel. Each an expert in their field, they’ve been giving a paw of approval to some of the finest – and least ordinary – items from our pets department.

See more from the pets department.

Nala, Head of Homeware (esp. Bedding)

Luxury Mattress Style Dog Bed In Weave

You’d struggle to meet a lazier dog than Nala. A true lady of leisure, it only seemed right that we invited her last Sunday to put one of our most luxurious beds to the test: the Luxury Mattress Style Dog Bed In Weave, topped with a sumptuous Oatmeal Faux Fur Blanket.

Nala’s Sunday mornings are usually interrupted very early by the younger, two-legged members of her family; but after an extended lie-in, yawning and thinking about breakfast, she drags herself out of bed and rouses the grown-ups for a trip to the park. It usually takes a few attempts (employing the classic wet-nose-in-the-face tactic) until the grown-ups finally get the message. As Nala sees it, the sooner they get the walk out of the way, the sooner she gets to eat; and the sooner she can eat, the sooner she can get back to bed.

Now that she’s discovered Charley Chau’s bountiful bedding, mind you, she’s hoping to remain horizontal for as much time as she possibly can. Last Sunday was doggy heaven – the entire afternoon was spent spread out on thick, upholstery grade fabric filled with a plump mattress, which didn’t have a single lump or bump in sight. The accompanying furry blanket provided the ultimate comfort; soft, light and not too warm, even the grown-ups wanted to snuggle under.

Cheekily, Nala was hoping that if she stayed asleep for long enough she wouldn’t have to give the bed back once the testing was up. And it worked! All she need worry about now is the envious glare of sister Molly, who’s wondering why on earth she’s getting all the attention…

Luxury Mattress Style Dog Bed In Weave and Oatmeal Faux Fur Blanket
Comfort factor: Five paws
Style factor: Five paws
Less ordinary factor: Three paws

Jubilee, Gift Cat(egory) Expert

Cardboard Teepee Cat Playhouse

Having spent many an occasion ‘helping’ with the wrapping up – testing the crumple-factor of each new roll of paper, gathering lengths of ribbon and trying to find the end of the spool of string – Jubilee is more than qualified to try out one of the latest gifts from our collection for cats.

She loves exploring the inside of any box or bag, so gladly jumped straight into the Cardboard Teepee Cat Playhouse as soon as it was built. To her surprise, the playhouse even includes little toys to hang from the inside – which, according to Jubie, are just as much fun to chase loose around the bedroom.

The playhouse also comes with plenty different motifs, which you can attach to the front for decoration. Jubie opted for a sleek minimalist design, picking one or two pieces to personalise her space then happily chewing through the rest of the pack.

Jubie’s Mum and Dad were kept happy too – the playhouse took seconds to put together and they can’t remember the last time they saw her having so much fun. She’d previously longed to be accepted into the family of chickens at the bottom of the garden, filling up on seed at feeding time and spending her nights protectively sitting on top of the coop, but since taking delivery of her new playhouse the birds have (perhaps happily) been left to their own devices.

Cardboard Teepee Cat Playhouse
Fun factor: Five paws
Style factor: Four paws
Less ordinary factor: Five paws

Mabel, Food Critic

It took a couple of minutes for Mabel to realise they weren’t playing hide-and-seek, but a new and even more rewarding game.

Mabel the labrador adores all things chocolate – she’s toted it as next season’s must-wear colour for the past three years. She’s also a major food fanatic; not that she’s greedy, mind – just an adventurous eater with a more-than-healthy appetite. If pushed to choose her single desert island luxury, she’d almost certainly request a cake made from edible tennis balls: the ultimate combination of her two favourite things.

During previous Easter celebrations, Mabel found herself sniffing longingly around the treats being enjoyed by her human counterparts, wishing she could dive right in. But luckily, she and her Mum knew better – regular chocolate is not fit for canine consumption. The ingredients can be toxic, leading to an upset stomach at the very least (and sometimes a lot, lot worse).

That’s why she couldn’t couldn’t believe her luck when a heavenly delivery of Easter Eggs For Dogs landed on her doorstep this year. She could finally share in the family fun and enjoy a delicious treat made from dog-friendly carob.

All in all, Mabel’s first ever egg hunt was an enormous hit – after patiently waiting for the foil to be removed, she bounded into the garden to get started. Once she’d got the hang of the game, it didn’t take long for her expert nose to sniff out the treats which, unsurprisingly to all, were promptly and enthusiastically devoured.

Due to huge demand, our Easter Eggs For Dogs are no longer available but you’ll find plenty more delicious and dog-friendly treats in our pets department.

Easter Eggs For Dogs
Taste factor: Five paws
Fun factor: Four paws
Less ordinary factor: Five paws

Louis, Fashion Editor

Dachschund Gloucester Zig Zag Jumper

Louis is without a doubt the most sought-after chap at HQ (sorry, team). Each visit is accompanied by a chorus of “coo”s from the girls, who in equal parts adore and envy him for his ridiculously glossy hair and perfectly manicured paws.

So, who better to sport one of the most dashing pieces from our range of clothing and accessories? An unashamedly enthusiastic poser, Louis leapt at the chance to strut his stuff in a Dachshund Gloucester Zig Zag Jumper.

Red is by far his favourite colour, so Louis opted for the Saffron/Oatmeal design to perfectly complement his collar and lead. Unlike other pieces in his wardrobe, it was easy to put on and the snug shape means there’s no need for awkward velcro straps (being so petite, he’ll often – to his horror – find these trailing along the floor underneath him, which isn’t a good look).

Made from 100% lambswool, it’s super soft and warm. Louis hates being chilly, so was impressed to discover that the jumper was snug around the body but long enough to keep his entire length cosy. He’d definitely recommend it to all discerning Dachshunds – the range of colours and soft, stretchy knit means it’s ideal for sausage dogs of all tastes, shapes and sizes.

Dachshund Gloucester Zig Zag Jumper
Style factor: Five paws
Comfort factor: Five paws
Less ordinary factor: Three paws

Mudley, DEO

After sampling the cologne, Mudley decided spectacles would complete his suave new look.

Meet Mudley, our DEO. He lives with Holly (CEO) and despite being just a few months old has already worked out exactly how to run their household, as well as asserting himself top dog at HQ. We sent Mudley a Dog Grooming Kit In A Matchbox, treating him to a miniature bottle of dog cologne – and his first ever teeth-clean.

Though he’s growing fast, Mudley knows he’ll never be able to tower over his peers – but he also knows that all good things come in small packages. Opening the little matchbox to reveal a handy grooming kit was terribly exciting, and having his teeth cleaned surprisingly fun (although, says Holly, he didn’t take the exercise entirely seriously).

Dog Grooming Kit In A Matchbox

Dog Grooming Kit In A Matchbox

His gnashers are now squeaky clean and he’s been dabbing a touch of cologne before each trip to the park, or taking important visitors. Cousin Mabel (above) has already given the sniff of approval.

Dog Grooming Kit In A Matchbox
Fun factor: Four paws
Smell factor: Four paws
Less ordinary factor: Five paws


  • Comment by michellelanstone

    Totally fallen in love with Mudley – is he a terrier of some kind? What breed is he???? Looking to get a puppy when my husband leaves his career (to work with our noths business in a few weeks…. EEK!! EXCITING!!!) and we will be getting a puppy to add to the crazy chaos at home. He totally tickles my fancy.
    And while you are all about the pets, we would love to send you some Auntie Mims dog tags that we are launching soon. Just let me know what any of you from the noths team would like and we’ll send them in to you… we need some canine friends to test our tags and your lot look like just the ones we need!!

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