Walking a dog sounds easy, right?
You put it on a leash (or off leash if they’re in a safe zone and properly trained) and you simply walk, jog or run with the dog. As simple as that.
But, how fun is that, really?
Wouldn’t you want your beloved pet to actually have some fun?
You can make a walk in the park both more fun and more rewarding for yourself and your canine by a dash of simple, yet efficient set of rules. Here we give some tips on how to seriously upgrade the way you walk your doggy!
Make sure you’re absolutely comfortable.
An easy trick is to make sure both you and your dog are dressed comfortably for the walk. Wear a coat and gloves (a must! especially for those stronger breeds) in the winter and lighter clothing in warmer seasons.
For any dog, a warm and cosy coat is always a good addition (in colder weather) as well as a comfortable harness to make your walk more pleasant. It is different from the average collar, as it holds the entire body of your canine, rather than its throat alone. The average harness will provide a better experience for both sides. To use one will mean less chocking for your dog. Some manufacturers even offer car seat extensions.
Let your dog sniff at will.
Whenever your puppy stops to do the sniffing routine and explore the world – just let it be!
Dogs seem to get a lot of joy from sniffing, not to mention the ton of scent receptors they have. These receptors allow dogs to learn a lot for their surrounding environment. We all know how good they can be at figuring out who’s been where right? If you interrupt your canine’s sniffing routine, what else do they get from the walk? Will it really feel good, or rather sad?
Let them meet and greet with other dogs (with caution!)
If you are walking towards another dog and its owner, don’t try to avoid the encounter (unless it’s an aggressive dog, or worse.. if yours is).
Let your dog say hello to its friend, let puppies sniff each other’s bums and of course, allow them to play as much as they want.
Of course, you will always have to stay alert if they look like they get along well and if the other owner is fine with that. Although playful by nature, sometimes dogs become aggressive and is your responsibility as the owner to keep that under control and take care of your pet.
Leave distractions away.
When you’re walking your pup, make sure you’re fully dedicated.
Put your phone away and just enjoy yourself being out with your pooch. Watch how it behaves, what he or she gets up to and spare time to give it a treat regardless of how good it bad it is.
Neither too short or too long.
Make the walk an appropriate length, don’t push your dog too hard but don’t make it so short, so it won’t be worth it.
If you have an energetic dog breed like a Collie, Spaniel or a Labrador then it can be super long as they have tons of energy. If you have a Pug or Jug, or any other breed similar enough, then long walks will be just too much and pups will feel as if it is a workout rather than something enjoyable.
Always keep your dog under control!
As with any aspect of dog ownership, it’s important the dog is obedient and knows when to listen. If your dog is straining the lead, you need to step in and let it know that is not how it’s done.
The biggest tip on this is to make sure you are leading the walk and always in front, second best is if your dog is right on your side. This gives you total control for a controlled and safe walk. As any other aspect of dog training, it all comes down to discipline and practice.
Conclusion and takeaways:
So there you have it, I hope these tips can help you and your furry friend a great walk that’s fun and rewarding for both sides. Do you have any other handy tips for passionate dog walkers? Let us know in the comments below!
Taking care of a dog is considered an absolute commitment.
Of course, you need to invest both time and money to provide absolute caring love each and every day as well as regular visits to the vet. That means your dog is and should be a crucial part of your budget. However, having a single dog in the house is a serious responsibility on its own, but what else can two or more dogs do?
Although some owners choose to take care of more than one dog, especially when they are the puppies of their own pets, there are dog owners who want to have only one dog in their lives because it’s more practical. As such, these owners decide to spay (removing the genitals of female dogs) or neuter (taking out the sex organ of male dogs) their dogs to make sure that they won’t be able to reproduce more of their kind.
Both spaying and neutering are surgical operations that involve incisions in the abdominal wall of the female dog and in front of the male dog’s scrotum. They are not meant to hurt your beloved pets, but the procedures are done for various reasons. On that note, here are five reasons why spaying or neutering your dog is definitely a good idea.
