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The Omlet Blog Category Archives: Pets

Can Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Live Together?

One of the most commonly asked questions from pet parents of smaller breeds of animals is whether or not rabbits and guinea pigs can live together. They are both small, cute and cuddly, live in hutches (or a super stylish Eglu Go Rabbit Hutch!) and like vegetables but that is pretty much where the similarities end.  

Can-Rabbits-and-Guinea-Pigs-Be-Hutch-Mates_Newsletter-Graphics_Blog

It used to be fairly standard practice for Guineas and Bunnies to live together, this was because neutering smaller animals wasn’t seen as a safe option. Things have most definitely changed since then and this is no longer a concern. The other reason behind this cohabitation is that the saying “breeding like rabbits” is very true! It was thought that by keeping guinea pigs and rabbits together it would prevent mass breeding. 

A rabbit’s reproductive cycle is pretty fast, almost immediately after giving birth they can conceive again, and even though the average litter size is 5, it could be even higher! The largest recorded rabbit litter is 24, born to two New Zealand rabbits!
So, if a plethora of bunnies is not for you then your option would have been to let them share the living space with a guinea pig. It’s company after all, right? Wrong, in an ideal world, it would be perfect, however, it is not always meant to be. 

Rabbits and Guinea Pigs are not really recommended to share their living quarters. Here, we look into the reasons behind why this seemingly suitable match made in heaven and lifelong friendship, won’t always be ideal. 

They have different diets

Many consider these small pets to be similar in many ways, however, their dietary needs are quite different. Even though both mammals require hay, vegetables and fruit for a balanced diet there is something fundamentally different about how they process their vitamin intake.
Guinea pigs need Vitamin C to ensure they have a healthy diet because just like humans, they are unable to synthesise the vitamin alone, due to a gene deficiency. Vitamin C is found in citric fruits and is necessary for survival. Rabbits, on the other hand, can synthesise this particular vitamin, and if they are given too much then it could make them sick. 

Housing them together and allowing them to share a food bowl, may only be meeting the needs of one, which could cause health problems down the line for the other.

guinea pigs enjoying food from caddi treat holder

Rabbits bully guinea pigs

This may seem like a bold statement, but it is a possibility and one to be wary of. Our floppy-eared friends are bigger and somewhat stronger than their smaller counterparts. When it comes to food, especially if they are sharing, Peter Rabbit could quite easily push little Mini Guinea out of the way and assert their authority over them. This would result in a tempestuous relationship, especially if your guinea pig is being deprived of food!
Rabbits also love to bounce and hop around as they are very energetic creatures, so playtime could be slightly one-sided and maybe a little rough for your guinea pig who is a little more docile. 

They communicate differently 

Picture this, you’ve got your feet up, you’re comfortable and have a cup of tea on the side and are ready to read the Sunday papers, and all of a sudden your housemate decides to throw a Hawaiian themed party and invite the whole neighbourhood. That’s a little bit like living with a rabbit (from the perspective of a guinea pig!). Despite both being quite sociable little creatures, guineas do like their own space and time to relax, whereas rabbits tend to thrive from attention, either from regular mating or huddling together with their companions, grooming each other. This type of behaviour can be quite stressful for a guinea pig. 

They are a different species after all and will not speak the same language. If they cannot communicate with each other then they could suffer from boredom and loneliness. Whereas if there are lots of rabbits and guinea pigs they will feel happier being with their own kind. 

There are health risks

Both animals can be affected by Bordetella bronchiseptica which is a bacterial infection that can lead to bronchitis. It is more severe for guinea pigs, whereas rabbits display very few symptoms.
Another potential threat is Pasteurella which is passed through saliva, for example biting. Again, this is less of a threat to rabbits but more dangerous to guinea pigs. If rabbits and guinea pigs are living together, it could cause health risks which could be detrimental to a safe environment. 

hutch for guinea pigs eglu go and hutch for rabbits eglu go in garden

How to keep them safe if they do live together

Despite the recommendation that rabbits and guinea pigs should not house share, there may be some exceptions. Introducing them to each other when they are kittens and pups means they may grow to love one another and see each other as friends, not foes. Bringing in a new guinea pig into an environment with an older bunny could lead to a hierarchical imbalance.

You might find that they share a bond or have become the best of friends, or you simply can’t house them separately. If that is the case then there are ways you can accommodate their differences. 

Create a safe space for your guinea pig

If your guinea pig needs to retreat for a moment or two then having its own space is so important. Omlet has created products that can be extended, interconnected and upgraded providing you with a simple solution when it comes to creating a unique space for your animals. Start with the Eglu Go Guinea Pig hutch which is super easy to assemble and clean. It provides that perfectly safe peaceful space for your guinea pig! 

Feed your pets separately

Rather than sharing a food bowl, which we have discovered could be problematic, feed your guinea pig separately from your rabbit. Consider having a different area to feed your rabbit, like in their own enclosure. 

Ensure your rabbit is neutered

Nowadays neutering small pets has become a lot safer and far more common, so it would be recommended if you plan to keep multiple rabbits or keep them with guinea pigs. Since we know that rabbits have the urge to mate constantly, this would not only be annoying for your guinea pig but it could also lead to back injuries, considering they are smaller in stature in comparison to a rabbit. By neutering your rabbit they will have less of a desire to mount their hutch-buddy! 

Friendly neighbours? 

Of course, there is no reason why you can’t have rabbits or guinea pigs. It is possible to create separate living areas so that they can sleep apart and have space for themselves (guinea pigs mostly), and an extensive play area (rabbits!) to keep them energised and entertained. To improve on this architectural masterpiece, provide them with a communal playpen, with an interconnecting tunnel system.
It’s not as though they can’t live together, it is possible, though it is not recommended and hopefully this article has provided enough information as to why. If you have experience of rabbits and guinea pigs living in harmony together or perhaps not, then please share your stories in the comments section below. 

children sitting in eglu go playpen with a rabbit conntected to zippi tunnel system

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This entry was posted in Guinea Pigs


The Power of Pets – Mental Health Awareness Week

For Mental Health Awareness Week this year, we want to give a shout out to the unsung furry or feathered heroes that provide companionship, comfort and cuddles when we’re not feeling our best – the Power of Pets. We asked the Omlet community to share their stories of the times when pets have saved their day, month, year or even life – and the results are extremely heart-warming. Grab a tissue and keep reading!


DEBORAH & TEDDY

tabby cat the power of pets mental health awareness

I have always wanted to have a cat, but I struggled with the thought of supporting an animal, thinking they wouldn’t be happy with me and that I would be using them. 

I have very low self esteem. I suffer from ADHD, and one of the symptoms is Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria i.e. the fear of being rejected if I made the slightest mistake. This led to me not wanting to become attached to anyone, human or animal, as I was sure that I would automatically make them unhappy. 

And then, in the summer of 2021, a friend who knew I wanted a cat told me about Teddy. I fell in love with her as soon as I saw a photo, and adopted her on a whim. I have never regretted it.

She taught me how to respect her, to respect myself, that I could be loved unconditionally and that she has absolute confidence in me. She wakes me up, she plays, she cuddles, and we have created a way to understand each other. I especially like it when she comes and disturbs my meditation sessions. I’m sitting cross-legged and quiet so I must want hugs, right?

Of course, I have also had help from mental health professionals, but Teddy was definitely the one who taught me that I was valuable and had the right to be loved. Today, I can’t imagine my life without her. I’ve been having anxiety attacks for a few years, but they have changed, and now I can fight them.

CLAIRE & RYO

lhasa apso mental health support dog

I am a psychologist and my dog Ryo, a Lhasa Apso, comes with me to work to meet my patients. I work with people aged 55 to 99, and I can only see the benefits Ryo has on them. For a moment they forget everything else and just relax and laugh, and they always talk about Ryo the next session and how much they liked meeting him.

Sometimes patients cry, and then Ryo goes straight to them and offers hugs. It’s amazing to see how sensitive he is to our emotions. And for me, it’s a daily joy to have him by my side – I genuinely never feel lonely.

BECCA & HER HENS

chickens in run power of pets mental health

I have 6 hens. Nat, Wanda, Prim, Nieve, Peggy and Winter, plus two in heaven. They are rescue hens but really, they rescued me. I was going through a really dark time in my life and they made me smile on my darkest days. They are still sometimes the reason I get out of bed. The way they are so excited to greet me. Many people don’t realise how spectacular and loving chickens are. I’m forever grateful that they came into my life – they help me so much!

LINDSEY & BIGGIE

teacup chihuahua mental health help

I have struggled with mental health issues and drug abuse issues since I was 12 years old, I am now 30. Growing up I always had cats and dogs, but everything changed when I got Biggie Smalls.

Biggie is a 2 pound male teacup chihuahua, and the most unique dog that I have ever owned. I don’t even consider him a dog, he is my son and he comes with me pretty much everywhere I go. When I got him I was in a very bad place mentally, and my life revolved around drugs. I ended up going to rehab twice after getting him, and the last time I decided that he was the most important thing in my life and that I needed to change and better myself for him.

