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The home of handy tips and advice dedicated to pet owners

Do Dogs Get Hayfever?
13.05.24 May 13, 2024 Health Featured

Do Dogs Get Hayfever?

As the seasons change and pollen fills the air, many of us find ourselves battling the dreaded symptoms of hayfever. But what about our furry companions? Can dogs suffer from hayfever too? In this article, our Pet Experts explore the intriguing question: do dogs get hayfever? Can Dogs Get Hayfever? The short answer is yes, dogs can indeed suffer from hayfever, although it's not as common as it is in humans. Just like people, dogs can be allergic to various environmental allergens such as pollen, dust mites, mold, and even certain foods. Symptoms of Hayfever in Dogs: Identifying hayfever in dogs can be a bit tricky since they can't tell us how they're feeling. However, there are some telltale signs that your furry friend may be suffering from allergies: Itchy skin: One of the most common symptoms of hayfever in dogs is constant scratching or licking of the skin, particularly around the face, paws, and belly. If they have itchy skin it’s worth bathing them in a shampoo designed of sensitive skin, like the PetPlex derma doctor shampoo, especially after any long walks outside in grassy ares to help minimise their symptoms. Watery eyes: If your dog's eyes are red, watery, or swollen, it could be a sign of hayfever. Sneezing and coughing: Just like humans, dogs with hayfever may sneeze or cough frequently, especially after exposure to allergens. Ear infections: Allergies can also contribute to ear infections in dogs, so keep an eye out for excessive ear scratching or head shaking. Runny nose: Nasal discharge or a runny nose is another common symptom of hayfever in dogs. Can Dogs Get Hayfever Tablets? Yes, there are hayfever tablets available for dogs that can help alleviate their symptoms. These tablets typically contain antihistamines, which work by blocking the histamine receptors in your dog's body, reducing the allergic response. However, it's crucial to consult with your vet before giving your dog any medication, as some human antihistamines can be toxic to dogs and it’s crucial to get the right dose for their size. Can Dogs Get Hayfever Eyes? Absolutely! Dogs can experience allergic conjunctivitis, commonly known as hayfever eyes. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and itching around the eyes, as well as excessive tearing or discharge. If you notice these symptoms in your dog, it's essential to consult with your vet to determine the best course of treatment. Conclusion: In conclusion, dogs can indeed suffer from hayfever, experiencing symptoms such as itching, sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose. If you suspect that your dog may be suffering from hayfever, it's crucial to consult with your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. With the right care and management, you can help keep your canine companion comfortable and allergy-free all year round. Here at Lords & Labradors we pride ourselves on our in-house team of Pet Experts, between them they have years of pet owning experience and are on hand to answer queries about our products and their suitability - chat to them here.

By Megan Willis

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How to Soothe Burned Dog Paws: Expert Tips for Canine Paw Care
13.05.24 May 13, 2024 Health Featured

