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Keeping your pet’s items fresh

 

With the months flying by at a worrying rate, spring will be upon us before we know it, bringing with it a desire to wash, dust and scrub to our heart’s content. Spring cleaning isn’t just for us humans, though, it’s also important to consider your pet’s environment and ensure you are giving them the best start for the warmer weather and in fact the best of options all year round.

Here are our tips for cleaning (the pet edition):

Go through that pantry

Most of us will have a cupboard, or at least a section of a cupboard, dedicated to our pet’s food, treats and medicines. While most of it will be used within expiry dates, there may be some items that will need to be thrown out and replaced. Check the dates on medicines and keep in mind that, once opened, they may need to be used within a certain number of days, which would therefore make the date on the pack/bottle invalid.

For dry foods, if you keep kibble in a container, be sure to use all the food remaining and then give the container a good rinse and thorough dry. This will ensure all those stale bits get removed each time.

Time to get rid of those destroyed toys

You might have to come face to face with those sad puppy dog eyes as you take away some of your pet’s precious toys, but it’s important to get rid of broken or over used toys in order to protect your pet from harm or germs. As dogs play with their toys using their teeth, it’s important that they are kept reasonably clean and free from broken edges or loose stuffing that can cause problems later down the track.

If the sad puppy dog eyes get to be too much, it’s a good excuse to go out together and get a new favourite toy.  Always remember, the more toys you can give your dog, then the more your dog will be entertained and stimulated…you may even find the toys will last longer as there are more options to satisfy the pet’s urge to chew.  And just a reminder, always supervise your pet with its toy.

Give those beds a wash

While your pet has worked long and hard all winter to get their bed smelling just right, it’s definitely time to give it a good wash. Take a look at the care instructions and use a gentle detergent that won’t irritate your pooch’s skin. Some covers may be able to be removed and placed in the washing machine, for others a bit of hand washing might be required.   You could also consider using a pet formulated odour remover, there are versions suitable for bedding and also suitable for direct use on the pet if they are a bit on the ‘woofy’ side.

Have a think about other areas throughout the home that could deal with a good vacuum or clean such as couches or carpets, which have a tendency to collect dander and fur. For spring, we suggest getting a professional clean to completely remove allergens and start off fresh.

 

4 Tricks You Should be Teaching Your Dog as Soon as You Get the Chance

 

We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. While it is not impossible to teach older dogs something new, starting with solid training during puppy years will make the process a whole lot easier and ensure your pet has the foundations of how to behave from the outset. Whether you would like to have your pet trained professionally, do it yourself using treats, or a combination of treats and clicker training, there are a number of tricks that can be taught to your pet to ensure harmony (and possibly a little entertainment) in your household.

Paying Attention

One of the most important things you will want to teach your pet is to pay attention to you when it is required – no matter what happens to be going on around you both. Not only is this essential in order to be able to teach your dog anything else, it can also be handy in potentially dangerous situations where you need your pet to stop and come to you quickly.

To start off with, you will need to reward even slight movements of the head in your direction when you call their name. Eventually you will get to a point where your pet recognises their name and what it is you are expecting.

Sit

And oldie but a goodie and an essential on the “must teach your dog” list. Teaching your dog to sit is one of the first tricks you are mostly likely to teach your pet and is so important as a foundation to a well-behaved dog. This trick comes in handy while out walking and stopping at traffic lights, as well as getting them to calm down when they get a little too excitable – especially around people who are not used to animal attention.

Take it

Find an object such as a toy and place it on the ground. Once you tell your dog to ‘take it’ reward each time they look or edge toward the toy until they realise you want them to pick it up. This is a good stepping stone to things like fetch, where they find objects they really enjoy enough to chase after them.

Bring it over/drop it

There is no point playing fetch if your pet refuses to give up what they have retrieved. Teaching a dog to bring an object over or drop it is also handy for those valuable items they shouldn’t have in their wet mouths.

While this is no way an exhaustive list, these simple tricks are essential to ensure a well-behaved pooch. Get these down pat and then venture out into things that are little more creative such as shake hands, speak and dance.

 

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. 

5 Tips for Pet Care in Winter

With winter quickly approaching, and some days making us feel like it has arrived early, it’s important to start preparations for your pet to ensure they ride out the next few months as comfortably as possible.

Heated Bedding

As the temperature drops overnight, it’s important to keep in mind that often their blankets are not enough to keep them warm and protect them from the winter chill. Buying your pet heated bedding will ensure they are comfortable no matter how icy it gets. See our range of thermo beds to keep your pet snug throughout winter.

Get physical

While it might be hard to get motivated when it’s cold and wet outside, it’s important to remember that we, as well as our dogs, need to keep up our exercise. Getting creative with your pet’s exercise could make it more fun for you both. Playing games where they have to search for a person, toy or fetch an item could combine workout and play. There are also food dispensing toys that can keep them busy for hours. 

Doggy dates
It can be tempting to stay indoors and not socialise as often, but dogs love to play around with other pooches and can ensure they won’t become bored and fall into negative behaviours such as digging or chewing furniture. Organise a catch up with friends who also have dogs, or enrol your pooch into doggy day care so they can get that much needed interaction.

Increase food intake
As it takes more energy to keep warm during colder weather, you may find you have to increase your pet’s food intake. This will especially apply for dogs that remain outdoors. Make sure their food in placed in a comfortable dry area, and keep check on their water to ensure it is clean, free of debris and hasn’t frozen over.

Decrease food intake

Just to make things a little more confusing, there will also be instances where you will want to reduce your dog’s food intake. For dogs that remain indoors, the terrible weather will often mean they are conserving energy by sleeping more. Exercise will reduce and this may lead to weight gain. While a little extra weight isn’t a big deal, you want to avoid your pet from becoming overweight. For more information on how much to feed your pet, consult with your local vet. 

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.