1. They lessen the problem of pet homelessness.
Dogs can give birth to anywhere from 1 to 9 puppies, which is why their population can increase at a much faster rate.
The biggest problem of having too many dogs is shelter. Although there are animal shelters that accommodate dogs without owners, there are only a few who are willing to take care of such. The sad fact is, that in case no one wants to adopt these puppies, they will be euthanised even if they are still young and healthy.
Aside from addressing the problems of homelessness, spaying your female dog makes her healthier and live longer.
It helps in the prevention of uterine infections and malignant breast tumours. The best time to spay your dog is before having her first heat. For male canines, when you decide to neuter your dog, you are saving him from getting testicular cancer or other problems related to the prostate.
You don’t have to worry about spending so much of your money because the cost to neuter your dog isn’t that expensive, and it’s only done once. And the better news is that many states and counties provide affordable and accessible spay and neuter programs.
3. The removal procedures can solve behavioural issues.
Apparently, there is a huge difference in behaviour between neutered and unneutered dogs.
This goes the same with spayed and unspayed dogs. Dogs that no longer have their reproductive organs less likely to do urine-markings or lifting their legs when urinating than unneutered or unspayed dogs.
In addition to that, spaying and neutering dogs also reduce other behavioural problems such as the following:
Aggressiveness towards other dogs and people;
Roaming around, especially when they are in heat; and
Dominance-related issues like excessive barking and mounting.
While these surgical operations reduce the dogs’ undesirable behaviours, they will not change the animal’s fundamental personality. The affection towards their human companions and their protective nature remain the same.
4. Neutered or spayed pets are much better for the family.
According to a study of Brown University, neutered dogs are not aggressive, making your family safe from dog bites and unexpected attacks.
It prevents urine markings on your properties and eliminates stray male dogs from staying near your house. In case you still need to take care of urine smell, you could always choose any of the best pet odor neutralizers at pet care sunday.
Moreover, spayed dogs keep your house clean.
For those who are not aware, female dogs also have their “menstrual period”, which runs for 10 days and happens twice a year. When they no longer have their ovaries and uterus, no more bloody fluid discharges come out from their system, and there is no need for you to clean any blood stains coming from the dog.
5. It helps you save money.
Neutering has a direct impact on your budget.
Think about it. If you have so many dogs in your house, you have to spend for their everyday food, which, sometimes, costs higher than your own consumption. And then you still have to clean and groom them, adding to your overall expenditures. Isn’t that too much spending? Instead of saving a part of your income, your money goes to your dogs. Apparently, a neuter or spay surgery is much cheaper than taking care of a lot of dogs.
Gotchas and takeaways:
To neuter and spay your dog has both it’s pros and cons, but in the long term, this is a popular and efficient way of preventing a the wild range of risks, the opposite option holds.
We love dogs, cats and all domestic pets. Then there are those animals you see on wildlife programs, sometimes they’re so cute, so clever, or for some reason make us say ‘I want one’.
Here, we decided to share some of our thoughts on the animals we’d love to have as pets but know we shouldn’t.
A Serval or Savannah Cat
Sevrals were first domesticated back in Egyptian times but you only have to look at them to see they’re still wild cats. Savannah cats are cross breeds between domestic and serval cats.
Why we’d love one
They’re beautiful, looking like miniature leopards, and have you clocked those gorgeous ears?! Breeders say that when they’re properly raised and domesticated they’re not aggressive, but coming in at 40-50 pounds the serval would make an impressive bugler deterrent.
Why we know we shouldn’t
They need specialist food and a lot of space, the average urban garden just wouldn’t do. Oh, and they come from Africa so we’re not convinced the British climate would suit them, they’d hog the fire!
Why we’d love one
They’re cute, they’re intelligent, they’re funny, they make the most adorable range of noises, and they’re BRAVE. If you haven’t yet seen footage of meercats taking on scorpions or even cobras do check it out.
