That cute little sneeze in most cases is nothing to worry about. But some cases do require some attention.
Cats, just like us, will sneeze when there’s a tickle or an itch in their nostrils. They can also be prone to allergic reactions, just like we can. However, the cause could be a nasty viral or bacterial infection that might require a course of antibiotics, and in some cases, can indicate something even more serious.
If your cat is suddenly sneezing in bursts, check for any other symptoms or anything else out of the ordinary, whether it’s their behaviour or physical appearance.
Other symptoms appearing alongside sudden onsets of sneezing could include:
If your cat’s been sneezing for more than a few days and they’re not prone to allergies, it’s time to see the vet.
Just like that cold or dose of flu we may get, the most likely cause of your cat’s sneezing is a mild viral or bacterial infection. Your vet may take swabs of the inside of your cat’s mouth, nose, throat and eyes and send them away for testing.
The most common viral infections that cause sneezing are feline herpes and feline calicivirus. While these viruses aren’t necessarily dangerous, if left untreated other more serious infections may develop. Feline herpes, for example, can often lead to a further bacterial infection but can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
Sneezing can be the first signs of a long list of other serious illnesses and conditions. Some of the more serious are feline leukaemia and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) or ‘cat AIDS’. Feline leukaemia is in most cases fatal and FIV attacks the cat’s immune system, leaving them vulnerable to further infection and serious, life-threatening illness.
Other infections that cause sneezing in cats include Bordetella, Feline Chlamydia, Mycoplasma and Feline infectious peritonitis
If your cat doesn’t come into contact with other cats and spends its time indoors, it’s far more likely that your cat is having an allergic reaction. If your cat is sneezing due to an allergy of some sort, they could also be coughing, wheezing, have itchy skin and itchy, runny eyes or an itchy back or base of tail (most commonly seen in flea allergies), itchy ears and ear infections, vomiting, diarrhea, snoring caused by an inflamed throat and sore or swollen paws.
If you suspect your cat has an allergy, let the vet do some tests to determine how best to treat it.
Often you can help your cat’s sneezes by simply tracking down anything new to the house that might be the culprit. This could include cigarette smoke, scented candles, new perfume, chemical cleaners, pest sprays, mould, excessive levels of dust, certain fabrics or even a particular food are all common causes of allergies.
With the onset of spring, a sneeze is most likely to be caused by nothing more than pollen, but it is worth noticing if it might something more.
For 20% off all tags perfect for cats, go to Pet-Tags and enter discount code CATS20, UNTIL 31 May 2015.
You might recall the adventures of Daisy and her first litter of pups which started back in September 2013. Well, she’s at it again! The same handsome stud is on board and the waiting game begins. We’ll keep you posted!
Want your special pet to lose some weight and get healthier? Be inspired by the Biggest Pet Loser and enter this year’s Pet Fit Club’s pet slimming contest to be in the running for a free pet tag and eZeClip!
Check out these ‘before and after’ photos of Daisy the Bulldog, crowned the UK pet slimmer of the year. Diet queen Daisy, from Middlesbrough had ballooned to over 4st 6lbs, making her more than 40 percent overweight. She would only exercise when bribed with ham and would even steal food from the fridge! With Pet Fit Club’s support and her owner Gillian’s determination, Daisy lost an impressive 27% of her bodyweight.
Animal charity, the PDSA, has warned that obesity has become vets’ number one concern for dogs.
The latest PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report discovered that six million dogs in the UK exercise outside the home or garden for only an hour or less a day. Just like in adults, lack of activity for pets can lead to obesity which may contribute to life-shortening health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Dogs aren’t the only pets struggling to beat the bulge. Many of the country’s furry companions are seeing similar problems. Rabbits – the nation’s third most popular pet – are getting larger, reported the PDSA.
So, how is the industry tackling pet obesity? Many pet store retailers already stock foods that support weight loss. Veterinary experts are offering advice, and often specialist clinics, to tackle pets’ growing waistlines. The PDSA is also doing its bit for the health of the country’s animals. It has launched its annual Pet Fit Club competition and is urging the owners of Britain’s biggest pets to help their companions regain a healthy weight.
