With Halloween and Bonfire Night approaching it’s important to remember how fireworks can affect our pets. Our partner, The Kennel Club, is urging dog owners across the country not to ignore their four-legged friends. But cats and other pets can also be spooked by the loud noise and flashes of light from fireworks. Halloween costumes can be fun to dress up in, and some pets enjoy the attention they get when they are also dressed up, but many pets can be totally spooked and confused by them.
The Kennel Club advises that in the run up to the fireworks season, playing a CD or video with firework noises at a low level can help to acclimatise your dog. When fireworks are being let she suggests closing the curtains, turning the television or radio up and behaving On Halloween, make sure to walk your dog before trick-or-treaters start their rounds and keep a firm grip on the lead in case your dog is frightened by people in costumes.
The Kennel Club has put together some steps that can be taken to minimise a dog’s levels of stress but many of these tips can be applied to all pets:
Things to do:
Acclimatise your dog to noises prior to the big night. There are many noise CDs on the market which give you the opportunity to introduce your dog to a variety of potentially disturbing noises in a controlled manner.
Make a safe den for your dog to retreat to if he or she feels scared. Alternatively, let your dog take refuge under furniture and include an old, unwashed piece of clothing like a woolly jumper so that your dog can smell your scent and feel comfortable.
Distract your dog from the noise by having the TV or the radio switched on.
Try to act and behave as normal, as your dog will pick up on any odd behaviour. Remain calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your dog. Reward calm behaviour with doggie treats or playing with toys of interest.
Check where and when displays are being held in your local area. Also ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning anything.
Consult your vet if your dog has any health problems or is taking any medication before giving remedies to help him cope with fireworks night, and always follow the manufacturers’ instructions.
Feed your dog a while before you expect any disturbances, as once the fireworks start your dog may be too anxious to eat.
Walk your dog before dusk. It may be some time before it’s safe to venture outside again for your dog to relieve himself.
Make sure you shut all doors and windows in your home and don’t forget to draw the curtains. This will block out any scary flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks. Don’t forget to block off cat flaps to stop dogs (and cats) escaping.
Shut your dog safely inside a room before opening the front door.
Allow your dog to hide if he or she wants.
Things NOT to do:
Don’t take your dog to a firework display, even if your dog does not bark or whimper, don’t assume he or she is happy. Excessive yawning and panting can indicate that your dog is stressed.
Don’t tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off.
Don’t assume your garden is escape proof. If your dog needs to go out keep him on a lead just in case.
Don’t leave your dog on his own or in a separate room from you.
Don’t try to force your dog to face his fears – he’ll just become more frightened.
Don’t forget to top up the water bowl. Anxious dogs pant more and get thirsty.
Don’t change routines more than necessary, as this can be stressful for some dogs.
Don’t try and tempt him out if he does retreat, as this may cause more stress.
Don’t tell your dog off! This will only make your pet more distressed.
If all else fails, contact a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor. They are experienced in different aspects of dog training and behaviour – to find one in your area, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/kcai. You can also visit The Canine & Feline Behaviour Association for advice.
Most importantly, make sure your pets wear a collar an ID tag from Pet-TagsUK, just in case they do escape. Make sure they are microchipped too. These important measures will ensure that you are reunited as quickly as possible.
We may enjoy having fun at Halloween, but it can be a spooky time for your pets. Vet hospitals deal with Halloween-related emergencies every year so here are the biggest Halloween pet hazards to watch out for, courtesy of Pet Poison Helpline.
Why it’s dangerous: Chocolate is more poisonous to pets than any other candy. Chocolate contains methylxanthines, chemicals similar to caffeine that can quickly sicken dogs. In general, the darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is.
What to watch for: Symptoms in dogs that have ingested chocolate include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy or agitation, increased thirst, an elevated heart rate, and, in severe cases, seizures.
Why it’s dangerous: It’s hard enough for a human to stop at just one sweet, so imagine how difficult it is for a pet. Large ingestions of sugary, high-fat candy can lead to pancreatitis, which may not show up for two to four days after the pet ingests the candy.
What to watch for: Pets that have ingested sweets may show signs such as decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abdominal pain, and even kidney failure or organ damage.
Why they’re dangerous: The sweet itself isn’t the only threat. Ingestion of foil and cellophane wrappers can cause life-threatening bowel obstructions, which often require surgical intervention.
What to watch for: Symptoms in pets that have ingested sweet wrappers include vomiting, decreased appetite, not defecating, straining to defecate, or lethargy.