How to Soothe Burned Dog Paws: Expert Tips for Canine Paw Care

As temperatures rise during the scorching summer months, it’s important to keep your dog’s health in mind, including their sensitive paw pads. Dogs can suffer from burned paw pads due to various reasons, including hot pavements, artificial grass, sand, or even chemicals. In this guide, we'll delve into the essential steps on how to treat, care for, and soothe burned dog paws, ensuring your canine companion stays comfortable and healthy throughout the summer. Understanding Burned Dog Paws: Before diving into treatment methods, it's crucial to understand how dogs can end up with burned paws, especially during the summer season. The primary cause of burned paw pads in dogs is walking on hot surfaces such as asphalt, concrete, sand, artificial grass or metal. These surfaces absorb and retain heat, making them particularly hazardous for your dog's delicate paw pads. Additionally, exposure to chemicals like road salt, lawn fertilisers, or pool additives can also lead to burns on your dog's paws. How to Prevent Burned Dog Paws in Summer: Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your dog's paws from burns. Vets Now have put together 4 easy steps you can take this summer to protect your dog’s paws: Follow the seven second rule. Place the back of your hand on the pavement or surface you are planning to walk your dog on for seven seconds, if it’s too hot for your hadn’t then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws Keep to natural grass. Artificial grass retains much more heat than natural grass. We recommend opting for shady routes and natural grassy areas when walking your dog to minimise contact with hot surfaces Schedule walks during cooler times of the day, such as early morning or late evening, to avoid hot surfaces. Protect their paws Invest in booties or paw balm to create a barrier between your dog’s paws and any hot surfaces. How to Treat Burned Dog Paws: If your dog does end up with burned paw pads, prompt treatment is essential to alleviate discomfort and promote healing. Follow these steps to care for your dog's burned paws: Assess the Severity: Start by examining your dog's paws to assess the extent of the burns. Minor burns may present as redness or blistering, while more severe burns can cause swelling, raw patches, or even peeling of the skin. Cooling Compress: Apply a cool, damp cloth to your dog's burned paw pads to help reduce inflammation and soothe discomfort. Avoid using ice directly on the paws, as it can cause further damage. Gentle Cleaning: If there are any foreign substances or debris stuck to the burned paw pads, gently clean the area with lukewarm water and mild pet-safe soap. Pat the paws dry with a clean towel afterward. Moisturise: After cleaning and drying your dog's paws, apply a pet-safe moisturising balm or aloe vera gel to promote healing and keep the paw pads hydrated. Avoid products containing harsh chemicals or fragrances, as they may irritate the sensitive skin further. Protective Bandaging: For more severe burns or to prevent your dog from licking or chewing the affected paw pads, consider applying a breathable, non-adhesive bandage. Ensure that the bandage is not too tight and check it regularly for signs of irritation. Rest and Restricted Activity: Encourage your dog to rest and avoid strenuous activity while their paw pads heal. Limit outdoor time, especially during the hottest parts of the day, to prevent further damage. We recommend keeping a first aid kit on hand with the above items in, our Pet Experts particularly love the Charlie The Vet first aid kit as it was designed by vets for pets to give owners the tools and knowledge needed to treat common at-home emergencies. How to Soothe Burned Dog Paws: In addition to the above treatment steps, there are several additional methods you can use to soothe your dog's burned paw pads and promote healing: Oatmeal Baths: Prepare a soothing oatmeal bath for your dog by adding finely ground oatmeal to lukewarm water. Soak your dog's paws in the oatmeal solution for 5-10 minutes to relieve itchiness and inflammation. We also recommend keeping an oatmeal paw balm on hand to further reduce the inflammation, we love both the Pet Head Oatmeal Paw Butter and the Bugalugs nose and paw balm - both are super hydrating and kind to sore paws. Epsom Salt Soaks: Epsom salt has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling in burned paw pads. Dissolve Epsom salt in warm water and soak your dog's paws for 10-15 minutes. Natural Remedies: Consider using natural remedies such as calendula cream or coconut oil to soothe and moisturise your dog's burned paw pads. These ingredients have anti-inflammatory and healing properties that can aid in the recovery process. Comfortable Sleeping Area: Ensure that your dog has a comfortable and padded sleeping area to rest their paws while they heal. Avoid hard surfaces or abrasive materials that could further irritate the burned paw pads. Conclusion: Taking proactive measures to prevent burned dog paws and promptly treating any injuries is crucial for maintaining your dog's paw health, especially during the summer months. By following the expert tips outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your canine companion stays comfortable, happy, and free from paw pad burns all season long. Remember to consult with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's paw injuries or if you notice signs of infection. With proper care and attention, you can keep your dog's paws safe and sound, allowing them to enjoy outdoor adventures without the risk of discomfort or injury.Here at Lords & Labradors we focus on sourcing and making the best quality pet products, including the best grooming and first aid products to help soothe and protect your dog’s paws this summer - shop here.

By Megan Willis

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Dog Blankets For Winter
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Owning a Dog Featured

