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  • Our Guide To Taking Your Dog On The Train For The First Time
    31.10.23 October 31, 2023 Owning a Dog Featured

    Our Guide To Taking Your Dog On The Train For The First Time

    For many dog owners, the thought of taking their furry companions on a train journey for the first time can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Questions like "Are dogs allowed on trains?" and "Can you take dogs on the Eurostar?" often arise. Fortunately, with the right knowledge and preparation, traveling with your dog on a train can be a smooth and enjoyable experience. In this comprehensive guide, we will address all your concerns and provide valuable insights on how to make your dog's first train journey a pleasant one.   Are Dogs Allowed on Trains? Yes, dogs are generally allowed on trains, but specific regulations and policies can vary between train operators and regions. To ensure a smooth journey, it's crucial to research the dog-friendly policies of the train service you plan to use. Most train services allow dogs to travel with their owners, but there are conditions you should be aware of, such as size restrictions, the need for a lead and, in some cases, the requirement for a muzzle. Can Dogs Go On Trains In The UK? Traveling with your canine companion on trains in the United Kingdom is a common practice, and train operators across the country have established guidelines to make this experience safe and enjoyable for both pets and passengers. Here, we will provide you with information based on the guidance from the official National Rail website. National Rail has laid out a comprehensive pet policy to clarify the rules and requirements for traveling with dogs and other pets on trains across the UK. Below are some key points from their policy: Size Restrictions: National Rail's pet policy does not specify a weight limit for dogs, but it is essential to ensure your dog is well-behaved and can fit comfortably in the space provided without causing inconvenience to other passengers. Lead Requirements: While on the train, your dog should be kept on a lead or harness, or in some cases in a pet carrier - smaller dogs may feel more comfortable in a dog carrier.  Carriage Restrictions: Dogs are typically allowed in the passenger carriages, but it is advisable to check with your specific train service for designated areas or carriages for travellers with pets. Reservations: Making a reservation is strongly recommended when traveling with your dog, as it ensures you have sufficient space and reduces potential inconveniences to other passengers. Cleaning Up: Responsible pet owners should carry poop bags to clean up after their dogs. This ensures that the train remains clean and hygienic for all passengers. Identification and Vaccination Documents: While it is not a strict requirement on all train services, it's a good practice to carry identification and vaccination documents for your dog. This can be especially important if your dog were to become lost during your journey. Make sure the name and address on both their microchip and ID tag on their collar is up to date.  Behaviour and Consideration: Be considerate of your fellow passengers. Ensure your dog remains well-behaved, quiet, and does not cause any disturbances during the journey. It's important to note that National Rail's pet policy is a guideline for the entire UK rail network, but there may be some variations depending on the train operator or specific services. Therefore, it is advisable to check with the train service you plan to use to ensure you comply with their individual pet policy.   Can Dogs Go On Eurostar Trains? Dogs can only go on certain Eurostar train routes, but there are guidelines you must follow. Eurostar allows small dogs to travel with their owners under specific conditions. Make sure to check the Eurostar website for the most up-to-date information on their pet policy.   Taking Your Dog on the Train for the First Time Now that you know dogs are generally welcome on trains, let's explore some essential tips to ensure a stress-free and comfortable journey for both you and your canine companion. 1. Check the Train Service's Pet Policy Before embarking on your journey, visit the official website of the train service you plan to use. Familiarise yourself with their specific pet policy, including size restrictions, lead and muzzle requirements, and any additional charges. 2. Make a Reservation When traveling with your dog on a train, it's advisable to make a reservation. This helps ensure there is enough space for both you and your furry friend. Inform the train operator that you'll be traveling with a dog when booking your ticket. 3. Prepare Your Dog It's essential to prepare your dog for the train journey. Introduce your pet to the sights and sounds of the train station and use positive reinforcement to create a calm and stress-free atmosphere. Bring your dog's favourite toys and a comfortable blanket for added comfort. 4.Carry Essential Supplies Pack the following essentials for your dog's journey: Water and a portable bowl Dog food and treats Poop bags for clean-up Identification and vaccination documents First-aid kit 5. Choose the Right Seat Select a seat that's more spacious and comfortable for both you and your dog. Many train services have designated areas for passengers with pets, so inquire about these options when making your reservation. 6. Be Considerate of Other Passengers Remember that not everyone on the train may be as fond of dogs as you are. Keep your dog on a lead, and ensure they are well-behaved throughout the journey. Be respectful of other passengers by avoiding excessive barking or any disturbances. Traveling with your dog on a train for the first time can be a wonderful experience when approached with proper planning and knowledge. Dogs are generally allowed on trains, and the key to a successful journey lies in understanding and adhering to the specific pet policies of the train service you choose. Prepare your dog, carry essential supplies, and be considerate of other passengers to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip for both you and your furry friend. With the right preparation, your dog can become the perfect travel companion on the rails.

