17 articles Articles posted in Pets

5 Life-Lengthening Health Tips for Your Dog

It’s estimated that 12 million of us in the UK have pets in our household. If you have a dog, it’s only natural that you will want them to live a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, a dog’s lifespan is far shorter than a human being’s, so to keep your beloved pooch in good shape, here are a few life-lengthening health tips that you can take on board.

Feed a High-Quality Diet

For your dog to have the best start in life, it’s important that you feed them a high-quality diet. Doing so will strengthen their coat, improve their skin, and boost your dog’s immune system. We’re all a sucker for puppy eyes, however, it’s best not to feed your pooch any human food. While you may think you’re giving a treat to your companion, there are lots of foods that can prove fatal to your dog. A high-quality diet will help keep your dog’s muscles and joints healthy, as well as increase their mental acuity. 

Keep Your Dog Lean

Just like with human beings, there are numerous health issues that your dog can develop should they be overweight. Obesity is regarded as the top nutritional disease seen in dogs, and with several studies showing that being obese or overweight can shorten a dog’s lifespan, it’s important that you do all that you can to keep them in good shape. Being overweight will put your dog at risk for heart disease, joint disease, and diabetes. 

Take Your Dog to the Vet

Whether your dog appears fit and healthy or you have any concerns, regular trips to your vet can bring you peace of mind. No matter what type of breed you have, regular veterinary care is essential. When at your appointment, the vet will perform routine examinations that can uncover health issues you may not be aware of. 

Understandably, you may be hesitant to take your pooch to the vets because of the cost, making it more important than ever to take out pet insurance. Fortunately there are websites like Quotezone that can help you compare pet insurance providers, making it more likely that you’ll find a good policy at a cheap price.

Keep Your Dog’s Mouth Clean

A common problem that your dog may face is dental disease or other oral health issues. If your dog is in pain or finds it difficult to eat, oral health issues that are left untreated can lead to kidney and heart disease. The most effective way of caring for your dog’s dental care at home is to brush their teeth. If your dog isn’t a huge fan of toothbrushes, there are lots of alternatives that you can try, such as dental diets and treats.

Give Them Regular Exercise

Whether you have a puppy running riot around the home or a senior dog who likes to take things easy, regular exercise for your pooch can provide tons of health benefits. Reducing digestive problems, controlling behavioural problems, as well as helping hip joints are just a few health benefits your dog can gain from regular physical activity. Getting out and about with your pooch can help you be more active too.

It doesn’t matter what kind of breed of dog you have, we all want our four-legged friends to live forever. There are lots of handy tips that you can use to lengthen your dog’s lifespan, meaning you can hold onto your companion for that little bit longer

Creating a Comfortable Home for Your Pets

Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

We all love our furry friends. They make a rather dull home cozy. You can always look forward to their cuddles each evening. And, with a little training, you can get your pets to do some basic chores around the house. But, are you reciprocating the love that your pets show you. Is your home comfortable for your pets? If not, here are some tips you can use to remodel your home to a pet-friendly environment:-

  1. Use Pet-Friendly Furnishings

If your kids like to cuddle the puppy in bed, ensure you have a water-resistant mattress cover. It will keep your mattress dry despite the accidental pee from the pet. Likewise, use sofa covers or pet-friendly fabrics in your living room. Other pet-friendly furnishings include low maintenance floors that will not strain you to clean. Avoid carpets that tend to pile up pet fur and other allergens. Instead, use replaceable rugs in heavy traffic areas. Then, opt for hardy fabrics around the house. Such materials can withstand the scratches and jumps from your playful pets. Keep off from silk, velvet, or any other delicate materials.

  1. Study Your Pet’s Behavior

Now, our cats, dogs, rabbits, or birds love the outdoors. Yet, they may not know how to communicate that they need to step out. A good pet owner will study the pet’s behavior to understand how it interacts. That way, he will allow the pet to flourish and be happy. For example, we train our pets to pee outside. Yet, if you do not have a door opening for your pet, it may never practice this good habit. Hence, ensure your doors have an opening at the bottom with a self-shutting valve to keep out other animals. If your pet is always uneasy, it could be having fleas or ticks.