Dog Blankets For Winter

As the frosty embrace of winter sets in, prioritising the comfort and well-being of our cherished canine companions becomes paramount. At Lords & Labradors, we understand the unique needs of your furry friends during the colder months. In this expert guide, we will take you on a journey through our curated collection of handmade dog blankets, ensuring your pup stays warm, snug, and stylish throughout the winter season.   The Lords & Labradors Standard: Exceptional Quality and Comfort Before we dive into the specifics of our dog blankets, it's important to highlight our commitment to exceptional quality and canine comfort. Our blankets are not only designed to provide warmth but also crafted with durability, ease of cleaning, and your dog's ultimate comfort in mind. Our blankets are handmade here in our cosy Lincolnshire workshop by our talented seamstresses, so your dog can rest easy knowing they’re sleeping in the best quality snuggliest blankets.   Luxurious Comfort: Faux Fur and Fluffy Dog Blankets Pamper your pup with the pinnacle of luxury through our cream faux fur dog blankets. Beyond providing exceptional warmth, these blankets add a touch of opulence to your dog's resting space, creating a cosy haven during the winter season. They’re made from the snuggliest faux fur and have matching anti-anxiety beds so are the perfect choice for more nervous pups. You can even personalise them with your dog’s name for that extra special touch.   Lords & Labradors Versatility: Dog Blankets for Sofas Got a sofa snoozer? Then you need one of our sofa toppers, they were designed with your dog’s favourite sleep spots in mind. With our own pets we found that we were covering our sofas with blankets to help protect them from. Muddy paws and to give our dogs a cosy spot to sleep on which is why we developed our sofa toppers. They come in our most popular fabrics and have fully removable and washable covers, our sofa toppers sit on top of your sofa and you can even pair them with a matching L&L blanket for the ultimate sleep sanctuary.   Lords & Labradors Core Collection Blankets From stylish Bouclé to classic herringbones or playful spots, our core collection blankets have been designed with both your dog and home in mind. They have our carefully curated fabrics on one side and the cosiest fleece on the other, we just know your dog will love snuggling up in them   Lords and Labradors Christmas Dog Blankets: Celebrate the Season in Style Infuse the holiday spirit into your dog's life with our velvet dog blankets, something about luxurious velvet just feels so Christmassy. Beyond keeping your pet warm, these festive options add a touch of joy to your home during winter festivities, we even have matching stockings which you can personalise with your pets name for that extra special festive touch. At Lords and Labradors, we recognise the importance of investing in a quality winter blanket for your furry friend. Our curated collection, featuring a variety of options, ensures there's a perfect solution for every pup. Elevate your dog's winter experience with the warmth and style of a carefully chosen blanket from Lords & Labradors, providing them with a cosy retreat during the coldest months of the year. Explore our collection today and make this winter your pup's cosiest one yet.

By Megan Willis

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How To Keep A Cat Warm In Winter
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Owning a Cat Featured

How To Keep A Cat Warm In Winter

As the temperatures drop and winter sets in, it's essential to ensure the well-being of our feline friends. Cats, known for their love of warmth and comfort, may need a little extra care to stay cosy during the colder months. In this guide, we'll explore expert tips on creating a warm and inviting environment for your cat, including the use of warm cat beds, cat warming mats, and other effective strategies.   Invest in a Warm Cat Bed One of the key elements in keeping your cat warm during winter is providing a comfortable and insulated sleeping space. Opt for a high-quality warm cat bed designed specifically for colder weather. Look for beds with soft, insulating materials like fleece or plush, and ensure they have a non-slip bottom for added stability. Our cat’s love both high wall beds which they can curl up into the sides of or self heating beds which contain heat-reflective materials or thermal layers that make them exceptionally comfortable, especially during colder months, check out our comprehensive guide to heated cat beds here.   Create a Warm Environment in Cold Rooms If your cat tends to spend time in colder rooms, take measures to make these spaces more comfortable. Consider using draft stoppers on doors and windows, and use heavy curtains to trap warmth inside. Additionally, you can place a warm cat bed or cat warming mat in these areas to encourage your feline friend to stay warm. The snuggle safe heat pads are a great way to safely heat your cat’s favourite bed or snooze spot.     Keep Your Cat Indoors During Extreme Cold In particularly harsh winter conditions, it's best to keep your cat indoors. Cold temperatures, snow, and icy conditions can pose risks to your cat's health and safety. Create a warm and cosy indoor space with access to sunny spots for your cat to bask in natural warmth.   Dress Your Cat Appropriately For some cats, wearing a cosy sweater or jacket can be a fashionable and functional solution to staying warm. However, not all cats appreciate clothing, so it's essential to gauge your cat's comfort level. If your cat tolerates it, a well-fitted sweater can provide an extra layer of insulation.   Keeping your cat warm in winter is a crucial aspect of responsible pet care. By investing in warm cat beds, cat warming mats, and implementing other strategies to create a cosy environment, you can ensure that your feline companion stays comfortable and content during the colder months. Remember to monitor your cat's behaviour and adjust their surroundings as needed to accommodate their individual preferences and needs.

