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The home of handy tips and advice dedicated to pet owners

Top Tips & Advice for Summer Dog Grooming
13.06.23 June 13, 2023 Health Featured

Top Tips & Advice for Summer Dog Grooming

Every season brings a set of challenges for dogs and their owners. Fluctuating temperatures and changeable weather can have an effect on various aspects of our lives. When it comes to dog grooming, you may well have a pretty set routine depending on the breed of your dog, but this routine may need to be adapted slightly as the seasons change. With Summer on the horizon and temperatures rising, we thought we’d discuss our top dog grooming tips for the Summer months. There are a number of things to consider at this time of year, such as keeping your dog cool and keeping ticks and other insects at bay. Read on to find out more about adapting your grooming regime for the Summer.   Top Dog Grooming Tips For The Summer 1. Brushing your dog It’s important to remember that our pets have inbuilt cooling systems. It may be tempting to clipper your dog, but this isn’t always necessary. You may think that shaving your dog will keep them cool, but unless your dog is used to being clipped it can actually cause discomfort and lead to skin problems. Instead, go for a nice trim and a good brushing routine to keep your dog’s coat Summer-ready. Brushing your dog is good for them at all times of year, to help keep the coat tangle-free and glossy, but it’s essential during the warmer months when your dog will naturally shed more than usual. Using the correct tools and brushing well will help to remove any winter undercoat and prevent excessive moulting. It’s important to do what is best for your particular breed of dog. If you have a particularly long-haired breed, then they will require extra care and attention. Consider speaking to your vet to see what they recommend or find a groomer who specialises in grooming your particular dog’s breed.   2. Keep your dog’s nails trimmed Your dog will probably spend more time exploring and playing outside at this time of year. It’s essential that their nails are kept in tip-top condition so that they don’t overgrow. If left to grow too long, your dog’s nails can split and break which can be painful. Keep them neatly trimmed with a set of dog nail clippers and your pup can enjoy the Summer season without any paw problems.    3. Increase Bathing Depending on the breed of your dog, you may wish to consider increasing the number of baths you give your dog. Baths can help to reduce shedding in the summer, helping to remove all the loose fur from their coat. Regular bathing can also help reduce the risk of parasites. You could even consider switching to a flea and tick repelling pet shampoo to help keep pests at bay. We love the PetPlex grooming range for bath time, they're formulated to a professional grooming standard and keep our dogs smelling fresh for days. If you do increase the number of bath-times just keep an eye on your dog’s skin and coat condition.  You don’t want to over-groom and risk drying out the skin or coat. Consider applying a skin soothing balm after baths to keep the skin nourished and supple.   4. Keep an eye on your dog’s ears Many dogs like to take a dip in the heat, whether it’s a swim in the sea or a paddle in a cool stream. Wet ears can promote ear infections though, especially if your dog’s ears fold over. Always take care to dry your dog after a dip and try to keep the ear dry too. You could use an ear cleaner if you wish to help keep ear problems at bay. We’d suggest checking your dog’s ears at least once a week during the summer. Even if they haven’t been in water, sweat can build up in the ear which can pose a breeding ground for bacteria.   5. Keep an eye on your dog’s paw pads Your dog’s paws are actually very sensitive and ensuring they stay healthy is a must. Paw pads can really suffer in Summer due to hot pavements. It’s essential that you check the temperature of footpaths before you take your pup for a walk to make sure it is safe. Hot concrete can be really dangerous and can burn your dog’s paw pads. On top of this, keep your dog’s paws well-conditioned to help stop them cracking - you could ask your dog’s professional groomer to pay particular attention to their feet during the summer months to help keep them in the best condition possible.   6. Consider applying sunscreen to your dog Dogs, just like humans, can suffer from sunburn, especially those with white fur and short coats. Even longhaired breeds can catch the sun on sensitive areas such as their noses, ears or bellies. Consider applying to sunscreen to the sensitive parts of your dog that might get burnt. Ideally use a sun cream made especially for pets, or alternatively try a sunscreen for children and babies - if you go for the later, make sure it is pet safe though. Source a fragrance-free cream that doesn’t contain zinc oxide. If you’re not sure, consult your vet to see if they have any suitable recommendations.

By Zac Girdlestone

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Walking Your Dog Safely In Spring
27.03.23 March 27, 2023 Health Featured