    By Megan Willis

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  • How To Cut Your Cat's Nails
    31.10.23 October 31, 2023 Health Featured

    How To Cut Your Cat's Nails

    Cats are graceful and majestic creatures, but their claws can sometimes become a source of concern for pet owners. Overgrown claws not only pose a risk to your furniture and skin but can also be uncomfortable for your feline companion. Learning how to cut your cat's nails can be a vital skill for every cat owner. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know about cat claw trimming, from the tools required to the step-by-step process.   Key Tools for Cat Claw Trimming: Before we dive into the steps on how to cut your cat's nails, let's first discuss the essential tools you'll need: Cat Nail Clippers: Ensure you invest in a quality pair of cat nail clippers. The type with a guillotine-style or scissor-like design is commonly preferred. Look for a sharp, clean cutting edge. Styptic Powder: Accidents can happen, and you may accidentally cut the quick (the sensitive part of the nail). Styptic powder helps stop any bleeding quickly. Treats: These are essential to reward your cat for good behaviour during the nail trimming process. You could also try a licky mat with some liver paste on it for your cat to lick whilst you cut their nails   Understanding Cat Claws: Before you start trimming your cat's claws, it's essential to understand a bit about them. Cat claws are retractable and contain a sheath that should not be cut. The inner core of the claw is what you should focus on when trimming. Never trim into the pinkish area, as this is the quick and can be painful.   The Step-by-Step Guide to Cat Claw Trimming: Choose the Right Time: Pick a time when your cat is calm and relaxed, perhaps after a meal or a play session. Prepare the Area: Find a quiet and well-lit room. Have all your tools ready within arm's reach. Acquaint Your Cat: Gently pet and massage your cat's paws to make them comfortable with the sensation. Extend the Claw: Gently press your cat's paw pad to extend the claws. Cut Carefully: Use the cat nail clippers to snip the sharp tip of the claw, being careful not to cut the quick. Gradually trim one claw at a time. Be Cautious: If you're unsure, it's better to trim a smaller portion of the claw to avoid hitting the quick. Use Styptic Powder: If you accidentally cut the quick, apply styptic powder to stop the bleeding. Reward Your Cat: After each successful trimming session, reward your cat with treats and praise.   Should You Cut Your Cat's Claws? Trimming your cat's claws is essential for their health and your comfort. Cats with overgrown claws may experience difficulty walking, and they can unintentionally scratch and injure themselves. Furthermore, it prevents damage to your furniture and minimises the risk of injury to you and other household members.   Best Cat Clippers for Nails: When choosing cat clippers, opt for reputable brands known for their sharpness and durability. Our favourites include: The Charlie The Vet First Aid Kit - This great kit has over 40 items in it, including nail clippers and a styptic stick which are perfect for cutting your cat’s nails. The Catit Longhair Grooming Kit is a great choice if you have a long haired cat; it contains every tool you need to take care of your longhaired cat’s coat, as well as a pair of curved nail clippers! If you’re looking for a pair of nail clippers on their own then we’d recommend the Ancol Ergo Cat Nail Clippers   How To Care For Your Cat’s Nails You may not need to cut your cat’s nails with the right care. Outdoor cats, as well as indoor cats who love a scratch post, are less likely to need their nails cutting. For our top tips why not check out our cat claw guide? Learning how to cut your cat's nails is an essential skill for every cat owner. It not only ensures your cat's health and safety but also fosters a strong bond between you and your feline companion. Remember to be patient, take your time, and always prioritise your cat's comfort and safety. With the right tools and a gentle touch, you can successfully maintain your cat's claws and enjoy a harmonious coexistence.