By Megan Willis

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How To Protect Your Dog From The Snow During A Walk
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Health Featured

How To Protect Your Dog From The Snow During A Walk

Winter brings a picturesque blanket of snow, transforming our surroundings into a serene wonderland. While many of us enjoy the chilly weather, our furry friends might need a little extra care, especially when it comes to venturing out for a walk. In this guide, we'll explore essential tips and tricks to ensure your dog's paws stay warm and protected during snowy strolls.   Understanding the Impact of Snow on Dog Paws: Before we delve into protective measures, it's crucial to comprehend how snow can affect your dog's paws. Cold temperatures and icy surfaces can lead to discomfort, frostbite, and even injuries. The snow can accumulate between their paw pads, causing irritation. Additionally, the salt and chemicals used to melt snow on sidewalks can be harsh on their sensitive paw pads.     Investing in Quality Dog Snow Boots: Snow boots for dogs are not just a fashion statement; they serve a crucial purpose in protecting your pet's paws from the cold and potentially harmful elements. When it comes to walking dogs in snow, investing in high-quality snow boots is paramount. Look for boots that are not only insulated for warmth but also waterproof to keep your furry friend's paws dry. Good dog snow boots will offer a combination of durability and functionality, ensuring your dog's safety and comfort. Selecting the appropriate size of snow boots for your dog is crucial. Ill-fitting boots can lead to discomfort and may even fall off during the walk. For small dogs, specialised small dog snow boots are available, offering a snug fit for breeds with dainty paws. Consider boots with adjustable straps and non-slip soles for added security.   Alternatives To Dog Snow Boots: Many dog’s aren’t a fan of wearing snow boots or socks so there are some alternative ways you can protect their paws. Before heading out, take a few minutes to check your dog's paws, look for any cuts or irritation before going out. If your dog’s paws are already looking a little worse for wear we recommend skipping the walk to stop them getting worse, you might want to try some indoor enrichment activities to wear them out instead. Trim excess fur between the paw pads to prevent snow from accumulating. Applying a pet-safe paw balm can also create a protective barrier against harsh winter elements, we love the Be:Safe paw balm or the Pethead oatmeal paw butter for protecting our dog’s paws.   Looking after your dog's paws after a snowy dog walk Once you get home from your walk we recommend giving your dog’s paws a once over to make sure they’ve not become irritated from walking through the snow and ice. To keep their paws happy we recommend you dry them off using our bamboo drying mitts and then applying another layer of paw balm to nourish them, if they look irritated try spraying some leucillin anti-septic spray which kills 99.99999% of germs on contact so will stop their paws getting infected or further irritated!   Choosing The Right Dog Snow Outfit: In extremely cold conditions, consider dressing your dog in a snow outfit for added warmth. Look for water-resistant materials that cover the torso, preventing the accumulation of snow on their fur. Ensure the outfit is well-fitted but allows for comfortable movement. We love the both the Hugo and Hudson puffer jackets and the dog overalls, both are great options for keeping your dog’s warm and dry during wintery walks. Once you’re home you could even pop one of our bamboo drying coats on to warm them up after a chilly walk.     Protecting your dog from the snow during a walk is not only a matter of comfort but also a crucial aspect of their overall well-being. Whether you opt for snow boots, socks, or a complete snow outfit, the key is to be proactive in safeguarding your furry friend from the harsh winter conditions. By taking these steps, you can ensure that your dog enjoys winter walks as much as you do

By Megan Willis

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Dog Hair Loss: How To Manage The Autumn Moult
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Health Featured

