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Category Archives: Pet Advice

Why Your Dog Needs Its Own Doggy Den

We all have our bolt holes – that little space in the home with our personal stamp on it. It might be a bedroom, a hot bath, a study, a garden shed, or just a comfy chair. The important thing is that it comes with an unwritten message: Do Not Disturb.

Dogs are no different. When the stress levels rise, or when the busy day demands some down time, they need a den, a cosy corner that they can call their own.

 

Why the Crate is Great

Many dog owners don’t consider buying a crate. This is a missed opportunity, as crate training sets up a young dog for life. It gives your pet an appropriate sense of territory and personal space, and speeds up toilet training.

A crate also acts as a cosy corner and personal space. It’s important to realise how easily a dog can become uncomfortable in the home. Some are more panicky than others, but all dogs will experience some level of anxiety when unexpected things happen.

This can include loud noises, changes in routine or the sudden arrival of strangers. The brains of dogs and humans alike react to undesirable situations by flooding the body with the “fight or flight” stress hormone cortisol. A constant flood of cortisol has a negative effect on an animal’s health; while opting for “fight” rather than “flight” has obvious hazards all dog owners want to avoid.

A crate provides the “flight” option – somewhere to run to and escape the source of anxiety.

How to Spot the Signs of Stress

Humans communicate stress easily. Dogs do the same, but mainly through body language. Here’s what to look out for:

  • The stress yawn – sometimes accompanied with a whine
  • Panting for no obvious reason
  • Growling
  • “Cringing”, with tail low or tucked between the legs
  • Stiff body posture
  • Ears pulled and held flat against the head
  • Turning away and avoiding eye contact.

Part of the Furniture

The crate alone won’t stop your dog woofing at loud noises and growling at strangers. He will need training sessions too. Without these, he might simply run to the bolt hole and continue to bark.

Combined with training and desensitising, though, a crate can be a real life saver. But that doesn’t alter the fact that a great big cage plonked in the living room isn’t necessarily going to blend in with the rest of your décor.

It was this tension between the necessity of a crate and its intrinsic ugliness that inspired us to design the Fido Nook. It’s a piece of stylish furniture, complete with a wardrobe section for doggy bits and pieces, into which a crate can be placed. With the crate removed, the Fido Nook is still a lovely piece of furniture, and, more importantly, provides a comfy kennel space – your dog’s own special home within the home.

The Fido Nook will de-stress your dog in style. Bolt holes have never looked so good!

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Help your cat lose weight!

Did you know that it is becoming more and more common for our pets to become overweight.

Overweight cats are at a greater risk of developing serious problems, like cardiac diseases, cancer, diabetes and arthritis. Obesity is normally caused by the cat’s sedentary lifestyle in combination with over-feeding and too many treats.

Helping your overweight cat lose weight is the best thing you can do to improve their general well being and make sure they live a long and happy life!
It is not always straightforward to tell if your cat is overweight, especially if they have long hair and are of a generally stockier breed, but a healthy cat should have a well-proportioned body with a defined waist and neck. You should be able to easily feel your cat’s ribs and hip bone, and it should have minimal abdominal fat. You can also do a search for ideal weight for the breed of cat you’ve got and compare it to the weight of your cat. If your cat is 15% over the normal weight it is seen as overweight.

If you’re unsure about whether or not you need to put your cat on a diet you can always consult with your vet.

It is generally always good to have a chat with your vet before you make any changes to your cat’s diet, as weight gain could actually be caused by an underlying health problem, rather than over-eating.

If you have decided that your cat needs to lose weight, have a look at our best tips:

Control calorie intake

Look for canned, high quality, meat-based, and highly digestible food to give your cat. Canned or raw food contain a large percentage of water, which can help a cat feel full on fewer calories, and also allows you to control how much food you give your cat every day. Canned wet food is also better than dry food, as it does not allow the cat to nibble on food throughout the day and eating just for sake of eating rather than because they are hungry.

Measure out how much food you’re going to give the cat in a day, and make sure you stick to it. Dividing the food into smaller and more frequent meals can help if you feel your cat is struggling with hunger, but keep track of what and how much you are giving them. If you’ve got more than one cat it might be worth trying to feed the overweight cat separately to stop him or her stealing food from the others.

