Your Dog Editor Sarah Wright gives us an insight into a typical day with her Norfolk Terrier, Bertie...
"It’s 5.30am and, for me, this is the toughest part of the day. I struggle downstairs and into the kitchen, rubbing my eyes and yawning. No such problem for Norfolk Terrier Bertie; it’s time for one of the highlights of his day — the morning walk. He’s wide awake, headbutting the door of his crate in his excitement to get out. He’s puzzled by my tiredness. What’s not to like about a run around the fields, in the dark, on a cold, wet autumnal day, when scents and smells are at their height?
"I put the kettle on, open the crate door, and sit down for a moment. He jumps on my knee, making happy, snuffling noises. Then he looks me full in the face and makes eye contact; it’s his idea of motivation, a reminder that the outside world is waiting for us.
"Once we’re out in the fresh air, I perk up. Nothing beats a walk in the morning, for getting the brain and body working. Bertie takes his time, meticulously sniffing and investigating every clump of grass, and checking that no one has left any food about. Our progress is slow, but this is important business for dogs, and I know I must be patient and let him have a little time to explore and use his senses.
"After a while, I walk on and call him to follow, but I suspect he isn’t really listening to me. He buries his head a bit further into the grass and pretends not to hear — he is a terrier after all!
"Just as I start to feel a little frustrated by his delayed response, he lifts his head, gives me his most appealing look, and gallops flat-out towards me as if he has only just heard my call due to his advancing years (actually, he’s only seven!).
"He skids to a halt at my feet, sits, and looks up straight into my face, one paw raised in greeting (his party trick). It works every time, and he receives a treat for his speedy recall!
"Back at the house, it’s time for another of the highlights of our day — breakfast! I’m being careful about Bertie’s weight at the moment (Norfolks are known for their love of food), so I know he’s a little disappointed with the single layer of moistened biscuits in the bottom of his food bowl. But he’s not alone — I have restricted rations too (one piece of toast with a scraping of butter and Marmite). What our breakfasts lack in volume, they make up for in deliciousness!
"Later, I give Bertie a Pedigree® Dentastix Twice Weekly™ chew to gnaw, and that keeps him happy for a long time. I’m pretty hot on dog dental care — and our routine includes Bertie having his teeth brushed. He’s got used to it now and is very well-behaved, enjoying his meat-flavoured toothpaste.
"After a good walk, and a good chew, he’s more than happy to curl up on his bed near my desk while I get on with some work. Every now and then, as the day progresses, I’ll hear the patter of little paws, and feel a wet nose pressed against my hand. After a couple of minutes’ attention — and lots of reassurance about how handsome he is — he’ll patter back to his bed and curl up for another snooze. But when five o’clock comes around, the alarm clock in his head goes off, and he leaps up from his bed and starts spinning around with excitement. There’s no escape — it’s time for another walk, and another highlight of his day!"
If you would like to introduce a daily dental care routine for your dog's teeth, take a look at Pedigree®'s guide to dog dental care.