Wednesday, December 12, 2018

How Cats Contribute to Improving Our Health

Not only does your favourite feline provide unconditional love, but it’s now been proven that they can provide quite a number of other health benefits too. If you were ever looking for a sign to adopt a new fluffy companion, this is it! Let's take a look at all the ways, our cats can help improve our health. 

Better for The Environment 

If your carbon footprint is somewhat worrying you, it’s better to own a cat than a dog. A number of studies suggest that the resources needed to feed a dog over the course of its life can create the same eco-footprint as that of a big car. Whereas, cats – who eat less in general and are more likely to have fish as opposed to beef flavoured products – have the carbon footprint of approximately a small hatchback. 




Help You Cope

Despite the fact they are only animals, cats can serve as a social support during times of needs. The calming effect of owning a cat triggers the release of oxytocin, the hormone known for inducing feelings of love and trust. It has been shown that cats are able to help people get over loss quicker and show fewer physical symptoms of pain like crying. People in mourning have also suggested that talking to their cats help work out their feelings as it is often easier to talk to something that won’t respond or judge you. 
In addition, a study found that children with autism were more likely to be less anxious and calm while petting a cat.




Great Companions

The stereotype that dogs are more affectionate than cats is just that – a stereotype. In fact, it turns out that cats can be just as good of companions as dogs, especially for women. A study conducted found that having a cat in your home is the emotional equivalent of having a romantic partner and help reduce the feelings of loneliness. Additionally, even though cats are known for their independence, the bond between a cat and their owner reinforces the need for companionship. 




Can Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Owning a cat is particularly good for your heart. As previously mentioned, having a cat around can trigger the release of calming chemicals in your body which will lower your stress and anxiety levels – ultimately putting less pressure on your heart. Studies suggest that having a cat can actually lower one's risk of various heart disease by around 30 percent! It has also been speculated that this could be due to the low-maintenance ownership of having a cat.  Additionally, even the sound of your cat's purr can calm your nerves and lower your blood pressure.
So next time you’re feeling anxious you might want to consider pencilling in an extended petting session with your beloved feline. 



Fewer Allergies (for Your Kids)

Research found that children under a year old with high pet exposure are less likely to develop allergies against pets as well as other types of common allergies, such as allergy to dust mites, ragweed, and grass. This can be attributed to the fact that coming in contact with pets at such a young age will toughen up one's immune system, particularly against respiratory diseases, and give them a better chance of fighting childhood illnesses as they develop.



Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Our 5 Top Tips for Taking Your Pooch on A Hike


Whether you've never been on a winter hike with your fur-friend, or if you're just looking for some extra safety tips, our guide to winter hiking with your pooch is here to answer all your questions – as well as some you didn’t think to ask.


Ensure Your Pooch is Physically Fit

The first step when planning a hike in winter with your pooch is to ask yourself: is my dog physically fit? During the winter season trails may be very slippery or, deepening on where you live, covered in snow. In both cases, a winter hike will usually take longer, so your dog must be fit enough to handle the trail conditions.


Find Out About Their Breed Type

Secondly, you want to think about your dog's breed. Dogs with a thick coat, such as Siberian Huskies, thrive in cold temperatures and enjoy the snow. On the other hand, short-haired dogs, or breeds without an undercoat, such as a Pug, will get cold faster and may not like being outside for too long.
Unless your pup is a true winter dog, there is a good chance they will get cold, especially on those days when the temperature dips below single digits. A dog coat is a great investment and will ensure your short-haired pooch stays cosy during your hike!


A Quick Vet Check

Depending on your hike location, a trip to the vet could be a smart idea – you don’t want your pooch picking up on any viruses or risk coming home with worms, fleas or ticks. Make sure you are updated with any vaccinations and preventatives well before heading out.
Furthermore, we suggest clipping your dog’s nails before setting off on your hike. It’ll drastically reduce the chances of them getting caught on anything and potentially hurting your pooch.


