The Omlet Blog

Category Archives: Pets

Our Top Treat Picks For Your Pets This Summer – £5 Off When You Spend £20 on Treats

Right now you get £5 off when you spend £20 or more on treats for your beloved pets! Just use promo code TAKE5 at checkout. Below we’ve chosen some amazing treats that we’re confident your pets will love, but there are lots more to choose from on our website!

CHICKENS

Naturals Strawberry Hearts Chicken Treats

Show your chickens how much you care by giving them your (strawberry) hearts! Lovingly prepared with 100% natural ingredients and topped off with delicious strawberry pieces, these are sure to delight even the fussiest of hens.

Natures Grub Fruit & Berry Treat Mix

This is a complementary food for chickens and garden birds. A blend of seeds, cooked cereals, native berries and dried fruit, this is a tasty and nutritious treat for chickens.

Omlet Organic Mixed Corn

Chickens go mad for corn and it is great for feeding to hungry hens as an afternoon treat. It’ll turn their yolks a lovely deep colour too. Eggcellent!


CATS AND DOGS

Luxury Pawsecco Pethouse Rose Wine

This non-alcoholic blend of elderflower and nettle is rich in vitamins and minerals, while being a super tasty treat for the weekend!

Leaps & Bounds Woof Bars

The Leaps & Bounds Woof Bar is a safe and scrumptious alternative to chocolate just for dogs. Perfect for use as a reward during training or if you just think your dog deserves a little indulging every now and then!

Natural Eats Cat and Dog Treats

These cat and dog treats are an irresistibly tasty reward for your pets made with all natural ingredients. They are gluten free, low in fat and made from real meat!


RABBITS & SMALL ANIMALS

Naturals Celebration Cake

The guilt-free cake doesn’t have any dairy or added sugar, just 100% natural ingredients. The edible, cellulose fibre walls and lid are dressed in scrummy carrot and coconut, topped with herb and vegetable balls and flower petals. All hiding a wonderful herbal salad mix filling pets will love to nibble and forage.

Beaphar Small Animal Crunch Sticks

Beaphar Small Animal Crunch Sticks are formulated with natural ingredients and added vitamins, so not only is your pet having a tasty treat, it’s also receiving extra health benefits in every bite. The sticks contain high quality grains, seeds and vegetables which are triple baked to ensure extra hardness for important dental wear.

Harvest Feast for Hamsters & Gerbils

Hamsters and gerbils will love to nibble on this harvest feast. A natural treat for small animals, this donut shaped block contains seeds, nuts, cereals and honey, making it really tasty. It is a complementary pet food and it should only be given as a supplement to your pet’s normal diet.


Terms and Conditions
Promotion of £5 off when you spend £20 on treats from 02/07/2020 – midnight 07/07/2020. Use promo code TAKE5 at checkout. Promotion includes treats for all pets. Excludes feed and bags of treats over 10kg. Excludes toys and other accessories. Subject to availability, while stock lasts. 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 Offers and promotions


Our Top Treat Picks For Your Pets This Summer – €10 Off When You Spend €35 on Treats

Right now you get €10 off when you spend €35 or more on treats for your beloved pets! Just use promo code TAKE10 at checkout. Below we’ve chosen some amazing treats that we’re confident your pets will love, but there are lots more to choose from on our website!

CHICKENS

Naturals Strawberry Hearts Chicken Treats

Show your chickens how much you care by giving them your (strawberry) hearts! Lovingly prepared with 100% natural ingredients and topped off with delicious strawberry pieces, these are sure to delight even the fussiest of hens.

Natures Grub Fruit & Berry Treat Mix

This is a complementary food for chickens and garden birds. A blend of seeds, cooked cereals, native berries and dried fruit, this is a tasty and nutritious treat for chickens.

Omlet Organic Mixed Corn

Chickens go mad for corn and it is great for feeding to hungry hens as an afternoon treat. It’ll turn their yolks a lovely deep colour too. Eggcellent!


CATS AND DOGS

Luxury Pawsecco Pethouse Rose Wine

This non-alcoholic blend of elderflower and nettle is rich in vitamins and minerals, while being a super tasty treat for the weekend!

Leaps & Bounds Woof Bars

The Leaps & Bounds Woof Bar is a safe and scrumptious alternative to chocolate just for dogs. Perfect for use as a reward during training or if you just think your dog deserves a little indulging every now and then!

Natural Eats Cat Treats

These cat and dog treats are an irresistibly tasty reward for your pets made with all natural ingredients. They are gluten free, low in fat and made from real meat!


RABBITS & SMALL ANIMALS

Naturals Celebration Cake

The guilt-free cake doesn’t have any dairy or added sugar, just 100% natural ingredients. The edible, cellulose fibre walls and lid are dressed in scrummy carrot and coconut, topped with herb and vegetable balls and flower petals. All hiding a wonderful herbal salad mix filling pets will love to nibble and forage.

Beaphar Small Animal Crunch Sticks

Beaphar Small Animal Crunch Sticks are formulated with natural ingredients and added vitamins, so not only is your pet having a tasty treat, it’s also receiving extra health benefits in every bite. The sticks contain high quality grains, seeds and vegetables which are triple baked to ensure extra hardness for important dental wear.

Harvest Feast for Hamsters & Gerbils

Hamsters and gerbils will love to nibble on this harvest feast. A natural treat for small animals, this donut shaped block contains seeds, nuts, cereals and honey, making it really tasty. It is a complementary pet food and it should only be given as a supplement to your pet’s normal diet.


Terms and Conditions
Promotion of €10 off when you spend €35 on treats from 02/07/2020 – midnight 07/07/2020. Use promo code TAKE10 at checkout. Promotion includes treats for all pets. Excludes feed and bags of treats over 10kg. Excludes toys and other accessories. Subject to availability, while stock lasts. 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 Offers and promotions


Choose The Right Cover For Your Run

We often get asked which is the best cover for an Eglu run to keep pets comfortable all year round. Read our simple guide below so you know how to help your pets in all weathers!

Summer Shades

These shades are a thinner cover material which offers protection from the sun, without creating a tunnel where heat can build up inside the run. These are smaller than the winter covers to allow better airflow through the run for ventilation. Move the summer shade around the run to suit the time of day and your hens’ routine. You may wish to change this for a Clear or Combi Cover in summer when there’s rain on the way!

Clear Covers

The Clear Covers allow for sunlight to flood your pet’s run, while also offering protection from rain. This makes them ideal for spring and autumn, so the run is light and warm with sun, but also protected from unpredictable wind and rain. 

