Izy Hossack is a London based chef and baker, food stylist and food photographer, as well as author of the books Top with Cinnamon and The Savvy Cook. Izy has created two deliciously festive recipes for the Omlet Advent Calendar, you can find her Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake here.
This layer cake is the perfect Christmassy bake to impress. Inspired by the flavours of eggnog, the cake and frosting are flavoured with vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and rum for a slightly boozy, warmly spiced dessert.
The frosting is an interesting one to try – if you usually find standard buttercream too sweet, you’ll love this version (and it doesn’t require icing sugar!). The base is a cooked custard, thickened with cornflour and egg until very viscous. This is then whisked into softened butter until fluffy and creamy. It can seem a bit dense if the butter or custard are too cold so you may need to add a splash of boiling water to help it fluff up properly. It’s definitely worth the extra effort over a standard buttercream as the texture is so smooth and light with the perfect level of sweetness.
For decoration, I like to keep the frosting simple with a thin layer around the outside and a slightly swoopy texture on top. For the toppings, I look for edible bits to give the cake a festive look; Woody herbs like rosemary, thyme or sage (as I’ve used here) are lovely as are chopped/flaked nuts. A sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg are a finishing touch and boost that eggnog flavour.
300g granulated sugar
140g unsalted butter, softened
60ml vegetable oil
4 medium eggs
150ml natural yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
330g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp fine table salt
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
80g granulated sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
200g unsalted butter, softened
2 tbsp dark rum
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 180C fan. Grease, line and flour three 18-cm cake tins.
In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy. Beat in the oil then eggs, one at a time.
In a jug, combine the yoghurt, milk and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, place the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and bicarbonate of soda and stir to combine.
Add 1/3 of the yoghurt mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Repeat in this alternating fashion until you’ve mixed in all of the yoghurt and flour mixtures and have a smooth cake batter.
Divide the batter evenly between the cake tins and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
Run a butter knife around the inside edges of the cake tins and then leave them to cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
Combine the milk and vanilla in a small pot and place over a medium-low heat on the stove until gently steaming.
In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cornflour, egg, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until smooth.
Pour a little of the hot milk into the egg mixture and quickly stir with a whisk until smooth. Stream in the remaining hot milk whilst stirring to combine. Pour the contents of the bowl back into the pot and return to the heat.
Cook over a medium-low heat, stirring with a whisk, until the mixture becomes lumpy and thick. Keep stirring until it looks smooth and glossy, about 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
Spread the mixture out in a shallow bowl and pop into the freezer for 5-10 minutes until cooled. Alternatively, chill the mixture in the fridge for around 1 hour.
Beat the softened butter in a large bowl with an electric whisk (or in a stand mixer) until smooth then gradually add the cooled egg mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally.
Add the rum and keep whisking until the frosting looks aerated and light. If it seems too dense still, add 1-2 tbsp of boiling water to help soften the butter which should help the frosting to achieve the correct texture.
Cut off any domed tops from the cooled cake layers using a serrated knife and peel away the baking paper from the bottoms.
Place one cake layer onto a serving plate and spread a few heaped tablespoons of frosting over the top of the cake. Top with a second cake layer and repeat.
When you’ve placed on the final cake layer, place ½ of the remaining frosting onto the cake and spread it thinly over the top and sides of the cake. Using a warm palette knife can be useful here (warm it up by placing into a jug of boiling water and wipe clean as needed).
Place the cake into the fridge for 10 minutes to harden this initial layer of frosting.
Remove the cake from the fridge and add the remaining frosting to the cake, using it to decoratively frost the top and sides as you like.
Decorate the cake with any toppings you want – I’ve used grated nutmeg, ground cinnamon, sage leaves and flaked almonds here for a festive feel.
Everyone deserves a treat from Santa Paws this festive season, including our four legged friends! This super simple recipe makes around 15 dog biscuits (using a 10cm cookie cutter), and are the perfect Christmas treat for your dog!
150g plain or wholemeal flour
80g xylitol-free peanut butter*
4 tablespoons hot water
½ teaspoon cinnamon
*Check the ingredients of your peanut butter – xylitol is toxic to dogs.
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
Preheat your oven to 170°C. Mix together the xylitol-free peanut butter and hot water in a bowl.
Add the banana to the bowl and mash with a fork until most lumps have gone.
Add the flour and cinnamon to the bowl and use your hands to form a dough. The texture should be quite firm and sticky.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll out the dough to about 1cm thick.