Walking Your Dog Safely In Spring

Longer daylight hours, blooming plants, an abundance of life beginning to come out of hibernation; Spring is a wonderful time of year. There are positives to be found in every season, but there is something special about Spring that manages to lift the spirits like no other. Longer days, milder weather and a wash of colour on the landscape will be welcomed by us all. For dog owners it’s the ideal time to make your dog walks a little longer. Perhaps you’ll find some new routes to explore that will add interest for both you and your four-legged friend. There are a few things to consider when walking your dog in the Springtime. Here we highlight we highlight some of those things so you can plan some new adventures.   Where To Walk Your Dog In Spring The places that you walk to or around in the Spring may not differ greatly to those in Winter, but what you do on your walk may well change. Here are a couple of places we like to enjoy on our Springtime dog walks: The Park - Parks are always a brilliant place to take your dog for their daily exercise. Especially parks with open space where they can run and let off some steam. With the milder weather, and hopefully the odd sunny spell, your dog walks in the park could include a game of fetch. Next time you go on your walk, take your dog’s favourite ball or throwing toy and see if you can fit in a fun game to add spice to the outing. The Woods - Dogs love woodland walks. There are a plethora or sights, sounds and smells in the woods that your dog probably won’t experience on a normal day. If you have some woodland near or can get to a wooded area easily, then Spring is the perfect time to get out and explore. The Beach - Another landscape that is loved by our canine friends, the beach offers a place to run, and if your dog likes water, to have a good swim. One thing to be aware of is that many beaches will be closed to dogs in the Summer months, so be aware of the beach that you’re visiting and make sure that you’re allowed to visit. There are many dog friendly beaches around the country; the trick is to find the perfect one! Remember to take your dog’s drying coat with you in case they go for a splash and don’t forget a couple of toys. Like any other dog walk, be aware of other people and only let your dog off the lead if it’s safe to do so. The Countryside - If you live in a rural location then a walk through the countryside can be a joyous adventure for both you and your dog. The landscape around us is full of change at this time of year and your dog will love experiencing the new smells and colours that emerge. Just make sure you stick to the rules of the countryside - stick to public footpaths and always keep your dog on their lead around livestock. Wherever your adventures take you, always be aware of other people around. If it’s busy keep your dog on their lead and consider saving any games of fetch until next time.   Potential Springtime Hazards There are a few things to consider when setting out for your Springtime dog walks. Here are a couple to be particularly aware of: Joggers & Cyclists - Dog walkers like yourselves won’t be the only people making the most of the extended daylight hours, but you’ll probably encounter cyclists, joggers and horse riders more often too. If you see any of these coming, keep your dog on a shortened lead next to you and wait for them to pass safely. The last thing you want is for your dog to chase a cyclist or rider as it could be dangerous for both parties. Livestock - We did mention this briefly before, but it’s really important that you take note of the animals around you. In Springtime especially, there will be lots of young animals around. Cows with calves can be particularly defensive of their young so it might be best to stick to routes without. Always assess the situation and keep your dog on a lead around farm animals and horses.   Beware of Poisonous Springtime Plants One of our favourite things about this season is the abundance of wildlife that appears, but this can also be a potential danger to your pets too. Make sure you are aware of what plants and flowers are poisonous to pets and try to keep your dog away from them on your walks. Some plants to avoid are as follows: • Azalea • Bluebells • Buttercups • Cyclamen (roots) • Daffodils (bulbs) • Foxgloves • Hyacinths (bulbs) • Ivy • Lupins • Rhododendrons • Tulips If your dog shows signs of being ill and you think they may have ingested something poisonous, seek the advice of your Vet immediately. If you see them eat something you know is poisonous, don’t wait for symptoms to appear, but seek medical advice straight away.   Don’t go too far, too quickly It might be tempting to make your Springtime dog walks much longer than usual, but It’s important to consider your dog’s fitness. If your dog walks were pretty short during Winter your dog may not be as fit or have the same stamina as they had last Summer. Increase the length of your dog walks gradually so that they can enjoy the experience without getting completely worn out.   Make Sure You Have the Right Equipment and Clothing  It’s easy to focus on what your dog needs for their walks, but don’t forget to consider your own comfort. If you’re going for a walk in the Countryside or the woods, make sure you select the correct footwear and clothing. A good sturdy pair of shoes or trainers (or walking boots in some cases) are essential for uneven terrains. Also make sure your dog’s walking set is a good fit. A well-fitted harness is a brilliant item for dog walks as it offers greater comfort and control than just using a collar.   Plan Your Dog Walks Wherever your adventures take you, make sure you plan ahead and take everything that you’ll need with you. And we don’t just mean a walking set, but the other accessories that will make your dog walks go smoothly. Some items that we’d suggest you take include the following: • Training Treats - always reward good behaviour • Throwing Toy - perfect for the park or beach when it’s quiet • Small Travel Bag - Depending on how long you’re out, it might be worth taking a travel bowl with some fresh water and even some dry food. Your dog may well work up an appetite. • Drying Coat - if your dog likes a splash in the water and you’re going to the beach a drying coat is a great way to keep them warm and dry on the way home. • Dog Coat - Don’t forget those April Showers. A good quality dog coat may be an essential accessory at this time of year. We hope we’ve given you some great ideas for your upcoming walks. Take note of the hazards we mention and, with a little planning, we’re sure you and your dog will be enjoying some wonderful walks this Spring.

By Zac Girdlestone

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Help! My Cat and Dog Don’t Get Along - How to Introduce your Cat and Dog
21.02.23 February 21, 2023 Owning a Cat Featured

