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Category Archives: Dogs

50% Off Luxury Blankets When You Sign Up to the Omlet Newsletter

The Luxury Super Soft Dog Blanket from Omlet is the perfect addition to your dog’s sleep setup. As colder weather approaches your pet will truly appreciate this extra layer of warmth and comfort to nestle into for a lovely long snooze. The blanket is machine washable, so you can also use it to protect sofas, carpets and car seats from muddy paws after long autumnal walks.

Get your dog’s bed ready for autumn with this super soft luxury blanket – now half price when you sign up to the Omlet newsletter, saving you up to £9.99!

Terms and conditions
This promotion is valid from 22/09/20 – midnight on 27/09/20. Once you have entered your email address on the website you will receive a promo code that can be used at checkout. By entering your email you agree to receive the Omlet Newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any point. This offer is available on Omlet Luxury Super Soft Blankets for cats and dogs only. The offer does not apply to any dog beds or cooling mats. Offer is limited to 2 blankets per household, while stocks last. Subject to availability. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Offer cannot be used on delivery, existing discounts or in conjunction with any other offer.

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This entry was posted in Cats


Ten Tips for a Successful Doggy Playdate

Photos by Alvan Nee on Unsplash

Playdates for dogs are an increasingly popular calendar fixture for dog owners. The fact that these most sociable of animals like to socialise should not come as a great surprise. But there is, of course, far more to a successful get-together than simply unleashing a kennelful of canines into your back garden!

Our ten tips will help ensure that your pooch party goes with a woof rather than a snarl.

1. Don’t Invite Enemies!

The guest list is possibly the most obvious party-success factor of them all, but it is one that often gets ignored. For example, your friend might have a Jack Russell that your Labradoodle simply hates. And yet inviting your friends and their dogs is an obvious thing to do when arranging a doggy date. A territorial or bad-tempered dog that doesn’t get along with your pet is not going to be the life and soul of your doggy date. And, of course, your own dog needs to be a sociable hound host, too.

2. Avoid Chalk-and-Cheese Syndrome

Dogs tend to play best with friends of their own size and of a similar age. An older dog doesn’t want to be harassed by a bunch of excitable puppies, and a small terrier doesn’t always want to be stalked by an enthusiastic pack of Retrievers. An overweight or arthritic dog may suffer, too – they may want to keep up with the others, so as not to miss out on the fun, which may result in more harm than good.

The exception to the chalk-and-cheese rule is when dogs already know each other. If you know they’re friends already, invite them – although you still need to watch out for the reactions of the other guests.

3. Keep the Numbers Down

The difference between a happy group of dogs and a rowdy pack is a fine line. As a rule of thumb, keep the number of dogs to six or below on a doggy date, to keep things under control.

4. Invite Humans Too!

A doggy date isn’t an excuse for owners to leave their dogs in a crèche for a couple of hours. It only works if the owners are present; and an owner who brings more than one dog should, ideally, bring more than one human too.

5. Make Sure the Space is Suitable

There are all kinds of places you can hold a doggy playdate, whether indoors or outdoors, and the guest list should match the space. Six Huskies in a kitchen isn’t going to work, and open gates or gaps in a fence are just asking for trouble. You will also need to dog-proof the room or the garden, removing access to anything that’s fragile, toxic, edible or out-of-bounds for whatever other reason. The host dog and its guests should not have their own toys or bones lying around, either – all available toys should be neutral. If the host dog is very territorial, it simply isn’t going to work unless you arrange the playdate in a neutral space.

6. Meet and Greet

The dogs should all be formally introduced before the doggy date begins, even if they have met before. Owners should have their pets on a lead, and the dogs should be made to sit, in a semicircle so they can all see each other. They can then mingle on loose leads. Only when everything is looking sociable should the dogs be let off the lead completely. Any dissenters will have to be kept on a lead until they get into the spirit of the party. If, for whatever reason, one of the doggy guests falls out with another, it should be led quietly away on a lead until the situation has calmed down.

7. Allow Downtime

Some dogs have more energy, patience or bravery than others. On a doggy date, it always helps to have a hidey hole where a dog that needs to catch its breath can take time out. For smaller dogs, this can be the owner’s arms. Larger dogs will need a quiet corner, indoors or out. In a larger garden, they will be able to find their own space to chill. Dogs are very good at body language, and the others will recognise that the resting dog is doing just that, and not playing hide and seek.

8. Provide Refreshments

Busy dogs will need to drink, so one or more drinking bowls is essential. A supply of treats will keep the edge off their appetites, too.

9. Play Some Party Games

Games of fetch, hide and seek, sit and wait, agility tests or obstacle courses are all great ways to keep the party happy and active. Treats can be used as prizes!

10. Avoid Too Much Sun

If it’s a really hot day, an outdoor doggy date will needs lots of shade, lots of water and should involve only the very fittest dogs. Heat can be a health hazard for weaker animals. Remember – you can always postpone.

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This entry was posted in Dogs


End Of Summer Saver – £5 Off Omlet Cooling Mats

Provide your pet with the possibility to rest on a super cool and comfortable spot on those warm September days, or after a long and strenuous autumn walk! The Omlet Cooling Mat is self-cooling and has a memory foam layer that will enclose your pet’s body as they lie down on it, and you can choose to display either the classic cream coloured or the stylish grey side of the mat depending on your home and your pet!

Right now you get £5 off Omlet Cooling Mats for dogs or cats, but only for a limited time! Use promo code COOLOFF at checkout to claim this exclusive discount!

Terms and Conditions
Promotion of £5 off cooling mats runs from 03/09/20 – midnight 08/09/20. Use promo code COOLOFF at checkout. Includes Omlet Cooling Mat cats and dogs. All sizes are included. Subject to availability. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Offer cannot be used on delivery, existing discounts or in conjunction with any other offer.

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This entry was posted in Cats


9 Things Humans Do That Annoy Our Dogs


Photo by Matthew Foulds on Unsplash

1. We talk too much

Dogs don’t know English, and they won’t understand syntax and grammar however much you try to teach them. As you can imagine, it will be extremely frustrating having a human shouting incomprehensible noises at you.

Dogs like learning spoken commands and connecting them to actions, but won’t be able to understand anything longer than a short sentence, and will be very confused when you start using new ways of telling them to do things. If you’ve taught them the command “Drop” to get them to give you a stick or a toy, then “Leave” or “Let go” or “Give me that, you silly sausage!” won’t be of much use.

2. We let other people into our territory

Humans think it’s normal to go to other people’s houses, and to let individuals from outside the pack come into your and your dog’s territory. This will annoy some dogs immensely, and can actually make them really stressed, so don’t be surprised if they treat visitors with suspicion. 

If you want to invite other dogs into your house, it might be a good idea to let the dogs meet on a walk beforehand, on neutral grounds. Most dogs will be absolutely fine with sharing their space, but it’s always best to minimise the risk of arguments. 

3. We stare at them

We think that eye contact is something beautiful that is needed for bonding, and with both our own dogs and new ones we meet we tend to look into their eyes as we’re saying hello. Most dogs don’t appreciate this. While loving gazes between you and your pup is often accepted, being stared down by a stranger can be extremely stressful for a dog. They see the focused stare as a challenge, and might consider you a threat, so try to avoid eye contact with dogs you don’t know.

4. We hug them

This is a slightly contentious topic, but many people mean that while dogs accept our hugs, they don’t like them. It depends on the dog, but some feel very nervous and stressed when we interfere with their personal space, and placing your arms around a strange dog’s neck can be seen as a threat. 

Most dogs like snuggling, and nearly all love scratching, so if you want to be sure you can show your affection with a belly rub and shared sofa rather than constraining your pup with your weird human arms. 

