The birth of a puppy is an often eagerly awaited event but also a source of stress for owners, here are some tips on the first steps to be taken for newborns. Puppies should be born in a warm enough environment (around 25° C), because they are unable to raise their body temperature to fight against the cold. They must of course be protected from drafts of course if you are birthing them yourself at home. However, if not and you are collecting your pup, then you must be aware of the differences between breeds. Labrador puppies will be different from Havanese puppies for example.
Disease and health
Many female dogs are carriers of the Herpes virus, which they pass on to their young at birth. The puppies then easily develop the disease if the environmental conditions are not favorable: one observes a weakening of the puppies, with a delay of growth, or sudden mortalities. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the temperature of the room remains between 22 and 27°C during the first 10 days of life. It is important that puppies start suckling soon after they are born too as this aids their health. The first milk (colostrum) indeed provides essential elements for the defense of the puppy’s organism against microbes!
The sucking reflex, and therefore appetite is a sign of good health in the newborn puppy. Do not hesitate to help the puppy find the mother’s pacifier.
Choose toys that are very resistant, even almost indestructible. Try experimenting with different textures to see what your puppy (let’s call him Rex for example), will prefer and what will stimulate your pup the most. Don’t give him all the toys at the same time! Offer him a toy one week and another the following week! Try to remove toys from time to time so that he rediscovers it later and so that he does not get bored! Provide him with toys to pass his advice about chewing on everything in your house!
Little by little, teach your puppy to be alone
Be careful, it is very important to spend time with your puppy when it comes to your home. We even advise you to take a few days off so that you can familiarize yourself with each other and have the time to give them the basics of the education you expect or even introduce them to their new environment. However, in this context it is also important to prepare your dog to be alone. Gradually prepare your dog for your absence. It is best to get used to it as you go. Don’t leave it all alone all at once! If you don’t want him to mess around too much, leave him in a small space initially – maybe your kitchen will work best if it is warm. In any case, this space should be reassuring for him and he should be able to find his bowl and his toys there. Of course, provide toys to occupy him and allow him to think of something other than your absence!
A lot of people want to get a dog, but not everyone currently has the kind of lifestyle that a dog really needs in order to be cared for and respected properly. A dog is an animal with emotions that needs to be given the attention, love and care it deserves, and if your lifestyle prohibits you from being able to do all that, then it is not going to be worthwhile getting a dog. You will need to change aspects of your lifestyle first, or consider getting another pet which has different demands and needs altogether.
Let’s look now at some of the aspects you will need to consider when you are trying to work out whether your lifestyle is suited for a dog or not. As long as you have thought about the following, you are much more likely to be able to get a dog.
Do You Have Space?
Generally, a dog needs quite a lot of space in order to live happily. While you can technically have a dog in a smaller area, and of course this is much easier if the dog is of a breed which tends to be quite small on the whole, you should nonetheless make sure that you have as much space as possible before you even think about getting a dog. Dogs need to move around freely and be able to exercise, which is why having a yard or garden is really important, even if you are also taking them for regular walks. If you don’t think that you have enough space in your home, then you might not be able to get a dog.
Are You Active?
You personally need to be at least fairly active physically if you want to keep a dog, for the obvious reason that they are going to need to be taken for regular walks, and if you are not able to do this then you are not really able to look after them properly. That doesn’t mean that you have to be running marathons every day – but you should have no problem with going for an hour’s long walk every day, and perhaps even twice a day. If you need help, you could of course hire someone or ask a friend to help you, and if you can do that routinely then you could still comfortably get a dog and ensure they are looked after properly.
As well as being active enough to take them for walks, you need to be strong enough to ensure that they don’t get away from you when near to busy traffic and other dangerous situations. You’ll want to get a good quality, strong leash from a Dog Friendly Co, and you’ll also need to make sure that you are able to keep your dog under control no matter what. If you think you might not be able to do that, or the walker that you have hired can’t, then the dog might end up getting into danger.
How Often Are You Home?
Many dogs are left home alone for hours each day. As long as they are comfortable, well-fed and watered, and have lots of things to play with safely, then this is not too much of a problem, except for certain larger breeds who might feel a little stuck indoors this way! But you do need to make sure that you are not going to be out all of the time, as that can pose a very big problem indeed if you have a dog. If you have a lifestyle that keeps you out of the house for ten or twelve hours every day, with nobody home to care for the dog, then you are probably not in a position to have a dog just yet. Wait until your lifestyle is a little less busy before thinking about getting a pooch.
Can You Love Them?
Finally, what a dog really needs most of all is love, care and attention. The main and final question you need to be asking yourself is whether you have it in you to put all of your devotion into your little pooch. If you think that you can do this, then that is the single most important thing, and it’s a good sign that you are ready to have a dog. If not, then you are going to need to make sure that you are building up and developing this quality within yourself first. After all, your dog needs love just like you.
