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8 Signs Your Dog Loves You

Warm Welcomes

One of the best things about being a dog owner is coming back home to be greeted by a happy (and pretty crazy) dog. It doesn’t matter if you’ve gone to the shops for 10 minutes or have been at work all day, your pup will act like you’ve been gone for days – jumping, dancing, licking and tail wagging. This is quite clearly a sign that your dog loves you and is happy that you have returned to them.

Yawning

We know that yawning is contagious between humans, but did you know that studies show that dogs are more likely to yawn simultaneously with their owners than with someone they don’t know? It is suggested that this is a way for dogs to show empathy, and that yawning together with their owners is a sign of affection.

Licking

Does your dog wake you up with wet kisses in the morning, or does he or she lick your face when you’re playing together? This is one of the absolute strongest signs that the dog feels truly comfortable around you, as it’s a version of the grooming that they would have spent time doing with their parents and siblings in the pack.

Sharing Toys

You might think that your dog only wants to play when they bring you their favourite toy. Wanting to play is also a strong sign of love, but by giving you their beloved possessions they are showing that you’re the pack leader and that they’re fully dedicated to you.

Loving Your Scent

You might get a bit annoyed when your pup steals your underwear and runs around the house with them, but try to remember that this thievery is actually a strong sign of affection. It means that the dog wants to feel close to you even when you’re not right next to them. If you see your dog doing this you might want to leave an old T-shirt in their bed when you’re out of the house to make them feel safe.

Eye Contact

If your dog looks you in the eye when you’re talking to or playing with them, they’re telling you that they love you. Eye contact releases the hormone oxytocin in the brain, which triggers feelings of comfort and affection and creates a stronger bond between you and your dog. An interesting fact is that dogs don’t use eye contact in the same way within their own species. In fact, prolonged eye contact between dogs can be a sign of aggression.

Relaxed Body Language

There are several ways your dog can use body language to show that they feel completely comfortable in your presence. A wagging tail is one of them, but you might also see relaxed facial features with a slightly open mouth and lolling tongue, blinking eyes, raised eyebrows and a tilting head, as well as rolling over for a belly rub.

Snuggling

In the wild dogs sleep huddled with their pack, and as you are your pet dogs pack, he or she might choose to snuggle up next to you for a nap. If they’re allowed to, dogs will sleep as close to their beloved humans as possible, both to feel protected and to protect the people they love the most. In a similar way you might also find that your dog stays close to you and sometimes leans against you when they are feeling stressed or intimidated.

 

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Ultimate Chicken Keeping Checklist

If you’re a first time chicken keeper getting started this spring, you will likely be wondering what exactly you need to take care of your new pets. Some things will depend on your garden and how many chickens you will be getting, and others are a standard essential for all chicken keepers. We’ve put together this handy guide for everything you need, plus there is a checklist at the end for you to use when shopping.

The Coop

First things first – housing. Your choice here will mainly depend on the number of chickens you plan on getting. At Omlet, we recommend a plastic chicken coop to reduce the risk of red mite infestation and to keep your girls completely weather protected. The traditional wooden chicken coop may look nice but they are harder to maintain, keep waterproof and red mite free.

Our Eglu chicken coops not only look great (available in purple or green), but they are also completely weatherproof, twin-wall insulated, and super easy to clean, making it virtually impossible for red mites to survive.

The Eglu Go and Go UP are a good starting point if you are only planning on getting 2 to 4 chickens. The house is the same, with a pull out droppings tray, nesting area, roosting bars and easy open back door, the only difference is that the Go UP comes on a stand with a ladder up to the coop, making the run taller, giving more space for hentertainment and allowing your chickens to roost off the ground.

The Eglu Cube is our largest coop. It is suitable for up to 10 smaller bantam breeds such as Pekins, 6-8 medium sized hens like the Rhode Island Red or 4-5 large breeds like the majestic Cochin. The Cube also has a back door and pull out droppings tray, plus a side egg port for you to easily collect your eggs from the nest box (which is big enough for 3 chickens to lay at once).

All our chicken keeping products, including the Eglus have 10% off now until the 22nd of March in our Spring Sale, so if you are thinking about keeping chickens now is the time to do it!

The Run

The Eglus are available with a fox resistant chicken run made from strong steel weld mesh, impossible for predators to break. A unique anti-tunnel skirt sits flat on the ground and prevents animals from digging in. Choose your run length based on how many chickens you will be getting and how often you will be able to let your chickens free range. If you start with a smaller run to begin with and realise later on your chickens need more space, we have run extensions available, or you may want to consider a larger Walk in Run to give your chickens lots of space and make it easier for you to spend time with them and look after them.