5. We don’t let them sniff on walks

For dogs, walks are not just about exercise. While we humans can stop to enjoy beautiful scenery, dogs explore the world much less visually, and prefer to snuffle around for interesting smells. This also provides them with great mental stimulation that will tire them out just as much as the actual walking, so try to be patient with your dog and let him or her stop, sniff and mark as much as they like on a walk.

6. We change our shape and smell

Dogs change their coat roughly once a year, whereas humans change clothes every day, use different hand soaps, spray themselves with perfume and use cleaning products in their homes. Dogs might get to grips with this unusual behaviour after a while, but they will definitely not see the point, as they would probably prefer it if we never washed and walked around in the same clothes all the time.

7. We’re inconsistent

Dogs get very confused with inconsistency. They don’t understand “just this once” or “only when mummy is on a work trip”, but will much prefer to for example always be off the bed rather than having to constantly try to interpret your varying signals. 

8. We leave them alone

To dogs, some of the strongest pack animals around, leaving the group seems absolutely pointless and stupid. That’s why they can get confused and annoyed when we leave them alone to go to work or to the cinema. 

Train your dog to be by themselves from an early age to avoid bad separation anxiety, and try to never leave an adult dog alone for longer than four hours a day.

9. We get frustrated when they’re being dogs

To dogs, sniffing, barking, digging and scavenging for scraps are all natural behaviours, and they can get very annoyed if you get upset with them for doing what comes natural to them. This doesn’t mean that they should be allowed to do exactly what they want all the time. Try to redirect and encourage desirable behaviour, but it’s also worth remembering that dogs are dogs, and that’s part of why we love them so much.

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This entry was posted in Dogs


How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Hot Weather

Just like humans’, dogs’ opinions on hot weather vary. Some absolutely worship the sun and will take any opportunity to find a sunny spot to lie down on, whereas others prefer to stay in the shade sipping some cold water, longing for autumn. Certain dogs are more likely to struggle with heat, including flat-faced breeds, dogs with thick coats, giant dogs, overweight dogs or dogs with underlying medical problems, so if your pooch is in a high risk group it’s extra important to make sure he or she stays cool. Here are some ways you can help you dog beat the heat:

1. Adjust Exercise

When it’s really hot outside it’s best to stay inside during the hottest hours of the day. Your dog will still need exercise, but if possible, stick to walks early in the morning or late at night when it’s cooler. 

It’s also worth trying to walk as much in the shade as you can, to avoid hot pavements and tiles, and to stop your dog from running around too much whilst out on the walk, maybe by keeping them on a shorter lead.

2. Keep Hydrated

Make sure your dog always has access to clean, cold water, ideally in all rooms of the house. If you’re going out, bring a bottle of water and a foldable bowl. 

If you’re worried your dog doesn’t drink enough water, try feeding them things that are hydrating and have a cooling effect. Frozen fruit and veg are great, but you can also put some cooked chicken in a blender with some banana or assorted berries and freeze in ice cube trays. 

3. Get On Top of Grooming

This is extra important for breeds with thick fur, as they particularly struggle in the heat, but most dogs benefit hugely from some extra grooming in summer. For some, regular brushing to get rid of dead hair will be enough, but others need to have their coat properly trimmed for summer. 

Don’t be tempted to grab the trimmers and give your dog a buzz cut; the sudden lack of insulation can shock the dog and damage the quality of the coat, as well as make him or her feel very self-conscious! Take them to the groomers and ask what they recommend for your dog’s type of fur. 

4. Go For a Dip

Having water around to cool themselves down with will be highly appreciated by most dogs. You can put a shallow paddling pool in a shaded area of the garden, turn the sprinklers on and watch your dog run through them, or let him or her play with the garden hose.

If you live close to the sea or another body of water and your dog is used to swimming you can take them there to lower their body temperature in the evening. Remember that swimming can be tough exercise though, so call them back up when you’re happy they’ve cooled themselves down.

5. Keep Cool Inside

When it’s too hot to be outside, your dog will probably spend most of their time indoors, so it’s important to try and keep your house as cool as possible. It might be nice to open windows on different sides of the house to create drafts, or find other ways of letting cool air circulate. Drawing the curtains or blinds will help stop the sun from heating up bedrooms during the day. 

6. Avoid The Car

If possible, try to avoid going in the car with your dog when it’s hot. We all know that you should never, ever leave a dog in a car in warm weather, it doesn’t matter if the car is parked in the shade, you’ve got the windows open and it’s only for a few minutes. A stationary car will quickly get very, very hot, and it can kill your dog.

If you can choose not to go in the car on very hot days, try to avoid it, especially if your dog is not a big fan to start with. 

7. Get a Cooling Mat

On a hot day, your dog will love relaxing on something cooling. The Omlet Cooling Mat doesn’t require refrigeration or electricity, but works by absorbing heat from your dog’s body while at the same time cooling your pooch down. The memory foam mat is foldable and super comfortable, so you can take it with you wherever you go in summer, assuring your dog will always have a place to rest that will also minimise the risk of heatstroke. 

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This entry was posted in Dogs


Best Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

When choosing a dog – especially if it’s your first one – the key is to find a breed that complements your lifestyle. Like us, some dogs are happy to spend most of their time relaxing indoors, while others want to run half marathons every day.

So, think about your lifestyle, and then find the dog to match. Here are some helpful lifestyle and dog breed matches to help you narrow down the field.

Dogs for Sofa Lovers

Being an evening couch potato doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lazy – it probably means you’ve had a busy day at work, and need some downtime. Plenty of dog breeds fit this ‘couch canine’ lifestyle, including:

  • Dachshund – these loveable ‘Sausage Dogs’ can actually damage their spines if they’re forced to take too much exercise. They will still need a morning walk, though!
  • Greyhound – this one surprises people who don’t know the breed well. “Greyhounds?”, they say, “Surely all they want to do is chase hares at breakneck speed all day?” Well, yes, they can run fast; but their preferred lifestyle is actually long, lazy days, with a couple of short runs in the park.
  • French Bulldog – they’ll be hyperactive for 20 minutes on a walk, and then they’ll be worn out. Lacking endurance, this makes them perfect for anyone who lacks time for long walks every day.

The popular lapdog breeds fall into this category too, including Chihuahua, Pug, King Charles Spaniel, Pekingese, Shih Tzu and Yorkie.

Dogs for Busy Outdoor Lifestyles

If you do lots of walking or running, there are plenty of high-endurance dog breeds that will just love keeping up with you every step of the way.

  • Dalmatian – these loveable hounds will find 101 reasons to run and play all day. Whatever you’re doing outdoors, they’ll be with you every step of the way.
  • Border Collie – possibly the dogs with the busiest work ethic, they will happily be hyperactive from dawn to dusk. If there’s no work on offer, they’ll find it for themselves. That ball game isn’t just a game, it’s a job, and the Border Collie will make sure it’s done properly – all day long, if needs be!
  • Husky – a breed that was developed to pull heavy sledges for hundreds of kilometres is not going to be content with anything but a busy lifestyle. These dogs need lots of exercise – as many miles a day as you can give them. Not for the faint-hearted!

Many other larger breeds suit active lifestyles, including German Shepherd, Pointer, Boxer and Labrador Retriever. Some smaller dogs pack an energy punch, too, and the Boston Terrier and Jack Russell, for example, will be able to keep up with you no matter how long the journey home is.

Child’s Play – Best Dogs for Kids

Although children should not be given full responsibility for a pet dog, there are plenty of breeds that are very child friendly.

  • Labrador retriever and Golden retriever – these are probably the perfect family dogs. Retrievers are gentle and loving, and treat children with a mixture of respect and parental care. They’re incredibly soft and good natured.
  • Irish (or Red) Setter – this breed seems to have been developed to play with children! Playful, but gentle, children often form very tight bonds with this wonderfully handsome dog.
  • Old English Sheepdog – when they’re not selling paint, these dogs – so often called ‘Dulux Dog’ that the name has become semi-official amongst dog owners – love nothing better than chilling with the kids. They’re gentle giants.

