There’s sunnier days ahead…
Get your pet prepared for the hot summer months ahead, and save 20% on the Omlet Memory Foam Cooling Mats until midnight on the 20th of April 2021.
6 reasons you and your dog will love the Omlet Cooling Mat…
Keeps dogs cool in summer for up to 3 hours
Self-cooling gel doesn’t require refrigeration
Memory foam mat for ultimate comfort
Sophisticated colour to suit any home
Easy to clean, simply vacuum and wipe surface
Non toxic gel, rip resistant and waterproof
Terms and conditions
Promotion of 20% off Omlet Memory Foam Cooling Mats runs from 19/04/21 until midnight on 23/04/21. Use promo code STAYCOOL at checkout. Includes all size of Omlet Memory Foam Cooling Mats only. Maximum 2 Cooling Mats per customer. 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.
This entry was posted in Dogs
Photo by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash
When considering whether or not to keep chickens, it’s important to take into account the pets you already have around your home. The most obvious examples are cats and dogs, who sometimes let their chase instincts get the better of them. However, all your pets can get along just fine, as long as you lay down a few ground rules.
Keeping chickens with dogs
If you’re a dog owner, the first thing to consider is the temperament of your pet. Does it often chase rabbits or deer when out on a walk? How does your dog react to birds in the garden? If your hound tends to lose control in these situations, this behaviour is likely to carry over into their relationship with chickens. Equally, if your dog is of a more relaxed temperament, they may show little if any interest in your coop.
The likeliest scenario falls somewhere between the two extremes, in which case you’ll see your dog taking an interest in the chickens, and spending plenty of time watching and attempting to play with them, but not moving in ‘for the kill’. What’s important here is that your dog needs to understand that the chickens are part of the pack, and not something to be hunted. It’s also important that your dog understands that chickens are fragile, and that dog-style rough play is out of the question.
Teaching dogs to get along with chickens
You can teach your dogs that the chickens are part of the family by letting them watch you spending time in the coop – initially keeping them separated with chicken wire or fencing. Many breeds of dog are naturally cautious around small animals and will be protective of your chickens once they consider them a part of the pack. The behaviour you want to see is your dog cautiously sniffing at the chicken, as opposed to adopting the head-down-bottom-up ‘let’s play’ stance.
One of the most important considerations when it comes to dogs and chickens is the temperament of the dog breed. Hunting dogs such as greyhounds and beagles will cave in to their chasing instincts if the hens begin to flap around, and they should never be allowed to mingle with the chickens. In contrast, farm dogs such as sheepdogs have protective and herding instincts, and they will be less likely to harm your chickens.
There is no sure-fire way to guarantee your dogs and chickens will get on, but spending plenty of time introducing them goes a long way. As with all dog training, this can be an extended process, so be prepared to spend a few weeks introducing your chickens to your dogs with a barrier before you let them meet face to face. When you do introduce them, it’s a good idea to keep the dog on a short leash at first, just in case.
Keeping chickens with cats
Cats are a completely different story to dogs – they are harder to predict and less susceptible to training. However, they are unlikely to view a big fat hen as potential prey. Many farmers concur that their farm cats have no interest in hunting poultry, and are much more interested in the rats and mice that are inevitably attracted by birds. When keeping chickens, the occasional rat is standard, and having a cat around can greatly reduce their numbers.
Although most chickens are too large for a cat to hunt, this largely depends on the breed of chicken and the size of your cat. If you find that your cat is beginning to stalk your chickens, a sturdy and secure coop and run that your cat can’t access will deter trouble. This is good practice either way, as even if your cat is friendly with your chickens, your neighbour’s cat might not be! The ideal answer here is the Eglu, which is super-secure and comes with its own attached chicken run.
Keeping chickens with guinea pigs
You may already have a guinea pig hutch or run in your garden, and while this won’t be a problem for your chickens, it is not recommended for chickens and guinea pigs to share living quarters. This is for several reasons, one being that rats will be further attracted to your pets’ food, and they may attack your guinea pigs. Another reason is that when establishing a pecking order, your chickens will peck at each other and any other animal they live with. This can cause serious harm to guinea pigs, who do not have thick feathers to protect them.
Keeping chickens with rabbits
Rabbits can be great companions for your chickens if you introduce them to each other when they are all very young. You will also need to ensure that you care for their different needs within the same run, in terms of food and equipment.
Rabbits, for example, like to have a clean space to sleep in, so you may need to muck out your coop and run more regularly than you would if the chickens were alone. You will also need to ensure that the chickens and rabbits all have a safe space within the coop where they can have privacy and space. You can achieve this by separating your run into three areas, one to house the roosting chickens, another for your rabbits, and a communal space.
Photo by JackieLou DL from Pixabay
Having a large and secure garden run will make your chickens feel safer in general, and plenty of space will maximise the chance of the hens getting along with each other and their rabbit and guinea pig neighbours.
Chickens and other pets
Chickens can also rub along happily with goats, and with female ducks (males will tends to bully them). Ironically, they do not mix with birds in an aviary. They will eat anything that falls to the aviary floor, but they will also happily peck the other birds whenever they can and may attract rats and mice, which will cause problems for the smaller birds.
Small mammal pets such as hamsters and gerbils should never be kept in the same enclosure as chickens. The rodents will be pecked and killed.
By following these few ground rules, you will be able to keep the various members of your mixed menagerie happy!
Photo by Ricky Kharawala on Unsplash
This entry was posted in Budgies
This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.
-Written by Anneliese Paul
On paper, Kipper wasn’t exactly what Angela wanted. After years of behavioural challenges, he’s become the best-behaved blood donor and saved over forty dog’s lives. Kipper’s turned out to be Angela’s perfect match.
When Angela’s house was burgled, the first thing the police said was, “Get a dog.” Because a dog barks, and people are less likely to enter your home uninvited. But working as a teacher, Angela felt she couldn’t look after a dog, especially not an active breed like a collie.
With fond memories of the collie she grew up with, she spent a long time talking to the Border Collie Trust, and they helped her find Kipper. He was an eighteen-month-old Irish stray and had been rehomed multiple times. Being a collie, Kipper had a lot of energy. On paper, he didn’t look right for Angela.
But the Border Collie Trust thought he was the perfect match and persuaded her to meet him. So, she went to the rescue centre to get to know him. Angela could tell he was fantastic with humans, which was really important. So she took him for a walk and fell in love with him. A few weeks later, she brought him home to start their new adventure.
Angela had prepared a lovely kennel and run in the garden for Kipper to spend half the day in. The plan was at lunchtime; he would be walked by a professional dog walker and then left in the house in the afternoon until she got home from school.
Kipper turned out to be hard work, boisterous and disruptive. He destroyed the house and was what Angela describes as ‘over the top’. In the evening, after a long day at work, Angela would go to tie up her shoes for a walk, and he would bite her hair, not in an aggressive way, just incredibly overexcited. It used to take them twenty minutes just to get to the front gate. It was exhausting.
But Angela had experience with Border Collies, she knew he had incredible intelligence, and he just needed things to do. Her teaching instincts kicked in, and with support from the Border Collie Trust, she began what would turn out to be life-changing behaviour training for both her and Kipper.
At first, it was simply stopping and waiting for him to calm down whenever he did something that was ‘over the top’. Then Angela needed to tackle the chewing at home. She started by leaving him for five minutes, going to the front gate, standing across the road, then coming back in and praising him for being good. Angela worked out Kipper’s motivations (toys and food) so that she could effectively train him.
“He is so clever,” says Angela “, That he will work out. What am I being asked to do? What is the reward on offer, and is it worth it? And if it isn’t worth it, he won’t do it.”
Over time he made progress, and his behaviour slowly improved. Angela worked hard with him, and as his obedience improved, their bond grew, so did the trust between them.
Kipper lives on the edge of the countryside and occasionally chases livestock, so he has to wear a muzzle on long walks. But incredibly, Angela can leave him alone, unmuzzled with the chickens in her garden. His behaviour at home has transformed so dramatically that Angela is confident Kipper will do whatever she asks him to. Angela has even watched a big bolshy chicken trying to steal Kipper’s bone!
“The chicken was getting closer and closer and closer, trying to peck at his bone. All Kipper did was pick up the bone and walk away.”
With good obedience at home, they started to have fun together. Kipper achieved Gold in the Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme and got to the Kennel Club Starters Cup Final in 2017, an agility competition for beginners. The activity and the mental work was fantastic for him, and they both made new friends, travelled to new places and shared memorable experiences.
But when Kipper had to have his dew claws removed, he couldn’t do his agility work, and the lack of exercise led to frustration. Angela, always on the lookout for ways to develop Kipper’s potential, discovered CaniCross. Cani sports are a whole range of sports to nurture the bond between dogs and their owners and are particularly beneficial for dogs with behavioural issues.
Taking part in cross country runs and triathlons, Angela and Kipper were getting fit together and making strong friendships with a whole community of like-minded dog lovers.
One of their friends introduced them to the pet blood bank. Angela was keen to give back to the dog community, but he was under the 25kg minimum weight. However, as he matured, his muscle development changed. As soon as he’d gained enough weight, Angela registered Kipper as a donor and proudly took him along to his first session.