Dog Hair Loss: How To Manage The Autumn Moult

As autumn sets in, dog owners often find themselves dealing with a familiar issue – dog hair loss. While it's natural for dogs to moult, excessive shedding during this season can be a cause for concern. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the reasons behind dog moulting, effective home remedies, and the best treatments to manage your furry friend's hair loss.   Why Is My Dog Moulting So Much Moulting, also known as shedding, is a normal biological process for dogs. However, some breeds shed more than others, and environmental factors such as temperature and daylight play a role. Autumn, with its fluctuating temperatures and reduced daylight hours, triggers moulting in many dogs. It's essential for dog owners to distinguish between normal shedding and excessive hair loss, which could indicate an underlying health issue.Additionally, nutrition, stress, and overall health can impact the quality of a dog's coat. If your dog's hair loss seems excessive or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.    Dog Hair Loss Remedies Managing dog hair loss at home involves a combination of proper grooming, a balanced diet, and a conducive living environment. Here are some effective home remedies to minimise excessive shedding: Regular Brushing: Invest in the best brush for moulting dogs. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair and prevents matting. Choose a brush that suits your dog's coat type, whether it's short, long, or double-coated. Not sure what brush is best for your dog’s coat? Check out our brush guide to find the best brush for their coat. Balanced Diet: Ensure your dog receives a well-balanced diet rich in essential nutrients, including Omega-3 fatty acids, which promote a healthy coat. Consult your vet for dietary recommendations based on your dog's breed and size. Some good options to look at are the Forthglade dry foods, they are cold pressed rather than baked so retain lots of the ingredients natural goodness and benefits which in turn helps your dog’s coat. We also love fish flavoured food that’s rich in natural proteins for keeping your dog’s coat looking shiny and healthy, the Beco Caught Cod & Haddock Dog Food is a personal favourite. Supplements: Consider adding supplements like fish oil or flaxseed oil to your dog's diet. These supplements can improve coat health and reduce shedding. The Animology Coat and Body Dog Supplement is a great supplement for helping your dog’s coat look as good as possible, the capsules contain both omega 3 and biotin to help maintain a healthy coat, alongside L-taurine and CoQ10 to support the heart and muscles. Proper Hydration: Adequate water intake is crucial for maintaining skin and coat health. Ensure your dog always has access to clean water.   Dog Hair Loss Treatment If home remedies don't show improvement, your vet may recommend specific treatments depending on the underlying cause of your dog's hair loss. These may include medicated shampoos, topical treatments, or changes in diet.   Dogs Moulting Season Duration The duration of the moulting season varies among individual dogs and breeds. Typically, it can last for a few weeks to a couple of months. Observing your dog's shedding pattern over multiple seasons will give you a better understanding of their specific moulting season duration. Dog hair loss during the autumn moult is a common occurrence, but proactive management can minimise its impact on your furry friend's coat and overall well-being. By incorporating regular grooming, a balanced diet, and consulting with your vet as needed, you can ensure that your dog's coat remains healthy and vibrant throughout the moulting season.

By Megan Willis

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Christmas Breaks With Dogs 2024
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Owning a Dog Featured