Limit the treats

Get rid of all high-calorie treats and titbits, and make sure everyone in the family knows the rules! It might seem unfair to completely stop giving your cat treats, but the nicest thing you can do for them at this stage is to help them lose weight.

Try substituting treats with a nice cuddle or a toy, as most cat will respond just as well to the attention. If you still feel like you want to treat your cat with something edible, look for low-calorie treats in your local pet shop, or give the cat healthy nibbles, like a piece of broccoli or green beans.

Don’t hurry

Weight loss should be done slowly and steadily to reduce the risk of several health issues, like fatty liver disease. The cat should not lose more than 3-4% of their total body weight per month.

If you are changing the cat’s diet, make sure you do this gradually to not upset the stomach. Substitute more and more of the old food with your new, healthier choice every day, or reduce the amount of food little bit little, until you have reached the desirable level.

Play more

Introducing new toys and games into your cat’s life can not only decrease boredom, help cats bond with each other and their owners, and improve agility and coordination, but will also help your cat lose weight. The increased movement will burn calories, and take the cat’s mind off eating.

Try to find out what types of toys your cat likes, and switch them around every now and then to make sure the cat doesn’t get bored. Different cats like different toys, but feathers and catnip-infused toys will be a hit with most! Make up games that forces the cat to move around and use their whole body, like searching for hidden things or chasing toys.

Try walking your cat on a leash

Although some cats absolutely hate going for a walk on a leash, others will really enjoy it, as they get fresh air and are able to spend time with their favourite human. Let the cat get used to the harness at home, and start with a short walk in the garden or around the block. If that works you can increase the distance gradually.

Don’t worry if it proves a real challenge – some cats will never accept the leash, and you should not force them, but if you’re able to take the cat for a walk once a day it can be a great way of exercising (for both you and your cat).

Add dietary supplements to your cat’s diet

Depending on what food you are giving your cat as part of his or her new diet, they might not be getting enough of the nutrients they need to stay healthy and active. Check the new feeding routine with your vet, and they can recommend supplements that might be good for your cat, such as Omega 3 or multivitamins.

Create an exciting and enriching environment for your cats

You want to make sure that your cats are encouraged to move around in the home even when you’re not there to play with them. Give them scratching trees, climbing posts and stimulating toys, both to prevent boredom and make sure they stay active.

If you’ve got an indoor cat, you might want to consider giving your cats the possibility to play outside in a run.

Help with grooming

This is not so much a tip as a general thing to think about. Overweight cats can sometimes struggle to keep their fur nice and tidy, as they might not have the mobility to reach everywhere. While you’re helping your cat lose weight, make sure to stay on top of grooming!

Click here to view our cat toys, scratching posts and cat grooming accessories

 

 

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12 Interesting Facts About Hamsters

1)

Hamsters are rodents from the subfamily Cricetinae. They were brought to the United States from Syria in 1936

2)

There are approximately 25 species of hamster. There are 4 basic breeds of hamsters, namely the Syrian, Russian Dwarf, Chinese and Roborovski hamsters

3)

Hamster comes from the German word hamstern,” which means “to hoard.” Even domesticated hamsters will hoard, despite the fact that they don’t need to.

4)

After hamsters are born, it’s nearly two weeks before they’ll open their eyes.

5)

Hamsters do not have good eyesight, they are nearsighted and also colour-blind.

6)
Hamsters rely on scent to find their way. They have scent glands which they rub on objects along a path.
7)

Syrian hamsters live 2 – 3 years in captivity, and less in the wild. Other popular pet types such as Russian dwarf hamsters live about 2- 4 years in captivity.

8)
Hamsters range in size from the largest breed, the European hamster at 13.4 in (34 cm) long, to the smallest, the dwarf hamster at 2 – 4 in (5.5 – 10.5 cm) long.
9)

Hamsters’ incisor teeth never stop growing and they have a ‘self-sharpening’ system where the incisors grind against each other while gnawing, which wears the teeth down.