  1. Conduct Regular Grooming

Grooming is a crucial part of keeping pets. For a pet full of pests will always be itching and feeling uneasy. Plus, excessive pet hair can make the dog or cut not able to play, run, or have fun as much as it would want to. Hence, ensure you take your pet for regular checkups. During these checkups, the pet will get its routine shots and deworming. It will also have a thorough bath, shave, and disinfection where needed. Note, the grooming is also about maintaining a pest-free environment for your pet. Hence, consultants like Pest Control Delray Beach can assist you further to prevent any outbreak of pests in your home.

  1. Maintain a Stable Outdoor Shelter

Now, not all pets sleep in the house. If your dog or cat has its shelter outside, ensure it is as comfortable as possible. Do this by weatherproofing the enclosure. This way, you know your pets are safe from the harsh weather. Plus confirm that this area is free from rodents and other pests. Or, you can incorporate the kennel onto a section of the house. Make it appear like it is part of the house extension. Then, install ample pet furniture for comfort.

Pets can tell when they are treated well or not. Hence, they reciprocate the excellent treatment by being loyal to their owners. Then, plan to make your pet as comfortable as possible. If you are still not sure how to go about it, consult your vet for further advice. They can study the pet and let you know what routine is best for them.

Top Reasons Why Dogs are Good for Kids

Top Reasons Why Dogs are Good for KidsIf you know us, you’ll know that we’re a family animal lovers. Husband and I got Chuck in 2006, just a couple of months after we got married and he wa a huge part of our lives for 13 years. We’ve had other pets over the years, too – Happy the hamster, Maureen our Staff-Frenchie-Boxer cross, Bagel and Biscuit the budgies, plus various dogs we’ve fostered over the years.

We’re huge believers that pets make a home complete and that it’s great for kids to have pets too, as it teaches them responsibility…even if it is always be cleaning out Bagel’s cage instead of Sausage! With this in mind, I thought I’d share some reasons that dogs are great pets for kids (and why investing in scratch-proof flooring is a good idea if you want one!)

Bonding

Having a pet helps to build family bonds as animals are often the focus of family activities. From walking the dog together to grooming or feeding the pet, these simple but enjoyable tasks allow everyone to slow down, enjoy each other’s company and communicate with one another.

Exercise

Having a dog means that you have to go for walks. Come rain or shine, dog need exercise, no excuses. You have to remember, that as well as for their physical health, dogs need exercise for their mental health. When they’re at home, they can’t sit and read a book or watch the TV, that’s their equivalent of getting out and having a sniff around the neighbourhood!

Responsibility

The daily commitment of caring for an animal is a great way to teach kids the importance of dependability and responsibility. To be a dog’s provider is an honour that requires a lot of patience and work. We make sure that Sausage and BB help to keep Maureen’s water bowl clean and refilled, put her food down, and make sure her bed is nicely plumped up for her to rest in.

Mental Health

It’s actually been scientifically proven that spending just 15-30 minutes with your dog can help you feel more calm and relaxed, reducing stress and increasing happiness. Playing with your pup increases your brain’s levels of dopamine and serotonin, both of which are neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and tranquility. Just having a dog around can give your mental health a huge boost.

Comfort

Having a dog can be a huge source of comfort in so many situations. When my kids are ill, Maureen (as did Chuck) will always be the first one to sit with them while they’re recovering on the couch, she’s always there with face licks when the girls are crying and she lets us know if anyone o much as breathes wrong within a 100m radius of the house. She’s a huge source of comfort for us all and loves nothing more than a snuggle with her pack…except maybe for a 5 mile walk where she gets to chase pheants!

Wireless vs Wired dog fence. Which is better?

