Monday, April 23, 2018

Here's Why Your Dog Snores

Tired of trying to block out your dogs snoring? Like people, dogs sometimes snore and just like people, it can be quite annoying having to listen to it. Through this article we explain the main reasons your fur-friend is probably snoring along with some tips to help decrease their snoring efforts.

5 Common Causes of Snoring

Sleeping Position
Does your dog sleep on their back? If so they are more likely to end up snoring. Approximately 5-10% of dogs sleep with their bellies up, and it’s a position that’s associated with snoring in dogs and humans alike. When dogs lie on their back to sleep the base of their tongue can fall back into their throat, blocking air from getting into their passageways.

Their Breed
Any amount of restricted airflow can cause snoring in dogs, and some breeds are more susceptible than others. Dogs with short noses (brachycephalic breeds) such as Pugs, Bulldogs & Boston Terriers are more prone to snoring than other dogs due to their short air passage. Their upper respiratory anatomy is abnormally short, which can frequently lead to airway obstructions.

Being overweight is one of the common causes for snoring in humans, and it’s true for dogs too. Extra weight leads to extra tissue, and any extra tissue around the nose and throat can narrow their airway, leading to restricted air flow and snoring.

Dogs that have allergies may be more prone to snoring due to airway restriction and congestion. If you have allergies you know how bad congestion can get, and how breathing through your nose itself can become difficult. Allergens can cause mucus buildup and airway restriction, both of which increase the likelihood of snoring.

Secondhand Smoke
Need another reason to stop smoking? Just like with humans, secondhand smoke can cause respiratory issues and snoring in dogs by irritating the lungs and airways. Secondhand smoke can damage your dog’s respiratory system, leading to bronchitis, asthma and snoring.

Tips for Minimizing Snoring

For dogs that aren’t pre-dispositioned to snoring (i.e. breed type) there are a few helpful, yet sometimes obvious, tips available to decrease their snoring
  • Attempt to alter your dog’s sleeping posture or their bed or bedding. An elevated head might reduce snoring, so giving your dog a pillow might help.
  • Keep your dog on a regular exercise regimen so they’ll maintain proper weight. If your fur-friend is already overweight it’s a good idea to watch how much you feed them and to ensure enough exercise, not just for snoring sake.
  • If your dog’s snoring is caused by allergens, clean their bedding daily. Time outdoor walks for when the pollen levels and auto traffic is low. Run the vacuum cleaner on a regular basis and eliminate dust in rugs and curtains. It could also be beneficial to find out what it is that your pup is allergic to.
  • A tad bit obvious but, don’t smoke around your dog. Try, where possible, to maintain a smoke-free household and ensure your fur-friend isn’t around when you need to take a smoke break.
Just remember that snoring is a symptom, not an illness. If your dog has only suddenly started snoring, or if they’re experiencing interrupted sleep have them checked out by your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues. However, if your pup is just the snoring type, we hope this article has helped you out!

Monday, April 9, 2018

How to Own a Cat when You Have Allergies

Have you always wanted to have a cat of your own but your allergies are stopping you?

It’s not nice when your nose starts to run, your eyes begin to itch and you cannot help but sneeze whenever you are around a cat.

You may even have more serious allergies, and not ever be able to overcome them. 

However, if you find you have only a mild allergy to cats, there may be ways you can help to control your allergies.

Let us give you some tips on how you could minimise and/or overcome your allergies so that you can own that kitty you have always wanted!

(Please note: This article is only for educational purposes only and should not be followed as a substitute for personal care. If you have serious allergies, information from this article should not be taken into account. Be sure to check with a doctor before coming in contact with cats if you have serious allergies or asthma.)

hand patting cat

Rid Other Allergens in Your Home

If you are wanting to get a cat of your own, you should first try to get rid of as many allergens in your home as possible. This includes, mites, dust and mould.  Cleaning spots in your home regularly that are prone to quick dust build up will help you to minimise allergies. In addition to this, trading out some furniture and decor in your home maybe just be the solution to helping you with your allergies. 