10)

Hamsters breed in the spring & summer and will produce several litters per year. The average litter size is around 7 pups (babies), however, it is possible for some hamsters to have up to 24 in one litter!

11)
Hamsters have large cheeks in which they carry food back to their burrows. Full pouches can make their heads double or sometimes triple in size!
12)

The typical hamster diet consists of seeds, nuts, grained, cracked corn, and certain kinds of fruits and vegetables. Hamsters in the wild may eat other small animals like lizards and frogs, but not pet hamsters!

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Top Tips When Taking Your Dog To The Beach!

Many of us would agree that there are few things nicer on a hot summer’s day than a trip to the beach, and as long as you come prepared there is no reason to leave your pooch at home. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for dogs, and you can stay as long as you like without having to worry about getting home to let the dog out!

There are however a few things you need to do before you leave, and some things that are good to know when it comes to dogs and the beach. Here are our best tips for a successful outing!

 

Find a dog-friendly beach

Dogs are not always allowed on public beaches, but there is normally an area close-by where you can take your dog. Search for a dog-friendly beach nearby, read up on the rules, and make sure you follow them!

Keep an eye on your dog

Even if you’re at a dog-friendly beach you must always keep an eye on your dog, and show consideration to the other beach goers and dog owners. No one appreciates being sprayed with water from a wet dog as they’re relaxing with a good book! If you’re not absolutely sure your dog will come when you call or stay close to you, it might be best to keep it on the lead. Omlet stocks several leads in different lengths so that you can adjust how far the dog will be allowed to wander.

You also have to make sure your dog stays safe at the beach. Dogs are amazing at finding things in the sand that might not be good for them, everything from leftover barbecue ingredients to rotting fish. Glass, sharp shells, or even old fish hooks may hide in the sand, and can hurt your dog’s precious paws.

 

Teach your dog to swim

Many believe that all dogs know how to swim, but that is not the case. Even if all dogs will automatically paddle their feet if you put them in the water, there are several dog breeds that aren’t built to stay floating. Breeds with large heads and short legs will struggle to keep their head over the surface to breathe. If your dog seems to love swimming but you’re not completely sure about their ability, it might be a good idea to invest in a doggy life jacket.

That being said, there are lots of dogs that don’t really enjoy the water, or who will be perfectly happy running around in the shallow parts where they don’t have to swim. Never force a dog to come swimming with you!

Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, it’s important for you as an owner to keep an eye on them as they’re out in the water. Make sure you stay informed about currents in the water, and don’t let the dog in if there are high waves or lots of boats or jet skis around. Dogs can easily get too excited in the water and swim out into deep waters, where the current might be much stronger. You also have to supervise dogs playing and swimming with children.

Come prepared

Make sure you pack everything you need for a day at the beach. Dogs will need plenty of fresh water, so get enough for the whole family. It’s a good idea to have a collapsible water bowl, so you don’t have to make your dog drink straight from the bottle. This way you can also keep track of how much water the dog has actually had.

Bring toys that will entertain your dog throughout the day. If you’re able to throw balls or other toys down the beach, that is a perfect activity that will entertain your dogs, and give it a good amount of exercise. Just make sure the toys float if they end up in the water.

If you’re staying at the beach for a few hours, or maybe even the whole day, it’s important to make sure the dog can get some shade. If you’re not sure whether there are shaded areas where you’re going or not, bring a parasol or a small beach tent where the dog can relax during the hottest hours of the day.

Before you leave

Make sure you leave nothing behind, and clean up after yourself and your dog!

If there are taps or beach showers where you are, you might want to rinse your dog before you leave for the day. Salt can cause irritation to the dog’s skin, and sand can get in their eyes as they’re trying to get rid of it from their faces, which can cause eye infections and lots of discomfort. The dog will probably also have been exposed to plenty of dirt and bacteria during all the exploring.

If you can’t find any fresh water at the beach, it might be a good idea to scrub your dog with a towel before you get in the car (maybe mainly to not end up with a desert in the boot), and then give him or her a quick bath when you get home.