There are plenty more dogs in this category. The Newfoundland, for example, is even more giant than the Old English, and just as gentle. Boxers and Beagles are good with the kids too – as long as they’re well trained from an early age.

Dogs for People Allergic to Dogs!

Don’t despair! Your pet-induced sneezing and asthma doesn’t mean you can never be a dog owner. The thing you’re allergic to is a protein found on animals’ skin, and/or shed hairs. Although no breed is officially hypoallergenic, the commonest ones in families where allergies are a problem are:

  • Poodle (both full size and Toy)
  • Schnauzer
  • Basenji
  • Bichon Frise
  • Samojed
  • Shih Tzu

This is not a precise science, and some people are definitely more “allergic” than others. Many people who sneeze and wheeze at most dogs find that they are okay with Yorkies and Westies, even though these have longer hair than the average hound. At the same time, the short-haired Boxer can cause strong allergic reactions in many sufferers.

The key here is to spend some time with the breed before making the decision to bring one home.

The takeaway message is clear – there are many dog breeds out there, with many different personalities and requirements. Matching those traits to your own lifestyle and circumstances is the sure path to finding the perfect pet.

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This entry was posted in Dogs


Dogs and Swimming Pools

While it’s true that most dogs can swim, not all of them actually enjoy it. Some dogs’ idea of swimming involves paddling for dry land as quickly as possible, while some take to the water as if they were otters in a previous life.

With some breeds, the clue is in the name. The Irish Water Spaniel and the Portuguese Water Dog, for example, love taking the plunge, as do Poodles, Newfoundlands, Setters, Retrievers and many more. Some dogs, however, are simply not built for swimming. Dachshunds, with their short legs, and Pugs and English Bulldogs, with their short necks and poor breathing, struggle in water.

When confronted with lakes and rivers on a walk, the dog will decide for itself whether or not it fancies a quick dip. In a garden pool, however, you need to be aware of the various safety and hygiene issues, because at some point your pet is bound to take to the water.

Mastering the Doggy Paddle

If the pool is a public one, dogs will simply not be allowed, so safety issues don’t arise. Pools in people’s gardens, however, become just as much a part of the dog’s playground as the humans’. Rule number one for pool owners – or for owners who visit friends with dog-friendly pools – is to make sure your dog is safe in the water.

A weak swimmer will tire very quickly and can soon get into trouble if unsupervised. Training your dog to swim to safety is therefore very important. Using your usual “Come!” command will usually work well. For smaller dogs, or if the pool is high-sided, a ramp should be attached to the side to allow the dog to clamber out. If the pool has steps, make sure the dog knows where they are. If the pool is large, make your dog jump in from different points, and guide them to the exit each time, to make sure they have a clear mental map of how to get out.

Another popular option is a dog life-jacket, which will allow your pet to swim while preventing it from sinking fast if things go wrong. If you never leave the dog unsupervised, these shouldn’t really be necessary; but if you are having a busy afternoon, your eye might not always be on your pet, so a dog flotation vest is great for ensuring peace of mind.

Some dogs really take to floats and inflatables (claw-proof ones made specifically for dogs, ideally). They can use them to take a break from paddling, or can simply lie on them like a human on a sun lounger.

If a dog gets itself into serious difficulties and needs rescuing, knowing how to administer CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) can save the pet’s life. There are tutorials available for this online, or you could ask your vet for advice.

Don’t Drink the Water

Dogs can quickly overheat if the sun is beating down, and they may naturally take to water to cool down. Swimming is hot business, though, and it’s far better for your pet to cool down in the shade with some fresh water to drink.

And that’s another hazard – a hot, thirsty dog in a pool will do what come naturally and drink some of the pool water. If they lap up too much of the chlorinated water, they may become sick. Again, providing some fresh water somewhere cool and shaded will prevent them drinking from the pool.

Just like a human, a dog who has spent time in the pool will need rinsing off, to remove the potentially irritating chlorine and other chemicals from its fur, eyes and skin.

Your Dog Loves the Pool, But Does the Pool Love Your Dog?

There are three major issues for a swimming pool used by dogs: bacteria, hair, and wear & tear.

The bacteria is associated with poo and wee. The dog doesn’t need to actually relieve itself in the pool for these contaminants to be released into the water. However, as long as your pool is properly maintained and chemically treated, the bacteria will be killed, so this should not be an issue.

The hair factor is more of a problem. Dog hair will accumulate in the pool filter surprisingly quickly if your pet sheds a lot. A good brushing before swimming will help, but you will still need to clean the filter and other pool machinery more often than you would with human-only swimmers.

Wear and tear is an issue with doggy paddlers because of their claws. They will scrabble at the sides of a pool, and at the bottom of a shallow area. A pool lined with plaster, pebbles or tile will withstand the clawing, while plastic or vinyl-lined pool may spring a leak. You should also bear in mind that dog claws and children swimming in the same pool may be asking for trouble, too.

Follow these simple guidelines and precautions, and pools can be enjoyed by dogs and owners alike. But don’t force the issue – some dogs love the wet stuff, while others prefer to keep their feet on dry land.

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This entry was posted in Dogs


20 Signs That You’re Spoiling Your Dog

  
  

Whether it’s homemade treats, new toys or a long game of fetch that makes you late for work, there are many ways to show your dog how much you love them. But are you spoiling them? Probably. Does it matter? Probably not.

These are 20 tell-tale signs that suggest you’re spoiling your furry friend.

1.

There’s nothing in the snack cupboard except dog treats. That’s good, as it means you’re not feeding all the treats at once; but it’s not so good if you were looking for a crafty snack of your own…

2.

You’ve gone to the pet shop with your dog, and you’re letting them ‘choose’ the toys and chews they want. So far, you have a very full basket!

3.

You buy a bigger, better sprinkler for the garden just because your dog had such fun with the old one. The lawn doesn’t actually need the extra water at the moment, but your dog does!

4.

You buy a new squeaky toy to play tug-of-war with, even though the old ones are still in good shape. After all, this is the first time your pet has had a toy shaped like a lobster…

5.

You realise you’re looking forward to your dog’s day at the Puppy Spa next week as much as you’re looking forward to your romantic stay in a spa hotel the following weekend.

6.

Your bags of dog treats have healthier ingredients than your own treats – all organic, sustainably sourced, and packed with vitamins and minerals.

7.

Your afternoon dedicated to DIY has disappeared, dedicated instead to giving belly rubs, playing with sticks and balls, and going for a long, leisurely walk in the park to say hello to the ducks.

8.

The freezer has lots of yummy frozen doggy treats, but no ice creams or lollies for you and the kids.

9.

You’ve spent two hours in the kitchen baking. The result? Several trays of dog biscuits for your pet and all his doggy friends in the neighbourhood.

10.

You’re sitting on the not-very-comfy chair, because your dog is curled up on the comfier one.

11.

You’re not particularly enjoying the show on TV, but you keep it on because it’s your dog’s favourite.

12.

You buy toys and treats for your dog’s birthday or for their Christmas stocking – and hide them away on a high shelf to keep them secret until the big day.

13.

You phone home on a business trip, and your first question is “How’s the dog?”

14.

You’re an expert in dog massage and essential oils for dogs, but don’t know much about massage and essential oils for humans.

15.

You give your dog its dinner slightly early so that you can both sit down and watch the new Scooby Doo or Lassie film together later.

16.

Your dog’s annual hairdresser bill is bigger than yours.

17.

You have a list of all the local dog-friendly restaurants in your neighbourhood, and compile one for all the places you visit with your pet.