I have no human children, just my four dogs; Biggie, Puppers, Milo, and Luna. After coming home from rehab for the last time my life has completely changed. I wake up in the morning happy and blessed to be able to have Biggie and the rest of my dogs in my life, I don’t wake up craving anything but him! I am doing things that I never had any interest in doing before. Like cooking, I want the best and healthiest life for him. The point is that if I didn’t have Biggie I don’t know where I would be right now, or if I would even be here. My outlook on life has done a complete 180° and I don’t have to force myself to want to do anything anymore, it just comes naturally.

They all bring so much joy to my life, I have been clean going on just around a year now and it’s all because of him! I truly believe that anybody struggling with mental health issues or drug addiction can change their lives for the better and mine has changed because of Biggie Smalls!

AZANIEL & SIMON

budgie family the power of pets

A few years back my father passed away. He was my best friend and teacher, and meant the world to me. When he passed away I had a hard time accepting it. Then someone gave me a budgie. His name is Simon and he decreased the pain a lot. After 3 years I decided to get him a partner. Her name is Catherine and they also have a baby chick together, Luke. They just make your life so much more pleasant because they are so adorable and won’t judge you. They also accept you and who you want to become.

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This entry was posted in Pets


Fun Easter Activities for the Whole Family

easter-graphic-omlet-bunny-with-eggs

Are you looking for some fun activities for the whole family over the Easter holiday? We’ve gathered some fun games, creative craft activities and delicious recipes that will keep children (and adults) busy between the egg painting and the hot cross bun snack breaks!


6 Steps to Starting Seeds in Your Girls’ Eggshells

Discarded egg shells are perfect for propagating seeds before you plant them out in the garden! Super easy and fun!

5 Easter Games to Make the Holiday Extra Hoppy

Are you having the family over for Easter Sunday? Prepare some games to play while you’re waiting for the Easter Bunny to hide the eggs in the garden!

Top Tips for an Epic Easter Egg Hunt

Speaking of Easter Egg Hunts, here are our best tips for making this years’ the best one ever!

girl collecting eggs from eglu cube large chicken coop and run

Boredom Busting Banana Bread Recipe

This super easy and delicious banana bread is perfect any time of the year, and you will most likely have all the ingredients in the cupboard already!

Make Colourful Marbled Eggs This Easter

Make eggs for lunch and get creative with these impressive looking marbled eggs. Perfect as a spring decoration even after Easter!

Super Yummy Carrot Cake

Who doesn’t love a carrot cake with their afternoon tea? This recipe makes for a deliciously moist and beautiful cake, and it’s simple enough you can get the children to help.

Things To Do Together With Your Children and Your Pets At Home

Are the pets in the family also finding the holiday a bit long? Here are some great things that you and your children can do together with, or for, your pets.


Hopefully these tips will make the Easter holiday extra creative, fun and yummy for the whole family! Tag Omlet on social media to let us know what you think! 

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This entry was posted in Pets


Cats and Wildlife in the Garden

Nature vs Nurture

When it comes to wildlife in the garden, is your cat as ruthless as a raging lion or timid as a mouse? We might want to believe that our cats wouldn’t hurt a fly, but cats are natural predators whether we like it or not, as descendants of their larger feline members of the family. But do all cats need or want to kill, and can you stop them from hunting? Sadly the answer is no, despite spoiling them rotten or pampering their every need, given the opportunity to go out and hunt, most cats will take it, purely because they have the animalistic instinct.

Cat sitting on white maya donut cat bed looking out of the window

Prey or Predator?

We’ve established that even the most cuddly and affectionate cat can become a vicious killer, but they are not always the predator.
As nice as it is to allow your cat to roam freely in the great outdoors, it is not always the safest. Cats are solitary creatures and will hunt alone, and are therefore more prone to attacks from larger predators such as dogs, foxes, mink, raccoons (depending on the country you are in), as well as getting into fights with other cats and more human threats like cars, poisoning or thieves.

As a predator our cats can impose a threat to our wildlife and nature’s neighbours, they kill wild animals, such as birds, reptiles, and small mammals. While they don’t always bring the kill home, there is every chance they are consumed or just left.

Tabby cat and Freestyle Indoor Cat tree scratching post

Can you stop cats from hunting?

The way you feed your cat will certainly have a difference in the way they might hunt, but hunting is not just motivated by hunger. Cats are opportunistic hunters and know that if they were to hunt only when they are hungry they could risk starvation, purely because capturing prey isn’t always successful and isn’t always available. Cats have evolved to change their daily patterns depending on the food that is available to them.

The average well-fed pet cat partakes in approximately 3 hours of hunting each day, whereas a cat that is fed less will hunt more. Cats will feel the need to hunt whether they are hungry or not. If you’re worried about wildlife and don’t want your cat to hunt, there are a few changes to your cats’ life that could help! We have put together a few ideas below.

Feeding

Our pussycats should be fed at regular intervals throughout the day to mimic their natural feeding patterns, and they also benefit from a meal rich in meat content.

Cats need variety

Cats are neophiliac, which means they absolutely love variety – especially when it comes to food! Regularly providing different foods may curb their hunting behaviour as they don’t need to look elsewhere for new tasty treats.

More time to play

Similar to their food patterns, the way cats play can affect how they behave in the wild. Regularly play with your cat, and offer them cat toys that resemble prey. We have all seen the way cats crouch down ready to pounce on a scrunched-up ball of newspaper. Entertain their curious minds and hunter instinct rather than try and diminish it, and it’s possible that your cat will have had enough of chasing after things when they go outside.

When not to hunt

Try to avoid dawn and dusk, prime hunting times. However, remember that changing a cat’s routine needs to be done slowly to ensure it’s not having a negative impact on the cat.

Sound the Alarm!

Adding a bell to the collar is certainly one way to alert prey that danger is coming, however, cats are incredibly intelligent. So, while it may seem to work to start with (and give you peace of mind), a cat will usually find a way to master this new skill of getting close without making a noise.

Cat Safety

To really avoid the hunting impact that your cat has on the local wildlife, or protect them from predators and human dangers introduce an Omlet Catio so that cats can play safely in the fresh air! The Catio can be extended and adapted in many ways to suit your cat! If you don’t have garden space then we have another alternative for you, the Catio Balcony Enclosure. Now, cats get all the stimulation they need while both them and the wildlife in your garden are safe.

Black and white cat in balcony catio enclosure

How to exercise the inner hunter in a house cat

If your cat doesn’t go out and is purely an indoor cat, don’t worry, you are not depriving them of their ancestral hunting heritage. Hunting doesn’t necessarily mean killing prey, which is why it can be adapted to play. 

If you regularly play with your cat and provide them with enough toys and accessories, this can certainly provide them with enough stimulation to emulate a hunt. You may have seen the way your cat crouches as though ready to pounce on a fly or a plant leaf (think Christmas tree decorations!). It is important to allow this form of play. 

Our Freestyle Cat Tree is the perfect way to balance play and curiosity. Read our guide on how to choose the purrrrfect cat tree for your indoor cat.

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This entry was posted in Cats


Random Acts of Kindness Day – Pet Edition

 

Two cats and a purple cat bed in a kitchen

Thursday 17th February is Random Acts of Kindness Day, celebrating the small (or big) things you can do to make someone else’s day, week, month or even year. This is the perfect opportunity to spread some happiness to friends and family, furry or not! Here are a few suggestions of things you could do (pet based of course!) 

Walk a Friend’s Dog

If your friend has just had a baby, has a busy time at work or just has a four legged friend that won’t tire, they will most likely be overjoyed if you pop around to take their dog for a walk. Spend an hour enjoying the countryside or throwing a ball around in the park, and you will be both dog and owner’s favourite person!

Make a Cake From Your Hens’ Eggs

Gather up a few fresh eggs from your chicken coop and dig out your favourite cake recipe. Invite some friends over for a spontaneous afternoon tea or knock on the neighbours’ door and hand them your delicious creation. 

Buy Your Pet a Blanket

For pets it’s Random Acts of Kindness Day every day of the year. They give us so much joy it’s nice to, every now and then, treat them to something nice. A great gift for your pet is a Super Soft Dog Blanket to put on their bed. They don’t even have to be a dog, many pets will love snuggling up on a blanket for some extra warmth and comfort. 

Go to a Pet Shop and Pay For Someone’s Shopping

Give back to a fellow pet owner at the pet shop. You don’t even have to make yourself known, just leave some extra money when you’re paying and tell the shop assistant to put it towards the next customer’s purchase. A gift to both pet and owner!

Donate to an Animal Shelter 

If you have a few pennies to spare there is arguably no better way to spend them than to donate to an animal shelter or charity. Some shelters accept donations in the form of food, treats and bedding, so you could buy an extra bag of your own pet’s favourite feed and put it in a donation box or bring it off at the HQ. 

dog on beanbag dog bed with dog blanket

Make Today Your Pet’s Perfect Day

You probably have a pretty clear idea of what your pet’s ideal day would look like. Maybe it’s a special breakfast followed by a walk or some playing? A grooming session and some cuddling? Or just treats galore! You can pretend it’s their birthday and make every aspect of the day that little extra bit special. And we’re sure you’ll also have a big smile on your face by bedtime!

Collect Litter on Your Dog Walk

As you’re already going out, you might as well take a rubbish bag and some gloves and pick up some litter while your dog is bouncing around. You’ll be surprised how much rubbish is hiding in hedgerows or on the side of the road. A great help for wildlife, and a nice thing to do for the community!

