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PerfectPeaches

PerfectPeaches
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Member since: 04.05.2010

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      18.03.2014 14:04
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      A decent sized dog treat

      My dogs are very much members of my family and are therefore a teeny little bit spoilt! I basically cannot walk into my local pet store or any pet store for that matter and come away with nothing for them. If you open the cupboard solely dedicated for my dogs then you will be met with an array of various dog treats, bones and chews as they do tend to get rewarded quite often or at least they have to do something i.e. sit and wait to get a token treat.

      My latest purchase which I have bought before was the Arden Grange Crunchy Bites purely because they have been on offer in my local pet store at just £1 per bag as they were making way for new stock. Arden Grange is a brand known for its hypoallergenic and gluten free offerings and is widely accessible whether in a pet store or online. They are not the most expensive brand but nor are they the cheapest but what they do offer tends to be pretty good quality.

      The Arden Grange Crunchy Bites are a biscuit type treat which come in four varieties - chicken, lamb, salmon and 'light' which is also chicken. They are hypoallergenic and free from gluten, dairy, beef and soya which makes them ideal for those dogs such as my one that have sensitivities to certain ingredients. Or just ideal to reward your dog with a crunchy treat which apparently won't ruin a dog's appetite!

      Regardless of which flavour you opt to purchase, the type of packaging remains the same. The only difference is the colour of the plastic type pouch/bag that these Crunchy Bites come in. The chicken come in a red bag, lamb in green, salmon in a salmon coloured bag and the 'light' in pale blue. The colours they come in are exactly the same colours as the bags of the actual dry dog food so each flavour is colour coded. The pouch on the front has the Arden Grange logo together with the product name and flavour of choice. On the back of it, there is information about the Crunchy Bites together with the list of ingredients and recommended daily allowance.

      The Crunchy Bites are bone shaped and a quite a decent size around 6/7cm so ideal for larger dogs as they actually have to bite into them to swallow and of course for smaller dogs it will just keep them occupied for a few more seconds than an average treat! The biscuits are a brown colour and look quite dense in terms of texture. When snapped in half the inside is textured like a sponge so they actually contain quite a bit of air as the treats are not perfectly solid.

      It is safe to say that my dogs really quite like these treats and it isn't often that they do actually turn there nose up at a treat. Because of their slightly larger size they do make my dogs stop and actually bite into the treat rather than it being swallowed hole. I've bought all of the flavours over the last few years and they don't really have a preference as to their favourite flavour as they all go down well. I do only use them as a reward as they are just too big for training but make an ideal token treat.

      Overall, I really don't have any complaints about these treats. Because they are hypo-allergenic they suit my dogs completely as they don't have any known irritants in them which can cause my one dog discomfort so I know I'm safe to feed them to him. Definitely a recommendation if your look for a bag of treats for your dog. 5 stars from me.

      == Product Information ==

      Brand: Arden Grange
      Sizes & Prices: 250g - £2.40 & 5kg - £24.60 (RRP as per Arden Grange March 2014)
      Availability: In Arden Grange stockists such as pet stores and online

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      17.03.2014 15:45
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      A decent wet food

      My dogs are predominantly on a dry food diet plus a bit of raw i.e. chicken wings. However, they do get wet food during the week even if it is just a small token amount as it gives them some variety and for my fussy canine he seems to prefer it this way. Because of both my adult dogs tend to be a little sensitive when it comes to food I do have to watch what they consume so finding a sensitive or hypo-allergenic wet food is generally on my shopping list.

      The wet food of choice mainly tends to be Arden Grange Partners canned food. Arden Grange is a middle of the road brand who create hypo-allergenic foods for dogs both wet and dry. Arden Grange have a decent selection of dog foods and most will be suitable for any dog. The Partners range comes in lamb, beef and sensitive ocean white fish so there is limited choice but as my dogs have never not eaten it for me its fine.

      Regardless of variety you buy they all come in the same can with a ring pull top. The lamb variety comes with a green label, beef with a red label and the sensitive in a grey label (each match the colours of the dry food). Currently I have the lamb variety at home and on the label not only does it feature the product name and variety but also the Arden Grange logo together with a picture of a dog. On the other side of the can, there is information about the product, feeding guidelines, ingredients list and contact information.

      The Partners wet food has been formulated for dogs over the age of 9 months and for those that have a dietary allergy or intolerance. The wet food apparently is also good for those dogs that are ill or recuperating as it is incredibly gentle on the system. Of course, it isn't only for dogs with issues but can also be fed to dogs on normal diets so it isn't restrictive in any way.

      As I said above my dogs are currently enjoying the lamb variety which they both love. Upon opening the can you do get a waft of that typical dog food smell but what you see in the can isn't like the gravy based meaty chunks you get in certain brands of form. What you do get with Arden Grange Partners is a light brown coloured solid block of food. The texture is like a soft pate and is easily broken up with a fork as it just glides right through the wet food.

      Because of its soft texture you can easily mix this in with the dry biscuits and it seems a little does actually go quite a long way. Occasionally you will see a small piece of carrot but the majority of the ingredients are completed blended in to make what is a very smooth wet dog food. It also has a low water content compared to other wet dog foods which makes it quite smooth. When feeding this food alongside your normal dry food you do need to take the amounts into account, the general rule with feeding Arden Grange foods together is reduce the amount you feed by 40g for ever 120gs of Partners wet food. Obviously, if feeding a different brand you should still reduce the amount accordingly.

      My dogs adore this wet food and whenever they do have it combined with their dry food and it doesn't take them long to demolish what they have been given. I do like the fact that the food does contain Glucosamine and Chrondroitin which is great for looking after the bones and joints, ideal for me as I have large dogs. Despite being a wet food and the initial waft of that wet food type smell, it actually isn't as bad when you are mixing it with a dry food as it really isn't that strong.

      Overall, I can't complain about this wet food at all. It hasn't caused any problems with either of my adult dogs in terms of skin/coat condition or little gifts left for me in the garden! I haven't stopped buying this wet food and I do switch from the beef to lamb to give them a little variety even though there really is not much difference other than protein used. It may be more expensive per can than say Pedigree but it is far more beneficial to your canine and definitely worth the extra. Easily 5 stars from me.

