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Preventing Boredom in Active Dogs

Anyone with a dog has probably realised boredom and bad behaviour pretty much go hand in hand. Whether it is destroying your shoes; digging up the backyard; barking; or scratching, ripping or biting furniture, once a dog gets bored they will find something to fill the void, even if they know you may not be happy with the activity they choose. If you work long hours or simply have an over-active pet, finding new and fun ways to keep them occupied will not only save you money on replacing damaged items, but is also great for your dog’s health and wellbeing.

Here are just some things that you and, more importantly your dog, will love.

Something to chew

Chewing is a great stress reliever for dogs and can release endorphins that help your pet feel good. If you choose your chew toy strategically, you are bound to provide your dog hours of enjoyment each day. It’s a good idea to buy a few different chew toys of different textures and materials to make sure they always have some variety.

Soft toys can become your pet’s most treasured possession and you’ll find they not only want to play but also sleep with it. There are also options like bionic bones, flyers and sticks that last superbly and are designed to cater for teething puppies or small dogs. To keep them entertained, chew toys can be frozen or covered in delicious toppings such as peanut butter.

Treats

Combining the love of chewing with food is always a great idea. Dental bones are always a good choice as it takes your dog ages to get through and can help to maintain good oral health. There are a wide range of options available, including teething bones of different textures and teething rings. Hiding treats in balls that they will need to roll around or freezing them in water also ensures your dog is occupied for a while.

Digging space

Have a pooch that is destroying your lush grass or garden beds with their incessant digging? If getting rid of the habit completely is a little difficult, you could allocate a digging space specially for them. To avoid unsightly holes in your yard, turn a child’s sand pit into a digging haven where they can dig and bury their little treasures whenever they feel the need.

Exercise

Possibly one of the best boredom busters is something that doesn’t need to be bought, and that is exercise. Dogs love the opportunity to escape the confines of their yard and walk or run around a park. How long and how often you exercise with your pet is going to be dependent on the breed and size of your dog, if ever you are unsure it is a good idea to discuss a routine with your vet.

Besides ensuring that boredom is at bay by tiring them out before heading back home, you are also doing your part to ensure your dog is healthy. 

Moving to a New Home with Your Pet

While moving home can be an exciting time, it can also be quite stressful and overwhelming. For pets, the many changes that come with moving to a new place can bring on bouts of anxiety, unease and, in some cases, illness. If you and your family are preparing for a move to a new home, there are some things you can do in the lead up, during and after the relocation to put your pet as ease.

Before

A trip to the vet to make sure your pet is well and up to date with vaccinations is a good idea before you go. This also gives you a chance to ask for a copy of your pet’s medical records if you will be switching vets. Before the move, make sure you try and maintain the same routine with your pet as much as possible, from feeding times and walks to the attention you pay them. While packing, make sure you keep your pet confined in a safe area. You should pack their bedding and toys last to ensure they are comforted by their familiar things.

During

If you are travelling a long way to the new property, it may be worth asking your veterinarian about anti-nausea medications if you know your pet struggles with travel. If they are likely to get sick, avoid feeding your pet 12 hours before you leave. Make sure your pet is secure in the car during the journey and make pit stops for them to enjoy some water, stretch their legs and have a toilet break regularly.

After

It’s important to realise how overwhelming changes to routine, smells and surroundings are for your pet. Keeping this in mind, it may take a little while for your dog, cat or other pet to become comfortable in their new place. After the move, it’s important to remain patient and accept that some mishaps, whether that be toilet issues or minor behavioural changes, may be present in the beginning.

To minimise discomfort as much as possible, try and make the new space like their old place as much as possible. While it might be tempting to buy all new things and start fresh, give them their original bed and blankets. The smell will be familiar and comforting. Bring some water from the old place and use this for your pet in the first week, even different water can be noticeable and cause little tummy upsets.

Pet Care for Those Warmer Months

While summer was delayed this time around, it looks like we are in for warmer weather for a little while to come yet, so it’s important to ensure you know the things you should be doing to care for your pet during this time. Being stuck outside can be unpleasant at times, and it’s important to remember that animals can get a little uncomfortable as well. Here are some things you can do to make their summer a little easier.

Pets need sun care too

Ever forgotten to slip, slop, slap and ended up with a nasty burn? The feeling is not pleasant and can cause serious health problems if you’re not too careful such as skin cancer. The same can be said for pets. Animals with fair skin are just as susceptible to sunburn and need some extra care to ensure protection against UV rays. As well as ensuring your pet has shady areas to relax in throughout the day, take a look at sunscreens and sunscreen wipes available specifically for pets.

Protect the paws

While we have shoes to protect us from the hot ground, our pets don’t. Before forcing them to spend time outside, place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you have to remove it within 10 seconds, it’s probably much too hot for your pet to handle. Paw Balms for pets are great for healing injured paws.