Airborne allergies including cat dander will cling to soft materials, such as rugs, fabric covered furniture and curtains. If possible, try to eliminate or replace soft materials in your home.

Scented candles and air fresheners can also make your allergies play up, so consider replacing these too.

lounge room cat sitting on window

Allergy Treatment

There are treatments and natural remedies that can help control allergies. Animal hair and dander allergy relief is available to help with, sneezing, watery eyes, itching and congestion if these are some of the allergy symptoms you have when around cats.

If you are serious about getting a kitty companion, look into allergy reliefs to help you get used to having a cat around all the time.

woman sitting on couch blowing nose

Visit Friends with Cats

If you have friends with cats, then ask them if you are allowed to come around to meet and play with them. This will allow you to get up and personal with a cat, however only on a limited basis. 

Ask your friend what time their cat is fed so that you can meet them after when they are in a relaxed mindset. Greet the cat with your hand and wait until they have sniffed you so that you can pat them. 

Start with just some petting and just being in the environment. Eventually, if you think your allergies will let you, allow the kitty to sit on your lap if they want too. If needed, take allergy reliefs before and or after seeing the cat.

cat sitting on table

Visit your Local Animal Shelter

If you have followed all the above steps and think you have built up your resistance through gradual exposure, then it’s time to visit your local animal shelter. 

Take your time in finding the right cat for you. It may even take a few trips to the shelter. If needed, you may also need to take allergy relief remedies before visiting the shelter.

cat at shelter

Cleaning and Care

Once you finally have your kitty, there are some procedures you should keep in mind to help you further with your allergies. One of the biggest recommendations is to keep your cat out of your bedroom and off your bed. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary from all allergens. You don’t want to be having restless nights due to allergens in your room caused by your cats. 

As said above, it is also good to keep dust collector areas clean. Regularly cleaning these areas can help to minimise your allergies. Vacuuming rugs, dusty corners, window sills and furniture is a must. 

You may also want to keep other areas of your home and cat free zone. Keep your cat to specific areas may be hard but can help you control which areas you need to clean more regularly and allows you to have more allergy free areas if it is needed.

Wash your hands immediately after, playing with or patting your cat. This will ensure you do not accidentally rub cat hair into sensitive allergy areas such as your eyes and nose.

Finally, keep you new kitty clean! Cleaning your cat, via brushing or bathing them regularly can help eliminate the amount of cat allergen that is released into the air.

cat sleeping on bed

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Could Your Dog Have Social Anxiety?

Do you find that your dog experiences anxiety or fear in social situations like going to the park, walking through crowds, or even visiting your friends' homes? Chances are, your dog suffers with some form of social anxiety. Proper socialization is essential for all dogs and failure to do so can often result in your fur-friend facing crippling social anxiety, fear and sometimes even aggression. 

Anxious dog

The Cause of Social Anxiety

Usually, social anxiety is common in dogs who have received inadequate socialisation during the critical stages of development. These dogs are typically rescue dogs from puppy mills, stray dogs or dogs rescued from neglected situations. Although, sometimes, dogs facing social anxiety may just have had little to no interaction with other animals or humans during the early stages of their life. When you take this type of animal and put him in a social setting, he may feel trapped and cornered. This often results in one of two things; fear aggression or to withdraw from their surroundings.

group of dogs

How to Prevent Social Anxiety

The best way to prevent social anxiety within your fur-friends is through socialisation, ideally before 16 weeks of age. There is a window between 8 and 16 weeks where the dog is curious about their environment and open to new experiences. After about 16 weeks, the window closes and the dog begins to fear the unknown. The more people, places, animals and things they are exposed to before 16 weeks, the less unknown there will be. While it is important for a puppy to experience as much as possible it is important to keep them safe and out of harm’s way.