Determine a Hiking Location

Once you’ve determined that your dog is physically capable of hiking, the next thing to consider is the location. Many trails don’t welcome dogs or require leashes, so you’ll need to do your research ahead of time. Moreover, look for places that are easy on the paws; avoid paths littered with sharp rocks and off-trail routes with steep drops.


Pack a Doggy Day Bag

The last tip for taking your four-legged friend on a hike is quite possibly one of the most important ones – packing a doggy day bag. There are quite a number of things you can include in the bag, but we’ll give you the essentials that you shouldn’t hike without!

Food – We suggest opting for dry food with high protein content and fat levels to give your dog extra energy. Research recommends increasing the portion size by up to 50% based on your dog’s fitness level, the hike’s difficulty, and how much extra exercise they’ll be getting compared to their regular routine.

First Aid Kit for Dogs – You’re the only ‘vet’ your dog has on the hike so don’t forget a first aid kit for your pooch. A first aid kit for dogs may include; gauze, heavy-duty bandages, a liquid bandage for split or cut paw pads, pet-friendly antiseptic, antibiotic ointment, tweezers for thorn and tick removal, styptic swabs and canine sunscreen. 

Water – Ensure you bring a collapsible water bowl and use your own thirst as a guide, offering water when you stop to drink. Remember that your fur-friend will be drinking a lot more water than usual so make sure you have packed enough.

Poop Bags – Poo bags are essential as you don’t want to be disturbing your natural surroundings. Also, don’t bury poop bags, and never leave any kind of bag on the trail to help preserve nature in its natural form.


Don’t forget to thank your fur-friend for the great hike and possibly offer a treat if it’s their first time. Dogs are the best hiking partners so make sure you remind them every time!

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Ever Wondered Why Your Dog Chases Their Tail?

Still scratching your head in confusion about why your dog is chasing their tail? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most owners aren’t quite sure why their fur-friends circle around and around in a usually pointless attempt to catch their tails either. But the question still stands, why does my dog do this? 

Unfortunately, there's more than one answer. Depending on your dog, there are a few different reasons why you’ll find them trying to ‘catch’ their tail. In this article we’ve narrowed it to 5 key reasons – let’s check them out. 


Excessive Energy

Often, when someone sees a dog chasing their tail the general assumption is because the dog is bored. However, it’s usually not boredom but rather an insufficient level of physical activity that’s the cause. If your pooch has a great need for physical exercise, they might engage in tail chasing to use their energy and tire themselves out. If this is the case, the tail chasing should stop once their activity levels are increased. 


Breed and Age

Some dogs are known to have a genetic predisposition to compulsive behaviours like tail chasing. For example, flank sucking is common in Dobermans and tail chasing is common in Terriers and German Shepherds. The age of your dog might also be a factor. Sudden tail chasing is common in older dogs and often a signal of psychological or medical conditions. In puppies, however, it can be a harmless expression of play.


Medical

If your dog suddenly starts chasing or biting at their tail, a visit to the vet is probably due. Research mentions that dogs will chew at a painful area much like people rub an arthritic knee to provide relief. For example, dogs that get their tails caught in a door or nicked on a sharp object will chase and chew at their tails to soothe the injury. Furthermore, dogs will also chase their tails when they are infested with intestinal parasites like tapeworms. 


Anxiety

Tail chasing can also be the symptom of an underlying anxiety or psychological issue.  The behaviour begins with the dog chasing or scratching at the tail after an injury or irritation. As the behaviour is comforting for the dog, it can become a habit when they are feeling threatened. Even after the tail has healed or the irritation has gone, the action makes them feel safe. 
 Although difficult to treat, it can be somewhat prevented if stopped early enough.