If you’re thinking about installing a cat flap or a dog flap in your home, then there are several important factors to consider. Ideally, a cat flap or pet door should add convenience and increase safety, not the opposite. There are also different kinds of pet door you can look into, to decide which one would best suit your home and your lifestyle. If you have pets, especially dogs and cats, it’s important to try and give them their independence. This does, however, depend on their breed. Here’s how to choose the right pet door for you.
Things to consider before installing a pet door
Some cats, for example, are bred as house cats. This means that they won’t necessarily be safe going in and out on their own. It’s vital to speak to the shelter or breeder where you got your pet and find out first whether they can go outside safely.
If you’re pet is safe to go outside, the next thing you need to check is the conditions of your garden. Is outside safe for your pet? Have a clear out and do some garden maintenance. Run through a checklist to ensure your garden is pet-friendly. That way, you’ll have peace of mind when they’re off roaming on their own.
The location of your cat flap or pet door is also important. You’ll need to find a suitable door or wall in which your dog or cat can enter easily and safely. Think about whether this will disturb you in the night.
The benefits of a pet door
You ideally want to create a safe living environment for your pets and all your family. A pet door is actually safer for cats and dogs. They can always get outside, but also they can get back in. If they need to come in quickly due to foxes or bad weather they can without having to get your attention.
It’s also beneficial for their wild nature. For dogs that don’t normally use litter trays like cats would, it helps to avoid any toilet accidents. Both animals will have a little more freedom and independence which has several health benefits.
Different types of pet doors
If you aren’t sure which is best suited to your home then you could start by reading some cat flap reviews. For further information, here is an overview of the most common types:
A 2-way locking pet door has a simple locking system. You can manually set the door to locked or unlocked.
These are more advanced. You can set “in” to either locked or unlocked, and “out” to locked on unlocked.
These are opened by a magnet attached to your cats collar.
Your cat’s microchip acts as an electronic key, so no other cat can open it.
If you would like to give your pet more freedom and independence, a pet door could be right for you. Make sure you take their safety into consideration before you decide.
Buying pets is a serious commitment, especially for those that will live for years. It’s important that you also make your home a place that is suitable for the animal in mind. Here are some tips to make your home suitable for animals to live in.
Have Plenty Of Outdoor Space
Having an outdoor space is important because it’s good for those animals who need to stretch their legs and perhaps have quick access to go to the toilet. You’ve also got animals like horses who will need a lot of land to be able to use and places to store food from Equi Supermarket. If you haven’t got the available space or perhaps limited with the space you do have, you might want to reconsider or think carefully about the types of animals you were looking at having. For their own health, it’s important to have lots of outdoor space available, otherwise, it will likely impact their health and also their happiness.
Consider The Flooring
The flooring is an important element to consider in your home, especially if you’re going to have animals that are running about on the carpet. Anything with claws or nails might end up damaging the carpet you have, and it’s important to clip them whenever they get too long. However, if you let them grow, then you could damage your carpets regardless. It’s probably a good idea to have wooden flooring or vinyl flooring where you can simply wipe up the problem, rather than having to deal with soiled carpets. This can be especially relevant when you’ve got puppies or kittens that don’t know how to go to the toilet properly for the first few months.
Keep Valuables Out Of Reach
With pets, there’s a risk that valuables or anything that’s sitting or hanging too late can end up getting damaged. It’s important to keep your valuables out of reach, just like you would if you had young kids. By keeping things out of reach, you stop some of your favourite things from getting ruined. Whether that’s a pair of fancy slippers from getting torn apart or anything small that might accidentally be swallowed by the animal who gets hold of it. Before you get the animal, perhaps go around your home to make sure everything is kept away, and that will hopefully help you to keep on top of it.
Invest In Cleaning Products
Cleaning products are something that can come in handy when cleaning out cages or dealing with soiled areas in your home. It’s a good idea to invest in the right products that will make cleaning up easier. However, it’s also important to pick the ones that aren’t going to be toxic to the pets you have in your home. There are certainly ones that you can use on floors and areas where they’ll be that are non-toxic for them.
Making your home suitable for your animals is essential, so make sure to do it before having them.
Springtime normally brings out the fun side in everyone. After long months of rain, wind and snow, we’re finally back out into green fields, bountiful meadows and enjoying the sunshine. Our pets especially feel invigorated and want to run as fast as they can, while chasing butterflies. But, sadly, it’s not all fun and games because springtime does have a few hazards waiting for our pets. Although the majority of them are far from serious, some of them can transpire into larger issues that we hope never to deal with. Thankfully, there’s a wealth of knowledge out there to avoid suffering through any of them.
Cats and dogs love to chew on flowers during this time of year. They are bright and they are juicy. They love to eat some flowers because the petals are filled with sugars. However, the bulbs of some flowers are toxic and can make your pet vomit or suffer from diarrhoea. Watch out for flowers such as daffodils, bluebells, cyclamens, lilies and azaleas to name but a few. It can cause your pets to have sudden convulsions if there were to ingest one of the bulbs. You should keep an eye on what your cat is doing in your garden and when you go for a walk with your dog, make sure you’re telling them to stop when they bite at flowers. Sometimes, our pets have to be saved from themselves.
