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Keeping your dog safe at Christmas

We can all over indulge at Christmas and this includes our pets as well as their humans.  However, some of the festive items, food and non food can be toxic for our animal companions.  The Blue Cross organisation have some useful advice about what can be dangerous for our pets and the link to the full article can be found here.

In summary the key dangers to be mindful of are:

Have a very happy Christmas but please keep an eye on your pet.   

Are Conkers Poisonous to my dog?

As the end of the summer approaches and we look forward to those beautiful Autumn days with long walks down leafy lanes it is worth keeping an eye on your dog whenever you are near Conker trees (Horse Chestnut Trees). This is especially relevant if your dog particularly likes picking things up while you are out and about.

Once they have left their green spiky shells the round shiny conkers are dangerous to your dog if ingested.  The size and shape of the conker alone can cause blockages in the stomach and intestines if swallowed, resulting with a visit to the vet and maybe a surgical procedure to remove them.

The conkers themselves also contain a chemical called aesculin which are toxic to your pet if ingested and your dog can be very unwell as a result.  If your dog starts vomiting and or has  diarrhoea, and perhaps show signs of abdominal pain and look really uncomfortable then take them to your Vet immediately.  In some cases your pet can become dehydrated and go into shock and in some cases, may result in death so it is vital that you seek medical attention quickly.  Try to remain calm and give your vet all the relevant information about how many conkers were ingested and the symptoms your dog is displaying.

Tips for Summer - Blog             

Tips for Summer Dog Care

When the temperature starts to rise its worth keeping in mind the following to ensure your dog remains happy and healthy and avoids the dangers of suffering from heatstroke.

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What to do if you dog is stolen

So if you are unfortunate enough to have your dog stolen What should you do?  The following is a guide to what you can do.  There is no particular order to the steps below but you should try to do the first 3 steps as soon as possible:

Having your pet stolen is extremely upsetting and dog theft is on the increase.  However as the incidents of dog theft increases so does awareness of the issue.  This will lead in the future to more attention and more resources being dedicated to the problem.  Indeed only recently the first police Dog Theft Officer was appointed in Nottinghamshire.  Other forces will surely follow.  With more attention and resources then the problem of dog theft should begin to be tackled in a much more effective way.  This does not seem much consolation when you have lost a much loved pet but it should increase the chances of your dog being found and you being reunited.

How to prevent you dog from being stolen, handy tips

How to prevent your dog from being stolen

Dog theft has always been around but with Covid 19 and the increase in demand and prices for dogs and puppies it seems as though we are always hearing on social media about dog thefts.  Whilst pedigree dogs have always been the preferred choice of thieves certain cross breeds have also become popular e.g cockapoo.  Many dog thieves are opportunists who will seize the moment to steal your pet if they see an opportunity.  

These simple steps will help try and prevent your dog being targeted by thieves:

Guide to feeding your pet

Choosing the right food for my pet

Eating the right food and in the right amounts is essential for keeping you pet healthy and the correct weight.  Feeding too much or too little will lead to your pet either being obsese or underweight, both have health implications for your beloved pet.  A  diet full of all the nutrients they need will keep them happy and healthy.

There are certainly lots of choices on the market and there may be some trial and error involved with finding the right food for your pet.  All our pets are individuals and even after much research you may think you have found the right food for your pet only for your pet to not like it!

The following points may help you in deciding which food to choose for your pet:

There is plenty of information and choice out there so do your research on types of food available. Check the ingredients labels as this will help you to choose the right food for your pet.  One final thing to bear in mind is your budget.  Pet food comes in lots of different forms with many different ingredients and varying prices. Choose the food which fulfils all of your requirements, including price!


Buying Advice during Covid 19 Pandemic

There is no doubt that buying a puppy is exciting and could be one of your better decisions.  However owning a dog is a long term commitment and especially at first can be hard work. Before making a purchase do your research from the general information about owning and caring for a dog to the specific responsibilities of looking after a puppy.  Once you have made the decision to bring a dog into your life then again do as much research as you can about the type of dog that will be most compatible with you. 

More of us are now at home for longer periods of time and have more time on our hands to care and train a dog.  So demand for puppies has sharply increased during the Covid 19 pandemic with prices rising sharply as well.  Unscrupulous breeders and smugglers are selling dogs and puppies for extortionate prices.  Be extremely wary when looking for your new companion, take your time, ask lots of questions and walk away if something does not seem right.  Puppies bred by unscrupulous breeders or smuggled into the country can not only be very expensive but often have serious health conditions. 

Be very wary of online ads, they may not be what they seem.  Pictures can be misleading and descriptions can be copied and pasted from another online advert.   Covid 19 has meant restrictions on travelling and visiting the homes of breeders to view your litters.  This makes it harder to verify whether the breeder is reputable or not.  In the absence of an actual visit then a virtual tour is recommended.  

It is vitally important to ask lots of questions.  Speak to the breeder as much as possible.  If they are reputable then they will not mind this,indeed they will want to ask you lots of questions as well.  If they are reputable then they will really care about what kind of home their puppies are going to be living, so be prepared to answer lots of questions as well!

Ask to see the mother, siblings and if the father is not present then some photographs at least.  Even if you only ‘visit’ virtually then try to get as much information about the puppy and their surroundings.  Key points to bear in mind are:

•    What do the surroundings look like?
•    What kind of environment are the puppies being raised in?  Are there other adults, children or other animals?  It is important that puppies are socialised and        accustomed to everyday noises and hustle and bustle.  Preferably there should be only 1 litter at a time.
•    Where are the puppies kept?  - preferably in the house
•    Do the puppies seem happy and healthy?
•    Is the breeder handling the puppies confidently and can they tell you about the characteristics and temperament of the parents and each of the puppies?

It is useful to have a list of questions to ask the breeder with regards to the health of the puppy and its parents.  You cannot ask too many questions, remember this is a long term commitment you are entering in.  Make sure you do not pay for anything until you are entirely satisfied and do not be pressured into a sale.
Please remember that if you are at all uncomfortable or have any suspicions that they are a puppy farm, smuggler or unscrupulous breeder then please walk away, no matter how cute the puppy is!  You should also contact your local authority or the local authority of where the breeder is based and share your concerns.  In this way we can try and reduce the trade of puppies from puppy farmers, smugglers and unscrupulous breeders.


Preparing for a Puppy guide

Preparing for a Puppy

Getting a puppy is a very exciting time.  There is however, much to consider when deciding to adopt a puppy., preparing for its arrival and then when your puppy comes home. The following are key points to think about when making your decision on whether to get a puppy

How do I choose the right size dog bed?

Like the dogs they provide comfort for, there are all sorts of shapes, sizes and styles of dog beds available. A bed that is too small can be uncomfortable and put strain on joints and muscles leading to hip and back problems. Generally the guidance is to measure your dog from tail to nose and shoulder to shoulder and then add on 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 inches) to both these measurements to allow your dog plenty of wiggle room.

Once you have decided the size of bed you are looking for then the following is also worth bearing in mind:

An important point to consider is how easy it is to keep clean and whether the fabric is flea and mite resistant. Waterproof, wipeable beds or those with removable washable covers will help save you time and ensure the bed remains looking good and lengthen the life of the bed. Finally beds now come in all shades and patterns to coordinate with your own decor, if you wish to. There are dog beds to suit all budgets and needs, from travelling in the car to lining a dog crate but if your beloved pooch is going to be sleeping in this bed for a few years then perhaps it is worth spending just a little bit more? Please click here to look at our range of dog beds.