      == Product Information ==

      Brand: Arden Grange
      Price: £5.99 per a pack of 6 (Zooplus March 2014)
      Size: 395g
      Availability: Pet stores and online pet stores
      Analytical Constituents: Moisture 70%, Crude Protein 11%, Fat Content 8%, Crude Ash 3.5%, Crude Fibres 1%.
      Composition: Fresh lamb (70%), Rice (6%), Minerals, Peas, Carrots, Beet pulp, Fish oil, Seaweed extract, Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Cranberry, Yucca extract, Yeast Extract (High nucleotides)

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      • More +
        14.03.2014 12:48
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        A hypo-allergenic food specifically for sensitive dogs

        When my fussy flat coated retriever first started to show signs of an allergy or irritant, the first thing I did was change his diet albeit gradually. One of the most common irritants is found in food so after speaking with an Arden Grange nutritionist I started my canine friend on the Arden Grange Sensitive Ocean White Fish and Potato as grains such as rice can actually be an irritant although a lot of hypo-allergenic or "sensitive" foods for dogs contain rice.

        Arden Grange does a whole range of dog foods but are all hypo-allergenic and can come in a variety of flavours and certain foods suitable for overweight dogs as well as sensitive dogs. Arden Grange is quite a popular dry dog food and is middle range in terms of pricing. By no means is it the cheapest but nor is it the most expensive. It comes in three bag sizes so you can buy as little or as much as you need, ideal depending on the size of your dog.

        They come in colour coded bags depending on which one you want. The Sensitive Ocean White Fish and Potato comes in a very bland grey coloured bag which features an image of a Dalmatian on the front together with the Arden Grange logo and a few snippets of info. On the back of the bag there is further more detailed information about the dry food together with the recommended daily feeding amount, ingredients list and contact details for Arden Grange.

        The Arden Grange Sensitive Ocean White Fish and Potato has been specifically formulated for those adult dogs as well as older puppies who have an intolerance to chicken or grain based foods. It is a complete dry food diet so you don't need to add anything else to it. It is specifically for those dogs who may suffer with a delicate digestive system or those that can suffer with sensitive skin. White fish provides a protein that can be easily broken down by the dog's body which teamed with a decent Omega 3 - Omega 6 ratio this can help alleviate inflammation and helps to try and reduce immune reactions. Potato is a great ingredient as it is calming on the system.

        The dog food is regardless of the size of the bag the individual kibble pieces are all one size and they are quite large. They are a dark brown colour in a slightly oval shape. Now despite being made of fish they don't have a big strong smell, what you can smell is actually quite subtle. You simply get a typical dog biscuit smell which is hardly offensive. If you do have small dogs or veterans whose teeth aren't that great, they may struggle with the size of the kibble but it is easily softened with a little hot water and left to cool.

        There is a comprehensive guide as to the required feeding amounts on the back of the bag but these shouldn't be taken for gospel as each dog's needs are very different. My dogs are working dogs and require a higher amount compared to one that goes out for a walk once or twice a day. Therefore, it is important that you take your dog's needs into consideration, just because the bag tells you to feed 'x' amount doesn't mean you actually should.

        Now my flat coated retriever isn't called fussy for no reason. Despite being a retriever, generally classed as a greedy dog, he definitely isn't. I bought a large 12kg bag and only a third of the way in, he decides that he doesn't want to eat it anymore. He started off eager to have a bowl of this twice a day but it soon came apparent when he started to pick at it or even turn his back on it that he wasn't too impressed with it. In the end to bribe him I softened it with a little water and I even added a small amount of grated cheese to it to see if it would tempt him.

        Now although he is a big fan of fish, he clearly wasn't a big fan of this although my Labrador thoroughly enjoyed it so my money wasn't completely wasted. I can only put it down to the lack of smell, he seems to be driven by stronger smelling foods and this is actually quite bland. Now, despite picking at this for around a month I did notice that his skin on his belly (where the fur is thinner) wasn't as red as it has been but his itching hadn't really subsided.

        My Labrador on the other hand who although isn't as fussy and will try and eat anything, she can have a sensitive digestive system so I do have to be careful what I feed her (and what she manages to get hold of) and she didn't mind this food whatsoever. She didn't have any problems being on this food in fact her toilet habits were a lot better and she looked healthy in terms of her coat, eyes and skin.

        Unfortunately, due to the fussy one going completely off this I won't be buying it again. Not only did he go off it which I could put down to the lack of smell to it, it also has a very high protein percentage of 25%. This really is too high for both my dogs despite being working dogs. It may be cereal and grain free but the higher protein levels just don't sit well with me but it may suits others. Therefore, just 3 stars for me.

        == Product Details ==

        Brand: Arden Grange
        Price & Sizes: 2kg - £10.30, 6kg - £26.20 & 12kg - £48.80
        Analytical Constituents: Crude Protein 25%, Fat Content 14%, Crude Ash 9%, Crude Fibres 3%, Calcium 2.3%, Phosphorous 1. 5%, Omega-3 2.2%, Omega-6 1.72%.
        Composition: Potato (42%), ocean white fish meal (26%), beet pulp, chicken oil, linseed, chicken digest, yeast, whole dried egg powder, fish oil, prebiotic FOS, prebiotic MOS, cranberries, yucca extract, glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, nucleotides.

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      • Pedigree Cheesy Bites / Dog Food / 30 Readings / 30 Ratings
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        13.03.2014 14:09
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        An ideal treat to take training

        Both of my adult dogs and eventually the puppy are gundogs in training. My Labrador comes for the jolly as she really isn't a natural retriever, whereas my flat coated retriever does it because he has a natural drive to go out into the field and retrieve (mostly sticks but the desire is there!). Therefore, when they have done something good and deserve a reward I always have a pocket full of small treats as a reward for them.

        I'm not normally too fussed when it comes to my training treats just as long as they have a soft texture and are small in size (around about a 5p) as they are only designed to be a token rather than a full meal! The current packet of treats in my cupboard for training are the Pedigree Cheesy Bites as I managed to pick up a few packets in my local pet store for 50p per bag (half price) as they were nearing the sell by date.

        The Pedigree Cheesy Bites come in the typical bright yellow and red packaging. They come in a foil lined packet which is slightly smaller than a crisp packet. Of course, there is an image of a dog on the front together with the Pedigree logo and product name. On the back of the packet there is the usual information about the Cheesy Bites together with the daily recommended feeding guidelines, ingredients list as well as contact details for Pedigree.