Leave Out Bird Food

Wild animals can also need a little help sometimes, especially in the colder months, and they will definitely appreciate a small random gift of kindness. Put up some bird feeders in your garden and fill them with delicious seeds or fat balls and you will quickly be able to spot a range of beautiful little birds outside your window. 

These are our suggestions, but I’m sure you have lots of other ideas! A Random Act of Kindness could be to share them on social media and tag us so more people get a chance to spread some happiness this February!

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This entry was posted in Pets


Cuddly Cupids – Your Pet Love Stories

We asked people from the amazing Omlet community to share stories of how their pets helped them find love, or how animals played a big part in some of their most romantic moments. Cuddle up and read these heart-warming stories!

golden labrador in feather boa and his owners

Elisse – VW, USA

I met my husband, Dan, in 2001 while we were both working for FEMA in NYC, on the Disaster Response Operation following the 9/11 terrorist attacks; he was Logistics from HQ, and I was Community Relations from NYC. He came over to my apartment, and, being a US Army Ret. workaholic can-do kinda guy, he decided I needed shelves – and that he was just the man to install them! Dan set out his tools and got to work… and Trapper, my sweet old Yellow Lab, laid down next to him and put his paws over Dan’s tools. It was SO obviously a possessive “he’s mine” move that we both started to laugh- that was one of the many reasons I knew Dan was “the one”: Trapper was not going to let him go!

Trapper always loved me, I’d had him since he was a puppy in 1988, but he ADORED Dan: he’d finally found “his guy”! And Dan loved him back: When we moved to WV in 2002, and Trapper’s back legs started to go from old age, Dan carried him up and down 3 flights of stairs every day… and Trapper would lay out in the sun while Dan worked on our garden, swiveling his head around, as he had to see Dan All The Time… he’d “arf” if he couldn’t see Dan at all times!

bride and groom holding two alpacas

Mel – UK

As a child I grew up around animals, and this pushed me into my career as a veterinary nurse. My life is based around my pets, and pet owners put their trust in me every day to keep their 4 legged, feathered, and scaled family members safe.

My valentines love story is about my wedding day, it wouldn’t be the same without animals around me! Upon planning the wedding when I called my local vicar the first thing he asked was ‘I hope your dogs are coming’ of course they were going, but he didn’t release the extend of the animal packed day! I was taken to my wedding by 2 beautiful grey horses pulling us along with my 3 dogs by my side. My dogs walked down the church aisle with my man on honour, and one of them was my ring bearer! I’m so proud that she managed to go all the way down the aisle without stopping to get cuddles from all her favourite guests in the church pews. I was then taken by the horse and carriage to a beautiful barn where my mum surprised me with one of my favourite animals, alpacas!

By the end of the day my dress was black and green where the alpacas had stood on my dress, but I didn’t care, it truly was a magical animal packed day! However I was a little sad my chickens and guinea pigs didn’t get to make an appearance, but I think they were happy enjoying the sun at home!

tabby cat curled up on the sofa with teddy bear

Lauren – UK

When I first met my now husband he told me he had a cat. Having not had my own place due to being at uni and travelling I was very intrigued as I love animals. I swear blind he told me that she was called Stripe because she had a white stripe from the tip of her nose to the tip of his tail. This wasn’t the case as she was a tabby with no white markings. But it got me intrigued enough to hear more!

When I first went to my now husband’s house for the first time shortly after we met, I sat on the sofa whilst he made a cup of tea in the adjoining kitchen. Whilst he was doing that his cat (Stripe) came and sat on my lap and I was stroking her. When he came back with the tea my husband said that she never does anything like that as she is a very shy cat. So we always say that Stripe chose me as she knew I would love her!

She sadly died in 2020, but we gave her the cat equivalent of a state funeral.

couple stroking their terrier at their wedding day
Annette – UK

My cuddly Cupid was my first ever dog called Dooby !! She was a Lakeland Terrier cross with a Jack Russell – and a very picky, feisty dog. When I had a few friends come over to stay, just near Christmas, she decided that night that she would leave my nice warm bed and go and sleep with one of my friends. Her choice!!

His name is Ian and we have now been married for nearly 25 years, and yes, she was at the ceremony. Unfortunately we no longer have her with us in the flesh, but she will always be with us in spirit, having made the best decision of my life for me!!

yorkshire terrier in high grass

Mathieu – France

When I met my future wife Céline, she had a 3 year old Yorkie: Nouky.
The first time I went to pick her up to go to the cinema, her father opened the door. I politely asked to see Celine, but the dad called Celine’s mother Lyn, pretending I was coming for her…
But the little dog, whom I had met the week before, came to cheer me on. I wasn’t in the wrong house! He stayed with us for the next 12 years, always playing ball (excellent goalkeeper) and never tired!

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This entry was posted in Pets


DIY Pet Toys Using Cardboard Tubes

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. 

Treat dispenser

You will need:

  • Toilet roll cardboard tubes or a longer wrapping paper tube cut shorter
  • Your dog or cat’s favourite treats/kibbles
  • A pencil
  • Scissors

How to:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Repeat with the other end, but before closing up the tube and pushing inside, fill with your pets favourite treats or kibble
  4. Use the pencil to puncture holes into the tube, just about big enough for the kibble to fall out of
  5. 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

How to:

  1. If using a cardboard box, cut down the top flaps so it’s a completely open box
  2. Stand up toilet roll cardboard tubes in the box. You can cut them into different heights to make it more interesting
  3. Fill the box with your dog’s food
  4. 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
  • Scissors

How to:

  1. Fold a toilet roll tube in half by length (end to end)
  2. Draw a Christmas tree shape on the toilet roll
  3. It’s very important to leave a folded edge uncut by about half a centimetre either side – this will hold the tree together
  4. Once the tree shape is cut, push in the sides so isn’t folded flat, and the tree should stand up
  5. Place in your hamster’s cage or playpen and enjoy!

Treat ball

You will need:

  • Toilet roll cardboard tubes or cut up a longer wrapping paper tube
  • Scissors
  • Treats or kibble

How to:

  1. Cut a toilet roll tube into 5 rings
  2. Place one ring through the other, and a third ring through these 2
  3. Place another ring through a gap, then pop some kibble into the centre
  4. Place the final ring through the tiny gap left so it holds its shape
  5. Roll the treat ball on the floor for your cat or dog to kick around to release the treats!

Watch the video to see the toy making in action!

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This entry was posted in Christmas


Don’t Miss the Last Order Dates For Christmas

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

Royal Mail – 17th Dec

DHL – 20th Dec

ParcelForce – 20th Dec

 

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This entry was posted in Christmas


Ideal Christmas Presents for Little Ones (Humans and Pets)

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! 

Caddi

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.

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This entry was posted in Budgies


5 Reasons Dogs Make Great Workout Partners

Sticking to an exercise regime is not always easy when you have to motivate yourself! This is why it can be necessary for some people to be accompanied in the process. And who better to be your sports coach than your dog!

A woman jogging on a beach with her dog
In a previous article, we saw that it is possible to do yoga with your dog. But what about getting your furry friend involved with other workouts?

In the current climate, where working from home has taken over from office work, finding the time and motivation to exercise and go outside has become a real challenge, and as a result many see a decline in their physical and mental health.  

Lack of exercise motivation is harming our pets too. Various studies on pet health have found anywhere from 25% – 50% of dogs are considered overweight.

It has never been more important to do sport to feel good mentally and physically. 

Resolutions and intentions are good, but actions are better. Deciding to turn off the TV and put on a pair of trainers is much more complicated than it sounds. Being accompanied in your training can be the ideal way to find the necessary motivation! Here’s why your dog is the best workout partner you could have…

5 Reasons to Get Out and Do Some Exercise With Your Dog

A woman jogging on a beach with her dog

1. Dogs Are Very Energetic and Will Always Be Happy to Go Out

Most dog breeds are happy to go for a walk and are excited to have a run around. Going outside will always be welcomed, unlike like calling a friend to go for a workout and having them be unmotivated or in a bad mood, which will eventually demotivate you. 

Dogs are habit-forming animals. If you regularly repeat the action at the same time for several days, it will become a natural ritual for your dog. This is ideal if you are demotivated but don’t want to disappoint your dog. You will still put on your trainers to please your little companion, imposing a certain regularity on you. 

2. They Have a Regular Pace

As mentioned above, dogs function very much by habit. But beyond that, apart from when they are ill, they keep a certain pace and will always have a maximum of energy to expend.

Having an active pace allows you to optimise your training and get great results. It is much more fun to follow your dog’s pace than to watch your watch! If you are too slow, your dog will tend to stop. So don’t hesitate to find a pace that suits you both!  

3. You Will Always Be Safe With Them

Running or walking alone is not always ideal in terms of safety! Sometimes it’s late in the day and the simple fact of being alone and feeling vulnerable, can be demotivating. The presence of your dog can therefore be a real comfort for your daily outings. A dog has all those senses that are in turmoil when he goes out, so it’s important to trust him, while also keeping an eye on them so that they don’t get hurt either. 

4. They Are Always Available

The most complicated thing about doing sport with someone is finding the right time and agreeing on schedules. There is always someone who can’t or would rather be an hour earlier or an hour later than the right time for you! With your dog, this is not an issue. Your dog will always be available, happy, and motivated to come and roam around by your side.

