Lords & Labradors Information Hub

The home of handy tips and advice dedicated to pet owners

Can Dogs Fly on Planes in the UK?
17.07.24 July 17, 2024 Owning a Dog Featured

Can Dogs Fly on Planes in the UK?

Put simply, yes, dogs can fly on planes in the UK, but there are specific regulations and requirements that you must adhere to. The UK has strict rules regarding pet travel to ensure the safety and well-being of animals during flights. It's important to check with your airline and the UK's Pet Travel Scheme (PETS) for the most current regulations. Here at Lords and Labradors, we have all the gear to make your travels safe & seamless. Key Regulations for Flying with Dogs in the UK Microchip and Vaccination: Your dog must be microchipped and vaccinated according to country & airline regulations. Ensure that these vaccinations are up-to-date and your dog's microchip details are correctly registered. Pet Passport or Health Certificate: You will need a pet passport or an official health certificate issued by an authorised vet. This document should include details of your dog's microchip number, details of their vaccination, and other relevant health information. Tapeworm Treatment: Dogs must receive tapeworm treatment before entering the UK. This treatment should be administered by a vet and recorded in the pet passport or health certificate. Approved Airlines and Routes: Only certain airlines and routes are approved for pet travel. Check with your airline to ensure they are authorised to transport pets to and from the UK. Preparing Your Dog for Air Travel Proper preparation is so important for a safe and comfortable journey and flight for your dog. Here are some essential steps to take before your journey: Choose the Right Crate Invest in an IATA (International Air Transport Association) approved travel crate. The crate should be spacious enough for your dog to stand, turn around, and lie down comfortably. Ensure the crate is well-ventilated and secure. Acclimate Your Dog to the Crate Well before your trip, start getting your dog used to the travel crate. Place the crate in your home and encourage your dog to explore it. Gradually increase the amount of time your dog spends in the crate to help them feel comfortable and secure. Health Check and Documentation Visit your vet for a thorough health check. Ensure all vaccinations are up-to-date and obtain a pet passport or health certificate. Discuss any concerns you have about travelling with your vet, and consider asking for help and advice if your dog is particularly anxious. Book Early and Confirm Details Book your flight well in advance and inform the airline that you will be travelling with a dog. Confirm all details regarding pet travel, including crate size requirements, fees, and documentation needed. Tips for a Smooth Flight with Your Dog Exercise Before the Flight Give your dog plenty of exercise before the flight to help them relax and expend excess energy. A tired dog is more likely to rest during the journey. Limit Food and Water Intake Avoid feeding your dog a large meal before the flight to prevent motion sickness. Offer water up until departure but limit the amount to avoid accidents in the crate. Comfort Items Place a familiar blanket or toy in the crate to provide comfort and a sense of security. These items can help reduce stress and anxiety during the flight. Check-In Early Arrive at the airport early to allow plenty of time for check-in and security procedures. This will also give your dog time to acclimate to the airport environment. During the Flight Ensure the crate is securely fastened in the cargo hold or under the seat in front of you, depending on your airline's policies. Remain calm and composed, as dogs can pick up on their owner's anxiety. Post-Flight Care Once you arrive at your destination, take the following steps to ensure your dog’s comfort and well-being: Immediate Care After the flight, take your dog out of the crate as soon as possible and allow them to stretch, hydrate, and relieve themselves. Check for any signs of stress or discomfort. Settling In Give your dog time to adjust to the new environment. Maintain a calm demeanour and provide comfort items such as their favourite toys or blankets to help them feel at home. Monitor Health Monitor your dog’s health closely in the days following the flight. Look out for signs of dehydration, stress, or illness, and consult a vet if you have any concerns. Choosing the Right Airline and Flight Not all airlines have the same policies regarding pet travel. Research and choose an airline that is known for its pet-friendly policies and good reputation for handling animals. Some airlines offer special pet travel programs that provide additional care and comfort for your furry friend. Key Considerations When Choosing an Airline Pet Travel Program: Look for airlines with dedicated pet travel programs that offer additional services such as temperature-controlled cargo holds and specialised care. Flight Duration: opt for direct flights whenever possible to minimise the stress of multiple take-offs and landings. Cabin vs. Cargo: Small dogs may be allowed to travel in the cabin with you, while larger dogs will need to be in the cargo hold. Ensure the cargo hold is temperature-controlled and meets safety standards. Flying with your dog requires careful planning and preparation, but with the right approach, it can be a safe and enjoyable experience for both of you. By understanding the regulations, preparing your dog properly, and choosing the right airline, you can ensure a smooth journey. At Lords & Labradors, we offer a range of travel accessories to help make your trip as comfortable and stress-free as possible. Safe travels!