Invisible dog fences are great for pet owners. They can let their dogs play in the grounds without worrying that they will hurt themselves or make a mess. Since the boundary is invisible, it causes no obstacle or hindrance to the rest of the household. However, pet owners are often confused while deciding to buy a dog containment system. They cannot figure out if they should buy a wired or a wireless system. Both have been evaluated and compared below.

Installation

A wired fence is labour-intensive in its installation. Since the wires are buried, mud and dirt need to be dug up. For concrete and gravel surfaces, hardware and manpower are required to cut through the surfaces before placing the wires. This can make the installation expensive. On the other hand, a wireless dog fence does not need any intensive installation. You just need to figure out a centre point to install the transmitter and figure out the boundary size.  

Coverage

Even a basic wired dog fence can help pet owners secure their dogs over tens of acres. The coverage gets higher as the pet containment system improves. However, a wireless dog fence only offers around a few hundred feet of coverage. It will not be possible to supervise dogs over a more extensive territory using this technology.

Wired contained systems can be laid in corners and edges as well as long as the wires are kept rounded. This ensures full coverage of the property. But wireless containment systems only offer coverage along the circumference of a circle and corners are left out.

Durability

The hardware of a wired containment system is weather-resistant. The wiring is buried which protects it from rain, hail and snow. The system remains functional even in bad weather. A wireless system, on the other hand, is susceptible to environmental conditions. The base unit has to be kept in a dry space indoors.

As far as the signals are concerned, a wired system rarely loses signals. If there’s a power breakdown or the wires have been corroded, then the functionality would be affected. But until that happens, it will keep working. On the other hand, a wireless system has sensitive signals that keep on fluctuating. Electronic appliances, nearby trees and harsh weather can disrupt the communication lines of the transmitter

Problem-solving

At times, a dog containment system malfunctions. If the wires have been dug into the ground, it will be difficult to trace the origin of the problem. You cannot dig everywhere the wire was placed. A replacement will require plenty of effort similarly. Meanwhile, a wireless system is portable, and it can be easily opened up to diagnose the problem. It will not exert the owner’s energies and won’t be expensive to repair.

In conclusion, a wired dog fence is operationally very much superior to a wireless dog fence. It is also more durable and transmits signals even in bad weather. However, the installation and repair of a wireless system is cheaper.

How to Pet-Proof Your Home

Having an elderly dog is not wholly unlike having a puppy in the challenges that it throws up. Chuck is now 14, which is the equivalent of being 85 in human years, and much like an 85 year old human, his faculties aren’t what they used to be. We were told at the beginning of the year that his heart was starting to fail and this week we’ve discovered that, thanks to a few years of strong anti-inflammatories because of his arthritis, his kidneys are now struggling too, which means he’s starting to forget his house training.

Chuck

His quality of life is of the utmost importance, but adapting our home so that we can all exist peacefully is important too, so we’ve been thinking about ways to pet-proof our home for an elderly dog. Here’s some the things we’ve come up with:

Laminate Flooring

When a pet starts to lose continence, it’s usually a sign that they’re nearing the last portion of their lives, but if their quality of life is otherwise high, it needn’t be a reason to say goodbye. We’ve got laminate flooring in the downstairs of our house, so keeping Chuck confined to these areas when we’re out minimises the risk of coming home to find a puddle on the carpet and makes it significantly easier to clean up.

Stair Gates

As I mentioned earlier, Chuck has arthritis, and has actually had it since he was 7, but his mobility is more limited now as the disease advances, so stopping him from going up and down the stairs unnecessarily is important. We’ve installed a stair gate at the top and bottom and Husband tends to carry him up to bed in the evenings to minimise the impact on his joints.

Warm Sleeping Area

When he was younger, Chuck was more than happy to sleep in his bed in the living room, or flop down on the end of our bed! These days, he gets far too cold because he’s going bald in places, so we’ve actually made him a dog-cave! We have a huge cupboard on our landing which is about 8ft deep and 3ft high and wide, so we’ve put a doorless crate in there and insulated the whole cupboard by putting duvets and padding around his crate, as well as soft, warm bedding inside it for him to burrow into. He actually loves his bedroom and sleeps sounder in there than anywhere he’s ever slept. It’s also important for elderly dogs to have a space to retreat to if they feel like they need it, so this is perfect for him.