5. They Don’t Ask For Anything in Return – Only Love and Good Times by Your Side!

Dogs will never ask for anything in return for doing sports with you. On the contrary, they will be happy to have spent some quality time with their owner! They are the best coaches you can have. They don’t yell at you (maybe a couple of barks) and you don’t spend money like you would with an experienced sports coach. 

What Discipline Should I Do With My Dog?

There are many ways to exercise with your dog. It can be anything from walking to fitness training! 

Have you ever heard of canicross? This discipline is an athletic sport where the owner is attached to his dog by a harness. The dog’s traction allows for long strides. It is a bonding moment between the dog and its owner through intense physical effort. This activity is open to all dogs! 

Cycling with your dog is also possible! There is equipment that allows you to practice this activity safely with your pet. 

Lewis Hamilton’s Best Training Partner Is His Dog!

Multiple F1 champion Lewis Hamilton has released a video of himself training with Roscoe, his dog:

Every time you go out with your dog, energy and good mood is guaranteed!

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This entry was posted in Dogs


Do Cats Like Privacy When They Use the Litter Box?

While some cats follow their owners to the bathroom and don’t understand the concept of privacy, many are still wary of who’s watching when they go to the toilet themselves.

Some cats will do their business solely outside, others might do a bit of both, perhaps preferring a warmer toilet in the winter months. Many cat owners choose open litter trays, and don’t always have the option to have the tray hidden away.

But how do cats feel about doing their business?

Why do cats prefer to poop in private?

It’s easy to empathise with our feline friends’ desire for privacy when we remember the troubles their ancestors faced and the natural instincts that’re placed in our moggies’ minds.

Cats have a deep-rooted urge to be alert at all times. Their desire to protect themselves and be wary of their surroundings extends to the toilet.

Using an uncovered litter box while other people are around can make a cat feel extremely vulnerable and exposed, this may especially be the case for anxious cats and rescues.

So it of course makes sense that some cats may prefer to do their business in private, without disturbances, somewhere they can feel safe and comfortable to relieve themselves without the potential of being attacked!

What’s the best litter box for privacy?

Open litter trays give the most exposed and vulnerable toilet experience for cats, and for you they offer the least in the way of odour and mess control. An enclosed litter box, such as the Maya Jump On Top Entry Litter Box, allows your cat to drop down into a dark and secluded litter box, giving them a feeling of peace and privacy to do their business.

The Maya Jump In Litter Box takes that privacy one step further with a high entry point where cats can jump in and step down into a completely covered litter box. In the Jump In, cats can feel completely at ease that no dogs, children or adults can watch or touch them while they’re using their toilet.

For you, the Maya Cat Litter Box also offers an effective odour control solution, reducing tracking mess around the home thanks to a grid platform which collects loose litter from your pets’ paws, and an easy wipe clean litter liner, with a cute underwater scene printed on the inside for your cat’s to enjoy.

The Jump In’s optional storage space is a great place to keep spare litter and poo bags, and the discreet pocket on the side of the litter liner holds a complimentary, fold-flat scoop, meaning everything you need for used litter removal is always on hand.

Best of all, this litter box fits in your home seamlessly, designed like a discreet cubicle, with no hint to what’s going on inside. This gives your cat that all important privacy, and keeps all the mess which comes with loving a cat hidden out of sight from you and your guests.

What else can I do to help my cat feel comfortable?

As well as an enclosed, private litter box, there are other things you can do to minimise any feelings of vulnerability your cat may have when they use the toilet.

If you notice your cat is visiting the litter box frequently but never leaving any mess behind, it might be a sign that they have been disturbed and not felt safe enough to do their business.

Leave the room for a while to give your cat the opportunity to use their litter box without noise and disturbances. If you have children or other pets in the house, encourage them out of the room with you so your cat has complete privacy.

If you can, place the litter box in a room which is not frequented often and rarely gets noisy, for example a bathroom or utility room.

Do cat’s dislike using dirty litter boxes?

Another reason for cats being reluctant to use their litter box or visiting without using it, could be that the litter tray has already been used and is dirty. Cats can be incredibly fussy about mess and filth in the litter box, and may decline their used litter as to not dirty their paws!

Make sure you are regularly removing used litter from the litter box, and that you choose a litter with strong odour control qualities such as Omlet No. 4 Clay. A clumping litter like this makes it super quick and easy to remove the used litter without wasting perfectly clean litter around it.

Use the fold-flat scoop in the Maya Cat Litter Box to remove the used clump of litter, and the loose, clean litter will fall back into the litter box through the fine holes in the scoop.

What are the best litter boxes for a multi cat household?

Covered litter boxes are also a wise choice for multi cat households where cats may prefer to do their business in secret from their house mates! Cleaning the litter box regularly is also key if the same box is used by multiple cats, and opting for fresh, hygienic type of litter such as Omlet’s No. 1 Silica provides longevity and ease of cleaning.

Some cats can also be fussy about sharing a cat litter box with a friend. While keeping it clean will help, the scent of another may put off your cat, and bringing a new cat into the home to share the litter box can make an existing cat feel especially annoyed. In this instance you may need to be prepared to get a separate litter box for different cats in the house.

How and when to give your cat space

Giving your cat privacy extends beyond the litter box. Cats can also feel vulnerable and exposed when trying to sleep in a busy house and particularly anxious cats will search for a quieter spot in the home.

Consider where your cat chooses to rest during the day when the house is busy and make that space comfortable for them, for example, if your cat prefers to nap under a bed or chair, place a blanket or small bed, like a Donut Bed, beneath to make the spot cosy and warm.

If you have children and dogs in the home, it’s a good idea to keep them from your cat’s ‘safe space’ when your cat is resting or grooming.

Also consider where you have placed your cat’s food and water bowls. It may also be advisable to leave the room, or move them to somewhere quieter, where your cat can eat in peace without feeling threatened.

What’s the best litter box for a senior, disabled or pregnant cat?

While tall Jump In boxes will give cats peace and privacy, less agile cats will feel most comfortable with an easy access litter box that won’t cause them pain or discomfort. The Maya Walk In Litter Box offers just that, while still being a relatively covered and discreet litter box for cats who want to feel secluded and safe.

7 Reasons You and Your Cat Will Love the Maya Litter Boxes

1. Easy to clean cat litter box solutions, reducing smell and mess
2. A range of entry point options and litter box styles to suit all cats
3. Designed to fit seamlessly into your home like a piece of furniture
4. Enclosed litter box to give your cat the privacy they desire
5. Durable, reusable and long lasting litter liners are easy to wipe clean
6. Includes a complimentary Omlet folding scoop in discrete pocket
7. Push-to-open door prevents accidental opening

Which litter box should I choose for my cat?

All the Maya Cat Litter Boxes offer an easy clean solution and effective odour and mess control, in a discreet, seamless unit. Find the right box for you and your cat from the range of 5 entry points…

Jump On – Anti-Tracking & Low Mess

Walk In – Senior & Disabled Cat Friendly

Walk In + – Senior Cat Friendly with Storage

Jump In – Anti-Tracking & Discreet

Jump In + – Anti-Tracking with Storage

Discover Omlet Cat Litter

Our modern range of high performance cat litter offers excellent odour control and highly absorbent particles to eliminate bad smells from your litter tray. With 5 different types of cat litter on an easy to compare page you’ll find the perfect litter for you and your cat.

Use our clever Cat Litter Selector to get an expert recommendation for your cat. We only sell direct, with competitive pricing and free delivery.

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This entry was posted in Cats


Five Ways to Encourage Positive Behaviour in Your Dog 

A dog who has been taught positive behaviour will be your best friend – fun, affectionate and reliable. It’s straightforward teaching your dog this canine version of positive thinking, but it won’t happen unless you lead the way.

There are many ways of teaching a dog the rights and wrongs of living in the human world, and that extends to how they interact with other dogs and the world around them. In this article, we reveal the five rules of thumb for all dog owners – whether you’re training an adult dog or a puppy.

Encouraging Positive Behaviour in Puppies

Puppies recognise when we’re pleased or displeased. It’s all part of their instincts, and in the wild this instinct helped their wolf ancestors find their place in the pack very quickly. Learning their place in the big wide world is all about positive reinforcement.

1. Puppy Treats. Dogs of all ages love food and will put lots of effort into doing what you want them to do as long a there’s a yummy treat at the end of it! This means treat-based training can be used for everything from toilet training to basic obedience training and that all-important early socialisation. The message here is simple and timeless – do this right, and you’ll get a treat!

2. Affection. This is arguably even better than a food treat! Bonding with a puppy involves physical contact in the form of belly-rubs, back stroking and lots of gentle words of affection and encouragement.

3. Fun and games. Tug-of-war, fetch and simply running around the garden with you are games that puppies love. What’s more, they strengthen the bond and love between you and your pet, and that’s  the perfect groundwork for training and encouraging positive behaviour.

4. A trip to a favourite place. This is a great treat for dogs, and can be as simple as a trip to the park, or perhaps to a favourite street for an on-lead walk, or maybe a shop that sells some of those yummy treats! If this is being done as a reward for good behaviour, make sure your puppy knows it by telling them what a good boy/girl they are as you put the lead on or get into the car!

5. Puppy playdates. Starting these early is a great way to socialise your puppy, and that provides the basis for all the positive behaviour training. Young dogs love meeting each other – it’s not going to be a quiet morning out with your furry friend, but it’s one that will give him or her essential social skills.