Why we know we shouldn’t
They like to live in groups of 20 or more. It would be cruel to just have one, but they’re burrowing creatures so a mob would make a mess of the garden. And they always seem very happy living in the wild.
Why we’d love one
Owls are truly one of nature’s masterpieces of design, from the tips of their ears to the end of their feathers, which are serrated to allow silent flight.
Why we know we shouldn’t
We can’t see what’s in it for the owls, if ever there’s a creature that’s designed to fly free it’s this one.
Why we’d love one
They never stop smiling. Research shows that they’re as intelligent and self-aware as humans, scientists have suggested that they should be regarded as ‘non-human people’ and in fact India recognises them as such. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with a non-human person?!
Why we know we shouldn’t
Aside from the problem of providing a suitable environment you clearly can’t keep a person as a pet, even a non-human person. It’s not so much that we ‘want’ a dolphin but we’d love the chance to get to know one better.
Why we’d love one
They’re one of Britain’s best loved wild creatures, sweet, rather shy and a gardener’s best friend for they way they eat slugs and other grubs.
Why we know we shouldn’t
Prickles and fleas are good reasons not to have hedgehogs as a house pet, but it’s a great idea to do all you can to encourage wild hedgehogs to live in your garden.
Why we’d love one
Watch them move and you’ll see they combine the energy of dogs with the reactions of cats. They are very intelligent, some people do seem to have luck in domesticating foxes
Why we know we shouldn’t
Tricky one!! They’ve adapted pretty well to urban environments but we’re not convinced that they’d be at all easy to house train and if you’ve ever had the delight of cleaning a dog after it’s rolled in fox poo you’ll now just how stinky it is!
Why we’d love one
They’re the ancestors of our most loyal animal companions, how could your Fantastic Pet Care team not find the idea of living with a wolf fascinating?
Why we know we shouldn’t
Dogs are better! After at least 16 000 and maybe as many as 32 000 years of living together we humans and our canine pets get along pretty well and we’ve an idea that the novelty of wolf ownership would wear off pretty quickly.
Keeping fish can be an simple way to introduce a young child to the concept of pet care, or a complex challenge for the most skilled and experienced of aquarium enthusiasts. Here are a few tips to help you understand how to take care of a fish.
Start with Fish That Does Not Require Much Attention
If you’re new to keeping fish, start with easy care specimens. The most inexpensive fish in the pet shop are also the easiest to care for.
Decide What Sort of Fish You Want to Keep
Cold water or tropical, freshwater or salt? Cold freshwater fish are easier to care for, saltwater aquariums really do require specialist skills and equipment and are more suitable for the experienced.
Buy a Decent Sized Tank
Even a single goldfish really needs at least 40 litres of water, which is way more than you’ll get in a goldfish bowl.
Don’t Overcrowd the Tank
Balance your tank size with the number and type of fish you want to keep. A well balanced aquarium is a restful and beautiful thing. An overcrowded tank, full of diseased specimens is unfair on the fish and no fun to look at.
Don’t Put the Tank Near a Window
If you do that, you might encourage algal growth, bad for your fish and unattractive too.
Research the Fish You’re Considering
Not all fish are compatible, get the wrong mix and your big fish may eat your small fish.
Set up Your Tank before Introducing the Fish
Depending on the type of tank you’ve decided on you’ll need more or less equipment. You need to think about gravel, plants, lighting and ornaments (these provide a more natural environment and hiding places for your fish), you may need filters and heaters, water testing kits, air pumps. The list goes on. Ideally, you should run the tank for at least three days before introducing the fish to its new home.
Buy Fish Only from a Reputable Pet Shop
If the tanks at the shop are overcrowded, you may end up with diseased fish. Quarantine new specimens before introducing them to your main tank.
This is one of the most common mistakes, it will increase the ammonia level in your tank which is bad for the fish.
Perform Partial Water Changes
The proper changing of the water is very important, however it should never be done all at once. 20%-30% a week is a pretty good guideline, clean filters at the same time. It’s a good idea to also make arrangements to care for the fish tank while you’re away.