Christmas Breaks With Dogs 2024

As the festive season approaches, many families face the delightful dilemma of where to spend their Christmas break. For those with canine companions, the choice can be even more intricate. Thankfully, the trend of dog-friendly Christmas breaks is gaining momentum, offering cherished memories for both two-legged and four-legged members of the family. In this guide, we explore the top destinations and accommodations tailored to ensure your holidays are merry and pet-friendly. Dog-Friendly Christmas Breaks: A Growing Trend In recent years, the demand for dog-friendly holiday accommodations during the Christmas season has soared. Pet owners seek destinations where their furry friends are not just accommodated but welcomed with open arms. From cozy cottages to luxurious retreats, the options for spending the holidays with your canine companion have never been more diverse. Exploring Dog-Friendly Christmas Breaks in the UK The United Kingdom boasts a plethora of options for those seeking dog-friendly Christmas breaks. Whether you envision a tranquil retreat in the Lake District or a coastal escape in Cornwall, there's something to suit every preference. Luxury Retreats for You and Your Pooch For those yearning for a touch of indulgence, luxury dog-friendly Christmas breaks offer the perfect blend of opulence and pet-friendly amenities. Imagine curling up by a crackling fireplace with your canine companion after a day of exploring the picturesque landscapes of Scotland or the charm of the Cotswolds. Quaint Holiday Cottages in Idyllic Settings Escape the hustle and bustle of city life by opting for a cozy holiday cottage nestled in the heart of the countryside. From the rugged beauty of the Lake District to the rolling hills of Yorkshire, these charming accommodations provide the ideal backdrop for a festive retreat with your beloved pet. Pet-Friendly Hotels: Where Comfort Meets Convenience For those seeking the convenience of hotel amenities without compromising on pet-friendly policies, there are numerous options across the UK. From boutique establishments to renowned chains, pet-friendly hotels ensure that both you and your furry friend feel right at home during the holiday season.   Pet-Friendly Winter Escapes Beyond the UK While the UK offers a plethora of options for dog-friendly Christmas breaks, adventurous pet owners may also consider international destinations for their winter holidays with dogs. From snow-capped mountains to sun-kissed beaches, the world is your oyster when it comes to exploring new horizons with your canine companion. New Year Ski Holidays in Pet-Friendly Destinations Embrace the thrill of the slopes with a New Year ski holiday in pet-friendly resorts across Europe. From the majestic peaks of the French Alps to the scenic vistas of Switzerland, there are endless opportunities for winter adventures with your four-legged friend by your side. Cosy Holiday Cottages: A Home Away From Home Whether you're seeking a rustic retreat in the Scottish Highlands or a charming cottage in the heart of the French countryside, pet-friendly holiday cottages offer the perfect escape for those looking to explore new destinations with their dogs. Making Memories: Tips for a Pet-Friendly Christmas Break While planning your dog-friendly Christmas break, consider the following tips to ensure a memorable and stress-free holiday experience: Check Pet Policies: Before making reservations, verify the pet policies of your chosen accommodations to ensure they align with your needs and expectations. Pack Essentials: Don't forget to pack your dog's essentials, including food, water, bedding, and any medications they may require during the trip. Plan Pet-Friendly Activities: Research pet-friendly attractions and activities at your destination to ensure your furry friend can join in on the fun. Be Mindful of Your Surroundings: Respect local regulations and etiquette when exploring new environments with your dog, and always clean up after your pet. Capture the Moments: Document your dog-friendly Christmas break with photos and videos to cherish for years to come.   Travel Essentials for Dogs: Ensuring Comfort and Convenience When embarking on a dog-friendly Christmas break, packing the right essentials for your canine companion is crucial to ensure their comfort and well-being throughout the journey. From familiar comforts to practical necessities, here's a guide to the must-have travel essentials for dogs: Comforting Bedding: Bring along your dog's favourite bedding or blanket to provide them with a sense of familiarity and comfort, especially in new environments. A cosy spot to rest will help your furry friend feel secure during your travels and throughout your stay. We love to take our travel mats or the ultimate travel capsule when we go away with our pups, they both fold up and have a handy carry handle so are perfect for travel. Nutritious Food and Treats: Pack an ample supply of your dog's regular food to avoid any dietary disruptions during your trip. Additionally, bring along some tasty treats to reward good behaviour and keep your canine companion satisfied during long journeys or outdoor adventures. Portable Water and Bowl: Hydration is key, especially when traveling with pets. Carry a portable water bottle and collapsible bowl to ensure your dog stays hydrated while on the go. Be mindful of water quality, especially if you're exploring unfamiliar areas. Lead and Harness: A sturdy lead and comfortable harness are essential for keeping your dog safe and secure during walks and outdoor excursions. Opt for a lead that provides ample control without causing discomfort, and ensure your dog's identification tags are up to date with current contact information. Travel First Aid Kit: Prepare a travel first aid kit tailored to your dog's needs, including items such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, tweezers (for removing ticks or splinters), and any medications they may require. Familiarise yourself with basic first aid procedures for pets in case of emergencies. The Charlie the Vet pet first aid kit is perfect for travel, it has everything you could need in and even comes in a handy little case! Grooming Supplies: Pack grooming essentials such as a brush, nail clippers, and pet-safe shampoo to keep your dog looking and feeling their best throughout your holiday, especially if you’re going on an outdoorsy holiday with lots of muddy or wet walks. Regular grooming helps prevent matting, tangles, and discomfort, especially after outdoor activities. Comforting Toys and Chewables: Bring along a selection of your dog's favourite toys and chewables to keep them entertained during downtime. Interactive toys and puzzle feeders can help alleviate boredom and provide mental stimulation, particularly in unfamiliar surroundings. You might want to stock up on some fun new toys to keep them busy and stimulated whilst you’re away. Safety and Restraint: Ensure your dog's safety during car travel by using a secure and appropriately sized crate or a safety harness designed for use in vehicles. Proper restraint not only prevents injuries in the event of sudden stops or accidents but also helps minimise distractions while driving. For small dogs and puppies we’ve got our booster seat and for larger dogs the KONG ultimate safety tether is perfect. In conclusion, the era of dog-friendly Christmas breaks has ushered in a new wave of holiday experiences for pet owners across the globe. Whether you choose to explore the scenic landscapes of the UK or embark on an international adventure with your furry companion, the memories forged during these festive escapes are bound to last a lifetime. So pack your bags, leash up your pup, and embark on a Christmas journey filled with warmth, joy, and wagging tails.