    By Megan Willis

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  • How To Get A Puppy Used To Fireworks
    30.10.23 October 30, 2023 Getting A Puppy Featured

    How To Get A Puppy Used To Fireworks

    We are well into the Autumn season; summer has passed, and the red leaves are falling. This only means one thing; Guy Fawkes night is just around the corner and not long after is Guy Fawkes Night. Whilst we’re enjoying a pumpkin spice latté and deciding where to go and watch the fireworks, we mustn’t forget the furry members of the family. However, the lead up to Bonfire Night can be difficult season for many dogs. All the uproarious blasts and blazes made by fireworks and bonfires can be terrifying for them, making them stressed and anxious, possibly putting their wellbeing in danger. It is important to consider your canines best interests on Bonfire Night – especially if it's their first one. Puppies are likely to be more scared than they have ever been, due to the unfamiliar and potentially frightening sounds and sights. But there are ways to introduce them to fireworks before November 5th and prepare them. We thought we’d give you our tops tips for keeping your pets safe and calm at this noisy time of year, as well as recommending our top calming products.   Why are dogs scared on bonfire night? Bonfire Night can be a troubling time for many dogs. With the constant loud bangs and bright flashes, it is understandable why some dogs can be so frightened by the evening. Here are some of the main reasons why dogs are likely to be scared because of fireworks: Loud explosive noises – Dogs have an extremely acute sense of hearing, much more so than humans. The loud bangs and crackles that fireworks bring are even louder to your pup and likely to be extremely alarming! Bright flashes – Fireworks also make bright flashes at a usually dark time of day. This is unfamiliar to dogs and they may become scared at this. Can make your dog feel trapped – Fireworks are a difficult thing to escape, especially on Bonfire Night. Your dog may be likely to try to run away or hide, however they will struggle to escape them and may feel frightened or anxious. A feeling of the unknown and unpredictability – Bonfire Night to your dog, is just another, normal evening. The unpredictability of bangs and flashes is likely to cause restlessness and potentially act out of character.   Can you get a puppy used to fireworks? The best time to get your dog used to fireworks is when they are a puppy – as a dog who has already experienced a bonfire night in their life may already be frightened by the loud sounds and bright flashes. Preparing your pup begins now – you can start by turning up the noise on the television to gradually ease them into louder noises and bangs, especially during action scenes with frequent loud bangs. Once your pup is more used to that try recordings of firework displays to prepare them for the real thing. However, if your pet suffers from noise phobia or is quite anxious, the proposed preparation may worsen their situation.    What to do with dogs on bonfire night When dogs feel scared or anxious, they will look to find a space where they can try to relax and feel comfortable. The place they choose will likely be a dark place with one entrance to hide away from the loud bangs from fireworks. At Lords & Labradors, we understand that sometimes your dog will feel scared, especially on Bonfire Night! This is one of many reasons why we recommend a Lords & Labradors Crate Set for your pup! It provides the perfect escape and hiding place for them to find comfort and shelter when they are feeling anxious or scared.   How to keep a puppy calm during fireworks? The loud noises and bright flashes that fireworks bring can be an anxious time for anyone – so put yourself in your puppies’ position, scared will likely be an understatement. There are ways in which you can distract and calm your dog through their fears: Distraction from the loud noises via radio or TV – this can soften the loud bangs of the fireworks which should soften the fright for your pup. Anti-anxiety kits and products for dogs – here at L&L we understand that your dog may, from time to time, struggle with high levels of anxiety or fright. We offer a range of products perfect for situations such as Bonfire Night, where your dog or puppy is likely to be scared. Do not tell your dog off – it is important not to scare or upset your dog further than they already are. Try to act as normal as possible, sending your pup positive signals in the process by acting calm and happy. Do not take your dog to a firework display – Even if you think your dog will not be phased by fireworks or a bonfire, is it really worth taking the risk. A loud noise or bright flash could be enough to spook them into running away from you in a panic. Ensure they don’t have access to leave the front door – sounds a straightforward thing to say to some dog owners, but the strange noises and flashes of light that bonfire night brings could be enough to scare your dog into bolting to escape via the front door. If you need to open your front door, we advise shutting your dog in another room whilst doing so to ensure the highest level of safety.   