Combi Covers

Get the best of both worlds, with shade from the sun on one side and light coming in the other, as well as full wind and rain protection on both sides. The Combi Covers are half dark green, heavy duty cover for extreme wind and rain protection, and half clear cover to let in sunlight and warmth and to let your pets see when you are bringing them treats!

Heavy Duty Covers

For strong, hard-wearing protection against the worst of winter choose heavy duty covers. Even when the temperature drops to single figures, the rain and wind batters your pets home, or a deluge of snow covers your garden, the dark green, impenetrable heavy duty covers offer sturdy weather protection. Your chickens or rabbits will be able to hop around the Eglu run in complete peace, without getting cold, damp or wind-swept!

Extreme Temperature Covers

Chickens and rabbits are very efficient at keeping themselves warm in cold weather, and the Eglu’s twin wall insulation will assist them by keeping cool air out and warm air in, but when temperatures plummet below freezing for multiple days in a row, they may appreciate a little extra support. The Extreme Temperature Blankets and Jackets add another insulating layer, like your favourite wooly jumper, without compromising the ventilation points around the coop. 

 

 

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This entry was posted in Chickens


Could You Be The Next Omlet Ambassador? Hear What It’s Like!

If you own and love an Omlet product and like talking to other people about your pets, then becoming an Omlet Ambassador will definitely suit you! 

The Omlet Ambassador programme offers a really great way for people to not only see the products they are interested in, but also ask an owner all about it, like a live, interactive review!

If you speak to someone that then goes on to buy, you will get commission on their order. On top of that, Omlet customers in other countries have found lots of like minded friends through the Omlet Ambassador programme so it’s a great way to meet people who share your hobby in the area!

We spoke to two of our US ambassadors, Sueellen and Jennifer, about their experience of being an ambassador, and this is what they had to say:


Tell us about your chickens and your setup!

SE:
I am fortunate enough to have 2 different communities of very sweet chickens! We have 8 chickens right outside our side door and we have 23 chickens in our pasture in the backyard. We have had this arrangement for 3 years.

J:
The first is five barred rock layers. We have had them for about a year. They are in the Omlet Coop with a run and an outdoor enclosure. They get along well with each other, but won’t accept any new members. They are good sized birds but do fine in the space we have. We could increase the size of the flock no problem in the coop setup that we have.

We also have 1 white silkie, 1 blue “satin” silkie, and 2 silkie mixes (probably silkie/polish – the white one is a sizzle, the black one not sure). They are all hens except the satin. They lay but are really pets. We have had the polish/ silkies for about a year and the silkie for 6 months. The white silkie is a hen but thinks she is a rooster – his/her name is Juancho. She sings and talks all day long. Quite a character. The blue satin silkie is new to the flock. We have to be a bit more careful with them in cold weather  and rain because they are so small, get wet easily and cannot fly. During the day we keep them with our Kune Kune boars Max and Luigi who help keep them safe and warm.

What do you like about your Omlet products?

SE:
About 10 years ago we got our first chickens and the entire family (all 6 of us) loved having them. We loved their darling and hilarious personalities, and we loved getting the beautiful eggs as well. But over a short time we began to lose our chickens to many predators! It was heartbreaking to say the least! Fortunately, one of my daughters discovered the amazing Omlet products at a trade show. She told me about the Omlet coops and the pet runs and various other products! I fell in love immediately!

I love love love the way the Omlet products look. They are beautifully designed and are very easy to clean and maintain! 3 years later my coops look new! I love the pet runs especially, as they can be smaller or larger depending on your flock needs. I love that I can walk into the runs without bending down or getting on the ground. This feature enables me to easily feed, water, clean, visit and bond with my flock!

J:
We love the Omlet coop and enclosure. It’s very easy to keep clean and we have had (so far) almost no hygiene/sanitation issues. I believe that the plastic helps minimize this vs. wood or porous material. The coop is warm in the winter and stays cool in the summer even in our extreme heat. We have a lot of predators and so far, no one has been able to get in. They seem to have a hard time even getting on the coop because of the rounded roof so that is an extra plus. I also like that the product is simple – just three levers to use – simple. Everyone seems really happy and the barred rocks average an egg a day!

What’s your experience with being an Omlet ambassador?

SE:
I love being an Omlet Ambassador! I love all the products and the versatility they offer! I love my chickens! They are a sweet, hilarious and adorable part of our family. It is super fun to collect farm fresh healthy beautiful eggs everyday!

It was a very natural progression to become an Omlet Ambassador because I love the products, and I really enjoy sharing my experience, my knowledge and my love of chickens! I enjoy showing other chicken enthusiasts or others just curious about chickens our set-up!

J:
I decided to become an Omlet ambassador because I really believe in the product and my interactions with the company have been very positive – seems like a nice group of people out trying to sell a great product.

What does a normal visit or contact from a prospect look like?

SE:
Often a person considering getting chickens and/or a chicken coop will contact me by email with a few questions. We begin a dialogue and set up a visit for them to see the fabulous Omlet products at work! We choose a time convenient for both of us! Once people see the chickens and the Omlet Coops, they can’t wait to get started with their own amazing Omlet community!

J:
Pre virus, we had a few visits – everyone was very well informed (people really do their research!) and mainly wanted to see the product up close. I think part of it is the cost – it is expensive and therefore people want to make sure it’s the right thing before committing.  Recently, we have had a lot of inquiries from people who are looking at getting chickens for the first time, probably driven to it by the high cost of eggs here in California. Some of them say they are a bit intimidated by the whole thing and again, want to make sure they are doing the right thing. We are definitely not chicken experts but the Omlet products help keep things simple – I am very confident that our ladies will be safe and clean, which seems to be half the battle!


If you think you would want to become an Omlet ambassador, send us an email and we will send you all the information you might need!

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This entry was posted in Pets


Become an Omlet Affiliate and Earn Commission – FAQ

By becoming an Omlet affiliate you could earn 5% commission from every sale you generate from your website, blog or social media account. 

You will put a personal link to our website somewhere on your platform. If someone clicks on the link and goes on to place an order, we will give you your commission! 

What are the benefits of the Omlet Affiliate Programme? 

  • First and foremost, you can earn money from very little effort, and turn your website, blog or email marketing campaigns into an income. 
  • There are no start-up or running costs, you can start earning straight away.
  • You can promote our products without having to carry any inventory, so there is no risk for you. 
  • All customer communications, shipping and returns are handled by Omlet and our in-house Customer Service Team.
  • You can choose which products you advertise to your followers or customers, and how you would like to promote them. You can change links according to season or change a link for a banner whenever you like. 

Why advertise Omlet products?

Omlet products are instantly recognisable and unlike anything else on the market in terms of design and quality. We actively work on and invest in brand and product awareness, so that when customers see Omlet products on your platform, it is likely that they have already heard of the brand. 