Help! My Cat and Dog Don’t Get Along - How to Introduce your Cat and Dog

People have stereotyped the relationship between cat and dog for an age; pitting them against one another as mortal foes. However the reality is somewhat different and many families enjoy both canine and feline company in the same home.    Do Cats And Dogs Get Along? They defintely can get along, it's all down to their personalities and the way you as an owner both train them and manage their environment. The way you introduce them and manage that introduction period will help form the foundation for their relationship.  The important thing to take into consideration is the personality of the pets in question. Finding two animals whose personalities gel, rather than conflict, is key. If you have an older, more relaxed pet for example, they will probably find it difficult to adjust if introduced to a new kitten; if you have a boisterous dog who loves to play, then a nervous cat may not be the right choice for you. If you are thinking about introducing a cat and dog into your home, or you already have them and need tips on how to help them get along, read our list of things we think you should consider. Dog Breeds That Can Live With Cats  All dog breeds have the potential to get along with cats, that being said there are some breeds who typically have a personality which is more suited to living with a cat. These include breeds such as Golden Retrievers, Pugs and Basset Hounds. The experts at Purina have put together their list of top cat friendly dog breeds, which is definitely worth checking out if you're thinking about adding a dog to your cat household.    How To Introduce Your Dog and Cat to a New Puppy Or Kitten 1. Let Them Smell Each Other First [product] We use scent to settle our pets in many situations. Many people bring home a blanket with Mum’s scent on when they first bring kitten or puppy home to help settle the new arrival. Similarly, if you want to get two animals used to each other it’s a good idea to share each of their scents with the other before they actually meet. This could mean giving them each a blanket from the others bed for example. This way they will be somewhat familiar with one another already.   2. Ensure Your Cat Has Their Own Territory [product] Cats enjoy their own space regardless of whether they share the home with other pets or not. If you are thinking of introducing another pet, then make sure your cat has places to retreat to when they want some peace and alone time. Cats naturally love climbing, so providing them with a cat tree or platforms attached to the wall is ideal and will give them somewhere they can watch the others in the house from a distance.  Also, try to keep their food in a different location to the dogs and place their litter tray somewhere that they won’t be distracted by the dog. A quiet spot of their own is ideal so they can do their business in peace. You can try sectioning areas off with dog gates. Just be wary of agile pups and those too large for a gate. This is ideal for young puppies though, whilst they are getting used to their feline friends.     3. Raise Them Together If you have the chance, raise your cat and dog together from a young age. Puppies and kittens will learn to accept things much more quickly than older pets who are set in their ways. Dogs are not only less confident in their younger years, but also smaller and therefore less physically intimidating to a smaller cat. Introduced in this way, cats will more quickly assume their place at the top of the cat/dog social hierarchy!   4. Plan The First Time They Meet Carefully It’s best to keep them in separate parts of the house for at least the first few days before you let them meet face-to-face. This will allow them both time to get to know the smell of the other and get to know their new homes. As with humans, first impressions are important. Finding a common interest can help the process; mealtimes are enjoyed by all creatures great and small, so why not start with food? One way to introduce them initially is to keep your cat and dog on either side of a door whilst you give them their food; they won’t see each other, but they will smell each other. This is a good way for them to associate the smell with something positive. If you can do this for a number of days whilst being able to keep them separate in the home, it will help in the long-run. Keep your dog on a lead for extra control, just-in case he gets excitable. You could start with a door and then slowly introduce them to each other visually with a dog gate between. If you can stretch this process over time, it will help keep it gradual and give them both time to adjust. During this process, alternate the rooms that each is allowed in thus giving them both more opportunity to get to know the smell of the other.   5. Make Sure Your Cat Is Relaxed When you do introduce them face-to face for the first time ensure your cat is totally relaxed. Keep your cat in your arms (long sleeves are a good idea!) whilst someone else brings your dog into the room on a leash. Take it really slowly, keeping an eye on both their reactions.  Gradually bring the dog closer one or two steps at a time and allow both to settle at each step. You could pop your cat in their carrier if that seems easier and more controlled. The last thing you want is for your cat to claw your arm in panic.   6. Show Equal Amounts Of Fuss To Both Pets It’s important to show equal amounts of affection to both pets during the introduction phase. Pets are just as prone to jealousy as children, so show them both that they’re loved and all should be fine.   7. Separate Them After Their First Meeting After they’ve first met, even if all went swimmingly, make sure to separate them again. Introducing them should be a gradual process with a number of these meetings taking place. Gradually lengthen the interactions over time and they will soon grow familiar with one another.   8. Let the Cat Loose First Once they seem comfortable in each others company, try giving the cat freedom to roam whilst keeping your dog on a lead. You want your cat to feel as comfortable as possible - in most cases they will be the smallest of the two animals. After a few interactions like this, if your dog seems content, try letting them off the lead at the same time. Hopefully the time taken to socialise them will have paid off and they will be fine in each others company.   9. Train Your Dog Well It’s imperative your dog knows what the boundaries are. A well mannered dog will be much more easy to settle in the same space as a cat. Knowing when to sit and having general manners is a must.   10. Exercise Your Dog  Dogs are much more naturally social creatures than their independent feline friends. We don’t mean to say that some cats don’t love a fuss, and I’m sure we all know someone with a loving lap cat, but, generally speaking, dogs enjoy more socialisation and cats appreciate some alone time. Try to exercise your dog as much as possible so that his energy levels in the house are kept to a level that suits the felines of the family. Making sure there are some brain stimulating toys around will also help, so when your dog does have excess energy to burn, he can play with those rather than chase the cat around the house!   11. Keep Their Things Separate If you can keep their bowls in different locations it will help prevent them from fighting over each others food. Dogs can be territorial when it comes to food so best let them eat in different areas. You could allow your cat to eat up high out of the way, on a table or other surface for instance, whilst your dog eats on the floor. Separate rooms is also a good idea if that’s an option - one in the utility and the other in the kitchen for example.   12. Separate Your Pets When You Leave the House If you will be leaving both pets at home together, keep them in separate rooms, at least until they have lived with one another for a long period and are fully comfortable with each other.   13. Don’t Scold Your Dog For Negative Behaviour Dogs can get playful and energetic; if yours starts to get a bit rough or loud with the cat try to redirect his energy on to something else. Obedience training will come in handy here. You don’t want to tell him off, but show him it’s ok to release his energy in the right place and the right time. This is the perfect time for playtime. Give him a toy to play with, take him out for a walk or something else positive. He’ll be less likely to associate negative things with the cat if you choose to distract him with a positive activity instead.   14. Reward For Good Behaviour The more positivity shown around the cat the better. Speak in a happy friendly way when the cat appears, pat the dog and give him a treat. The dog will soon learn to associate positive feelings and situations with the cat.   15. Remember That Every Pet Is Different And Be Realistic In Your Expectations Of Them All animals, just like humans, have their own ways and personality traits. Some are more sociable and laid back than others. Some just want their own space on their own terms. It’s important not to force anything and also not to give up. Take it steadily and react to how things are going on any given day. Perseverance and making transitional changes is key to a long lasting happy relationship between cat and dog. And remember, some pets just won’t enjoy being around others. It doesn’t mean they can’t live in the same house, just value their differences and try to give them the space they prefer. Keep them away from other pets as much possible and don’t force their interactions. Things will work out in the end and all family members will find their rightful place in the family household. If you have any questions about our article do get in touch. We're always happy to help in any way we can. Don't forget to follow our social media channels! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