A number of accessories are also available for your Eglu run including wheels and run handles to make it quick and easy for one person to move the coop and run to another area of your garden.

Something else you may want to consider for your garden set up is Chicken Fencing. Although, not predator proof, chicken fencing allows you to section off an area of your garden to keep your chickens in one place. This is especially useful if you have a larger garden that you don’t want your chickens to get lost in, or if you have a vegetable patch or flower bed to protect. This is best used when you are home or at a time when you know foxes are not about in your area, so you know your girls are safe free ranging outside of their coop run.

Hentertainment

Like any other animal, chickens can get bored and need good sources of, what we like to call, hentertainment to keep them occupied when you are not around.

Our Rocky and Elvis Peck Toys slowly release treats over time while being pecked and offer hens great boredom busting fun. The Omlet Chicken Perch can be placed anywhere on any chicken run, and allows your hens to fulfill their natural desire to perch from the highest point available while in their run during the day.

Weather Protection

For spring and summer time you may want to consider a shade for the run to give your chickens a cooler area out of the sun where they can chill out.

For winter, an Extreme Temperature Blanket is ideal for keeping the coop warm when temperatures drop below freezing for multiple days in a row. There are also a number of run covers and wind breaks available so your chickens can still enjoy time outside while being protected from the elements.

Food

For laying hens you will need to provide layers pellets which offer the protein content they need to stay healthy and regularly lay eggs. A fully grown chicken will typically eat about 120 grams of layers pellets a day. You will also need to provide grit which is essential for helping chickens digest their food, as they do not have teeth.

Corn is a great treat for hens but should be limited as it is high in fat. Other treats, such as fruit, green veggies and cereals should also only be given in limited supply to avoid chickens filling up on those rather than the layers pellets.

It also important to ensure fresh water is available at all times – checking and refilling it daily.

Our Eglus all come with a feeder and drinker but you may want to consider buying extra to offer another area in your garden for when they are free ranging, especially important for chickens who don’t like to share with their coop-mates!

Bedding

There are lots of different types of bedding available on the market, and which you choose is entirely dependent on your personal preference. Some to consider include dust extracted wood shavings, straw, chopped cardboard, Aubiose and Easichick.

Cleaning

When you give your chickens’ droppings tray and bedding area its weekly clean, you might want to consider sprinkling some Diatom Powder around to prevent any bugs making a home in your chicken coop, and adding some BioDri to bedding will help to sanitise the litter, make it last longer, and reduce the growth of bacteria.

Deep clean your whole coop once a year with a disinfectant such as Johnson’s Clean ‘n’ Safe to ensure the coop is spotless.

Last but not least: Chickens!

When you have everything in place and are ready to get some chickens, we strongly recommend looking to charities such as the British Hen Welfare Trust to rescue an ex-battery hen. While these hens may be a little more wary of their new home and the strange environment they are not used to, they will soon come round and settle in and be a great layer for you and your family.

Get 10% off all the products mentioned in this post until midnight on the 24th of March in our Spring Sale! No promo code needed.

The Checklist

  • Coop
  • Run
  • Fencing
  • Run wheels/handles
  • Run shade and covers
  • Toys; perches, treat dispensers
  • Feeders and drinkers
  • Layers pellets
  • Corn
  • Grit
  • Bedding
  • Diatom powder
  • BioDri
  • Chicken-safe Disinfectant

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Dog-Friendly Pancake Recipe

Pancake Day is coming up on the 5th of March, and while you might be thinking about what fancy pancake toppings you are going to try this year, we are thinking about what our dogs will want. Priorities.

Don’t leave out your furry friend this Shrove Tuesday, treat them to this dog-friendly pancake recipe with all the trimmings. This is also a delicious, healthy option for humans, too!

All you need for the pancakes are –

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • Coconut oil spray for frying pan

Eggs are a great source of protein for dogs, and are full of vitamins which can benefit their diet. Bananas are also rich in vitamins and minerals, and they also help boost your dog’s immune system and skin health.

Mash up the bananas in a bowl or food processor. Add the eggs and mix. Thicken with flour until the mixture forms a batter-like texture. Spray the frying pan with Coconut Oil Spray on a medium temperature. Add a tablespoon of the mix into the frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side. Allow the pancakes to cool before giving to your dog.

Suggested toppings for your dog’s pancakes –

  • More bananas!
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Peanut butter (check there is no xylitol in ingredients)
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Apple
  • Cottage cheese
  • Small cubes of cheddar cheese
  • Their own treats!