By Megan Willis

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Christmas With Pets And What To Be Careful For
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Owning a Dog Featured

Christmas With Pets And What To Be Careful For

As the festive season draws near, many households welcome the joys of Christmas with open arms, decorations adorning every corner, and a spirit of warmth filling the air. However, amidst the merry celebrations, pet owners must remain vigilant, as the holiday season poses several potential dangers to our beloved furry companions. In this article, we'll explore the common hazards that Christmas presents to pets, with a particular focus on cats and the risks associated with Christmas trees and plants. Are Christmas Trees and Plants Safe for Pets? The allure of a beautifully decorated Christmas tree is undeniable, but for pet owners, it's crucial to consider the safety implications, especially when it comes to curious cats and dogs. Here are some common concerns and precautions to keep in mind: 1. Christmas Trees and Cats Cats are notorious for their climbing abilities and playful nature, making Christmas trees an irresistible attraction. While the tree itself isn't typically toxic to cats, several associated risks warrant attention: Tree Needles: The sharp needles of real Christmas trees, whether pine, fir, or spruce, can cause irritation and puncture wounds if ingested or stepped on by pets. While not inherently poisonous, these needles can lead to discomfort and potential gastrointestinal issues if consumed in large quantities. Decorations: Ornaments, tinsel, and lights dangling from the tree pose choking hazards and risk of intestinal blockages if swallowed by curious pets, particularly cats known for batting at shiny objects. Water Additives: Some individuals add chemicals or preservatives to the water in the tree stand to prolong its freshness. These additives can be toxic if ingested by pets, causing symptoms ranging from mild gastrointestinal upset to more severe reactions. 2. Christmas Plants and Pet Safety Many common holiday plants, including Christmas cactus, mistletoe, holly, and poinsettias, can be toxic to pets if ingested. While cats are generally more discerning about what they eat compared to dogs, it's essential to keep these plants out of reach: Christmas Cactus: While not as toxic as some other holiday plants, Christmas cactus can still cause mild gastrointestinal upset in cats if ingested. Mistletoe and Holly: These traditional holiday plants are highly toxic to both cats and dogs, causing symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing, and even cardiovascular problems in severe cases. Poinsettias: While often cited as toxic, poinsettias are relatively mild and typically only cause mild irritation to the mouth and stomach in pets.   3.Safety Precautions for Pet Owners: Secure the Tree: Anchor the Christmas tree securely to prevent it from toppling over if pets decide to climb or investigate. Separate The Tree: If your pet won’t leave the tree alone, a last resort could be to put up a play pen round the tree to separate the tree from your pet. Choose Pet-Friendly Decorations: Opt for pet-safe ornaments and decorations, avoiding small, easily swallowed items and fragile baubles that could break and cause injury. Supervise Interactions: Keep a close eye on pets around the tree and other holiday decorations, intervening if they show interest in potentially harmful objects. Create Pet-Friendly Zones: Designate a safe area or room where pets can retreat if they become overwhelmed by the holiday festivities, providing toys and distractions to keep them occupied. We recommend putting their favourite bed or cat tree in there so they can retreat to their safe space if it’s all too much for the, Educate Guests: Inform visitors about potential hazards and encourage them to be mindful of their belongings and any food or drink that could be harmful to pets. While the holiday season is a time of joy and togetherness, it's essential for pet owners to prioritise the safety and well-being of their furry companions. By being proactive and taking precautions to mitigate potential risks associated with Christmas trees, plants, and decorations, you can ensure that the festive season remains a time of celebration for the entire family, including your beloved pets. Remember, a little foresight and vigilance go a long way in keeping your pets safe and happy during the most wonderful time of the year.

By Megan Willis

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How To Cat-Proof Your Christmas
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Owning a Cat Featured