 

Encouraging Positive Behaviour in Adult Dogs

The basics are simple. Positive reinforcement rewards a dog for good behaviour and ignores, rather than punishes, undesirable behaviour. Punishment will only lead to confusion and fear in your dog, reducing your chances of achieving the full benefits of positive-behaviour training. 

Here are the five ways to make everything go smoothly, no matter which dog breed you have.

1. Keep it simple. One-word commands are better than complex ones. We’re talking here about sit, come, sat, etc. Save the long-winded exchanges for praise and affection! A training session based on simple commands and treats is a great start for encouraging positive behaviour. Which brings us to…

2. Treats. Just like puppies, adult dogs will be well and truly ‘reinforced’ if treats are involved. Some breeds are more food-obsessed than others, but all types of dog will quickly learn that good behaviour results – at least in the early days of training – in a yummy treat.

3. Quality time. Dogs are social animals by instinct, and they will thrive in human company. Once you and your pet are the best of friends, the positive behaviour training will be much easier. If there’s any nervousness or standoffishness in your dog, they will be less able to take on board the things you’re trying to teach them. So, keep up the contact, and play with them every day.

4. Make it fun. A long session of ‘sit, lie down, stay, come’, etc. will soon become boring for a dog. A short session of command-based training followed by a bit of fun, however, will make your dog look forward to the sessions every time. After five or ten minutes (depending on your dog’s stamina), round off the proceedings with a game or a walk. The dog will soon realise that “If I do this tricky bit, I get that fun bit afterwards!” It’s a trick that works just as well with young children – “Finish your homework, and then we’ll go out on the bikes!”, that kind of thing.

5. Get everyone involved. Once your dog has grasped some of the basics, other members of the family, or friends, can reinforce the good behaviour by running through some of the training with your dog. Your pet will then learn that positive behaviour is part of their general lives and applies in all situations with all people.

 

This latter point is the ‘quantum leap’ for a dog – the idea that positive behaviour extends beyond their immediate owner to the big wide world around them. Getting them to this point takes time, there’s no doubt about that, and some breeds are a lot easier to train than others. However, once the work has paid off, you’ll have a doggy best friend you can be truly proud of!

 

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This entry was posted in Dogs


Pride of Omlet: Ten Amazing Stories

Pride of Omlet series is a collection of amazing stories which shine the spotlight on extraordinary pets and share their selflessness, bravery, talent and compassion with the world.

We have been lucky enough to collect some wonderful stories of your extraordinary pets and share them with you for 10 weeks! Here is a summary of the stories that you can read again and find directly on our Blog.

Pride of Omlet: Stand Up for Disabled Animals

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. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: The Constant Companion

Martha’s humans Nicola and Ben bought chickens to bring joy to Julia, their mother who they cared for at home. The family could never have imagined that a chicken would become a caring companion to Julia in the advanced stages of dementia. Read the story here!

 

Pride of Omlet: Free Support

Once caged battery hens, Hennifer Marge and Sybil now work free-range with their human Jonathan, transforming lives for offenders at the Rosemead Project. Jonathan (support worker and chicken champion) believes the hens have the power to unscramble tricky social situations. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: A Perfect Match

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. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Teachers Pet

Henni Hen is a teaching assistant by trade. A cute and cuddly chicken who loves children. She follows in the footsteps of her bubbly humans, Hamish and Verity. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Mipit Makes Sense

Mipit is a Mental Health Assistance Dog for his human, Henley. Mipit keeps Henly alive and independent. Who wouldn’t love a dog that can put out your recycling, answer your phone, and be your best friend, come rain or shine? Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Perfect Peaky

At the tender age of one, Peaky is already a retired filmstar. He had lived in a cage his whole life, released only to perform. When Joana and Fergus took him home, he was a fluffy, yellow bundle of nerves. But they are determined to help Peaky, their cute little canary companion, to come out of his shell. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Saving Sophia’s Life

When you’ve grown up with animals, home isn’t home without a pet. Bringing Harry home was lifesaving for both him and his humans, Sarah and daughter Sophia. Harry has a special gift. He’s a unique epilepsy monitor, and he’s saved Sophia’s life countless times. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Buster’s Beard

Buster was destined to chase balls on the beaches of Barry Island. He’s a lovable labradoodle with big brown eyes and a long beard. A thinker with a playful nature, he’s co-authored a children’s book with his human Natalie to bring Autism Awareness to all. Read the story here!

Pride of Omlet: Brave Bunnies

It’s hard to describe how frightened Pixie the rabbit was when the RSPCA rehomed her with an experienced rabbit owner. Eighteen months on, cheeky little Pixie lives in the lap of luxury and is learning to be loved by her adoring human, Wendy. Read the story here!

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This entry was posted in Budgies


10 Ways to Bond With Your Rabbit

girl playing with rabbits on zippi rabbit run with platforms

Evidence suggests that rabbits that bond with their owners live longer and happier lives. Sometimes it can feel like our furry friends are in a world of their own, but as long as you take your time and have patience, there are lots of ways of bonding with your bunny.

This article looks at ten fun and exciting ways to deepen your connection to your pet, whether the rabbit is already part of the family or you’ve just brought a new bunny home. 

1. Learn Your Pet’s Personality

Like people, all rabbits have distinctive personalities and unique habits. If you have decided to buy a baby rabbit, you may find that they’re very shy at first, but over time they will come out of their shell and begin to reveal their personality. We have a very useful article about Learning to Read your Rabbit’s Body Language, a great resource for identifying what makes rabbit tick. The article outlines the many different sounds your rabbit can make, as well as how its posture can give you clues to what your pet is thinking.

2. Create A Shared Space

It’s natural for your rabbit to feel nervous or even defensive if you interact with them by reaching into their hutch – after all, this space is their home, and all of their instincts tell them to protect it from potential predators. If you want to spend time bonding with your rabbit, try setting up a play area or run large enough for you to sit inside with the rabbit. This way, you can start interacting with your pet on neutral ground.

Rabbits feel comfortable when they have something over their heads, so don’t feel bad if the first few times they hide under any covered area you have set up. 

3. Fill Your Shared Space With Toys

There are many fun things you can place around your rabbit’s play area or run, including Zippi rabbit tunnels and tubes, chew treats, shelters and platforms, hanging toys and a hay basket.

Once you have a shared space set up with toys and other gear, try sitting in there with your rabbit for half an hour every day without reaching out to touch your pet. This way, your rabbit will learn to feel comfortable in your company and begin to trust you. It is likely that after a few days of this close contact, your rabbit will approach you without fear and begin to show some curiosity. It’s natural for your rabbit to have a gentle nibble when you first meet – don’t worry, it’s not a bite!

4. Give Your Rabbit New Experiences

Although rabbits are creatures of habit, it’s still good for them if new things are introduced into their lives now and then. Your rabbit will learn to associate you with these new fun experiences, which will deepen your bond. Try occasionally changing the layout of their hutch or investing in a fun new toy for them to play with – you could even make toys for them out of simple household objects like empty kitchen rolls. 

white rabbit on eglu go rabbit hutch run with underfloor mesh

5. Offer Healthy Treats

Rabbits can teach us a lot when it comes to healthy treats. They don’t like sweet things or junk food, and the most unhealthy thing you can give them is actually carrot or apple (as these are relatively high in sugar)! Offering your pet healthy treats can help you bond, as they help your rabbit realise you mean well. The rabbit will cautiously approach and take a nibble, and you’re a step closer to breaking down those barriers and properly bonding.

6. Pet your Rabbit

Once your rabbit is comfortable around you and doesn’t run away when you approach with your hand extended, it could be time to start stroking them. Physical contact with your pet is one of the most natural ways to form a bond, and although you may find at first that the rabbit doesn’t seem too keen to be stroked, this is totally normal, and nothing to worry about. It may take a few weeks before you have your rabbit sitting comfortably in your lap.

The most considerate way to approach your rabbit is to reach out with your hand low down, just to the side of their head. This way, they can see that it’s you who is petting them. Rabbits are naturally terrified of birds attacking from above and often run away when approached from a height (and a human standing on two legs is, as far as the rabbit is concerned, a height!). Rabbits also have a blind spot right in front of their noses – something common to most plant-eating animals – so you should also avoid approaching nervous rabbits directly from the front. 

rabbit eating greens from caddi rabbit treat holder7. Teaching Rabbit Tricks

Once your rabbit is playing with you regularly, you can start teaching them some simple tricks! This can begin with reinforcing natural behaviour such as walking through a tunnel, with a treat waiting for them at the far end. Or, it could be something more complex such as teaching your rabbit to spin or do a roll. We have an article all about teaching your rabbit tricks if you want to go deeper down this fascinating rabbit hole! 

8. Copying Your Rabbit

One slightly more unusual way of bonding with your rabbit is to behave in ways they would expect to see in other rabbits. This could include pretending to clean yourself the way a rabbit does, or having a little bit of your own food when you see them nibbling at theirs. Just make sure your rabbit sees you doing this, as the whole point is to make them see you as more rabbit-like! This may not be necessary if you already have a trusting relationship with your rabbit. 