We have a team of product designers who are constantly working on new products, so there will always be something exciting to show your customers or followers.

How do I get started?

Create an Omlet Account and log in here. Click on the ’Affiliate Scheme’ button in the menu on the left hand side of the screen. You will then be able to enter the details for the website where you will post your affiliate links. This can also be a social media account! 

Once that is set up an orange banner will appear at the top of the screen when you’re browsing the Omlet website. Visit the page that you would like to link to on your platform, for example the Autodoor page. Click on Link to this page, and the system will create a link and a piece of HTML that you can paste onto your website. 

You can also download banners to put on your website. At the moment these are available for Chicken, Cat and Dog products.

How do you know which orders come from me?

The link you create when you click on the orange banner is unique and it contains information about your website.  When someone clicks this link from your site Omlet knows that the person has come from you. Even if they leave the Omlet website and come back again we still know that they originally came from you. This works for up to 60 days from the original click. 

You will receive your affiliate commission on anything that the customer purchases on the Omlet website within that 60 day period. The customer doesn’t have to buy the product you are linking to for you to get commission, we will be able to keep track of your Affiliate ID as the customer moves around the website. This means that if they clicked a link about the Autodoor on your site and end up buying an Eglu Go Hutch you will still get your affiliate commission. 

You can create as many links as you like to as many pages as you like. 

The system will track link clicks, banner views, orders and commission and on your Omlet account you can see where your commissions are coming from and how many clicks different links are getting, which can help you find out what works best. 

How do I get paid commission?

When you have earned commission you can request for it to be transferred into your PayPal or bank account. The commission will be paid out 30 days after an order has been dispatched to the referred customer (this is because customers can return a product up to 30 days after receiving it.)  Please note that the commission of 5% is calculated on the order value excl. tax, and no commission will be paid on delivery costs. 

Do I need a particular type of website to participate?

No, you can add any type of website, blog or social media account as long as it does not host content that is in any way unlawful, harmful, threatening, obscene, harassing, discriminatory, defamatory or otherwise objectionable; facilitates or promotes violence, terrorism, or any other criminal activity; is sexually explicit; or infringes or assists or encourages the infringement of any intellectual property rights belonging to any party.

 

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This entry was posted in Pets


A Message from the Omlet Team

We have received many questions in the last few days regarding orders and delivery. We would like to reassure you that our distribution centres are fully open and all our office team are now working from home. 

There was a sudden increase in demand for some products and there may be slightly longer delivery times than normal as a result.  We have lots more products already on their way and you can pre order online now. Next to the buy button you will be shown an estimated dispatch date and it’s also shown in your basket.  

We will email you again when the order is dispatched and you can always check in with our brilliant customer service team anytime to modify your order.

Please note that once your product has been dispatched you should use the courier companies tracking services to keep up to date with your orders progress. We will always email you your tracking details. Deliveries are sometimes taking a little longer than normal as the couriers have to react to any changes to their ability to deliver. Please also note that you may receive your order in more than one delivery on two separate days.

The Omlet Team is here for you! We will still be running our usual promotions and competitions (check our social media channels and newsletter for latest) and we’ll be doing our best to keep you and your pets entertained throughout the next few weeks. 

The Omlet Team

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This entry was posted in Pets


Don’t Leave Your Pet Out of Date Night

With Valentine’s Day approaching many of us will be making restaurant bookings and buying cinema tickets for a night out with their partner. Sure, that’s nice, but wouldn’t you really prefer it if you could include the third member of your couple, your pet, in your plans? We’ve put together a suggested date night schedule that both humans and pets will enjoy, so that no one gets left out!

A few days before

If you’re buying a present for your parter, you should make sure you treat your pet to something special as well, as they’ve been such a good boy or girl. How about getting your rabbits or guinea pig some fun accessories for their run, like a shelter or some Zippi-tunnels? Dogs and cats will always appreciate a new, super comfy bed, like the super luxurious Omlet Bolster Bed.

16.00 Time Outside

Depending on what pet you have, the key to a good date night might be to tire them out a bit before you snuggle up inside. Rabbits and guinea pigs will love a run around in their tunnels in the garden, cats will enjoy some fresh air (either letting them hunt around the neighbourhood for an hour or so, or join them for some time on their cat run) and dogs will feel spoiled after a long hike or trip to the park to see some doggy friends. If you have a dog, why not stop off at a dog friendly pub for a drink and a small snack before you return home?

18.00 Play Time

This is a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with your pet, doing what you know they love doing. If you have a smaller animal, you and your partner can create a maze or prepare a scavenger hunt for them, hiding snacks and building obstacles around the living room. Cats will enjoy chasing toys, and dogs will go crazy for some tug of war. If you want to spoil your pets even more, why not get them a new toy to play with?

19.00 Dinner Time

The key to the perfect date night is some good, and preferably rather indulgent, food. Maybe this is a good opportunity to try one of those recipes that requires a bit more time and effort? Or just to order some take away, if you’re knackered after all the playing. To fully include your pet, we would suggest making sure they also get to have something special for dinner. There are plenty of easy and healthy recipes for all pets online, so you can find something that you will enjoy making, and your pet will enjoy wolfing down. Divide the work and let your partner make something for the pets while you cook the human food, or the other way around.

20.00 Spa Treatment

Get settled on the sofa for a pampering session for pets and humans alike. Give your pet a bath and some grooming, like cutting their nails, brushing their fur and cleaning their teeth. While you enjoy a face mask or a manicure, dogs and cats might benefit from an oil treatment for dry skin and paw pads. Finish off the spa hour with a good long massage. Your pet will probably not be of much help here, so you humans might have to take it in turn.

While you’re treating yourselves, why not put on some relaxing music? Spotify has recently launched Spotify for Pets, customised lists based on your pet’s personality and your music taste. Unfortunately you’re limited to only a few pets at the moment, but what’s to say your rabbit won’t enjoy a cat playlist?

21.00 Film and Snacks

Pop some popcorn, pour some wine and curl up on the sofa together with your date(s) for some Petflix and Chill. Make sure your pet has a place where he or she can get settled and feel comfy, maybe on a special blanket or bed. Date night is all about a relaxing rom-com, or something else that both you can your pet will love napping in front of. Make sure that you offer your pet movie snacks and a nice drink as well, we have plenty of treats and goodies for all pets in our shop, including white and rosé Pawsecco for a true celebratory evening . As an added bonus, you currently get 25% off all treats in the Omlet shop!

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This entry was posted in Pets


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


25% off all treats for a limited time only!

We could probably all benefit from something special to make it through the last winter weeks, and your pets will definitely feel the same way!