        The Cheesy Bites are slightly oval in shape and are really no bigger than 5p coin but just a little bit thicker in width. They really are small in size so ideal for training. They have a beige coloured outer shell and have a softer, darker brown centre. Regardless of the colour the small treats are soft and a little flexible so if you did feel the need to break one in half then they are easy to do so. Apparently they only contain just 2 calories per treat making them a healthier option for training. They also contain Omega 3, calcium and vitamins which all teamed together help the overall health and vitality of your dog.

        Now, they are of course called Cheesy Bites and therefore have a meat and cheese type flavour. Now, for me when I open a packet of these I don't really get much of a smell at all which when I first bought and tried them I was expecting quite a pungent cheesy smell. But alas, no major smell to these treats at all. May be the dogs can smell the cheese more than I can but I'm not going to complain about the lack of cheesy smell!

        Now, obviously I don't taste test the Cheesy Bites but my dogs certainly do and I've never found them to refuse them. I do only tend to use them for training and I find that they will happily work for something so small and are definitely eager to be rewarded. Despite being a 100g bag you actually get quite a lot of the Cheesy Bites because they are so small. Due to their size they don't create any mess either which is a bonus as they tend to go down all in one. What I would say is to store them, to put them in an airtight container as they will dry out and go hard if left in an open packet.

        Overall, these treats are not only cheap but one packet goes quite a long way due to the amount you actually get. I have no complaints with these and will happily continue buying them for my dogs. 5 stars from me.

        == Product Information ==

        Brand: Pedigree
        Price: From around 99p
        Size: 100g
        Availability: Pet stores, supermarkets & online

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        • Pedigree Jumbone / Dog Food / 30 Readings / 30 Ratings
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          12.03.2014 14:04
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          A bigger treat for dogs

          My dogs are much loved members of the family and therefore like us humans they each received a stocking at Christmas full of dog friendly treats and toys. One of the items my mother bought for each of them was the Pedigree Jumbone. Pedigree is one of those brands that everyone has heard of (be it good or bad) and has probably bought something from their range for a dog at some point. I certainly have and I regularly buy one of their items for training purposes.

          The Pedigree Jumbone comes in either chicken or beef (turkey at Christmas as a limited edition) and come in three sizes; small, medium and large. My dogs although classed as a large breed both received a packet of the medium size Jumbones which come as a duo although singular Jumbones can be bought. Regardless of the size, the shape and what they are made of are exactly the same.

          Jumbones come in a wrapper style packaging in the usual yellow and red coloured packaging of all of the other Pedigree products. On the front there is an image of a dog together with the red Pedigree logo and the product name. On the reverse of the wrapper there is information about the product, feeding suggestions i.e. the amount per day as well as an ingredients list and contact details for Pedigree.

          The Pedigree Jumbones are essentially a long, hard but chewable treat for your pooch, very loosely resembling a bone but obviously completely safe to eat. Depending on which variety you buy the "outer shell" will be a slightly different colour. This "outer shell" is to be the bone of the treat which is quite a hard, layer on top of a softer centre which although is solid, it is more crumbly compared to the outer shell as well as being a darker brown colour.

          The Jumbones have been created by Pedigree in conjunction with both nutritionists and veterinarians of Waltham® (they are apparently the world's leading authority on pet care and nutrition) and are free from artificial colours and flavours. They are complete with Omega 3, calcium and vitamins to help the overall health and condition of the dog. The suggested daily amounts are:

          Adult Dogs 25 - 50 lbs: 1-2 per week
          Adult Dogs 50 - 100 lbs: 2-3 per week
          Adult Dogs >100 lbs: 3-4 per week

          For obvious reasons I wouldn't feed my dogs the amounts listed above, at a push they would get one once a week. Even if they were the healthiest treat in the world, having 3 a day would be actually quite expensive! Each apparently provides around 35% of the daily energy needs of a 77 lb (35 kg) dog (my lab is just under at 26kg and my flat coat is 35kg). Therefore, your dog's main meal should be reduced accordingly.

          Now, although I buy Pedigree treats I find that some do not agree with my fussy and also intolerant to some things flat coated retriever so I did wonder whether these would be almost a bit too rich for him (the delicate sort!). However, these Jumbones haven't been a problem for him at all but I really do limit him on these more than I do the Labrador as I can't risk his skin being irritated.

          Both of them have the large variety which they certainly cannot demolish in 5 seconds flat. The fact that they have to gnaw at the harder outer shell to get to the softer, "meatier" centre. The fact that this keeps them completely occupied for a good 20 minutes is great for me as well for them. Once they have go through that outer shell then the centre seems a lot easier for them to get through making short work of the Jumbone once they have managed to get into it.

          Now, whilst I do not feed these to my dogs that regularly, simply because they don't really need them I do find that they are a welcomed occasional treat which keeps them more than happy with their 'prize'. An ideal treat to keep your dogs occupied for however long they last even for larger dogs. 4 stars from me.

          == Product Information ==

          Brand: Pedigree
          Sizes: small, medium & large
          Price: Anywhere from £1 upwards and increasing in size
          Availability: Pet stores, supermarkets and online

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          11.03.2014 14:07
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          A great, 100% natural treat

          I am owned by an incredibly fussy flat coated retriever which is quite an unusual thing for not only the breed but for all retrievers (I also own a Labrador and curly coat retriever who are certainly not fussy!). Trying to get him to eat his main meals can be a challenge in itself but he has also become quite particular about the treats he eats making it hard when you have two extremely greedy dogs and one dog not so bothered who ends up walking off, not so great when trying to train him! Therefore, the treats I tend to buy have to be suitable for him as I then know all three will eat them!

          One treat he does seem to enjoy is the Fish4Dogs Sea Jerky Squares. Fish4Dogs are a brand that have their entire product range based around fish ranging from main dry kibble type foods to a variety of treats. They pride themselves on using a high quality source of fish in all of their products. It is one of the only brands available to solely concentre on one product and they use it because fish is an incredibly source of protein for dogs.

          The Fish4Dogs Sea Jerky Squares come in the usual Fish4Dogs royal blue coloured packaging which is teamed with their yellow font logo. The same type of packaging is used throughout their range of treats. There is a clear window at the front so you can visibly see the Sea Jerky Squares should you want to know what they look like before you buy. On the back of the packet there is information about them, the ingredients, feeding requirements as well as contact information for Fish4Dogs.