9. Choosing The Right Time To Play With Your Rabbit

As you begin to get to know your rabbit well, you will see that they have certain times of day when they are more or less active. It is natural for your rabbit to spend large amounts of time sleeping, and they are very habit-forming animals. Try taking note of when they are most active so that you can choose that as the optimum time to play – this avoids frustrating your rabbit by interrupting their nap with a trip to the playpen!

10. Learning To Hold Your Rabbit Safely

When your rabbit is fully bonded with you, they might let you pick them up and carry them around. If you are lucky enough to have a docile rabbit that lets you do this, always remember to hold them in the way that is most comfortable for them. Support your rabbit’s hindquarters in the same way you would support a human baby’s head. Hold them only firmly enough to keep them in your grasp – there is no need to hold them tight, as they are unlikely to jump to the floor.


Rabbits are gentle souls, so you need to be gentle in return. Be patient, give them time, and they’ll soon come to look on you as a true friend and companion.

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This entry was posted in Pets


5 Ways To Figure Out What Dog Breed Is for You

David is a long time lover of dogs since he was young. He loves most dogs but his favorite are golden retrievers. He also runs his own blog at dogdesires.co.uk where he helps other dog owners with advice and dog product reviews. In this article David gives 5 considerations for finding the right dog breed for you.

There are several things you need to consider in order to choose the right dog breed for you. Depending on your lifestyle, certain breeds are more suited for you because of their size, maintenance, activity level, and more. 

Read on for more detail and by the end of this article, you will have the insight needed in order to choose the ideal dog breed for you. 

Size

Some people already have their hearts set on whether they would like a huge dog or a tiny one. Those who aren’t sure or that bothered about it tend to go for medium-sized dogs. 

One thing that is an important deciding factor regarding what size breed is best for you is your living conditions. Naturally, large dogs need a lot of space so if you’re living in a relatively small and cozy apartment you would not want to get a Great Dane. They especially need more room because of their tails, so that they can wag without injuring anyone or damaging anything. 

That being said, living in an apartment does not automatically mean you must get a toy dog. Some dog breeds are known for being adaptable to living in apartments, such as the Sheepadoodle. If you’d like to read more about this breed, you should check out this breed guide here – Sheepadoodle.

Keep in mind that small dogs are more vulnerable, in the sense that you need to get used to always looking down to not step on them. Smaller dogs also tend to be more sensitive to the cold so they need a little help staying warm. 

Maintenance

With maintenance comes many things. Firstly, some breeds have fur that needs a lot of maintenance to stay healthy. Dogs with short fur are easy to take care of, such as Springadors, as they just need brushing every now and then. But dogs with longer fur, curly or otherwise, need to be brushed more frequently as well as trimmed and more. So, you will need to dedicate more time to these dogs. 

Another factor is the expense. The larger the dog, the more food you need to buy and larger dog beds, etc. 

Lastly, there’s training. This is very important, as some dog breeds are known for being more well-behaved and thus easier to train. Smaller dogs tend to have something that is referred to as ‘small dog syndrome’, which is when a small dog thinks that they are bigger than they actually are and therefore have more of an attitude. This can cause them to be more stubborn when it comes to training. For example, pugs are known for being naughty and for being stubborn. 

Another good thing to remember is that if you let a large dog breed behave as a lap dog from a young age, they will continue to try and walk all over you when they become adults – and I mean that literally, not figuratively. 

Also, dogs with long and floppy ears need frequent and thorough cleaning as they are more prone to ear infections. Moreover, certain dogs are more likely to drool than others such as Bloodhounds and Mastiffs. 

Activity Level

If you get a hunting dog breed, such as a Labrador, Beagle, Foxhound, etc., then you can expect this dog to have a high activity level. Even crossbreeds with a hunting dog parent tend to inherit the genes and have a lot of energy. 

Most dogs do not destroy things and dig up holes in your yard without a reason; energetic dogs, in particular, need much more exercise and become bored and destructive without it. Mental exercise, as well as physical, is a must too. 

No matter the breed or size though, all dogs need routine exercise. You will need to commit to going for walks twice a day and if you’re looking for a dog that you can jog with then a Weimaraner or German Shepherd are great choices. 

Personality

This one goes without saying for some people, but seeing as certain breeds are known for having certain personalities, we can use this to our advantage. For those of you who are looking for a cuddly and loving dog, Retrievers, Greyhounds, Irish Wolfhounds, Old English Sheepdogs, Pitbull Terrier, and King Charles Spaniels are known to be some of the most affectionate dog breeds. 

Restrictions

Unfortunately, depending on the country and state you’re in, some breeds may be banned. 

To give an example I would like to name Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. Both of these dog breeds are sadly banned in many states, the reason being that they face stigmas as ‘dangerous’ and ‘aggressive’. 

Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are banned in the following states respectively:

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Personally, I would like to note that I have had several dogs of both of these breeds and none of them ever showed any signs of being aggressive or dangerous in any way. They were sweet, kind, and several of the Rottweilers were protective over me. 

I do not believe for a second that aggression can be inherited in genes, but rather it comes about when a dog is being raised wrongly. 

 

 

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This entry was posted in Dogs


Can you feed pets a vegan diet? 

Some pets, including rabbits and guinea pigs, are naturally vegan. Hamsters and gerbils, although omnivorous, can thrive on a vegan diet in which the protein content is supplied by plants and vegetables. Others, including omnivorous dogs and out-and-out carnivore cats, cannot be easily pleased on meat-free diets.

All animals need to have their nutritional needs satisfied. But this does not mean you can’t have a vegan dog. Vegan cats, though, are a lot trickier.

Can my dog have a vegan diet?

If you were to meet a species of animal for the first time and had to make an accurate guess about its diet, you would get lots of clues by looking at its teeth. The teeth of a dog, like the teeth of a bear, proclaim loud and clear that this animal is an omnivore – that is, one that eats both meat and vegetables. If you think of your dog as a domesticated wolf, you get a good idea of its natural diet.

However, as the panda proves, a supposed meat-eater can sometimes get by perfectly well on a vegan diet. A panda’s teeth are similar to any other bear’s – long canines for meat-eating and molars for grinding vegetation. And yet pandas don’t eat anything other than bamboo. So, if a bear can be vegan, does that mean you can have a vegan dog?

The answer is yes – but it’s a yes with lots of small print! A dog requires a diet that contains the fats and proteins it would get from meat. It is dangerous to ignore this basic need and simply feed your pet with whatever you please. Some dogs have delicate stomachs at the best of times, and a low-fat, high-fibre diet can cause potentially life-threatening problems. A diet that excludes meat should never be fed to a dog without the advice of a professional pet dietician.

The collagen, elastin and keratin found in meat diets are not easily replaced by vegi equivalents. Your dog will also need the ‘long chain’ omega-3 fats found in animal products such as egg, fish and some meats. Vegan omega-3 fats are not the same as animal-derived ones.

All of which presents a headache for the vegan dog owner. There are, however, products available that claim to let your dog live a healthy, meat-free life. Before you take the plunge, it is essential to seek professional, scientific advice and guidance. Compromise is usually the best choice here – a vegan diet supplemented by some of the animal-derived essentials. Crickets, for example, can provide lots of the amino acids and keratin a vegan diet lacks, and they’re 65% protein.

Can my cat have a vegan diet?

The compromise approach is even more important for cats. These are amongst the planet’s true carnivores, obtaining all their dietary requirements from other animals. 

The main challenge with minimising the meat in a cat’s diet is that, unlike many mammals (including dogs), cats cannot produce certain proteins. They have to absorb these from the meat and fish in their diet. Amino acids are another issue – cats deficient in the animal-derived amino acid taurine, for example, usually succumb to a specific type of heart problem.

Even a fortified vegan cat food cannot be confidently recommended. Turn the situation on its head, and try to imagine weaning a rabbit onto a meat-only diet, and you get some idea of the challenge – and the ethics – involved.

There are some lab-grown ‘meat’ products in development, with vegan and vegetarian cat owners in mind. However, whether these will arrive – and remain – on the market any time soon is hard to guess.

For many vegan pet owners, there is a huge ethical issue involved in feeding the animals they share a space with. Ethics, however, include the animal’s needs too, and it’s an almost impossible issue to resolve when it comes to cats. If you are able to reduce but not eliminate the meat in your cat’s diet, that’s the safer option.

Top 10 pets for vegan households

There are, of course, plenty of other pets that don’t eat meat, or that eat some meat but can still thrive on a meat-free diet. Here are our ten favourites.

1. Rabbits. No problems here – rabbits are happy vegans, with diets based on hay and vegetables. You could argue that the soft pellets they eject and then eat are animal products of a sort, but they are simply semi-digested vegetation.

2. Guinea pigs. Like rabbits, these wonderful little characters thrive on a 100% vegan diet.

3. Hamsters. As most hamster owners feed their pets with shop-bought hamster food, they may not be able to say exactly what the ingredients of that food are. However, vegetarian and vegan hamster foods are readily available.

4. Gerbils. Like hamsters, gerbils are omnivores that can live happily on a vegan diet. They tend to have rather delicate stomachs, so feeding them with a high-quality pellet mix is essential. Too much fresh stuff can cause problems.

5. Mice. Although they will eat pretty much anything in the wild, mice can thrive on vegan diets; but it is still best to use a food mix prepared specifically for them. This ensures that they will not be deficient in any of the vitamins and minerals they need. 