Attention

Dogs are social animals, and there’s nothing they love more than attention and affection from their humans. So if your dog learns that by chasing their tail they will get your attention, chances are, they're going to continue doing it.  Even negative attention can be perceived as positive reinforcement. Tail chasing is an invitation for you to take notice and play with them. The key to stopping this type of tail chasing is almost illogical. You should try to ignore your dog while they are running in circles and praise them when they're not. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

9 Ideas for Your Dog’s Next Birthday!

Over the year’s dogs have slowly moved from man’s best friend to being a part of the family, and as such we want to make sure their birthday – or gotcha day – is a special one. From hosting a doggie party to birthday gifts, there’s plenty of fun and easy ways to make your dog’s birthday a memorable one.

After all, why wouldn’t you want to celebrate the pooch that brings you so much joy!

Host a Doggie Birthday Party

If you’re looking for a way to make your dog’s birthday extra special it’s hard to go wrong with hosting a doggie party. Invite some friends and family over, along with their pooches, and get celebrating. You can serve dog friendly cake, give out “doggie bags” filled with treats & goodies, and play some fun doggie games.

If you’re going to be holding your dog party outside remember to make sure that all of the dogs have access to fresh water and shade at all times. 

Let Your Dog Pick Out a Gift

Letting your dog pick their own present is a fun activity and lets your dog get their ultimate toy! Take your dog to a local dog-friendly pet store and have them browse the aisles and pick out their own gift. You’ll know when they have found the ultimate present and as they won’t leave it alone. 

Make a (Dog Friendly) Cake/ Treat

You can show your dog some extra love by making them a special treat. Just like us, our dogs love to indulge in some yummy treats, so what a better day to spoil them than their birthday? Baking your dog some goodies can also be a fun bonding experience for the both of you.

Explore a New Trail with Your Dog

We all know how much our dogs love their daily walk, so why not take their walk to the next level by taking them somewhere brand new. Explore a new hiking trail together or take your dog to a new park. To make it even more fun for them remember to give them some extra time to sniff around and take in all those new and exciting smells. Such a simple idea, yet your pooch will love you for it.

Pamper Your Dog

Another easy way to make your dog’s birthday extra special is by pampering them. Spoil them and give them some extra love and attention on their special day. Cook them a nice homemade meal, take them on an extra-long walk, buy a new toy, give them a relaxing doggie massage, and some nice cuddle time on the couch. Who wouldn’t love this on their Birthday? 

Turn It into a Game Day

What a better way to make your dog’s birthday all about them than having a day full of games? Setting aside some extra time to play some games with your dog throughout the day will truly make the day a special on for them. Dogs love to play, and engaging in some extra games on their birthday is a simple way to ensure it’s a fun day for them. Some crowd favorite doggie games include:

Fetch/Frisbee
Hide & Seek
Tug of War
Food Dispensing Toys
Find the Treats

Set Up a Doggie Playdate

If big birthdays aren’t yours, or your dog’s thing, why not try a one-on-one doggie playdate! Inviting your dog’s best dog friend over for some play time may seem rather simple, but that one-on-one time is really fun (and exhausting) for your dog. Just remember to keep an eye on things, and make sure the dogs have access to fresh water at all times.

Take Your Dog for a Swim

If you know your dogs love to swim, why not make their birthday extra exciting by turning it into a swim day. You can take your dog to the local beach, or search for any dog friendly pools in your area. Just remember to keep an eye on your dog at all times for a fun and safe time. 

Have a Doggie Movie Night

A favorite for most dog owns is celebrating their fur-friends birthday by having simple and relaxing movie night. Put on your pajamas, make some popcorn, and cuddle up with your dog on the couch and watch some movies together.  To make it extra festive, try watching dog related movies!


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

5 Grooming Mistakes You're Probably Making

Tired of attempting to bath your pup who is constantly trying to launch themselves out of the tub? Or wish you could get through one fur-cutting session without a styling mishap? Well, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be discussing some all-too-common grooming mistakes and how to come out the other side of a grooming session with ease. 