By Laura Rudd

Read more
How to Choose the Right Dog Feeding Bowl for My Dog
11.07.24 July 11, 2024 Owning a Dog Featured

How to Choose the Right Dog Feeding Bowl for My Dog

Selecting the right feeding bowl for your dog is more important than you might think. It impacts not only your dogs comfort while eating but also their health and hygiene. With a plethora of options available, from traditional dog bowls to elevated dog bowls on stands, making the right choice can be daunting. This guide will help you understand the key considerations and benefits of different types of dog bowls, particularly focusing on the increasingly popular dog bowls on stands. Understanding Your Dog’s Needs Before diving into the specifics of different types of dog bowls, it's important to understand your dog’s unique needs. Factors such as breed, size, age, eating habits, and health conditions play a significant role in determining the best feeding bowl for your furry friend. Size and Breed: Larger breeds may need bigger bowls with higher capacities, while smaller breeds require appropriately sized bowls to avoid overfeeding. Some breeds benefit from 'long eared' dog bowls, where as others may benefit from a slow feeder bowl. Age: Puppies might benefit from smaller, shallower bowls, whereas senior dogs might need elevated bowls to reduce strain on their neck and joints. Eating Habits: Fast eaters might benefit from slow feeder bowls to prevent gulping and subsequent digestive issues. The Benefits of Dog Bowls on Stand Dog bowls on stands, also known as elevated or raised dog bowls, have become increasingly popular for their numerous benefits. Here are some key benefits your dog may find from using one: Improved Digestion Elevated dog bowls can help improve your dog's digestion by allowing food to travel more efficiently down the digestive tract. This is particularly beneficial for large breeds and dogs with certain health conditions. Reduced Strain on Joints For older dogs or those with arthritis, bending down to eat can be painful and stressful on their joints. Dog bowls on stands elevate the food to a comfortable height, reducing the strain on your dog's neck, hips, shoulders, and joints. Better Posture Eating from an elevated bowl can help promote better posture, especially in large breed dogs. This can prevent long-term musculoskeletal issues and promote overall well-being. Cleanliness and Hygiene Raised dog bowls can help keep the feeding area cleaner. They prevent food and water from spilling onto the floor, reducing the chance of bacterial growth and keeping the feeding area hygienic. Types of Dog Bowls Here at Lords & Labradors, we offer various types of dog bowls, each with its unique features and benefits. Here’s a closer look at some popular options: Standard Dog Bowls These are the most common type of dog bowls, typically made from stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic. They are simple, affordable, and come in various sizes. However, they may not offer the ergonomic benefits of elevated bowls. Dog Bowls on Stand As we've looked into, elevated bowls come with a stand that raises the bowls to a more comfortable height for your dog. They are ideal for larger breeds, senior dogs, and dogs with certain health conditions. Slow Feeder Bowls Designed to slow down fast eaters, these bowls have ridges or obstacles that make it more challenging for dogs to gulp down their food. This can prevent choking, bloating, and other digestive issues. Automatic Feeders Automatic feeders are perfect for busy pet owners. They dispense a pre-measured amount of food at scheduled times, ensuring your dog gets fed even when you’re not home. Travel Bowls Portable and often collapsible, travel bowls are convenient for on-the-go feeding. They are typically made from flexible materials like silicone or fabric. Choosing the Right Dog Bowl on a Stand When selecting an elevated dog bowl, there are several factors to consider to ensure it meets your dog's needs: Height of the Stand The height of the stand should be appropriate for your dog’s size. The bowl should be at the level of your dog's chest to allow for comfortable eating without straining their neck. Material Choose a bowl made from durable, non-toxic materials. Stainless steel is a popular choice due to its durability, ease of cleaning, and resistance to bacterial growth. Ceramic bowls are also good but can be heavier and prone to breaking. Avoid plastic bowls as they can harbor bacteria and may cause allergic reactions in some dogs. Stability The stand should be stable and sturdy enough to prevent tipping, especially if your dog is a vigorous eater. Look for stands with non-slip feet, or wall mounted to keep them securely in place. Ease of Cleaning Opt for bowls that are easy to remove and easy to wash. This will make cleaning and maintaining hygiene much easier. Capacity Ensure the bowls have enough capacity to hold your dog’s meals comfortably. This is especially important for larger breeds that require more food. Additional Tips for Feeding Your Dog Regular Cleaning: Clean your dog’s bowls regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and ensure a healthy feeding environment. Proper Placement: Place the bowl in a quiet area to allow your dog to eat without distractions or stress. Monitor Eating Habits: Keep an eye on your dog’s eating habits. If you notice any changes, such as eating too fast or showing signs of discomfort, consider adjusting your feeding setup or consulting your veterinarian. Choosing the right dog feeding bowl is so important for your pet's health and comfort. Dog bowls on stands offer numerous benefits, including improved digestion, reduced strain on joints, better posture, and enhanced cleanliness. By considering your dog's specific needs and preferences, you can select the perfect bowl to ensure they enjoy every meal comfortably and safely. At Lords & Labradors, we offer a wide range of high-quality dog bowls and feeding accessories designed to meet the unique needs of every dog. Explore our collection today and find the perfect feeding solution for your furry friend.  