Stock up and spoil your loved ones this February with 25% off all treats on the Omlet shop, and find the pawfect Valentine’s Day gift for your furry friends!

Use promo code PETFLIX at checkout to claim the offer.

Terms and conditions:
Promotion runs from 06/02/20 – midnight 17/02/20, while stocks last. For 25% off treats use promo code PETFLIX. 25% off is available on treats for all animals, excluding bags of feed over 1.5kg, as well as treat toys and Feldy High Energy Chicken Pecker Balls – Box of 40. Excludes out of stock items. 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 Offers and promotions


Birds Who Mate For Life

According to folklore, birds choose their mates on St Valentine’s Day. A rare few only have to make that choice once, staying with the same partner for as long as both birds are alive.

There is something romantically appealing about this idea of birds sticking together for life. But not many species follow this lifestyle. The faithful few include many species of goose and swan, several of the owls and eagles, and some of the penguins. Many others are ‘serially monogamous’, meaning they stick with one partner throughout a single breeding season, but not for life. An estimated 90% of bird species fall into this category.

Mating for life is something much rarer. Parrots in captivity usually stick with one partner, as their choice of mates is limited. But the whole idea of bird fidelity is best captured in the image of two lovebirds cuddling up and rubbing beaks.

What’s the advantage in sticking together for life?

The chicks of birds of prey such as owls and eagles grow slowly. Rearing a big bird such as an osprey or golden eagle takes around three months from egg laying to independence. It helps save time if the parents start rearing their young early in the season, preferably in the same nest as last year. Lengthy courtship displays and nest-building are simply delays, and ones that can be avoided if two birds resume their old relationship each year.

The advantages of faithfulness may seem less obvious for smaller birds. But it ensures that both parent birds are focussed on the successful rearing of their chicks. The alternative is polygamy, in which the male strays away to mate with other birds, putting all the pressure on the hen bird to feed the chick. In a harsh season, having two parents working together can make the difference between life and death for the chicks.

Most mating-for-life species don’t actually live together outside the breeding season, though. Not in the wild, at least. But there is one famous exception – the Lovebird.

Lovebirds of a feather stick together

Lovebirds take mating-for-life very seriously. Most other ‘faithful’ birds rediscover their independence outside the breeding season, but Lovebirds live up to their name 24/7, 365 days a year.

Like most parrot species, in the wild all nine species of Lovebird live in flocks, and their social organisation is based on pairs. The strong bonds involved prevent bickering and fighting in the mating season. It’s a peace-keeping system that works so well, it’s surprising that other species haven’t followed a similar evolutionary path.

Lovebirds are bonded to the point of jealously. They may be our perfect picture of avian affection, but they will fend off any intruders. It is recommended to keep pairs separate from other birds, rather than including them in a mixed aviary – unless you have a huge space in which grumpy or jealous birds can easily find space away from each other.

A bereaved Lovebird, or one kept on its own, will become depressed. It will pine, stop eating, squawk, and become irritable. The exceptions are those birds that have been handled from a young age and have bonded with their human companion. Their affection is every bit as genuine with a human ‘partner’ as a feathered one.

There are downsides to this, though. A bonded lovebird will regurgitate food for you, and will need discouraging from attempting to mate!

Zebra Finches – Lovebirds of the Finch world

Most birds that live in flocks are monogamous – that is, they have just one mate each breeding season – but the Zebra finch takes it a step further. Many owners think the bird’s habit of mating for life is something that only happens in captivity, where choice of partner is restricted. But the little Zebra is every bit as faithful as the Lovebird, even in the wild.

In captivity problems can arise when birds die, or when new ones are added. A singleton in a group of Zebra finches will find it hard to find a mate without a fight. For this reason, ironically, it is actually best to keep these finches in pairs rather than big or odd-numbered flocks, as a single bird may be forced to become either a bully or a depressed outcast.

Love is in the air

Nature has found all sorts of ways of ensuring that the next generation of birds takes to the wing. At one end sit the cuckoos, taking no responsibility for parenting or relationships of any sort. Next come those birds that take the lots-of-mates approach. Most, however, opt for one partner per season.

But there’s something particularly appealing about those few species that mate for life. For Lovebird and Zebra finch owners, romance is an everyday fact of life.


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This entry was posted in Pets


Stay in touch with Omlet in 2020

Is “become an Omlet superfan” in your new year resolutions? We don’t blame you! Here’s all the super easy ways you can keep up with our special offers, competitions, videos, blogs and more in 2020!


Newsletter

Our weekly newsletter is jam packed with fun articles, information about exciting new launches and promotions, and reviews from customers. By subscribing to the newsletter, you will make sure that you’re the first one to know about everything Omlet! We also regularly deliver exclusive offers just for newsletter subscribers which we promise you will want to hear about. We can’t say too much, but it is very likely there will be an amazing Eglu offer coming up at the end of January 😉


Youtube

The Omlet Youtube channel is a great place to explore our products. The informative and fun videos show all the groundbreaking features that customers love, with the added bonus of some very cute animals! By subscribing you will always be fully clued up on the latest Omlet innovations, and you will find plenty of useful information about keeping pets, like this one about making your Eglu ready for winter.

We also have helpful step-by-step videos showing you how to build all our products, resulting in fewer arguments and less frustration! You can have them playing in the background as you put together your pets’ new home, and it’s easy to pause or go back if needed. 


Facebook Groups

The Omlet Chicken Keeping Facebook Group is a great place to meet other Eglu lovers. Our friendly customers share tips and tricks on keeping chickens, discuss the features of products and tell stories about their pets. Whether you’re a veteran crazy chicken lover or a total beginner, you’ll enjoy being part of Omlet’s Chicken Keeping Community!

 


Social Media

Integrate Omlet into your favourite social media feed and brighten up your scrolling time with cute pet pics, awesome new products, amazing competitions, promotions and much more! You will also get all the information you need to take part in the many competitions we will be running in 2020. You won’t want to miss out, so make sure you follow us today!

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This entry was posted in Pets


10 Pets on Instagram Who Are Looking Forward to Christmas

This classy lady, all dressed up and ready for those Christmas parties!

This group of friends saying: Merry Christmas from our Pack to your Pack!

This little fellow, who is looking forward to helping Father Christmas deliver all the presents!

This cutie who wants to Woof You a Hairy Christmas!

This beauty, who’s having a little paws between Christmas meals.

This lady, who knows the importance of decorating your home for the holidays!

This festive feline, who’s wishing you all a meowy Christmas!

This lovely lady who wants you to let Santa Paws know she would never be naughty!

And finally these best buddies, celebrating the holidays in style!


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This entry was posted in Christmas


Gift Guide – For Kids

Whether you’re a mum or dad, a favourite uncle or a generous friend, we have the gifts that will make this Christmas extra special for the younger pet lovers out there! 