Why they’re dangerous: While good-intentioned neighbours may hand out raisins as a healthy alternative to candy, very small amounts of raisins (or grapes) can cause kidney failure in dogs and cats. Some dogs develop idiosyncratic reactions at any dose—in other words, ingesting any amount can cause serious damage.
What to watch for: Pets that have ingested raisins may show signs like vomiting, nausea, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, and severe kidney failure.
Why they’re dangerous: Pets love to chew on things they’re not supposed to, and cats in particular seem to love these items. Over the past year, 70 percent of Pet Poison Hotline’s calls relating to glow sticks and jewellery involved cats. In addition to the choking hazard, the contents of glow sticks can cause pain and irritation in the mouth.
What to watch for: Keep an eye out for mouth pain, as well as profuse drooling and foaming at the mouth.
Why they’re dangerous: You may love the costume, but does your pet? Some costumes can cause discomfort in pets, and any metallic beads, snaps, or other small pieces (particularly those made of zinc or lead) can result in serious poisoning if ingested. Finally, don’t ever dye or apply colouring to a pet’s fur, even if the dye is labelled non-toxic to humans.
What to watch for: Make sure the costume doesn’t impair your pets’ vision, movement, or air intake and don’t put a costume on a pet who is distressed in any way. Your pet should have fun with you if you expect them to wear a costume.
You already know about the dog laws that require all dogs in a public place to wear a pet ID tag with their owner’s details engraved on it, or face a fine of up to £2,000, but now new laws mean that dog owners who let their animals growl at strangers or bark in gardens could face fines of up to £2,500. In fact, one pet owner says she is appealing a court decision costing her £5,870 over complaints about her dogs barking.
Barking is a dog’s means of communication and sometimes dogs bark for very good reasons, for example to give a warning. However, problems arise in a neighbourhood where a dog is barking incessantly or the constant barking is causing a nuisance at inappropriate times of the day. This will usually be at night when the dog may be kept outside while his owner is out, and neighbours are trying to sleep.
If your dog tends to bark for no reason when you are around, you can be sure he will bark when you are not around, particularly if you leave your dog outside when you go out. Everyone is entitled to enjoy their home life in peace so neighbours have every right to complain if a dog is disturbing the peace, especially at night.
Remember that dog barking is one way the dog communicates to us, so we don’t wish to prevent dog barking but we do need to be able to control barking.
If your dog barks for no reason the easiest reaction is to shout at her, but she may believe you are joining in which will only encourage her. On the other hand, if you talk to her gently she may think you are giving praise. It takes a lot more effort and time to train your dog to be able to control barking. Here are some tips we’ve found to prevent unnecessary dog barking:
Get to know your dog. Start to get to know the reasons why your dog barks. With this understanding, you can demonstrate calm, confident leadership and take control in the right way. Your dog responds because he can trust you have taken charge. Learning to read your dog’s signals and means of communicating is incredibly important to your overall relationship and will really help when you need to train him.Gently closing your dog’s mouth. If you have a dog that will bark at people or other animals when out and about, a head halter that enables you to close his mouth and guide him into an acceptable behaviour is a big advantage. Introduce the halter so your dog accepts it willingly and, when an unwanted bark happens, lift the leash so the dog’s mouth closes and he is guided into a sit. Now move again and change your direction, creating attention to you as you move elsewhere. In doing so you are stopping the unnecessary barking and redirecting your dog to acceptable behaviour.
Encourage your dog to pick up a toy when excited. Many dogs bark when someone arrives at the door. Encourage your dog to pick up a toy when someone arrives. Once dogs know that barking at these times is wrong, they will pick up the toy. Having something in their mouth helps them to control the barking.
Bark/stop barking on command. Teach your dog to bark on command, or ‘speak’, and then command him to be ‘quiet’. If you use treats or verbal praise wait a few seconds after dog has finished barking before rewarding him. To get him to bark initially you can have someone ring your doorbell or knock on the door. Have him on a leash during the exercise so that you can distract and stop the barking with a light pop of the leash. To make the response even better teach your dog that he can bark at the doorbell but then must be quiet and go to a place near the door where he can watch who is at the door and allow them to come in. He should learn that if you say ‘quiet’, he stops barking. When the door is opened he is watching and waiting for anything that could be a threat. ‘Speak’ has him barking again. So by teaching the commands ‘speak’ and ‘quiet’, you have a dog that is both under control, yet ready to give a warning or even threaten if required.