How to help a puppy when fireworks are going off Preparing your Dog for Guy Fawkes Night is difficult. The unfamiliarity of the evening could cause high levels of stress and anxiety for your four-legged friend. However, there are some ways in which you can best prepare to try and make the evening as stress free for your canine: Walk in advance – Walking your dog in advance will ensure they have ample opportunity to relieve themselves before becoming scared by fireworks. Tiring them out may also help them relax more later in the evening.  Feed in advance – Feeding your dog before any expected fireworks would be advised, as an anxious or scared dog may not want to eat. Ensure their water bowl is filled – Anxious dogs are likely to pant, drool and generally be thirstier. Regular checking their water bowl will ensure they have a drink available. It may be worth encouraging them to drink throughout the evening as they may forget due to fear. Shut curtains and blinds – This will ensure any bright flashes are minimalised which could lead to scaring your pup. Double check the security of your garden – Letting your dog out to relieve themselves whilst fireworks are going off may be necessary, especially for puppies. Making your garden secure will ensure your dog can not escape in an attempt to run away from the loud explosions and bright flashes.  Anti-anxiety and calming products – At Lords & Labradors we understand that your dog may need something extra to support them through scary and anxious moments. Our range of anti-anxiety and calming products ensure that your dog will be calmer through traumatic evenings such as Bonfire Night.   Time to check your dog's microchipping details? The Autumn can bring a variety of occasions that can spook your canine friend, especially Halloween and Bonfire Night. It makes early October the perfect time to check you dogs microchip details, and ensure they are wearing their collar with ID tag as often as possible. Loud noises and unfamiliar sights that occasions like Bonfire Night bring (with fireworks) are likely to be things that could spook your pup into attempting to run away. We know that the last thing any pet owner wants to do is lose their pet – but ensuring that their details are up to date will best prepare you for that worst case scenario and help you find them just in case they do go missing!    Top Dog Calming Products To Use On Bonfire Night Woof & Brew Anxious Hound Herbal Tonic - This healthy tonic for dogs is a great daily supplement for anxious or nervous dogs and is ideal to give them before stressful situations such as fireworks. It's a special blend, rich in vitamins and minerals, best served over food or in their water. Each bottle has approximately 60 servings (please read the label for serving details).  Beaphar Cani Comfort Collars - The Beaphar CaniComfort Collars are great at relaxing your dog, they use pheromone technology to help calm your dog. Pheremones are one of the ways dogs communicate, the Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) is naturally produced by mums when they are feeding their puppies. These collars contain a replica of the DAP which is familiar to all dogs so are instantly calming for all dogs. The collars are effective for up to four weeks so are perfect for over the Halloween and Bonfire festivities. The collar can have effects in as little as 15 minutes but we recommend putting it on a day or two before Halloween in case anyone has any early fireworks go off, simply fit the collar around your dog’s neck, fasten and cut off the excess. Perfect for calming and providing reassurance to your dog in what can be a scary time of year for our four-legged-friends. Calming Anti-Anxiety Donut Beds - Here at Lords & Labradors we design our products specifically with your dog’s needs in mind, our faux-fur donut beds are perfect for reducing your dog’s anxiety. The plump soft walls of the donut beds have been designed to cocoon your dog to sleep and help calm them. They come in the softest faux-fur fabric so are perfect for snuggling in.  Pet Remedy All-in-one Calming Kit  - There are a number of different options in the Pet remedy range including plug-in diffusers and room sprays. Pet Remedy contains a host of natural oils that de-stress and calm nervous pets. Our favourite product is the All-in-One Calming Kit that includes a room spray, plug-in diffuser and calming wipes. All the things you could need to help keep your pet calm through the celebrations. We hope you enjoy the festivities of the season. If you have a pet and you're concerned about their anxiety levels, don't panic! Try one of the solutions above and do your best to keep them feeling secure. If you have any questions about this article, or any other topic, do get in touch. You can chat to us via the Chat link on the bottom right hand side of our website, email or call us on 01790 720900.    