But Kipper was terrified. He had to have a little piece of fur shaved and couldn’t stand the sound of the clippers. Once again, Angela turned to training. The blood bank advised using an electric toothbrush to get him used to the vibrating sound. Over time, using his favourite soft cheese as a treat to reward good behaviour, Angela gently got him used to sound until she was sure he knew it wasn’t going to harm him.
Finally, Kipper was ready to give blood, perfectly behaved. He’s now on his tenth donation, and with a rare negative blood type, his blood is a perfect match for any dog. With every donation providing blood for up to four other dogs survival, Kipper has helped save forty dog’s lives.
Kipper and Angela have experienced so much together. Pushing each other to do better, they’re a winning team. Motivating each other to get on with life and do something good, to make friends together. As Angela says,
“Not every dog would suit me, and not every owner would suit him, but the Border Collie Trust got it right. We were meant to be.”
This entry was posted in Dogs
Teaching your dog tricks is not that difficult. Your pet is very intelligent. Training a dog is much easier than training other animals. We know that sometimes it’s hard to find inspiration and ideas, so we’ve put together a list of 5 must-do tricks to teach your dog!
Image by Claire Diaz from Pixabay
Dogs are very attentive to their environment, they are able to learn several commands and quickly assimilate what you tell them. However, you will need to be patient and rely on rewards and encouragement to get results. Never spend more than 10 minutes on an exercise per day and make sure you are in a good mood to praise your dog. Frustration must be put aside or your dog will feel it and may perform less well.
Do you know that the tricks and exercises taught to your dog will stimulate him physically and mentally? They also allow you to enrich the bonds that unite you.
This list is far from exhaustive and we assume that your dog already knows “sit”, “down” and “stay”.
1- Pawing or shaking hands
Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels
As you may have noticed, dogs sometimes instantly raise their paws when they ask for food. So this trick is not fundamentally complicated to teach your dog. You just have to find the right word, the right signal to give your dog to obey.
Omlet’s tip: Keep the treat in your hand, show the treat to your dog and tell him to wait. Slowly lower your hand and when your dog lifts his paw, make the sound you want to associate with the command. “Shake”/”Paw” is an easy sound for your pet to remember, so use short words. Add emphasis to the word and enthusiasm. Once the dog has the treat in his mouth, congratulate him with a pat.
Gradually, you won’t need to lower your hand too much. Each time you repeat this command, make sure you raise your hand a little higher so that your dog’s paw is raised to chest level. Repeat with the same paw.
Once your dog has mastered this command, you can train him to lift the second paw. However, the sound/word should be different from the previous one. Use the word “other” for example.
Afterwards, you can easily teach him the “high five” command. You will have to show him your palm and encourage your dog to go even higher with his paw. Once your dog does this, reward him.
Image by Yama Zsuzsanna Márkus from Pixabay
2- Rolling over
This is a trick that many owners want to teach their dog, but many don’t know how.
Omlet’s tip: First, you get your dog to “lie down”. Place a treat in your hand and let your dog smell the treat without giving it to him. The goal during this exercise is that your dog should not get up. If it does, don’t get upset and try again.
Use your hand to guide your dog. You must make the movement and the trajectory that you want your pet to follow. Use your hand to turn your dog’s head and make a backward movement. As your dog tries to turn his head to grab the treat, he will end up rolling. Repeat the exercise several times, but don’t spend more than 15 minutes doing it. You can come back to the exercise later in the day.
This command can be easy to learn for expressive dogs but a little more complicated for calm dogs.
Omlet’s tip: Excite your dog a little with your voice. Ask him to sit and put a treat in your hand. Wave your hand but don’t give him the treat. Repeat the word/command you want him to learn several times, perhaps “bark” or “speak”. Wait for him to bark or whine. After a few seconds give him the treat and praise him. If you want your dog to calm down, repeat the word “quiet” or “enough” and walk away.
Never encourage or praise your dog when he barks out the window or at people. Barking can be frightening to some people.
Photo by Noah Austin on Unsplash
Good news, your dog can also learn to dance! Maybe he can even dance better than you…
However, this trick is easier to learn for small dogs. Larger dogs have a harder time standing on their two hind legs. This trick is also not recommended for dogs with back problems.
Omlet’s Tip: Ask your dog to sit. Put a treat in your hand and put your hand over your dog’s muzzle slightly backwards. Your goal is to get your dog to sit on his hind two legs, and he will only do so if he sees no other way to get his treat. Once both front legs are up, praise and encourage your dog. Repeat this trick several times until he can quickly stand on both paws.
Once he does, you can move on to the next step. When your dog is on his two feet, hold the treat and move your hand in a small circle over his head. After a few seconds your dog should be able to twirl or at least move both paws on the ground. As you do the movement, remember to say the word you want to associate with the command. In this case that word could be “dance”. Once your dog has taken several small steps, give him the treat and praise him.
5- Playing dead
Photo de Rushay Booysen provenant de Pexels
This is a challenging trick! It’s a great way to impress those around you, although it is not so easy to teach your dog, especially if he tends to be dynamic. However, nothing is impossible, you will just need more patience.
Omlet’s tip: As with the “roll over” command, have your pet lie down. Take a treat in your hand and put it over his head. Once your dog turns around, stop the process by asking your dog to stop moving. Repeat this process several times until your dog understands that it should not move. It is very important to say the word you want to associate with the command. For this trick it could be “Bang”.
This trick is not easy to describe, a video is sometimes worth a thousand words. We advise you to watch this video to teach your dog to play dead.
No matter what tricks you teach your dog, patience is the key and the only way to succeed and achieve your goals. Never forget to congratulate and encourage your pet. Finally, never force him. If he doesn’t want to learn a command or doesn’t understand it, don’t be obstinate. If you are afraid of doing the wrong thing, many resources are available on Youtube. Don’t hesitate to watch several videos to find the best technique for your dog.
Tag us on social media if you manage to do one of these tricks with your dog. We would love to share your pet’s achievements.
Tag us on instagram omlet_uk or send us your video to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
This entry was posted in Dogs
This article is a part of our Pride of Omlet series, a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.
-Written by Anneliese Paul
Jerry’s a cheeky, playful and boisterous rescue dog from Romania who can do a handstand! He landed on his feet when Shena gave him a home and inspired her to start a rescue centre specialising in disabled animals.
When you see a dog with two legs, what do you think? Many people would give up on them. On her first visit to the vet, Shena was advised to put Jerry to sleep. But Shena couldn’t do that.
Shena had four dogs, worked for the NHS in cancer care and was studying for a degree in Social Care. Then a friend sent her a video of a puppy in Romania, and her heart melted.
Jerry was paralysed, an unwanted street dog who had probably been hit by a car and left for dead. Shena couldn’t get the image out of her head, “What’s one more?” she thought and decided to bring him home.
The first time Shena met him, Jerry jumped out of the car, a bundle of energy. It was love at first sight. He was a playful six-month-old puppy. Shena’s four dogs gladly accepted him, and he slotted into the pack straight away.
Having been through so much already, it was perhaps no surprise that after the operation to remove his hind legs, Jerry bounced back again even after a few falls while he perfected his balance.
Jerry can walk on two legs around the house and garden and manages well, but he wears his wheels on walks. They’re made from plumbing pipes, and at first he was a bit wobbly on them, but with a couple of days of practice, he was charging off. Now on his 3rd set of wheels, Jerry loves chasing balls. Nothing can stop him. Shena thinks he’s probably faster than the other dogs!
Jerry kicked off a following on Shena’s social media and people started coming to her for advice. So in 2013, just a few months after getting Jerry, Shena and her husband Ian decided to set up an animal sanctuary that specialises in disabled animals. Because of their disabilities, many of these animals wouldn’t be here without the second chance that the animal sanctuary PUDZ gives them. Jerry has two more two-legged dog friends and a special relationship with Flo, another Romanian rescue.
In total, they look after over 170 animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits, chinchillas, guinea pigs, chickens, ducks and turkeys. And until last year, Shena and Ian did it all from their North Lincolnshire home. Jerry’s such an inspiration that they have recently raised enough money to buy a one-acre plot of land, so that they can give more disabled animals like Jerry the happy lives they deserve.
“Jerry changed my life completely. We don’t give up on people who are disabled, so why should we give up on animals? Everyone deserves a chance in life.“
This entry was posted in Dogs
Long walks with your dog help you to relax and share an intimate moment with your pet and allow you to recharge your batteries. However, if the weather is grey, and a long, cold walk isn’t appealing, we have a new activity for you! Fun and playful, Doga, a trendy, new discipline, will allow you to spend quality time with your dog and help you both disconnect from the world.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
Involving your pet in your yoga activities can help you develop your yoga practice but it can also be an excellent entertaining and fun way to bond with your pet.
What is Doga? Do you need specific materials?
You have probably already heard of Yoga. This relaxing activity allows the person to be refocused on themselves and their body. Practiced alone or in yoga studios, this activity is very popular nowadays and brings many benefits.