By Megan Willis

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How To Clicker Train A Puppy
09.01.23 January 09, 2023 Top Tips Featured

How To Clicker Train A Puppy

For those of you aware of Pavlov’s dog, you can understand why classical conditioning is an effective training mechanism. Replace Pavlov’s bell with a clicker and use dog treats as a reward for good behaviour and you’re left with the premise of clicker training. Clicker training is a reward-based training method in which a clicker notifies your dog that they have done the right thing. A clicker is a small device that makes a distinct clicking sound. This device is used to form an association with a reward, such as a dog treat or a toy - Police scent dogs will often work for a tennis ball. Whereas at first a reward is always given after a click, over time your dog will eventually begin to interpret the click as a reward in itself for showing positive behaviour. While many people question why they should use a clicker at all instead of a reward, a clicker lets your dog know exactly when they’ve shown the right behaviour, helping them to learn at a faster rate than more traditional training methods. For instance, when you reward your dog with a treat for responding to a sitting command, they have done other things such as stand up by the time they receive their treat. As a result, they can get confused, as they may have misinterpreted the reward for standing instead of sitting. The sound of a click should be implemented while your dog is showing good behaviour, not afterwards. Unlike the traditional method mentioned above, a clicker can mark the exact moment your pet has responded correctly to a command.   When To Start Clicker Training A Puppy You can start to train your puppy as early as eight weeks, however, you should note that the time it takes to train your puppy could depend on their age, temperament, gender and breed. It’s important to not get frustrated if your puppy isn’t learning the commands as quickly as you hoped, for it’s all about repetition and patience. Rely on the positive reinforcement of the clicker and treat and eventually, your puppy will begin to pick things up.   How To Start Clicker Training A Puppy Remember that when it comes to clicker training, timing is everything - click at the exact moment your dog responds correctly to your demand. Also, if the treat you are offering is food, you should cut down the amount of food they consume daily so that they don’t put on weight, you can even use some of their dry food to help them with their training. With that in mind, implement the following steps to clicker-train your puppy: Before starting the training process, you need to teach your dog that the click means a reward. Simply take your dog somewhere quiet (without any distractions), press down the clicker just once and give them a reward immediately after. Do not click if your dog is showing discouraging behaviour. Repeat this process for a few days, in bouts of around two minutes a few times throughout the day. Continue this step until they look at you as if to expect a reward immediately after you click, now you can start to teach them new tricks! Once your dog has associated a click with a reward, you can move on to some basic training. Start with a simple command like sitting down. Hold the thing that motivates your four-legged friend, whether that’s a treat or dog toy, and move it back over your dog’s head slowly. This method is called lying and should make your dog sit back instinctively. Press your clicker as soon as their bottom touches the floor so they become aware of the command they are being rewarded for. Give them their reward immediately after the click.  Once you have succeeded in luring your dog to sit down, add the word ‘sit’ and continue the training with a reward. Each time you lure your dog, say ‘sit’ in a loud but affirmative tone and as you did in Step Two, click and give your dog their treat as soon as their bottom touches the floor. After you have practised this a few times throughout the day, try and command them by saying ‘sit’ without the lure and see if they have learnt the association. Continue doing these exercises in short bursts of up to 10 minutes, although younger puppies may need shorter training sessions. Eventually, your dog will learn to automatically sit when they hear the ‘sit’ command. Once you are confident your dog has learnt to sit properly, start to reduce the number of times you reward your dog with a treat after the click. By now, the click will have become a reward in itself and you won’t need to acknowledge their good behaviour with a treat every time. There you have it - the simple process of click training.    Top Clicker Training Tips Timing is key! - Make sure to click as soon as your dog performs the command so they associate the click with what they've just done Reward every time - when they first start training rewarding every time is key, as they get more advanced you can begin to gamble with treats but to start with consistency is key. Studies have shown the key difference between professional dog trainers and your average pet owners is the number of treats and rewards, professional dog trainers tend to give their dogs many more treats when practising commands with them. Word Association - Saying 'sit' or 'down' won't mean anything to your dog to start with, it will take them time to begin associating the words with the action Keep the treats small - treats are great but you don't want your dog to put on loads of weight either, reducing their food intake or using their dry food as a treat is a great way to reward them and keep their calorie intake down End on a positive note - to keep training fun for both you and your pet make sure to end every session on a positive so even if they haven't quite gotten the hang of everything you've done that day they still go away feeling happy  Phase the treats out - once your pup has mastered a trick start slowly phasing the treats out, they will begin to associate the sound of the click as a reward and won't need the treat every time   How Does Clicker Training Help? Teaching your dog to sit using a clicker is just one example of a command they can learn. There are other behaviours that can be taught with this method and many other training accessories available for your puppy. However, teach your dog only one or two commands at a time and don’t move on until they are fully confident with them. Other examples include: Look - training your dog to look at you. Stay - asking your dog to stay in the same place without moving. Paw - opening your hand and ask your dog to place his paw in it. Lie down - luring your pet into a lying position. Roll over - encouraging your dog to roll over from a lying position Drop - getting your dog to drop something from its mouth. Leave it - getting your dog to move away from something they're about to pick up  Bed - getting your dog on their bed Heel - getting your dog to walk in line with your heel Clicker training provides an easy and efficient way to reward positive behaviours in your dog. Keep in mind that it will take time and keep the sessions short so that it’s an enjoyable experience for both you and your pet.

