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Going on holiday this summer? Now who’s going to look after the pets?!

Posted on June 30, 2017

 

Dog at home

We all love our pets and we all love our holidays, but we hate to think of our pets unhappy when we’re away from home.

You can ask friends and family to help, or consider a cattery or boarding kennel, but the first option can be difficult to organise and the second can be very expensive. Add to that the fact and most people (and vets) agree that pets are happiest in their own environment when their owners are not at home and the logical solution is to find a pet sitter whilst you’re away.

We’ve found a great solution for pet owners. You can leave your pets at home with a TrustedHousesitter. Finding house sitters is easy, just join the TrustedHousesitters community where thousands of people find reliable and trustworthy, 5-star rated people to look after their pets for free in exchange for a place to stay. To date their members have saved over £150,000,000 in pet care and accommodation costs and they’ve facilitated over 1,000,000 happy-at-home pet sitting nights. A one-off annual fee of £89 will give you access to pet sitters as many times as you need throughout the year.

TrustedHousesitters have thousands of happy pet owners living all over the world already using their service, and they often receive stories and positive feedback highlighting the ways in which their membership has enabled them to find travel freedom.

“TrustedHousesitters was a god-send for us. We had put off going on holidays because we had no one to look after our animals. Basically our life was on hold. Then my daughter recommended the site, I joined and within days of submitting my listing I started getting replies. We found a woman who looked after our home and animals for two weeks and we couldn’t be happier with her.” Elaine UK

“I have relied on TrustedHousesitters for years now, first in Sydney Australia and now in Broadstairs, Kent, England. We were beside ourselves when work commitments meant our new kittens would be alone for 4 days until I remembered TrustedHousesitters. We found a wonderful couple who looked after our kittens and our flat almost immediately!”

Marie, Australia and UK

“By having a cat sitter at our house while we travel, we can enjoy our trips with the peace of mind that both our home and our kittens are perfectly cared for.” Steven and Leslie, Mexico

Since launch in 2010, TrustedHousesitters has helped thousands of pet owners to travel with complete peace of mind knowing their pets are receiving the best possible in-home care from a trusted and verified sitter. According to TrustPilot, TrustedHousesitters is the world’s most trusted house and pet sitting network with an ‘Excellent’ score of 9.7. Just take a look at a few of the 4,000 independent reviews from members.

With industry-leading trust and safety features including ID checks, criminal record checks, and member reviews, TrustHousesitters enable registered pet and house sitters to demonstrate clearly their trustworthiness. This gives owners peace of mind when choosing their ideal sitter and ensures that both parties are comfortable with the arrangement.

TrustedHousesitters is the world’s #1 house and pet sitting service helping thousands of people around the world to reduce the cost of their travels and pet care.

Click here to calculate how much you could save by joining us

And as a Bow Wow Meow customer, you receive the added benefits of a free month’s trial when you sign up to an annual membership. So, for £89 a year you can organise as many sitters as you need for the next 13 month’s. Just click here to get your free month and join TrustedHousesitters.

Don’t forget, if you’re planning a holiday, you’ll need to make sure your pets have an up-to-date ID tag.  So we’d like to give you a 30% discount of any pet tag, just for reading this article.  Just enter the discount code ‘TRUSTHOUSESITTERS’ at checkout.

 

Posted in Pet Talk

What you need to know about summer allergies in dogs

Posted on June 30, 2017

oes your dog seem overly itchy, scratchy or licks a lot? Chances are that your dog suffers from an allergy.

Allergies in dogs are almost as common as they are in people and it is been estimated that nearly 20% of dogs suffer from allergies, with increasing tendency.

As they are for humans, so are allergies for dogs: uncomfortable, itchy, annoying, irritating and sometimes very painful. On top of this: all the itching, scratching and licking can cause secondary infections, which worsen the symptoms even more. As a result your dog can lose hair which causes so called “hot spots”.

 

Common Allergy Symptoms

To produce an allergic reaction, it takes more than one exposure to the allergenic substance. White blood cells in the animals body build up a memory of the allergens. The more contact made, the more the body releases histamines and the itchier your dog will be.