Dog interacting

What to do if Your Dog Already has Social Anxiety

If your dog already has social anxiety, there are ways to overcome this and greatly improve their quality of life. You’ll need to move slowly to build their confidence and social skills, but you will get there eventually. Begin by letting your dog meet one person at a time. Let your dog initiate contact. Be sure that your dog has a safe retreat they can go to if they feel overwhelmed. Reward them in the calm moments. The higher the anxiety in the dog, the better the treat will have to be. Be sure not to comfort them when they are fearful though, as this can reinforce the fearful behaviour rather than help them overcome it. Through steady exposure, you should notice that your dog is relaxing more, as things become more familiar.
Just remember your dog may never completely learn to love being out in busy areas. However, they can learn to tolerate them if they can associate outings with the "good part" at the end.

Teaching the dog

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Why Dogs Shed & How to Reduce it

Shedding can be frustrating for all dog owners, no matter how much we love our dogs. All dogs shed to some degree, with the exception of completely hairless dogs. Commonly, there are three types of shedding; year-round, seasonal and health.

Dog laying down

Year-Round Shedding

All animals with hair shed on a regular bases, therefore causing year-round shedding. Most shedding is the loss of the undercoat, with some regular loss of fur. Normal shedding will occur year round, and will be visible on your clothes, sofa, and around the house.
Dogs such as Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers, with continuously growing hair, have hair shafts with longer life spans and shed very little. Whereas dogs like Labradors and Huskies have a shorter hair shaft life span and more abundant undercoats, resulting in greater shedding year-round.

Long & short haired dog breeds

Seasonal Shedding

Seasonal shedding occurs with some breeds, usually in the spring, but may also happen in autumn. Seasonal shedding occurs evenly across the whole body, and will happen every year on a cycle. This process is sometimes called "blowing coat." When the weather warms, dogs shed their old winter undercoats to make way for a lighter summer coat. This type of shedding is typical among cold weather breeds like Huskies.

Husky - cold climate dogs


Your dog's health may also affect shedding rate, so it is important to take note of unexplained excessive shedding. Skin problems, endocrine diseases, nutritional or vitamin deficiencies, and other metabolic disorders can cause hair loss or change the rate of hair growth. Any noticeable differences in your pets shedding rate is a good sign to contact your local veterinarian.

Sick dog

How to Control Shedding

Excess shedding can be difficult to manage as pet hair tends to clings to furniture and upholstery around the house. As a dog owner, you have probably come to terms with the fact that regular housecleaning is the norm, especially during shedding season. 

Routine grooming is a great way to manage your dogs yearly and seasonal shedding, along with more frequent baths during the summer months. This will help you rinse off the dead hair from your pet’s body, which will significantly reduce the number of hair floating around the house. Furthermore, keeping onto of cleaning will prevent the hair from embedding itself into furniture and upholstery; ultimately making it easier to manage and clean. 

Dog getting a bath

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

5 Dog Myths - Busted!

Call them what you want, but these 5 myths are anything but fact! Some of these sayings about dogs have been around for centuries, but in reality many are simple myths or bad advice. We have found, and debunked, 5 of the most common myths about your dogs!

dog reading

Myth #1: Dogs eat grass only if they are sick

It's true that dogs will often throw up after eating a lot of grass. However, this does not mean they ate that grass to induce vomiting, or that it is somehow a sign of illness. Most recent research indicates that quite simply put, dogs just like to eat grass. Enough grass in the stomach can create minor irritation and quite simply put, cause the dog to vomit. If the grass is treated with chemicals, only then it could be hazardous to your pet. Some vets do believe that dogs will intentionally consume large amounts of grass to induce vomiting if they feel unwell or have consumed something toxic, but this should not be consistent behaviour. 

If grass-eating has led to chronic vomiting in your dog, you should probably keep him away from the grass and visit

Dog on grass

Myth #2: A dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth

Most of us have probably heard this at some point in our lives when a dog gives us a big slobbery kiss. “Don't worry about it! Didn't you know that a dog's mouth is cleaner than yours?”