Fantastic Pet Care will feed your fish if you don’t have an obliging neighbour to do it. If you’re away for more than a few days and have a complex system, we’ll sent a fish care expert for more specialised tasks.
What to do and what not to do when moving house with dogs. The sudden change of address is extremely stressing to all pets. Dogs, however, can get traumatized.
Step 1. Don’t Change the Dog’s Daily Schedule
The last thing you should do is get over excited with the move and do everything else but pay attention to your dogs.
If feeding time gets delayed, your dog will get wary. If walking time gets delayed, your dog will get alarmed. If playtime gets skipped, the end of the world is coming.
The result – sluggish behaviour, guilt, cowering in a corner, and looking at you sadly, passively begging to get your attention, or just plain old howling to get noticed.
Step 2. Explore With the Dog in Advance
Have a walk with the dog around the new house, to get to know the area. Not just the inside of the house, but at least a few blocks around it.
Letting the dog mark its territory in advance, will be a huge plus after the move. Inside the new place, if it’s empty, a dog will remember the smell.
Step 3. Pay a Visit to the Vet
If your dog needs shots, don’t hesitate to do it. Tell the vet you’re moving into a new house, so they can offer you a colleague in that area and maybe give you some useful tips to ease the moving process.
While your dog is light-headed from the shots, leave it on the bed to rest, while you pack everything in the other room. It’s better to not see what’s happening.
Step 4. Pay Extra Attention Before the Move
After the light-headedness of the drug passes, the dog will realize the whole place is different – boxes everywhere. That’s alarming. The best thing to do is pay as much attention as you can.
Play around, laugh and hug. Give a special treat for dinner.
The same attention should be given on the day of the move, when your tenancy clean is done and the movers load the stuff in the truck. In fact, play with the dog outside, during that time so it doesn’t worry about what’s happening to the house. After that, go straight in the car.
Step 5. Spoil when Moving with Dogs
Show your dog love and support, even if it means spoiling with treats. But, don’t give too much, or the dog might have an accident.
This way, the drive will pass faster, it will be fun and it won’t be as stressing.
Step 6. At the New Place, Keep the Dog Busy Again
Find the place where you walked the dog the previous time and play, until the movers unload and unpack all items in the new house. The dog should enter an ordered place, without seeing people carrying stuff and wondering what’s going on.
Step 7. Surround with Familiar Items
The first few days will be weird regardless of all your efforts. You can’t make an animal magically fit in a new environment. So, the best way to help is to let your dog have all it’s familiar items – the same bed, the same toys.
Step 8. Go Back to the Usual Schedule
Don’t forget to keep feeding time, walking time and playing time at the scheduled hours every day. The more things go back to being the same, the better. This is when your dog knows, everything is alright.
Step 9. Vet Again
Visit the nearest vet – hopefully your previous one gave you the address of a colleague, so you didn’t have to look too long for that. Especially, if you moved to a place with a different climate, the dog might need additional shots. You can get helpful tips you haven’t heard before too.
And, if the dog has an implanted microchip, don’t forget to change the address in the database too.
Step 10. Love
Never forget to show your dog how much you love them. Dogs spoil us with their unconditional love and the worse thing to do is start taking them for granted. The more we can show how much we love them, the happy our pet.
When it comes to reptiles things get a bit more specialist, cold blooded creatures just have a whole different set of requirements.
This is even more true when your pet is living in the UK, where climate and other conditions may be markedly different from in its native environment.
One way that many turtles get through winter is to slow their metabolism down and enter a state of hibernation (more properly termed brumation in reptiles, but only the rigidly scientific will care, so we’ll stick with hibernation here!)
So, How to Care for a Pet Turtle in Winter?
Some species, such as Asian Box Turtles come from warmer climates and in their natural conditions don’t use this strategy, so you shouldn’t try to provide the conditions that will encourage hibernation, they’ll most likely die.