Raised Food Bowls

Raising a dog’s food bowls is important even before they’re elderly as it will reduce the strain put on their neck when they eat, and if they’re a deep-chested breed can reduce the risk of bloat. However, older dogs usually need even more help in this department, so making sure that both their food and water bowls are at a good height for them to eat and drink from without too much of a stoop is really important and can improve their quality of life by quite a lot.

Do you have an elderly dog? Have you adapted your home in some way to make their lives easier? Do leave me a comment below, and more more information about laminate flooring, head to Posh Flooring.

Best Locations to Have a Holiday with Your Dog

Many pet owners don’t want to leave their pets behind when they go on holiday, whether that is somewhere close to home, or a little bit farther. Dog friendly holidays are becoming increasingly more popular, and even if you want to get some sun in a hotter climate, there are some great options for places to go, as well as reasonably priced companies offering all the help you need to ship dogs to your holiday destination, safely and happily. Here are some of the best holiday locations for you and your dog:

England

England’s quarantine laws have recently been lifted, allowing for free travel for dogs from most countries. This is ideal as England is one of the most dog-friendly places, with plenty to see for humans and their furry friends. The country and the cities are great for walking- something your dog is sure to enjoy. And it is not often that you can take your dog to see truly historical features like those on offer in England.

Greece

What dog doesn’t want to spend all day at the beach? In fact, you might argue that dogs usually have more fun than their human counterparts. Greece offers plenty of beaches, where you and your dog can enjoy in equal parts. If you go in the spring, your dog will be most happy as temperatures won’t be too high for them, and if they are, most places have air conditioning, so you are set!

Switzerland

The rules for dog travel to Switzerland are indeed lax, allowing easy entry for you and your dog. This spans to their use of public transportation as well, making it easy for you and your dog to catch a plan, train, or boat. Small dogs can even travel for free! As an added bonus, most restaurants in Switzerland even let your dog dine with you! A true dog haven!

Spain

Spain can be an extremely relaxing trip for you and your pup. Laying by the pool, catching some sun rays, all of this is extremely appealing when traveling with your puppy. Spain in general is pretty laid back. This makes taking your dog with you anywhere very easy. The largest cities in Spain even have specialized dog exercise and toilet areas. This is ideal when spending the day sight seeing. Just make sure you don’t let your dog get overheated in the Spanish sunshine!

It is important for dog owners to do all the necessary research before going on the holiday of their dreams. This includes checking what your pet needs to have (passport, vaccinations, etc.), talking to your vet for advice, and ensuring that not just the place you are sleeping is dog friendly, but that there are also local things to do with your dog that you can both enjoy and that you are both welcome in.

Taking Care of an Elderly Pet

One thing that we’ve come to realise now that Chuck is older is that taking care of an elderly dog is vastly different to caring for a younger one. His drives have completely changed now that he’s an old man (he’s the equivalent of around 80 years old in human years) and we’ve had to make some changes to accomodate him and keep him healthy for as long as possible. Here’s some of the things you might want to consider if you have an elderly pet:

Mobility

Just like with old people, old pets can struggle with mobility. Chuck used to race up and down the stairs with ease, walk for hours and think nothing of jumping up and down onto the bed or sofa to snuggle with us. Now, he’s a lot less mobile, so we’ve placed water bowls both up and downstairs so that he never has to go too far for a drink and we’re also looking into getting some pet steps so that he can get up onto the bed without having to jump.

Diet

This one is a double-edge sword. Now that he’s less mobile, he doesn’t exercise as much and therefore doesn’t need to eat as much. However, since his drives have turned away from procreation, they’ve turned firmly towards food so he acts like he’s hungry MOST of the time! We’re careful to limit table scraps and have moved him onto a senior diet which gives him the nutrients he needs with fewer calories so that he doesn’t get fat!