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7 Ways to Help Your Chickens Stay Cool This Summer

En flok høns nyder at gå i det grønne sommergræs

Did you know that chickens can’t sweat? Instead, chickens use their legs, combs and wattles to lead heat away from their bodies. They also pant and spread their wings in order to get some air through those feathers. Chickens also enjoy lying down in the shade when it’s very hot, and of course they drink lots of water. Did you know that it is actually easier for chickens to keep themselves warm in winter than it is for them to cool down during the summer? It isn’t just an issue of comfort either – chickens can die of heatstroke. Since chickens have a hard time cooling themselves down, when it gets extremely hot they rely on you to help them. So, what can you do to help your chickens keep cool in the summer heat?

Here are our 7 top tips:

1) WaterEn flok høns drikker vand af et Eglu Cube vandtrug

Eggs consist mainly of water, so producing an egg absorbs a lot of water from a hen’s body. Drinking cool water is also one of the main ways in which chickens cool themselves down. Your chickens will therefore need lots of fresh, clean and cool water in the heat of the summer. It’s best to change the water every day to make sure they have this. It is also a good idea to provide several water sources so all your chickens can drink at the same time and don’t have to fight for access and end up dehydrating.

Another way you can use water to help your chickens cool down is by providing some shallow pools where they can dip and cool their feet and legs, remember that this is one of the areas where heat leaves their bodies. Try filling some shallow bowls or tubs and leaving them around in the run or your garden. If your chickens don’t like to stand directly in the water you can try placing a brick in there which will be cooled by the water and which the chickens can then stand on top of.

 

Eglu Cube hønsehuset er hævet over jorden

2) Shade

It is absolutely essential to provide shade for your chickens and even more so when it gets really hot. If you let your chickens free-range in the garden they might be able to find shade under trees and bushes but in any case it is a good idea to provide shade in the run as well. You can easily create shady spots in the run for instance by having a raised coop and/or attaching covers to the run.

 

 

 

3) Treats and FeedingHøns elsker vandmelon

Try giving you hens some cool treats such as frozen berries, vegetables or pieces of fruit. You could even create hanging treats by freezing your chickens’ favourite treats in an ice cube tray with a string in the middle so they can hang in the run. Or try keeping a whole watermelon in the fridge to cool it down before serving as a summery treat.

Be careful not to give your chickens too many treat though, as you want to make sure they eat their layers pellets. Chickens eat less when it’s extremely hot because digestion produces more body heat, so it’s important to make sure they eat the right things and get the vitamins and minerals they need. Try feeding your chickens during the cooler parts of the day such as in the evening. See tip #4 as well.

 

 

En høne har fundet sig det perfekte støvbad - i blomsterbedet

4) Nutritional Supplements

It is a good idea to give your hens some nutritional supplements in the heat such as vitamins and tonics which can be added directly to their food or water. These can improve absorption of minerals, give your chickens a boost to improve their overall health and help them cope better with the heat.

Apple cider vinegar, for instance, can help with calcium absorption in the body which is essential for egg shell production.

 

5) Dust Baths

Chickens love to dust bathe in the warm weather, but you might not want them scraping around in your flower beds. The best thing to do is to build another flower bed (but not for your flowers) and fill it with some sand, soil and some louse powder. If you have a large flock you might even want to provide several spaces so all your chickens have a chance to dust bathe in the shade.
Make sure that you place the dust bath in a sheltered spot or cover it up when your chickens aren’t using it otherwise the rain might turn it into a mud bath.

 

Tre høns leder efter lækkerier i haven6) Space

Your chickens will need plenty of space during the hot summer months so make sure they aren’t overcrowded. It will be even hotter for them if they are crowded too closely together. Chickens need to be able to spread out and spread their wings for ventilation, and everyone in the flock needs to be able to drink cool water and lie in the shade at any time.

 

7) Cool Coop

All Omlet Eglu chicken coops have a unique twin-wall insulation system which works in a similar way to double glazing. This means they do not overheat in the summer. They are also built with a draught-free ventilation system, carefully designed to avoid air blowing directly over the roosting area whilst allowing fresh air to circulate.