Springing into action
Part of what makes spring so bright and beautiful is the countless living things that spring into action, all at the same time. It’s almost as if they are working in unison, on the same schedule and it’s a wonderful melee of action. However, during the spring, parasites are out in force as well. Particularly, fleas, as they begin to lay up to 50 eggs a day on any living creature they can find. That’s why you need to see this link, whereby you can buy a tasty chew treat, which battles an array of parasites from mites, fleas, ticks, heart-worms and other worms that fester in the digestive system. It will help to limit and control secondary conditions that will make your dog feel lethargic and off his or her appetite.
Stick to trails
If you’re a man or woman of the country, you will need to stick to the walking trails when you’re out with your dog. Poison ivy is one of the worst things your dog can come into contact with. If they eat it, expect to see excessive drool, convulsions and vomiting. If your dog rubs up against poison ivy, he or she will be driven mad with itchiness, causing them to roll around on the ground uncontrollably. Look out for the signs of ivy, it’s a very thick, dark green leaf which can be mistaken for something harmless. If your dog is affected by it, bathe them in a shampoo with oatmeal to calm the inflammation.
Springtime is a joyous season, where life makes leaps and bounds once again. But beware your dog doesn’t go crazy with excitement and does themselves more harm than good.
Bringing a dog into your family is an exciting time, giving them a loving family home while also adding a new member to your household. There’s a lot of responsibility involved, but a lot of fun too.
Looking after your dog’s health and wellbeing is as vital as looking after your own, and there’s a lot you can do to make sure they’re loved and looked after. Here are some tips for caring for your happy, healthy dog.
Give them a comfortable place to sleep
Giving your dog a warm and cosy bed to sleep in will help them feel at home, settle them into a routine and protect your furniture too. Where you keep the bed is up to you – some like to keep their dog downstairs, while others like keeping them in their bedroom. Wherever you choose, it should be warm, comfortable and away from anything that could be dangerous. Giving your dog their own bed can help them settle down in the evenings, giving you a restful sleep too.
Make sure they get plenty of exercise
Exercise is very important for your dog to ensure that they are happy and healthy. How often you should walk your dog depends on their age and size, but regular walking is recommended for all dogs. When dogs are exercised regularly, they are able to maintain their weight, socialise with other dogs and they get the chance to explore. Giving them plenty of exercise will stop them from getting bored, which will stop them from damaging your furniture, flooring and clothing. Walking the dog is good exercise for you too, so why not take them out in the mornings and evenings to help you get some exercise too?
Look after their teeth
Many dogs suffer from neglected teeth, and it’s no wonder – there’s not much they can do themselves! However, you, as a responsible dog owner, can do your bit to ensure your dog maintains healthy teeth and gums. Brushing regularly and checking their teeth for problems can help to prevent issues which will require a vet later on, while maintaining a healthy diet can also help to keep teeth strong and gums healthy.
Dogs should have regular things to chew on so that they can help keep their teeth strong. Special dental chew treats are great for dogs, or you could try a deer antler dog chew as a more natural alternative. Having plenty of chew toys around the house will stop them from chewing like your textiles and furniture, although it’s best to keep dogs away from anything you’d rather have left in one piece!
Groom them regularly
Most dogs enjoy a spot of grooming, and it can be a good way for you to bond with your pooch! Grooming also has many benefits, including to keep your dog’s in a good condition and to spot any potential issues that they might have such as fleas and ticks. There are different ways to groom your dog, and dogs with particularly long hair might be taken care of if you take them to professional dog groomers.
Get them vaccinated
Just like people, dogs can benefit from being vaccinated to protect them against different diseases. If you get your dog as a puppy, it’s likely that they’ll have had their initial vaccinations before you bring them home. Register your pet with a vet to put a vaccination programme in place that will keep them safe and healthy. Regular check-ups with the vet will keep an eye out for any potential health problems, so don’t forget to put those appointments in your diary.
Make sure they have plenty of fresh water
Dogs can get dehydrated quickly, especially during warmer weather, so make sure they drink often and keep fresh water to hand, even when you’re out and about. The amount of water a dog needs a day depends on their size, so it’s worth researching this to help them get the right amount. Keep an eye on your dog’s drinking habits, you’ll be able to work out where and when they like to drink to help you make sure that they get enough. If you’re going on long walks, consider taking a bowl and a bottle of water with you to keep them hydrated on the move.
Play with them
Dogs love to play, and spending time with them can help to train them, burn off excess energy and make them happy. What you’ll soon realise is that playing with your dog will help boost your mood too, so even if you’ve had a bad day – some time spent with them will soon perk you up. Come up with some different doggy games and get the whole family involved in keeping them entertained. A frisbee or a ball can provide hours of fun for a dog as long as they’ve got someone to play with.
Ensure they have a good diet
Dogs rely on the right nutrition to keep them healthy, strong and to stop them getting overweight. While many people might give their dog some scraps from the table or let them have some foods that they shouldn’t, it’s not advisable and could soon lead to some bad behaviours. You can ensure a balanced diet for your dog, and stop them from being unwell by not giving them chocolate and other foods that could cause serious harm. Monitor your dog’s diet regularly to make sure they’re not putting on weight or that they’re getting food from sources that they shouldn’t.