By Laura Rudd

Read more
What's the best? Soft or Firm dog bed
10.07.24 July 10, 2024 Owning a Dog Featured

What's the best? Soft or Firm dog bed

Choosing the right bed for your dog can be so overwhelming when there is so many beds available to choose from. Our dogs do have a preference much like us humans. It can be challenging to decide whether a soft dog bed or a firm one is the best choice for your furry friend. Our guide will delve into the benefits and considerations of both types of beds, helping you make an informed decision, for you and your pet.  Understanding Your Dog's Needs Before diving into the specifics of soft and firm dog beds, it's important to understand your dog's unique needs. Factors such as age, breed, size, health, and sleeping habits play a significant role in determining the best type of bed for them. Key Considerations Age and Health : Older dogs or those with joint issues may require more support to alleviate pressure points and promote better sleep. Breed and Size : Larger breeds may benefit from firmer support, while smaller breeds might prefer the cosiness of a soft bed. Sleeping Habits : Observe your dog’s sleeping position and habits. Do they curl up in a ball, sprawl out, or like to burrow? The Benefits of a Soft Dog Bed Soft dog beds are designed to provide a plush, cushioned sleeping surface that many dogs find incredibly comfortable. Here are some benefits of opting for a soft dog bed: Comfort and Cosiness Soft dog beds offer a high level of comfort, making them ideal for dogs that enjoy snuggling and burrowing. The plush material can provide a sense of security and warmth, particularly beneficial for smaller breeds and puppies. Flexibility Some dog beds often come with flexible stuffing, such as memory foam, allowing the bed to contour to your dog's body. This can be particularly comforting for dogs that prefer to nestle into their bed. Variety of Styles Soft dog beds are available in various styles, especially our Lords & Labradors donut beds. Dog beds designed with raised, plush edges, providing a cosy, enclosed space, can help anxious dogs feel secure. The Benefits of a Firm Dog Bed Firm dog beds, on the other hand, provide more structured support. These beds are often recommended for dogs with specific health needs. Here are the advantages of choosing a firm dog bed: Support Firm dog beds are ideal for dogs with arthritis, hip dysplasia, or other joint issues. The firmer surface helps distribute weight evenly, reducing pressure on joints and providing much-needed support.  Durability Firm beds are often more durable and maintain their shape over time. This makes them a good investment for larger or more active dogs that might wear down a softer bed more quickly. Easy to Clean Many of our firmer dog beds come with removable, washable covers, making them easier to clean and maintain. This is particularly important for dogs that spend a lot of time outdoors and might bring dirt into their bed. Comparing Soft and Firm Dog Beds When deciding between a soft and firm dog bed, consider the following aspects to determine which one best suits your dog's needs. Comfort Level Soft Dog Beds: Best for dogs that love to curl up and snuggle. They provide a plush, cosy surface that can mimic the feeling of cuddling with their owner/littermates. Firm Dog Beds: Best for dogs that need extra support. They provide a stable, even surface that can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with joint issues. Durability and Maintenance Soft Dog Beds: Generally, less durable than firm beds. The soft filling can flatten over time, especially with heavy use. However, they are often machine washable. Firm Dog Beds: Typically, more durable and maintain their shape longer. They often come with removable covers that are easy to clean. Health Considerations Soft Dog Beds: Suitable for young, healthy dogs without any joint issues. They offer a comfortable and inviting space for dogs that don't require additional support. Firm Dog Beds: Ideal for older dogs or those with health issues. They provide the necessary support to keep your dog comfortable and alleviate pain. Dog Nest Beds Dog nest style beds, such as our Lords & Labradors Donut beds and our Lords & Labradors High Wall beds, combine elements of both soft and firm beds. They feature a soft, cushioned interior with raised edges, providing a sense of security and support. This type of bed is particularly popular among dogs that enjoy curling up and feeling enclosed. Here are some benefits of the dog nest bed: Security and Comfort The raised edges create a cosy, enclosed space that can help reduce anxiety and promote a sense of security. Versatility Our Lords & Labradors dog beds come in various sizes and styles, making them suitable for different breeds and preferences. Supportive Edges While the interior is soft, the raised edges can provide additional support for your dog's head and neck, combining the benefits of both soft and firm beds. Choosing between a soft or firm dog bed ultimately depends on your dog's individual needs and preferences. Soft dog beds are ideal for dogs that love to snuggle and feel warm and cosy, while firm dog beds provide the necessary support for dogs with joint issues or those that need more structured support.  At Lords & Labradors, we offer a wide range of high-quality dog beds designed to meet the unique needs of every dog. Whether you’re looking for a soft dog bed, a firm bed, or something 'in-between', we have the perfect solution to ensure your furry friend enjoys restful and rejuvenating sleep.

By Laura Rudd

Read more
How Much Sleep Should My Dog Get?
08.07.24 July 08, 2024 Owning a Dog Featured

How Much Sleep Should My Dog Get?