Combine the word yoga with the word dog and you get the word: Doga. This activity was born in the United States in the early 2000’s and has spread quickly to all the big cities, particular in Asia. Unfortunately, Doga is still very little known in Europe and there are no “official” places to practice this activity in groups.
It’s not about just finding anything to engage with your dog. Doga is, above all, a shared moment between you where positions can be adapted to involve your dog and assist owner and pet bonding.
No specific equipment is required. You just need a Yoga mat and a comfortable outfit which allows easy movements. Doga can be practiced outside, but if the weather is grey, it’s just as fun indoors! If trying it indoors, choose a specific room for your Doga sessions. The routine gives your pet confidence, he will quickly associate the Yoga mat and the room and will be happy to spend a moment of relaxation just with you.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
The benefits of Doga
Doga largely incorporates the benefits of Yoga: relaxation, concentration, meditation, refocusing on yourself… However, this activity which is done jointly with your dog, brings new advantages.
Doga helps reduce stress
Your dog can often tell when you are stressed, picking up on particular behaviours which in turn affects their mood too. Doga is a specific moment when you take time to breathe, to relax, and your dog will destress with you.
There are no precise rules in Doga and for it to be relaxing for your dog, he or she must be able to remain free to move. If your dog wants to participate in the session and be active with you all the better, but if he prefers to stay by your side without moving, don’t force him. The Yoga session will do you good and your dog will feel it, and relax with you.
Doga encourages master/dog communication
You must guide your dog throughout the session. It is necessary that you lead the pace in order to comfort your dog and give him a feeling of security. To make your dog feel reassured, work on your breathing and perform simple exercises. Repetition is the key to a successful session with your dog. He needs to soak up the movements. Show him how to do it, encourage him but as said previously never force him.
By adding this new activity to your schedule, it will be an opportunity for you to enjoy your dog’s company while strengthening your complicity.
Thanks to all these benefits, this practice can help your dog sleep better. Just like human beings, your dog dreams. These dreams often relate to the moments experienced during the day. By sharing a calm activity without outside noise, your dog’s nights will be less hectic.
Is Doga suitable for all dogs?
Doga is made for all types of dogs: young, old, large, small, restless, calm. This activity should not be seen as a way to educate your dog but as a moment of sharing. Rewards shouldn’t be necessary, as your dog will enjoy the moment with you.
Doga can be especially useful for slightly older dogs or dogs that have been injured. Stretching, if done right, and massages can have real positive impacts on your dog’s body.
The objective of Doga is to have fun and have a good time. There are no rules and Doga should not be an activity to be taken seriously. This is why this practice is open to all types of dog: the dog is not forced into anything. In the worst case, you will end your session all alone, relaxed and ready to cuddle your pooch.
How to practice Doga?
There are several books that tell you how to practice yoga with your dog. The positions are detailed and the authors explain the benefits of such a practice:
You can also find many videos on the internet and YouTube to help you train with your dog.
Watch the Video on Youtube
It is essential to spend time with your dog so that he can develop to his full potential. Just doing one yoga session won’t really benefit your relationship with him. If you establish this activity as a routine not only for you but also for your pet, you may well be surprised at the benefits you can derive from it.
In addition to this fun activity, do not forget that the well-being of your dog depends on a balanced diet, daily walks and special attention to his needs.
This entry was posted in Dogs
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash
Some dogs love rolling in the snow, while others are happy to sit out the cold weather in the comfort of a centrally heated house. For the snow-lovers, thick fur is definitely an asset. Breeds such as Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, bred for life and hard work in cold climates, will have no problems at all with the average British winter.
Hardy breeds with thick coats, such as German shepherds, Poodles and Golden retrievers, will love their cold weather walks, too. Thin coated breeds such as Greyhounds and Whippets, and small dogs such as Chihuahuas and Yorkies need to be protected from the cold. Puppies, older dogs and ill dogs may need extra care in the winter, too.
Whatever the breed, never leave it outside in very cold weather, as even a hardy dog can succumb to the chill if its body temperature gets too low.
How do you know if it’s too cold for your dog?
You will soon be able to tell if your dog is feeling the cold, as it will simply tell you! Dogs will be reluctant to go on a walk, or will not be as active as usual during the walk, sitting down in a sheltered spot or walking much more slowly than usual. Cold dogs may become anxious, whining and walking by your side, looking at you pleadingly. Smaller dogs will begin to shiver very quickly in the cold, and even larger breeds may shiver after a while. If there is snow underfoot, a dog may limp if it feels uncomfortable with the ice in its toes.
It will not often come to this, though – certainly not in healthy dogs. They will do so much running that they will not feel the cold unless the snow itself becomes a problem in their fur or between their toes.
How cold is too cold for a dog?
Generally, 7°C (45°F) is a minimum temperature, at or above which all dogs will be comfortable. As the temperature dips towards 0°c (32°F), less hardy dogs will need to wear a dog sweater or coat. In extreme cold, all breeds other than those super-hardy Huskies, Malamutes, Samoyeds and Newfoundlands are in danger of becoming too cold.
How do you know if your dog needs a coat?
The question of whether it is too cold for your dog is largely down to breed, and is also influenced by the age and health of your pet.
Dogs with fine hair and/or thin body types (e.g. Greyhounds) will need to wear a coat outside when the temperature dips. If there is snow on the ground, small dogs and puppies will need a coat during walks or playtime in the park. Being small, they become cold quicker than larger dogs, and their undersides get cold quickly too, simply because their bellies are closer to the ground.
Older dogs and young puppies have relatively weak immune systems and can become ill if they get too cold. Old dogs with arthritis suffer in cold weather, too, and may even require a coat indoors during the winter to ease their sore joints.
Lighter-furred dogs may benefit from a dark coat to soak up a bit of winter sun heat. If the wind is strong and icy, a coat can make things much more comfortable for any breed (with the exception of the dogs bred for harsh conditions).
Even a hardy dog can become very uncomfortable in the snow, as their fur may accumulate the frozen stuff. Dogs will instinctively try to clear their snowed-up muzzles and heads by rubbing them on the ground – thus gathering even more snow! A dog’s toes can get iced up to, which is clearly uncomfortable for them.
The snow can be removed periodically during the walk (although it will sometimes form ice and cannot be immediately removed). A good thaw-out back home will cure the problem, though.
How to keep your dog warm throughout the winter
Knowing your own dog’s needs is key to knowing if the dog is too cold. Dogs do not need to be cosy-warm at all times, and you may have noticed how they will sometimes seek out a cool part of the floor to lie down on, especially when the central heating is switched on in the winter. It is a fact that overheating is, in general, more of an issue than feeling the cold.
Dark-furred breeds benefit from winter sun, being able to absorb what little heat there might be in the sun. Lighter colours reflect the light, and the heat too.
If your dog needs a coat in the cold, that’s a simple remedy against the winter chills. A cosy bed is important, too, to keep your dog warm at night.
Avoiding severe doggie haircuts in the winter is a good idea, as a drastic trim is not going to help in the battle against the cold!
How do I know if my dog is too cold at night?
As long as your dog has a soft bed to lie on, and as long as the room temperature remains above freezing, dogs are unlikely to get too cold. The dog will curl up and snuggle down, its own body heat sufficient for a good night’s sleep.
Making sure you have a dog bed that’s fit for purpose is important. It doesn’t come much cosier than a Topology bed – these can be raised off the ground, to improve ventilation and prevent the bed becoming too hot on a warm floor or too cold on a chilly one. They also have zip-on covers than can be changed easily if a defrosting dog soaks them.
A high quality dog blanket can help, too – especially if your dog has a kennel or crate outside. Your dog will snuggle under it, or push it aside, just as you might do with a quilt, helping to keep the perfect temperature throughout the night.
Note: only very hardy breeds can cope with an outdoor crate or kennel in the winter, even if it is fully weatherproofed.
What happens if dogs get too cold?
The main signs that your dog is too cold are shivering and whimpering. A dog who is shivering should be wrapped in a blanket and taken somewhere warm as soon as possible. That will usually do the trick.
If a frail or small dog is too cold, it can become ill. The cold lowers their immunity, giving diseases the chance to gain a foothold. If, during cold weather, your dog is constantly sneezing or has discharge from the eyes and/or nose, it could be a sign of dog cold or dog flu, canine influenza or other illnesses.
Dogs with hypothermia
Although highly unusual, it is possible for a dog to suffer hypothermia. This is when its body temperature has fallen from the normal range of around 38°C to 39°C (101°F to 102.5°F) to 37°C (99°F) or lower. Such a plummet in temperature can prove fatal, even if you manage to get your dog quickly back to a warm spot.
You can tell if your dog has hypothermia, or is in danger of succumbing, by watching how it behaves. The symptoms include lethargy or sleepiness, clumsy movements, stiff limbs or breathing difficulties.
Prevention is the only remedy here. Know your dog, know their physical limitations, and use your judgement to prevent putting the dog in an environment that might mean your dog is too cold and could thus lead to hypothermia.