Nicola Martin, PDSA Head of Pet Health and Welfare, said: ‘Over the past decade, Pet Fit Club has transformed the lives of some of the UK’s most obese pets, having helped nearly 100 animals shed over 60 stone so we are welcoming entries again and offering our expertise.’ If you are interested in taking part enter at www.petfitclub.org.uk before April 26. Email us before and after photos of your pet’s progress at firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll be in the running for a free pet tag and eZeClip.
We’ll be posting tips to help you and your pet achieve their goals this month!
It’s Crufts time! Read on for some fantastic tips from The Kennel Club about getting started in Dog Showing and meet our new Pet of The Month.
Crufts is the biggest dog show in the world. This year, the show starts on Thursday, 5 March for four fun-packed days at the NEC in Birmingham.
To celebrate, our featured exclusive Crufts dog ID tags in 4 cool colours are discounted by 20% from now until midnight on 8 March. Just go to our Official Crufts ID Tags page and enter the discount code CRUFTS15 at checkout.
Our Pet-Tags Pet of the Month for March features our yellow Crufts ID tag. He is gorgeous Merlin McPherson. Merlin is a 6 year old Bearded Collie who enjoys taking part in fun agility and Heelwork to music. Over the last few years, he has learned a variety of moves and he and his mum Janet have enjoyed putting together a Freestyle routine which they hope one day to perform in the ring.
Merlin is well on his way to success. In 2013, he joined the Prospectors Canine team at the Manchester Dog Show under the experienced eye of Christine Stafford and her sister, Jean Tomkinson. Last year, Merlin gained the prestigious Kennel Club Bronze and Silver Good Citizen awards and he is now working towards the Gold. This year, Merlin will be going to his first ever Crufts as a member of the Crufts Silver Display Team 2015 – Midlands and taking part in the demonstrations on Thursday and Saturday. He is currently working hard to learn his moves with his fellow canine partners ready for the big event.
Apart from enjoying his training classes, he likes nothing better than to go for long walks and running off the lead in the park with his brother, Griffin, a Border Collie, and then crashing out on the sofa with a well-earned piggy ear. Well done Merlin!
Dog Showing is the most popular canine activity in the country and is a great way to show others why your dog is the best in the world. All pedigree dogs can take part in Dog Showing which takes place in different rings at a dog show. Each pedigree dog is judged against the official Kennel Club Breed Standard. The Breed Standard is a blueprint for the perfect characteristics for each breed and covers every aspect of the dog, including health and temperament. Click here to see an example of a the Kennel Club’s Breed Standard. The dogs which conform most closely to the Breed Standard will receive the top awards.
The Kennel Club have loads of advice about getting started in dog showing:
Getting Started in Dog Showing
Ensure your dog is registered with the Kennel Club on the Breed Register and is 6 months of age or over. (If you’re not sure if your dog is registered or would like more information about how to get your dog registered on the Kennel Club’s Breed Register, visit the Registrations section here.)
How can I prepare for a Dog Show?
Although you might just like to enter a show and see how you get on, there is some preparation you could do to ensure you and your dog get the best out of the day.
A great way to find out whether dog showing is for you is to visit a show or multiple shows and see what it’s all about. You can find a list of Kennel Club licensed Shows in our Events Diary which is updated monthly. Alternatively, if you would like to visit a Show closer to your home or to see a specific breed, contact the Services Team via email@example.com
Once you’ve been to a show, you might have an idea of what characteristics the judge is looking for in each dog. However to find out more specific details and learn more about what is expected at a Dog Show, you could attend a Ringcraft Class (a class for show training) and learn more about how to present your dog at a Show and also look at the Kennel Club Breed Standards which details the characteristics for every breed of dog that can be registered with the Kennel Club.
What types of show are best for me?
To find out about the different types of show and decide which would be most suitable for you and your dog, click here.
What classes can I enter?
Enter a show in a class that is suitable for your dog. You can find a list of the Kennel Club licensed Shows in our Events Diary which is updated monthly. You can also find details of upcoming shows on the following websites: www.highampress.co.uk and www.fossedata.co.uk,
The best way to see what classes would be suitable for your dog is to find a show and look at the show schedule. The show schedule includes information about the show and details all the classes that will take place at the show. You can find a suitable class for your dog by reading through the explanation of each class.