Cut out into your favourite Christmassy shapes and place on a lined baking tray.
Bake at 170°C for around 15 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooked, leave to cool completely before your dog does the taste test!
Your homemade Christmas dog treats can be stored in an airtight container for up to 10 days. A friendly reminder that this recipe is intended as occasional treats for your dog, and should be fed in small amounts alongside a well-balanced diet. These treats are not suitable for dogs with nut allergies or other special dietary requirements.
Izy Hossack is a London based chef and baker, food stylist and food photographer, as well as author of the books Top with Cinnamon and The Savvy Cook. Izy has created two deliciously festive recipes for the Omlet Advent Calendar, starting with this Chocolate Gingerbread Bundt Cake, perfect for the Christmas party!
Ginger and chocolate make the perfect combination in this festive bundt cake. The batter is very easy to make as it’s a melt-and-mix situation so no electric mixer is required! The golden syrup and treacle bring a soft, squidgy texture and boost the warming flavours of the spices. The ganache is best made with a bitter chocolate as this helps to tame the sweetness of the cake. For a pretty (and delicious) decoration, a simple sprinkle of crystallised ginger chunks are the perfect touch – you can find them in the baking aisle of most large supermarkets.
175g unsalted butter, plus a couple of tablespoons for the tin
150g golden syrup
120g light brown sugar
3 medium eggs
200g natural yoghurt
250g plain white flour
60g cocoa powder, plus more for the tin
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp fine table salt
Place a standard bundt tin into the freezer for 5-10 minutes. Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter in a medium pot (we’ll use this pot later for the batter too) over a low heat.
Generously brush the inside of the bundt tin with the melted butter, making sure you get into all of the crevices.
Dust the tin with cocoa powder, tapping it around the tin to coat all over then tip out any excess (if you collect it on a plate, you can use the excess cocoa powder in the cake batter).
For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 180C fan.
Take the same pot you were using earlier and add the 175g of butter, the golden syrup, treacle and light brown sugar. Place over a low heat on the stove and cook, stirring often, until the butter has fully melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
To the cooled butter mixture, stir in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the yoghurt.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir with a whisk until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before tipping out onto a cooling rack.
For the ganache:
Place the chocolate into a small, heatproof bowl. Pour cream into a small pot and place over a medium-low heat. Once the cream is gently steaming, remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate in the bowl.
Allow to sit for 10 minutes then stir to get a smooth ganache.
Drizzle the ganache over the cake (which can still be warm when you do this) allowing it to drip down the sides. Decorate with crystallised ginger while the ganache is still warm.
Does your cat get in the way when you’re wrapping presents at Christmas? Are you tired of hunching over badly wrapped socks with sellotape stuck to your fingers? Is your dog snoring in the corner with one eye on the food gift sets?
It’s time to take a break and make some fun DIY pet toys! These four simple toys can easily be made with used wrapping paper cardboard tubes, so you can make great use of the tubes, and keep your pets entertained.
Opting out of wrapping this year? Don’t worry, you can make all these toys with toilet roll or kitchen towel tubes.
Safety note: Always supervise children with scissors, and supervise your pets with these new toys. Give treats in moderation.
You will need:
Toilet roll cardboard tubes or a longer wrapping paper tube cut shorter
Your dog or cat’s favourite treats/kibbles
Cut into one end of the cardboard tubes, and repeat around the edge of the end of the tube, about 1cm between each cut, and up the tube by about 2cm
Fold the cut pieces into each other and hook together so they hold their position, push your thumb through so the ends point inwards into the tube
Repeat with the other end, but before closing up the tube and pushing inside, fill with your pets favourite treats or kibble
Use the pencil to puncture holes into the tube, just about big enough for the kibble to fall out of
Give to your pet and encourage them to kick the tube around to release the treats!
Slow release feeder
You will need:
Toilet roll cardboard tubes or a longer wrapping paper tube cut shorter
A small cardboard box
Your dog’s favourite kibble
If using a cardboard box, cut down the top flaps so it’s a completely open box
Stand up toilet roll cardboard tubes in the box. You can cut them into different heights to make it more interesting
Fill the box with your dog’s food
Place the box on the floor and watch as your dog sniffs out their kibble and nudges and removes the tubes to eat
Christmas tree chewer
You will need:
Toilet roll cardboard tubes or a longer wrapping paper tube cut shorter
Fold a toilet roll tube in half by length (end to end)
Draw a Christmas tree shape on the toilet roll
It’s very important to leave a folded edge uncut by about half a centimetre either side – this will hold the tree together
Once the tree shape is cut, push in the sides so isn’t folded flat, and the tree should stand up
Place in your hamster’s cage or playpen and enjoy!