As pet owners, understanding the sleep requirements of our canine companions can help us provide the best care possible. And ensuring our dogs get the right amount of sleep is so important for their overall health and general wellbeing. Here at Lords & Labradors, we've looked into the sleep needs of dogs at different life stages, from puppies to senior dogs, answering common questions such as how much sleep do dogs actually require?, and how long do dogs (and should dogs) sleep at night? Understanding Dog Sleep Patterns Dogs, much like us humans, have varying sleep needs based on their age, activity level, and overall health. However, unlike humans, dogs' sleep patterns include several shorter cycles rather than one long stretch of sleep. How Much Sleep Do Dogs Require? On average, our dogs need between 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day. This amount can fluctuate based on several factors: Age: Puppies and senior dogs tend to sleep more than adult dogs. Breed: Larger breeds often need more sleep than smaller breeds. Activity Level: Highly active dogs may require more rest to recover from their physical exertions. How Long Do Dogs Sleep at Night? Most dogs tend to sleep around 8 to 10 hours at night, with additional naps during the day to meet their total sleep requirements. Unlike humans, dogs have a polyphasic sleep pattern, meaning they sleep multiple times throughout a 24-hour period. This pattern allows them to stay alert and respond to their environment more quickly. Sleep Requirements by Age How Long Should Puppies Sleep? Puppies are in a critical growth phase, which requires a significant amount of rest. On average, puppies need 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day. This extensive sleep helps support their rapid physical development and learning processes. Ensuring a quiet and comfortable sleeping environment is essential to support healthy growth and development in puppies. How Many Hours Sleep Does an Adult Dog Need? Adult dogs typically require 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day. This includes night-time sleep and several day-time naps. Active breeds or working dogs may need slightly less sleep, around 10 to 12 hours, due to their higher energy levels and physical activity. However, it's crucial to monitor your dog's behaviour and adjust their rest time based on their individual needs. Senior Dogs Senior dogs, much like puppies, often need more sleep than adult dogs. They may require 14 to 18 hours of sleep per day. Aging dogs experience changes in their metabolism and activity levels, making additional rest necessary for maintaining their health and wellbeing. Factors Influencing Dog Sleep Health and Medical Conditions Dogs with certain health conditions may require more sleep. Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and hypothyroidism can increase fatigue and the need for rest. Regular veterinary check-ups can help identify and manage these conditions, ensuring your dog gets the appropriate amount of sleep. Diet and Nutrition A balanced diet is essential for maintaining your dog's energy levels and overall health. Poor nutrition can lead to lethargy and increased sleep requirements. Consult with your veterinarian to ensure your dog's diet is meeting their specific needs. Environment Creating a comfortable sleeping environment is vital for ensuring quality sleep. Choose a quiet, cosy space with a comfortable bed suited to your dog’s size and needs. Consider orthopaedic beds for senior dogs or dogs with joint issues to enhance their comfort. Exercise and Activity Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining your dog’s physical and mental health. Adequate physical activity helps regulate sleep patterns and prevents behavioural issues caused by excess energy. However, be mindful of not overexerting your dog, especially in extreme weather conditions. If you're unsure of when you're able to walk your dog in hot weather, you can read our helpful guide here. Signs of Sleep Problems in Dogs Monitoring your dog’s sleep habits can help identify potential health issues. Look out for signs such as: Excessive Sleeping: While dogs sleep a lot, an increase in sleep duration beyond normal could indicate health problems. Restlessness: Difficulty settling down or frequent waking during the night may signal discomfort or anxiety. Changes in Sleep Patterns: Sudden changes in your dog’s sleep routine can be a sign of underlying health issues. If you notice any of these signs, consult your vet to rule out medical conditions and receive appropriate advice. Tips for Improving Your Dog's Sleep Establish a Routine Dogs thrive on routine. Establish regular times for feeding, exercise, and sleep to help regulate your dog’s sleep patterns. Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment Provide a designated sleeping area that is quiet, comfortable, and free from disturbances. Invest in a high quality bed that supports your dog’s joints and overall comfort. Ensure Adequate Exercise Regular physical activity is essential for tiring your dog out and promoting restful sleep. Adapt their exercise routine to your dog’s age, breed, and health condition. Monitor Diet and Nutrition Feed your dog a balanced diet to support every aspect of their health and energy levels. Avoid feeding them large meals right before bedtime to prevent discomfort. Understanding how much sleep dogs require and tailoring their environment and routine to meet these needs is crucial for their health and well-being. By paying attention to their specific needs at different life stages and creating a comfortable sleep environment, you can ensure your dog enjoys restful and rejuvenating sleep. At Lords & Labradors, we offer a range of high-quality beds and sleep accessories designed to cater to the unique needs of dogs at every stage of life. Give your furry friend the gift of good sleep and watch them thrive.

By Laura Rudd

Read more
From Fetch to Fortune: Meet the Dog Influencers Making up to £630k a Year
05.07.24 July 05, 2024 Top Tips Featured