A well-trained dog can be a joy to live with, and can help you to raise a well-behaved dog that you can trust around your family as well as other people and animals when you’re out and about. Training your dog helps to keep them stimulated, by helping them practice their instinctive behaviours. You can help keep them stimulated by varying their route and surroundings, introducing them to new people and other animals and teach them new tricks as often as you can. This is a wonderful way to bond with your dog and can be a lot of fun for the both of you!
Don’t leave them alone for too long
It’s not recommended to get a dog if you are going to be away from home for long periods of time. Dogs enjoy company and being left alone all day can cause them to feel lonely, bored and start acting out through barking, scratching and more. Different dogs have different needs, and you should get to know how long is too long to leave your dog at home alone. If you’re going to be out of the house for too long, why not think about getting a dog walker or enlisting a friend or family member to spend time with your dog during the day?
Keep your home clean and hazard free
A dirty home can cause many issues, but as your dog spends a lot of time close to the floor, it’s important that you keep it as clean as possible to stop them picking up germs, etc. Keeping your home clean is more of a challenge with a dog around, but making a list of regular chores and splitting them up between the family will make it easier. It’s also important that you keep hazards out of harm’s way, including small objects, cleaning products and anything else that could be harmful to your pet.
Bath them when they need it
Baths can help a dog stay clean and keep their coat in good condition, but they don’t need one as often with you might think. Around once a month should be fine for a dog with normal skin, as any more often could mean they end up developing dry skin. Use a specialist dog shampoo to help them keep their natural oils balanced and to stop you using anything too harsh. If you’re worried about your dog smelling in between washes, there are things you can do to keep your dog clean in between baths.
Give them some space
Some dogs like a bit of alone time – a space where they can go to feel safe when they need it. When there are fireworks nearby, for example, it helps to give them a safe space to hide away in while they wait for it to be over. Sometimes they just want a bit of peace and quiet – especially if they’ve been playing and exploring all day!
Your dogs are an important part of the family, and keeping them happy and looked after will give you some incredible memories to share. A dog is a lot of responsibility, but they have a lot of love to offer and will love being a part of the family. Provided you care for their needs and give them the love and attention they deserve, owning a dog will be extremely rewarding and one of the best things to happen for your family.
We’re sure you’ll all agree, when you have a dog, they become a member of the family. Every decision you make as a family revolves around whether your dog is included and if not, what care you can arrange for them. Dogs can need as much (if not more) of your time, love, and care. That’s why, if you’re thinking of adding a pooch to your family tree, you’re going to need more than just a bed for them to sleep in. Take a look at these essentials if you’re thinking about getting a dog so that you can make sure your new furry friend has everything they need to live a happy and comfortable life.
Eternal access to drinkable water
Have you ever suddenly realised how thirsty you are? Think about how far you were from getting a drink, and how important it is that you keep up your water intake. The same goes for dogs, as they can become dehydrated just as fast (if not faster) as we can. Make sure that not only does your dog have a full water bowl at all times, but access to drinkable water even if they’re not in the house. For example, you can now get water fountains for dogs that allow them to operate a water fountain for them to drink from. So, even if you’re out and you’ve let your doggo loose in the garden for a little while, they will be able to stay hydrated and reduce the risk of becoming ill due to dehydration.
Much like children, you will have to make sure that what your dog is doing isn’t going to harm them. We’re sure you already know about leads to prevent them from running into a busy road or straying too far away from you, but the safety shouldn’t stop there. Even if you’re taking your dog out in the car, you will need to ensure that they are strapped in with a dog car harness so that they are as safe as you are in the car. Imagine having to make an emergency stop and your pooch suffering because they haven’t been strapped in – it doesn’t bare thinking about.
You should also consider placing safety gates around your home too so that your dog isn’t able to get into anything that could harm them. For example, many dog owners like to put a gate on their kitchen door so that their dog isn’t able to get into cleaning products or food that isn’t theirs and could potentially harm them. Baby safety gates usually do the trick, but you can get dog gates if you wish.
Think about how dull your life would be if you didn’t have those moments of enjoyment? Whether you’re someone who would rather curl up with a book, or even go skydiving, without your favourite things to do, you’d get bored quickly. The same goes for your dog. Dogs have a lot of built up energy that needs burning off each day, so it’s important that when they aren’t out having a walk with you, that they have toys to entertain them. You can choose from a plethora of different dog toys from your regular pet store, but some owners even choose to build their dog something in the garden so that they are able to get as much exercise as possible.
Don’t just leave your dog to play by themselves either. Make sure that you’re giving them time out of your day to spend giving them a fuss, and playing catch or tug of war. This will create a bond between you and your dog and they will also be able to learn the difference between playing and when you’re serious.
Unfortunately, dogs get sick just as much as we do. However, dogs can’t be treated on the NHS like we can, so it’s important to make sure that you’ve taken out a reliable insurance policy for your dog. That way, if your fur baby does fall ill or become injured, you can rest assured that you can bring them back up to full health as much as possible.