Even turtles that will hibernate in their native environment may not need to when kept as pets. If you keep them warm enough and supply food through the winter, your turtle won’t need to use this ‘extreme conditions’ survival technique.
Some turtle owners maintain that when hibernation is a natural part of your turtle’s lifecycle you should allow it, especially if you wish your turtle to breed. All turtle owners would agree however that there are some contraindications to allowing hibernation.
Reasons Not To Allow Your Turtle to Hibernate
Low Body Weight;
Any sign of disease;
Presence of parasites;
An underweight turtle won’t have the body resources to get through hibernation safely and in the hibernation state the immune system is less efficient. Any turtle allowed to enter hibernation with a health problem is likely to become even more unwell. If in doubt consult your vet or a local expert before preparing your turtle for hibernation.
Hibernation for Aquatic Turtles
This is relatively easy, so long as your turtle has a deep enough pond, 3 foot or more is generally recommended and there is mud and debris at the bottom of the pond your water turtle will dig him or herself in when it gets cold.
How to Recognise that A Land Based Turtle is Ready to Hibernate
You’ll notice that your turtle is moving more slowly and has stopped eating. Despite the importance of a healthy body weight it’s also important that a turtle has a period of fasting before entering hibernation, food in the digestive tract during this state of slow metabolism could make your turtle seriously ill.
Hibernation for Land Based Turtles
Your outdoor land based turtle will appreciate a pile of leaves, brown rather than green and deep enough to bury him or herself in. The idea is to provide a cool but not freezing environment. Alternatively, you can hibernate a turtle indoors in a box filled with a mixture of newspaper and peat moss.
Make sure there are air holes in the box and keep it in a room that’s around 5-10 C. Before hibernation ensure that your turtle is well hydrated and monitor your turtle’s weight during the hibernation period. One-percent, per month weight loss is fine, more than this could result in your turtle running out of fuel to you should move it into a warm space, let it wake up and feed it.
The Danger of the Point Between
Keep your turtle warm and they won’t hibernate. Provide a cool environment for a turtle that in the wild would hibernate and they will. The danger point is when your turtle spends prolonged periods of time in temperatures that are chilly enough to start the metabolic changes that are associated with hibernation but not cold enough to fully enter the state.
In this situation your pet could get sluggish and slow, and stop eating but not actually enter the slow metabolic state that is hibernation. The exact temperature range where this could happen will depend on the species but long periods of time around 10-15 C could be a problem. Consult your vet or a turtle expert if you’re concerned.
At Fantastic Pet Care we’re always ready and waiting to help you out with your pets be they furred, feathered, scaled, finned or shelled! So, if there’s anything you need, just give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.
Winter can be a difficult time, for humans and animals alike. There are a few hazards that you need to be aware of and guard against to keep your pet safe in the harsher months.
How to Care for Pets in Cold Weather – Safety Tips
The most important thing is to set the proper limits, no matter if your pet is a dog or a cat. Here’s the most important points to look at.
Collar and chip. Do not let your pet outside without those.
Talk to a vet. Discuss with your local vet whether your pet is well enough to spend the winter outside. If there are risks to arthritis or other cold-related problems, you better not let your pet outside.
Provide food, water and shelter. Don’t let your dog or cat stay outside without a pet house with a roof, and an always full bowl of food and water.
Check temperature. Cats and dogs can survive in temperatures below zero, but since they’re your pets, you shouldn’t push them on the brink of survival. Once temperatures fall below zero, better take them back in.
Check the paws. Check your pet’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding.
The Problem with Hypothermia
Just like humans, animals are susceptible to the effects of cold. Dogs may have their own fur coats but with the possible exception of cold climate breeds such as huskies, most domestic dogs won’t cope with extreme cold without your help.
If possible keep your pets indoors, if they do live outside they need adequate and well insulated shelter.
Don’t be tempted to use a heat lamp, you dog might burn itself, lots of straw will act as good insulation, or you can buy high insulation bedding from any good pet store. Small, short-haired breeds kept indoors will benefit from a coat when going out for walks.