Don’t forget hydration

We try to remember the eight glasses of water a day for ourselves, but are you ensuring your pet is getting enough? The amount of water your pet will consume will greatly increase as the weather warms up as they try to keep cool. Make sure your pet always has access to clean drinking water. If you know you will be out of the house for a while, always fill more than one bowl or container in case one of them is accidentally tipped over, and ensure they are placed in the shade. For really hots days, you could also put some ice in it to keep it cool. Having the water circulating will ensure help to encourage your pets to drink more, look for the range of pet drinking fountains with built in circulating water pump.

Dangers from other pests and animals

The warmer weather encourages other pests and animals to be more lively. Ticks and fleas love the heat and can latch onto your dog causing itchiness and discomfort. Depending on where you live, you should also be on the lookout for snakes, whether on your property or while taking your dog for a walk. It’s also a good idea to familiarise the signs to look for to determine if your dog has been bitten. Pet Balms are also ideal for those nasty bug bites such as sandflies, mosquitos and midgy flies.

Foods You Should Avoid Feeding Your Canine

With those big pleading eyes and that adorable face at the dinner table, it can be hard to resist giving your pet a taste of whatever it is you’re eating. While you may think you’re simply being generous and kind by sharing a tasty treat with your canine buddy, you can actually be causing them significant distress further down the track if you give them a food their bodies aren’t able to handle. Here are just some of the foods you should be avoiding when it comes to your pet’s diet.

Chocolate

Loved by us but deadly for our four legged friends. While it might be tempting to break off a little piece of this mouth-watering goodness and feed it to your pooch, it can actually do damage to your pet’s nervous system and heart thanks to the theobromine and theophylline.

Grapes and raisins

This is a great summer treat for us humans, but many pet owners are unaware that it can be dangerous for dogs. Grapes contain a toxin that when ingested can develop kidney and liver problems and could be fatal for your pup if the dose is high enough.

Milk

While this usually isn’t fatal in small does, it can cause your four legged friend some serious tummy upset and could lead to nasty cases of diarrhoea and gas. Why? Many dogs are lactose intolerant and struggle to digest dairy products. To see if this is the case for your dog, it is important to take note of what they are eating and logging down any symptoms you notice after they consume them.

Sugar

Sometimes dogs are more like us than we realise. Just as we should keep away from excessive sugar to avoid things like cavities, obesity and medical conditions like diabetes, the same can be said for your pup as well. Make sure you are checking the labels thoroughly to monitor the sugar consumption of your dog and minimise it as much as possible.

Salt

Just like how humans should limit their sugar consumption, they should also keep an eye on how much salt they are putting into their body. This is the same story for dogs. While a little bit probably won’t do any damage, large amounts can lead to a whole range of issues from high temperatures and tremors to vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration.

This is of course by no means an exhaustive list, and there are probably many foods you don’t realise are harmful to your pet’s health. It’s important to do your research and if you are ever unsure it is better to avoid giving it to your pet to be safe. 

3 REASONS WHY HAVING A PET IS A BLESSING

We’ve seen it in the news; the heroic dog that saves the day when it pulled its owner from the burning house; or the cat that sensed there was a snake in the kitchen and hissed incessantly to alert the owner. For countless years pets have held significant meaning in our lives. Regardless of the size and shape of the animal, each and every pet is unique in its own way. But why is having them around so important? Well, there are many factors; but here are 3 main reasons why they make our lives all the more exciting.

Loyalty and Responsibility

Imagine if you didn’t feed Fluffy for the past one week; or didn’t bother to take him to the vet. What would happen to him? You guessed right; he would starve and probably turn rabid. Moreover, more intelligent animals such as dogs and cats have known to be psychologically affected with adversities around them. For instance, no one can forget the touching story of Hachiko the Japanese dog. It loved its master so much that it used to take him to the train station and back to and from work. In fact, even after the owner died, the dog continued waiting for him at the train station for the next 10 years! A pet is more than just an animal; it can be your best friend, a family member, or a partner in life.

Pets are fun

Have you ever played ‘catch’ with your dog? Just throw a Frisbee and see how fun it will be. Pets bring enjoyable moments in our lives. They are playful, hilarious, and a little annoying at times –especially when they make a mess in the house. But all in all, you’ve got to love them. And what’s great about having your own animal friend is that they never judge you; shout at you; or throw tantrums at you. They respect you and acknowledge the importance of your existence in their lives as their source of food, affection and comfort.

Pets are family

When you’re emotionally attached to your pet, you feel that it’s part of the family. They can provide the same type of comfort that a relative could in times of stress and discomfort. For instance, dogs can instinctively tell when you’re unwell and will even cuddle, sniff or bark at you when something is not right. Moreover, animals that feel they belong to part of a family exhibit a greater sense of loyalty towards their owners.

So whenever you get a pet, make sure you raise it with a lot of love and affection. This way, it will exhibit the same affection for you and just might be the sort of comfort you needed all along.