It’s also a good idea to have your dog micro chipped so that if they do wander off on their own, you have more of a chance of having them returned home, as your vet will be able to trace them back to you.
Again, very much alike children, dogs need rules. You often hear people complaining about their dog being naughty when in fact, it’s down to the discipline that they’ve been given (or not been given). Whether you’re getting your pup from an early age, or you’re rescuing a dog from a shelter, it’s important to establish ground rules from day one so that they know how to behave in your home and also around people.
If you’re struggling to discipline a dog that’s come from a rescue shelter, then dog obedience classes might be the right route for you to go down. Remember that dogs can learn to behave from tone of voice rather than actions, so make sure that you’re practicing a stern voice for those times that you’ll need it!
Somewhere to feel safe
Like humans, dogs become scared from time to time. Whether they’re scared of the post man or a bad thunderstorm, it’s important to have somewhere ready for them to curl up and feel safe from everything. Your home by itself should be a safe haven for your dog, but you may notice that when they are scared, they will go to the same spot each time. Once you’ve established this, make sure that it’s always available to them so that they can feel protected at all times.
Finally, dogs will often choose an item of comfort too, like a squeaky toy or teddy bear. Keep track of it so that your dog can find that sense of comfort whenever they feel it’s needed. Doing this will ensure that you’ve got a happy and healthy dog at all times!
For any adult that suffers from arthritis, you know how much of a frustration it can be. Dealing with the pain and the inability to do certain tasks can be stressful and upsetting. The same applies to your dog. And, when your dog is in pain, you will want to do everything in your power to make him or her feel better. But what can you do? Luckily, there are a number of different ways you can help a dog with arthritis. So, let’s take a look at some suggestions…
Suggestions for dogs with Arthritis…
Take your dog to the vet for frequent check-ups so that you can make sure the condition is monitored. Your vet will be able to tell you whether there are any adjustments that are required in terms of your dog’s treatment plan.
Considering getting a dog DNA test carried out. There are lots of different mix breeds of dogs today, and many pet owners never bother to find out the exact DNA of their pet. However, this is important in terms of truly understanding your pet’s needs and health risks, so it’s certainly a good idea to get a test carried out.
Make sure you are feeding your dog the correct amount of food. Over-feeding will cause pressure on your dog’s joints, which makes the pain worse. Some tips in terms of feeding your dog include following a controlled diet and adjusting your dog’s food based on the seasons. You should also resist the temptation of giving your dog too many treats, which can be a challenge when you want to cheer him up. Of course, exercise is important too, which we will discuss in the next point.
Controlled exercise is a necessity. When your dog is running, walking, or playing, make sure you carefully monitor his or her activity. If you can, finding a soft surface for activity comes highly recommended. You can also speak to your vet about this, as they will surely have some good advice regarding the best sort of controlled exercise for your dog specifically.
Adjust the environment your dog has at home. There are a number of different things that can help a dog with arthritis in this regard. This includes securing rugs to help your dog get traction when he walks or putting down carpeting, as well as using ramps to assist your dog with getting in and out of bed or the car, and providing soft supportive bedding for your dog’s achy joints.
So many different ways to help..
Look into the option of surgery if your dog has advanced arthritis.
Have you thought about acupuncture? This is another option to consider if your dog has advanced arthritis. This is a painless treatment and it has had success rates amongst dogs suffering from this condition.
Chondroitin and glucosamine supplements can be used to support better joint functioning and improve joint mobility for dogs that have arthritis.
Pain medication may also be helpful for your dog. Common options in this regard include disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADs) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Of course, you should never give your dog any medication without speaking to your vet first.
Keep your dog dry and warm as much as you can. This is important because damp and cold conditions can make arthritis worse, aggravating the condition. It is also worth looking into applying warm compresses to painful joints and investing in a padded dog bed.
The final piece of advice for anyone who is looking for ways to help their dog with arthritis is to talk to their vet about professional animal massages. It is likely that your vet will be able to recommend a professional animal massage therapist to you. Massage works well in terms of boosting your dog’s sense of well-being, circulation, and flexibility.
There are a number of different things you can do to help
As you can see, there are a number of different things that you can do to help your dog if he or she is suffering from arthritis. There is no denying that this is a painful and frustrating condition, and you will want to do everything in your power to make your dog feel better. If you try the suggestions that have been mentioned above, you should notice a considerable difference.
Owners have a huge range of dog foods and cat foods today, however, choosing which is the best for your pet is sometimes tricky. A type of pet food that has a lot of people talking is ‘grain-free’ — but do you know why this kind of nutrition is proving popular?
Many pet nutritionists advocate feeding pets grain-free food to help them live better and healthier lives. Not only are there typically increased levels of protein in grain-free options, but this source is also supposedly good for animals that suffer from allergies and digestive issues.