Eglu Go

Are you a parent who can’t really see the point of pets, but tiring of the constant nagging from the children? Would breakfast made with fresh eggs from the garden every morning possibly convince you? Suitable for approximately 3 chickens, the insulated and fox resistant Eglu Go is the ultimate coop for first time chicken keepers. The coop is so easy to clean that the kids will almost be able to do it themselves, and the daily and weekly tasks involved with keeping chickens are so fun and quickly done that split between a few family members it won’t get boring.  

If you feel that chickens might not be for you, but like the idea of an Eglu, have a look at the Eglu Go hutch. It has got the same amazing features as the coop, but instead of roosting bars and a nesting area, it comes with smooth slide-out bedding tray and a hay rack, and will be an amazing home for rabbits and guinea pigs alike.  

Qute

If you’re looking for the perfect first pet for your child, a hamster or gerbil is a great start. They create strong bonds with their owners, and kids of all ages will enjoy playing with them, but they don’t require training.

With the modern and stylish Qute hamster and gerbil cage, having a pet could not be easier. Cleaning the cage takes literally minutes, all you need to do is lift and twist the tube to keep the pets on the upper level while you empty the bedding tray and wipe it clean before you refill it with fresh bedding. 

As an added bonus the Qute will look great in your house, so unlike other cages for small animals you will actually be proud to have it on display! 

Get the Qute without storage and everything you need to be ready for your new hamster with this star buy bundle, now just £84.99, (RRP £94.17.)

Zippi Tunnel System

With the Zippi tunnel system for rabbits and guinea pigs, tunnels and playpens can be connected to build an amazing warren which kids can move around and customise when they play with their pet. Additional accessories such as the hayrack and lookout tower further customise the system. The playpens also make it easier for kids to sit in with their rabbits and guinea pigs, so they can play without fear of escape!

Start your system with our best sellers, the Zippi Tunnel Single with Hutch to Run Connection Kit, and Zippi Rabbit Run with Roof and Underfloor Mesh – Single Height. Now just £149.99 in this star buy bundle (was £189.97!)

Geo Bird Cage 

If your child is showing an interest in bird keeping, budgies and finches is where you should start. They are fun to train, not overly fragile, bond strongly with their owners, and are relatively easy to care for, especially if you have a cage that minimises spillages and is super easy to clean, like the Geo Bird Cage. 

A brilliant piece of engineering, the central food station not only makes refilling food and water extremely simple, it also cleverly collects husk that the birds discard while they’re eating, so that you don’t have to get the hoover out every day! The Geo is the perfect Christmas gift for all young bird lovers! 

If your child already has a pet, new toys that they can enjoy together will be a great gift!

The Grumpy Cat Christmas Light Wand will have the cat running around the living room, these squeaky crackers will be perfect for a Christmas Day tug-of-war session with the dog and you can enjoy seeing your smaller pets chew away at this Festive Pine Cone Snowman. You’ll find these, and plenty of other festive treats and toys in our Christmas Shop!

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This entry was posted in Christmas


Last Order Dates for Delivery Before Christmas!

For delivery in time for Christmas, please ensure you have placed your order by the below dates. Please be advised problems with couriers cannot be avoided, and if you want to be sure your order will make it to you in time for Christmas, we highly recommend ordering well before these dates. Alternatively, please call or email our customer services team for advice on the best courier to use at this busy time of year. 

Royal Mail

Thursday 19th December

DPD

Friday 20th December

Tuffnells

Friday 20th December

 


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This entry was posted in Christmas


How To Name A Pet

Naming pets can be difficult. Should you go for something highly original, something that describes the pet, or something that reflects your own personality? Should it be ‘safe’, picked from an online list of popular pet names? Or should it say something about the year the pet was born – perhaps a dog called Trump, a cat called Greta, or a budgie called Boris?

If it’s a family pet, parents often take the easy way out and ask the kids to think of names. We fool ourselves that we are being kind, inclusive parents, but in reality we’re just passing the buck!

Safety in numbers

Somehow, if there’s more than one new pet the floodgates of inspiration suddenly open. You can use the same letter – Maxi and Mini, Pixie and Pumpkin, or Arthur and Alfie. Or you can go for famous couples such as Pepper and George, Thor and Loki , Meg and Mog, Lennon and McCartney, Bubble and Squeak.

It becomes harder if there are more than two new animals to be named. A small flock of chickens, for example, may well start out with individual names, but chances are you’ll soon be referring to them simply as “The Chickens”.

The other definition of “safety in numbers” is “names used 1000s of times before”. Cats will always be called Tom, Fido will be used for Dogs, and Polly the parrot will remain iconic. And then there are all those lists of Most popular Pet Names. These change gradually as the years pass, just as popular baby names do.

A survey of 2018 faves, for example, suggests that Bella, Poppy, Lola and Alfie are the commonest dog names in the UK. Cats are mainly called Luna, Bella, Milo and Loki. And if you have a parrot, chances are it’s named Charlie, Kirsty, Ollie, Bernard or Basil.

Small mammals tend to share popular names, and right now the most popular ones are Flopsy, Thumper, Luna, Cookie and Rosie (and Flopsy and Thumper, along with Peter, have been top names for rabbits for 60 years or more).

No Laughing Matter?

If you opt for an amusing name, you need to be confident you won’t regret the decision further down the line. You will find that names such as Brexit, Doggy McDogface and Smelly Cat soon pass their sell-by date.

If you want a pet name that will always raise a smile, without overdoing it, it’s best to choose something not usually used for pets at all. You’ll probably never tire of a cat called Gary, a dog called John and a parrot called Karen. It’s a fine line, though. Quirkier names such as Laptop the cat, Curtains the dog and Bread Roll the parrot may quickly lose their appeal.

Things To Avoid

If you have a new dog, you should avoid giving it a name that resembles a command word. For example, Sid sounds like ‘Sit’, Levi sounds like ‘Leave it’, Walt sounds like ‘Wait’, Hal sounds like ‘Heel’, and so on. This is less of an issue with other pet species.

Anything rude or controversial is going to cause embarrassment – for you (when you have to use the name in front of the neighbours), and for the poor children forced to address their furry friends as Sexy Paws, Satan, or whatever.

It’s also short-sighted to give pets baby names. Yes, that puppy may well look like Tummykins, and that kitten may respond well to Tiny Fluff, but once they’ve become adults, it will sound a bit silly.

You should also spare a thought for vets and kennels/catteries too. Having a dog called Cholmondeley (pronounced Chumley), a cat that sounds like ‘catkin’ but is spelled Qatqin, or even rogue letters in the name, such as Jaxon, Klyde or Phreddie, can lead to confusion in databases.