6. Rats. These are the most omnivorous of rodents, but as long as you feed them a vegan mix that has been fortified with all the nutrients they need, they will thrive. Indeed, rats who eat too much animal fat tend to become fat and die prematurely.

7. Chickens. If you watch a free-range hen, it soon becomes clear that she will eat anything – grass, beetles, worms, and everything in your veg patch if you’re not careful! Most chicken feed emulates this mix of plant and animal products. However, it is possible to buy vegan chicken feed, and circumstantial evidence suggests that hens can thrive on it. However, they are likely to produce fewer eggs, and you will not be able to stop them scratching for worms and bugs, no matter how vegan the layers pellets are!

8. Budgies and parrots. Vegans will have no obstacles to face with budgies and parrots, unless the birds are being bred. Egg-brooding female birds need a protein boost, normally delivered via an egg-based food or cooked meat. Vegan alternatives are available, though.

9. Finches. Many finch species enjoy bugs and mealworms as treats, but these are not an essential part of an adult finch’s diet. These birds thrive on a mixture of seeds and fresh vegetables.

10. One for reptile fans. When you think of pet snakes and lizards, you probably have an image of dead mice or doomed crickets. However, there are a few commonly kept pet reptiles that eat a 100% vegan diet, the most popular being the Green iguana. Getting the balance of vegetables just right is very important for the animal’s health, but meat is certainly something you won’t have to worry about.

There is no shortage of choice when it comes to vegan pets. Keeping a vegan cat or dog is a much trickier proposition, though. And with all these animals, a balanced diet that matches the pet’s nutritional requirements should be your primary goal.

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This entry was posted in Budgies


Pride of Omlet: Buster’s Beard

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

Buster was destined to chase balls on the beaches of Barry Island. He’s a lovable labradoodle with big brown eyes and a long beard. A thinker with a playful nature, he’s co-authored a children’s book with his human Natalie to bring Autism Awareness to all.

Buster 1Ethan, Natalie’s son, was diagnosed with Autism and ADHD aged four. Natalie gave up her job as a teacher to become Ethan’s full-time carer. She always had dogs as a child and, naturally, wanted Ethan to experience the same positive companionship. They went to a local farm and had the pick of three puppies. One was fast and furious, one was quiet and sleepy, and one was in-between. They picked the inbetweener and called him Buster.

After a few weeks at home, it was clear that Ethan wasn’t taking to Buster. He just wasn’t interested in him. So he became Natalie’s companion instead, being a full-time carer isn’t easy and Buster’s a great source of comfort on difficult days. He motivates Natalie to keep going and gives her much-needed respite, with long walks on the beach. 

A couple of years after Ethan’s diagnosis, baby Isobelle was born. Isobelle’s afraid of the dark, so Buster sleeps in her room and helps her feel safe. And in the daytime, Buster is Isobelle’s playmate. They love playing dress-up together, and at the end of the day, she’ll read him a story and brush his hair.

As Buster grew, the hair on his chin got longer and longer and longer! Until he developed a fully grown, 7-inch beard. It’s not a thing you see every day, a dog with a beard. People started staring. Natalie’s used to people staring, sadly many people don’t understand Autism, and when Ethan has meltdowns, Natalie and her family have experienced staring and unkind remarks, which have been devastating. 

She realised that staring at Buster was something different. When walking on the beach, Natalie was approached by people asking, “Is it real? Have you stuck it on?!” It was curious and fun and got people talking in a good way. So what does a positive ex-primary school teacher do with that? She writes a children’s book, of course! Natalie wrote a story starring Buster called ‘That Dog Has Got a Beard’

It’s a story about being special and unique. Natalie and Buster have toured schools and libraries all over Wales and even appeared on ITV Wales, opening conversations that celebrate differences and spreading Autism Awareness through the story of Buster’s Beard.

“A lot of children don’t see disabled children, and there’s a lot of negativity around it. You want people to be accepting, and a lovable labradoodle is an excellent way to open a conversation. He looks different. He’s got a beard. But that’s wonderful, you know? “

       Buster 3

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This entry was posted in Dogs


How To Train Your Cat To Walk on a Lead

Bhim Solomon is Omlet’s junior guest writer, currently exploring fun activities to try with her two kittens Moonpie and Shadow Weaver, and introducing easy tricks you can try with your feline friends! In this article, Bhim talks through the simple steps to training a kitten to walk on a lead and the benefits of safe outdoor adventures for cats.


My kittens are 11 weeks old. They are Scottish Folds and their names are Moonpie and Shadow-Weaver. Moonpie is a girl and Shadow is a boy, they are brother and sister. They live indoors because they are quite small still but we want them to know what the outside world is like so we decided to buy a harness and lead for them so we could take them for walks.

Not many people know that you can take your cat for a walk, just like a dog, but one day I was in London in the Conran Shop and I spotted a beautiful, big soft grey cat on a lead! I asked the lady on the other end of the lead if I could stroke it. She was very friendly and said of course, she told me his name was Moonpie. Then she said would you like to see a trick? She got some treats out and said “paw” Moonpie lifted his paw into her hand, it was so cool. Then, the owner said “Hi Five” and Moonpie did a Hi Five! I’d wanted a kitten since I was 4 and now I knew I wanted a Scottish Fold and I decided to call my kitten Moonpie too.

I couldn’t get the kittens straight away but little did I know that as a surprise for my 10th birthday my parents gave me two little Scottish folds. When I first got them they were eight weeks old, my brother wanted to call the boy Shadow-Weaver because half his face is grey and the other is a kind of apricot colour. At the beginning they both slept a lot and we kept them in one room so that they could get used to us little by little. Then one day we let them adventure around the house, then the next day they wanted to go outside. I asked my Papi if we could get a lead and harness for them. He agreed and we got two for the kittens. I thought it would be good to get them used to being on a lead when they are young. I thought I would write a description about how to put it on, and use the harness to take your cat\kitten for walks to help other people who would like to take their indoor cats outside safely.

 


How to Fit a Harness

  1. First, you adjust your strap so it fits your kitten.
  2. After you have adjusted your strap, you do up one of the side clips. Slip the front over their head, put one foot in the gap that’s shown in the photo and do up the other clip.

  3. Check that the harness isn’t too tight and all the clips are done up, you might have to adjust the size a bit now, you should be able to get a finger under comfortably but if it’s too loose your cat might slip out by accident. If your kitten is still too small for the harness to adjust small enough then you can get them used to wearing it in the house as if they slip out it won’t matter too much.
  4. Once you are satisfied that the harness fits securely and your cat is happy then all that is left is to clip the lead on the hook and take them for a walk.
  5. Your kitten is now ready!

First, to make sure Moonpie was happy with walking and running in her new lead I took her for a walk around the house which she was used to, with the back door shut. I did this for three days in a row before we went outside.

 I chose a nice sunny day for taking her outside on the lead. As I took her outside she was a little bit unsure and stayed still for a moment. Suddenly she went to some catmint that we have close to the door and put her whiskers in it. 

Then she ran across the lawn at maximum speed, I had to sprint to keep up!  She wanted to explore an old small tree. Moonpie can run really fast! Moonpie climbed up onto the tree and stayed still so she could balance.  She was having lots and lots of fun exploring!

Next she started to explore the concrete part of the garden and looked behind the metal bucket, she inspected the wheelbarrow wheel and legs (she hadn’t seen one before).

Then I think she knew where the house was as she ran back towards it. 

We had stayed outside for about ten minutes and as she ran towards the house I guessed she was tired, she went straight to the back door and as I let her into the house she went to the ‘Kitten Room’ as I looked she got into her bed and after she had licked herself clean she went straight to sleep, a little fluffy ball.

I really like taking the kittens for walks because you get your exercise and have lots of fun seeing what the kittens like best in the garden. I think the kittens really like it because they get to smell fresh air and see the wildlife including our chickens. I try to take them into the garden when it is nice weather, so about twice a week after school and on the weekends. After school every day I try to put them on the harness so they can get really used to it.

As they get bigger and bigger we will take the kittens on longer walks. It’s a really safe and fun way for them to explore the world around them. If you live in the city and you want your cat to have fresh air, exercise and to stimulate their senses but are worried about your cat then you can take them out on a lead and they can safely explore outside with your supervision, they can even learn to take the bus or the tube!

 

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This entry was posted in Cats


93% of Cat Owners Struggle To Choose When It Comes to Their Cat’s 1s and 2s

Whether you’re a new cat owner or a long time litter user, the world of cat litter can be confusing and selecting the right litter to suit your needs and your cat’s preferences isn’t always an easy task. 

Kittens are adorable, playful balls of fluff but they’ll also start producing 1s and 2s from the get go, so you need to get your potty training sorted from the start. But with a range of litter materials from wood to paper, clay to silica and even tofu on offer, which is going to be best now and when they are a bit older?

With so many types of litter on offer, it’s no surprise that in a study of cat owners, we discovered that a massive 93% of them have tried different types of cat litter before their current choice. Does this sound like you? 

In the survey, we discovered 54% of the respondents reported that they think their cats might be fussy about the litter they put down for them. As well as feline fussiness, cat owners are also disappointed with litters they are trialing and as a result have to spend more time and money on finding the perfect match for them and their cat. 