Keen to know more? Check out our guide to grain-free food…
Grains aren’t great for pets
As carnivores, cats’ and dogs’ bodies aren’t meant to digest grain. Research shows that these creatures don’t have enough ‘amylase’ — an enzyme — in their saliva to break down grain sufficiently. Herbivores and omnivores have plenty of amylase to break down starch into simple sugars, which happens before food reaches the gut. However, dogs and cats produce amylase in their small intestines. Of course, many cats and dogs don’t get ill from eating grain, however, it’s worth noting that their bodies cannot break it down as effectively as other animals, which means they are less able to gain nutritional value from it.
Overall, your pet gets little benefit from grain, while feeding them it may cause digestive problems.
Healthy skin and a glossy coat are tell-tale signs of a healthy pet — but grain isn’t a great option to achieve this. Often, grain-free food is high in protein — so your pet gets a better dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which gives pets’ fur a thick and shiny look. Also, omega-3 strengthens hair, which means less moulting!
The same as humans, pets are just as able to have food allergies and issues. Concerned that your cat or dog has a food allergy? Follow advice from some pet nutritionists and feed them a diet that copies what their ancestors used to eat.
Dr. Ian Billinghurst, a pet nutritionist, states that dogs should consume 60% meat and 40% vegetables/other foods — also known as the BARF diet (biologically appropriate raw food). This includes eating food like peas, carrots and apples (digestible fibre). Luckily, good grain-free pet food already contains nutrients contained in these foods — perfect if you want to save cooking time. If you have a cat go for roughage, like veg, to boost their immune systems and lower ageing!
A pet with a grain allergy may exhibit the following signs:
Skin irritation (itchy or dry).
Similar to humans, the UK dog population is also suffering from an obesity problem. According to an information guide by The Kennel Club, between 30% and 60% of dogs are overweight. And it seems that felines have are susceptible to this problem too. The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals found that there will be more overweight cats and dogs then healthy-weight pets by 2019. Obesity causes issues with the heart and joints, as well as contributes to breathing complications. Therefore, it’s key that you offer them a healthy diet today.
Lack of exercise and an overload of carbs can make pets gain weight. Grains often contain more carbohydrates than other foods — like meat. So, could this be another reason to make a nutritional change? Instead of grain, grain-free food features more meat, fish and vegetables, so they’re typically more nutritionally useful and help boost fullness.
A dog or cat that is carrying too much weight may show these signs:
Loses breath quickly.
Ribs not easily felt.
Reluctance to walk.
Are you walking your dog enough? Do you spare enough time to play with your cat in the evening? The government states that our dogs get a 30-minute walk every day, according to The Kennel Club, while PetMD suggests that you should engage your cat in activity for around half of that time. So, pets with energy to spare will help them get the exercise they require.
Protein is a pet’s main source of energy, and so, since grain-free food typically features a large dose of protein, it makes sense to consider feeding your cat or dog it regularly to help them stay fit. You could also offer your pet new toys to help get them more active when you’re not around.
If you’re worried about your pet’s diet, exercise levels and general well-being, why not try grain-freed food? It could be the answer to a longer and happier life! Just remember to check with their vet prior to changing their diets.
Sadly, back in March 2017 we had to say a very sad goodbye to our loving Buddy who passed away in his sleep. Buddy was our German shepherd dog and was our fur-baby for just under 11 years.
Back then we said “NO MORE” dogs as the saying goodbye was just too painful. Time passed and our home was just too quiet. Come January 2018 we were welcoming our little Coco, a Siberian Husky girl into our lives and home, aged 8 weeks old.
Not long after our Buddy had passed away my Endometriosis started to flare up. Resulting in myself having to step down from my position at work and go in on a part-time shift. I found I was moping around at home, I got very depressed and if I am completely honest I ended up in a very dark place. Thankfully Ian got me back to some form of me again.
Getting Coco has really lifted my spirits. She gets me up and out everyday, whereas before I’d just get up and mope about – Coco is my anti-depressant.
We go on lovely long walks with her, she comes out with us in the car. We go off into the countryside, walk along rivers. We visit dog exercise parks and stop off in pet-friendly pubs/cafe’s. She basically comes with us everywhere.
Coco is a very friendly dog and absolutely loves nothing more than to play ball, chase and no words can even begin to describe how much she loves her paddling pool…. she’d sleep in it if we’d let her.
With Coco being so friendly and her energy levels being so high we have decided to open up our home and become dog fosterers. We have been in discussions for a few weeks now with our local dog rescue centre and have been accepted to become dog fosterers.
Coco with our sisters dogs at our sisters house.
What is a dog fosterer?
A dog fosterer is someone who is willing to open up their home and help provide a temporary home for a dog in need. To give lots of love and look after them, help build them up to get the best chance of a fresh start in life. Let’s face it we all deserve a second chance, even a dog!
We will be helping to play a vital part in the rehabilitation of the dogs which will help improve their chance of finding their new forever home.
We will be helping to build the dogs confidence if needed, building them up and helping them to get used to a normal lifestyle in a home environment. We will be giving the dogs the love, care and affection they deserve. They will have a friend forever with Coco.