Dogs with frost bite
Frostbite is another cold weather risk. In extreme cold, a warm-blooded animal’s body protects its vital organs, redirecting blood flow there. This means that extremities such as ears, noses, tails and paws are at risk of freezing. If any of those parts of the body is bright red or black, your dog could be suffering from frostbite and should be warmed up immediately.
If your dog’s ears, tail or tail feel ‘like ice’ when you hold them, it’s probably time to cut the walk short and head indoors.
In general, if you feel cold outside, in spite of your coat, hat and gloves, your dog will be feeling the cold pinch too. Common sense plays a big part when trying to tell if your dog is too cold in the winter, and an animal as intelligent as a dog will certainly let you know if the cold weather is making it feel uncomfortable.
This entry was posted in Dogs
Discover the new Topology Dog Bed from Omlet, with customisable toppers to suit your dog’s personality. Not sure which topper your dog will love best? Take the quiz below!
What kind of walk does your dog enjoy the most?
- Run, doggie, run! The further the better
- A gentle stroll around the park will be fine, thanks
- I’m only small. A short walk followed by snuggles please.
- A simple stroll around the neighbourhood for us!
- The muddier the better. A cold swim would be a bonus!
Which breed is your dog most like in personality?
- A dashing dalmatian
- A pampered poodle
- A snuggly pug
- A sleek saluki
- A water-loving spaniel
What would you find most useful in a bed?
- A bed that gives them a lot of support and allows them to rest fully
- A luxury material but that’s also easy to clean
- Something that creates a den-like environment
- A sleek and stylish bed that matches your home
- A practical bed that helps to clean and dry after dirty walks
Where is your dog’s favourite place to sleep?
- Somewhere squishy they can really bury into
- Only the softest of blankets, preferably by the fire
- In a cosy corner somewhere away from the noise
- Somewhere they can really stretch out and relax
- Anywhere they can dry themselves off and snuggle in
On a scale of 1 to fox poo, how clean is your dog?
- As long as there’s a big walk with a nap at the end, they don’t mind mud!
- Very clean, wouldn’t put a paw near a puddle
- I think they would rather stay fresh and clean in their den
- Clean, but loves a dash about in the park
- They LOVE mud. They LOVE swimming. Bring on the dirt!
What is your favorite colour palette within your home?
- I love a mustard yellow. The brighter the better.
- Creams and whites please.
- Cool, soft greys are perfect for my home
- Stylish mints and subtle greens really suit me
- Brown is great to cover muddy pawprints
Mostly A’s: Beanbag topper!
This super squishy beanbag moulds around your dog’s body for a sublime night’s sleep. The extra support is great for relaxing after a long walk, and the bright pop of mustard yellow looks stylish in any home! Plus, the beans inside can be easily removed to wash the cover.
Mostly B’s: Sheepskin topper!
The luxurious, super soft sheepskin topper in sophisticated white offers premium comfort to pampered pooches who desire the very best for bedtime. Don’t worry about fur and dirt, the sheepskin topper can be unzipped from the mattress and thrown in the washing machine!
Mostly C’s: Bolster topper!
The cushioned bolster topper is deep filled around the sides and designed to support your pet’s head, just like a pillow. This bolster shape also helps create a secure feeling of protection around your dog. The Bolster cushion can be removed from the cover for washing too!
Mostly D’s: Quilted topper!
Simple and sleek, the quilted topper is a great choice for dog’s who love to stretch out after a long day. The stylish, blue-grey hue fits nicely in all homes, and the super soft material on the memory foam mattress provides ultimate comfort. Easily unzip and clean in the washing machine.
Mostly E’s: Microfibre topper!
The microfibre topper is perfect for dogs who love long, muddy walks. Puddles aren’t a problem for your dog, and they’re not a problem for this topper either. The brown tassel design absorbs moisture from your dog’s fur and camouflages muddy paw prints. Simply unzip and throw in the washing machine ready for your next adventure!
This entry was posted in Dogs
Photo by Jane Duursma on Unsplash
Many dog owners believe their dogs enjoy a good laugh. Check out YouTube, where there is no shortage of smiling and laughing dogs!
However, can a dog laugh in the same way as a human laughs? It’s very easy to anthropomorphise animal behaviour – i.e. judge everything they do from a human emotional and moral perspective – and the real question, perhaps, should by why would a dog laugh? What does it mean, and what advantage would it have given the dog’s wolf ancestors in the wild? Or is it perhaps something they have only learnt to do since they were domesticated by humans?
There is no definite answer to that last question, but we do know a bit about animal laughter.
Do other animals laugh?
From a hard-nosed science point of view, the only animals that are definitely confirmed as laughing are the great apes, dolphins and lab rats. Chimpanzee laughter sounds to our ears more like a shriek, and in the wild it is linked to reassurance and the release of pressure rather than pleasure. However, a tickled chimp definitely laughs, just like a human child does.
Gorillas have been known to laugh at slapstick human behaviour, suggesting that they would make a great audience at a pantomime! Orangutans are a bit more inscrutable, and their signs of laughter may be more akin to simple copying than genuine amusement. They laugh when tickled, though.
A 2004 study of dolphins found that the animals produced a sonar pulse followed by a whistle when playing. The researchers concluded that these sounds meant that the dolphins were feeling happy and relaxed in a fun, non-threatening setting, and that the ‘laugh’ prevented the rough and tumble play from escalating into violence. This is fascinating, as many psychologists believe that human laughter evolved for these exact reasons, and it ties in with those wild chimpanzee ‘laughs’ too.
The fact that lab rats laugh when tickled suggests that, given the chance, many other mammals would chuckle when tickled too. They just haven’t been given the chance in a scientific setting. Dogs, however, seem to relax rather than burst out laughing when tickled.
The fact that you can’t make your dog laugh by tickling it doesn’t mean it can’t laugh, though.
What does a dog laugh sound like?
Dog laughter – if that’s what it is – is a kind of rapid panting – a play-pant which they use to invite humans and other dogs to play. It is a hhuh sound followed by a hhah sound, and humans can impersonate it by making breathy ‘hoo-haa’ sounds. The panting will often be combined with head bows, and the dog may reach out with one of its paws too, or make little teasing jumps in your direction. This is an invitation to play rather than an expression of amusement in the human sense of laughter, though.
If you laugh at your dog using the hhuh hhah panting sound, drawing your lips back in a cheesy grin during the ‘aaa’ part, you may make your dog laugh back. It’s a great way of bonding with your furry friend!
Do dogs smile?
When a dog is relaxed it often pulls back its lips, lets its tongue droop and narrows its eyes, it can sometimes – depending on the
breed – look like a smile. The fact that they pull these faces when happy and relaxed makes it an easy associated with smiling. The fact that human smiles seem to have their origins in tension-reducing body language suggests that the same might apply to dogs. The wild wolves, close cousins of the domestic dog, does indeed have a tongue-wagging facial expression linked to relaxation and submissiveness.
Intriguingly, smiles appear to be contagious among dogs, just as they are in human to human interactions. If you can’t make your dog laugh, you can certainly make it smile! Smile at your dog, and your dog may well smile back!
Do scientists believe that dogs can laugh?
Science is on the side of the laughing dog. In a 2005 study titled ‘Dog-laughter: Recorded playback reduces stress related behavior in shelter dogs’, it was discovered that a dog sometimes pants in a way that sounds like a laugh. When recordings of these ‘laughs’ were played to other dogs, the dogs became playful and de-stressed, as measured in stress-related behaviour such as tail wagging, doggie ‘play-faces’, happy body language and lip-licking.
However, being happy, relaxed and playful is not exactly the same as laughing. There is no evidence that a dog ever finds things amusing in the same way as humans – or gorillas – do. On the contrary, slapstick behaviour is more likely to startle or scare a dog.
Laughter is all about fun, though, and you can certainly have plenty of that with your dog. They readily show their emotions through sounds and body language. Take the panting and playful body language as a sign of deep friendship. And that means there’s plenty to laugh about!
This entry was posted in Dogs
With the holiday season winding down, it’s always a struggle to get back into a routine and avoid the winter blues. And that applies to pets as well as their owners.
By spending quality time with our pets and making the most of our friendship with them, we can all find the joy and energy to beat the blues.
Healthy food for pets
Animals often need more food in the winter months. This is because they spend a lot of energy on keeping warm, and they need the fuel to feed that energy (just like a boiler that needs to work harder to heat the house during cold snaps). Always give them the correct, high energy foods to get them through the cold spell.
Keeping moving is important all year round, but for dogs the winter walks may be shorter or less frequent than in the warmer months. Bear in mind that for a dog the need to exercise doesn’t change with the seasons – they’ll love sniffing through the snow every bit as much as they love chasing the scents of summer. If they have a space outside to run around in, this can help them let off steam before the next walk. You could try keeping a shorter walk interesting by taking it in a new location, or one you haven’t visited for a long time.
Exercise is important for all other pets, too. If you keep rabbits or guinea pigs outside, adding some excitement to their runs with a tunnel system adds hours of fun and exercise to those short winter days. Zippi runs for rabbits and guinea pigs are an ideal way of keeping these small pets content. You can add platforms, shelters and all kinds of twists and turns to keep them stimulated and happy.