Health is of paramount importance, so before taking part in dog showing, make sure your dog is Fit For Function: Fit for Life. Click here for more information about health and welfare for show dogs.
Legally Compliant ID Tag
You’re dog will also need legally compliant ID engraved on a tag or collar. This should include owner’s name and address. We also recommend you include a phone number so that you can be contacted more quickly if your dog is lost. Choose from our range of tags, including Official Crufts tags, at Pet-Tags.
The number of abandoned cats is on the rise, reports Keighley-based charity, Yorkshire Cat Rescue. In 2014 the organisation rescued 865 cats and kittens, compared with 688 the previous year.
These shocking statistics follow the RSPCA’s report in October of last year. It revealed that 210,952 abandoned animals have been reported to the organisation in the last five years. Cats Protection’s Newbury Adoption Centre also saw a 36 percent increase in 2014. Last year it rehomed 570 cats and kittens with the help of new facilities opened in Newbury’s Pets at Home store in April.
As well as abandoned pets, the number of lost dogs and cats who are not reunited with their owners continues to rise. Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance research reveals that around 60 cats or dogs go missing in the UK every hour.
Its findings reveal that over the past five years 2.54 million people claim to have lost a dog or cat, but well over a third (38%) were not reunited with them. Some 830,000 owners who were reunited with them said that the fact that their pets were chipped helped find them. Furthermore, pets with ID tags increased reunification significantly. The Control of Dogs Order (1992) rules that all dogs in the UK must wear an ID tag with the pet’s owners name and address engraved, and obviously a phone number will help to be able to contact the owner quickly.
In terms of which parts of Britain have seen the largest number of cases of pet cats and dogs going missing over the past five years, Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance’s research reveals that the West Midlands accounted for 17% of cases, followed by London with 15%.
|Location||Number of people who claim that their cats/dogs have gone missing over the past five years(1)||Percentage of cases of missing dogs and cats in Britain over the past five years(1)|
To reduce the chance of your beloved pet going missing forever, have them microchipped and keep your details up to date with the microchip registry, and also make sure they are wearing a legally compliant engraved pet tag. You can choose from our huge range of ID tags from only £8.49 including full engraving and first class dispatch within 24 hours.
The cute things in life can do all sorts of wonders for us. As well as giving us a case of the warm and fuzzies, the mere sight of cute pictures can heighten our mental skills, improving our concentration after we view them.
A recent Japanese study found, through three separate experiments, that people showed higher levels of concentration after looking at pictures of puppies or kittens.
About 132 university students were divided up into three groups. Each group was assigned a different task. The first two groups had the most compelling results. The first group played a version of the game Operation where participants had to carefully pick up small objects from a hole without brushing the sides. The second group was asked to find a given number from a random sequence of numbers within a certain time limit. Both groups performed the tasks twice – before and after looking at seven pictures.
The first group who were shown images of puppies and kittens performed their tasks better after the break than those who looked at cats and dogs. Performance scores improved by 44% and the time it took to complete the task increased by 12%.
“This finding suggests that viewing cute images makes participants behave more deliberately and perform tasks with greater time and care,” said the researchers, according to the published paper.
In the number experiment, half the participants was given pleasant food images like steak, pasta and sushi and the other half images of cute kittens and puppies. The group that saw kitten and puppies were more accurate, improving their scores by about 16%. They were also faster, increasing the number of random numerical sequences they got through by about 13%.
There was no change among groups that saw cats and dogs, or the food images.
So why not improve your concentration skills at the computer by replacing those annoying banner ads that keep popping up when you’re browsing the internet with adorable images of cute kittens or puppies? All you need to do is use Google Chrome and download the free Chrome ‘BabyAnimalBlocker’ Extension.
Install the free plugin from your Chrome browser.
Here at pet-tags we love to see cute pictures of your kittens and puppies so post them on our Facebook page and you could win a free engraved pet tag and eZeClip. The cutest three winners will be posted on 20 February 2015 and can choose from our gorgeous range of pet-tags designs.
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!