          The Sea Jerky Squares are made from 100% fish skins which free from all the horrible, nasty added ingredients which can be found in some dog treats. Due to this they are also a low calorie treat so ideal for those dogs who are greedy as well as those needing to watch their weight! The treats are a dark brownish colour with a khaki tinge to them. Each square is obviously different due to being made of fish skins, they almost look a little like a very dirty sea sponge, as it has that type of textured, spongy look to it.

          On opening the packet you are met with a very pungent fishy smell, no good if you don't like the smell of fish as it is quite a strong smell which isn't the most pleasant. However, dogs find this smell irresistible, or at least mine do! The Sea Jerky Squares have a rough texture to them, this is great for their teeth as it helps remove tartar making them a great dental treat. According to Fish4Dogs they are around 25mm in size and are more suitable to medium to large dogs (Fish4Dogs do the Sea Jerky Tiddlers for small dogs).

          I've been feeding my dogs these Sea Jerky Squares for quite a while now and they have never been refused. There is a slight crunch which helps break them up into smaller pieces when they are chewing but within a couple of seconds they have been completed digested with both the adult dogs wanting plenty more. The Squares do also contain natural fish oils which help keep the coat soft and healthy as well as looking after the joints so they are a great treat to have in the house just as long as you can stand the smell of fish (I put mine into an airtight container so they stay fresh and keeps the smell at bag).

          These are definitely a great treat if you want to give your dog something special without the constant thought that treats are either unhealthy or a bit too fattening - I know I have to watch what my Labrador eats as the breed is known to get fat easily. If you don't mind the smell, then these are an ideal treat to keep in your cupboard for your beloved canine friend. 5 stars from me.

          == Product Information ==

          Brand: Fish4Dogs
          Price: £2.99 ish
          Size: 100g
          Misc: Gluten Free and Hypo-allergenic

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          06.03.2014 14:12
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          A healthy treat for your dog

          For my one dog (the fussy flat coated retriever) I have to try and ensure he has a hypoallergenic diet as much as possible due to allergies he has (excessive itching, redness and loss of fur if I don't keep him on this diet) but since the rise of hypoallergenic foods the variety available for both food and treats there is a much better range than there used to be. One brand I like to buy from not just for the fussy one but for my other two is a company called Pet Munchies.

          Pet Munchies are a company that produce 100% natural dog treats. Basically they roast (in their own juices) and then dehumidify select meats such as chicken and duck breasts (they stress that they only use the best quality) and which give the end result of being a healthy, all natural snack/treat for your dog without any additives, colourings etc. Because of this process they are also hypoallergenic and suitable for those with allergies/insensitivities.

          Pet Munchies Chicken Strips are an item from their range that I do buy regularly. They come in a bright orange plastic bag (with a self seal top to ensure freshness) which has a small transparent window so you can just see what the chicken strips actually look like. The Pet Munchies paw logo is on the front and on the reverse you will find information about the product, the daily feeding guidelines together with contact information for the brand itself.

          The chicken strips are quite literally strips of chick breast which are an orange colour which I am guessing is from the process they use to roast and dehumidify the meat (they have a shelf life of 18 months). The chicken strips are quite course to the touch and are not overly soft either but for dogs these are great as they help ensure they have healthy teeth and gums as they have to physically chew the chicken strips in order to swallow them. The chicken strips all tend to be about the same size in the pack, for smaller dogs it may be best to break one in half to help the dog.

          They don't have an overpowering smell about them although there is a roasted type smell when you first open the packet. The packet is self seal which is handy as without this the chicken strips would end up rock hard and pretty useless. I do tend to follow the guidelines when feeding these as although they are a healthy snack compared to other brands it still adds up against the main food allowance unless of course I reduce it down to take snacks into consideration.

          My two adult dogs without a doubt enjoy these chicken strips whether it is because they are more natural to eat rather than a biscuit type treat but they certainly won't waste any. They also don't rush to eat these like they do other treats as they are a bit tougher which does make them work a bit harder for them. My puppy however will have to wait until he his old enough and his teeth have settled to enjoy these as although they look like they soften up I do think they are just a little too tough for him.

          These can become quite an expensive treat if like me you have more than one dog. However, I only use them sparingly and not every day as I would easily get through a packet (or two!) a week. They make a great occasional treat and you know they don't contain anything harmful or anything that really your dog shouldn't be digesting. Overall, a definite recommendation and can give

          == Product Information ==

          Brand: Pet Munchies
          Price: £2.49 (VioVet - March 2014)
          Availability: Pet stores, online stores

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          05.03.2014 15:28
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          A hypoallergenic food

          I am very fortunate enough to own a very wonderful flat coated retriever (as well as two other dogs). He is a gundog in training as well as a Crufts qualified show dog. However, back in September last year I noticed as he was rolling around on the grass that he had a lot of redness on his skin on his belly and after further inspection a few small bald patches. To cut a long story short, after numerous trips to the vets we found he was sensitive to various foods so the journey of trying various foods which are hypoallergenic.

          One such food I originally tried last year is by the brand Skinners. Skinners isn't a brand that will be instantly recognisable with everyone but it is definitely a brand that should be considered. Skinners is a family company, the mill being in use in Suffolk since 1688. They were one of the main forerunners in dry dog food back in the 70s and were originally associated with working dogs as well as gundogs but there decent range of foods are suitable from the working dog to the family dog.

          The variety I bought was the Skinners Field & Trial Duck & Rice which is one of their hypoallergenic dry foods. The kibble has been specifically formulated to exclude those pesky ingredients which can cause allergies and sensitivities which hopefully reduces problems that can occur with the skin, coat and digestion. The dry food itself comes in a dark teal coloured striped bag completed with the Skinners Field & Trial logo together with images in a working dog theme. On the back of the bag there is information of the recommended daily feeding amounts, information about the kibble together with an ingredients list etc.

          The dry food is free from wheat gluten, maize gluten, barley gluten, soya and dairy products which tend to be the main triggers in causing insensitivities and allergies. The duck meal content is 20% quite low in comparison to the whole rice content of 40%. Obviously compared to other brands the meat content is actually quite low as it is also packed out with rice, oats, peas and beet pulp. However, the food also contains all the essential vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates which are needed to help ensure your dog is of optimum health and has sustained stamina (something a gundog definitely needs). To help keep the dog's coat in tip top condition sunflower oil and linseed is used which help provide your dog with a healthy looking glossy coat. The food also contains Glucosamine and Chondroitin to help support the joints.