You will need:
Toilet roll cardboard tubes or cut up a longer wrapping paper tube
Treats or kibble
Cut a toilet roll tube into 5 rings
Place one ring through the other, and a third ring through these 2
Place another ring through a gap, then pop some kibble into the centre
Place the final ring through the tiny gap left so it holds its shape
Roll the treat ball on the floor for your cat or dog to kick around to release the treats!
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. Please also be aware that these dates are only valid for products that are currently in stock, pre order products will not ship until they are back in stock.
You’ve come to the right place if you’re getting a gift for the chicken keeper in your life! The Omlet shop is, as always, packed with practical and fun things for all hens and their owners. Make the most of our Black Friday Sale by snapping up some of the great offers in good time before Christmas.
One of the greatest gifts you can give your chickens this winter is some proper fun! We have got plenty of engaging hentertainment that will have your hens clucking with excitement.
The Poppy and Pendant Chicken Peck Toys release feed, treats or grit as your chickens go in for a peck, so will add both stimulation and snacks in times when there are not as many bugs to dig out of the flower beds.
Or why not make your chicken run more of a play park with the amazing Chicken Swing? Perching comes natural to hens, and adding an element of movement will add some extra excitement to their day.
Omlet’s Automatic Chicken Coop Door makes life for chicken keepers just that little bit easier, and will go down a treat with tech lovers! The door can be programmed to open and close automatically at certain times of day, or chosen levels of daylight, so that the chickens will be safely tucked in as soon as the sun goes down, even if their owners are still at work. The Autodoor can also be fitted to any wooden coop or run, so makes a great gift for all proud (but busy) chicken owners.
Give your chickens their own Christmas Tree with our new PoleTree chicken perch system. Perfect for a Walk in run or other chicken enclosure, this perch tree can be customised to fit your flock with long or short perches at different heights and orientations.
The stable poles attach to the roof and/or wall of your run, and you can then add as many perches as you like and arrange them in a way that will suit your chickens. Create a spiral perch staircase for your hens to climb up, or add longer perches for the chickens who like to watch the world go by in company. Why not accessorise further with a treat dish for snacking up high?
Caddi with Feldy Seaweed Sprout Pecker Balls
Another way of treating your pets this winter are the NEW Feldy Sprout Pecker Balls with a tasty and nutritious hint of seaweed. These high energy balls fit perfectly in the Caddi Chicken Treat Holder, and are a high energy snack that will help the flock stay warm, healthy and laying throughout winter.
The firm texture of the balls in combination with the swinging motion of the Caddi means the hens will only be able to get small bits at the time, making them a long lasting and entertaining treat.
Lucky chicken keepers will have more eggs than they can eat in a day, so will need a way of storing them. Egg skelters allow you to keep your hens’ beautiful eggs on display in the kitchen, and will make it easy to know in which order to crack them open, as new eggs can simply be added at the top as they come in fresh from the coop.
Are you struggling to find the purrfect Christmas present for a cat lover you know? Rest assured, you’ll be bound to find something at The Omlet Christmas Market! A number of cat toys and accessories are on offer this year so you’ll want to hurry to ensure you won’t miss out on some unmissable savings!
Freestyle Cat Tree
The Freestyle Cat Treeis the ultimate gift for cat lovers! With so many different accessories to customise the tree, there’s something to suit every cat’s personality! The platforms are ideal for cats that love climbing, whilst the hammock is a great little hideaway for any cats who might want to escape the chaos of Christmas festivities!
If you’re concerned about ceiling height, the Freestyle Cat Tree is available in 6 sizes, ranging from from 1.7m up to 4.40m, meaning that it’s suitable for any home. There’s also an option to incorporate houseplants (pet-friendly of course) with the plant pot holder, which means you can have the tree fit in with your home.
Donut Cat Bed
If you’ve got a cat who loves nothing more but to snuggle up and get cosy, the Maya Donut Cat Bed will be top of their Christmas wish list this year! The donut shape means your cats will have optimum support, that will provide them with a cuddly feeling that they’ll absolutely love. The faux fur material is so soft to touch that it will have your cats in a state of pure tranquility!
The Bolster Bed is another super soft cat bed that will also be an excellent Christmas gift for any cat parents. The zip-on, machine washable covers make them ideal for getting rid of any odours or fur balls.