This idea is thought to originally come from the fact that dogs lick their wounds and sometimes heal faster because of it – giving the idea that dogs have clean mouths. In reality, if a wound heals faster after a dog licks it, that's because his rough tongue has been removing dead tissue and stimulating circulation.  In summary a dog's mouth contains plenty of germs. Think about the stuff your dog eats off the ground, out of the trash and the things he licks off of himself. Many dogs do not get their teeth brushed as regularly as people either, so there is the dental tartar build up and bacteria to also consider. Overall, a dog's mouth contains more germs than anyone wants to think about. But luckily these germs are usually dog-specific and unlikely to cause any harm to us.

smiling dog

Myth #3: A wagging tail means a happy dog

Tail wagging has been associated with happy dogs for so long it's hard to say how this generalization began; however it’s only sometimes true. This common misconception could lead to an unfortunate dog bite in some cases.  Yes, happy dogs wag their tails—but so do aggressive, agitated or anxious ones. Dog body language is much more involved than just setting the tail to on or off. Gaze, posture, facial expression, and ear position blend with the tail cues to create a range of expressions. Rather than looking just at the tail, it is best to pay attention to a dog's overall body language to determine its mood.

Happy dog

Myth #4: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

Although this has to be the oldest myth about dogs, it is still not true as age is not a determining factor for tricks or training. People tend to notice that their older dogs have less interest in new activities and are less responsive to training; however, many older dogs may suffer limited hearing or vision that prevents them from learning or following commands as easily as they used to. When training an older dog, you first need to be able to get their attention. You also need to make sure the activity is not too physically demanding for them. Keep it interesting with their favourite toys or treats and remember your fur-friend is not the young pup they once were.

dog sniffing hand

Myth #5: Warm, dry noses are a sign of sickness

“My dog's nose is warm and dry. Does that mean he's sick?”

This is probably the biggest dog health myth around. Somewhere along the line, people came to the conclusion that a cold, wet nose is a sign of a healthy dog and a warm or dry nose is a sign of illness.
If your dog has a dry nose it means your dog has a dry nose, case closed. Dry nose has nothing to do with a dog's health. The temperature and moisture of your dog's nose are not miracle measurements of their health. For instance, a dog's nose is often dry and/or warm if they have just woken up, and this is perfectly normal. Unless their nose is persistently dry and crusted, focus on unusual behaviours from your dog to detect signs of a potential problem. 

Dog nose

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

How to Make Bath Time Less Stressful for You and Your Dog!

We all known a dog who hates baths, the ones who make a break for it and run to hide under the bed the second they hear the water start to run. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make bath time less stressful for your dog — and you! We have come up with 4 tips to help bath time become a worry of the past.

Dog being bathed

Prepare (A Lot!)

A stress free bath time doesn’t happen overnight, let’s be honest. You’ll have to start teaching your fur friend individual behaviours, that when put together, will make bath time successful and more enjoyable for the both of you.
Some key tricks that will come in handy during bath time are teaching your dog to jump in and out of the tub; as well as teaching them to stay still while the water is running.
Most importantly, you want to teach your dog to not be afraid of water. Doing this in a low-pressure place, like a small lake or a kiddie pool is ideal. This will allow your dog to enjoy the idea of being in the water; making bath time fun.

Washing dog

Exercise before the Bath

Many dogs naturally enjoy a dip in the water when they’re feeling hot and exhausted after exercise, so use those natural instincts to your advantage.
Walking your dog  ahead of time is a great idea as it allows them to use their pent up energy; making them more relaxed and tired when bath time rolls around. Although you’ll need to block off more time this way, it will make the overall bathing process much easier. 
It’s best to find an exercise that both you and your pup enjoy that will guarantee to wear them out. Not only will this make bath time more pleasant, it offers exercise to both you and your dog.