Things To Fall Back On When All Else Fails

You could choose a name that describes your pet’s behaviour or appearance. Flash, Dash, Nibbler, Scratchy, Sooty, Rosy, Socks, Spot, Biscuit, Brownie, and so on. There are also the famous names – Bugs, Daffy, Sylvester, Tweetie Pie, Lassie, Laika, Marmalade, Felix, etc.

And then, of course, there’s that classic ‘get out of jail free’ card – the kids. All you have to do is pronounce judgement on whatever names they come up with, saying “try again” if you don’t like it. Once they’ve decided on a Snowy, Scooby, Simba or Marley, you can sit back with the satisfaction of a difficult job well done.

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This entry was posted in Pets


A Pets’ Guide To Surviving Fireworks Night

Some pets hardly seem to notice fireworks. Others hide quietly until it’s all over. But some are genuinely traumatised by the noisy, flashing skies of Bonfire Night.

Forty years ago, fireworks in the UK were pretty much restricted to November 5th, with a few more on New Year’s Eve. But since then the original Bonfire Night – commemorating the foiled attempt of Guy Fawkes to blow up the Houses of Parliament – has partly uprooted and sprawled across the surrounding weeks to create a longer Fireworks Season. This begins around Hallowe’en on October 31st, and continues through to the weekend after November 5th, petering out slowly as people’s fireworks supply is used up.

For a pet who’s afraid of the bangs, whizzes and flashes, this extended fireworks season is bad news. There are, however, a few things you can do to minimise the stress.

The Big Bang

When talking about pets hating fireworks, we’re usually talking about dogs. The RSPCA estimates that 45% of dogs are afraid of fireworks to some degree.

Cats will find a quiet space away from all the fuss (although some individuals certainly get stressed by all the noise). Keep your cats indoors when the bonfires are blazing. They can quickly panic if fireworks go off suddenly nearby, or if sparkler-waving children come running down the street.

Small animals such as gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs will either ignore the explosions or sit it out in their hidey holes.

Most caged birds don’t enjoy the sudden rupturing of the night skies – they like their nights to be dark and their days to be light, not a crazy mixture of the two. If your budgie, parrot, canary or pet finch is in a room affected by the flashing lights, you might want to cover the cage. But some birds don’t seem to ruffle a feather, in spite of the fireworks.

What you should never do is allow the pets to be trapped in their outdoor runs or aviaries with no bolt hole. As long as outdoor pets have a covered area to escape to, they should be fine.

Dogs Hate Fireworks

If your dog isn’t too fazed by the noise and lights, simply keep him indoors while the party rages outside. For more skittish dogs, there are a few extra precautions to take.

  • Stay indoors with the curtains and windows closed. A scared dog caught outside is very likely to run away.
  • Use a crate or other safe space. If there’s somewhere the dog associates with safety – a Fido Crate, perhaps, or a quiet room with a dog bed – make use of it. If there’s a room facing away from the main area of firework activity, put the dog in there. A bathroom often works well for this purpose. Gentle music can help keep out the noise too. Put familiar objects in the safe room – the dog’s bed and blanket, and some favourite toys. And stay with him, unless he’s happy to curl up and sleep through the storm.
  • For very nervous dogs, vets recommend a wrap or dog vest, tight enough to apply gentle, constant pressure. This soothes and calms your poor pet.
  • Stay calm yourself, and stay with your dog. That will help enormously.
  • Don’t be tempted to let your dog go outside for any reason, and make sure he’s had his walk during the daylight. Even a dog who takes it all in his stride indoors might suddenly panic outdoors when the fireworks start to fizz.

Prepare In Advance

You can desensitise dogs to the sound of fireworks to a certain extent, by getting them used to loud noises. The best way to do this is to play thunderstorm or fireworks sounds at a low volume, giving the dog treats and lots of fuss and play in the meantime. If you then increase the volume while keeping up the treats and play, it will, in most cases, make your dog associate the noise with good times.

This doesn’t work with all dogs, but it’s definitely worth a try if you want to have a stress-free Fireworks Night. There’s not long to go, so better start now!

 

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This entry was posted in Pets


The Best Pets For Older People

Elderly pet-owners will need a little help looking after their furry or feathered friends. Shopping for pet food, training, grooming, and cleaning out cages and litter trays are all factors to be considered.

If a pet falls ill, it will need taking to a vet, or medication may have to be given. Lack of transport and shaky hands can suddenly become problems in these circumstances.

The level of assistance needed will, of course, depend very much on the physical and mental health of the pet owner.

But in spite of these considerations, pets and older people are a perfect match – as long as you get the right pet!

Pets to Avoid

For many older people, owning a pet is all about companionship. So, although an iguana, goldfish or tarantula may be low maintenance, they don’t exactly exude personality and friendship. Reptiles, fish and insects can therefore be placed in the category ‘Dedicated Enthusiasts Only’.

Rodents are not ideal choices, either. They are fast moving, and can easily escape from an open cage. Some, such as the hamster, are largely nocturnal too, losing several points on the ‘companionship’ scale.

The Best Bird Companions

Small cage birds make good pets for seniors. Larger species such as parrots are long-lived, and this can present mounting problems if an owner becomes increasingly frail with the passing years.

A budgie is a good option. These birds are intelligent, easily hand-tamed, and once trained they will return to their cage unassisted after playing and flying indoors. Some also learn to talk, which reinforces the companionship enormously. Add to this the fact that their cages can be kept on holders at shoulder-height, with easy access for cleaning and feeding, and you have the perfect pet for older people.

Canaries and other pet finches can be good choices too, but it has to be said that they lack the big personality, trainability and talkativeness of budgies. There are other plus points, though, notably the beautiful song of the canary.

The Best Cat Companions

In many ways the cat is an ideal pet for seniors. But it isn’t just a question of arriving at Gran’s door with a kitten and expecting everything to be fine!

A kitten will need to be house-trained, and won’t instantly be the placid lap-loving cat that many elderly owners will be looking for. An older cat, on the other hand, will have ‘grown in’ to its personality. You could choose a placid, indoor-loving coach-potato breed such as the Persian, Russian Blue or Ragdoll if laps and cuddles are the priority.

Ideally the cat should still be given access to the outdoors to prevent the chore of cleaning a litter tray every day. In this respect one of the ideal breeds is the Abyssinian. Super-friendly and incredibly tame, they are also lovers of the great outdoors, mixing and matching house and garden perfectly.

If a cat is being adopted from a previous home, you will be able to find out all about its personality. Many ‘moggies’ of a non-specific breed turn out to be the perfect pet for seniors, after a little investigation into the animal’s background.