With a range of 15 different beautiful colours and a range of designer feet to choose from, the Bolster is ideal for any cat parents who want a stylish bed to match the interior of their home!
Luxury Super Soft Cat Blanket
No cat will be able to say no to the Omlet Luxury Super Soft Cat Blanket! The beautiful throw can be placed on your cat’s favourite spot in the home, or even in their bed to help them get an even better sleep. The blanket is dual-sided and also comes in two designs – grey and cream and poinsettia red and cream, giving cat parents the option to find the right style for their home.
For a more playful cat, the Omlet Christmas Market has a selection of cat toysto make sure they don’t miss out on any fun! Smaller toys are perfect as stocking fillers, providing mental and physical stimulation for cats.
How about the adorable Pudding Snuffle Forage Mat as a Christmas gift? The hide and seek toy will keep cats entertained as you hide their favourite treats between the fabric. You can even use catnip, which will provide your fluffy friend with hours of enjoyment!
The Omlet Christmas Market is now open! With plenty on offer for dogs this year, you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity to get some great deals on gifts for any pampered pooches (and their owners!) that you have in your life.
The Topology dog bed is a must-have for any pup who loves to put their feet up after a long day! With a high performance memory foam mattress base, this bed is also a brilliant gift for any dogs who need that extra bit of support and comfort for their joints. Available with a number of luxury toppers, including a dreamy faux fur sheepskin, the bed is great for keeping your four legged friend snug over the festive season!
If you know someone who’s looking to upgrade their dog’s bed for the new year, the Bolster Dog Bed is a fantastic choice. The zip-on, machine washable covers make them ideal for any puppy accidents or muddy paw prints as well.
With a range of 15 different beautiful colours and a range of designer feet to choose from, the Bolster is ideal for any dog parents who want a stylish bed to match the interior of their home! How about opting for the Sage Green or Merlot Red to really fit in with the Christmas decor?
Luxury Super Soft Dog Blanket
The irresistible Luxury Super Soft Dog Blanket will be a real treat for any pups to find under the tree this year! The ultra cosy, sherpablanket can be placed anywhere in the home to help your dog get a great night’s sleep. You can even position the blanket in your pup’s bed for even more warmth and comfort. Now also available in a very festive poinsettia red and cream design, your dogs can get into Christmas spirit with the rest of the family!
Joules Water Resistant Dog Coat
For a more fashion-forward pup, the Joules Water Resistant Dog Coat is the perfect accessory for those wintry shower walks. With adorable Joules embellishments, your pup is bound to get plenty of attention wearing this coat for their next stroll.
The lightweight coat has an inner lining, meaning that your dog will stay nice and toasty, alongside looking super stylish. With an adjustable velcro fastening and three sizes available, you can be assured that your furry friend will be super comfortable, as well.
Whether you’re buying a present for an animal loving child or for your own little pet, we’ve got the perfect gifts, big and small. Check out these top tips, now at an amazing price in the Omlet Black Friday Sale!
Shelters and Play Tunnels
Give your rabbits or guinea pigs something fun to play with on their run this winter with Zippi Guinea Pig Shelters and Rabbit Play Tunnels. Available in green or purple, the shelters are a great way of providing a safe and secluded place for your pets to hide, or as a platform they can jump onto and watch the world go by.
The play tunnels can be placed independently anywhere on the run for your pets to chase each other through, or be connected to the shelters to create a maze that mimics their wild burrows. Entertainment and safe spot in one!
The Caddi Rabbit Treat Holder is the perfect stocking filler for chickens, rabbits or guinea pigs, or their owners. The Caddi can be filled with a range of pet appropriate treats, and will swing as the animals peck or bite the treats. It’s the ideal both mental and physical challenge, with the added bonus of a tasty reward!
Hung from the roof of your hutch and run, the height of the Caddi can easily be adjusted, and it’s super easy to remove it for refilling and cleaning.
Qute Hamster and Gerbil Cage
The Qute hamster and gerbil cage allows owners to get closer to their pets. The modern design means you will be happy to display the piece in your kitchen or living room, and the large, crystal clear bedding tray makes it easy for pet owners of all ages to see what their pets are up to. The bedding tray also offers a convenient way of getting your hamster or gerbils out of the cage for playing, socialising and exercise.