Exercise

We know for a fact that he’s suffering with heart problems and suspect that he had a heart attack sometime last year. This means that the dog who used to walk for literally hours now barely makes it 800m. We’ve decided that we allow him to completely dictate how far he wants to go; on days when he’s not feeling it, we leave him be or let him have a little plod to the end of the road and back, but if he seems pretty spritely we let him dictate the pace and distance and it seems to be working pretty well.

Vet Care

Some pet owners are lucky to rarely ever need to take their pet to the vet, but once they get older it’s vital to get at least a check-up. Chuck takes a variety of medications for his heart and an anti-inflammatory for his joints which means that he gets to live out his old age with minimum pain or discomfort. If you’re worried about vets bills, the PDSA offers treatment if you’re in receipt of benefits, so it might be worth having a look if you have an elderly pet.

Temperament

We’re incredibly lucky in the respect that Chuck is an amazingly wellbehaved dog with our kids and is soft and loving with them. However, now that he’s old and struggling with stiffness etc. we make a point to make sure that the kids aren’t too rough with him and give him plenty of space. We trust him completely but it would be heartbreaking for him to get hurt or feel overwhelmed and lose his cool with one of them. We don’t think for a second it would happen but it protects ALL THREE OF THEM if we remove the risk altogether.

Do you have an elderly pet? Have you found any new challenges have arisen since they’ve got older? I’d love to hear from you.

Gifts for Dog Lovers

Everyone has that one friend who is a little bit too bonkers about their dog, referring to it as their first-born child, allowing it to sleep in their bed and feeding it food which costs more than their own. Given the fact that I’m basically describing MYSELF here, and I’m the crazy dog lady in my friends lives, I thought I’d be a good person to put together a list of great gifts to buy the dogs (or dog lovers) in your life for Christmas. Here are my suggestions:

A Doggy iPad Cover

If your dog-lover has an iPad, then this dog print iPad cover would make a great gift, It’s made from natural materials and protects screens whilst looking cute and well made, and I’m convinced that any dog-lover would get a real kick out of putting their iPad in it!

A Doggy Cushion

I’m not sure if I’d like this one for myself or for Chuck…or maybe one for each! Chuck has his own selection of cushions that we put in his beds for a bit of soft support now that he’s getting old and I think these would look really stylish around the home.

Dog Christmas Jumpers

It’s not often that we see dog clothes which are big enough for Chuck because he’s a medium sized breed (although I think that’s discrimination personally, as he’d look SO AMAZING in a fair-isle jumper!) but if your dog-loving friend or relative does have a smaller breed then a Christmas jumper would be such a cute gift. You can even get Santa outfits!

Dog Beds

One thing on which we never scrimp is the beds that we buy for Chuck, especially now he’s old as he needs the warmth and comfort, especially at night when the temperature drops. Buying a dog bed for a human might not be the best idea but if you’re a dog-lover yourself then investing in a decent beg for your dog, with lots of padding and a good, strong material like tweed which will provide a good outer layer for the bed which still looks great in your home.

Are you a dog lover? What’s on YOUR Christmas list for either you or your pooch?

Caring For an Older Dog

FullSizeRender (3)Having an older dogs brings with it added responsibilities. When Sausage was born, Chuck was a spritely boy of just 4, whereas when Burrito Baby came along, he was getting on slightly, closer to the age of ten, which meant that we made sure we gave him extra space and also a little extra love when the girls weren’t around as our attentions were so divided during the day that he sometimes missed out.

Nutrition is extra important, now that he’s older, as his joints are feeling the wear of age so we tend to opt for food which has added glucosamine, chondroitin and green-lipped mussel as it helps to bolster his joint health. He also has issues with a sensitive gut, which means that hypoallergenic food is better and gentler on his tummy. Luckily, there are some great brands out there which cater for all of these aspects.