    By Megan Willis

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  • Toxic Foods Your Dog Should AVOID This Halloween
    10.10.23 October 10, 2023 Health Featured

    Toxic Foods Your Dog Should AVOID This Halloween

    Spooky season is here! And households all over the nation will likely find themselves surrounded by a whole host of sweet treats and snacks, ready for trick-or-treaters to arrive at the door. It seems pup owners are certainly preparing to protect their four-legged friends from the food-heavy holiday seasons ahead, with 2,400 Google searches for ‘what can’t dogs eat’ in the past month. With this in mind, Johanna Buitelaar-Warden, Founder of Lords and Labradors has highlighted four toxic foods that you should never give to your dog and how to keep your pets away from potentially harmful snacks   Can Dogs Eat Pumpkin? In short, yes, your dog can eat pumpkin flesh. Pumpkins are found in a lot of dog food and may even be an ingredient in the meals they already eat. However, to stay safe, avoid feeding your pooch the prickly stalk – whilst this is not toxic, it may cause irritation in your dog's mouth and harm once ingested. It’s also important to remove the pumpkin skin before serving your dog up some pumpkin, as this can act as a choking hazard. If ingested, this can be a serious risk of gut obstruction.   Can Dogs Eat Chocolate? Be aware, that chocolate is notoriously dangerous for dogs! This is because chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, which even in small doses can provide serious problems for your dog. Issues can range from mild stomach upsets, to more serious complications like seizures and cardiac arrests. To ensure your pet remains safe and healthy, keeping chocolate treats away from your dog is essential to their wellbeing – whether you have a little puppy, or a full-grown adult dog.   Can Dogs Eat Sweets? From sugar-free chewy fangs to jelly eyeballs, artificial sweeteners can be even more detrimental to your dog’s health than sugar. These types of sweet treats commonly include an ingredient called Xylitol – which is highly forbidden for dogs – as this can potentially result in toxicity, which can set in as early as 30 minutes after ingestion. Complications from Xylitol can pose a danger to your dog’s blood sugar levels and liver function.   Can Dogs Eat Popcorn Or Crisps? Just like humans, dogs can handle a certain amount of salt in their daily diet. However, high levels of this, found in snacks like popcorn and crisps, can cause complications such as sodium or ion poisoning for your four-legged friend. This can cause a whole host of complications, ranging from a high fever and vomiting to excessive thirst, seizures and kidney damage.   Can Dogs Eat Raisins Or Grapes? Although households that hand out fruit on Halloween may have your children’s best interests in mind, healthier snacks like raisins, grapes and sultanas can make your dog seriously poorly if consumed. They can cause gut problems in pups, and in some cases, kidney damage. The toxic dose varies from dog to dog but can be very little in some cases – meaning that they will only have to eat a small portion to become seriously unwell.   Are puppies at a higher risk? Whilst it’s important to keep dogs of all ages away from toxic foods like chocolate, high-salt snacks, and sugar-free alternatives, this is especially important for puppies. Puppy food contains a balance of proteins, enzymes and other nutrients that are designed especially for their health and growth – therefore, overindulging or nibbling on the wrong food item can cause both immediate, and long-term complications for your fur baby. When rich or fatty foods are consumed as a puppy, the risk of diseases such as pancreatis increases. Essentially, this can lead to a lifetime of gut sensitivity for your precious pooch. And extra calories outside of a healthy balanced diet may lead to obesity, contributing to a shorter lifespan as an adult.   Tricks To Keep Your Dogs Away From Poisonous Food Distance your pet from trick-or-treaters: it’s a good idea to keep your dog in another part of the house where they will be safe when trick-or-treaters come knocking. Provide their own special treats to reduce temptation: giving your pet some tasty, dog-friendly treats, such as Barking Bakery’s Doggy Popcorn or Denzel’s Toffee Apple Soft Sticks is a great substitute for toxic human sweets and chocolate. Have a plan for storing sweets: It’s important to have a plan for where the sweets will be stored, as leaving these on floors, tables, or any other easy-reachable surface becomes a hazard for your dog. Ensure household members, and visitors, are aware: make sure to review the list of toxic foods with everyone in your household to ensure your pet is as safe as possible – and don’t forget to inform potential guests who may want to give your pooch a tasty treat! If the worst-case scenario happens and you think your dog may have eaten something harmful, it’s important to treat this as an emergency and contact your local veterinarian straight away. Keep monitoring your pooch just in case they display any unusual behaviour, such as: vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, excessive thirst, rapid heartbeat or seizures. Want to treat your dog to some terrifically tasty treats which they can eat this Halloween, why not check out our Halloween collection? It's filled with spook-tacular goodies for them to enjoy