Firstly, just remember bathing your dog, when needed, is an important part of general pet care. The benefits of bathing can include cleaning the skin and coat which helps to remove loose hair, scale and debris and improve their coat’s shine. It can also help keep parasites off your pooch, which is a bonus!




Failing to Train Your Dog

If you want to groom your dog without causing anxiety, injury, or a mess training is an absolute must.  Preferably, you want to start as early in life as possible and work on making sure your dog is comfortable with being touched – as well as getting used to potentially buzzing or noisy grooming equipment. If you aren’t able to start this process when your pooch is still young, the next best time is now. We suggest creating a stress-free environment and giving your dog plenty of praise and rewards while grooming. Make it a positive experience, and be patient. Your dog may be nervous at first, but keep at it. This will reduce the chance of your dog exhibiting anxious behaviour that will make grooming miserable for both of you. 
It is important to note that your dog should also get comfortable with other people touching them, as you may wish to rely on a groomer someday, and you don’t want your dog to be fearful or lash out.




Not Grooming in Winter 

We find that many dog owners worry that cutting their dogs hair in colder months will cause their pooches to be cold – so they abandon grooming altogether. In theory this sounds great but it leads to severe matting before the warmer months even arrive resulting in the short shave you didn’t want in the first place. It’s best to keep up with brushing and bathing, and trimming your dogs coat if it seems necessary. This will help avoid matted, tangled hair while letting your pup’s natural coat keep them warm. 




Forgetting to Brush Before & After Getting Wet

This one is important for all dogs but especially for dogs with long fur, which can easily mat when getting wet. Fur is likely to get tangled when in water, causing the brushing process to become pretty painful if you haven’t already detangled your dog’s mane before hoping in the bath. A quick brush before getting wet will loosen any dead hair tangled in the coat, which can prevent discomfort when you brush or shave your dog later on. 
In addition to brushing before bathing, you want to also brush after the bath too. This will be much easier and painless if you’ve brushed beforehand. Plus, this step is important as the bathing process will likely cause more dead hair to loosen. Just remember that brushing is always a before and after activity.




Being Inconsistent 

Just because right now isn’t the time for a bath, haircut, and full-on grooming session doesn’t mean you can ease up on the basic things like brushing. A lot of dog owners choose to not full-on groom their pooch during certain seasons, or even postpone it until they feel ready to tackle the task of bathing, cutting, brushing etc... However, it’s still important to keep up with the motions of grooming so your dog doesn’t forget what it feels like – you don’t want to break their habit. By giving them a regular brush in between main grooming sessions it will result in less stress when the time finally comes for a full-on groom.




Not Using the Correct Equipment 

The last mistake we often see is not having the right equipment. Although it can often be a bit pricey, it pays to invest in some professional dog grooming clipper, scissors or even brushes. When it comes to dog grooming, there’s no one-size-fits-all. You’ll need to look into what tools are best for your breed and size of dog.  For dogs with curly, or long coats, hair clipping should be a routine part of grooming. This will reduce matting, tangles, and the likelihood of fleas and pests hiding out in their fur. It’s also important to not that different breeds have different grooming standards, so ensure that you are trimming your pooches’ fur correctly for their breed type – we don’t want any styling mishaps!

We hope you’re geared with all you need to take on your next grooming session with you pooch. Be prepared for easier grooming and a more stylish looking fur-friend. 


Thursday, August 23, 2018

Boating with Your Dog – How to Set Sail Safely


Getting ready to hit the water again as spring starts to roll in? Like many dog lovers, you may want to bring your pup along for some boating fun. To help make sure the experience is a positive one, we’ve put together a guide with our top 5 tips for keeping your favourite four-legged friend safe when on a boat. 


Safety Tips 

Train Your Pooch to Respond to Commands  

When bringing a dog on boating trips, it’s important that you are able to control their behaviour whilst on board. This means that they listen, and follow your commands. It’s best to only take well-trained dogs on a boat as a matter of safety. However, if you are short of time to completely train your pooch, ensure they are kept on a leash for their own safety.