18.

Your dog’s ‘room’ under the stairs was planned and decorated with more care than your living room.

19.

You decide not to offload your bad day on the dog, because you don’t want them to worry.

20.

You’ve taken a trip to the seaside with your dog yet again. You hadn’t intended coming back so soon, but the dog insisted…

As long as it doesn’t involve overeating, over-fussing or over-exercising, there are all kinds of ways to spoil your dog. And the great thing is, the dog won’t feel spoilt at all, just loved.

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This entry was posted in Dogs


7 Reasons Your Dog Needs A Sofa Bed

1. Keeps your Dog Out of Drafts

You’d be surprised by how drafty a house can be if you’re low to the ground, and have your bed placed straight on the floor. Dogs’ sleep gets affected by gusts of cold air from open doors and poorly insulated windows, and we all know how important sleep is! By raising your dog’s bed off the ground, you’re keeping them off the cold floor and minimising drafts going straight over the bed.

2. Easy To Get In and Out

Many older dogs struggle with painful joints that make it difficult for them to move vertically, whether it is jumping up a step on the stairs, or getting out of a low bed. By raising the bed slightly off the floor, your dog can literally walk straight in and out whenever they please, minimising stress on the joints. This makes laying down and standing up much less painful for older dogs, and prevents future problems for younger dogs. 

3. Enhanced Airflow

With a raised sofa bed, air can circulate on all sides of the dog bed. This airflow also keeps the bed more hygienic, preventing mould and mildew from forming in damp areas, and it’s super easy to wipe the surfaces of the Fido Dog Sofa Frame with a damp cloth and a dog-safe disinfectant if needed. The airflow also helps your dog stay cool in summer and warm in winter. 

4. Improves Quality of Sleep

Sofa Beds reduce the amount of debris that gets in and around your dog’s bed. Dirt and dust can irritate your pet and make the bed less comfortable, resulting in poorer quality of sleep. An elevated bed also provides firm, even support for your dog, so that you can be sure they get their well earned beauty sleep. 

5. More Space For All

Free up some space on your sofa by giving your dog their own! Although snuggles on the sofa is one of the perks of being a dog owner, there are days when you both just want your own space, and you won’t feel bad about it if you know your pup has their own sofa bed to be lazy on.

6. Makes Sunbathing Easier

If you have a dog that just loves sleeping in the sun, it’s great to be able to move the bed out into the garden without having to worry about damp fabric. The Sofa Bed can be lifted onto the patio or even your lawn, so that your dog gets a truly comfortable place to enjoy the sun.

7. A Throne for the King or Queen

A dog that runs your life during the day should not have to settle for a blanket on the floor at night – give your sovereign ruler the throne they deserve! 

 

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This entry was posted in Dogs


Spoil Your Pet With Their Own Sofa Today – Now £20 Off

Reduce drafts, dirt and disturbances to improve your pet’s quality of sleep by raising their bed off the ground with the stylish Fido and Maya Sofa Frames. At the moment you get £20 off all Sofa Frames, so it’s the perfect opportunity to spoil your pet with their very own sofa!

Terms and Conditions
Promotion of £20 off sofa frames runs from 18/06/20 – midnight 23/06/20. No promo code needed, discount has already been applied. Includes Fido Dog Sofa Frame Small, Fido Dog Sofa Frame Medium, Maya Cat Sofa Frame Small and Maya Cat Sofa Frame Medium. Excludes beds without sofa frame. Subject to availability. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Offer cannot be used on delivery, existing discounts or in conjunction with any other offer.

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This entry was posted in Cats


Doggy Sleeping Positions and What They Mean

On the side

The most common sleeping position for dogs is on their side with the legs pointing straight out. Sometimes dogs will fall asleep in a different position, but as soon as the muscles relax and the dog starts to dream, they will automatically roll onto their side. 

This position exposes their vital organs, so a dog who prefers to sleep on its side is likely relaxed and comfortable, and feels safe with his or her surroundings. 

As the legs are free to move in this sleeping position, it is likely that you will see the dog’s legs twitch and kick as they dream. 

If your dog favours this position, make sure that their bed is big enough to accommodate their whole body, including the outstretched legs. The Omlet Bolster Beds come in three sizes, so you can be sure to find one that fits your dog!

Curled up in a ball

This is a common sleeping position for wild dogs, who are much more vulnerable than our spoiled pet pooches. The vital organs are protected, the body heat is retained, and the dog can move quickly if needed.

Dogs that are in an unfamiliar location or experience something that is worrying them will often sleep in this position. However, if your dog prefers to roll up like a fox for nap time it doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is worried or uncomfortable, they might just like being snuggled in. 

Super Pup Pose

In this position, the dog is on its tummy, with all four legs stretched out. This is very common with puppies who need regular naps, but also always want to be ready to play at any given moment, as it’s very easy to get up and going. 

The Super Pup is almost completely limited to napping; very few dogs spend a whole night in this position. It’s also much more common with smaller dogs like terriers and toy breeds, possibly because their limbs are shorter.

On the back, legs up in the air

If your dog is cold, they will curl up into a ball. In a similar way, exposing the belly and spreading out will cool them down. Exposing the tummy, where the fur is much thinner, as well as the sweat glands on the paws are two of your dog’s best tools to stay cool. 

Comfortable as it may be, it is however a very vulnerable position. The vital organs are exposed and it will take the dog much longer to get up and go in case of danger than if they had their legs on the ground. If your dog chooses this position even when it’s not boiling hot, it is likely that he or she feels extremely relaxed and comfortable.

Close to a human or other pet

Many dogs love falling asleep next to another living thing, preferably really, really close. This behaviour comes from their time as puppies, before they could regulate their own body temperature and had to snuggle up to their siblings to stay warm. 

Although grown dogs don’t need you (or the cat) as a heat source, they have come to associate sleeping next to something warm and breathing with comfort and security. You can be sure that your dog is completely relaxed in your company if he or she decides to sleep right next to you.

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Fido Nook vs. Fido Studio – Which One is the Best For You?

Having a crate for your puppy or dog has many advantages. It creates a space that is more than just a bed on the floor, a place the dog can return to when he or she gets tired that they know is just theirs. This is perfect for those moments when a small puppy feels a bit overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of the house and would just like a moment of rest. A crate will also keep young dogs safe if you need to pop out someplace where puppies are not allowed. Additionally, crating leads to better sleep, is great for puppy training, and allows the dog to be more independent of its owner. And of course most importantly, most dogs absolutely love it!

Omlet has two great solutions for those who are looking for a crate for their existing dog, or the new puppy they’re expecting: the Fido Studio and the Fido Nook. Both come in two sizes to fit most dog breeds, and with the option of a wardrobe to store all of your dog’s things. The wardrobe can be further organised with shelves, hooks and a clothes rail, and a fitted mirror so your pup can make sure their outfit looks pawfect before hitting the park!

Both the Fido Nook and Fido Studio are stylish, modern crate solutions, but what is the difference between them? Here are the main things to note when choosing the one that best fit your needs:

  • With the Studio, the crate is a completely integrated part of the piece, whereas it can be removed on the Nook. The easy release mechanism on the Nook makes it possible to lock the crate in place when you’re using it, and remove it when your puppy is fully grown. 
  • The Nook does not only fit in seamlessly with your home interior, but the possibility of unlocking and removing the crate means you can take it in the car to keep your dog safe during travel, or if you’re spending the night somewhere else.
  • Both the Studio and the Nook come in a stylish white that will look great in all interiors. The Studio is also available in walnut.
  • As the Fido Nook you can only open the door to the crate on the front. If you choose the Fido Studio however, the dog can access the crate at either the front or the side. This is useful if you want to place the Fido Studio in a narrow space. 
  • If you decide to remove the crate from the Nook when your dog is fully trained and you feel he or she no longer needs it, the Nook will still offer a secluded spot for your dog’s bed.
  • Without the crate on the Nook, you can further customise the unit with these luxurious curtains. This will create a cosy barrier between the dog and the world outside, which will provide them with some extra, highly appreciated, privacy.
  • Although the two are quite similar, they do look slightly different, and perhaps you just prefer one over the other. That’s okay, you don’t have to explain yourself – we won’t judge!