    By Megan Willis

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  • 10 Dog Friendly National Trusts Near You
    09.10.23 October 09, 2023 Owning a Dog Featured

    10 Dog Friendly National Trusts Near You

    For dog owners, there's nothing quite like exploring the great outdoors with your furry companion. Fortunately, the National Trust, renowned for preserving and protecting some of the UK's most stunning natural and historical sites, offers numerous dog-friendly options. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the best dog-friendly National Trust properties and sites near you, ensuring both you and your four-legged friend can enjoy a memorable day out.   The National Trust's Commitment to Dog-Friendly Policies The National Trust has a strong commitment to welcoming dogs and their owners. Many of their properties, gardens, and estates are dog-friendly, as long as canine code is followed. They teamed up with one of favourite food brands, Forthglade, to create the canine code; it has 4 key rules. Keep them close - use a short lead when walking your dog to keep them from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animal Pick up poo - make sure to have some poo bags to hand to clean up after your dog Watch the signs - make sure to read any signage to double check where you're walking is dog friendly, some areas are only dog friendly at certain times of year Stay on the ball - as much as we love our four-legged friends, they can be scary to some people. We advise making sure they don't run up to people so that everyone can enjoy their walks   10 Dog-Friendly National Trust Properties 1. Lyme Park, Cheshire Lyme Park is a dog-friendly National Trust property nestled in the heart of Cheshire. With over 1,400 acres of parkland and woodland to explore, your dog will have a field day here. The sweeping vistas and stunning mansion make this a great place for both human and canine history buffs. 2. Trelissick, Cornwall Trelissick, located near Truro in Cornwall, offers a beautiful garden and estate that welcomes dogs. Meander through the gardens and woodlands while taking in breathtaking views of the Fal River. Enjoy a short stroll across the parkland that overlooks the estuary and sea with views as far as your eye can see. Or, take a longer a trek down through the trees to Roundwood Quay. 3. Petworth House and Park, West Sussex In the picturesque county of West Sussex, you'll find Petworth House and Park. Dogs on leads are welcome in the parkland surrounding the grand house, making it a delightful destination for a dog walk, you may even spot some deer!  4. Goddards' Garden, Yorkshire If you're looking for a serene garden setting to explore with your dog, Goddards Garden in North Yorkshire is an excellent choice. The garden's tranquil atmosphere, charming pergolas, and colourful flowerbeds create a picturesque backdrop for your leisurely stroll with your furry friend. You can both enjoy the scent of blooming flowers and the calming sound of birdsong as you wander through this hidden gem. 5. Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Kent Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent is famous for its stunning design and vibrant flora. Dog owners will be pleased to know that dogs on leads are welcome in the garden, making it a fantastic place for a leisurely stroll. While the options listed above are excellent, there are many more dog-friendly National Trust properties across the UK. Some other noteworthy mentions include: Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire Stowe, Buckinghamshire Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire Mount Stewart, County Down Stackpole, Pembrokeshire Finding Dog-Friendly National Trusts Near You To find dog-friendly National Trust properties near you, visit the official National Trust website and use their interactive map. You can filter your search to display only dog-friendly sites, making the planning process a breeze.   Forthglade x National Trust Dog Food The National Trust and Forthglade have co-branded range of gourmet dinners, the purchase of each recipe goes towards supporting the National Trust's amazing work in caring for many of the beautiful places we and our four-legged friends love to explore, including 780 miles of coastline, forests, woods, fens, beaches, historic houses, gardens, pubs & more! We stock some of the range here at L&L and our office dogs can confirm how much they love the range! The National Trust offers a wealth of dog-friendly options for both local and visiting dog owners. With their commitment to preserving natural beauty and historical significance, you can explore the UK's cultural heritage with your canine companion by your side. Remember to check specific property guidelines and respect the rules to ensure a pleasant experience for all visitors. So, whether you're seeking historic houses, picturesque gardens, or vast landscapes, there's a dog-friendly National Trust site near you waiting to be discovered. Enjoy your adventures with your furry friend!