As with all allergies, unfortunately they can’t be cured but can be managed.

This article explains the different types of allergies in dogs, their symptoms and how they can be treated. We also talk about how allergies are diagnosed and the dog breeds that more prone to skin conditions.

There are three types of allergies:

  • Atopy (also known as atopic dermatitis)
  • Flea allergy dermatitis
  • Food allergy

In this summertime article, we’re focusing on Atopic Allergies.

Atopic Dermatitis is an environmental allergic reaction to certain substances like pollen, moulds, dust mites and even animal dander (skin or hair fragments). Somewhat like hay fever in humans.

Dogs can get in contact with the substance through either inhalation or direct contact, and these allergies can be seasonal or all year around depending on the presence of the allergen. In most cases of atopic dermatitis, the allergens penetrate directly through the skin microscopically to bring out an itch response.

Through a higher concentration of the substance (e.g. pollen in the air), the animals body will release excess histamine which then prompts the symptoms.

6 common contact allergens (Source: http://www.petarmor.com/fido-health-center/for-dogs/allergies/)

What are the symptoms?

Atopic allergies result in itchy skin and the most common signs are scratching and chewing of their armpits, between their hind legs and abdomen, their face and their ears. You may find that they often lick or even chew their feet.

Atopic dermatitis - abdomen (Source: http://www.county-vets.co.uk/veterinary-services/small-animals/dogs/itchy-pet/)

 

You will see redness in those areas, and licking and scratching makes it often makes it worse. This can cause bacterial infections on their skin and in their ears.

Check your dog’s ears by pulling back the ear flap and look for redness and discharge.

Even though some atopic allergies may start out as seasonal, they are progressive which means they get worse and your dog can become itchy year-round. Allergies to dust mites are also very common, which means the symptoms persists even through the winter months.

Typically these symptoms start between 1 and 3 years of age, however an onset of these signs can be seen from as early as 4 months to 7 years of age.

How can it be treated?

Like all allergies, Atopic Dermatitis is a life-long condition that can’t be cured, however it can be managed in a few different ways:

  • Anti-itch therapy using drugs (anti-histamine, corticosteroids, antibiotics to treat infections), medicated shampoos, conditioners and skin lotions/ creams. Whenever using drugs, always consult your vets on what and how to use them and be mindful of any side effects.
  • Whilst we understand that this isn’t always possible, try to remove the source of the allergy as much as you can. Pollen can be carried up to 80km in the air, and dust mites are everywhere. In addition to this you can remove the allergenic weeds from your backyard. If you can’t avoid the allergen, wipe or wash your dog’s paws to manually to remove allergens after walks and hikes.
  • If the symptoms are mild and very occasional, you can stop your dog from scratching by using special collars, socks or t-shirts to reduce trauma and so reducing the risk of infection.
  • Hyposensitation therapy (allergy “vaccine” shots) is where, through a series of injections your dog will gradually become desensitised to the allergens. The effectiveness can vary, however in 75% of pets some relief has been recognised.
  • Use supplements such as biotin or omega-3 oils which, due to its natural anti-inflammatory effect, suppresses itching and supports coat health

 

ARE ALL DOGS PRONE TO ALLERGIES?

Generally, every dog is at risk of an allergic reaction to a substance. Some breeds however are more susceptible than others due of genetics, making their skin more fragile and sensitive to allergens.

Here are some of the breeds that are more prone to skin allergies:

If your dog suffers from an allergy, we recommend you do not breed this dog, as it is often an inherited condition.

BOTTOM LINE

Allergies in dogs are more common than most of us think, and the number of allergic dogs is increasing. There are many different things that can cause an allergic reaction in our dogs. Whilst you can’t cure allergies, you can manage them so your dog can live a comfortable, almost itch free life again.

You will need to consult your vet or a specialist (dermatologist) to identify the type of allergy your pet is suffering from in order to find the best treatment suited to your dog.