Create distractions. With some dogs it does require something to take their mind off the stimulus causing the barking. Something that makes a loud sound when dropped, like a piece of chain or a can with pebbles or coins in it, can provide this interruption. When the dog barks this loud object lands on the floor in front of him and soon he will learn that if he barks for no reason, or if he continues unnecessarily, this will happen.
When going out. When you are out with your dog, don’t allow her to run out of control, chase cars, growl or bark for no reason. Show your control and confidence in handling these situations and be the leader. Have her on a leash or a long line so that you can reinforce your commands and maintain control without shouting or becoming agitated. Do this from when your dog first goes out with you in public if possible, before she learns bad habits.
Training a puppy not to bark. A puppy barking in his crate may stop if the crate is covered with a cloth sheet so he is not stimulated to bark by what he sees. With a cover over it, the crate also feels more like a den and hence more secure. When your puppy is in the crate get to know the sounds he makes and, unless it is an emergency for the bathroom, don’t open the crate or let the puppy out when he barks.
Try a bark collar. Bark collars automatically set off an ‘interruptor’ when the dog wearing the collar barks. Some bark collars emit a noise, some a blast of air or citronella and some use an electric stimulation between two points on the collar that limit the feeling to that area. They can all work. The electronic one seems to be the most successful. The citronella spray bark collar and the noise bark collar can be triggered if other dogs close by are barking. Speak to your vet or vet nurse before using a bark collar.
Barking can be controlled, but only by being persistent and consistent. It is important to build a close relationship with your dog so she feels secure. Make sure she gets enough exercise and has enough attention and company. Loneliness, boredom and having too much energy all trigger barking habits. Organise controlled walks, games such as retrieving, and teach your dog to be quiet and patient by simply sitting or lying down by your side. Learn to recognise the signs of your dog’s behaviour and what triggers barking. Set strong boundaries and be consistent in your reactions, and your dog will learn that you are in charge and this in turn will give her confidence and make her feel more secure, reducing the need for barking for no reason.
Poppy and Daisy love the healthy, tasty Poppy’s Pupcakes Natasha makes for them. Perfect for special occasions. Give them a go!
To make 6 pupcakes, you will need:
For the topping:
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4
We’d love to hear about your pet’s favourite meals. Just post on our Facebook page!
The story of Leo brings home the importance of having your pet wear an ID tag. Leo was found wandering the streets by a local dog warden and, without any identification, was taken to Manchester Dogs’ Home. Tragically, 53 dogs were killed in the fire (read our previous post here). Luckily Leo’s owner was able to track him down, but not before the fire broke out. Thanks to the brave work of firefighters, Leo, one of 150 dogs saved, was finally reunited with his family. Check out the full story here.
If your pet wears an ID tag the dog warden, or anyone else who finds them, will be able to easily and quickly contact you so you can be reunited as soon as possible, and avoid having them taken to a dogs’ home. Order from our great selection of ID tags here.
Pugs are squishy-faced, hilarious, quirky, social and intensely loyal dogs. Just check out this video to see the proof!
Here are 13 facts you probably didn’t know….
If you own a pug, email us at email@example.com and we will give you your choice of pet tag with a 30% discount at Pet-Tags! Remember it is a legal requirement that your dog wears an ID tag engraved with the owner’s name and address, and of course a phone number should be included.
When your cat goes missing it can be an extremely stressful time. Petlog gives great advice on what to do if you’re unfortunately enough to be in this position.
Register your cat with CatAware and they will immediately alert your local community to look out for your cat. What a great idea.
Contact Petlog’s customer care team to update their database that your cat is missing. This way, when someone finds your cat and contacts them, you can be reunited much more quickly. Petlog’s 24/7 line is 0844 4633 999. Hopefully you have ‘Microchipped’ or ‘Scan me’ engraved on your cat’s ID tag to alert the finder to have your cat scanned at the local vet. This has also proved to deter thieves.
Check with your neighbours to make sure your kitty isn’t out visiting them or lurking in their garden somewhere, and check anywhere your cat may have been locked in by accident. Speak to locals, shopkeepers, postmen, etc.
Create posters and notices for local distribution.
The sooner you get starter the better! Keep your mobile on you so you can be contacted easily if someone finds your cat.
Although it is not a legal requirement for your cat to wear identification, an ID tag will make it so much easier for the person who finds your cat to contact you. Include your mobile phone number and the word ‘Microchipped’ which does increase the chances of your cat being returned and deters thieves. We have some great, lightweight tags in fantastic designs you’ll love and will engrave and post them to you within 24 hours from £8.49. Order at Pet-Tags.