By Megan Willis

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How To Cut Dog Claws
28.09.22 September 28, 2022 Health Featured

How To Cut Dog Claws

Just like us, our dog's nails grow and sometimes need a little pampering to keep them looking their best. Cutting a dog’s nails is more than just cosmetic, nails that are too long are more likely to get caught in things, break, or get infected. Ideally, try to make sure your dog gets plenty of walks across hard surfaces like pavements, this will help to wear down their claws and keep them at a good length. However, sometimes nails aren’t worn down as quickly as they grow and will need trimming, it’s good practice for a dog owner to regularly check their length to stop any problems that may arise with long claws. However, you may be wondering how to cut your dog’s claws. In this blog, we look at exactly how to trim your dog’s nails, how to encourage your dogs to have their nails cut and how to know when your dog’s claws need cutting.   Can I Clip My Dog’s Claws Yes, you can cut your dog’s claws yourself or if you’d be more comfortable both your vet and groomer are also able to cut your dog’s claws. Before cutting your dog’s claws it’s important to know the signs of when they are too long. A good way of knowing when your dog’s claws need clipping is to hold their paw in the palm of your hand, if the nails touch your hand they may be too long. Other signs that their nails may be too long are if they are licking or chewing their paws more than normal or if you hear the click of their nails as they walk. When cutting your dog’s claws, it’s important not to cut too close to the quick, this is at the centre of the nail and contains their blood vessels and nerves. Ideally, when trimming their claws, you want to stay 3-4 mm away from the quick. If you have a new puppy, try getting them used to having their paws handled and their claws touched so that when they eventually need their claws trimming it will hopefully be a slightly easier process for both you and them. Below we’ve put together our top tips on how to trim a dog’s claws to make the process as easy as possible   How To Trim Dog Claws Make sure you have a good pair of dog nail clippers, our favourites are the Ancol Ergo Nail Clippers, they come in two sizes, so you’ll be able to find the best fit for your breed. If you have a nervous dog a file can work best. Help keep your dog in a good mood by having plenty of treats to hand, this can work as a rewards-based training opportunity for them and will help to keep them loving having their nails trimmed. The silicone wall mats with dog peanut butter are a great way of keeping your dog busy whilst you take care of their nails. Start by holding their paw, you will need to hold it firmly yet gently with a thumb on the pad of their toe and your forefinger on the top just above the nail. If you need more visibility of the claw, try flexing their pads and make sure any fur is out the way. Position your clippers over the claw, most will have a guard to stop you from taking too much off. Begin by cutting the tips of their claws and then check where the quick of their claw is before deciding if any more needs removing. The length of the quick varies from dog to dog so there’s no set rule on how long this will be, but you can tell by when their nail curves – dogs with dark nails may have a chalky white ring where it’s safe to cut, other nail colours may also change in colour where the quick ends. But if you’re unsure just trim little by little to be safe Repeat the process across all their claws, and make sure you check their dew claws as well. You’ll find these on the inside of their leg higher up.   How To Stop Dog’s Claw Bleeding If you’ve accidentally cut their claw too short or if your dog has happened to catch their nail don’t worry, nails can bleed a lot but often are nothing to worry about for a healthy dog. Contact your vet straight away for advice. To prevent any infections, you’ll want to stop the bleeding and cover the claw. For this we recommend the Aqueos Spray on Plaster or a bandage, this is good as a temporary solution until you can get to your vet. It’s always a good idea to keep a pet first aid kit in your cupboard for any unexpected injuries your dog may get. We particularly love the Charlie The Vet First aid kits, they're perfect for keeping on hand in case there's any emergencies!   How To Get Your Dog Comfortable Having Their Nails Trimmed. Not all dogs are quite so well behaved when having their nails cut, here patience is key. Slowly reintroducing them to having their nails trimmed may help get your dog used to having their nails cut. Show your dog the nail clipper and let them sniff it, make sure to treat and praise them. Tap each paw lightly with the nail clippers then treat and praise them. Touch the nail clippers to your dog’s paws again, making sure there is plenty of treats and praise – repeat this until they don’t seem more comfortable or unfazed by the process. Once they are comfortable with having their claws tapped with the clippers try trimming the tiniest tip off one of their front paw claws. Only do one claw and make sure to offer praise and treats. Repeat one nail a day until they don’t seem to mind. Once they are comfortable with one nail try two and keep working your way up until you can do them all. TIP – practice even when their nails don’t need cutting, you can pretend and go through the motions to help get them used to the process so that when next time their claws do need cutting the whole process isn’t quite as scary for them. If you’re still unsure about cutting your dog’s nails speak to your vet or groomer, they will be either able to talk you through it and give some great advice or trim your dog’s nails for you.

By Megan Willis

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How To Stop Dogs Eating Plants
11.11.21 November 11, 2021 Health Featured