If you have a wooden chicken coop, it is important to think about how you can keep the coop nice and cool for your chickens. Make sure you create plenty of ventilation either by opening windows in the coop or by using a fan. Be careful not to have too much thick and heavy bedding as it absorbs heat. Also keep an eye out for mould if you’ve got a wooden coop. Mould can make straw and hay start to rot faster, thereby producing more heat, so make sure you clean out the coop regularly and especially at any signs of mould.

If your chickens are reluctant to go into the hot coop during the day to lay their eggs you could try providing nesting boxes for them outside in cooler, shaded areas.

We wish you and your chickens a lovely summer!

Sources: https://www.fresheggsdaily.com, http://www.henrescue.org, https://www.omlet.dk, https://www.backyardchickens.com

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Fascinating Rabbit Facts!

1)

Rabbit teeth never stop growing and it is very important to keep a regular check on them. Rabbits have 28 teeth. Some signs of overgrown teeth are lack of appetite, listlessness and weight loss. Always seek expert advice about this.

2)

Rabbits live for between 4 – 8 years. Giant Rabbits generally live shorter lives – approx 4 -5 years. Dwarf breeds have a longer life span and can live for as long as eight years and in some rare cases, it has been documented, for even longer. 

3)

Rabbits’ eyes are on the sides of the head, giving them excellent vision all the way around, with a small blind spot at the point directly in front of them and directly behind them. As prey animals, this trait enables them to keep a lookout for predators.

4)

Rabbits cannot sweat. They release heat over their body surface, especially the ears.

5)

Rabbits have 5 toes on each front paw and 4 toes on each hind paw, so 18 total.

6)

A Rabbit’s pregnancy lasts 28-31 days and an average litter has 6-10 babies.

7)
A female Rabbit is called a doe
A male Rabbit is called a buck.
A young Rabbit is called a kit (or kitten)
8)
Baby Rabbits are born with their eyes closed, and the eyes do not begin to open until around the age of two weeks old.
9)

More than half of the world’s rabbits live in North America.

10)

Rabbits are crepuscular which means they snooze all day and are most active in the early morning and in the evening.

11)

When a rabbit is very happy, it jumps up into the air, twisting and flicking its feet and head. This movement is known as a binky!

12)

Rabbits chew 120 times a minute and have over 17,000 taste buds.

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Dogs and Hay Fever

DOGS AND HAY FEVER

Hay fever is a type of inflammation which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. Hay fever (or Allergic rhinitis) is typically triggered by environmental allergens such as pollen, pet hair, dust or mold. The condition can make feel people who are prone to it feel really miserable. But did you know dogs (and cats) can suffer from hay fever too? However, their immune systems are not the same as ours, so sneezing and runny noses aren’t usually the presenting symptoms. Pets with hay fever are often very itchy all over their bodies. The most commonly affected areas of the skin include the armpits, the groin, the base of the tail, the feet and the sides of the face. Signs of canine hay fever involve:

• Itching and scratching

• Bold spots

• Rash on the face and paws

• Redness

• Ear infections

• Scabs and lumps in the skin

Hay fever is a seasonal allergy, so the greatest problems will be during the summer and early fall. Some dog breeds seem to be particularly prone to hay fever, including terriers, poodles, schnauzers and the Dalmatian. Like humans, dogs can develop hay fever at any age although symptoms often begin when dogs are 1 to 3 years old. It can be difficult to figure out what’s causing your dog’s allergies, since the symptoms of hay fever are similar to many other things. Your vet can do allergy testing to identify if hay fever is indeed causing the problem.

 

CAN CANINE HAY FEVER BE TREATED?

With hay fever it’s not possible to remove the source of the allergy and unfortunately there is no cure for it. But there are a few things you can do for your dog to make him feel better:

Keep your dog indoors as much as possible on days when pollen counts are high, especially on windy days.

Wash your dog’s bedding weekly with hot water and vacuum regularly to remove the pollen your dog picked up during walks.

Choose the areas where you walk your dog carefully, keeping him away from longer grass and vegetation.

Wipe your dog’s coat over with a damp towel immediately after a walk to remove any pollen. Start with the face and end with the legs and paws (your dog may have been running on grass, coming into direct contact with pollen).

Boost your dog’s immune system. By improving the general health of your dog allergic reactions can be helped. Make sure your dog has a healthy weight and a balanced diet.

