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Pet care., pets

Your Healthy, Happy Dog

coco and hunter

Pet care advice

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.

your healthy, happy 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.

your healthy. happy dog

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.

your healthy, happy dog

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.

Train them

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.

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pets

Why we got a second dog

Why we got a second dog

Our reason behind getting a second dog

As regular readers of our blog will know, we did have a beautiful boy dog for over 10 years called Buddy. He sadly passed away just under two years ago. Back in January this year the emptiness from not having a loving dog around the home was just too strange and the decision was made to not replace Buddy as he is irreplaceable and will always be forever in our hearts and could NEVER be replaced but to get another dog.

Fast forward a little and we was soon welcoming home a beautiful Siberian Husky girl who we have named Coco. She was 8 weeks old when she joined our family. Coco has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives since joining our family. We had 10 months dog-free before Coco came along and it just felt so strange not having a dog around. After losing Buddy we didn’t think we would be able to get another dog let alone love another but the emptiness just got to much. We’d often find ourselves looking at dogs for sale but then quickly looking away thinking no way, the heartache of losing them is just too much and not wanting to go through it all again. The subject was quickly changed.

So what changed our minds?

A family member visiting you and showing you photos and videos of their friends dogs pups is what. The next day we went to see them and before you know it research on the breed was being done and a day or two later we was visiting Coco a deposit was left and our new adventures with Coco began!

Coco being a Siberian Husky means lots of energy, lots of walking, lots of bikejoring all in all lots of fun adventures. She has been with us 10 months now and has already been on four holidays with us. A caravan holiday, camping holiday, boating holiday and a log cabin holiday. We enjoy forest walks, river walks, bike rides, trips to the park/seaside – her favourite game is to play ball, she will have you throwing a ball for hours on end. She recently enjoyed a fishing trip and enjoyed laying by the river.

Why we got a second dog

We take Coco with us where ever pets are welcome. She has joined us on pub lunches, dinners, for coffee at local cafe’s, she even joined us on a trip to choose our new tent at Go Outdoors as pets are welcome in our local store. Sadly pets are not welcome everywhere which is understandable and there are times she has to stay at home.

We became dog fosterers…

With Coco having lots of energy and being socialised from when we very first got her we became dog fosterers so she would have a friend to play with. We fostered Goldie a beautiful Labrador who was the same age as Coco. She loved having a friend and welcomed Goldie straight away without any problems. Goldie was with us for a week and as lovely as it was for Goldie to find her forever home it was also sad. Coco had gotten used to having a friend about to have fun with and we had all taken rather a shine to Goldie, she was a beautiful girl. As choked up as we all was we had done a good thing and provided a safe and secure temporary home for a dog in need.

Seeing Coco be so happy with having a friend to charge about with (who has much more energy than us) cuddle up with, burn off energy with it was sad to see her on her own again. When out on walks/bikejoring she gets so excited to see other dogs she just loves company. The hunt was on to find Coco her very own friend, one that was to come and to stay this time.

Coco cuddling Goldie our foster dog

Why we got a second dog

Then came dog number two….

The search was then on. Research was then done as some say two of the same-sex are best avoided but then I panicked about two dogs different sex and what we know could happen. The search then began and the cutest of all dogs just stood out and stole our hearts. The boys kept on asking for another German Shepherd dog but to be honest I was very unsure but agreed to look and see what happens.

This is what happened…..

I am a sucker for cute fur babies, look at this 8 week old boy, how on earth could I say no to this.

Why we got a second dog

A week later he joined our family and was introduced to Coco who was very keen to charge about with her very own friend. He is a joint birthday gift to Ian and Coco from us.

Why we got a second dog

Coco loves her new best friend dearly and follows him everywhere.

For anyone wishing to follow Coco and Hunter’s adventures they both have their very own Instagram accounts

Why we got a second dog

 

 

 

Why we got a second dog

We now have two fur babies and love them both dearly. Lots of new fun and adventures now await us which we are so looking forward to.

Do you have any pets?

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Pet care.

Essentials For Anyone Thinking Of Getting A Dog

Essentials For Anyone Thinking Of Getting A Dog

Dog Essentials

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.

Safety measures

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.

Play time

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.

Insurance

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.

Essentials For Anyone Thinking Of Getting A Dog

Rules

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!

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Pet care.

Different Ways To Help A Dog With Arthritis

Different Ways To Help A Dog With Arthritis

Dogs with Arthritis

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..

Different Ways To Help A Dog With Arthritis

  • 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

Different Ways To Help A Dog With Arthritis

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.

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Pet care.

Grain-free food: the benefits for your pet

Grain-free food: the benefits for your pet

Grain-free food: the benefits for your pet

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.

Fur

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!

Allergies

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:

  • Diarrhoea.
  • Skin irritation (itchy or dry).
  • Ear infection.
  • Fur loss.
  • Rashes.
  • Inflamed paws.

Weight

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:

  • Issues walking
  • Loses breath quickly.
  • Round face.
  • Ribs not easily felt.
  • Fat neck.
  • Reluctance to walk.

Liveliness

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.

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Pet care., pets, wellbeing

Skills Children Can Gain From Looking After A Family Pet

Skills Children Can Gain From Looking After A Family Pet

Skills Children Can Gain:

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 dogs flea 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.

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