Keep your pet’s brain active
By spending time with your pets, you can keep their minds active in various ways, depending on the pet. Talk to your pet birds; play with your dogs and cats; and give your hamsters, gerbils or other small mammals some stimulating new toys. Budgies, finches, canaries and parrots will enjoy getting to grips with a new bird toy, too. Nothing like a new cerebral challenge to beat the winter blues!
The toys will also help your pet entertain itself once everyone is back into their routines and the house is a falls quiet again after the holiday season.
It’s possible that your pet dog has been missing those trips to the park during the holidays and the cold weather. If you have a sociable dog, a trip to the park for a sniff around the old haunts and perhaps a meet-up with some old friends will give an added boost to the day. A doggy play date is another great way of combining socialising, fresh air and lots of moving around.
Keep your pets warm
In the average home in winter, some parts of the house or flat are warmer than others. Make sure your pet bird, hamster or gerbil isn’t in a cold or draughty corner, as a drop in temperature takes its toll on a small animal’s health and its ability to keep warm.
Extra bedding does the trick for rabbits and rodents. With cage birds, you need to keep a regular room temperature. You’ll notice when they’re cold, as they’ll fluff out their feathers and will be less active than usual to conserve energy. Covering the cages at night helps to retain heat.
A dog or cat is spoilt for choice when it comes to comfy corners and snug blankets. You can give your pet a real treat by ensuring maximum comfort with a Topology dog bed or Maya cat sofa bed. Cats and dogs that really feel the cold can be dressed in winter coats.
Rabbits and guinea pigs that live outdoors will need an insulated hutch to keep them snug during the winter. The Eglu rabbit hutch and the Eglu guinea pig hutch are the perfect choices here, as they keep your pets warm in the winter with a twin-walled insulation system, (and these hutches keep them cool in the summer too).
Keeping the indoor environment safe
When the winter winds and horizontal snow restricts you to the great indoors, you’ll need to keep the room warm, but not too dry. Spending all day in dry air can dry out an animal’s skin (and yours too). An open fire should always have a fireguard on it, and hot radiators and wood burning stoves need shielding from pets, too. Dogs and cats can easily scorch themselves by getting too close to the hot spot.
Keeping old dogs comfy
Cold weather has a tendency to make common conditions such as arthritis worse than usual. An older dog may need to take it easy for longer than usual after a run around in the park. Again, a super-comfy dog bed is what you need here, and some nice soft dog blankets.
Keeping yourself and your pets warm, active and healthy in the winter months is a surefire way to beat the winter blues!
This entry was posted in Dogs
Dogtor Adem, founder and owner of Dog-Ease, is a dog behaviourist and trainer with over 15 years experience working with dog owners and their canine best friends. In this blog post, Adem talks you through everything you need to know about dog hygiene, and shares his thoughts on the new, easy clean Topology dog bed from Omlet.
With the nights drawing in and the wetter weather becoming more frequent it’s always a struggle to keep the mess out of the house and the dog beds clean and smelling fresh (aux de dog, anyone?) So, when Omlet asked me to review their new Topology dog bed I couldn’t help but get a little excited! The bed features an extremely comfy memory foam mattress that sits raised from the floor on stylish legs (that you can choose to match your style of décor!), has a fully removable and washable cover, and can be ‘topped’ with several styles of zip off top covers that make it easy to keep clean and hygienic.
Firstly, let’s talk about dog hygiene and why it’s important.
Our dogs naturally try to keep themselves clean through the act of licking themselves. To help to keep themselves clean they also try to keep their beds clean and comfortable by ‘clearing the ground’ through digging and circling on their bed areas. In years gone by, when dogs were less domesticated, this was an important act and allowed them to clean and clear their bed area of uncomfortable vegetation, parasites and small creatures that could cause them harm. In fact, our dog’s wild ancestors such as wolves and wild dogs still very much display this type of behaviour. Clearly, in our homes, our dogs do not need to remove vegetation or small creatures from their bed areas before residing in them, however their dog beds if not washed can harbour other harmful organisms – bacteria and fungi. Studies have found bacteria and fungi such as MRSA, Salmonella, ringworm and listeria, as well as fecal matter, on our beloved dogs’ beds. Pollen can also be brought in, as well as general dirt and grime, which can aggravate allergies and skin conditions that both we and our dogs may have. It is also important to remember that bacteria and infectious diseases can be passed from animals to humans (these are known as zoonotic diseases). As a result, it is important for both our dog’s health and our own health that we regularly clean our dog’s body and bed area so that they are less likely to be carrying any harmful organisms that could make them or us unwell.
So, how can we keep our dog’s clean?
The key to keeping your dog clean is to regularly groom your dog. Whether you choose to do this yourself or perhaps book a professional to carry this out (or choose to combine both approaches!) It is a good idea to ensure that your dog is confident and finds being groomed and handled in this way a positive experience. This will not only make it easier to fully groom and fully clean your dog, it will also help to ensure that your dog enjoys the experience and does not become stressed or fearful. If your dog has never been groomed before, or perhaps already shows an aversion to be groomed, take your training for this slowly. Start with short sessions that simply introduce your dog to the type of items they might encounter or need to be touched with when being groomed. Think brushes, nail clippers, towels, and so on. It is a good idea to just allow your dog to observe these to begin with whilst you praise positive and confident behaviour around these objects with a tasty treat. Once your dog is confident around the chosen grooming objects you can then progress on to bringing them closer and perhaps interacting with and touching your dog with the grooming tools. Again, don’t forget to reward positive and confident behaviour as you do so. Continue with this approach slowly, building up your dog’s understanding and confidence, until you are able to fully handle and groom your dog as is needed. If your chosen method of cleaning your dog is a grooming parlour, you might also want to visit this location a few times prior to leaving your dog there. Remember to take your introduction of these items and to this new experience at your dog’s pace and don’t be afraid to go back a step if needed.
What actions can we teach to help make cleaning our dog easier?
In order to help you to groom and handle your dog with ease there are a few key actions I like to help owners to teach their dogs and would recommend that you structure into your training schedule.
The first is ‘stand’. Although at first glance this might seem like a bit of a boring ‘action’ (they’re just standing still, right?!), this is actually a very useful command. If your dog understands this command they will be able to stand still whilst you perhaps wipe their paws and legs when coming in from a wet or muddy walk, when needing to check for grass seeds or sticky fauna that might have attached itself to their coat whilst walking, or when brushing their body – particularly their chest and stomach area. It can also be useful to you or a groomer when washing your dog, allowing you or your groomer to clean all parts of their body with ease.
The second command is ‘flat’. This is where the dog lays flat on their side. Again, this can help with general grooming of their coat and, in particular, being able to easily clean ears and eyes as well as enabling easy access to clean your dog’s paws and clip their nails.
The third command I would recommend is ‘twist’. This is where you teach a twist or spin command and I like to use this whilst my dogs are standing on the front or back door mat after a walk so that effectively they are wiping their own feet! This action can also be a fun one for children to practice alongside their parents to help keep the family dog clean as well as be an entertaining party trick!
How can we keep our dog’s bed clean?
If we are keeping our dog’s nice and clean it makes sense to also keep their beds clean – if you think about it, you wouldn’t shower to then get into a bed that hadn’t been washed for months! The most obvious way to keep our dog’s bed clean is to wash their bed. This is easier said than done with many beds on the market being too large for the average washing machine or not having removal covers that can be washed. At minimum, loose debris needs to be regularly removed from the bed and the bed should then be disinfected with a suitable animal friendly cleaner. Ventilation is also key to ensuring beds stay clean and hygienic as airflow ensures that any moist areas are able to dry quicker and that bacteria is limited in its ability to grow (dark, warm and moist areas encourage bacteria growth). Hanging your dog’s bed out in the sun to dry can also assist with elimination of any remaining bacteria after washing and of course after cleaning your dog’s bed it is also important to ensure it is fully dry before allowing them to use it again.
What if my dog doesn’t seem to like to sleep on their own bed?
In order to minimise the built up of dirt, fur and bacteria in places in your home that you may not want them, it’s important that we make our dog’s designated bed area as inviting as possible so that this is the area they choose to reside in. Think about the type of bed your dog prefers. Some breeds like to stretch out whilst others like to curl up. Some prefer a comfortable flat surface, whilst others prefer to cuddle into sides that make them feel cosy or more secure. The more inviting and comfortable your dog’s bed is, the more likely your dog is going to want to reside and sleep on it. It is good practice to observe how your dog likes to reside so that you can buy a bed for their individual preference. This is the first step to encouraging your dog to reside on their designated bed area.
If you have ensured that your dog’s bed is as inviting as possible and your dog still does not seem to want to sleep on it, think about the location of your dog’s bed. Is it in a draft free area? Is it away from direct sunlight that could make them hot or is perhaps uncomfortable on their eyes? If so, the next step is to practice making their bed area a safe and fun place to reside. You can teach the action ‘go to bed’, offering a tasty reward for their compliance. You can also offer food items such as chews and food dispensing toys on their bed, encouraging them to stay in this area and making it fun to do so.