Give your dog oatmeal baths frequently to sooth the skin and remove pollen. Oatmeal can give your dog temporarily relief from dry and itchy skin. Just poor one cup crushed whole oatmeal in a tub and stir. You can also use an oatmeal shampoo for dogs or other shampoo’s designed to reduce skin problems (although not so frequently that it dries out the skin).

For the rare cases where pollen allergy does provoke sneezing and runny eyes, eye and nose drops supplied by the vet can be effective.

 

If none of the mentioned treatments prove effective, your dog might be a candidate for hay fever medication or allergy shots. Consult your vet for further information.

sources: www.vetinfo.com, www.pets4homes.co.uk, www.kingsteigntonvetgroup.co.uk, www.selfselectionforanimals.co.uk

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Prevent and combat Red Mite

A familiar problem for backyard chicken keepers and commercial enterprises for laying hens, is infestation of the birds’ environment with Dermanyssus gallinae, also known as red (poultry) mites. Compared to other poultry parasites such as fowl ticks, lice and flies, mites are by far the most common, most destructive and difficult to remove. Red mites are nocturnal parasites and hide themselves in all kinds of gaps and cracks during the daytime. This makes the treatment of red mites harder and more complicated.

 

SIGNS AND DIAGNOSIS

Red mites are up to 1mm in size. The title “Red” has been given to this mite as it turns from grey to red after it has a blood feed. Once the infestation becomes significant, your chickens will become anaemic. Their wattles and the combs will start looking pale and their egg production will drop significantly. Red mites also cause skin irritation, feather pecking, weight loss and restlessness in the flock. Because of the mites your chickens will probably be reluctant to go to bed, because that’s where the mites are!

When checking your chicken coop for red mites, check the perch’s at the end and cracks and crevices. An even easier way to check is to run a white paper towel underneath the perches at night. If there are red mites, at this time they will be on the underside on the perch after feeding on your chickens and you will be able to see red streaks on your paper towel.

 

PREVENTION

Prevention is always better than cure. But this is not always that simple. Wild birds or new chickens can transmit red mites to your coop. It’s a good idea to check for red mite routinely when you clean your chicken coop and use some preventative treatment to the coop. For example, you can use Diatomaceous earth as part of the weekly clean (DE is a 100% natural powder which dehydrates parasites it comes into contact with). All types of chicken coops can get red mite, however wooden coops tend to suffer from infestations the most.

Unfortunately red mites can survive for up to 10 months in an empty hen house, so leaving a coop empty for a while doesn’t usually fix the problem. Choosing your housing carefully can help prevent infestations. Omlet’s Eglu chicken coops are made from plastic which makes it very difficult for red mites to make a home. And in the event that there is a Red mite infestation, they are quick and easy to clean. A quick blast with a pressure washer should do the trick.

 

TREATMENT

1) Cleaning

If you find lots of red mite in the coop, it’s time for a big clean up. The initial clean out will take a couple of hours for wooden coops, with a plastic coop it will take less time. Remove all birds from the house and strip the house down as much as possible. If you have a felt roof you will need to remove this and have your coop re-felted.

2) Mite disinfectant detergent

Mix a mite disinfectant detergent (such as Smite Professional Disinfectant 1 Litre Concentrate or Barrier Red Mite X 500ml Concentrate) with water (using the manufacturer’s guidelines). Apply this to the coop ensuring you get it in the cracks and crevices, concentrating where there are perch ends and concentrations of red mite. Leave for 15-20 minutes.

3) High pressure hose

Use a hose (preferably high pressure) to hose down the coop and the parts. Try to get in every nook and cranny as this is where the mites like to live. Leave for 10-15 minutes to dry. After this you will most probably see more mites, which have been disturbed, crawling out. Repeat this process until there are very few mites emerging after each wash.

4) UV

Leave the house to thoroughly dry. It’s ideal to do the initial clean on a sunny day as the UV can kill some bacteria and will dry the house quicker. Put the coop back together and add bedding (dispose the old bedding in a plastic bag in a bin as the red mites will happily find somewhere else to live).