Exercise is equally important as he needs to remain mobile whilst maintaining a healthy weight – it’s so common to see older dogs getting fat, which just adds extra pressure to their joints. Instead of taking him on long walks, which potentially cause him pain, we tend to take him on shorter walks but more often to give him the level of exercise he requires, with plenty of rest in between.

Sleep and rest is also all-important and we ensure that he has a bed which provides him with adequate padding and warmth. We also place his bed on a large memory foam pad, which we also add a heat pad to in the winter to ensure that he doesn’t get too cold as he’s short haired and his joints also seize up when he’s too cold.

In time, we’re also planning to build a set of steps for our old boy – he’s never been the sort of dog who isn’t allowed on the bed or sofa and we don’t want to stop him as he gets older, so a set of steps will enable him to get up onto high things without jumping and causing himself harm.

Keeping stress to a minimum is something we also find hugely important as he gets older. He’s never left alone for long as Husband works from home and I’m always in and out, but if we know we’re going to be away for a few hours, we’ll also ask my MIL to check in on him to make sure he has plenty of water.

Lastly, the most important thing to give them is plenty of patience and understanding. He’s not able to walk quite as fast any more so we make sure we allow plenty of time even for shorter walks and on the VERY rare occasion that he’s had an accident in the house, we remember that it’s not a behavioural issue, just that he can’t cross his paws for quite as long these days!

Hopefully if we carry on with all these things, we’ll have many years to come with our lovely fur baby and see him grow old in health and happiness.

Which horse rug is right for your horse during Winter?

Shires Winter Highlander ComboSelecting the correct rug for ones horse during the winter can be very important. A horse rug will allow the horse to stay warm in the winter as well as provide other protection that he may need. You may be asking yourself which horse rug is right for your horse during winter? Choosing the correct size is one of the most important details to keep in mind. A properly fitting horse rug will cover the horse from his chest to his tail. A rug with straps around the girth as well as the back legs will help to keep the rug securely in place as well as still allow freedom of movement for him.

A Shivering Horse Is A Cold Horse 

If a horse is shivering during the winter months, it means that he is cold and a quality horse rug will allow him to stay warmer and more comfortable. Horses get cold and shiver just as people do so this is a great sign to watch for. If a horse spends time in the pasture or field during winter months a warm rug can be a great way to help protect him.

Older or Weaker Horses May Require A Rug

Horses again can be like people and the older they get the colder they get. Making sure that they have access to a warm rug can provide a great deal of protection to them. Horses that are experiencing illness should also be fitted with a rug for winter. Protecting him with a warm rug can help to prevent illness or keep him warm while he is recovering from an illness.

More Reasons For Warm Rugs

Wondering which horse rug is right for your horse during winter? Consider the age of the horse, a young horse can also find cold winter months difficult and a good rug can help him to experience a more comfortable winter. A horse that has been clipped can also enjoy the benefits of a warm rug as well. A horse that is lacking in a good winter coat can also be protected with a rug. Perhaps a warm rug for a show horse is a great idea as well, not only will it keep him warm but it can also provide a great deal of protection to his coat while helping to keep him clean.

Consider All Winter Elements

There is more to winter than just cold, with the cold comes snow and freezing rain and having a good rug for a horse can help him to be healthier during these types of extreme weather. If the days are warm but the nights are cold the rug can be used during the night and removed during the day for his comfort. Cheap Horse Rugs

Which horse rug is right for your horse during winter? The rug that fits, provides protection from the elements and is comfortable for the horse to wear. Ride 4 Less offers a great selection of horse rugs that are not only affordable but that also protect the horse during the long cold winter months. A large variety of styles as well as thicknesses will allow all horse owners to care for their horses in the best way possible. Shopping is easy and convenient and winter can be more bearable for the horses. Rugs that fit a bit more loosely will provide the maximum comfort for the horse. Protect horses for the harsh winter weather in your area with the most quality rugs available for them.