Flipping fantastic! Join the fun on Instagram and tag us in videos of your dog attempting to catch their pancake using the hashtag #FlippingFido.

Remember dogs should only have treats in moderation so consider the portion which is appropriate for the size of your dog to avoid overfeeding.

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10 Things Every Dog Parent is Guilty of Saying

In this post we’re introducing Esme, the latest addition to the Omlet HQ Pet family. This new puppy colleague has reminded us all of the crazy things we say to or about our dogs. Only truly mad dog parents will be guilty of saying these things…and also happily admit to it. If you think of someone while reading these, make sure you name and shame them on social media using #OmletPets.

 

“Can I work from home today?”

Why?

“My dog gets lonely…”

“Oh, don’t worry the dog will clean it up…”

“Go do wee-wees, go on”

“Sorry I’m late, my dog was -”

“Oh my God, my dog did the cutest thing this morning…”

“Sorry, she’s a licker”

“LOOK AT YOUR LITTLE FACE!”

“OH I MISSED YOU TOO!”

“Who’sacutiewootiethenyesyou’reacutiewootieyesyouare”

Hey, you free tonight?

“No, I’m cuddling my dog.”

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Pooch vs Partner: Who wins your heart this Valentine’s Day?

For Valentine’s Day we wanted to find out how much love you have for your four legged friends vs the affection you have for your partner? We surveyed over 400 dog owners. The results are in and they make an interesting, yet not surprising read!

Among the key findings includes:

78% expressed that their dog is more attentive than their partner!

75% said their dog brings out their best side more than their partner does!

Check out the infographic below to see all the results!

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Cat Rescue Stories From Around The World

Last month, we celebrated International Cat Day by inviting all our lovely Omlet followers and customers from around the world to share their wonderful cat rescue stories on social media. Here is a selection of our favourite tales…


””I took my little kitty ’Bettemis’ and her sister into my care from Tøstrup shelter and animal welfare center, she was so small that we didn’t think she would survive, but she did. And when she was 2 years old she fell from a window and broke her pelvis in two places, this she survived as well. She is the most cuddly and affectionate cat I know, although she stamps when she walks. I have 4 cats and a dog.” – Lilian Fischer Krarup, from Denmark.

“This is my darling boy Yumyum. He was rescued from a very hectic household. Kids chasing and pulling his tail. So he was shut in a room with a filthy litter tray. He was two pounds in weight and eight weeks old. He was a feisty wee soul to begin with, but has settled in fine. He is now 14 yrs and has been diabetic for many years now. He has Insulin twice a day and special low carb biscuits. He has me wrapped around his little paw” – Helen, from the UK.

““This is Misfit, he came from our vet, she found him on the street, he was ill and no owner ever showed up, so we got him. We have 33 cats in total, many from Trøstrup shelter” –

Tilla Löewenhausen, from Denmark.

“This is Fröken Fräs. She waited for 10 years for a new home at the rescue centre in Lidköping. She was somewhat aggressive, not very outgoing, and no one’s first choice. It didn’t get easier when she got older and started getting dental issues. Now she lives in Dalarna and is a beloved family member of ours since a few years back. She loves prawns, to sleep in the sun, play with balls or just lay close to us and cuddle. There are a lot of cats like her out there – those older cats with a few flaws that, almost, no one wants.” – Pia, from Sweden.

This is Jessie! She was rescued by Little Valley Animal Shelter and painstakingly nursed back to health after being found with her back leg completely skinned 😞 They thought they were going to have to amputate but their amazing care meant they didn’t have to in the end. It was a very long road to recovery but she is now fit, healthy and a beloved member of our family” – Charley, from the UK.

““This handsome cat is iPoes! I adopted her in 2010 from ‘t Julialaantje in Rijswijk (the Netherlands). Although she’s my cat, I can honestly say she is one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever met. She will never scratch or bite. Except the neighbor’s tomcat, she will make sure he leaves our house immediately!
According to the animal shelter, iPoes used to live in a house with many other cats and dogs. In the beginning she wasn’t very social, and it took almost 2 years before she felt comfortable enough to sit on my lap. But this is not a problem anymore: now she likes to sleep next to me under the duvet with her head on my pillow! Although she’s very sweet, she’s not very clever… She is a very small cat and according to the vet her head is just too small for a big brain. But even after 8 years she still learns new things every day!” –Pauline, from Holland.