Geo Bird Cage
Upgrade your budgie or other small birds’ home this winter with the stunning Geo Bird Cage. The Geo has got everything your bird needs to become a natural part of the home, and you can accessorise with baths, mirrors and toys for your pets to enjoy. You can also add a festive touch to the avian housing with the NEW Nordic Green cover. Pop the woodland themed cover with a calming cream background and a trim of geometric trees over the cage at bedtime to let your pets rest in their own winter wonderland.
Eglu Go Hutch
Do your current pets need a home improvement? The Eglu Go Small Animal Hutch is the perfect way of keeping rabbits or guinea pigs in the garden. The handy integrated hutch and run solution allows your pets to run in and out as and when they like during the day, and when it’s time for a nap they can curl up in the safe and insulated house. In winter you can move the hutch closer to the house, making cleaning and spending time with your pets even easier.
Note: from 14/12/2020 all chickens in the UK should be kept indoors to prevent the spread of avian flu. For more information, please see this article: https://blog.omlet.co.uk/2020/11/26/
In December, Santa Barbara and her team of Elves helped us say a big thank you to our pets and all they have helped us through in the past year. We’ve been in touch with some of the lucky winners from around the world to see how their pets are enjoying their special prizes…
Holidays offer a great opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends – and that includes pets! It’s important to remember, however, that the kind of fun humans enjoy at Christmas and New Year might not be so much fun for the pet you live with.
With a bit of care and consideration, though, you can make sure the holidays are great fun for your pets too. These ten top tips for keeping pets happy at Christmas will set you on the right track.
Keep the noise down
Christmas and New Year are noisy, with people, music and games all adding to the decibels. For cats and dogs, it may simply be a case of looking for a quiet spot, and many dogs will be perfectly happy at the centre of the party. Caged animals such as budgies, finches, parrots and small mammals don’t find it so easy to escape the noise, though.
If possible, cages should be placed in a quieter part of the house if there is a party taking place in the main room. If the cage can’t be moved – if it’s built in, for example, or simply too large to relocate – you’ll have to take that into consideration, making sure the noise isn’t too excessive for your pet.
Ban the fireworks!
The biggest bang comes from fireworks. No pet enjoys explosions, and some simply head for a safe corner and sit it out. Many cats and dogs, however, become genuinely terrified by the noise, and in extreme cases they may need to be sedated. Unless your pet is a new one, you will know how they react to fireworks, and will be able to take appropriate precautions. If you are the owner of a very nervous cat or dog, or if you have chickens or other pet animals in the garden, don’t turn your garden into a firework and bonfire display site!
Go easy on the treats
There’s lots of food around at Christmas. Your dog will probably be happy to eat leftovers and treats all day, given the chance, but this does not make it a good idea. As far as your dog is concerned, it’s best to treat Christmas Day and other festive times like any other day, perhaps with a simple treat such as some turkey skin with the evening meal.
The same applies to other pets; and you need to make sure that everyone knows the rules. A well-meaning guest might try to feed pretzels and salted peanuts to the hamsters and gerbils, or pieces of Christmas cake to the pet birds. These human snacks will bring no benefit to your pet, and some items are highly toxic. Dogs, for example, cannot eat chocolate or raisins.
The rule of thumb is simple here, and is one familiar to anyone who has ever visited a zoo – Do Not Feed The Animals!
Hang on to some routine
During the holiday season it’s easy to lose your routine. You’ll probably be in bed late, up late, and preoccupied with children, guests, or people in the community who need a bit of extra Christmas cheer. With all that other stuff going on, there’s a danger that you might forget to refill the pets’ food bowls, close the hen house door, skip the dog walk, or lose all track of where the cat’s got to.
It’s simple to add a reminder to your Christmas and New Year to-do list – Feed the Pets, Walk the Dog, etc. Perhaps you could get someone else to do the dog walk, if you’re too busy?
You also need to remember that cage birds like to have lights-out in the evening, so make sure your late party doesn’t turn into an all-nighter for the budgies, finches and parrots, too. If the room isn’t too noisy, a cage cover might suffice; otherwise, relocating the pet cage will be the best option.
Minimising stress caused by visitors
Unless you have the type of dog that loves big crowds and new people, chances are that your pet will not want lots of fuss from your visitors over the holiday season. Cage-rattling and pet chasing are things your young visitors may need to be warned against.
Don’t take the pets with you
If you’re travelling away for Christmas, arrange for someone to look after your house and garden pets. For cats and dogs, the cattery or local kennels is a good alternative, although you’ll need to book well in advance as they are usually busy at this time of year.