By fostering dogs, we will be doing a good thing by helping to build a dog’s confidence and helping to settle a dog with a new forever home with a loving family. Being part of that will be so rewarding.
Before we take in any dog, checks are made by the rescue centre and we get contacted from there. Coco will be meeting them outdoors first. Once they have met and if all goes well things will move forward from there and hopefully we can then help provide a safe loving home for a dog in need. Coco will love having a friend to burn off energy with.
We are really looking forward to fostering our first dog and opening up our home.
For those not aware, we recently welcomed Coco into our family. Coco is a Siberian Husky girl. Before we welcomed Coco home we made sure we was fully prepared for her as we wanted to make sure we had all the basics in place needed. Before we collected Coco we defiantly wanted to make sure we had a crate.
Reasons to get a crate
Our reason behind getting a crate and crate training her is because we believe a crate can help with preventing destructive and obnoxious behavior when we can’t be with her and keep her safe. We also want Coco to feel that a crate can be a safe and happy place for her to go when things get too much for her and she wants to be left alone.
A crate also helps when going out in our car to make travelling safe for her. Our aim for crate training is purely for safety and positive reasons and is never used as a punishment for her. Coco is never in her crate for long periods of time, an hour at the most.
Type of crate
When the decision was made to get a crate for Coco we then had to decide on what type of crate as there are a few different types to choose from. After our research into the crate we decided that a collapsible metal crate would be best for training her. We then had to decide on the size of crate to get.
With Coco only being a pup but a puppy that will grow quickly we went for a medium size one to start off with and will change size as and when needed. We hope that a medium size crate will be of correct size for her for a while, allowing her to have the height and movement room needed to stand and turn round.
Comfort of the crate
Cocos crate is located in our living room. This is where we are most of the time when we are at home. She can see us at all times when she is in her crate so she still feels apart of everything but feels safe at the same time. Her crate is in the corner of our living room so she gets a full view of whats going on. In her crate she has a lovely comfortable bed for added comfort
Making the crate welcoming
We wanted to make the crate a welcoming place to her, a place she will love to go so we made the crate comfortable with a bed. We made it a rewarding place to go so she gets a treat of some kind when she goes in, either a treat or her meal. We have placed a blanket over the top of the crate to cover the back and sides to give it a den feel to help her feel that bit more safer.
Length of time in the crate
Coco is only in her crate for short periods of time (no more than an hour maximum) when we ask her to go in, otherwise the crate door is left open for her to freely go in and out as she pleases. She always has access to water when inside with the door closed. We gradually increased the length of time she is in the crate starting off with just a few seconds at a time as we didn’t want her to be scared of going inside. The length of time inside the crate with the door closed was increased upon our judgment of Coco being confident enough.
Make it fun
With Coco only being a puppy everything to her is a game. We found that if we turned entering the crate into a game she listened more and picked up commands much easier. It’s a way of making learning fun. To her it is just a game but for us we are getting her to listen and do as asked but in a rewarding way so it’s a win win situation.
When playing ball after a while roll it into the crate – When it’s treat time hide 1 or 2 in the crate and say go crate – We fill her Kong toy up and ask her to go crate to have it and she can only have it if she stays in her crate, if she comes out with it we put it back inside and command go crate, this is repeated until she knows she only has it if in her crate. Another thing we do with coco is when we are doing daily training we now do them inside her crate – such as sit, down, paw etc as each command completed she gets a treat.
Coco wasn’t keen on the crate at first but we allowed her the time to get used to it being there before we introduced her more to it. We started off by getting her to enter the crate using the command go crate and come out as she wished, making it as fun as possible and using the command EVERY TIME we want her to go inside her crate.
We then got her to enter the crate and try and keep her inside for a few seconds with the door open and us sat by the door. Treats are given each time she enters the crate. I use a few treats and then some of her dry food biscuits from her meal, saves on an upset stomach. From here we then went on to feeding her some of her meals inside the crate, after a few feeds we then gradually worked ourselves further away from the crate door leaving it open.
Once we felt Coco was happy enough we then went on to closing the door, starting off with a few seconds at a time and gradually increasing this each time. We always reward with a treat of some kind upon entering the crate, NEVER on coming out – reason being because we want it to be more fun staying put once inside otherwise she will be crying to come out to get a treat. We want her thinking that her crate is a good positive place to be!
We have had Coco six weeks now and she is currently happy to go in and out of her crate on her own. It took a few weeks to get her to do so but being patient paid off in the end. We have now moved on to Crate training Coco in the car – so far it is going very well. If you would like to follow our travels and adventures you can do so over on our travel blog.
Pets are a source of much love and joy for families. Children especially enjoy and respond to the warmth and friendship they provide. A pet can be a furry best friend, partner-in-crime, companion, someone to cuddle with and much more for your child. Pets also make great teachers. They improve a child’s social, emotional, physical and cognitive development while imparting a few valuable life skills as your child interacts with them. If you are considering adding a pet to your brood, here are some of the potential skills children can gain from looking after a family pet:
Valuable Life Skills
Unconditional love. Pets are non-judgemental and can be quite therapeutic for lonely children or those with emotional distress. A pet can give support and comfort as well as play with your child. This can help them learn the importance of friendship.