It is also important to ensure that your dog is ready to settle and lay on their bed area by ensuring they have had enough mental and physical stimulation across the day to tire them and help them to then relax. This last point can also help with addressing the behaviour issue ‘separation anxiety’, which may be another reason why your dog might prefer to perhaps sit physically close to you rather than on their bed. If you suspect your dog has separation anxiety it is advisable to seek help from a behaviourist to address this issue so that your dog is able to lead a confident and stress-free life.
What does this mean we should ideally be looking for in a dog bed?
Given the above, my recommended ‘wish list’ for a bed would be that
- It is easy to clean with removable covers
- It is easy to clean around and under the bed, and ideally raised off of the floor to allow ventilation
- It suits your dog’s individual preferences i.e. is big enough to lay flat on, or perhaps has comfy bolster sides if your dog likes to snuggle into these.
The Omlet Topology ticks all these boxes, plus looks super stylish and can be styled to fit a range of interiors. The zip off top also makes extremely light work of regularly cleaning the bed, and if you purchase more than one topper your dog never needs to be without a clean place to reside! After trying out the Topology bed for a few weeks now, I’m about to purchase another, my dogs love this bed and so do I!
Dog Behaviourist and Trainer
Owner of Dog-ease
This entry was posted in Dogs
Anxiety is an issue that affects many dogs. Some breeds are prone to nervousness, and some individual dogs may have had a tough puppyhood that results in anxiety as an adult. Others may have issues such as joint pain that require extra comfort and a cozy corner.
The symptoms of anxiety in a dog or pup may include hiding, ‘burrowing’ under blankets, cushions or on a bed (the dog bed or the owner’s bed!), or ‘cringing’ (with the tail between the legs). Some dogs will express anxiety by whining and whimpering, panting when there has been no energetic activity, shivering. Jumping – even nipping and snapping – can also be a sign of dog anxiety.
Treating dog anxiety is not a straightforward issue, neither in humans nor dogs. While humans can talk to someone about the issue and receive good advice, the options for a dog are more limited. Positive training can go a long way towards reducing dog anxiety and boosting confidence, and a calm environment can have a very positive impact, too. The dog bed can make a big difference here.
What can calm an anxious dog?
Dog anxiety often stems from puppyhood stress. With rescue dogs, the events in the early months of your pet’s life are often unknown. Dog anxiety is usually linked to separation, though. Out and out abuse manifests as fear and lack of confidence in dogs, but anxiety is something slightly different. A high quality calming pet bed can help dogs with a mild form of separation anxiety – that is, if your dog frets when left alone, or is particularly ‘clingy’ with one member of the family.
Dog anxiety can also be brought on by discomfort. Many dogs suffer from joint pains, notably in the hips as they grow older. Lying on a blanket or a thin dog bed or a pet bed that’s too small will not give these dogs the comfort they need for a good night’s sleep, leading to a vicious circle of anxiety-inducing poor sleep and stress.
A comfortable pet bed provides the anxious dog with that all-important sense of security, a combination of a bolt-hole and a life jacket. Such dog beds may feature orthopedic padding, blankets or quilts for really snuggling down, extra-soft cushions and raised sides for resting a lazy head on.
Even the best dog beds alone will not ‘cure’ a dog’s anxiety, and they need to be part of a general dog-friendly environment, combined with a consistent behavioural dog training programme, a healthy diet, supplements, and – if absolutely necessary – medication. Dog beds, then, are where dog owners should start when addressing anxiety issues, but they are only part of the wider solution.
Best dog beds for anxious dogs
The central part of a calm environment for dogs is the dog bed. The location of the pet bed is important. It needs to be somewhere relatively quiet, where the dog can feel safe and in control. The design of a bed for dogs is equally important, and a comfortable mattress is the beginning, rather than the end of the story.
So, what type of bed does a dog prefer? For many dogs, a bed is simply the place where they lie down and sleep. It doesn’t even have to be the same spot each night – some dogs like to spend one night on their allocated bed, the next night in a cool spot on the kitchen floor, and the next night camped at the foot of your bed. But with anxious dogs, consistency is important, and the right bed in the right place is the key.
An anti-anxiety dog bed can actively reduce stress and anxiety, and when combined with anti-stress training, the dog bed can go a long way towards eliminating the issue. Calming supplements can also help, and in extreme cases a vet will recommend anti-stress medication, too.
Do anxiety beds work for dogs?
An anti-anxiety dog bed is all about giving dogs and puppies a sense of security, reinforced by sheer comfort. The key is in the design, and there are many models to choose from. The best options include dog beds that go the extra mile to enhance your dog’s comfort, including features such as a removable cover, orthopedic foam, memory foam, a washable cover (machine washable, ideally), and a generally easy to clean design. Dogs love their comfort, and a consistently good night’s sleep, after all, is one of the best ways to tackle and reduce dog’s anxiety.
A well designed dog bed will be soft, machine washable and hygienic. Omlet’s Bolster dog beds, for example, provide plenty of comfort and support for your furry friend, with super soft memory foam mattresses, raised edges and an easy to clean washable cover. Topology dog beds combine these benefits with the option of raising the bed off the ground to improve air flow and prevent issues such as mould, mildew, dust and debris, all of which can accumulate in a poorly ventilated dog bed. The Topology dog bed mattress can be covered with different ‘topper’ blankets, some of them gently absorbing damp and dirt, others simply adding an extra layer of soft bedding to burrow under. A dog loves to feel cozy!
A top class calming dog bed won’t cure dog or pup anxiety on its own. But a good night’s sleep is half the battle, providing the dog with the comfortable start and end to each day, making the rest of the anti-anxiety regime that little bit easier.
This entry was posted in Dogs
Fido Studio in White
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!
Click here for full terms and conditions.
This entry was posted in Dogs
Topology Dog Beds give all dog’s that ‘clean sheet’ feeling.
There are an estimated 8.5 million dogs in the UK, and a recent survey suggests that over 1 million of them sleep on beds that haven’t been washed in 6 months!
We’re known as a nation of dog lovers, but it has become clear that many owners do not give their dogs the sleeping experience they deserve. In fact, the survey showed that only half of Britain’s dog owners wash their dog’s bed as frequently as dog and hygiene experts recommend: at least every other week.
The survey found the main reasons people struggle to keep their dog’s bed clean is that it’s time consuming and it leaves their dog without a bed while the cover is being washed and dried.
So how do we make it easier for the owners, and more comfortable and hygienic for the dogs? Enter Omlet’s newest innovation: Topology, the dog bed evolution our pets have been craving!
Topology Dog Beds feature patented, machine washable toppers that easily zip on and off a sturdy and supportive memory foam mattress. This allows owners to quickly swap to a new topper when the dirty one is in the wash. A range of designs from luxurious sheepskin to highly absorbent microfibre and even a beanbag version mean that you can find a topper that suits your dog perfectly, and looks great in your home.
After many days of rigorous play and nights of deep sleep, a worn topper can also be replaced without the need to throw away the rest of the bed. Economical, hygienic and kinder to the environment!
Another exciting feature of the Topology Dog Bed is the possibility to raise the bed with stylish designer feet. Not only does this make the bed blend beautifully in with the rest of your furniture, it also improves airflow around the bed without creating nasty drafts, minimising dust and debris as well as unwelcome disturbances. Yet another improvement to dog bed hygiene, thanks to Omlet!
Omlet’s Head of Product Design, Simon Nicholls, says: “We wanted to combine all the things dogs and their owners find important into one ultimate dog bed, and what we ended up with was Topology. The combination of the base, the toppers and the feet provides extreme comfort and support, cleanliness and hygiene, and durability. It’s been really nice to see how different dogs tend to go for different toppers and how their favourites match their personalities!”
This entry was posted in Dogs
Meet five pawsome stars from our exciting new video, and find out more about their new favourite dog bed: Topology!
Topology is a super stylish, comfortable and practical bed that both dogs and owners will love! Machine washable toppers zip on and off the supportive memory foam mattress, so that your dog’s bed can easily be kept clean and hygienic. The range of five different toppers also means that you will be able to customise the bed to fit your dog and their personality.
We asked five of the canine characters in the Topology video to tell us which topper was their favourite and why:
Freddie love his Topology Dog Bed with a comfy Beanbag topper
Freddie is a boisterous Dalmatian with bundles of energy! He loves showing off his jumping skills, and will happily throw himself at his bed over and over again to burn off some steam. This isn’t a challenge for the robust fabric and stitching of the Topology Dog Bed, and Freddies favourite topper, the Beanbag, is both fun and super comfortable as it fully lets the dog’s body relax as they lie down on top of it.
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes even Freddie needs a good, long nap, and as much as the Topology dog bed can withstand his lively playing, it will also provide superb support for his resting body. Thanks to the memory foam layer in the base and the softness of the topper, Freddies owners have no doubt he’s fully relaxed and comfortable when he finally settles in for the night.
Woody could relax for days on his Topology bed with luxurious Sheepskin topper
Even if neither he nor his owner would admit to it, Woody the Goldendoodle is what many would describe as a pampered pooch. He won’t settle for anything but the most luxurious of dog beds after his strolls around the city’s parks, so it’s no surprise that his favourite topper is the sheepskin.