Posted in Pet Talk

Thinking of getting a puppy? Summer can be the perfect time!

Posted on June 30, 2017

So you’re thinking of adopting a new puppy?  Well you’ll be pleased to know that summer is the best time to bring home that new bundle of joy!

Deciding to adopt a brand new member of the family is a big decision.  Dogs are lifelong, loyal companions, but they come with absolute dependence on their new owners and rely on being well cared for.  Sadly many pets are abandoned or end up at rehoming centres because their new owners didn’t realise what they were getting themselves into, and couldn’t cope.

So why can it be better to get a puppy during the summer months?

In general, we’re all a bit more relaxed when the days are long and we can venture out and about without having to layer up.  Having a puppy is the best reason in the world to enjoy the outdoors so whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, you’ll have a lot more sunlight during summer in which to do so.  Not only will your pup be blissfully happy, but you’ll benefit from all that extra exercise.  Get yourself a Fitbug and see how easy it is to clock up the 10,000 steps that will make you healthier.  Another benefit is that you’ll move into the ‘puppy world’ and meet new friends for both you and your pup.  It won’t take long before you’re standing around at the park chatting about raw food vs kibble, tips on toilet training, issues with recall, to vaccinate or not to vaccinate…..

A puppy will guarantee that you wake up early in the morning. Think of how productive you can be with that extra hour or two each day. The thought of what might happen if you don’t let the puppy outside is a definite incentive!

Puppies take time to toilet train, and for the first few months you will need to be prepared to take them outside regularly – every half hour – while they are awake.  In summer this means enjoying warmer temperatures and more sunlight during these times.  By the time winter arrives your pup should be perfectly toilet trained and only require being let out every few hours.

If you have kids around the house, they’ll be home for summer and can help with the puppy.  Look online for games to play with puppies and training exercises that will keep the kids and puppy happy and occupied.  Our favourite is http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/ which is great for all dog breeds including crossbreeds, designer breeds and mixed breeds.  You’ll be surprised at how much your kids will learn!

Leaving work at a reasonable hour is especially enticing during the summer. There is no better excuse than a puppy at home to leave at 5:00 and maintain some balance in your life.

No one will love you as much as a puppy. A puppy will show you that you have traits to admire and the world can be a better place, so you’ll be set for a happier summer.

Need help finding a name for your new puppy?  You’re bound to find one using our pet name generator.

 

We couldn’t finish this blog without mentioning the importance of having an ID tag for your new puppy.  Being out and about will mean more chance your best friend might find themselves lost.  Check out our great range of engraved tags from £5.99 including full engraving and first class post.

For everything you need to know about bringing home a new puppy, why not download our free and useful Puppy Guide?

And if you haven’t yet decided on the breed you’d like, our free breed selector tool might help.

Enjoy the summer with your new puppy!

 

Posted in Pet Talk

Moving house with pets this summer?

Posted on June 30, 2017

Moving house is a very stressful experience and the process can be demanding. From hiring removal services and packing to contacting various suppliers to change personal details, the ordeal can become hectic.

So imagine how taxing it can be if you are moving property with pets? The transition needs to be carefully planned to ensure your furry friends do not get frightened or upset. Organisation is the answer, to make the move as stress-free and easy as possible.  Pets are bound to become somewhat alarmed as their daily routine gets interrupted but you can prepare in advance:

  • Make your pet feel comfortable and happy with a new toy or edible treat. This will keep them entertained during the transit and distract them from everything going on.
  • If your pet is microchipped, make sure you update the details of the new address and don’t forget to get a new name tag made with the correct address and contact number.
  • Get your pet a Bow Wow Meow smart tag, for extra protection if  they manage to wonder off while you’re distracted on the day.  If they already have a smart tag, make sure you update their online profile with your new address and any new contact phone numbers.
  • Remember – an engraved ID tag is a legal requirement.  The tag needs to show the owner’s name and address, or they risk a fine of up to £2,000 if the dog is found in a public place.
  • Before you move, get your local vet to carry out a routine health check to ensure everything is in working order. If your pet is prone to anxiety or travel sickness, enquire about medication.  You may need to find a new vet closer to your new home, so look into this before you move and perhaps even ask your vet’s advice.
  •  Pet-proof the new home before you move your dog or cat there. Make sure your new garden is secure.  Check for any holes in fences, gaps in bushes and introduce your pets to your neighbours and their pets.
  • When packing all your belongings away, don’t forget to leave a water and food bowl out, some toys and their bed to rest on.  You may decide to purchase new toys and equipment for your dog or cat for the new house but refrain from putting these into place at the start. Your pets will feel uncomfortable and restless in their new surroundings so until they settle they will appreciate their old items.  Keep familiar toys and smells around them during the move and at their new home for at least a few weeks – an old blanket that smells of their old home will help them settle down.
  • If you are moving a long distance, your pet will require water during the transit especially if the weather is warm to avoid dehydration, and make sure you offer them plenty of toilet breaks in the shade.   Avoid giving too much food right before a long journey.
  • When the removal team come to the house to help you move, try and see if a neighbour or relative can look after your pet, especially if it is a dog. With doors being left open and strangers walking in and out of the property, dogs can get distressed or lost. If you can, lock them in a room and open up the window for some fresh air, or tie them to a long chain in the garden where they are shaded and have plenty of water.
  • Make sure you keep cats indoors for at least 24 hours after your move – longer if possible.  You can always attach a long lead to them outside while they explore their new surroundings and become accustomed to where they need to return to.

The Missing Pets Bureau claim that approximately 3,200 dogs go missing every week.  This can be more likely if your pet is unsupervised in a strange new environment, so keep an eye on them more than ever throughout the whole process.

Don't forget your Pet Tag if you're moving house with dogs!
Image courtesy of Vets4Pets!

For more information download ‘Moving house with your dog’, from The Kennel Club.

 

Posted in Pet Talk

How to Soothe Anxious Pets

Posted on June 27, 2017

soothing-dog

There are many factors that can cause a pet to become stressed. From tiredness and anxiousness to excessive levels of noise, pets will often react to stressful situations in very much the same way as their humans.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Join in the Fun for Take Your Dog to Work Day

Posted on June 22, 2017

dog-work

Ladies and gentlemen, puppers and doggos of the UK; your attention, if you please!

It is National Take Your Dog to Work Day on Friday 23rd June, which means pet parents up and down the country will be making their journey to work with their beloved pooches by their sides. This makes for an extra special passage into the weekend as your furry friend sits by your side while you attempt to carry out your daily tasks.

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Posted in Uncategorized

#CatsLOVEcompany and love to be with sitters when you travel

Posted on June 2, 2017

love-affection-petsWhen people talk about cats they often say “they’re independent”, “they just want food” or “cats are selfish”. However, cats are one of the most popular pets, for example, in the UK, 26% of households own a cat, that’s 1 in 4 families. We believe cats are so popular because they are easy to look after. They are independent, they choose when to go out, eat, or seek out human company and they are loving companions.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Celebrating Hug Your Cat Day

Posted on June 1, 2017

hugging-cat

If you are the proud owner of a feline friend, the chances are that you will be familiar with all the benefits that a cat can bring. Love, affection and devotion are all perfect examples of how cats can enrich our lives – there is nothing quite like having a kitten curl up and fall asleep on your lap! Cats can also help us to relax and offer excellent ways to reduce stress levels and improve our general mood.

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Posted in Uncategorized

Treat Your Dog to Some Luxury

Posted on May 30, 2017

dog

Caring for a dog is not easy and requires a lot of love and commitment, but for those that are willing to put the time in, the rewards are endless! When looking to adopt a pooch, it is important to always keep in mind that an animal is for life and not just a few years – much like having a child.

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Posted in Uncategorized

5 Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe When Out and About

Posted on May 18, 2017

dog-lead

When taking the dog out for a walk or letting the cat out, ensuring their safety is a major concern for pet owners.

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Posted in Pet Talk