The only pet you should consider taking away with you for Christmas is your dog – and you should only do so if your dog is happy away from home with other people (and possibly their pets). Some dogs just enjoy being with you and meeting people, others treat familiar places as a second home, while some dogs will be traumatised by the whole process. You’re the one who know your dog best, so you need to act appropriately.
Watch the temperature
If pets are being placed in rooms away from the Christmas party, or are being left outside, make sure it’s not too cold for them. Even a hardy cat or dog will need a snug bolt hole in a shed or other sheltered space if they are going to spend the day comfortably in the great outdoors. For birds, you need to make sure the room you put them in is neither too hot nor too cold.
Tidy the mess
The Christmas season tends to involve lots of pet hazards, such as wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, tinsel, and various bits of plastic. To avoid these items ending up in your pet’s mouth or wrapped around their heads and legs, get everything tidied away once the presents have been opened.
Protect the Christmas tree!
A Christmas tree can sometimes be bashed by wagging dog tails, and an adventurous cat may try to climb to the top. It’s a good idea not to have heavy decorations high up in the Christmas tree, as these could easily fall and break, and nothing fragile (or valuable) should be kept within reach of that excited tail!
Be careful with new pets
If a new pet is part of your Christmas plans, make sure they have been introduced to any other free-roaming pets you may have. This will avoid confrontations and potential chaos. The house should be made pet-proof, too, and you should make sure you have all the food and equipment you need for the newcomer.
A new pet can enjoy Christmas and New Year, as long as you don’t neglect them or put them in situations that could make them uncomfortable. Stick to these basic rules, and pets and pet owners will all be having happy holidays together.
Still looking for the perfect gift for a pet-lover in your life? You’ve come to the right place! Take a look at our last minute gift ideas below…
For chicken keepers
Who doesn’t love the delicious, fresh scent of peppermint? Now chickens and their owners can enjoy that sweet scent in their coop’s nest box with our Candy Cane Coop-pourri. This limited edition festive scent will be a hit with hens and humans alike this Christmas and makes the perfect stocking filler.
Our Christmas Jumper Chicken Jacket is the must have accessory this festive season. The classic jumper, complete with a reflective pattern, is made from breathable, showerproof fabric and offers excellent comfort and protection in cold weather, as well as protection from dirt. Do you know a chicken keeper who would love this for their star hen?
For dog and cat parents
Fresh off the sleigh, our new Luxury Super Soft Christmas Blankets in a suitably festive poinsettia red are the perfect gift for dogs and cats who love to snuggle up, and they’re reindeer approved (probably). Choose from three sizes to suit your friend’s four legged companion.
The Zippi Shelters and Play Tunnels make a thoughtful gift for rabbitor guinea pig owners who love to add new and exciting features to their pets’ run. The Caddi Treat Holder is also a great way for owners to feed their pets vegetables in winter, without food getting mucky on the run floor.
Is someone in your family getting a new puppy that they are planning to crate train? Or have your parents got a nervous rescue dog that feels most secure when they have their own space away from all the hustle and bustle? Then we have the perfect gift for them, human or canine.
The amazing Fido Studio is a dog crate that looks like piece of modern furniture, so that it doesn’t have to be hidden in a corner somewhere. The Fido Studio is also available with an optional and extremely practical wardrobe where all the dog’s things can go!Save 10% on white Fido Studios in the Winter Sale!
Whether you’re buying for a dog or a dog owner, an upgraded bed will always be appreciated, especially if the current one is looking a bit dirty and chewed. The super comfortable Bolster Beds come with a memory foam mattress that moulds itself around the dog as they lie down on it. Perfect for everything from growing puppies to older, more tired dogs.
The Bolster Bed has a machine washable cover, comes in three sizes and colours, and can be purchased with a set of stylish feet. And at the moment all beds are 20% off!
Psst – cats love them too!
Blankets / Cooling Mats
Upgrade your dog’s bed for Christmas to make sure it’s ready for the year ahead. Omlet’s super soft blankets will make the bed extremely warm and cosy for your pet after long winter walks, and is perfect for putting on sofas or car seats to keep them free from hair and mud. And if you already want to get ready for 2021, the Cooling Mat is a perfect addition to a dog bed in spring and summer. This self-cooling mat is activated by the weight of your dog’s body, and will minimise the risk of overheating on warm days.
Cooling mats are 20% off, and Blankets 15% off in the Winter Sale!
This is the ideal time to treat yourself to that chicken coop you have been dreaming about! If would like to start keeping chickens in the new year, the Eglu Go or Eglu Go UP are brilliant starter coops for 3-4 hens. If you currently have a smaller Eglu, or keep chickens in a coop that is starting to look a bit worse for ware, you might want to consider investing in an Eglu Cube, our largest chicken coop with space for up to 10 small bantam hens.