“Heddi is 17 years old and I rescued her back in 2001. She’s got a large personality and knows what she wants, and she always lets us know when she wants something, food or being let out into the garden – even at 5 in the morning! Nowadays she prefers to sleep outside and never leaves the garden. She hisses and chases male cats that come into the garden. Her kidneys are starting to act up, and she’s got arthritis, but she’s very happy and has perfect teeth. She’s got a friend who is two years younger, Nancy, with a completely different personality, but I love them both.” –
Jag älskar båda lika mycket.” – Annika, from Sweden.

““Bibi, has been rescued 9 years ago! We found him straying in our neighborhood a very cold and snowy day of winter, we presume his owners decided they didn’t want him anymore. He came to my door, I let him entered and he never left. He is so thankful that he accept all the new rescues animal in our house, even this bird that doesn’t want to leave haha” – Joëlle, from France.

““Hi, let me introduce you to Obi & Ficelle! We have recently adopted Obi, he is a 3 months old kitten that we found in the street where he was starved and sick! Today, he lives the perfect life with his soul sister Ficelle which we have got from a rescue center located in north of France.” – Cassandre, from France.

““We picked up our cat Mia from the rescue centre in Murtal / German in September 2017. Our other rescue pets were excited about her arrival as well.” – Marlena, from Germany.

““Luna is from Lund shelter. We don’t know her story. We just know that she was there for a very long time. She wasn’t very talkative when we got her. Today she sleeps in my arm under the duvet and can act on command.” – Charlotte L Hansen, from Denmark.

“In the summer of 2006 a kitten suddenly showed up outside our house. He was extremely thin, had a large cut on his stomach and ridden with ear mites. It took me two days to catch him, but then only a few minutes before he calmed down and started purring. I already have 4 neutered male cats, and the plan was never to keep him, but we quickly had to give up that idea. He stole my heart! We named him Alvin and he is now as big a part of the family as the other cats.” – Jennifer, from Sweden.

““Sir George is my foster failure from 2 years ago with Diamonds in the Ruff Animal Rescue in Lockport NY. George came to me at 4 days old and right from the start was a medical learning process. He developed a hernia from straining with chronic diarrhea by 5 weeks old. He continued to struggle and failed to thrive until he was 9 months old. We did a lot of tests, and a lot of food trials. My vet is awesome and she wouldn’t give up – and neither would Diamonds. We finally found a diet that George could tolerate. He is allergic to dairy, fish and carbs. He has swung from diarrhea to constipation to just right. July 4th this year, he urinary blocked. My vet again is awesome and saved me a trip to the ER. He is on chronic medications as well as a special diet (which at one time included home cooked meals). Due to the malnurishment at an early age, he is my “mini” kitty but is happy, and doing great!” –Cathryne, from USA.

You can read more amazing stories on our Facebook page!


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Keep your hens entertained!

No one likes being bored, and that goes for chickens as well! Bored chickens are more prone to start bullying each other, trying to escape the garden or eating eggs. Some also suggest that a bored chicken is more likely to go broody. If you have nothing else to do, why not just stay in bed all day?

You are probably already, without thinking about it, providing your chickens with toys and entertainment. Anything that encourages natural chicken behaviour creates fun for your chickens, even if it’s just perching or pecking for corn. But if you want to give them even more hentertainment – here are some top tips:

Provide perches. We might not see perching on a branch as entertainment, but it’s one of the things chickens love most in the world! Try to vary the perches so that there are a few different sizes at different heights. You could lean a ladder against one side of the run, find some dead branches lying around the park, or use Omlet’s amazingly easy-to-use perches.

Put out heaps of leaves, straw or hay. Chickens hate piles, and will rush straight to it to try and level everything to the ground in search of tasty morsels. It’s yummy if they find anything, and provides them with both entertainment and exercise!

Put up a mirror. Chickens take great pride in their looks, and love checking themselves out, so putting a mirror in the run will most certainly be a hit. However, make sure that the mirror is securely fastened so that it doesn’t fall and hurt your girls, and be careful if you have a cockerel – they really don’t enjoy having another cock in the flock!

Peck toys. Rather than feeding your chickens from a dispenser or a container, you can mix it up and make them work for their treats! Pecking and foraging are natural behaviours for chickens, and they will love Elvis and Rocky, Omlet’s super fun peck toys. They will randomly scatter treats when pecked, and provide mental stimulation for your chickens while also improving flock behaviour!

Chicken specific toys. There are several products on the market that are specifically designed to entertain hens and keep them busy. The Chicken Swing is a must in every chicken run or enclosure, and your pets will love chasing after the Manna Pro Food Ball to get to the treats, passing it between themselves as training for the next match!