Lack of Water
Any outdoor animal needs a supply of fresh unfrozen drinking water. They can’t get enough fluid from eating snow or breaking up ice. You can buy heated water bowls for outdoor use which will keep water unfrozen if your pet doesn’t have access to indoor water.
If you’ve taken your dog for a walk in the snow check for snow build up or ice in their paws afterwards. If your dog has long hair between the paws, clipping will reduce ice build up.
If you can’t do this yourself ask your Fantastic Pet Care walker or sitter to suggest someone who can do it for you. Walks on salt treated pavements can cause chapping or soreness and if your dog or cat licks their sore feet they could ingest the salt and develop stomach problems.
If in doubt wash feet and dry them after a walk.
Antifreeze has a sweet smell and taste which many dogs and cats seem to like. It’s highly toxic and antifreeze poisoning is often fatal. Make sure that all chemicals in your home are keep away from pets as carefully as you make sure they’re kept away from children.
If your dog or cat shows symptoms that make you think of intoxication take it to the vet without delay. Don’t be deceived by signs of apparent improvement, your pet can ‘recover’ from initial symptoms but their kidneys will be suffering in the meantime.
Dogs and cats can develop this condition as humans can. Like humans they will suffer more in cold or damp weather.
A heated mat in your pet’s bed will bring comfort and symptom relief. Don’t give animals human painkillers. Ask your vet for a proper diagnosis and medications that have been developed specifically for animal use.
Cats have such a reputation for independence that the idea that you can train them may give rise to more amusement than belief. When you embark on the long journey of how to teach your cat to play nice, there’s one single most important thing to bear in mind – take your time. Don’t go over the line with your feline buddy and don’t expect he will completely change to your fashion. The glue that binds together all the ingredients of the perfect calm cat formula is patience.
How to Teach a Cat Not to Bite
While kittens are still together with their litter-mates, one of the first lessons they get is how to safely engage in their little plays. Felines learn how to constrain their bites and avoid injuries – if one individual overdoes it, he gets quite the negative response from their mates. The question is, how to replicate those reactions with a kitty that just starts building its habits?
The best way to teach your cat not to bite, as it always has been, is to replicate similar play sessions as if the kitty still has his litter-mates. Never teach him to bite you or make him too fierce. The right way to stop a kitty fight is when the cat becomes too excited and begins to show its teeth and use its claws. Your move here is to give the game a notch down or completely ignore your cat until it calms down. Deal with bites and scratches even harsher – stop immediately the play and don’t resume it at all. Cats are highly intelligent creatures and soon he will figure it out its their own misdoings that led you to end their most beloved activity.
There’s another thing to bear in mind – you are not able to mess with nature. Cats have been and will always remain predators. Hunting is in his blood, therefore, if you don’t want your cat to sharpen its pray-catching skills on you, you have to think of a way to direct his focus on something else. Toys are a perfect aim, but make sure that they will keep his attention at all times. Scattered around the floor they do not represent much of a challenge – take the play to the next level with a long cord, the toy being tied on it, and drag it around the whole house. A pouncing chase is what your cat needs to get his interest stimulated at all times
How to Teach a Cat No
Habits are a pain in the butt to knock off. Therefore, make sure to discourage your cat habits before they get too serious. A sharp and easy to remember sound is the word “NO”. However, your kitty should first learn that it carries a negative signal and associate it with forbidden actions. Simply shooting hundreds of “no”s all over the house won’t budge your cat’s feelings. Show him a clear sign to understand what “no” means. A sure-fire way to be an awesome pet owner.
Let’s imagine the very likely situation in which your kitten is up to no good on the fragile sofa textile. Say “No” out loud clearly, pick the cat up at the back of his neck, as if you were his mother and carefully shake him and repeat “no”. Off then to something else – you can redirect your kitty towards a scratch post. If you don’t have one – you’d better buy one, since scratching is a natural activity for a cat and he’s not going to stop at any time. Make sure that you stop as gently as possible every unwanted behaviour – don’t give up – you can win the battle.