How To Stop Dogs Eating Plants

Dogs love to explore and usually you’ll find them in and out of hedges and grass, but dogs and especially puppies also love to eat, bite, play, lick and chew on plants, especially those with leaves! It can be dangerous for your pet to digest some plants, so it’s best to keep an eye on them whilst they’re exploring and out and about on walks. It’s also good to avoid dangerous and toxic plants in your home, so your pup isn’t tempted to chew on your indoor plants.  In this article we explore why dogs eat plants and how to avoid your pet chewing on plants that may be toxic to them.    Do dogs eat plants when they are sick?  It’s hard to know why dogs eat plants, as it may be one of a multiple of reasons, or for a multiple of reasons. For example, if your dog feels he is lacking in nutrients, he may look for another way to get these important nutrients - which is why they seek out a plant to eat.  Another reason may be due to stomach pains; if your dog isn’t feeling so well, it’s natural for them to eat grass as a natural remedy to purge themselves as the grass is known to soothe their stomach pain. Don’t let them eat any plants you’re unsure are safe for them however as this can cause a bigger upset to them.  Your dog may also eat plants due to anxiety or boredom - it may be a reason to grab your attention, or a way to deal with their emotions, so keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t have access to anything you don’t want them to chew whilst you are away from them.    Why is my dog eating soil from my plant pots?  Your dog may eat soil much for the same reasons they munch on plants and leaves. It’s worth checking if your dog is in pain through an internal or intestinal health problem. Keep them away from soil and dirt as all kind of things end up in the dirt, including lots of toxins that can harm your dog. It’s best to keep away from plants and soil all together, and keep a watchful eye on them when out on a walk.    How to keep a dog from eating plants To keep your dog away from your plants it’s best to train your dog as soon as possible. Establish household rules and ensure your dog knows that plants are not a toy or food - this way you can avoid more serious problems and unnecessary vet trips. If you’re not convinced your dog will avoid the plants 100% of the time, it's best to keep them off the ground, away from their reach. You may also try to spray the plants with lemon or vinegar as your dog will probably stay well clear, because the plant smells bad to them and a lot less appetising.

By Laura Rudd

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The Best Litter Trays, Litter & Accessories
25.08.21 August 25, 2021 Owning a Cat Featured

The Best Litter Trays, Litter & Accessories

As cat owners we know our felines are particular about where they relieve themselves. To keep your home clean and fresh, you’ll need to select a litter tray carefully and with your feline in mind. Keep in mind the design, size, shape and feature as this can make or break your cat’s toilet habits. But what are the different types of litter trays? And what is best for your cat? In this article we explore different cat litter trays and accessories you may need to keep your cat clean and happy!   How Do I Pick The Best Litter Tray? Most of the time, if your cat isn’t using it’s litter box, it’s for behavioural reason; your cat may be stressed or it’s annoyed about something. There may however be a medical reason, so it’s best to check with your veterinarian.  Placement is really important in making your cat feel safe and at ease whilst toileting. Litter trays should be placed in discreet corners so that your cat has a full view of approaching danger but is protected from behind. Our Lords & Labradors Cat Washrooms are a multi-functional pet house which work well for you and your cat. They are visually attractive and private for your cat to toilet, whilst keeping the smell contained. They’re also available in grey and white!    Enclosed Litter Trays  Every cat is an individual with their likes and dislikes and this includes choosing where they toilet. Generally, most cats prefer to use litter trays that are easy to get into and large enough for them to turn around in with ease. Enclosed - or covered - litter trays are popular with cats and their owners as the contents remain out of sight and your cat can toilet in private.   Open Litter Trays  If your cat doesn’t like a covered or enclosed litter box, or if you have more than one cat, you may find you need a variety of trays for them to use. Our Beco Cat Litter Tray is generously proportioned, leaving enough space for your cat to turn around and toilet, and has high walls and an extra high hooded wall which offers a ‘kickback protection’ which stops loose litter from being sprayed outside the tray when your cat covers their business.    What’s The Best Cat Litter to Use?  Now you’ve picked the right litter box for both you and your cat, you can decide the best litter to use for them. Once you’ve picked your litter, it’s best to keep to the same litter as a change may upset your cat and force them to toilet elsewhere. There are many factors to take into account when choosing the best cat litter for your fur family - some are good for hiding odours, some are best for absorbing more efficiently and some are made for reuse!    Crystal Cat Litter  Crystal cat litter is quickly growing in popularity due to its high absorbency properties and great odour control! It quickly works on absorbing the urine, evaporating the waste and trapping the odour in the process. You also won’t need to scoop every day, but rather scoop every few days (dependant on how many cats are using the litter!).    Corn Cat Litter Corn litter provides less dust than a clay litter - and our Sanicat Corn Litter is an eco friendly and totally natural cat litter. It’s also softer on your cats paws making their toilet time more enjoyable. Available in all-natural scented, unscented and totally natural litters, you’ll find something that suits your feline! - a-maize-ing!    What Accessories Do I Need? Cats appreciate a clean toilet and tend to look for other places to relieve themselves when confronted by a full litter box. Even a mild odour can be off-putting to your pet, so keep the litter box clean - our scoop is great to keep the litter box clean and makes sifting easy! And don’t forget to change litter frequently to keep your cat happy with their toilet. Here at Lords and Labradors we provide everything you may need to help keep your cats litter tray clean and smelling fresh. Our litter deodoriser is a great fix to keeping your litter smelling fresher for longer; and they’re available in two different scents to suit your taste! Our cat litter tray bags are great for making cleaning up after your cat easier; just put the bag in the litter tray and fill it with litter and when you need to change the litter, simply take out the bag and replace! Each litter tray, type of litter and odour neutraliser will depend on you and your cats tastes, now it’s just a case of finding what is best for you and your fur family! 