From Fetch to Fortune: Meet the Dog Influencers Making up to £630k a Year

Are you obsessed with endlessly scrolling through adorable puppy videos on TikTok and Instagram? So are we! In our most recent study, we took a deep dive into the world of pet influencers, estimating which furry stars are raking in the most money and how you can get in on the action. When identifying four-legged social media sensations, we conducted extensive research to identify the most popular pet accounts across Instagram and TikTok. We estimated their potential earnings per post and compiled a list of the wealthiest pet influencers. But we didn’t stop there – by analysing top pet profiles and speaking to Raé MB, owner of pet social media star, Mochi (@mochi.bostiegirl), we have provided some expert insight into what makes a profitable pet account, how to maximise your earnings, and the benefits of maintaining a social media presence for your pet. The Highest Earning Dog Influencers in the UK and USA In the pet influencer space, some dogs are truly living the dream, earning impressive incomes from their social media stardom. From the UK to the USA, these top canine influencers are fetching the big bucks and winning hearts across the globe. By analysing their follower counts, estimating earnings per post and tallying up their branded content in the past 12 months, we've uncovered the highest-earning dog influencers and reveal just how successful their careers can be. The UK's leading pets, making waves on social media: 1. @BlueStaffyBoulder – £339k (Instagram) The research revealed the UK’s top dog influencers is @BlueStaffyBoulder. With around 205k followers on Instagram, it turns out this pet star could be earning over £339,000 yearly! We estimated that Boulder and Harley could be earning around 3k per post from with their 113 branded uploads in the past year. That said, this blue Staffy has made it into the top 1% of highest earners in the country, according to Institute of Fiscal Studies.     2. @GSDBear – £90k (Instagram) Coming in second is the fabulous German Shepherd dog model, @GSDBear, who could be earning up to £90k a year. This talented furball featured 18 branded posts this year and makes an estimated £5k per post – light work! 3. @My_Blue_Wolf – £10.5k (Instagram) Third place goes to Ocean, the dazzling Blue Wolf Dog taking Instagram by storm. With 456k followers on Instagram and estimated earnings of £5k per post, this canine sensation could be pocketing around £10.5k a year. 4. @DigitDax – £22.5k (Instagram) Following suit, Miniature Dachshund duo Digit and Pippa could be taking home £22,500 per year from their Instagram presence. With 9 branded posts in the past 12 months, the pair are making an estimated £2.5k per post. 5. @Lecorgi – £10.5k (Instagram) Coming in fifth on our list of highest-earning UK dog influencers is Marcel Le Corgi, a London-based volunteer therapy dog. Marcel certainly lives the high life, traveling the world, sampling new foods, and earning an estimated £10,500 annually from his popular Instagram account. With 140k followers, Marcel could be making around £1,500 per post, having shared only 7 branded posts in the past year. Across the pond, the pups making the most income in the US are: 1. @WhatAboutBunny – £630k (Tiktok) Our research uncovered that the top-earning US pet influencer is @WhatAboutBunny, a renowned Sheepadoodle boasting an impressive 8.6M followers on TikTok. Bunny's potential earnings are staggering, estimated at £630,000 annually. Despite this substantial income, Bunny only mentioned brands in 21 posts over the past year suggesting that this star makes around £30,000 per post – truly a paw-sitively great career path! 2. @AGuyAndAGolden – £500k (Tiktok) In second place, earning an estimated half a million pounds a year (£500,000), is @AGuyAndAGolden. With 7.5M followers on his Tiktok account, this gorgeous Golden Retriever only needed to post 20 times to earn his keep, taking home an estimated £30,000 per post.  3. @Loki – £172k (Instagram) Third place goes to the lovely @Loki, who fetched an estimated £172,000 from his 36 branded posts in the past year. It appears Loki’s 1.9M followers are a loyal fan base, as this famous Wolf Dog boasts a high engagement rate of around 205%. 4. @DougThePug – £140k (TikTok) Doug the Pug came in fourth, raking in an impressive estimated yearly salary of £140,000. Despite posting just 7 times in the past 12 months, this cheeky pup could earn around £20,000 per post. Doug is one wealthy “good boy” who barely has to lift a paw – talk about living the high life with minimal effort! 5. @LadyAndTheBlues – £70k (TikTok) Wrapping up our top five highest-earning US pooches is Lady, a Golden Retriever social media sensation. Our research suggests this clever canine could be pocketing around £70,000 annually, with each post potentially earning her £10,000. Like Doug the Pug, Lady enjoys a pretty laid-back lifestyle, having posted just 7 branded content pieces in the past year.   How Do I Navigate My Way to Pet Social Media Stardom? To learn more about what it takes to run a successful pet social media account, we chatted with Raé MB, the owner of @mochi.bostiegirl, who has built a community of over 6K followers on Instagram. Raé shared her expert insights on building a community for your dog, collaborating with brands, and some of the challenges she's faced along her pet influencing journey.   Best Ways to Build Followers and Create an Online Community   “Being authentic, creating shareable content, engaging with similar breeds as a start, and then branching into different breeds and leaving meaningful comments. This is very time-consuming though - but it’s important to build an actual community.  “Find your niche! For example, we are a dog-friendly travel and lifestyle account – so we share tips on travel, dog-friendly places and dog fashion. We also collaborate with bigger dog-friendly travel accounts which also helps us reach and find like-minded pet parents who want to look for places they can take their dog to - for holidays, days out and just to eat!   “It’s also important to ‘show up’ on socials - people LOVE knowing your day-to-day whether that’s in the form of captions or on stories. This is a great way to connect with your audience by sharing what might seem quite mundane but is very relatable.”  How to Know When You’re Ready to Work with Brands  “Because Mochi was still a puppy (1 year old) when we started, we used social media to find out info that helped her development like training tips and advice on feeding.   “We also started following brands and found a plethora of businesses that specialise in creating wonderful harnesses and even personalised dog leads and fashion borg jumpers and functional but stylish fleeces! Once I started to buy from them, and post Mochi wearing their items, brands started to engage with us and look for ambassadors to promote their products in exchange for personal discount and gifting sometimes.  “I find, as there’s so many dog accessory brands, food brands and fashion brands, the best thing to do is showcase your skills in photography and reels, showcasing how you’d market their product. Some brands aren’t too particular about follower count and factor in engagement metrics rather than vanity metrics. On dog Instagram, brands often have ambassador searches, and entering these would be beneficial to start working with brands.   However, it’s important to note that you should pick brands you authentically love and want to be associated with!”  Positives and Challenges    “Challenges… it can be very toxic and just like any influencer in any niche - people can be competitive and very unkind.  “But the positives are meeting fabulous likeminded people - whether it’s pet parents who love to travel with their pets, love fashion or trick training.   “It does feel like you have a support system too, if for example, you’re struggling with a poorly pet or a reactive, anxious dog. I’ve found lots of dog mums who have introduced me to wonderful dog trainers and given me tips on how to train a behaviour with my dog.   “I have made a small but lovely group of forever friends from dog social media!”    Expert Tips on Getting Your Profile Started, From the Experts  Alongside expert dog influencer insight, our team of pet experts have also provided some essential advice on how to get started with your pet’s social media account; from crafting your profile, to keeping audiences engaged: 1. Finding Your Perfect Co-Star “It all starts with the right pet! Choose a companion you adore and can provide a loving home for.  “Research local regulations and consider breeds that thrive in your climate and living situation. Remember, a happy and healthy pet is the foundation for a successful online presence.”  2. Crafting Your Profile “First impressions are key, so be sure to craft a bio that clearly explains your content and shows off your pet's unique personality.  “Decide if you'll create a dedicated pet profile or a joint account. Different platforms cater to different audiences, so choose the one that best suits your content and target demographic (e.g. posting puppy playdates on Instagram versus informative training tips on YouTube).”  3. Content is Key “High-quality photos and videos are a must – capturing your pet's adventures, funny antics, and heartwarming moments.  “Be sure to post consistently and interact with your followers in the comments to build your community. Additionally, it’s a good idea to utilise features like live streaming for real-time engagement and write eye-catching captions with relevant hashtags to improve your chances of being discovered.”  4. Expanding Your Pawprint “Growing your audience requires consistent effort, which can be accelerated by connecting with other pet influencers to tap into their followers.   “And don't be shy about reaching out directly to brands you love! Collaboration is key - explore partnerships with other pet influencers for broader exposure.”  5. Remember: This is a Marathon, not a Sprint!  “The key to growing your pet’s online community is staying active and consistent with your posting schedule.   “Pay close attention to your analytics to understand what resonates with your audience, ensuring to refine your strategy accordingly.  “And of course, keep exploring new content formats and collaborations to keep your followers engaged and expand your influence in the exciting world of pet social media.”    Conclusion Our exploration of the pet influencer world has revealed the furry stars that are not only melting hearts, but also generating impressive incomes through their social media prowess. From the UK to the USA, these top canine influencers demonstrate that cuteness truly can lead to substantial rewards! And whether you're just starting your pet's social media journey or refining your current approach, we hope that our expert tips on building a successful pet profile and collaborating with brands provide valuable insights. If you’re looking to glam your dog up for the ‘gram, why not check out our range of stylish dog coats, where there’s something to fit every pup’s aesthetic.    Sources and Methodology Top Dog Influencers: https://thesocialshepherd.com/blog/top-pet-influencers-uk https://www.theguardian.com/media/2023/jan/20/meet-hugo-and-huxley-the-pet-influencers-makingt-100k-a-year https://www.companionlife.co.uk/new-data-reveals-the-highest-earning-dog-fluencers-in-2023-with-instagram-taking-top-spot-over-tiktok/ https://influencers.feedspot.com/dog_instagram_influencers/ https://www.dogingtonpost.com/10-richest-dogs-on-instagr https://hypeauditor.com/instagram/harlowandsage/ https://finance.yahoo.com/news/millionaire-pets-highest-earning-pets-200027940.htmlhttps://ifs.org.uk/tools_and_resources/where_do_you_fit_in#tool-results-section Estimated price per post calculations: https://influencermatchmaker.co.uk/how-much-does-an-influencer-cost https://www.shopify.com/uk/blog/influencer-pricing  