How to Teach a Cat not to Attack Feet
As mentioned before, anything moving in the house is a potential prey for your cat, whereas your ankles are the easiest target. In order to distract him, you need to put into the field something more interesting – a cool rope-toy will do a great job. With two sessions per day, you’ll appease your little predator’s desires. For further ideas, check out this list of interactive cat toys you can DIY at home.
What if the kitty already got you in his clutches? No, don’t try to run, that’s what a real prey will do. Instead, why not push towards the cat a teeny bit – that will perplex him, as prey doesn’t normally throw itself into the lion’s mouth. Once the little feline releases you, remain uninterested and do not pay him attention. Soon, he will realise that biting and scratching your ankles will undoubtedly lead to an abrupt end of the fun.
How to Protect Plants from Cats
You wouldn’t want to risk your favourite plant be mauled by your little beast, would you? When it comes to plants, cats become especially creative – you can’t deny some of those indeed look like a perfect place to scratch their claws or the most nutritious breakfast. Cats chew on plants often – it helps them release those nasty hairballs from time to time. Here are a few tricks you can pull out of your sleeve next time:
Cayenne pepper is your number one material for a protective gear against home cats. Sprinkle a bit of that on the plants you don’t want your cat to be near to. You don’t want to risk him chew on a possibly pesticide-infused plant, too.
Other objects your cat is terrified of smelling and/or getting near to: pine cones, aluminium foil, citrus fruits, bitter cooking sprays (there are a lot of dessert ones, apple-based, mostly).
Even though a lot of people use spraying water to chase off cats from doing some unwanted activity, we at Fantastic Pet Care think it’s a harsh method that only should be used as a measure of last resort.
How to Teach a Cat to Walk on a Leash
Living in a city environment is practically making it almost impossible to take your cat outside for a walk… unless you manage to put him on a leash. It’s a rare sight, but it could happen – willingly. As it goes with everything else so far – take your time. Start by training your cat indoors at the beginning. Get a leash and let the cat get used to it with a simple play around the house. Having his body strapped will be uncomfortable and scary at first, so give your feline time to accustom.
Hurray, you set up the stage for your cat to appear in front of the world, but still – be careful. A loud city with hordes of people will only scare your cat too much. Start the outside experience with ease – go to a remote, quiet place. A park is a good idea. Get a crate to move your cat or go by car.
Also, make sure your cat won’t try to escape once out. The only appropriate way for him to go out is in his harness costume, otherwise, once tasting the freedom, those mischievous thoughts in his head won’t let go easily.
Now, the question comes to you, dear readers – what are your favourite ways to teach your cat to play nice? We’d love to do a round-up of your answers – just share them below in the comments! From Fantastic Pet Care with love – we wish you a pleasant month and fun times with your little feline puffy bundles of joy.
Excessive heat during the summer months can be as vulnerable to pets, as it is to their human owners. When the temperature rises, there are many potential ways your pet can easily get hurt – make sure to watch for several potential threats and guard your pet against them.
How to Care for Pets in Hot Weather – Safety First
Waddle your sun time – the hottest heat waves are during the peak hours of the day – between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Save the walks with your pet for the morning or for the evening hours, when the weather’s more acceptable. It will be good for your health, too. But don’t take our word for granted – check out your pet’s behaviour. If he’s lying on the cold ground, cooling his body, then that means it’s already too hot for him to go outside.
Walk on grass – it’s a much more comfortable surface for the gentle paws of your pet than a hot pavement. In order to isolate the heat, you can put your pet into boots. Just as during the cold winter the boots will serve as an isolation for the feet from the cold, during hot summer days they will provide protection against the hot temperatures.
Don’t leave them locked in the car – it’s a common problem around the world and it’s simply out of the question to leave your pet inside the car when the heat’s rising high. Overheating inside the closed metal box could easily result in a heat stroke – either leave your pet at home or carry him with you at all times.