By Megan Willis

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How To Stop Cats From Peeing On Their Beds
08.08.21 August 08, 2021 Health Featured

How To Stop Cats From Peeing On Their Beds

Cats tend to be one of the cleanest pets we can share our homes with. They’re usually diligent when it comes to grooming themselves and they pick up litter training really quickly. Sometimes they can develop bad habits though, such as peeing around the home. If your cat urinates on their bed, or yours for that matter, you might wonder why? In this article we discuss why cats pee in places they shouldn’t and suggest some things you can do to help stop them from doing it.   Why Do Cats Pee On Beds? There are a number of reasons why your cat might pee on their bed. The most common problem is that your cat has a problem with the litter box. There are a number of reasons your cat might not like the litter tray including the following: Location - Cats can be fussy creatures and this can be evident in their toilet habits. If the litter tray is in a busy area of the house or is near a noisy appliance for example, then it might not be inviting for them or feel private enough. You don’t have enough litter boxes - Some cats do not like to pee and poop in the same spot which could cause them to start peeing around the house. Other cats are happy to use one box, but don’t want to share it with other cats. If you have multiple cats, then providing them with a litter tray of their own is ideal. Make sure it is cleaned regularly too as many cats will refuse to use a dirty litter tray. Your cat doesn’t like the type of litter or litter tray - Your cat may not like using a hooded tray, or they may prefer it. They may even take a dislike to the type of cat litter due to the texture or consistency. There may also be a health-related reason that your cat stops using their litter tray. Anxiety can cause our pets to act in unusual ways and can be caused by a number of factors, such as a major change in the household, moving home or unusual noises. There are some more severe health conditions to watch out for too. Cats can be prone to urinary tract and kidney problems which can affect their ability to pee properly. If you find your cat struggling to pee or trying to urinate outside of the litter tray, then you may need to seek veterinary advice to rule out infections or more severe health problems. Another common reason your cat might choose to pee outside of the litter tray is that they haven’t been neutered or spayed yet. If your cat is intact, males especially are more likely to spray around the house. If this happens you should consider booking an appointment with the vet to have them spayed or neutered. The procedure comes with other health benefits too, so it’s definitely worth doing.   How To Stop A Cat Peeing In Their Bed If you’ve ruled out any health problems and your cat is still urinating around the house, you will need to work out a way to stop it happening. Getting a cat to stop urinating on their bed, furniture or anywhere else in the house can be tricky and it will take patience and perseverance. There are some key things you can do to encourage them though.   Make the litter tray as inviting as possible It might take some trial and error to get it just right but ensuring the litter tray is inviting and to your cat’s taste is really important. Try to find a litter and tray style that they prefer, and place it in a private, quiet part of the house that is easy for them to get to when they use it. There should be a separate litter tray for each cat in the house and if you have a very fussy cat you may need to give them two trays – one to poop in and one to urinate in.   Ensure you clean any soiled areas around the home thoroughly This is probably obvious, but it’s imperative that any soiled areas are cleaned thoroughly. Cats will return to the same spot if it smells of pee, so ensure it is disinfected as soon as possible.   Change the meaning of the places they’re urinating If your cat get’s confused and starts using their bed, or your bed, as their loo then you need to make them see those areas in a different light. Try playing with them in the area and give them treats so they begin to associate it with food. Cats won’t eat and toilet in the same spot!   Install calming Feliway diffusers If your cat shows any unwanted behaviours around the home, then we’d suggest installing calming diffusers in their living areas. Ceva make a brilliant range of Feliway products that are designed to calm and relax our feline friends. They can be used in a number of situations too, including noisy events like fireworks night and when they’re due to travel somewhere. Pet Remedy also make some practical calming products such as sprays and wipes that can be used on bedding and in crates to help relieve stress.   Ensure their basic needs are met In some situations, it only takes a minor adjustment to your cat’s lifestyle to make a big difference to the way they behave. Cats need three essential things - safety, security and stimulation. They need to feel safe and unthreatened in their environment and secure in the fact that they can get away from situations if they need to. Cats like elevated places to hide and a consistent routine. They also need to be stimulated in their home environment. They have a natural need to hunt and chase, so they need cat toys around the home for them to exhibit this behaviour. Sometimes, just tweaking the home environment to make sure all of your cat's needs are met will stop any unwanted behaviours. Whatever you do, don’t scold your cat. Punishing them will likely only lead to fear and anxiety, rather than solving the issue. Try all of the things we’ve mentioned above and allow a few weeks for your cat to be retrained. If problems persist, you may need to speak to your vet or seek advice from an animal behaviour specialist. With time and patience, your cat will soon be retrained and using their litter tray properly - you’ll have a happy, content cat and a clean house once again!

By Zac Girdlestone

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The Best Insect Repelling & Soothing Products for Pets
17.06.21 June 17, 2021 Seasonal Featured