Bear in mind, though, that cats can live up to 20 years – a big time commitment if someone is already worrying about health and mobility in later life. But once again, this is where the animal’s independence becomes a great asset. Most cats, even though they love their owners, can pretty much look after themselves.

The Best Dog Companions

For an elderly person with mobility, dogs are a great pet choice. Several breeds thrive with just a little daily exercise. Many of these are at the smaller end of the scale – dogs such as the Miniature Poodle, Shih Tzu, Maltese, Bichon Frise, and good-natured individuals from the West Highland and Yorkshire Terrier families. Smaller dogs have smaller appetites too – a major consideration if money is an issue.

However, some smaller dogs can be very yappy or snappy – not a great combination. Breeds to beware of for these reasons include Chihuahua, Jack Russell, and Dachshund.

If the owner is still able to walk a mile or two a day, a Golden Retriever makes a great choice. But with all breeds you need to bear in mind longevity – a dog that needs walking at six months old may still be demanding walkies at 15.

Pets For Therapy

It’s a well known fact that pets are therapeutic. Some care homes hold regular pet therapy sessions in which residents spend quality time with cats, dogs, and other tame animals.

Pets bring positive benefits for mental health across all age groups, and can also prevent loneliness becoming a problem. We all need affection, and pets deliver it with no questions asked!

However, having a pet-handling session in a care home is a different proposition to an elderly person keeping a pet in their own home. All animals need a certain amount of looking after, and if mobility is an issue, even a simple chore such as cleaning a cage can become difficult. In these circumstances, seniors will need a little assistance.

But if you get it right, a pet can bring so many positives into an elderly person’s life – companionship, stimulation, stress relief, and that most important human need of all: love.

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This entry was posted in Pets


How To Minimise Pet Stress When Moving Home

Moving home can be very stressful. Not just for you and your family, but for your pets too.

It’s less of an issue for smaller animals kept in cages or enclosures. But even pet rodents and birds will need to be transported to the new residence, and none of them will enjoy the journey.

Of all the pets, though, it’s cats and dogs that take the brunt of the stress when moving. Everything they’ve come to know and rely on in terms of safe places, personal spaces, territories, and familiar scents and sounds disappears.

Here are a few tips to help your furry friends chill-out at this most disruptive of times.

Helping Pets Move Out

There’s a shortcut to a stress-free move: put your dog or cat in a kennel or cattery, or hand them over to a dog- or cat-sitter. That way they can ride out the chaos in relative peace and quiet, and you can collect them once the dust has settled at the other end of the moving process.

If you decide instead to let your pet ride out the storm with you, there are several things you can do to make it easier on them.

  • Put your pet in a safe space – a quiet room in the house away from the main activity of boxes, moving furniture and sweaty removal men. Put familiar things in the room such as bowls and favourite toys, and make sure your pet spends time there in the weeks before the move, to get used to it. This applies not just to cats and dogs, but to small mammals and cage birds too.
  • If your dog has a crate, that might be an even better option. Similarly, if your cat is happy chilling out in a cat crate or box, let them.
  • Nominate one member of the family to be responsible for pet wellbeing throughout the move.
  • Some owners recommend spraying a cat box or basket with calming pheromones (available from vets or pet shops). The calming effect can be increased by covering the crate with a sheet to keep it dark.

Pets On The Road

Some pets enjoy travelling. Others hate it. Highway blues can be minimised in the following ways.

  • If your pet is already used to travelling in a car, great. If not, introduce them to the inside of the vehicle in the weeks before the move.
  • Dogs should be secured with a doggy seat belt, or installed in a crate if that’s possible. Cats should always be transported in cat crates, and ideally they should be used to these before making the journey. Never let an animal remain loose in a car during the move; and don’t make a dog travel in the strange and scary surroundings of the removal van.
  • For smaller cage pets, the journey is bound to be stressful. If possible let them remain in a covered cage and put plenty of soft items around it to prevent it moving around during the journey. If you need to transfer the animals to carrying boxes, make sure these are placed somewhere dark, with no chance of moving around. Never put the box in the glove compartment – there’s a chance of noxious fumes building up in there.
  • If the journey is long, take breaks to allow your cat or dog to drink and, in the case of a dog, to exercise and relieve itself.

Helping Pets Move In

It takes time for pets to settle into new surroundings. But the first few hours are likely to be the most stressful, so, again, make it as painless for your pet as possible.

  • Choose a quiet settling-in room, put the pet’s basket or blanket in there, along with some other familiar items, and then close the door for as long as it takes for your stuff to be relocated from the removal lorry to the new house or flat.
  • Once everything is inside and the doors and windows are all closed, let your pet out for an exploration of the new place. Keep close, to reassure them. Most pets will relax within five minutes after a good sniff around, and will happily accept a tasty treat.
  • If you have a cat, rub its head and cheeks with a cloth, and then rub the cloth on surfaces and skirting boards around the new place. This will transfer the cat’s natural pheromones.
  • Put the pet’s bed in the place you intend it to sleep in, rather than letting it spend a few nights here, there and everywhere. Routine and familiarity are what it’s all about.
  • When outside, keep your dog on a lead in the first few days, to prevent him chasing new scents and getting lost, or attempting to head for his former residence, which for a short time will still be ‘home’ in his brain.
  • Keep cats indoors for at least one week, otherwise they will wander away. This is very likely to happen if you have not moved very far. Only let them out after dark once you’re confident that they have properly settled in.
  • Make sure your pets are microchipped and have IDs on their collars, in case they stray.

Pets soon settle into a new home. All they really need is a little time, the reassurance of your continuing presence, and the sight and smell of familiar toys, food and bedding. 

It’s these things, rather than a mere accident of geography, that means ‘home’ to a happy pet.

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This entry was posted in Cats


Introducing A New Baby To Pet Cats And Dogs

The arrival of a baby in a household turns things upside down. That’s certainly how it can seem to your pets. A dog may find there’s less time for walks and playing, and a cat may suddenly be ousted from her favourite sleeping places in the bedroom or on your lap, due to the presence of the baby.

It’s important to get your pets used to the idea of having the newcomer around, along with the changes in routine that go with it. And ideally the preparation needs to start before the baby is born.

Prenatal Pet Training

In the months leading up to the birth, spend slightly less time with your cat or dog – particularly if they are used to lazing in your lap or sitting by your feet demanding attention.

If your dog is not fully trained at this point, fill in the gaps with some training sessions. Get an expert in to help out, if necessary. Your dog needs to know the basic ‘Sit’, ‘Stay’ and ‘Leave it’ commands, at the very least. It’s essential that the humans in the house reinforce their roles as Alphas in the pack.