Now, to tackle this difficult decision, we are launching a collection of 5 easy to understand, high performance cat litters. Simply named 1, 2, 3, 4,5, the colourful collection offers 5 proven materials for you to choose from: Silica, Tofu, Pine, Clay and Paper. But don’t worry about figuring out the differences to make your choice, this handy Cat Litter Generator will deliver two expert recommendations for you to narrow down the decision making process. 

Omlet’s Head of Marketing, Johannes Paul, says: At Omlet, we’re striving to make choosing cat litter as easy as 1, 2, 3! This new collection really takes the guesswork out of a major choice for so many cat owners, and we hope it will save our customers from lots of disappointment and wasted time. 

Learn more about the cat litters in the Omlet collection…

 

Ultra Hygienic & Absorbent

No. 1 Silica Cat Litter is made from small sand particles that are extremely absorbent to reduce moisture and odour, keeping it fresh and hygienic for longer. Not only do these small grains absorb and dry faster than other litters, their fine nature also means the litter doesn’t stick to paws and get tracked around your home. The clumping cat litter is also easy to spot clean to improve longevity. 

 

Clumping & Compostable

No. 2 Tofu Cat Litter is made from crushed tofu, and is very effective at neutralising odours thanks to an active carbon composition that traps bad smells. The clumping cat litter is also highly absorbent, reducing waste and keeping the litter tray fresher for longer! Crushed tofu is biodegradable and can be composted, for easy and planet friendly disposal.

 

Fresh Scent & 100% Biodegradable

No. 3 Pine Cat Litter will transform the litter tray with the sweet scent of fresh wood, plus it’s 100% biodegradable and compostable, making it a friendly option for both your cat and the environment! The large wood pellets are highly absorbent, offering long lasting freshness with outstanding odour control, and also minimising waste and cleaning time. 

 

Long Lasting & Low Waste

No. 4 Clay Cat Litter is made of highly absorbent bentonite clay balls with active carbon particles for extreme odour control. The supreme power of this clumping cat litter makes spot cleaning after use extremely quick and easy. This not only improves the general hygiene and freshness of cat litter trays, but also minimises wastage and improves longevity. 

 

Non-Clumping & Perfect for Kittens

No. 5 Paper Cat Litter is made from recycled newspaper pellets with natural odour and moisture absorbing properties. Not only is paper environmentally friendly and biodegradable, it also stays fresher for longer and minimises wastage. The lightweight bag is super easy to handle, and it’s non-clumping nature makes it a perfect option for younger cats, as it’s softer on paws and safer on tummies. 

 

Omlet Cat Litter is now available exclusively from Omlet.co.uk, priced between £13.49 and £14.99 with FREE delivery. 

 

Video here:

 

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This entry was posted in Cats


How To Prevent Dog Theft & What To Do if Your Dog Is Stolen

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 provides us with helpful tips on preventing dog theft, and what to do if you experience dog theft yourself. 

With dog theft on the rise, it’s only natural that we might feel worried about taking our furry family members out and about at the moment. I think most of us can agree that if anything should happen to them, we would feel devastated. So, I have put together my top tips for keeping your dog safe from theft when both at home and out and about. Following on from this, I’ve also put together some tips on what to do should you find yourself in the awful position of your dog having been stolen. I hope you never have to refer to them, but they might just help you be reunited should you find yourself in this unfortunate position.

 

MY TOP TIPS FOR PREVENTING YOUR DOG THEFT

 

START AT HOME

By this I mean you should review your current security measures at home. Start by ensuring gates and fences are secure and avoid leaving your dog in the garden unattended. You may also want to ensure your dog cannot be seen by people passing by when you are out of the home. You can do this by making them a base in a room away from any windows that can be easily looked into or even by closing the curtains on these windows when you are out.

 

MAKE SURE YOUR DOG IS MICROCHIPPED

It is not only law to have your dog microchipped, but it is also best practice. If your dog is ever separated from you a simple scan of their chip in their neck area should reunite you pretty quickly. Keep your dog’s microchip details up to date. It’s usually really easy to do this over the phone or online.

 

ADD AN ID TAG TO YOUR DOG’S COLLAR AND CONSIDER A GPS TAG ALSO

By law, your dog should have an identification tag attached to their collar when outside of your home. This makes it really easy for you both to be reunited without needing your dog’s microchip to be scanned. You could also consider attaching a trackable GPS tag to your dog’s collar. There are many on the market to choose from and these can be purchased online, if not from your local pet shop. Some also have fun features to use on a daily basis such as tracking your dog’s activity levels.

 

TEACH YOUR DOG THE RECALL COMMAND

Teach your dog the recall command and make coming back to you a fun game that you can play throughout your walks together. Offer a tasty treat or engagement in a game such as fetch each time they return to you. This makes them more likely to want to return to you, seeing the recall as a fun part of your walk. Head over to the Blog page of my website www.dog-ease.co.uk/blog/ to watch a tutorial on how to begin this training if you haven’t already had a chance to.

 

KEEP YOUR DOG’S ATTENTION

Make it fun for your dog to stay close to you on your walk if you are letting them off lead. For example, you could practise off lead heel work as you walk, offering a tasty treat as a reward for their focus, or play recall games. Taking a special toy such as a ball can also help to keep your dog’s attention and focus with them chasing and retrieving during your walk.

 

KEEP YOUR DOG IN SIGHT

Following on from keeping your dog’s attention, avoid letting your dog go out of your sight on a walk or leaving them unattended outside a shop, school, or even in your car. The less opportunity for them to come into contact with strangers without you also present, the better.

WALK WITH OTHERS

If possible, walk with a family member or socially distanced with a friend. You could also try to walk in public areas where other people are walking and present too. Pick times of the day where other people are likely to be around and walk in daylight if possible. If this is not possible, try to walk in well-lit areas. Safety is often found in numbers and the more people that are around the less likely you may be to be targeted. 

 

CONSIDER TAKING ANTI THEFT DEVICES WITH YOU

Consider taking an anti-theft alarm or another similar device on your walk with you, even a whistle is better than nothing to be able to attract attention with. You could also try to keep your mobile phone handy to use if necessary, although it’s best to not allow your mobile phone to distract you from what is going on around you as you walk. See the next tip!

 

STAY ALERT

Following on from the tip above, stay alert and be vigilant on your walks. Watch out for any unusual activity or people in the areas you might typically walk. It is best to limit your use of any electronic devices such as your mobile, even to listen to music. The more aware of your surroundings you are, the more likely you will be to spot anything not quite right.

 

AVOID CLOSE CONTACT WITH STRANGERS

Avoid letting people you don’t know pet your dog or telling people you don’t know any details about you and your dog. It’s nice to be friendly but be vigilant about the information you share.

 

BE LESS PREDICTABLE

If you’re particularly concerned, change up your routine frequently. This makes it harder for anyone ‘watching and waiting’ to predict and plan to ‘bump into you’ on a walk. 

 

PREP OTHERS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR WALKING YOUR DOG

If you use a dog walker, ensure you ask them what steps they are taking to avoid your dog from being stolen. You can also ask that they remain vigilant in securing your property when returning your dog to your home and ask that they look out for and alert you to any unusual activity.

 

USE SOCIAL MEDIA AND LOCAL NEWS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

Check local social media pages and local news for up-to-date information on what is going on in your area. Often any worrying incidents are reported by residents with details of suspicious people and even sometimes vehicles too look out for. 

 

BE MINDFUL OF WHAT YOU SHARE ONLINE

Sharing your location and details of your pet on non-private forums such as on non-private  social media pages can alert potential thieves to your where abouts. Make sure you are mindful of what you share and where you ‘check in’, with or without your dog.

 

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOUR DOG IS STOLEN?

In the awful event that your dog is stolen, here are some tips to help you find and be reunited with them.

 

REPORT THE THEFT IMMEDIATELY

Report the theft immediately to the police and ensure it is recorded as a crime rather than as a lost pet. You should receive a crime reference number for your records.

 

CHECK CCTV

Check all available CCTV footage in the area your dog was stolen from to gain evidence of any people needing to be identified or vehicles that may have been involved. You might also want to check in with neighbours and those in the local area to see if anyone has any footage from their own security systems – from Ring Doorbell footage to Dash Cam footage. Anything is worth a shot and could lead to identifying something or someone.

 

CONTACT YOUR MICROCHIP COMPANY

Contact the company your dog’s microchip is recorded with and register your dog as stolen. If your dog is scanned by a vet elsewhere, they should then be alerted to this and your dog returned to you.

 

CONTACT LOCAL VETS

Contact all vets in the local area to let them know of the theft. Provide a photo of your dog if possible and include details of any markings or particular features that they have so they can identify them more easily.

 

MAKE THE PUBLIC AWARE

Make other people aware of the theft by putting up posters stating your dog has been stolen, with your contact details on them. You should also post a copy of such posters, or an equivalent, on social media sites. If you ensure that the settings of your post are set to ‘public’ you can ask others to share your post and reach a much wider community. The further your dog’s details are shared, the more chance you have of your dog being identified and returned to you!

 

DON’T GIVE UP

Don’t give up hope! Keep sharing your dog’s details far and wide. Someone somewhere might know something and help you to be reunited.

 

I hope you found the above tips useful. Stay alert and keep safe!

 

Dogtor™ Adem 

Owner of Dog-ease Training & Behaviour 

www.dog-ease.co.uk

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This entry was posted in Dogs