          The kibble itself is a darkish brown colour and slightly oval in shape. The size is all one size and suits medium to large dogs. For those with smaller, more delicate dogs, if you are wanting to feed this food, it would be best to mash it with hot water and leaving it to cool before giving it to them as it will be softer but as Skinners produce their foods mainly for working dogs they do not cater for the smaller dog such as a Chihuahua. The kibble doesn't have a duck type scent at all, it does however have a very subtle smell to it which is slightly meaty but definitely not pungent as others can be.

          Now, my flat coat retriever started off really enjoying this food. May be is was because it was something new and interesting but after a few weeks his interest waned and he pretty much turned his nose up at his bowl and wondered off leaving a bowl full of dry kibble. To conquer this (in order a 15kg bag didn't go to waist) I poured hot water on it so it softened and mixed it with either vegetables or cheese just to tempt him into eating it. I'm putting the lack of a strong smell as a reason for him turning his nose up at it although my Labrador seemed to thoroughly enjoy every meal!

          My fussy flat coat managed about 3 weeks on this dry food before getting bored of it and once softened he it did spark his interest in it enough for him to actually eat his 2 meals a day. In that time I did notice a marginal difference in his coat. Being a black dog you can tell when the coat looks a little lack lustre and it did improve the texture of his coat as well as adding a glossiness to it that it seemed to loose. However, in terms of settling his skin, he still scratched although not as often but I wouldn't put this down to the food alone as he is on other things for his skin.

          Overall, although I like this dry food it didn't suit my one dog and there is no point buying a separate food for one as it just becomes expensive. I think if you dog isn't a fussy eater then this would be a good choice but for my boy it just didn't suit him. I also found that the protein level for him was a little too high even for being a gundog, he is very typical of his breed and has endless amounts of energy therefore the 22% protein is just too much for him. 4 stars from me.

          == Product Information ==

          Brand: Skinners
          Product Options: 15kg Pack: £26.50 or 2.5kg Pack: £6.59 (RRP)
          Availability: Online, country & pet stores.
          Composition: Whole rice (40%), duck meat meal (20%), oats, peas, whole linseed, sunflower oil, beet pulp, vitamins and minerals.
          Analytical Constituents :Crude Protein: 22%, Crude Oils & Fats: 11%, Crude Fibres: 3.5%. Crude Ash: 5%
          Misc: VAT free

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            04.03.2014 14:15
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            A lovely fabric softener by Lenor

            When it comes to doing the laundry not only do I want my clothes to be clean but I also like them to have a fresh scent to them. The kind of smell that lingers on your clothes even when stored in a wardrobe. I seem to have tried a wide variety of fabric softeners all which promise to leave your clothes soft and leave a fragrance behind but I seem to find that a few I've tried don't really live up to the promise so the search goes on.

            Recently, in my local Co-op I managed to pick up a bottle of Lenor Infusions Gold Orchid which was half price (the only variety which was half price for some reason). I'd never tried this variety from Lenor and was happy to pay the price given that Co-op seems overly expensive compared to other supermarkets so was happy to be paying less.

            Lenor say Gold Orchid "is infused with a seductive hint of vanilla that will brighten your spirits with its soft, refreshing fragrance". Had I of known that the fabric softener had included vanilla (I didn't read the back of the bottle when I bought it) I probably wouldn't have bought it as I cannot stand the smell of vanilla or at least the synthetic, sweet vanilla aroma. However, it was half price so I won't moan!

            The fabric softener comes in a gold metallic bottle with a contrasting silver metallic screw on top, which is also used as a measuring cup if need be. On the front of the bottle there is an image of orchids together with the usual font Lenor logo and the product name. On the back of the bottle is the usual information about the product, how to use it (i.e. dosage amounts) as well as a long list of ingredients and warnings.

            The fabric softener on first sniff you do get a lovely floral type aroma which has a slight sweetness to it but for me, I couldn't detect any vanilla which is perfectly fine by me. The fabric softener is an off white colour, looks pretty much the same as milk although it does have a slightly thicker consistency albeit not by much. On first impressions, the fragrance is definitely not what I had expected after reading it has vanilla but I was pleasantly surprised and hoped that it would fragrance my washing.

            For every wash I only use a small capful as I don't see the point in using too much and I never overfill my washing machine. All I do is pour the capful into the washing machine draw and let the washing machine work it's magic on my clothes. As soon as the wash has finished and the door is opened you get an instant floral aroma which is nice as not only do the clothes smell nice but they also smell incredibly fresh.

            Now, I very rarely use my tumble drier and tend air or line dry my clothes but of course you don't get the softness this way or at least as soft as they could be. However, I found that once dry they were as soft as they could be to the touch for being put on an airer but they also smelt lovely, they had that freshly washed fragrance which was lightly perfumed. Not only that, but I have found the clothes that I have put away since using this fabric softener is that they maybe don't smell as strongly as they first did but the fragrance is definitely noticeable.

            This was definitely a good buy to find and I am pleased I bought it. It hasn't irritated my skin despite being perfumed and it has provided my clothes a lovely fragrance which seems to last even when the clothes/items have been stored. Definitely a recommendation from me. 5 stars.

            == Product Information ==

            Brand: Lenor
            Size: 750ml
            Price: £2.50
            Availability: Supermarkets, discount stores etc.

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              24.02.2014 14:10
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              A great nappy rash relief cream which acts as a barrier

              My daughter as a baby never really suffered with nappy rash and if she did it was only for a few days and was always easily dealt with, with a protective cream. However, as a first time parent it soon becomes apparent as to how many nappy rash creams and ointments there are on the market. They do however, all claim to do the same thing but of course opinions differ as to which brand is better and of course most expensive.

              One brand that I found personally to be a really saviour was Metanium. I seem to remember received a full sized tube whether as a freebie or as a gift when I was expecting my daughter (back in 2010) and it was the one cream I could call upon when my daughter was suffering. Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment is specifically formulated to treat nappy rash, to soothe redness and calm any irritation. The cream acts as a barrier over the skin to protect, care and soothe.