All Eglus are super safe, very easy to clean and can be moved around the garden as often as you like. This makes life easier and more relaxing for both you and your pets!
Eglu Chicken Coops are currently discounted by up to 20% in our Winter Sale!
Omlet’s amazing range of Chicken Toys and Accessories make great Christmas gifts for chicken keepers of all ages. Interactive food toys like the Poppy and Pendant Peck Toys and the Caddi Treat Holder that can be filled with fresh veg and hung from the roof of the run will entertain chickens during the cold winter months, as will the super fun Chicken Swing and the more traditional Chicken Perch.
All these accessories are currently significantly discounted, so why not take the opportunity to get the whole hentertainment bundle?
If you’re planning to treat a traditionalist that prefers to keep their hens in a wooden chicken coop this Christmas, we’ve got just the house for you. The timeless, yet practical, design of the Boughton makes it easier to keep chickens happy and healthy, and any chicken keeper will enjoy seeing the coop in the garden every morning. It also comes untreated, so that the person getting this very generous gift can decide what look they would like to go for!
The Boughton is now 15% off in the Omlet Winter Sale!
Any rabbit owner looking for more space for their pets will be delighted to receive this 2×2 Outdoor Rabbit Run. The run is extremely stable and secure, and can be connected to an existing Eglu Go Hutch with or without run with a simple connection kit.
This is perfect if you, or the person you’re buying a gift for, want to give rabbits or guinea pigs a bit more space to play on in the garden. Choose between the full or low height, both are currently 10% off in the Omlet Winter Sale!
Zippi Tunnels, Play Pens & Runs
Zippi is the perfect way to enhance your pets’ life. The amazing tunnel system allows you to create a burrow-like path in your garden that your rabbits and guinea pigs will love exploring. Expand with corners and T-junctions, and add intrigue with hayracks and lookout towers!
The Zippi Tunnel System also makes it super easy for your pets to independently move between their hutch and a remote run or playpen, so that they can come and go as they want throughout the day.
This is the perfect opportunity to extend an existing system, or to start a completely new one! All Zippi Tunnel System parts are discounted by 20% in the Winter Sale, and the Zippi Run and Playpens are currently 10% off!
The Caddi is the perfect stocking filler for any small animal lover. This interactive treat holder can be hung from the roof of any hutch or run, and can be filled with fresh vegetables or hay for rabbits and guinea pigs to enjoy.
It’s super easy to refill, will keep the pets’ snacks fresher for longer, and they will love the challenge of the swinging Caddi as they go in for a bite!
Cats love trees, they love things that hang and dangle, and they love shiny objects. With this said it’s not difficult to understand how your beautifully decorated Christmas Tree will seem like a wonderful playground to your furry friend. But a toppled tree will not only make a lot of mess, it can also hurt your cat, so it’s best to do everything you can to keep your curious cat away from your holiday evergreen. Here are our best tips:
Choose the right tree and the right position
If you’re having a real tree, choose one with sharp needles, like a Scots Pine, that the cat will want to keep their paws far away from. Hoover up the fallen pine needles every day, as they can cause serious pain if they get stuck between paw pads.
Place the tree somewhere away from bookcases, sofas and other furniture that the cats might use as a platform to pounce from.
Secure the tree
To make sure the tree doesn’t topple over and fall if the cats were to get hold of it, make sure you choose a stand with a wide base that can take some potential swinging. Depending on your set up, you might also be able to tie a piece of strong fishing line to the top of the tree and connect it to the ceiling.
Don’t tempt fate
When you’re at work, or in bed, close the door to the room with the tree to stop the cat from playing with it. Ideally you will be able to give the cat access to the rest of the house, but if you have to lock them in a room, make sure it’s big enough for them and that they have everything they need.
Go top heavy on the ornaments
Try not to place too many ornaments at the bottom of the tree where you cat can reach, especially not ones that are precious to you, or that would automatically break if they fell off. One idea is to get ornaments that make noises, like bells, and place them on the lower half of the tree. Not only will this potentially stop your cat from going further up the tree, you will also hear when the cat has approached, and can interfere before any damage is done.
You can also secure ornaments by using wire hangers, or plier ones that you can clamp around the branch. These will be more difficult for your cat to pull off.