    By Megan Willis

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  • Why Does Your Cat Lick You? Understanding Feline Affection
    09.10.23 October 09, 2023 Owning a Cat Featured

    Why Does Your Cat Lick You? Understanding Feline Affection

    Cats are known for their enigmatic behaviours, and one of the most curious among them is their penchant for licking their human companions. If you've ever wondered why your cat licks you, especially if you have a kitten, you're not alone. In this article, we'll delve into the fascinating world of feline behaviour to unravel the mystery behind this endearing, albeit perplexing, gesture. Let's explore why your cat, be it a kitten or an adult, engages in the act of licking and what it might signify.   Understanding Cat Licking Behaviour Grooming Instinct Cats are meticulous groomers by nature. They spend a significant portion of their day cleaning themselves to maintain their hygiene. When a cat licks you, they may view you as a member of their family or social group, and this instinct to groom extends to their human companions. It's a way of showing affection and care, as they would do for their own fur.   Bonding and Social Connection Licking is a bonding behaviour for cats. When your kitten licks you, it's a sign that they feel safe and secure in your presence. In a multi-cat household, cats often groom each other as a way to reinforce social bonds. So, when your feline friend licks you, they are essentially saying, "You're part of my family."   Marking Territory Cats have scent glands in their mouths, and when they lick you, they leave behind their scent as a form of marking territory. This behaviour can serve as a way for your cat to claim you as their own and communicate to other animals that you are off-limits.   Seeking Attention Sometimes, cats lick their owners simply to get their attention. If your kitten is persistently licking your face or hands, it might be their way of saying, "Hey, pay attention to me!" Cats are known for their ability to train their humans, and licking can be an effective method to get your focus.   Soothing and Stress Relief Licking can have a calming effect on cats. When your cat licks you, it may be a way for them to self-soothe or alleviate stress. This behaviour is particularly common in kittens who may find comfort in the act of licking when they're feeling anxious or uncertain.   Should You Be Concerned? In most cases, cat licking is a sign of affection and is not cause for concern. However, if your cat's licking behaviour suddenly becomes excessive or is accompanied by other unusual symptoms, it's essential to consult with a vet to rule out any underlying health issues. In the intricate world of feline behaviour, cat licking is a gesture that conveys love, trust, and a sense of belonging. Whether you have a kitten or an adult cat, understanding the reasons behind this behaviour can deepen your bond with your furry friend. Embrace the affectionate licks from your cat as a sign of their devotion and cherish the unique connection you share.