Taking dog for a walk

Brush before and after the Bath

Brushing your dog before their bath will make brushing them afterward much easier! This will help to remove any dirt or dead hair they’ve been carrying, and prevent you from pulling on wet, matted tangles while they’re in the tub. If your dog enjoys being brushed, this is also a good way to help relax and soothe them before the dreaded bath time.
You can also remove your dog’s collar at this time, or leave it on to use, as a gentle handle to steady them while in the bath.

Brushing Dog

Offer Treats & Praise

To keep your dog calm, teach them to associate bathing with good things. A little positive reinforcement can go a long way. Combine your dog's bath with tasty treats, plenty of praise, and maybe even a fun game or toy that's reserved especially for the tub. With treats, offer the first one once your dog has hoped into the tub; helping build positive associations.
Sometimes we get so caught up in scrubbing and rinsing that we forget to talk to our dogs through the process. Throughout the entire bath, give your dog praise. Talk to them in a calming, gentle voice explaining what you’re doing. By helping your fur friend associate baths with goodies and attention, you can do a lot to change your dog’s attitude about the whole bath situation.

Dog eating treat

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Understanding Cats' Meowing

At first a cats meowing may sound charming; however, it can become quite annoying.

Cat language can contain a combination of vocalisations, scent signals and body postures. Humans do not have scent signals and will often overlook ear signals and tail talk which is what makes up the majority of a cat’s communication. However, we will give our undivided attention to a cat’s growls, hisses and purrs.

So, what is your cat trying to tell you when they meow?

And can you get to understand what they are trying to communicate?

Find out why your cat is meowing and what they are trying to tell you.

cat with mouth open

Kinds of Meowing

There are four types vocal patterns that are performed by cats.

Murmur Patterns – Purring and trills
Vowel Patterns – Meows in all their variations
Articulated Patterns – Chirps and chattering
Strained Intensity Patterns – Warnings such as hisses and/or growls

Experts have also speculated that cats have vocalisations that are pitched at such a high frequency that only other cats can hear. These are called ‘silent meows’.

Not all cats are vocal, some may not make noises at all and some may be trying to speak to you all day long.

cat with mouth open up close

What Do Meows Mean?

Cats use a wide range of vocalisations to communicate with other cats, however they seem to reserve most of their meows for talking to humans.

So, what exactly is your cat trying to say to you? Are they trying to start a conversation with you, asking you for something or just pestering you for the fun of it?

Meows are actually demands.

These usually consists of them asking to be let in or out of the house, to be fed or if they want you to play with them or pet them.

cat lying on floor

Midnight Meowing

Cats will generally sleep up to 16 hours of the day and are most active at night. Some cats may like to snuggle up to their owners and sleep with them for most of the night. You may find at some point during your deep sleep that your cat will have had enough with sleeping and decide that you’ve had enough too. 

At first, they may start rubbing their head on you or nibble at your toes and may even try to tap at your face to wake you up. If this doesn’t wake you up then they may start with the midnight meowing. 

You’ll soon get frustrated and roll out of bed in order to give your kitty what they want so they stop. You fill up their food bowl in the hopes of a few more hours sleep without another disturbance. However, your cat may wake you again and again if they are bored or want something else from you.

cat lying on couch

How to Stop Midnight Meowing

If you give into your cat’s meow demands than you are telling them that pestering you is an effective means of getting their way. By yelling at your cat or pushing them off the bed, this still gives them the satisfaction. It just teaches them that the longer they persist, the more likely they are to succeed.

The best thing to do is totally ignore them. This may be hard if they are in your bedroom, so it could be best to lock them away in another room with their bed, some toys, water, food and a litter tray. Therefore, they have everything they need in one room. 

cat sleeping

Wanting to get a perfect picture of your dog to post on social media or place in a frame in your home? Click here to learn how to train your dog to look at the camera.