Boating Familiarization 

Before heading out on the water, you need to get your dog acclimatised to any sort of boating experience to find out if they really are built for water activities – some dogs just aren’t. Allowing them to get their bearings while docked will reduce any distress caused from not being firmly planted on solid ground. Consider keep your dog’s first boat outing short so they can adjust to the movement. 
Once you know your dog is built for the water it’s almost time to set sail! Before leaving the dock it’s a great idea to let your dog explore the boat and get used to the sound and smell of the engine – then you should be ready to go. 

Invest in A Dog Life Vest

Not all dogs are strong swimmers, so it’s important to have a dog life vest as a safety precaution – especially when there are rough weather conditions or currents. Many life vests have a handle, making it easy for you to lift your dog if needed.  Even if you know your pooch is an avid swimmer we suggest keeping a life vest handy just in case. 

Supervision 

Just because your dog is having a good time, is calm, and a skilful swimmer, that doesn't mean you don't have to keep an eye on them. Boating can present a variety of unforeseen hazards for your dog – from propellers to dangerous chemicals – therefore it’s your job to keep an eye out for them. A leash is a great way to keep your dog supervise and stop them from wondering off. Keep in mind even a strong dog can slide off a boat due to unexpected boat movement.

Don’t Forget About Basic Needs 

If you plan to be out on the water for an extended period of time, make sure you pack all the basic needs for your dog that you would for yourself. Just like us, our dogs get dehydrated, hungry and the need for a bathroom. Ensure you have packed a day bag for your pooch containing things you know they need daily. Also allow for bathroom breaks and make sure your dog is fully hydrated. Furthermore, make sure you pet has access to shade on the boat as due to high temperatures during the summer, dogs are more prone to heatstroke and will need to stay hydrated and cool. 


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Here's Why Cat' Actually Purr

It's easy to assume that cats purr because they're happy, right? After all, when your cat is happily curled up in your lap for some well-deserved scratches and rubs, they're obviously one happy kitty.
However, cats tend to purr for more than just that one reason. If you want to find out more than one reason why you cat is probably purring, keep on reading!
Firstly, we need to know how our cats purr! Research has shown that cats’ muscles move their vocal cords and, as they breathe in and out, air hits the vibrating muscles, which creates the purring sound. Furthermore, cats that purr can’t roar, and cats that roar can’t purr. This is all because of the small bone found inside the vocal cords, which in roaring cats, is flexible unlike purring cats.

Now that we have established how they purr, let’s look at the 4 main reasons why they purr.

Cat 1

Means of Communication between Mother & Newborn

Purring in newborn kittens is vital for survival. Kittens enter the world hearing the soft vibrations of their mum’s purr; and since they are born deaf and blind purring is like a homing device for them. The purrs of their mums guide them towards their mothers for warmth, food and other necessities.

Cat 2

When they want Attention (Or Food)

Cats quickly learn that another benefit of them purring will gain them the attention – or food – they are after. More often than not, cat-parents love to lavish their fur-baby in attention or treats when they hear them purring, therefore cats will purr when they are after something.

FACT: A recent study found that the purr that cats make when they are hungry, or thinking about food, differs from their regular purr.

Cat 3

They’re Happy

Imagine your cat, on their back, eyes half closed, tail mostly still and purring. In that moment it is safe to assume they are happy. Their purr is a big smile. Most people tend to believe that their cat purrs when they are happy, but unless they are showing signs of being content, their purring could be for many other reasons.

Cat 4

When they are Stressed, in Pain or Sick

Even though purring takes energy, many cats purr when they get hurt or are in pain – but why? Research suggests that purring can actually help cats heal faster. The low frequency of purrs causes vibrations throughout their body that can:
  • Heal bones and wounds
  • Build muscle and repair tendons
  • Ease breathing
  • Lessen pain and swelling
Cat 5