A new baby will bring new sounds and smells to the house. You can get your pets ready for this by inviting mums and dads with babies or toddlers to call in for coffee. Play a recording of a crying baby to acclimatise pets’ ears, and switch on any noisy new toys, mobiles, swings or other baby-related apparatus. Let your pets sniff a nappy and a cloth with a few drops of baby oil on it. Familiarity is half the battle.

Get Your Pet Vet-Ready

A neutered pet is a calmer pet, and less likely to bite. This is especially true with males. When neutered, they are less likely to view the baby as a rival. Arrange for a vet to perform the operation, if the pet is not yet neutered. And while you’re there, make sure Puss and Fido are up to date with their vaccinations, worm-free, and generally in tip top health.

Reset Schedules

Babies bring lots of unpredictability to a household, and old routines soon break down. There’s nothing wrong with this, but a pet who’s set in his ways may not take kindly to sudden change. Break him in by varying feeding times, blocking off no-go areas with a baby gate, or perhaps hiring a dog walker.

If the human mum-to-be has always been the pet’s chief companion, it’s handy if you can introduce another ‘favourite’ into its life. This could be a partner, older child or friend – anyone able to spend quality time with the animal.

Introducing the Baby

Before letting a dog or cat see the baby, let them sniff a blanket and a soiled nappy. Try not to show any nervousness when bringing the baby into the house for the first time, as pets will pick up on the bad vibes.

To make the first introduction, sit with the baby in your arms – ideally in a ‘neutral’ room, one where the pet doesn’t usually go – and let the dog or cat approach in its own good time (and one at a time, if you have multiple pets). Don’t force the issue. Have some treats ready to reward good behaviour.

You can reinforce the positive associations by treating a dog whenever it’s around you and the baby. That way your pet will come to associate the baby with good things (i.e. food!) A cat will need less fuss in this respect, and will simply equate the baby with you, logging it as something not to worry about.

Whenever there’s any interaction between baby/toddler and pet, make sure there’s an adult around to keep an eye on the situation.

Special Notes For Cats

A docile cat needs to get used to the new baby, and to keep away when it’s asleep. A more flighty cat should simply be kept away. Toddlers seem to have an instinct for grabbing handfuls of pet fur, and a nervous cat may react by scratching. A cat flap with a lock can be handy in the early days, to keep puss outdoors at key times.

Many cats dislike a baby’s crying, and will disappear when the screaming begins. This is very handy! Make sure there’s a quiet, safe spot for them, away from the mayhem. The Maya Nook is a perfect solution to give your cat some privacy. 

Cats feel exposed and nervous when they eat, so you should keep a toddler away from the place where your pet is feeding. It should also go without saying that you should prevent young ‘uns from rummaging in the litter tray too!

Special Notes For Dogs

All dogs will need to be well-trained, in a situation where trust is so fundamental. Some dog breeds are very rarely going to be friendly with children, though. A dog bred over hundreds of years for aggression is NOT a dog you should have in the family home. ‘Snappy’ breeds such as Jack Russel, Dachshund or Chihuahua can be problematic too, but you probably know your dog best.

A treat-based puzzle toy such as a Kong ball is a useful distraction. You can give it to your dog while you spend time tending to the baby, to divert the pet’s attention.

It’s important not to abandon dog walks, as that will lead to doggy stress and frustration. It’s a case of ‘business as usual’, where ‘usual’ has simply undergone a few changes.

The dog/child relationship is a two-way process, and youngsters need training too. Teach them to be gentle with the dog, and they will have the basis for a good relationship.

And the importance of that relationship shouldn’t be underestimated. Children learn lots about friendship, respect and responsibility from interacting with animals. There is also evidence that allergies are less of an issue in kids who have been brought up with pets.

So – you’ve replaced your ‘pet baby’ with the real thing. That means big change. But when handled properly it’s a positive change, the beginning of a new chapter in the happy family home.

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This entry was posted in Cats


How to Deal with the Loss of a Pet

Those who have lost a beloved pet will know the pain can be as heart wrenching as the loss of a family member or friend. For many couples, the family pet becomes another child, just one with four legs and a tail who doesn’t answer back. Many of us also find comfort and friendship in our pets throughout the highs and lows of day to day life, so the passing of a pet can be extremely painful.

It’s okay to be sad

Take the time to process what has happened and allow yourself to be sad. This is especially important if you have children who may be experiencing this kind of loss for the first time and might struggle to understand.

Pet owners often have to make the difficult decision to have their pets put to sleep when their health deteriorates too far to be helped. This adds another aspect to the grief as some may feel guilty for having to make that decision, or as though they could have done things differently. Discuss the events with your vet, as they will be able to reassure you that you did the right thing.

Don’t feel ashamed for any sadness you feel. Many people may not understand or be sympathetic towards the sadness when we lose a pet, but that doesn’t mean you are not allowed to feel upset. If you think it would help you to take a couple of days off work to grieve, do so. Pets who have been in your home for years leave a big hole, and feelings of loneliness and emptiness are completely normal.

Confide in your family and friends about how you feel, but if you do not think they understand, seek the support of organisations such as Blue Cross and Cats Protection who provide grief support helplines.

If they were your only pet, consider moving your pet’s bed, food bowls, toys and other belongings into a garage or shed so they are out of sight. Throwing these in the bin straight away can be difficult so don’t rush, just put them away so there is one less reminder in the home.

If you have another pet, keep a close eye on them for signs of depression and loneliness. Consult a vet if you believe your pet’s behaviour has changed drastically and shows no sign of improvement.

What next?

Some people choose to rescue or adopt another pet soon after the loss, as the home can feel empty without them. However, others find this feels too much like attempting to replace them. Consider rescuing a different type of pet, e.g. if you have lost a dog, why not rescue a cat instead. That way you are not at all replacing your previous pet, but you are offering a cat in need a happy home.

We are all guilty of taking lots of photos of our pets, and this is the time to put those photos to use. Find your favourites and prepare a photo album, or get a canvas printed, so they can still be a part of your home. Other things you could do in memory of your pet are plant a tree or flower in their favourite garden spot, read or write a poem, make a donation to a pet charity which means a lot to you, or volunteer at a local rescue shelter.

 

Pawprints Left By You – By Vayda Venue

You no longer greet me
As I walk through the door,
You’re not there to make me smile,
To make me laugh anymore,
Life seems quiet without you,
You were far more than a pet,
You were a family member, a friend,
A loving soul i’ll never forget.

It will take time to heal,
For the silence to go away,
I still listen for you ,
And miss you everyday,
You were such a great companion,
Constant, loyal, and true,
My heart will always wear,
The pawprints left by you.

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This entry was posted in Dogs