By Megan Willis

Read more
How to Keep Cats Cool in Summer: Essential Tips for Pet Owners
27.05.24 May 27, 2024 Owning a Cat Featured

How to Keep Cats Cool in Summer: Essential Tips for Pet Owners

As the summer heat intensifies, it's crucial to ensure your feline friends stay cool and comfortable. Cats are particularly sensitive to high temperatures, and excessive heat can lead to serious health issues like heatstroke. In this guide, we'll explore practical strategies for keeping cats cool in summer, providing you with essential tips to help your pet beat the heat. Understanding the Risks of Heat for Cats Before diving into how to keep your cat cool in summer, it's important to understand why it's necessary. Cats do not sweat like humans do; they have very few sweat glands meaning they use other tricks to cool themselves down. Grooming themselves is a key way your cat will cool themselves down, as the saliva evaporate and help to cool down. They are also likely to take long naps in a cool spot on a hot day and they may also use panting to cool themselves down.   3 reasons overheating is dangerous for your cat Heatstroke: This is a life-threatening condition that can cause organ failure. Dehydration: High temperatures can quickly lead to dehydration, impacting your cat's overall health. Burns: Hot surfaces like pavements can burn a cat’s sensitive paw pads.   Recognising Signs of Overheating Even with these precautions, it’s vital to know the signs of overheating in cats so you can act quickly if necessary. Watch out for: Excessive panting: Unlike dogs, cats don't pant often, so this is a significant red flag. Lethargy: If your cat seems unusually tired or weak, they might be overheated. Drooling: Excessive drooling can be a sign of heat stress. Red or pale gums: These can indicate that your cat is overheating. Vomiting and diarrhoea: These symptoms can accompany heatstroke. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to act immediately. Move your cat to a cooler area, offer water, and use cool (not cold) water to dampen their fur. Contact your veterinarian for further advice.   How to Keep Your Cat Cool in Summer Battersea have put together 7 helpful ways you can help keep your cat safe and cool this summer 1. Use suncream If you have an outdoor cat with light coloured fur they are likely at risk of getting sunburned. If your cat will allow you to try putting some animal friendly suncream on them to help prevent sunburn. We love the BeSunsafe sun protection as it is also insect repelling and is full of natural ingredients. 2. Provide plenty of shade Make sure there are plenty of shady spots in your garden for your cat to lay in to help keep them cool whilst they are outdoors. 3. Provide Plenty of Fresh Water One of the simplest yet most effective ways to keep your cat cool in summer is ensuring they have access to fresh, clean water at all times. Consider placing multiple water bowls around your home to encourage your cat to drink more frequently. You might also invest in a cat water fountain, which can be more appealing to cats due to the continuous flow of water. We love the Catit Pixi fountain, it comes in 4 fun colours and provides your cat with a 24/7 stream of water to drink from. 4. Keep inside your house cool Maintaining a cool indoor environment is crucial for keeping cats cool in summer, especially indoor cats. Here are some tips to achieve this: Air Conditioning and Fans: If possible, keep the air conditioning on during hot days. Fans can also help circulate air, but ensure they are safe and out of your cat's reach. Curtains and Blinds: Close curtains or blinds during the hottest parts of the day to block out direct sunlight. Netting frames: Fit netted frames over your windows in summer so you can keep your home well ventilated without worrying about your cat escaping Cool Spots: Create cool spots for your cat to lounge in. This could be a tiled bathroom floor, a shaded area, or a cool mat designed for pets. 5. Don’t overexcite your cat Keeping your cat calm will help them stay cool on really hot days. For playful cats try putting down a couple of ice cubes for them to play with whilst keeping them hydrated and cool. 6. Check your shed Your cat may choose to hide from the sun in your shed or garage if they have been open so make sure to check for your cat before closing them! 7.Know the signs of heatstroke in cats Heatstroke can be really serious and acting quickly is important in keeping your cat safe. Here’s what you need to watch out for Agitation Stretching out and breathing rapidly Extreme distress Skin hot to the touch Glazed eyes Vomiting and drooling Conclusion Keeping cats cool in summer is a vital part of pet care. By providing plenty of fresh water, creating a cool environment, grooming regularly, and being vigilant for signs of overheating, you can ensure your cat stays safe and comfortable. Incorporate these cooling tips for cats into your summer routine to help your feline friend enjoy the season without the stress of overheating. At Lords & Labradors, we offer a range of products designed to keep your pets comfortable and happy. Explore our collection of cooling mats, water fountains, and grooming tools to help keep your cat cool this summer.

By Megan Willis

Read more
Dog Walking: Harness or Collar?
27.05.24 May 27, 2024 FAQs Featured

Dog Walking: Harness or Collar?