    By Megan Willis

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  • How to Get Your Puppy to Sleep Through the Night: A Comprehensive Guide
    09.10.23 October 09, 2023 Getting A Puppy Featured

    How to Get Your Puppy to Sleep Through the Night: A Comprehensive Guide

    Welcoming a new puppy into your home is an exciting and joyous occasion. However, the first few nights can be a challenging time for both you and your furry friend. Puppies are known for their boundless energy and curiosity, which can make it difficult for them to settle down and sleep through the night. But fear not! With the right strategies and a little patience, you can help your puppy establish a healthy sleep routine. In this guide, we'll explore effective techniques to ensure your puppy gets a restful night's sleep, allowing you to do the same. Understanding Your Puppy's Sleep Patterns Before we dive into the tips and tricks for a peaceful night's sleep, it's crucial to understand your puppy's natural sleep patterns. Puppies, like human infants, have shorter sleep cycles and may wake up more frequently during the night. This behaviour is entirely normal and usually diminishes as your puppy grows older. On average, puppies need about 18 to 20 hours of sleep per day, but they'll sleep in shorter bursts throughout the day and night.   Establishing a Bedtime Routine Consistency is key when it comes to getting your puppy to sleep through the night. Creating a bedtime routine can help signal to your puppy that it's time to wind down and rest. Here's a simple routine you can follow: Set a regular bedtime: Choose a specific time for your puppy's bedtime and stick to it as closely as possible. This consistency will help regulate their internal clock. Toilet break: Before heading to bed, take your puppy outside for a bathroom break. This helps reduce the chances of nighttime accidents. Quiet playtime: Engage in calm and quiet play with your puppy before bedtime. Avoid overly stimulating activities that could leave them too excited to sleep. Snuffling or puzzle toys are great ways to wear their brains out without getting them too excited. Create a comfortable sleeping area: Ensure your puppy has a comfortable and safe sleeping space. A crate can be an excellent choice, as it provides a sense of security. We recommend setting your puppies crate up with one of our Cosy & Calming puppy crate beds filling half the space and then a piece of vet bed or a puppy pad on the other half. Dim the lights: As bedtime approaches, dim the lights in the room to signal to your puppy that it's time to sleep. The Power of Exercise A tired puppy is more likely to sleep soundly through the night. Make sure your puppy gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation during the day. Long walks, playtime, and puzzle toys can help tire them out, making it easier for them to settle down at night.   Watch the Water and Food Limit your puppy's water and food intake in the evening to reduce the likelihood of nighttime toilet breaks. However, ensure they have access to fresh water throughout the day to stay hydrated.   Nighttime Comfort To make your puppy's sleeping area as inviting as possible, consider the following: Soft bedding: Provide comfortable bedding inside your puppy's crate or designated sleeping area. Our crate sets are perfect for creating your puppies dream sleep sanctuary. White noise: Some puppies find white noise or soft background music soothing. You can use a white noise machine or a calming playlist to create a peaceful ambiance. Puppy-safe toys: This will depend on your puppy but you could try including a few quiet, puppy-safe toys in the sleeping area to keep your puppy occupied if they wake up during the night, however you may find that this just excited your puppy too much when they’re supposed to be sleeping.   Handling Nighttime Wake-Ups Even with the best efforts, your puppy may still wake up during the night. When this happens: Stay calm: Avoid getting frustrated or upset. Remember that your puppy is still learning. Quietly address their needs: If your puppy needs to go potty, take them out to their designated spot, but do so quietly and without playing or engaging in stimulating activities. Avoid excessive attention: Minimise interaction during nighttime wake-ups to prevent reinforcing the idea that waking up at night is playtime.   Gradual Adjustments As your puppy grows, their ability to sleep through the night will improve. Be patient and understanding during the early months, and gradually, you'll find that your puppy needs fewer nighttime wake-ups.   Helping Older Dogs Sleep Through the Night If you have an older dog that's struggling with nighttime sleep, consider factors like comfort, pain, or anxiety. Consult with your veterinarian to address any potential underlying issues that might be affecting your dog's sleep. In conclusion, getting your puppy to sleep through the night requires consistency, patience, and a well-structured routine. Understanding your puppy's natural sleep patterns and providing a comfortable sleeping environment are essential steps in this process. With time and the right approach, you can help your puppy develop healthy sleep habits, ensuring peaceful nights for both you and your four-legged companion. Sweet dreams to you and your furry friend!

    By Megan Willis

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