Whether you decide to go for a Studio or a Nook, we’re absolutely sure your dog will appreciate a place in the home that is just theirs, and that you will love the look and feel of Omlet’s dog products, as well as the opportunity to store all your dog’s things in the integrated wardrobe!

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6 Dog Breeds You Might Have Never Heard Of

Azawakh

The Azawakh originates from the Saleh area south of Sahara, where it’s still used by nomadic people to guard herds of sheep and goats from predators and enemies. It has also previously been used to hunt gazelle and hare across the arid desert lands.

The Azawakh is a very lean and large sight dog with long legs, and the muscles and bones are clearly visible through the thin skin. 

It’s a loyal family dog that forms strong connections to their owners, and must get used to being by themselves early on to minimise the risk of separation anxiety. The breed needs to run freely, so make sure they can do so in a safe area. The hunting instinct can be strong, but they are intelligent and relatively easy to train, so it’s possible to take them from walks off the lead. 

Catahoula Leopard Dog

The Catahoula Leopard Dog was originally bred in the state of Louisiana, and was initially used to hunt large game, and later feral pigs in the swaps. It’s still used as a working dog with several purposes, including herding, as it’s known for its agility, intelligence and strength. 

It’s a medium sized dog with a short coat that is normally recognised for its many varied coats, eye colours and patterns. Catahoula Leopard Dogs can make great pets as long as they get enough stimulation. It’s also important to train and socialise them early, as they run the risk of getting territorial and overly protective otherwise.

Caucasian Ovcharka / Caucasian Shepherd Dog

As the name suggests, this giant dog breed originates from the Caucasus, an area between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, where it was first used to herd livestock. 

It’s an extremely independent, fearless and intelligent dog that can get very territorial and protective, so requires an experienced owner that can give them consistent handling and accurate socialisation throughout their lives. This will counteract potential aggressive behaviour, mainly towards other dogs. 

Caucasian Ovcharkas require plenty of both mental and physical stimulation. When not working, the dog will enjoy sleeping the day away, so it’s important to prevent the high risk of obesity by going to plenty of walks and playing fun retrieving games. 

Schipperke

Schipperke means small herding dog in Flemish, which is where the dog breed was first seen. It’s also got a history as a guard dog and ratter on the Dutch and Belgian canal boats. Today the breed is mainly kept as a pet, but it still makes a great guard dog, as you’ll struggle to find a more loyal companion. 

As the Schipperke was bred to work, the breed will need to be kept stimulated and active to prevent destructive behaviour, but it’s relatively easy as they will be happy with most things as long as they are with their owner!

Berger Picard

The Berger Picard is easily recognisable thanks to the large pointy ears, the wavy brindle coat and the hooked tail. The name comes from the breed’s home region of Picardy in France, and it’s one of the oldest French herding breeds.

They are extremely active dogs that will be the perfect companion for owners who enjoy long runs and hikes, sports and mental stimulation in the form of obedience training. If you can only give your dog a short walk around the block every day, the Berger Picard is not for you!

The breed was recognised 1925, but had almost disappeared after the world wars. Keen enthusiasts recreated a strong breeding stock, but it’s still rare.

Pumi

The Pumi is a result of selective breeding of the other famous Hungarian sheep dog, the Puli, and French and German herding dogs and terriers. This has given the breeds it’s lively, intelligent and active temperament. 

Pumis love working, but also to relax with their family. It’s a generally happy breed that will make a great pet for an active family that can keep the dog busy during the day and shower it with love and snuggles on the sofa in the evening.

The curly coat, normally grey or black, requires a bit of work, but doesn’t shed.

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Discover These Amazing Facts About Dog Tails

🔹 The main purpose of the tail is communication, and to spread personal information in the form of pheromones. Dogs have anal glands right under the tail which release scents that can be detected by other canines. When the dog wags its tail, the muscles around the dog’s bum tense and press on the glands, sending out lots of information. The sweeping motions from the tail can also help spread the scent even further. 

🔹 In a situation where the dog wants to be more low-key and not get noticed, maybe if they are feeling scared or hesitant, the dog will tuck its tail between the legs to minimise the spread of their scent. 

🔹 Dogs that have very small tails, or no tails at all, have a limited ability to use this body part to communicate, and will have to use other modes of communication. Ears can for example be very useful to show other dogs who you are and how you are feeling. 

🔹 Different types of tail movement signify different emotions. A slight wag when meeting someone new can be seen as a tentative greeting, whereas a wider more sweeping movement is very friendly and non-competitive. A dog that makes short back-and-forth movements with the tail held high is possibly showing signs of uncertainty, assessing potential threats.

🔹 Puppies don’t wag their tails when they are born. The first month and a half is spent mainly eating and sleeping, and they have no real interest in their surroundings. However, as soon as they start socialising, around 49 days old, they will start wagging.

🔹 The tail can be seen as an extension of the spine. Just like the backbone, tails are made up of 5-20 vertebrae, separated by soft discs that enable movement and flexibility. The vertebrae are wider at the base of the tail and get smaller toward the tip. 

🔹 The shape and form of the tail of specific dogs has been determined through selective breeding. The Dachshund’s long, sturdy tail is for example believed to have worked as a handle to pull them out of badger burrows, whereas a Beagle’s tail has a white tip to make it easier for the hunters to locate it in the distance, and labradors have a so called “otter tail” that is thick and round and can act as a kind of rudder when the dog is swimming. 

🔹 Dogs do not only use their tails for communication, it is also useful for keeping balance. If you watch a really fast dog run, like a Greyhound or a Whippet, you can see that the tail sticks out straight behind them. It works as a counterweight and helps the dog to accelerate, break and turn at high speeds. 

🔹 According to studies made on dog tails, there is evidence that the direction a dog wags its tail can tell you something about their feelings. Positive stimuli (food, or seeing their owner) made the dogs start moving their tail to the right, whereas negative stimuli (e.g. a threat in form of an aggressive looking dog) causes the tail to start wagging to the left. 

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How to teach your dog the command ‘Go To Bed’

Dogtor Adem, founder and owner of Dog-Ease, is a dog behaviourist and trainer with over 15 years experience working with dog owners and their canine best friends. In this blog post, Adem shows you how to teach your dog the “go to bed” command. 


Using their fabulous new Bolster Bed, I have teamed up with Omlet to guide you through the basics of how to teach your dog the ‘Go to Bed’ command. ‘Go to Bed’ is a useful exercise for dog owners and can be used in a variety of situations, from being able to answer the front door knowing your dog is safely on their bed, away from external risks, or to allow guests to enter the home, to encouraging your dog to settle on a blanket or bed whilst visiting family, friends or even the local coffee shop!

Furthermore, whilst teaching this command you can also start to teach the basics of the commands ‘sit’, ‘heel’, ‘down’ and ‘leave’. All in all, it’s a great all round training exercise that can help you to be able to communicate with your dog effectively as well as helping our dogs to understand a range of commands that can be useful in our everyday lives in a variety of situations.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • A comfortable dog bed (we can vouch for the Bolster Bed!)
  • Some tasty treats your dog likes
  • Your dog on a lead and collar
  • A clear area where you can walk at least 5-10 paces away from the dog bed

HELPFUL TIPS FOR BEGINNING YOUR TRAINING

1) To teach your dog the command ‘go to bed’, follow the steps outlined below. Start slowly, taking your time with each step. Your dog will need time to understand each step and master it. The training is designed to be carried out, repeated, and built on over time. Your dog will not be able to learn the command within a day! Just like us, dog’s need time to process, practice and fully learn new skills. It’s even harder for them to learn a skill when they speak ‘dog’ and we speak ‘human’! Our job as teachers is to help them to understand our language. This will take time and patience.