5) Red mite powder

Sprinkle the whole coop and your chickens with a red mite powder. Ensure you rub the powder onto the perches so any remaining mites will have to crawl through it to reach your chickens. Omlet stocks a large range of red mite powders and diatom powders to deal with red mite infestations.

6) Repeat red mite powder treatment

Re-apply the red mite powder every couple of days or when it has rubbed of. Red mite are only active during mild weather, so in the UK the red mite season usually falls between May and October. During the fall and winter, the mites become dormant and do not feed. But this doesn’t per se mean they are gone…

Sources: www.omlet.co.uk, www.poultryworld.net, www.accidentalsmallholder.net, www.wikivet.net, www.poultrykeeper.com

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Crate Training Tips

Why Crate Train?

It’s very common for people to assume that crate training is cruel and that dogs don’t like small spaces, but it has been shown that dogs love a calm, safe place that they can rest in and call their own. A dog crate offers a place to train as well as a place to sleep at night. It offers security from loud noises like fireworks and thunder, and a place to snooze after a long and tiring walk.
Crate training is an important process in your dog’s life, and is really helpful with toilet training your dog, so you’ll want to make the experience enjoyable for both you and your pet. The key thing is to make sure that your friend is happy and comfortable in their crate. There are a number of things that you can do to reinforce the idea that this is a nice, safe space for your dog to be in.

 

Here’s 7 reasons why crate training is important for a new puppy:

Security:
Appeals to a dog’s instinctual desire for a den-like structure.
Self-confidence
Sets a puppy up for success by reducing wee and poop accidents.
Self-reliance
Prepares a pup for handling alone time.
Privacy
Serves as a time-out device for pups and owners needing breaks.

 

Behavioural Health 
Discourages and reduces separation anxiety in many cases.
Practicality 
Gets pups used to confinement that may be required at the vet’s, the groomer’s and during car trips.
Transport Device 
Contains a pup if he is injured and his mobility must be limited.

Make crate training an enjoyable experience

  • Create a positive association with the crate using food and treats. Start feeding your dog near to the crate, and perhaps even put treats in the bedding. This way the idea of food, which is positive, will be associated with the crate.
  • Use a blanket. Covering the top of the cage will give it a more solid, den-like appearance, and may make some dogs more comfortable with using it.
  • Crate train slowly. You need to be patient with your pet, as this can be a bit of a difficult concept for them to grasp. If you rush training, it’s unlikely to stick, and this can create frustration for the pair of you.

You can secure a traditional dog crate in the Fido Nook when you are puppy training. Using the innovative quick release lock you can remove the dog crate whenever you want to transform the Fido Nook into the ultimate luxury dog kennel.

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Heading On A Roadtrip With Your Dog? Check Out These Top Tips….

  • It is always best to crate your dogs when travelling in a car so that they are secure and wont be at risk of injury if you break sharply or are involved in an accident. It also means they are not a distraction to you as the driver making it a much safer journey for everyone.
  • Make sure your dog is crate trained before you first want to take them on a trip. Some dogs find journeys stressful, you don’t want to increase this stress by putting them in a crate for the first time and then putting them in a moving vehicle.
  • A crate shouldn’t be used as a form of punishment, positive reinforcement will encourage your dogs to use the crate with ease. Never force them to go in their crate, leave the door open and let them go into the crate by themselves.

  • Make sure you take them on a long walk before you are heading off on a trip, this way you will tire out your pups and they will more likely want to rest once they’re in the car, this also prevents accidents happening.
  • That being said make sure you plan stops en route at least every 2 hours to allow them the opportunity to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom.
  • When you do stop, remember not to leave your dog in a parked car, you’d be surprised how quickly your car can become very hot and will leave your dog dehydrated which is potentially fatal, never risk it.
  • Make sure you have the right sized crate for your dog. Omlet Fido Classic Crates are available in 24, 30 and 36 inches, with optional accessories such as water bowls and beds.