Don’t be scared of change! It’s easy to think you’re finished once you’ve got your coop and your run in place, but chickens really benefit from variation. Maybe you could move your Eglu to a different part of the garden, introduce some hanging toys or get a new dust bath for the chickens to roll around in?

Spend time with them. All chicken keepers know that spending time together with the chickens is both fun and very therapeutic, and the chickens feel the same. Even if they just see you as a rather large food dispenser, they will certainly enjoy having you around.

 

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Meet Mimi and Rio – A Mischievous pair!

Meet Mimi & Rio - A mischievous pair.

 

 

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Top 15 Chicken Facts!

 

Have you ever wondered what’s going on in the minds of your chickens?

 

  • Chickens have, just like us, full-colour vision. So the colourful Eglus from Omlet will also brighten up your chickens’ day!
  • Chickens dream just like we do. During sleep they also experience REM (Rapid Egg Movement?). Maybe they dream about all the exciting things they did during the day…
  • Chickens are omnivores, which means they eat both vegetables and meat. They love seeds and juicy worms, but will also appreciate a small mouse if they come across one.
  • Chickens are related to the Tyrannosaurus rex. Maybe this is not that hard to believe when they stare at you with a penetrating gaze (trying to convince you to feed them…again!).
  • There is a word for the extreme fear of chickens, namely alektorophobia.
    People with alektorophobia can even develop a fear for eggs.

 

  • Chickens have an excellent memory. They are able to recognise the faces of more than 100 members of their species, other animals and humans.
  • Wild chickens just lay ten to fifteen eggs a year during the breeding season. Battery hens are bred to lay an egg almost every day. To make sure you’ll use the eggs of your hens in date order, Omlet provides the Egg Date Stamping Kit, the Egg Skelter and Egg Ramp
  • The heaviest chicken egg ever weighed was 340g (as a comparison: an average chicken egg weighs between 55-75g). As chickens get older they will lay fewer but larger eggs.

 

  • The colour of the egg does not alter its nutritional value or taste. The reasoning behind different shell colours is that different breeds lay eggs of different colours.
  • It takes 21 days on average for a chicken egg to hatch once incubation begins, whether you incubate them with an incubator or set them under a hen.
  • It is very unlikely that an egg with a double yolk will produce a chicken twin. There is too little space in the egg for two chicks to fully develop.

 

  • Worldwide there are more than 25 billion chickens (as a comparison: there are less than 7.5 billion people). Chickens are therefore the most common birds on earth.
  • The red junglefowl (gallus gallus) from Asia is the ancestor of the modern chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). Chickens were probably already domesticated in the sixth millenium B.C.

 

 

Sources: www.omlet.co.uk, www.backyardchickens.com, www.countrysidenetwork.com, www.smithsonianmag.com, www.thefactsite.com, www.thehappychickencoop.com.

 

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Top Tips for an Epic Easter Egg Hunt!

Keep it fair and fun

Avoid arguments between children by color coding the hunt, give each child one color that they need to search for. Alternatively if you have a broad range of ages playing, why not color code the hunt based on ages, younger children can look for the large gold eggs whereas the older children need to look for the pink eggs which you will have made harder to find.

Provide alternatives to chocolate

Think ahead about who will be participating in your Easter Egg Hunt? Are any of the children diabetic? Are they allergic to dairy, gluten, cocoa or nuts? You could always use plastic decorative eggs for them to find then have prizes such as coloring books or toys instead of the sugary treats.

Remember the baskets!

The children will need something to carry their eggs in, lots of craft stores have cute baskets you can use or alternatively you make them as an activity before the hunt. See here for a guide on how to weave your own basket.

Think of fun clues

If you want to add another fun element to your hunt, you could think about providing the kids with clues as to where the eggs are hidden, such as “Somewhere that’s cold (fridge)” “What shall we have for breakfast? (cereal box)”, “It’s raining outside, what shall we take with us? (umbrella stand).

 

Keep track of your hiding places

It’s worth making a note of the hiding places and the number of eggs hidden for your own reference.

Check the weather forecast

Firstly so you’re not planning to commence the hunt when it’s due to rain, also if you are hiding chocolate, double check the temperature forecasted as you might need to make sure they’re all hidden in shaded areas, or you don’t put them out too early before it kicks off. Noone wants a melted Easter egg!  If the weather is going to be stormy, plan a backup hunt for inside the house.

Set boundaries

Let the kids know where the searching area is, it’s important to make sure everyone has fun but in a safe environment. Show the children where the start and end of the hunting zone is.

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New Years Eve Pet Safety

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Preparing for Bonfire Night

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