2) Use your tasty treats to reward your dog when they achieve what you are guiding them to understand.  Give the treat as your dog carries out the command you are saying e.g. sit, helping them to associate the word you are saying with what they are doing at the time.

3) Carry out the training positively. Avoid telling your dog off and never force them into positions. They will not understand what this means and can form negative associations as a result. If your dog is not understanding, this is because they haven’t made the relevant connection between what you are saying and what they are required to do. Go back a step if this happens. It is your job to be a good and patient teacher!

4) Practice little and often. A good guide is to aim for 10-15 minutes of training at least once a day.

5) End your training sessions positively and on a ‘good note’. Accept small wins and small amounts of progress over pushing too quickly for too much from your dog, resulting in them not being able to do what you have asked of them. If the latter happens, go back to what they can do confidently and end there. You can come back to the next step another day. You want your dog to feel positive about what they have learnt and achieved, even if this is small, encouraging them to make the connections between what you are saying and what this means they should be doing at this time. This will also help them to want to participate next time!

6)  Once you have mastered steps 1-5, repeat again using the ‘HOW TO PROGRESS’ tips to advance your training.

7) Finally, please do not attempt this training if your dog is showing signs of possessive or aggressive behaviour around food or items as this could put both yourself and your dog at risk. You should seek advice from a qualified behaviourist if this is the case.

And now to begin…

STEP ONE: Set up your bed area and, with your dog on a lead, walk towards the bed

As outlined above, ensure that your dog bed is laid out in an area clear of obstacles. Ideally, you need to be able to walk 5-10 paces away from the bed in a relatively straight line. Put your dog on a lead and have your treats ready – preferably in a treat bag or easy access pocket so that you can access them quickly, ready to reward your dog for their achievements and cooperation!

Once your area and dog bed is set up, you have your tasty treats ready, and your dog on a lead by your side, walk up to your dog bed. You don’t have to walk far at first, 5 paces is sufficient at this early stage!

If your dog does not understand the ‘walk to heel’ command, hold a tasty treat to their nose as you walk to encourage them to walk on a loose lead by your side. Give the treat as a reward as you say the command ‘heel’ when your dog assumes the desired position by your side. You may need to hold the treat close to your dog’s nose to begin with if they don’t understand this command, helping them to stay close to your side as you walk.

HOW TO PROGRESS

  1. Increase the distance between you both and the bed so you have to walk further.
  2. When teaching ‘heel’, start to bring the treat away from their nose so they walk loosely on the lead without having to be directly lead by the scent of the yummy treat. Once your dog starts to understand they need to stay by your side, you can then progress to walking to ‘heel’ with the lead in your pocket, then to dropping the lead and the lead trailing on the floor, then finally to taking the lead off entirely! Take this slowly if your dog doesn’t know the heel command already.

STEP TWO: Ask your dog to ‘sit’ in front of the bed

Stop in front of the dog bed and, holding a treat to your dog’s nose, guide your dog into the ‘sit’ position. As they place their bottom on the floor, say the command ‘sit’ so that they associate this word with the action of sitting. You can give a treat for assuming the sit position if they do not already know this command.

TOP TIP: If you haven’t already taught them, your dog will not understand the command words such as ‘heel’ or ‘sit’ at the beginning. It is your job as their teacher to be clear and help them to learn.  Always and only say the command words when your dog is physically doing the action you desire so that they can learn to understand what you mean. Ensure the treat you give as a reward follows within a couple of seconds.

HOW TO PROGRESS

  1. Once your dog is sitting on command each time using the treat and word ‘sit’, start to complete STEP 2 without offering the treat so your dog begins to further understand what this word means when you say it.

STEP THREE: Place a treat at the back of the bed and walk your dog back to the start position

Holding your dog’s lead in one hand, use your other hand to place a treat at the back of the dog bed.

Using a second treat, guide your dog away from the bed and the first tasty treat that you have placed at the back of the bed. As you move away from the bed and first treat you could also say the command ‘leave’. Remember, as with ‘heel’ and ‘sit’, say the command ‘leave’ as you move away and your dog assumes the correct action, following you rather than advancing towards the treat on the bed. To encourage your dog to move away from the bed, place the treat close to your dog’s nose to begin with to help them to understand what you are asking and to incentivise them to follow you.

Move back towards your start position by using the command ‘heel’. Remember to guide your dog with your treat, as before, back to the start position. Keep the treat close to their nose to begin with to help them walk closely by your side until they start to understand this command.

TOP TIP: As you guide your dog away from the treat, make it easier for them to leave the treat and follow you by turning into your dog, placing yourself in between them and the treat as you move away. This helps to limit the ‘temptation’ factor of advancing towards the bed and treat, helping them to understand what you mean!

WHY TEACH THE LEAVE COMMAND?

The ‘leave’ command can be useful in everyday life, from teaching your dog to leave a child’s toy that is not suitable for them to play with, to asking them to leave a piece of food that you have dropped on the floor or they have found whilst walking that might not be suitable for them to eat. It is useful not only for helping your dog to understand what is his or hers, but also useful in keeping them safe from ingesting harmful objects or food items.

STEP FOUR: Turn to face the bed and ‘send’ your dog back to the bed using the ‘go to bed’ command

Once back at your start position, turn to face the bed and continue to use the treat to guide your dog into the ‘sit’ position once again. Give the treat as you say the command to once more positively reward the action as your dog carries it out.

Next, walk your dog back to the bed whilst saying ‘go to bed’ as the dog advances towards the bed (and the tasty treat you have placed there!)

HOW TO PROGRESS

  1. As with teaching the ‘heel’ command, you want your dog to eventually be able to complete this off lead. Start by dropping the lead on the floor and sending your dog to their bed whilst saying ‘go to bed’. You could add a hand signal, such as pointing at the bed, at this stage to help your dog to understand.
  2. Complete this step with your dog off lead and say ‘go to bed’.

STEP FIVE: Allow your dog to find the treat, say their name so they turn towards you, and then ask them to sit whilst on the bed

After walking or sending your dog to their bed, allow them to find and eat the tasty treat you placed on the bed earlier. Next, call their name to get their attention and, using another treat if necessary, ask or guide them into the ‘sit’ position. They should now be sat on their bed and, as a result, they have completed ‘go to bed’ in it’s simplest form! Move to your dog’s side (so they don’t advance forwards and off the bed) and give them the tasty treat for sitting on the bed.

HOW TO PROGRESS

  1. After you are consistently able to achieve a ‘sit’ on the bed, use a treat start to guide your dog into the down position instead of asking them to sit on the bed. Say the word ‘down’ as they assume the correct position. Reward as before by the dog’s side rather than in front to encourage them to stay laying on their bed.
  2. Once your dog is confidently laying down on the bed each time you say down, increase the distance from which you ask them to assume this position. If your dog is doing well with this, increase your distance from them each time by a step or two. The eventual aim is that you will be able to say the command from the other side of the room and your dog respond appropriately! As before, always go back to your dog’s side at the end of the exercise to reward them with a treat for laying on their bed.

So there you have it, the five steps to teaching your dog to ‘go to bed’! Over time, the repetition of this training along with your clear giving of commands and timely rewarding of their actions in response should help your dog to understand exactly what you are asking of them.

Let me know if you give it a go!