              The nappy cream comes in a pale yellow box together with the product name in lilac writing. The tube it comes in is also pale yellow tube with a white screw on top. As you would expect with an item like this, you get a small amount of information on the box but it does come with a leaflet giving more information about Metanium, what it is meant to do, the ingredients and how to avoid nappy rash.

              The cream itself is pale yellow in colour and has a similar consistency of Sudocrem but as it comes in a tube it is much easier to apply as well as not wasting as much or making any mess. The cream needs to be applied to the affected area which is clean and dry. You simply apply it leaving a thin layer of this pale yellow cream, put the nappy on and let it get to work. You only need a thin layer of this cream and you don't need to use too much as it won't absorb as easily and as quickly.

              I found applying this cream was incredibly easy due to it being in a tube. I could use as much or as little as required and I hardly wasted anything. The consistency is quite thick but once it touches the skin it is easily rubbed in, leaving a thin layer to absorb. The cream has no real fragrance to it which is fine by me as it makes no difference whether it has a fragrance or not! The only thing I found with this cream was trying to get it washed off your hands or if you got it on clothing/fabric it wasn't the easiest, a bit like Sudocrem really!

              I noticed a difference in using Metanium on my daughter almost instantly which is obviously great as I wanted to make her as comfortable as possible. Now, my daughter has never suffered with severe nappy rash or chaffing from her nappy so I can't comment on that as to how effective it would be but for my daughter it eased the redness within about 2 applications of the cream. Metanium can be used after every nappy change so it can get to work quickly on the affected area.

              Not only did this cream work quickly, the redness had all but disappeared after about 2 days which was great. My daughter was a lot more comfortable after a few applications of the cream, making her a lot happier. Because you also use such a small amount as it easily softens when it has skin contact, the one tube really does last quite a while. I really have no complaints about this nappy rash cream as it started to work straight away which is obviously the result I wanted. No complaints from me, so I can easily award it 5 stars.

              == Product Information ==

              Brand: Metanium
              Price: £3.00 (Boots Feb 14)
              Size: 30g

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              12.02.2014 13:34
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              A lovely fragrance hand cream

              For me it is very important to have a hand cream whether it is in my bag or on my desk at work. Because I spend a lot of time outside my hands do suffer with dry skin and I try my hardest to keep my skin well nourished and I can be often found applying hand cream at regular intervals throughout the day. I have tried many brands of hand cream but as long as they keep my skin soft and don't leave a greasy layer or residue behind then I'm happy!

              One of the brands that I love is L'Occitane. I was introduced to this brand by my mother and I have never looked back. My latest hand creams have been from L'Occitane and I found them to be excellent in terms of keeping my dry skin at bay. My latest hand cream currently on my desk at work is the L'Occitane Fleur Chérie Hand Cream which is part of the current Fleur Cherie range although the hand cream isn't currently available.

              Fleur Chérie is a range by L'Occitane whereby they have a collection of various products. The Fleur Cherie range is based on orange blossom flowers which have the most wonderful scent we know more commonly as neroli. I have a few items from the Fleur Chérie range due to receiving a gift box and I love the scent of neroli, it is soft, subtle and sensual and teamed with the orange blossom absolute this fragrance is lovely.

              The hand cream comes in the same style tube as most other L'Occitane hand creams, the recognisable metallic silver tube with a black screw on top (the hand creams always have a silver seal to ensure freshness and also to ensure that they haven't been tampered with). On the front of the tube there is a bright orangey/peach theme featuring the outline of the orange blossom flowers together with the product name in almost art deco style font. On the back of the tube there is information about the hand cream, usage as well as an ingredients list.

              The hand cream itself is made up of a lightweight and formula which promises to be a non-oily cream. Apart from being enriched with the neroli fragrance and orange blossom absolute it is also formulated with grape seed oil and shea butter. The hand cream is pure white in colour and quite a thick consistency which is luxuriously smooth and soft to the touch. It has a lovely subtle fragrance which is in keeping with the Fleur Chérie range as it is quite a sensually floral aroma which isn't overpowering at all.

              I find to use you only need to apply a small amount to your hands as a little goes a long way. Due to having shea butter in (of course known for its skin nourishing properties) it instantly starts to warm upon skin contact, making it very easily to rub in. I find that it is very quick to be absorbed into the skin which is great and it doesn't leave an oily residue behind although you can definitely feel you have applied a hand cream it isn't sticky but your hands do feel instantly smoother to the touch.

              I've been using the hand cream for several weeks now and I think the cream is great. It really does help soften the dry skin and nourish the skin and after using it your hands stay soft for a good few hours too. Within a few days I noticed a difference in terms of how soft my skin felt and they didn't look dry. As I only use such a small amount I do find that my tube looks hardly touched which is great and from past experience one tube does last for quite considerable time. The gentle aroma lightly "perfumes" my hands but is subtle enough not to clash with a perfume.

              A hand cream that is definitely recommended if you want a touch of luxury. As I was given this as a set I don't know the individual price of the hand cream although knowing L'Occitane it's RRP won't be under £9/£10 although you may find a bargain on EBay. 5 stars from me.

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                11.02.2014 13:56
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                A great eye make-up remover

                Removing make up is a daily requirement for keeping your skin in good, healthy condition. I have a relatively simple skin care routine and it seems to work for me. However, I find that having a good eye make-up remover is definitely an essential. I have tried plenty of brands over the years and normally I am quite happy with my L'Oreal eye make-up remover mainly because it is ideal for sensitive skin. However, when you receive a Boots No.5 £5 off voucher I do find it pretty irresistible not to use!

                My latest purchase from the No.7 range courtesy of this voucher was the No.7 Eye Make-Up Remover making it a rather nice purchase at just £3.50 for a 100ml bottle instead of £8.50. I do like No.7 skincare products as they tend to have a decent selection for all skin types and when you can suffer with sensitive skin like I do it is imperative you find skincare products which won't irritate your skin causing it to flare up.

                The eye make-up remover looks exactly the same as the Dooyoo picture, the packaging really hasn't changed at all either. The dual purpose eye make-up remover comes in a clear, transparent plastic bottle with a white flip top lid with 'No.7' on the front in gold together with the product name. On the back there is the product information blurb, ingredients list and contact information for Boots should you require it.