Positioned in the best position in the living room, Woody can stretch out on his Topology Dog Bed and feel the super soft fabric against his skin while the memory foam mattress moulds around his body. Woody’s owner really appreciates how easy it is to remove and clean the topper.
Winston feels safe and supported on his Topology dog bed with Bolster topper
Little Winston is a Dachshund, and only six months old. With all the exciting exploring, learning, playing and chewing shoes he has to do all day, it’s extra important that he has a comfy bed to retreat to when he gets tired.
Winston absolutely loves the bolster topper. Not only does the perfectly padded bolster give his little head support when he snoozes, it also encloses the body to provide a den-like feeling that adds a sense of security.
Margot favours the elegance and extreme comfort of the Quilted topper
Margot is a classy Afghan Hound who appreciates the simple luxuries in life. She loves being comfortable, preferably curling up by the fire after a walk around the town when she enjoys meeting new dogs to sniff.
Margot’s favourite topper is the super soft quilted version. It stays cool against the body in summer and has a warming effect in winter, and the classic design oozes luxury and comfort. Additionally, Margot’s owners love the look of the soft minty grey against the rest of their furniture!
Esme can dry off and relax on the Microfiber topper on her Topology Dog bed
Esme is a perfectly sized terrier mix who loves nothing more than running over wide fields and chasing squirrels between trees on long country walks. Rain and wind won’t stop her – the muddier the better! That’s why the microfiber topper is her favourite. The structured fabric is nice to roll your wet back against, and it will speed up the drying process.
Esme’s owners also love that she’s got a space to dry off after inevitable hose-downs that isn’t the living room carpet! Leftover mud and moisture from walks will quickly and smoothly blend into the microfiber topper, and it can be washed over and over again, allowing for more lovely nature walks.
Read more about Topology here
This entry was posted in Dogs
In many ways dogs age in similar ways to humans. Older dogs have less energy, lose some of their senses, experience changes in sleeping and eating patterns, go grey and can have trouble remembering the most ordinary things.
Additionally, muscles and bones become weaker, and the immune system is not as good at fighting off infections. Internal organs also get more tired, so the dog is more prone to liver, heart and kidney disease.
This may seem rather gloomy and depressing, but it’s just a part of nature we have to accept, and as long as you as an owner continue to care for your dog in an appropriate way as they get older, you can really enjoy the last golden years together.
What counts as a senior dog?
Not all dogs reach old age at the same time. Just as with humans, some dogs seem a lot younger or older than their actual age, and genetics play a part in the risk of developing diseases and problems with hearing and sight.
But the most important thing when figuring out when your dog will be a senior is size. Toy dogs, terriers and other small breeds are seen as old when they are 10-11 years, medium-sized breeds like retrievers are considered seniors when they are 8-10 years, and large and giant breeds reach old age at 5 or 6.
What can I do to help my dog in old age?
Your dog will still need regular exercise, even if it might look a bit different from when they were young and bouncy. Accept that the dog won’t be able to come on the long walks they used to love, and try exercising for shorter periods of time more often. Remember to also stimulate your elderly dog mentally. Food toys and puzzles will be great for keeping your dog’s brain sharp.
Older dogs that don’t move around as they once did run the risk of excessive weight gain, and their diet will need to be adjusted to fit their new energy levels. Ask your vet for advice on what to feed your senior dog, but in general it’s good to choose a low fat feed and limit the amount of treats.
Make sure you take your dog to the vet for more regular check ups as he or she gets older. That way you will be able to spot potential problems early on. Dental hygiene is more important than ever, and it’s common that the skin gets drier and the coat less shiny, so it might be a good idea to do a bit more grooming.
Changing sleeping habits
Long gone are the puppy days when your dog passed out anywhere and slept for hours. Comfort is super important for older dogs, and their tired muscles and bones will need support.
Choose a dog bed that is designed to look after the dog’s body, ideally with a firm but supportive mattress and a soft cover. Omlet’s Bolster Dog Beds are great for senior dogs, not only because of the high performing memory foam mattress and supportive features, but also because they can be raised off the ground, making it much easier for an older and less agile dog to get in and out of the bed.
It’s also important to be aware that senior dogs often are much more sensitive to temperature changes. Place the dog’s bed somewhere that stays warm in winter and cool in summer, and provide them with an extra blanket in winter and maybe use a cooling mat in summer.
Making the right decisions at the end of life
There might come a time when you as an owner will have to make unpleasant decisions regarding your dog’s health and potentially whether or not your pet’s life is worth living.
If your dog develops an illness that can be treated, you will need to consider what the interventions will be like for the dog, what their quality of life will be after the treatment, and how long it may extend their life. If you have insurance, money hopefully doesn’t have to be a factor to consider, but many operations and treatments are extremely pricey and far from risk free.
Remember to try and put your own feelings to one side and concentrate on what is best for your dog. Although you might be able to get another few months together with your pet, he or she might be in constant pain, and will not be able to do all the things they used to love, and will not enjoy themselves.
Older pets can easily struggle with anxiety. Their body and mind are changing, and they can’t figure out why. Even if your dog might not be able to see or hear you as well as they used to, they can sense your presence, and that will make them calm and happy, so try to spend as much time together as possible. The last few years of your dog’s life can be a wonderful time for both of you, so don’t dwell on aging but take them for a walk, snuggle up with them on the sofa and play with them – just like you’ve always done!
This entry was posted in Dogs
What is SAD?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs on a seasonal basis, appearing yearly in the autumn and winter. Researchers don’t completely know what causes SAD, but it’s most likely linked to the shorter days of the colder months, which limit the amount of sunlight we get.
Lack of sunlight can affect the part of the brain called hypothalamus that can lead to decreased production of the hormones melatonin, which regulates sleep, and serotonin, which plays a large part in controlling our mood and appetite. It is also likely that our bodies’ internal clocks are disturbed by the lower light levels, causing additional symptoms of SAD.
Do dogs get SAD?
There is no official diagnosis of SAD in dogs, but recent studies have suggested that seasons can negatively affect animals as well. Surveys also show that many dog owners notice that their dogs seem down and less enthusiastic during the winter months. Due to this, awareness of SAD is growing, and many vets will be aware of the disorder.
What are the signs?
Symptoms of SAD commonly include a persistent low mood, loss of interest in otherwise joyful activities, grumpiness, increased appetite and the need for more sleep than normal. This applies to all species, but in dogs you also need to watch out for toilet accidents and hair loss.
If you notice these symptoms in your dog, the first thing to do is to take them to the vet, as there are other things that might cause these symptoms that might require different interventions. Your vet will hopefully be knowledgeable about mental health in dogs, and should also be able to give you some advice as to how you can help your pup.
What can I do to prevent and combat it?
Try to keep up your normal routine throughout the colder months. It’s not as tempting to go for walks when it’s muddy and rainy, and you’re probably less likely to meet up with friends and their dogs for some fun playing in the park, but it’s really important to make sure your dog still gets the right amount of exercise and socialisation. This works both preventatively and if you’ve already started seeing signs of SAD in your dog.
If your work schedule allows it, it might be better to walk the dog while the sun is still up, so you’re exposed to some direct light. Open blinds and curtains in the house, and consider putting the dog bed closer to a window so he or she is not hidden in a dark corner.
Exercise and light exposure are things that will make you feel better as well, and that’s another thing that will subsequently help your dog stay happy and healthy. Our pets are extremely susceptible to our mood and emotions, and your dog is more likely to suffer if you do.
Humans with SAD can sometimes benefit from artificial sunlight lamps, specially designed lamps that mimic sunlight. While there’s no evidence that these will improve your dog’s mood, it’s unlikely to hurt, so ask your vet if they think it would be a good idea.
This entry was posted in Dogs
Dogtor™ Adem, Dog behaviourist & trainer, discusses everything you need to know about dog beds, which types may suit which breed and age of dog, and why we might see our four-legged best friends exhibit certain behaviours in and around their beds. Read on to learn more!
What should I look for in a dog bed?
A dog bed should be comfortable for the breed type, age and size of your dog. If you have an older dog, they might benefit from an orthopedic or memory foam bed, such as the Omlet Bolster Bed with premium memory foam mattress, which gives support by gently moulding around your dog. A puppy, on the other hand, might benefit from a bed that can absorb water if, for example, a bowl of water is accidentally knocked over by them or they ‘toilet’ on their bed area whilst still being house trained. For puppies, you may also want to consider a type of bedding that is comfortable for them but not too precious or expensive due to the higher risk of this bedding being chewed or damaged as they play and explore. For me, it is also important to choose a bed that is robust and can be easily washed. Again the Omlet Bolster bed is a great choice with this feature! This not only helps the environment by limiting the need to frequently replace a smelly or very worn dog bed with a new version, but also ensures any accidents or dirt brought into their dog bed area can be easily cleaned away, keeping their bed area hygienic and inviting. You could also consider covering your dog’s bed with a removable and washable cover, particularly in the winter months.
What type of bed might suit my breed of dog?