Responsibility and confidence. Giving your children age-appropriate chores such as feeding, grooming and cleaning up after the family pet helps them learn what it means to be responsible. In turn, the responsibility of caring for the pet can inspire confidence. Children as young as four can help with simple tasks such as filling water and food bowls. Bathing, grooming, walking, giving cats or dogsflea treatment etc., can be the responsibility of older children.
Empathy and compassion. As your child cares for a pet that is dependent on him, he learns empathy and compassion. Your child learns to read and recognize the pet’s needs and how to best fulfil them, especially if the animal becomes scared, falls ill or grows old.
Patience. Children can learn patience from housebreaking a kitten or puppy or by teaching their pets new tricks. These young animals don’t learn all they need to know overnight while other pets might be slow to learn. Dealing with these situations and other instances of animal training will teach your child that patience and consistency are vital ingredients in attaining success.
Coping with loss. Although you probably don’t want to think about this, the lifespan of most pets is considerably shorter than those of their owners. Commonly, your child’s first experience with the death of a loved one is the loss of a beloved family pet. If this is managed in a respectful way that pays tribute to the pet and acknowledges the pain and grief felt, the experience can be invaluable to children as they grow up.
Looking After A Pet Is An Important Life Changing Decision.
Before selecting a family pet, you should make sure you inform all family members, especially children, of your decision. You should also pay attention to the type of pet you’d like to have. Some, such as cats and dogs, require almost constant care and are well suited to families. Others such as fish, birds and guinea pigs might not provide as much interaction. Remember that just like people, animals have different personalities and traits. Understand the different breeds available and get recommendations from a vet before making your final decision.
Pets can teach children plenty of skills that will help them grow to become well-adjusted adults. Add in the pure joy that pets bring and it seems unthinkable to let your child grow up in a house without one.
Buddy recently had his 8th birthday, he suffers with hip dysplasia and at times this can prove very uncomfortable for him, we have recently been looking into getting him a nice comfy bed to sleep in at night as he got far too big for his old one and it was not supportive enough for him, we decided it was time for a change and he needed a comfy bed, he has recently been having a very comfortable night sleep with this new bed.
When it arrived via courier Buddy was rather excited and he was waggy tailed and jumped straight into it, he loves his new bed and can be found on many occasions enjoying a nice sleep in it during the day, he fits inside his new bed perfectly, the bed has a lovely thick cushion thats sits inside, we chose the number 5 bed for Buddy as this size is for larger dogs, the bed size being 99 x 71cm means he has plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy a comfy nights sleep, they offer 3 other sizes but this size was best for Buddy’s size.
The bed is rectangular with high sides filled with 900gram polyester wadding panels, with a drop fronted front, it has a removable and reversible deep fibre filled cushion for easier care and for a cooler or warmer comfy sleep, it is also fire resistant.
The bed can be hand washed or you can wash it at 30 degrees, I have washed the bed once already and it washed up well and looks as good as new.
This bed retails at £78 from feedem this bed is of excellent quality, and Buddy seems very comfortable and happy with his new bed, feedem offer a wide selection of pet products at great prices.
Brad tested the bed out and was so comfy he fell asleep in it after school one day.
Disclaimer : Buddy was sent this bed in exchange for our review, all thoughts and opinions are our own.
Buddy was lucky enough to be sent some Harringtons pet treats, he has been really enjoying his treats, unfortunately Buddy suffers from allergies, he is allergic to beef and chicken so he is limited to what he eats.
He was lucky enough to be sent two packets of treats.
One being sensitive treats 160g
suitable for all dogs from 8 weeks old
No artificial colours or flavours, no dairy, no soya, no added wheat.
Tasty biscuit bones with added herbs, sesame seeds and linseed for sensitive digestion.
The other being salmon rolls 160g
No artificial colours or flavours, no soya and no added wheat.
Rich in omega 3 and 6 oils, natural antioxidants, zinc and vitamins, help maintain healthy skin and coat.
Suitable for all dogs from 8 weeks old.
Harrington’s is manufactured in a purpose built factory in north Yorkshire, Harrington’s retain a proud family tradition of producing top quality pet food, sourcing locally grown products wherever possible, they aim to give pets wholesome food free from any artificial flavours or colours, Harrington’s pet food provides you with premium pet food without the hefty price tag.
Buddy is a German shepherd dog he is 7 years old, we have had him from when he was 6 weeks old and to us he is not a pet he is a much loved member of the family, so making sure he is happy is very important, we are normally told by the vets that he is over weight, whoops, but he does love his treats.
Buddy is normally a fussy eater but he really enjoyed these treats with no hesitation or fuss.
Harrington’s is available in the UK and also in France, you can find Harrington’s pet food in most supermarkets, shops and also online, these treats have a RRP of £1.89 but the prices may vary depending on where you buy them.
Harrington’s also cater for guinea pigs, rabbits and cats, offering a wide range of products.
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Anita & Ian
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