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Category Archives: Pet Advice

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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This entry was posted in Pet Advice


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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This entry was posted in Pet Advice


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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This entry was posted in Pet Advice


All Chickens Need to Perch – Here’s Why…

Chickens love to hop onto a perch.  This fondness for perches is instinctive. Chickens are descended from the Asian Jungle Fowl, which roosts on the branches of trees. Perching is as natural to hens as scratching and egg-laying. This might lead you to assume that the ideal perch is in a tree, or at least high off the ground. But while some of the lighter breeds such as Bantams or Leghorns might be able to flap their way to the topmost branches, the average domestic hen is way too big to try.  A perch that a bird can hop onto from the ground is perfectly adequate.

During the day they’ll use the perch to relax, take a break and watch the world pass by.  If you are keeping your chickens in a run then adding a perch is an excellent way to enrich their enclosure.  Enrichment is one of those terms that does what it says on the tin.  By adding accessories to the bird’s run you are enriching their lives by providing activities, variation and interest for them.  Whilst it might not seem like an obvious activity, a static perch is actually one of the best additions you can make to your chickens environment, click here to see a video of how to attach a perch to your run.   And if you have a big flock of chickens, you can add several perches in different locations, which will help to avoid any pecking order problems where the chickens lower down are not allowed to join in the perching fun!  Top 4 tips when choosing a perch for your chickens

  1. Make sure that the perch is strong enough to take the weight of your chickens, an average egg laying chicken weighs about 2kg.  A bantam would be about 800g-1kg and a large breed could be up to 5kg.
  2. Make sure that the perch is long enough, you should allow about 20cm per average sized chicken.
  3. Don’t place the perch too high. When you first introduce the perch, place it quite low, maybe 10cm off the ground.  The chickens will quickly learn to trust it and then you can raise it so it’s just above their heads.
  4. When choosing a place to position your perch try to find a spot in the run that is covered so that the hens can still perch when it’s raining without getting wet.

Using a perch in the chicken house. 

When chickens “come home to roost”, they usually head straight for their favourite spot on the perch. It may not look like the most comfortable way to spend the night, but that perch is every bit as snug and inviting to a hen as your warm, cosy bed is to you.

Hens will roost on pretty much anything, from an old ladder to a flat plank of wood. But it’s best to give them something custom made – wide enough with rounded corners, and easily adjustable. As their well-being is at stake – and that impacts your egg supply – it makes sense to buy the best.  Omlet’s chicken perch is very easy to fit to every type of chicken run and wooden coops too, click here to find out more. 

If a chicken doesn’t have a perch, they are more likely to attract mites and lice, or to pick up bacteria from the soiled ground. The stress of having no perch will also lower their immune systems, maximising their chances of disease.

Perches help hens feel safe and secure. At night a chicken is totally blind, and a perch gives them somewhere to “sit tight” if they are disturbed. As far as they’re concerned, if their feet are gripping that reassuring perch, they’re safe from predators. This reduces stress, which in turn promotes good egg-laying.

Perches even help with coop hygiene, as the entire night’s load of droppings will be dumped in one convenient spot for you to clean out.

Click here to buy Omlet’s NEW Chicken Perch – available in two lengths

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This entry was posted in Keeping Chickens


Ten top tips to keep your pooch looking pawsome and healthy!

We often get asked to give advice for keeping your four legged friends pawfectly groomed and healthy and have therefore put together some tips with help from our friends at Penelope’s Dog Grooming and Therapies.

  • Daily Skin Check – by keeping up a regular grooming regime at home for your dog this also gives you the opportunity to check over your dogs skin and notice any potential health risks such as: rashes, bald patches, fleas & ticks, lumps & bumps etc.
  • Fur maintenance – brushing is important for both long and smooth coated dogs – a slicker brush should be used for long coated dogs on a daily basis to remove excess fur and prevent matting. For a smooth coated dog a rubber brush is great for removing excess hair whilst helping to lessen shedding.
  • Ear Cleaning – Ear infections are common for all breeds of dogs but proper ear care for your dog will reduce the chance of infection. We recommend using a herbal ear cleaner.  After flushing with an ear cleaner, gently massage the base of the ears to distribute the solution around the ear folds before using a cotton pad/bud to remove excess dirt. A good rule of thumb is to do this once a week.
  • Pawdicure – To trim your dogs nails you will need a good quality nail clipper and some styptic powder is also handy incase the nail is cut too short. You will want to be careful not to cut the quick (vein running down the nail) when doing this – if you are unsure on where the quick ends you may want to seek help from a vet or qualified groomer. Short nails are important as nails that are too long can splinter and cause unnecessary pain.
  • Teeth Cleaning – Brushing your dogs teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste designed especially for dogs will help to prevent decay and disease. If you’re uncomfortable or unsure on brushing your dogs teeth then a breath spray or water additive for dogs is also a great option for keeping teeth clean.
  • Tear Staining & Wrinkles – dogs are prone to getting what is known as tear staining around their eyes if they are not cleaned regularly. There are a number of products on the market to help get rid of these but daily cleaning can prevent them from happening in the first place. For wrinkly dogs (e.g. Bulldogs, pugs, etc) the folds on their faces should also be cleaned daily to prevent infection as well as keeping them clean.
  • Healing balms – healing balms are great for relieving dry, cracked paw pads and noses. As well as this these balms will help to protect against every day wear and tear. It is a must for using in extreme weather conditions as it gives protection against; hot pavements, ice, salt and road grit.
  • Inverted tail pockets – dogs with screw tails are open to a number of potential infections, wrinkles provide a dark and moist space where bacteria, yeast and other infections thrive and so daily cleaning is essential. The tail pocket should be cleaned to remove dirt and then dried completely to help stop moisture from growing into bacteria.
  • Diet – a dogs coat is often a reflection of what they eat: feeding high quality food with good, digestible protein sources can be the difference in a dull, coarse, lifeless coat and a shiny, silky, healthy coat. We recommend a raw diet with added fruit and vegetables as this is associated with improved over all health. A few benefits of a raw food diet include; healthy coat and skin, cleaner teeth and fresher breath, higher energy levels, a stronger immune system and improved digestion.
  • Bonding – the emotional bond between an owner and their dog is something that money just can’t buy and daily grooming is a way to make that bond even stronger! Grooming your dog regularly from an early age helps them get used to being handled, which will make it easier to look after them properly in later life. We recommend setting aside a set amount of time each day to groom your dog – no matter what breed you have.

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Click here to view the Omlet range of dog products and information guides

 

Lauren from Penelope’s Dog Grooming and Therapies has provided some more information about their salon:

At Penelope’s we pride ourselves on the well-being and care of pets. No animal is ever forced into unnatural or uncomfortable positions and they are free to take breaks when they need. We have worked to create a calm, safe and stress free environment where dogs can be groomed, pampered and spoiled. We offer lots of different treatments and use a variety of techniques as we know that each individual dog is one of a kind and so deserves a unique experience with us at Penelope’s.  For more information visit their website here

 

 

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This entry was posted in Pet Advice