The Best Insect Repelling & Soothing Products for Pets

​We love Summer and all of the many opportunities we get to enjoy the great outdoors in the warm weather. Insects also come out at this time of year though, which can be a pain for us and our dogs. Insect bites and stings can cause irritation and allergic reactions and will need some after care if your dog gets one. In this blog we list some of our favourite pet products for repelling insects and also some that will help to soothe irritation after an insect bite or sting.   Insect Repelling Pet Products In an ideal world we’d keep our pets away from biting or stinging insects, but it isn’t always possible. We do have some fantastic insect repelling products for pets though, which may just help minimise the risk of them being stung or bitten. Here are our top Insect repelling products for pets: TropiClean Natural Flea & Tick Shampoo - This shampoo is suitable for dogs and is designed to repel fleas and ticks for up to 7 days. Not only this, but it will kill any fleas, ticks or mosquitoes that have already infested your pet. Animology Flea & Tick Dog Shampoo - This dog shampoo is suitable for puppies from 6 weeks old and will help to wash out any fleas or ticks from your pup’s coat. It has a built-in conditioner to help keep the coat in glossy condition and the tea tree in the recipe will help to soothe irritated bitten skin. Insect Shield Vest - If you enjoy rambles in woodland or the countryside, then you will love this insect repelling dog vest by Scruffs. It comes in a range of 7 sizes to suit dogs from Beagle size up to the size of a German Shepherd and is designed to protect from Mosquitoes, Fleas, Ticks and Ants. Insect Shield Snood - If you like the idea of the Vest, but you don’t think your dog will wear one then try this bandana. This is also a good choice for tiny dogs who are too small for the vest.   Insect Shield Crate Mat - A crate mat can be used in all kinds of ways. As the name suggests, it makes a great bed to pop in your dog’s crate but can also be used around the house or even on your travels. The addition of the insect shield technology means it would be great for any Summer activities - we’d suggest taking on your camping trips or days at the seaside for your dog to rest and sleep on when they’re not adventuring. They come in 5 sizes with a size to suit every breed and age of dog.     Insect Bite & Sting Soothing Products for Pets As hard as we may try to deter insects, there will always be the odd occasion when they manage to bite or sting. We have a number of products that will soothe the area after your pet has been stung or bitten including a number of soothing creams and ointments. Here are some of the products you should add to your pet first-aid kit to help with insect bites. Beaphar Wound Ointment - This antiseptic skincare product for pets is designed to soothe and aid the healing process of the skin. It is ideal for bite and sting aftercare as it contains aloe vera and celendula oil which will work together to help relieve any itching or irritation. It’s also great for any pets who suffer from dry or irritated skin in general - helping to keep skin soft and supple. Denes Mite Cream - This is specifically designed to help minimise the irritation caused by parasitic mites, but also help relieve a range of other skin problems. It’s an all-natural cream with cedar wood and Sweet Flag that will make a brilliant addition to your first-aid kit. Denes Skin Balm - A blend of natural essential oils including Camphor, Tea Tree and Poke Root that work together in this soothing skin balm. It has been created to soothe and heal the skin and will help with a range of skin conditions. Wild Dog Co Skin Relief - This wonderful skin soothing balm for pets isn’t just great for insect bites but will help reduce irritation in a number of different scenarios. It is suitable for dry skin conditions, rough dry elbows and cuts and scrapes. It contains anti-bacterial Manuka as well as rosemary, frankincense and mango butter. Leucillin Spray - This isn’t necessarily a soothing product and may need to be used in conjunction with other creams or lotions in the case of a bite or sting, but Leucillin is a brilliant anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal spray. It’s a great addition to any pet-first aid kit and can be used in all kinds of situations. It will help to clean the wound or bite and also help to stop any itchiness. It’s completely pet-safe and can be used on all kinds of animals, from cats and dogs to larger pets such as horses!

By Zac Girdlestone

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Stay Beach Safe This Summer
11.06.21 June 11, 2021 Health Featured

Stay Beach Safe This Summer

Oh how dogs love the beach. And, if there’s anything better than long sandy beaches, it’s the sea. Everyone loves to be beside the seaside…especially our dogs! However, according to our friends at Vets Now, the UK’s leading provider of emergency pet care, there’s a number of dangers lurking in a beach visit which means we need to stay beach safe this summer. And get prepared. Dave Leicester, Head of Telehealth at Vets Now, reveals the top dangers to be aware of before taking your dog to the beach this summer. And we’ve created a list of must-have accessories to take with you on any beach trip. If you do find yourself worried whilst at the beach, or afterwards, Vets Now have launched Video Vets Now where you can arrange a video call with one of their emergency vets within minutes, no matter where you are in the UK.   Be Sand Aware Even in the UK, the sun can heat up the sand to dangerous temperatures. If it’s too hot for you to walk barefoot, then it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. If you’re planning on visiting the beach on a day that’s forecast to be hot, it’s a good idea to take your dog in the early morning or late evening. Also, make sure your dog doesn’t eat or swallow too much sand through digging or repeatedly picking up sandy balls and toys. Sand can cause a blockage in the intestine, known as sand impaction. Signs of this serious condition, which requires urgent veterinary treatment, include vomiting, dehydration and abdominal pain. And lastly, keep your pet away from seaweed. It’s been championed as a source of vitamins and minerals, however dried up seaweed washed up on the shoreline can be dangerous for dogs. If swallowed, it can expand in the stomach and become stuck in the intestine.   Stay Sea Safe Don’t assume your dog can swim. Some breeds are naturally strong swimmers, but other breeds, such as corgis and pugs, are not. If your dog is not used to swimming then the sea is not the place to start so make sure he doesn’t get out of his depth.  Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, they’re still at risk of being swept under by large rolling waves. Be careful on windy days when the waves are high and make sure your dog doesn’t venture too far out. Waves and currents can quickly exhaust dogs so perhaps consider buying a life vest for your dog. And if you notice your dog lapping up sea water — stop them. The salt, bacteria and parasites in the water can make them sick. To prevent your dog from drinking salt water, make sure you have plenty of fresh water on hand to give them throughout the day. Irritation to your dog’s skin and paws can be prevented by a fresh-water rinse down before leaving the beach.   Keep Cool Despite a cool coastal breeze, temperatures on beaches often soar in the height of summer in the UK. Be sure to provide a shaded area for your dog and give them plenty of fresh water to help avoid heatstroke. Also, don’t forget sunburn. Just like humans, dogs can suffer sunburn too and breeds with short hair or white hair, and pink ears must be particularly careful on hot days. Use a sunscreen made specifically for dogs and avoid those that contain fragrances. And beware of overexertion. Running on sand takes a lot more effort than running on grass and, add in the summer sun, and this can quickly lead to potentially fatal heat stroke. Make sure they take rests, have shade and fresh water. Lords and Labradors to recommend relevant accessories. Need some additional advice? If you’re worried about your pet whilst on holiday this summer, or even on a day trip, you can arrange a video chat with one of the highly experienced emergency vets from the Vets Now team, within minutes. A ten-minute video consult costs £24 and is refundable if Vets Now recommend an in-person follow up within 24 hours. For more details and how to book visit: Online Vets | Video Chat With Our UK Based Vets | 8am-11pm Daily (vets-now.com)

By Zac Girdlestone

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