Microchipping provides the security of knowing that should your dog stray, the chances of the two of you being reunited will significantly increase. Microchipping will be compulsory for all dog owners in England from April ‘16, following an announcement made by the Westminster Government that has been welcomed by Dogs Trust. The Welsh Government has also announced that microchipping will be compulsory for all dogs in Wales by 1st March 2015. But why wait until then? Dog’s Trust points out that microchipping has a number of other welfare benefits, including:
Everyone who owns a dog should be able to microchip their dog, regardless of cost. Dog’s Trust has put money aside to offer free microchipping at their Centres.
You can expect to pay £15-£30 to have your dog microchipped at the vets. Dog’s Trust free microchipping is available throughout the year by appointment as well as at their free chipping roadshows and 1500 local vet practices across the country. Find one close to you here.
Remember, microchipping is a great way to identify your dog but you can only be reunited with a missing pet if your details are up to date. If you move house or change your telephone number please call PetLog on 0844 463 3999 as soon as possible to let them know.
Here are some FAQs about microchipping:
What is a microchip?
A microchip is a small electronic device, the size of a grain of rice. The microchip is coded with a unique number that can be read by a scanner and then entered onto the national database alongside the owner’s details.
How and where is the microchip implanted?
Using a specially designed implanting device, the microchip is injected through a sterile needle under the dog’s skin between the shoulder blades.
Does it hurt?
No, it does not hurt the dog. No anaesthetic is required and the procedure should cause no more discomfort than a standard vaccination.
Who has a scanner?
These can be found at most veterinary practices, local authorities and animal welfare groups.
How are the owners traced?
If a stray dog is found to have a microchip, the local authority, vet practice or animal welfare organisation will contact the national 24 hour database to find the owner’s details. The owner can then be contacted and reunited with their dog.
Where can I get my dog microchipped?
Most veterinary practices in the UK can microchip your dog (for a charge), along with a growing number of local authorities and animal welfare groups. All Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres can also microchip your dog.
How much will it cost?
Dogs Trust currently provides a microchipping service at our Rehoming Centres for free. Please contact them directly to book an appointment. To find your nearest centre please visit www.dogstrust.org.uk
As well as microchipping it is vitally important, and a legal requirement, that your dog wears an ID tag or collar. You can learn more about the UK dog laws here. Check out our fantastic range of tags at Pet-Tags.
The late writer and veterinarian James Herriot (whose work inspired the TV series All Creatures Great and Small) once wrote “cats are connoisseurs of comfort”. So it’s no surprise that luxury boutique cat hotels are becoming more and more popular with higher expectations than every before.
We’ve found three worth looking at if your cat expects that little bit extra:
There are six Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotels throughout the UK, including in St Albans, Eastergate, Pamber Heath, Amersham, Royston and Welwyn Garden City. Here is Oscar Turner, enjoying his iron bed in the Hotel in St Albans. With an ‘afternoon entertainer’ and an ‘a la cat menu’ served on bone china, Oscar might not want to go back home (though they do offer a chauffeur service which I’m sure he would enjoy).
The Ings Luxury Cat Hotel promises giving their guests the 5 star service they deserve, and a truly relaxing, stimulating and enjoyable time. Boasting ‘stunning panoramic views’ we do wonder whether that might be a little frustrating for their guests, but flat screen TVs showing their favourite looped footage and menus including pan fried sea bass with organic butter and steamed prawns probably keep them well distracted from the view.
The Balneath Wood boutique cat hotel in Lewes offers spa packages including the ‘Golden Years Package’, the ‘Wellness Spa Package’ and the ‘Recuperation Spa Package’ (following injury or surgery). At only an additional £2 per day this seems like well worth adding to your booking!
Remember, to make sure your cat is easily identifiable and to help reunite you with your cat if he or she is lost, make sure they wear an ID tag from our special collection just for cats. This aqua fish tag is one of the most popular.
This weekend (20th & 21st September) sees the National Pet Show coming to Birmingham, following its success in London, this time it’s gone National. The event is for everyone who loves animals. If you want an awesome and entertaining day out, this is the show for you! It promises to be packed with hundreds of animals, excellent features, competitions, celebrities and shopping galore!
Animals to see include, dog, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters , rats, gerbils, chinchillas, snakes, birds, birds of prey, duck, reptiles, tortoises, ponies, donkeys, alpacas and more.
With show jumping rabbits (yes rabbits), duck herding, doggy dancing, parrot displays, to experts talks on grooming and pet care, shopping and much, much more, it’s sure to be a great day out!