                Now you are probably wondering why the bottle either looks half full or why there are two very distinct parts to the eye make-up remover. Well, No.7 have created it to be a dual purpose product which is gentle enough on sensitive skin. You do need to shake it up before use so the two almost separate liquids have merged into one bright blue transparent liquid. The idea behind the two tone formula is that it cleanses as well as conditions which is also powerful enough to remove waterproof mascara as well as being gentle on the skin.

                To use you simply just open the flip top lid and pour a small amount once you have shaken the bottle thoroughly and pour out onto a cotton wool pad. There is a small hole at the top of the bottle once the lid is open so you do need to be careful with just how much you poor out onto your cotton wool pad and then gentle wipe over your eyelids to remove the make-up.

                After I stopped being so heavy handed with the eye make-up remover and ending up with very soggy cotton wool pads I found that the solution took seconds to remove my eyeshadow and mascara with no problems at all or leaving any black marks under my eyes. I don't use a waterproof mascara so I can't comment on how effective it is but on my normal mascara it really does manage to simply wipe it off so easily, without any hardship at all.

                The remover has a very soft touch to it which reminds me a little of a cleanser and you can tell it is gentle on the skin around the eyes. Since using it, it hasn't once irritated my skin or cause any redness which I have found some eye make-up removers can do. This eye make-up remover does gently remove any eye make up with no problems at all. The skin around my eyes is left soft, smooth and nourished.

                Overall, I really like this eye make-up remover although I find the price a little above what I pay for my L'Oreal one, the fact that it easily removes the eye make-up without any issues and leaves my skin well looked after I do think I would buy it again although I may wait until I have another £5 off voucher! Definitely a recommendation and can easily give it 5 stars.

                == Product Information ==

                Brand: Boots No.7
                Price: £8.50
                Size: 100ml

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                10.02.2014 14:32
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                A lot of promises but a let down from Tums

                Autumn last year saw me take a trip to see a friend over the pond in Washington who had relocated a few years ago. What I was faced with was great American hospitality with regard to food and drink! I was of course very grateful but incredibly concerned that I hadn't packed any heartburn or indigestion relief tablets with me. Of course I was fortunate to be in the land of the 24 hour pharmacies and supermarkets so relief was never far away!

                Relief was however needed after about 3 days into my trip when I realised that not only was I overdoing it allowing myself to eat without any restrictions I was finding myself ending up with terrible heartburn just as I was about to go to bed. Fortunately for me, my friend was able to offer me relief in the form of Tums Assorted Fruit Antacid Tablets which she had hardly touched as she didn't like the flavour so was happy to off load the plastic bottle of coloured tablets for me to have and to use.

                Now I am was not overly familiar with Tums, the only ever recollection is when I used to go to Florida with my family when I was a young teenager and my mum and aunt would always head to Walgreens and stock up on Tums as they were so cheap compared to other brands. The fact that they come in a plastic bottle brought my memories flooding back! However, Tums are available in the UK (Boots and Lloyds to name two pharmacies to stock them - online definitely) but whether I've just been passing them on the shelf I have never seen them myself.

                Tums Assorted Fruit Antacid Tablets are one variety of the Tums Antacid Tablets which come in a few flavour varieties. As I didn't purchase these, I didn't have a choice with regard to the flavour. The Assorted Fruit variety are flavours made up of orange, blackcurrant, lemon & lime and strawberry/cherry. They have been designed like most other antacid tablets to relieve you of symptoms associated with heartburn, trapped wind and indigestion as they contain calcium carbonate which helps to reduce the acidity in the stomach.

                The Tums Assorted Fruit Antacid Tablets come in a clear, plastic bottle type container where you can easily see the amount of Tums per bottle as well as the colours of the tablets. The label on the front is bright orange with 'TUMS' printed on the front. On the back label there is information about the item itself including dosage guidelines, what they will help with and warnings which is all pretty standard for items like this. The bottle has a screw on type top which does feature a foil sealed top to ensure the freshness.

                Tums recommend that you take 1 or 2 tablets as and when needed but not to consume more than 16 tablets in 24 hours - if you are pregnant then you are not to take more than 7. They are designed for adults but children over the age of 12 years old can also take them if need be. You can either suck of chew the tablets as either method will work.

                I normally only ever have to take 2 Rennie tablets and I find they ease my discomfort almost straight away. However, with the Tums I found myself needing to take the tablets quite regularly, no where near the maximum dosage but I found that I needed at least 6 to even start easing my discomfort of heartburn which wasn't great as I wanted more of an immediate effect, especially when suffering at night when all you want to do is sleep, not sit up and wait for your heartburn to go.

                The tablets are of course fruit flavoured and are coloured according to which flavour fruit is used. For me, they all pretty taste much the same. You cannot pick out a certain flavour, yes it is quite nice having 'pretty' coloured tablets but they may as well be all one flavour. They are round in shape and are a similar size to a 5p coin so not large at all. They are easy to chew as they break up easily but they are quite chalky in texture which I will and can put up with but I much prefer the softer, chewable tablets.

                These really didn't help me as instantly as I would have liked and it felt like I was repeatedly having to take tablets to try and ease my heartburn. I'm not overly keen on the fruit flavour but in a way I much prefer it to the chalky mint flavour that other brands have. They do quickly dissolve when you are chewing them but they do leave behind that chalky aftertaste which is manageable just not pleasant.

                Overall, despite their bright coloured packaging they are pretty useless which is a shame when you are in the time of desperate need. I'm very grateful for my friend giving them to me and they may work for some people just not for me. Not really a recommendation and I can only give 2 stars.

                == Product Information ==

                Brand: Tums
                Price: £3.59 (Boots Feb 2014)
                Size: 75 tablets

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                06.02.2014 12:44
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                An ideal chewable table for heartburn/indigestion

                My mother is a sufferer of indigestion and heart burn so whenever I visit I know should I indigestion rear it's ugly head I can head straight for her medicine cabinet and I will have a wide selection to choose from! My parents cook a lot of rich food, mainly Italian (well due to being Italian!) which although I am usually fine with, teamed with red wine and I can find myself rather uncomfortable at the end of the night. After a recent visit I ended up using Remegel as they are not the hard chalky type tablets and thought they would be worth a try.

                My mother has always had a packet of Remegel tablets in her house for as long as I can remember. Like me, she doesn't overly like the hard chalky type heartburn/indigestion relief tablets and has tended to always try and purchase the softer varieties and Remegel has been a firm favourite of hers as she finds them very effective. Remegel are classed as "chewy not chalky" and are aimed to provide fast acting relief for heart burn, indigestion, excess acid, acid indigestion as well as stomach upsets and cramps.