How To Cat-Proof Your Christmas

Christmas is a time for warmth, joy, and celebration. However, for cat owners, it can also be a time of concern when it comes to safeguarding the festive trimmings from curious feline explorations. To ensure a harmonious coexistence between your beloved pet and your cherished Christmas decorations, adopting a few proactive measures is essential. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to cat-proof your Christmas, focusing on securing your tree, decorations, lights, and more. 1. Cat-Proof Christmas Tree Selection and Setup Opt for a Sturdy Tree: Choose a robust, sturdy Christmas tree that can withstand playful nudges or climbing attempts by your curious cat. Secure the Tree Base: Anchor the tree securely in a heavy, stable tree stand to prevent toppling. Consider using a weighted base or attaching the tree to a wall or ceiling for added stability. 2. Cat-Proof Christmas Tree Decorations Avoid Fragile Ornaments: Opt for shatterproof or non-breakable ornaments to prevent accidents if your cat decides to bat at or knock them down. Strategic Placement: Hang delicate ornaments higher up the tree where they're less accessible to playful paws. 3. Cat-Friendly Christmas Lights Tangle-Free Wiring: Secure Christmas lights firmly to the tree and tape or hide wires to prevent your cat from chewing on them. Opt for LED lights that produce less heat and are safer if accidentally touched. Use Citrus Deterrents: Cats often dislike the smell of citrus. Spraying citrus-scented deterrents on wires can discourage them from exploring or chewing. 4.Cat-Proof Christmas Tree Skirt and Base Select the Right Skirt: Choose a tree skirt made of sturdy fabric or materials that are less attractive for scratching or playing. Avoid using tinsel or materials that might tempt your cat to paw at them. Cover the Base: If using a traditional tree stand, cover the water reservoir securely to prevent your cat from drinking the tree water, which can be harmful. 5. Supervise and Redirect Supervision is Key: Keep a watchful eye on your cat when they're near the tree or decorations, especially initially. Distract and Redirect: Offer alternative toys or activities to divert your cat's attention away from the tree, creating positive associations elsewhere. By implementing these strategies, you can create a harmonious holiday environment that both you and your cat can enjoy. Remember, patience and consistency in training and redirection are key to successfully cat-proofing your Christmas festivities. While no method is foolproof, these proactive measures will significantly reduce the chances of mishaps, ensuring a peaceful and joyous holiday season for all members of your household, furry or otherwise.

By Megan Willis

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New Year's Cats and Fireworks: What To Do?
29.01.24 January 29, 2024 Health Featured

New Year's Cats and Fireworks: What To Do?

The arrival of the New Year often brings with it spectacular fireworks displays that captivate us but may distress our feline companions. Cats and fireworks aren't always a harmonious combination, as many cat owners can attest. Understanding why cats react to fireworks and how to support them during these events is crucial to ensuring their well-being.   Are Cats Scared of Fireworks? Yes, most cats are scared of fireworks. The loud noises, bright flashes, and unpredictable nature of fireworks trigger fear responses in many felines. Cats have sensitive hearing, making the explosive sounds of fireworks particularly distressing for them.   Why Are Cats Scared of Fireworks? Cats' acute senses make them highly attuned to changes in their environment. The sudden, loud noises of fireworks disrupt their sense of security, triggering a flight or hiding response. This fear response is a survival instinct, leading them to seek shelter and safety.   How to Recognise a Cat Scared of Fireworks Signs of a distressed cat during fireworks may include: Hiding: Cats might seek out hiding spots in secluded areas, under furniture, or in closets. Vocalisation: Some cats may meow excessively or exhibit other vocalisations indicative of distress. Trembling or Shaking: Physical signs like trembling or shaking may accompany their fear response.   Supporting Your Cat During Fireworks Here are some strategies to help your feline friend cope with fireworks: Create a Safe Space: Set up a quiet, comfortable area where your cat feels secure. Include their favourite toys, bedding, and familiar items. A lot of cats like to be up high when they're feeling anxious so make sure their cat tree is easily accessible Close Windows and Curtains: Minimise visual exposure to fireworks flashes by drawing curtains or blinds. Provide Background Noise: Play calming music or white noise to drown out the sounds of fireworks. Specialised calming music designed for cats can be beneficial. Stay Calm: Your demeanour can influence your cat's reaction. Remain calm and reassuring to help them feel more secure. Microchip and Identification: Ensure your cat has proper identification in case they escape due to fear. Distraction: Keeping your cat focused on something like a new treat or toy during the fireworks can be a great way to distract them from the noise and keep them calm. Calming Remedies: If your cat has a history of being scared of fireworks you may look to try a calming remedy. We stock a variety of calming remedies here at Lords & Labradors, from spot ons to diffusers, they work by using pheromone technology to help keep your cat calm   Post-Firework Support for Traumatised Cats After the fireworks, give your cat some time to readjust. Offer them comfort, treats, and playtime to help alleviate any lingering stress. If your cat appears excessively distressed or shows prolonged anxiety, consult your veterinarian for additional guidance.   Why Is My Cat Not Scared of Fireworks? Some cats may display indifference or curiosity toward fireworks. This behaviour isn't common but may be attributed to individual temperament or previous exposure to loud noises. Cats and fireworks can be a challenging mix, but with preparation and support, you can help your feline companion navigate these events more comfortably. Understanding their fear response and implementing calming strategies will ensure a safer and more peaceful experience for your cat during New Year's celebrations and other firework events.

By Megan Willis

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