Things cats don’t like
Cats hate the scent of oranges, so to discourage them from approaching the tree, you can put orange peels around the base. You can also wrap tin foil around the trunk of the tree. Cats don’t like the sensation of putting their paws on it or the crinkling noise it makes. This works better if you have a kitten or a younger cat, but it’s worth trying.
Secure the electrics
Some cats will nibble on the cables to the lights, which can hurt them or become potential fire hazards. Consider investing in pet-proof cord protectors, use duct tape to secure the cables to the floor or the wall, or use battery powered lights without long cables.
Skip the tinsel
Don’t use tinsel if you have a cat in the house. Tinsel is extremely attractive to cats, and they will pull it down and spread it all over the house. If ingested, it can also cause the cat serious injuries, so it’s best avoided.
Incorporate your dog’s Fido Nook into your Christmas homeware and transform your pet’s den into a festive haven with these seasonal decoration ideas…
Everyone loves the sparkle of lights at Christmas time so why not beautifully frame your Nook with battery powered fairy lights. If using with a puppy, place the lights across the top of the Nook so you still have a lovely glow, without the chewing risk!
Stick a Fido Hook to the outside of the Nook’s wardrobe door for a mini Christmas wreath. You could even make one yourself so it matches your festive decor perfectly, and add subtle puppy touches, like some decorative bones or a paw print ribbon.
If you have added a curtain pole and Fido curtains to your pet’s Nook, why not try your hand at sewing your own Christmas curtains with a festive fabric.
No need to sacrifice your Christmas tree, for puppies and frequent chewers use shatter-proof or soft baubles and keep any that are fragile or precious near the top!
Battery-powered candles give the same warming glow as real ones, without the risk to pets! If you are concerned about chewing, keep the candles on top of the Nook.
Set the timer on your phone, get a friend to help, or hire a photographer to take a family portrait with your doggy. The sky is your limit when it comes to ideas for this shoot. Maybe you want to get a photo of you all out on a walk, or posing in front of the tree. Matching Christmas jumpers are not mandatory, but definitely encouraged!
Send Out Christmas Cards
Print some copies of your family portrait to send out to family and friends. If you have children, get them to decorate the cards with glitter and stickers, and the dog to sign them with a cute paw print. This will no doubt get the best spot on the mantelpiece at anyone who receives one!
Dress Them Up in Holiday Outfits
If your dog is happy to get dressed up, there are few things cuter than a pup in a bow tie or some antlers, or a festive jumper that can add some extra warmth on the darkest nights of the year. Make sure the dog is comfortable and that nothing is too tight or might hurt them.
Go For a Walk to Look at the Lights
There is always someone in the neighbourhood who goes crazy with the Christmas lights. Take your dog for a long walk and check out the decorations. Most dogs will be fascinated by all the bright blinking lights, but keep an eye on them and take them home if it gets too much.
Visit a Christmas Market
Most Christmas Markets will be outdoors, perfect for when you want to bring the dog along to drink some mulled wine and listen to carol singers. Dogs will love the smells from the food stalls, but you’re probably best of bringing some dog friendly treats from home to distract them if they get too excited.
Watch a Christmas Film
There are few things better than curling up in front of the fire and watch those Christmas movies you’ve already seen about a million times. Make yourself and the dog comfy on the sofa and nap your way through a festive favourite. We suggest choosing something featuring a dog, like The Grinch, or The Holiday.
Bake Dog Treats
We all allow ourselves some extra treats over the holidays, and even though you should not change the way you’re feeding your dog just because it’s Christmas, it might be nice to give them a special homemade treat. Why not make these healthy Apple and Cinnamon Dog Cookies, perfect for the stocking!
If your dog has been a good boy or girl all year, they deserve a present or two under the tree. We have plenty of fun toys and delicious treats for dogs in our Christmas shop!
Make sure they stay safe
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but it does involve some things that can pose a danger to dogs. Read our blog post about how to keep your pets safe during the holidays, to make sure you can celebrate without any accidents.
Over the next 10 days we’re going to hide a number of amazing competitions and generous offers on our website. To take part in these exclusive competitions, and receive the special offers, you will need to find Santa!
Each day’s Santa Search will be announced on our social media platforms. Once you know what you’re looking for, head to omlet.co.uk to find the Santa Search banner we’ve hidden somewhere on the website. When you find Santa’s friendly animal helper, click on them to be transported to the page where you will receive the offer, or be able to enter the competition. To make sure you don’t miss out, follow us on social media in December – depending on whether you’ve been naughty or nice there might be clues!