Dogtor™ Adem
Top UK Dog Trainer and Behaviourist
Owner of Dog-ease Training
www.dog-ease.co.uk

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New Puppy Shopping List

You’re getting a puppy – congratulations! Bringing home a puppy is an extremely exciting experience, but it can also be pretty full on, as your new friend will require almost constant attention and care. To minimise the stress of not having the right things at hand when the dog is already in your home, make sure to tick off these puppy essentials before he or she moves in!

✔️ Crate

Many breeders will have crate trained the puppy from an early age, and most dog trainers recommend this method as a way of making the transition into a new home as smooth as possible.

The crate acts as an enclosed safe space for your puppy, a place they can return to when they are tired or worried, that they know is just theirs. The Fido Nook 2-in-1 Luxury Dog Crate and Bed is a great solution for this. Put the crate in the beautifully designed den, and make it nice and cosy for your dog. When the puppy is fully trained, you can decide if you want to remove the crate or keep it in. The Fido Nook is also available with a super convenient wardrobe where you can store all of your dog’s things in one handy place, and it looks great in any room of the house. 

Remember that puppies grow quickly, so get a crate that will also fit your pup when they are fully grown. 

✔️ Bed & Blanket

Growing puppies spend most of their days sleeping, so they will need a comfortable bed to rest on. The Omlet Bolster Beds have a memory foam mattress that will sculpt itself around the dog’s body, providing support and comfort after hours of play. As an added bonus the cover can be removed and is machine washable, so you don’t have to worry about puppy accidents or muddy paws.

Make sure you also provide your puppy with a super soft blanket to curl up on. Having a blanket in the crate means the puppy will associate it with home, and it can then be used as a comforter when you’re out and about seeing new sights and trying new things!

✔️ Food and bowls

You will probably have been given some instructions from the breeder on what to feed your puppy the first weeks, and it’s best to stick to this to avoid upsetting their delicate little tummies. After a while you can gradually start introducing the food you want to give your dog. Make sure it’s a high quality feed suitable for growing pups, like this one from Arden Grange that is packed with fresh chicken.

Get bowls for food and water in a suitable size that are deep enough to not create lots of mess, but stable enough to not tip over. It’s also a good idea to have a few travel sized bowls that you can bring on adventures.

✔️ Training treats

The key to a well behaved and well rounded dog is to encourage and enforce all good behaviours. Make sure you have plenty of small treats around to give your puppy when they are being a good boy or girl. The world can be rather intimidating for a small puppy who is learning new things, and knowing that you will provide them with praise and love – and a yummy treat – when they return to you will make the bond between you strong from the beginning. 

✔️ Chew toys

Puppies love to chew, and anyone who’s been around a puppy knows that those sharp teeth can do some damage, whether it’s on your sofa cushions or your favourite pair of leather boots. Give your pet some appropriate chew toys to ease the itch and blow off some steam. You might have to try a few to find one that’s the right size and hardness for your dog, so make sure you have a selection at hand. 

✔️ Collar & Lead

As soon as your puppy is ready to go out into the real world they will need a stylish collar to put their ID-tag on. We have plenty of different types in our shop, so you’re sure to find one that suits you and your new pet. Match with a lead or harness, from the simple and stylish Urban Pup leads to the luxurious soft leather leads from Cloud7

These are the most important things to get before you go to pick up your puppy and bring it home. You will probably find that there are plenty of other things that are useful to have, like grooming equipment, nail clippers, cleaning products, and even a dog jacket or a jumper, but the above essentials will see you through the first weeks with your new family member, without any emergency shopping trips! 

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The Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds

All dogs are smart. That’s because their ancestor, the wolf, is very clever, so dogs’ brains had a great starting point. Even the breeds fondly described as “lovably clueless” are still relatively clever compared to most other animals!

The question of why wolves, and therefore dogs, are clever is simple. They hunt, in packs, using various strategies including herding; and they live in hierarchies of ‘top dogs’, alphas, and various layers of underlings. All in all, it’s a complex business being a canine, and only a top-notch brain is going to succeed.

The cleverest domestic dogs, then, tend to be the ones that retain an element of ancestral wolf instincts. That instinct comes in two forms – the herders (including all the sheepdogs), and the out-and-out hunters.

What Makes a Clever Dog?

Being human, we tend to judge other animals on our terms. Therefore, dogs that respond well to human training and learn to be obedient are the ones we think of as super-smart. What this means is that those dogs that have been bred to rely on us, listen to us, and interact with us, seem to us more human in their responses. More independent breeds, or ones that will still run after a rabbit years after you first told them not to run away may be judged more harshly (step forward all Beagles and Foxhounds!)

Also, when it comes to brain power, it appears that size really does count. The large breeds are the ones with the greatest grey matter (with the exception of that diminutive genius the Papillon). This, again, is all down to breeding.

Many small dogs have genes associated with dwarfism (e.g. Pekingese, Shitzu, and Pug), and these tend to have small brains to match. Most of the other small dog breeds are terriers (such as Jack Russell or Scottie). These have been bred ‘down’ from larger versions – they are miniature large dogs, if you like. Like the rest of the dog, their brains are more miniature than small, if you see the subtle difference.

Bearing in mind all these considerations and complications, the breeds in the following list are widely agreed to be the top 10 Canine Einsteins.

Best in Breed, Brainwise

The dogs in this list, when properly trained and socialised, can take on board a new command after hearing it for just the fifth time (and we’re not sure there are many young kids who can do that!). In general, these dogs will obey at least 95 percent of the commands given to them.

The word you’re looking for here is “Wow!”

The list is in no particular order, but the first three breeds mentioned are often credited with being the best of the bunch, when woof comes to shove.

  1. German Shepherd
  2. Border Collie
  3. Poodle
  4. Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher
  6. Labrador Retriever
  7. Papillon
  8. Rottweiler
  9. Shetland Sheepdog
  10. Australian Cattle Dog

Almost all the herding breeds are nudging the top ten. The Belgian Tervurens, Bernese Mountain Dog and – perhaps surprisingly, given its size – the Pembroke Welsh Corgi deserve special mention. Away from the herding breeds, the Bloodhound and the Alaskan Husky have amazing brains too.

And it’s not all about purebreds. Your Labradoodle or Cockapoo could well be every bit as bright as the dogs in our top 10 list. A mixed breed dog whose ancestry isn’t obvious from appearance may also be a bit of a doggy genius.

As we said earlier, dogs are all clever. Full stop.

Which Wolf?

Returning to the smart brains of those ancestral wolves mentioned earlier, science recently stumbled upon an intriguing fact. Genetic analysis of domestic dogs and Eurasian and American wolves came up with some dog genes that are not present in the modern wolf. This has led biologists to conclude that man’s best friend is so old that it was actually developed from a now-extinct wolf species. Perhaps something like the Dire wolves (of Game of Thrones fame).

So take another look at your incredibly clever pet dogs. There’s a lot more to them than meets the eye!

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How to incorporate your dog’s bed in your home interior

Ever feel like your dog’s bed is just ‘plonked’ at the side of the room, standing out like a sore thumb? Or do you put their bed out of sight so as to not ruin your home’s interior style?

This needn’t be the case. It’s actually very easy to incorporate your dog’s bed into any room, like it’s part of the furniture. 

Utilise the space above your dog’s bed

If your dog’s bed is positioned near a walkway they could be regularly disturbed by people walking past and even tripping over them. Building up around your dog’s bed can ensure they have an enclosed space which is safe and secure from knocks and spills, while also allowing you to make the most of the wasted space that is usually above a dog’s bed.

You can easily utilise the space above the bed better by installing shelves or coat hooks, however, this doesn’t protect your dog from passer’s by accidentally standing on the corner of their bed or knocking them with the hoover. Installing a complete unit which completely encloses your dog’s bed with walls like a den, while also raising the bed off the ground is much more effective and beneficial to your pet. 