Provide water and shade – make sure your pets always have access to cool water and a shade to hide from the heat. If that’s not possible, take them indoors, so that they stay cool enough to regulate their own body temperature. Be extra careful, according to the pet breed – an overweight dog or a cat will need more water than usual. Same is the deal with pets with darker shade.
Call the vet when there’s a heat stroke coming – an animal in heat distress will pant and may drool or vomit, they feel hot to the touch and seem listless or dazed. Take them to a cool place, bathe them with cool water and encourage them to drink. You do have your vet’s number somewhere easily in hand, don’t you?
The Sneaky Stranger-Dangers of the Summer
Your dog will be spending more time outdoors in the summer and one of the biggest dangers of the green grassy fields he will joyfully run around is ticks. After every walk and especially trips in the wild nature, carefully check your dog’s skin for them. They affect cats less, but pay attention to them, too, if you happen to have one.
How to remove a tick from your pet? Check out this handy guide here. The diseases that ticks carry vary a lot, with Lyme disease as one of the most dangerous of them all. The problem is, the symptoms are very often too difficult to notice, so consult with your vet about your dog’s overall health after you find a tick. Better yet, bring the peeve’s body for testing in the vet’s lab.
That buzzing sound in the bushes sounds to your pet as a potential call to search that little dweller. This curiosity will easily lead to stings, and if you see your pet swelled up after their play in the grass, get a medicine from your vet to help them recover.
Hotter days present an opportunity for you to let your pet go outside a bit – we mean, come on, he’s been barking all day long, trying to get your attention to release him to a daily dose of freedom. However, bear in mind that there are worse things than excessive noise from your pets, namely bites from those snaky bush lurkers. Pets love exploring, especially dogs and cats, while snakes are hiding specialists. That’s a disastrous combination.
If you happen to have a large yard, or you spend a lot of time outdoors with your pets, there is a larger risk of encountering one of them snakes. Even though most of them are not poisonous, their bites are still bites. Imagine what you will say to your kid if they see a snake – make sure to get that idea straight into your pet’s head, too. Let it go, leave the wild animal alone – it’s an impossible friendship.
When you go to a holiday abroad, do you take your pet, or leave them at home? There are lots of arguments for both options so it’s a case of weighing up the different factors and deciding which is right for you and your animal companion.
Type of pet
Most dogs are bonded to their owner and will go almost anywhere with you if given a choice. Most cats are bonded to a place, given a regular supply of food and water and the litter tray kept clean the average feline will prefer to stay home.
There are exceptions to these general rules of course. Caged pets, such as rodents are usually easier to make arrangements for, the chances are there’s a neighbour who’ll look in or a friend who’ll be happy to have them to stay.
A well socialised dog may enjoy the chance to travel with you, meet new people and see new places, a more nervy character could find the whole experience stressful and a badly behaved one can be something of a social embarrassment at times.
Type of Holiday
If you’re travelling independently you can often find pet friendly accommodation, but an adventure holiday or a trip abroad is a different matter. You can take a dog on a plane but the cost may be prohibitive.
If you’re taking your pet with you
Make sure all vaccinations are up to date, even in the UK you’re going into new territories and that could mean exposure to diseases that aren’t common in your area
Make safe arrangements for car travel, large animals need seatbelts or pet harnesses, smaller dogs and cats may be safer in a cage for the journey
Check the regulations for taking your pet out of the UK and even more important, bringing it back with you. Your pets need passports too!
Options for Alternative Arrangements
Kennels are always an option and there are some great ones out there, but most animals generally prefer their own familiar environment. You may have neighbours who’ll look in but if you’re worried your pet might get lonely or destructive don’t forget Fantastic Pet Care offers pet sitters.
Another possibility is to arrange an exchange program with fellow pet owners, especially if your pets get. Maybe you can arrange for them to look after your dog in exchange for you looking after theirs on another occasion.