  • It’s a nice idea to sometimes bring your dogs favourite blanket or toy to relax them and keep them calm.
  • Make sure your dog is microchipped before you set off, also carry a recent photo of them just in case you become separated.
  • Test the water with a few short drives prior to your big trip, get them used to the car and they should become less anxious.
  • Make a list of all your packing essentials such as the food/water bowl, wipes, waste bags, ID tags, collar, leash etc.
  • Feed them at least 3 hours before you intend on travelling to prevent them feeling sick, if it’s a very long journey feed them some light snacks when you stop for a break.

 

 

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Helpful tips to keep your hens safe from flu….

From 18 January 2018, an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone applies to everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds in England. From 25 January 2018 there’s a similar Prevention Zone in Wales.

 

Here’s some helpful tips:

 

    1. Place your birds’ food and water in fully enclosed areas that are protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly.
    2. Keep your equipment clean and tidy and regularly disinfect hard surfaces. Use disinfectant such as Virkon.
    3. Clean footwear before and after visiting your birds
    4. Ensure clothing that you use when handling your chickens is washed after contact.
    5. Use Run Covers
    6. Keep moveable coops in the same place – If coops are moving to fresh ground there is more chance of coming into contact with wild bird faeces.
    7. Keep a close eye on your chickens. If you have any signs of illness, seek advice from a qualified vet.

 

For further information please read the Government Guidelines here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#prevention-zone

 

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Vets Advice: How To Keep Your Hens Happy This Winter

We recently got the chance to speak with Frau Dr. Sewerin, a German Vet who specialises in poultry. We asked her what her top tips were for keeping your hens happy in colder conditions, here’s what she had to say:

“Make sure the water does not freeze. To do this, place a thick, well-insulated bowl of warm water in a sheltered place, change the water on regular basis or get a water heater.

You should also make sure that there is a dry, snow-free place in the run. You can regularly mix leaves with some wheat grains so that the animals have something to pick. A dry corner with sandbathing possibility must not be missing. Different perching options should always be available during the day anyway, but especially in winter: this helps keeping their feet warm!

Depending on the circumstances, a windcover should be installed at chicken height so that the animals are somewhat protected. You can easily turn the Eglu run into a sheltered, snow-free area. There is are a range of weather protection covers available at Omlet or you could use simple greenhouse film, combined with bubble wrap. This way the run will be a few degrees warmer and windproof on the inside.

In order to help the chickens saving energy and make it a little bit more comfortable for them, you can get an extreme weather jacket for Eglu coops or use tinfoil as it can be found in emergency blankets. The dropping tray can be additionally insulated with an extra thick layer of straw or newspaper. But after all the easiest way is to use the Omlet extreme weather jackets which makes sure that there’s still a good insulation on the inside of the coop.

Pay special attention to the inside of the coop, because the exhalations of the excretions will otherwise accumulate quickly in the interior and irritate the respiratory tract. Good ventilation is also important to remove the humidity, so that the animals do not catch a cold.

A few extra vitamins in the form of fruits, vegetables and herbs can help the immune system. Also onions, garlic and leeks shredded with vegetables or mixed with “flavor enhancers” such as oatmeal, grated carrots, yogurt and oil are very popular.

Once moulting has finished it is the ideal time to do a worming cure. If chickens are heavily infested with worms, it weakens them very much.”

If you’re thinking of upgrading your coop, now is the best time to do so.  Here are some of the top benefits of having an Eglu plastic chicken coop vs a wooden one, particularly in winter:

  • Eglu chicken coops and rabbit hutches do not absorb water so they don’t get heavy and remain easy to move.
  • They don’t rot and don’t require painting with varnish or wood stains (also means that you don’t have to move pets out whilst you are waiting for the fumes to go.)
  • They have insulation built in so remain warm.
  • They have draft free ventilation so your pets wont get a nasty chilly breeze coming in.
  • The door locks are made from heavy duty steel and wont break even in the freezing weather.
  • The door handles are all made from plastic so your fingers won’t freeze to them.
  • The door handles are nice and big so you can use them with gloves on.
  • The water container is really quick to lift out so you can take it in at night to prevent it from freezing.

Looking to upgrade your Chicken Coop? Click here to find out more about the different types of insulated Eglu coops, plus get FREE Delivery if you order before 21st December. Just quote SANTAPAWS at checkout. 

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