Certain breeds might need more cushioning than others to stay comfortable and limit their potential for developing sores or sore patches, for example greyhounds who are considered more ‘boney’ than many other breeds. Some breeds might also like to curl up, for example a husky or some of the smaller breeds, whilst others prefer to lay on their side and stretch out, for example hounds such as deer hounds, greyhounds, and lurchers. An owner should consider how their individual dog likes to lay and relax and choose a suitable bed with this in mind.
The time of year can also have an effect on where your dog chooses to sleep. To ensure your dog remains comfortable, you can adapt their bed to suit the season by adding extra blankets or even cool mats to your dog’s bed. If you’re looking for a cozy blanket, Omlet’s Super Soft Dog Blanket is definitely a winner for those cooler months where some dogs might like to ‘snuggle up’. For the warmer months of the year, you could try a cool mat instead of their usual bed if it is particularly hot! Omlet’s Cooling Mat for Dogs is a perfect choice, coming in a range of sizes to suit many breeds.
I have observed my dog ‘digging’ their bed, why is this?
This is a natural instinct derived from the need to ‘clear the ground’ or an area of insects and potentially small rodents and reptiles. Ancestors of our pet dogs might need to do this in order to make the area they are choosing to reside in safe for them to lay down in. Some dogs, such as those in tropical climates that predominantly live outside or live as ‘street dogs’, still use this instinctive behaviour to keep themselves from being bitten and stung. This act of ‘clearing the ground’ may even have benefits in preventing parasite infestation. Whilst in Mauritius last year, I witnessed a young street dog clearing an area and whilst watching I noticed that she stopped in her tracks and became very observant as she had disturbed a small scorpion in some leaves. Without this act of digging and clearing, this dog would have undoubtedly been stung by this scorpion.
Dogs may also dig because they sweat through their paws, making the act of digging and ‘circling’ in an area another way of spreading and leaving their scent. This is something we commonly know as ‘marking’ and usually associate with the image of dogs urinating up lamp posts!
Finally, dogs may also dig naturally on hot days and in hot climates in an attempt to try to remove hot surfaces (e.g. baked earth). This helps them to reveal a cooler surface to reside in. In addition, wild canids such as arctic foxes and wolves, may dig to avoid extreme weather such as high wind, the cold (e.g. snow), and storms. Again, this act helps to keep them safe as well as assists in regulating their body temperature. Although seldom needed in the pet dog world today, this instinctive behaviour still remains in part in our domesticated dogs.
How can I train my dog to sleep in their bed?
A good training instructor or behaviourist will have this on their training syllabus, helping owners to teach the ‘go to bed’ command. If you are interested in this but can’t attend a training class, I also explain how you can teach your dog this command in step by step instructions in this blog.
If, however, your dog is reluctant to sleep in their own bed you should investigate why. Firstly consider, is the bed area provided the most attractive sleeping area available to your dog? Positive reinforcement such as offering treats in this area can help to make their bed area a more positive and inviting place to reside, as can ensuring the bed is comfortable for their breed type and age (as discussed above!) Secondly, you might want to evaluate if your dog potentially has a behavioural issue such as separation anxiety that is preventing them from wanting to sleep in their own bed. If you believe this to be the case, you should seek help from a certified behaviourist to address this issue and help to build your dog’s confidence in being physically away from you.
How can I stop my dog destroying their bed?
Think about your dog’s life stage. A young puppy may chew a bed as they explore with their mouth and enjoy the texture on their teething gums. In this instance, it would be advisable to buy a bed that does not contain lots of small parts or stuffing that can be ingested. Similarly, you could pick bedding made of material that can not easily be broken down through the act of chewing. You can always buy a ‘nicer’ bed for your dog to use under your direct supervision until they have passed this life stage and have lost their baby teeth and gained all of their adult teeth.
If your dog is older and destroying their bed, perhaps when they are left alone for example, this could potentially signal that your dog is feeling stressed and is suffering from separation anxiety, for which behavioural advice should be sought to enable your dog to recover from this issue.
Similarly, chewing and destroying of beds can also sometimes indicate that your dog is bored. To combat this, you could look to try to tire your dog more effectively before leaving them alone, which will encourage them to rest more in your absence. You should also ensure that your dog is not left for long periods of time by themselves. Just like us, dogs are social mammals and need company. As well as ensuring your dog is appropriately exercised and is not being left for too long, you can also offer your dog something to do for some of the time you are away from them. For example, you could leave them something else to chew that is safe and made for this purpose. Consider leaving them with a hard chew food item or a food dispensing toy filled with tasty treats for them to try to get to!
I hope you have found the above information useful. Wishing your beautiful pooches the most restful of snoozes!
Dog Behaviourist & Trainer
This entry was posted in Dogs
The Luxury Super Soft Dog Blanket from Omlet is the perfect addition to your dog’s sleep setup. As colder weather approaches your pet will truly appreciate this extra layer of warmth and comfort to nestle into for a lovely long snooze. The blanket is machine washable, so you can also use it to protect sofas, carpets and car seats from muddy paws after long autumnal walks.
Terms and conditions
This promotion is valid from 22/09/20 – midnight on 27/09/20. Once you have entered your email address on the website you will receive a promo code that can be used at checkout. By entering your email you agree to receive the Omlet Newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any point. This offer is available on Omlet Luxury Super Soft Blankets for cats and dogs only. The offer does not apply to any dog beds or cooling mats. Offer is limited to 2 blankets per household, while stocks last. 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.
This entry was posted in Cats
Playdates for dogs are an increasingly popular calendar fixture for dog owners. The fact that these most sociable of animals like to socialise should not come as a great surprise. But there is, of course, far more to a successful get-together than simply unleashing a kennelful of canines into your back garden!
Our ten tips will help ensure that your pooch party goes with a woof rather than a snarl.
1. Don’t Invite Enemies!
The guest list is possibly the most obvious party-success factor of them all, but it is one that often gets ignored. For example, your friend might have a Jack Russell that your Labradoodle simply hates. And yet inviting your friends and their dogs is an obvious thing to do when arranging a doggy date. A territorial or bad-tempered dog that doesn’t get along with your pet is not going to be the life and soul of your doggy date. And, of course, your own dog needs to be a sociable hound host, too.
2. Avoid Chalk-and-Cheese Syndrome
Dogs tend to play best with friends of their own size and of a similar age. An older dog doesn’t want to be harassed by a bunch of excitable puppies, and a small terrier doesn’t always want to be stalked by an enthusiastic pack of Retrievers. An overweight or arthritic dog may suffer, too – they may want to keep up with the others, so as not to miss out on the fun, which may result in more harm than good.
The exception to the chalk-and-cheese rule is when dogs already know each other. If you know they’re friends already, invite them – although you still need to watch out for the reactions of the other guests.
3. Keep the Numbers Down
The difference between a happy group of dogs and a rowdy pack is a fine line. As a rule of thumb, keep the number of dogs to six or below on a doggy date, to keep things under control.
4. Invite Humans Too!
A doggy date isn’t an excuse for owners to leave their dogs in a crèche for a couple of hours. It only works if the owners are present; and an owner who brings more than one dog should, ideally, bring more than one human too.
5. Make Sure the Space is Suitable
There are all kinds of places you can hold a doggy playdate, whether indoors or outdoors, and the guest list should match the space. Six Huskies in a kitchen isn’t going to work, and open gates or gaps in a fence are just asking for trouble. You will also need to dog-proof the room or the garden, removing access to anything that’s fragile, toxic, edible or out-of-bounds for whatever other reason. The host dog and its guests should not have their own toys or bones lying around, either – all available toys should be neutral. If the host dog is very territorial, it simply isn’t going to work unless you arrange the playdate in a neutral space.
6. Meet and Greet
The dogs should all be formally introduced before the doggy date begins, even if they have met before. Owners should have their pets on a lead, and the dogs should be made to sit, in a semicircle so they can all see each other. They can then mingle on loose leads. Only when everything is looking sociable should the dogs be let off the lead completely. Any dissenters will have to be kept on a lead until they get into the spirit of the party. If, for whatever reason, one of the doggy guests falls out with another, it should be led quietly away on a lead until the situation has calmed down.
7. Allow Downtime
Some dogs have more energy, patience or bravery than others. On a doggy date, it always helps to have a hidey hole where a dog that needs to catch its breath can take time out. For smaller dogs, this can be the owner’s arms. Larger dogs will need a quiet corner, indoors or out. In a larger garden, they will be able to find their own space to chill. Dogs are very good at body language, and the others will recognise that the resting dog is doing just that, and not playing hide and seek.
8. Provide Refreshments
Busy dogs will need to drink, so one or more drinking bowls is essential. A supply of treats will keep the edge off their appetites, too.
9. Play Some Party Games
Games of fetch, hide and seek, sit and wait, agility tests or obstacle courses are all great ways to keep the party happy and active. Treats can be used as prizes!
10. Avoid Too Much Sun
If it’s a really hot day, an outdoor doggy date will needs lots of shade, lots of water and should involve only the very fittest dogs. Heat can be a health hazard for weaker animals. Remember – you can always postpone.
This entry was posted in Dogs