A walk is one of your dog’s favourites parts of the day, however, choosing the right equipment is crucial for a comfortable and safe experience. The primary debate for many dog owners is whether to use a harness or a collar. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice often depends on your dog’s breed, size, health, and behaviour. In this article, our Pet Experts explore the differences between harnesses and collars to help you make an informed decision. Harness vs Collar: What’s the Difference? A harness is designed to distribute pressure evenly across a dog’s chest and back, while a collar sits around the neck. This fundamental difference in design means that each has distinct impacts on your dog’s comfort and health. Dog Harnesses Advantages of Using a Harness Better Control: Harnesses provide more control, especially for larger or more energetic dogs. They are ideal for training and managing dogs that tend to pull on the lead. Reduced Risk of Injury: By distributing pressure across the chest, a harness reduces the risk of neck injuries. This is particularly important for breeds prone to respiratory problems or those with a delicate trachea, such as Pugs or Yorkshire Terriers. Prevents Escaping: A well-fitted harness can prevent dogs from slipping out, which is a common issue with collars. This added security is beneficial for dogs that are known escape artists. Versatility: Many harnesses come with additional features like handles for extra control, or reflective strips for better visibility during nighttime walks. Disadvantages of Using a Harness Complexity: Harnesses can be more complicated to put on and take off compared to collars. This can be a hassle for both the dog and the owner if the dog is particularly fidgety Dislike: Not all dog’s like the sensation of having a harness put over their head, however getting them used to a harness early can help with this. Comfort: If not properly fitted, a harness can cause chafing or discomfort. It's essential to ensure that the harness is the right size and adjusted correctly. Limited Styles: While harnesses come in various designs, they may not offer the same stylish options as collars, which can be a consideration for those who like their pets to make a fashion statement. Our Top 3 Harnesses Here at Lords & Labradors we put a lot of time into sourcing the best walking accessories for your pup. We want them to be both practical and stylish, here are our top 3 harnesses. Ruffwear Front Range Harness: The Ruffwear Front Range Harness allows you to enjoy your outdoor adventures with your favourite canine companion wherever you're going. It has 4 points of adjustment allowing full range of motion. The Front Range harness also has clips on both the front and back allowing you more control over your dog and helps to distribute any pressure more evenly when your dog pulls. Cocopup NAKD Harness: The Cocopup Nakd Harness fuses style and practicality together. It comes in seven stylish colours and has matching collars and leads available. With adjustable neck and chest straps, a safety locking feature, and 4 sizes to choose from, you can be sure to find the perfect fit for your pup. The clasps also have a safety locking feature which is great for any pups who have a habit of escaping their harness. Barbour Travel and Exercise Harness: The Barbour Travel & Exercise Dog Harness seamlessly blends comfort and safety, making it an ideal choice for both exercise and travel. Crafted by Barbour, this harness features a padded chest and adjustable straps to ensure a secure and comfortable fit for your dog. The reflective piping enhances visibility during nighttime walks, providing peace of mind, while the integrated car seatbelt loop keeps your pup secure during car journeys. The harness also features Barbour's iconic tartan pattern which you can match to your own Barbour quilted jacket, so you and your pup can be the most stylish pair in the park. Dog Collars Advantages of Using a Collar Simplicity: Collars are straightforward to put on and take off, making them convenient for daily use. Identification: Collars can hold ID tags, making it easier to identify your dog if they get lost. Some harnesses have this feature, but collars are typically more reliable for this purpose. Training: Collars can be useful for training purposes, particularly for dogs that respond well to quick corrections. Variety: Collars come in a wide range of styles, colours, and materials, allowing for personalisation and fashion-forward choices. Disadvantages of Using a Collar Risk of Injury: Collars can cause neck injuries, especially if the dog pulls hard or if sudden pressure is applied. This is a significant concern for dogs with delicate necks or those prone to respiratory issues. Limited Control: Collars do not provide the same level of control as harnesses, making them less effective for managing stronger dogs who like to pull. Choking Hazard: Dogs that pull on the lead can experience choking or discomfort with collars, potentially leading to negative associations with walking. Our Top 3 Collars Lords & Labradors Essentials Collars: Our Essentials Twill and Herdwick collars are the perfect lightweight collar. They are available in 7 sizes and are handcrafted in Italy. Featuring sturdy silver hardware and leather accents, these collars are a durable choice for your pup. Whether you pick the bobbly woven texture of Herdwick or the lovely linen texture of Twill, your dog will be stepping out in style with our Essentials collars. Lords & Labradors Italian Padded Leather Collars: Our padded leather collars are consciously hand crafted in Italy, using the finest Italian leather. They come in six sizes and have a soft padding round the inside of the collar making them super comfy for your dog. These are a great choice, paired with our leads it’s sure to look stylish Dogs & Horses Soft Rolled Leather Collar: Made from a butter soft leather, these rolled collars are a great choice for long haired dogs as the rolled shape stops the hair from matting. These collars are made using heritage craftsmanship here in England and are available in a large range of both sizes and colours. Collar or Harness for Dog Walking: Making the Right Choice When deciding between a dog harness vs collar, consider your dog’s specific needs and behaviours. Here are some factors to keep in mind: Breed and Size: Larger breeds or those with respiratory issues may benefit more from a harness. Smaller breeds with less pulling power may do well with a collar. Health Conditions: Dogs with neck or spinal issues should avoid collars to prevent further injury. A harness can provide a safer option. Training Needs: If your dog is still learning lead manners, a harness can offer better control and reduce the risk of injury. For well-trained dogs, a collar may suffice. Activity Level: Active dogs that participate in sports or outdoor adventures may need the added security and control of a harness. Is a Harness Better Than a Collar? Ultimately, whether a harness or collar is better depends on your dog. For most dog owners, a harness is often the more practical choice, particularly for walks and outdoor activities. However, collars remain a convenient and stylish option for everyday use, especially when fitted with ID tags for quick identification, and some dogs do walk better with a collar rather than a harness. This is one of them things that has no right answer, it will ultimately come down to what suits your lifestyle and which your dog walks better with. In conclusion, both harnesses and collars have their place in a dog’s wardrobe. By understanding the pros and cons of each, you can make an informed decision that best suits your dog's needs and lifestyle. Whether you choose a harness or collar, the most important factor is ensuring that your dog is comfortable, safe, and happy during your walks together. Here at Lords & Labradors we have a wide range of designer walking accessories, with both luxurious and practical options to suit every dog’s unique needs. Shop our collection here.

By Megan Willis

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more
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

Read more