                Remegel are not the easiest of items to find as I've found out (apparently this was due to a licencing issue) but when you do find them they come in a white and green box with the word 'Remegel' in bold, navy blue font at the top complete with an image of the soft tablet. There is information on the back of the box about the item, what it does, how they work, what they will help with etc. They come in a box of 24 - I have never seen them in larger boxes so unsure if you can get greater quantities.

                The main ingredient is Calcium Carbonate which is an antacid which helps to neutralise any excess acid in the stomach, therefore helping to relieve the discomfort of heartburn and indigestion all caused by excess acid. Remegal soft tablets can be taken by adults and by children over the age of 12 years. The recommended dosage is 1-2 tablets every hour as the symptoms occur if needed but the maximum dosage per 24 hours is 12. A bit of common sense comes in to play but they do need to be chewed before swallowing.

                The Remegel soft tablets come in one flavour which is original mint and they are roughly the same size as Rennie tablets just a little thicker in width. They are a pale green colour and slightly soft to the touch. I've always taken 2 tablets and waiting for more than an hour to repeat should my indigestion hasn't died down but to take them they are actually quite pleasant. They are soft to chew and their original mint flavour is not that bad, far better than a Rennie tablet as it seems to have a more of a minty taste to it rather than a chalky aftertaste.

                I do find that these tablets are pretty quick at starting to ease my indigestion and it doesn't take long to start feeling back to normal. My mother who can suffer badly with heartburn finds these quite effective quite quickly and has never needed to ever have any more than 4 in a day. Her heart burn is combined with excess acid which makes it incredibly unpleasant for her but she swears by Remegel as they get to work quite quickly.

                For me, I have found myself buying these more and more, not only because they are not the hard, chalky kind of tablet but they almost have a half decent taste about them. Yes, not as minty and fresh as strong mint but they are pleasant enough to chew, you also don't get that gritty, chalky aftertaste so another bonus. I do find that these work for me and they don't take that long to start working. They have also helped me with an upset stomach which is obviously quite a good thing.

                I really don't have any issues with Remegel other than they are not that easy to find although I buy mine from Tesco, you can't find them as readily available as other brands. However, I find them incredibly effective, easing my symptoms in no time at all so for that reason alone I cannot complain. The flavour and texture suits me far more than the hard tablet so can easily give them 5 stars. Definitely a recommendation and a great alternative to other leading brands.

                == Product Information ==

                Brand: Remegel
                Price: £3.99 (Tesco Feb 2014)
                Size: Box of 24

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                  05.02.2014 14:27
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                  Provides relief for indigestion and heart burn sufferers

                  It is never nice suffering with indigestion or heart burn. Unfortunately for my household I can suffer with indigestion and my other half suffers quite a bit from heart burn. Although it does seem to depend on the type of foods we eat so we can control it, life isn't always as planned and there are times when we are reaching for the medicine cabinet needing something to give that much needed relief.

                  One item that we seem to always have in the cupboard (as well as my handbag it appears) is a box of Rennies. My other half prefers these, where as I prefer the soft gel variety (review to come shortly) but if in need I won't turn my nose up to these as I will try anything to give relief to indigestion. Rennies are apparently the UK's number one heartburn and indigestion tablet brand which I can certainly see why as whenever you go to the aisle and shelf with the heartburn/indigestion products you can clearly see the bright red boxes.

                  Rennie Tablets have been formulated with antacid, Calcium Carbonate and Magnesium Carbonate which held aid the relief of "indigestion, heartburn, acid indigestion, dyspepsia, hyperacidity, nervous indigestion, flatulence, upset stomach, indigestion during pregnancy and biliousness" to name just a few! The Rennie range is quite extensive and offers a variety of different products to help varying problems. This review is for the Rennie Tablet in the Spearmint variety.

                  The tablets come in a bright red box with the Rennie font logo emblazoned on the front of the box in white, bold font. Each tablet comes in a blister pack so each tablet is individual and foil packaged to ensure it's safely sealed. The box features information about the product itself, together with dosage information, ingredients and contact information. The Spearmint variety has a minty green strip on the front which lets you know the flavour you have chosen. The box of 24 which I generally buy is quite small and compact, easy enough to store both at home or in your bag.

                  The dosage is pretty straight forward, for an adult you can actually take up to 16 tablets per day which I find a bit excessive and I have never used more than 4 in a day but I guess this is due to varying levels of pain/discomfort/symptoms that a person endures. Children from the age of 6 years old can also take Rennies and they advise that 1 tablet as required but no more than 8 tablets per day.

                  The tablets can either be sucked or chewed. I much prefer chewing these and just getting them in my system as quickly as possible (followed by a large glass of water to get the taste out of my mouth!). The tablets are white in colour and rectangular in size (relatively small too) and remind me of the chalk you get for a snooker que. They have a subtle minty smell to them but nothing too noticeable and of course although solid to the touch they can easily break in half.

                  For me personally, I find them quite chalky to chew which given the size of them is not the worst thing at all. They are easy to break up and once in the mouth they do start to dissolve a little so are not that bad at all and they don't take long to be completely chewed and swallowed. Although, I find a bit of a chalky after taste if I don't have a drink after chewing them. The spearmint flavour is really non-existen instead there is a non-descript subtle mint taste to them which is fine with me as I try to chew them as fast as possible rather than hanker after a minty taste!

                  I do find that Rennies get to work relatively quickly which is obviously big relief as the sooner they get to work on my indigestion/stomach ache then the sooner I can stop feeling uncomfortable. I find that generally just 2 tablets tend to ease my discomfort unless I've had a bit too much red wine and indian food which always helps indigestion rear it's ugly head and I will need about 4 to start feeling normal again!

                  Overall, both me and my partner definitely find Rennie tablets to help our symptoms but then we are mild sufferers so can only comment and make opinion on how we suffer with indigestion and heart burn, it may of course differ for those that suffer with these issues constantly. But for me and my other half they manage to do the trick well and provide fast acting results which is what we need. 4 stars from me.

                  == Product Information ==

                  Brand: Rennie
                  Price: Box of 72 - £5.99 (Boots) Box of 24 - £1.99 (Lloyds)

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