The Fido Nook Luxury Dog House does just that. The stylish piece of furniture complements your home while also providing a cosy space for your dog’s bed. The top of the Nook is an ideal surface for decorative or functional items such as plant pots, candles, photo frames and key bowls, and it is also available with an integrated wardrobe, perfect for storage of all your dog’s favourite things, including treats, toys, collars, leads and more. You can even accessorise the wardrobe with a sweet clothes rail and mirror to really make your dog’s new home their own. 

Match your dog’s bed to your soft furnishings

If it’s the look of your dog’s bed that is putting you off placing it pride of place in your lounge, kitchen or bedroom, it might be time to upgrade to a more stylish bed that matches your own sofa, bed sheets and cushions. 

Plus, dog beds are naturally prone to getting very hairy, dutty, muddy and smelly. You can be forgiven for preferring to hide that from visitors to your home. A bed with a removable and washable cover allows you to keep the bed smelling fresh and looking as good as new, all the time. 

The new Bolster Beds from Omlet are available in 3 stylish colours, with a subtle, woven, diamond geometric pattern, to suit all homes. The grey is the most simple and classic of the colours, while still being super stylish, guaranteed to fit in any home interior. The rich, forest green is perfect if you like a subtle hue, in your warm toned interior, while the vibrant, rose pink will be a hit with any lover of colour! 

Add the new Luxury Super Soft Blanket for extra comfort for your dog. 

A stylish upgrade

If you’re already happy with the positioning and look of your dog’s bed, but want something to tie it in with your home interior and really make it part of the room, why not give it a stylish upgrade with the Fido Sofa Frame? Available in 2 sizes to suit most beds, the Fido Sofa Frame turns any dog bed into a contemporary piece of furniture that blends into any room. 

Plus, it is effective in raising your dog’s bed off the ground; reducing disturbances and draughts for your pet. 

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This entry was posted in Dogs


Why Do Some Animals Have Paws?

Have you ever looked at your pets’ paws and wondered why? Why don’t they have hands and fingers like us? The answer dates back thousands of years and is the result of our pets’ ancestors adapting to the independent and wild lives they once lived in an environment which was very different to your safe, warm home. 

The History of the Paw

Before our pets were domesticated, they had to defend themselves to stay alive while hunting for their own food. Many of the traits that helped them do that haven’t changed, staying with the species’ throughout evolution. This includes the paw

Dogs and cats are the main paw-ed animals that may come to mind. But before we had house cats and dogs, there were generations of wild cats and wolves. The purpose of the paw is largely related to sound and shock absorption. The fatty tissue inside the pads helps animals jump and land without pain or noise, especially helpful for silently hunting prey in the wild while protecting limbs from impact. 

A dog's paw pad

The paw pads are also much rougher when the animal is subject to extreme surfaces day in, day out. This assists with grip in treacherous or slippery conditions, working in a similar way to human shoes. For our domestic pets, the paw pads are often much smoother as conditions are easier underfoot. Some dog breeds still have webbed feet to help them swim, an adaptation that wolves passed on and still benefit from.

While paws are well adapted for walking and jumping around, debris can sometimes get stuck in the paw pads and cause pain. If you spot your pet chewing at their paw or limping and lifting it off the ground, carefully check their paw pad for any stones or splinters that may need removing. If your rabbit or guinea pigs paws look sore it could be a sign that their bedding is too scratchy. 

What can the paw tell us?

Did you know, that some animals use their paw pads to keep cool and release sweat? So damp paw prints could mean your pet needs some help cooling down.

Pet’s paws can sometimes tell us a little bit about how they are feeling, too. For example, cats will knead blankets, beds, pillows and even humans with their paws when they are feeling happy and content. There’s lots of reasons why this may be; it might remind them of nursing from their Mother, they could be trying to create a cosy spot to sleep, or they could be using the scent glands in their paw pads to mark their territory. 

Have you also noticed your cat doesn’t like their paws to be touched? This is because the pads are extremely sensitive to touch, but some cats can be trained to tolerate their paws being touched, often easier if done from a young age, so if your cat does let you touch their paws it could be a sign of trust. 

More info here and here.

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This entry was posted in Cats


Do Pets Experience Heartbreak?

There is something very arrogant in assuming that only humans can experience deep emotions. We’ve all seen our pets excited and happy, and we also come to recognise when they’re sad. In other words, they experience feelings.

Sorrow in an animal is different from fear or anxiety. The latter things are brought on by stress, resulting from poor environment, poor diet, scary neighbours, cruel owners, or countless other factors that can make animals feel exposed or in danger.

Heartbreak, as any person who has experienced it knows, is something very different. It results from bereavement, or other forms of fundamental loss. Scientists are often eager to point out that we can never prove an animal feels these emotions. But many owners have seen it for themselves and have no doubt at all.

What Makes Dogs Sad?

A pet may become distressed if a certain person or a longstanding companion of the same species is no longer around – but only if that person or pet was one that the animal had completely bonded with.

A family dog will have a relationship with all the human members of its family, but there will usually be one favourite – an Alpha male or Alpha Female, if you like. Although the dog may miss the others, it is on this favourite, its main owner, that its affections will be focused.

If such a person leaves the household, for whatever reason, the dog’s first reaction will be one of separation anxiety. It will pine and lose its interest in things such as food, games and walks. Loss of appetite can lead to liver problems in a relatively short time, so keep an eye on the situation and be ready to turn to a vet for help.

The dog may also whine and cry more than usual, and may start to lick and chew household items, or its own fur or paws. Many grieving dogs find it hard sleeping, and will sit and whine by a door, or may simply go into hiding.

A lot depends on the breed, and on the individual animal too. But many dogs can certainly be classed as heartbroken in these situations. The grieving will last for several weeks, even months.

Time will cure the heartache, but in the meantime you can help by making sure the pet continues to have walks in its favourite places. If the dog enjoys staying in kennels, a short break there is a possibility too. You could also consider employing a dog walker, to give your pet a change of routine. Don’t be afraid to be more generous than usual with the snacks, treats and toys, too.

What Makes Cats Sad?

Cats can be harder to read than dogs. They will tend to lay low, hiding away more than usual. Some will become more vocal, mewing and crying for their lost friend. Many will lose their appetites, sleep less, and may even run away for days at a time.

Like dogs, a cat that stops eating can develop potentially fatal liver disease, so early intervention by a vet is recommended.

Many, however, soon transfer their main affections to another member of the household. Other, more independent cats seem to readjust without any problem.

What Makes Other Pets Sad?

Small mammals don’t appear to grieve when their owners disappear from their lives. But many will revert to a natural nervousness if they are no longer being handled and fed by their best friend. Someone else needs to step up and become the pet’s favourite.

Pet parrots who have bonded with a partner or owner are known to grieve the loss of a loved one, whether a fellow bird or a human. Loss of appetite and listlessness are the usual signs. Someone needs to keep up the contact and interaction, to ease these highly intelligent birds into their new lives.

The problem does not usually arise if the birds are kept in an open aviary setting. Smaller parrots such as budgies and lovebirds don’t seem to miss their human friends so intensely either, although they will certainly grieve if their feathered best friend disappears.

The Grieving Process

Above all, try to be upbeat and affectionate with the grieving animal. Pets pick up on our moods with an almost supernatural skill, so if we’re very sad, they may mirror our feelings. Again, this might be a good time to bring in friends or relatives more able to put on a happy face for the sake of the heartbroken pet.

Most pets will, with time, move on. Some older pets may never entirely recover. In all circumstances involving loss, all an owner can do is care for the animal as it readjusts to changed circumstances.

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This entry was posted in Cats