Pet Pawtraits Competition: And the Winner is…

pet-pawtraits

Earlier this month we challenged some of our favourite bloggers to strike a pose with their pet as part of our Pet Pawtraits competition, for the chance to win £200 to spend at Muddy Paws. We were bowled over by the entries we received, and we thought we’d show you what all the entrants came up with, before revealing the winning snap… (more…)

Dog Blood Donors; What About the Owners?

Vet examining a dog

A topic that I have been thinking of recently is that of owners signing up their pets as dog blood donors. I am seeing an increasing number of stories in the news that depict how a hero dog has saved another dog’s life by giving blood.

I recently read a story where an eight-year-old dog in America had been signed up as a blood donor from the age of one and since then has ‘given’ blood every six weeks (the timeframe recommended by the vet), meaning that he is giving the maximum amount of blood possible. Dogs can replenish their blood in about three weeks, so the six-weekly donation period allows for the dog in this story to give regularly without him suffering any negative health effects. As a result, it is estimated that the dog could have been responsible for saving between 122 – 224 dogs’ lives. (more…)

Adopting a nervous cat

Pudding

As rescue centres across the country are facing a current influx of unwanted cats and kittens, many of the felines who find themselves in a centre are coming from unfortunate circumstances, often experiencing abandonment or abuse. As a result, many of the cats can find it hard to adjust and socialise in their new environment and can often display nervous behaviours and withdraw from human contact, making them a tricky case to re-home.

However, nervous cats are not a lost cause and can make fantastic feline companions. This is especially true in the case of my one-year-old rescue cat Pudding, who has completely turned around in the space of a month at her new home. Here is my experience of adopting a nervous cat and advice I would give to anybody considering doing the same. (more…)

Fireworks and pets

Bonfire night is a scary time for animals what with all of the loud noises and bright, flashing lights. We have created this infographic to help you when looking after your pet on Bonfire Night so that they can stay as happy and settled as possible.

Fireworks And Your Pets Infographic

Fireworks and Pets (PDF Download)

Keeping Your Pet Safe at Halloween

Keeping your pet safe at Halloween is something that is of the upmost importance. Whilst the night is a time of fun and frolics for most humans, many animals can be spooked by all of the bright lights and loud noises. There are quite a few dangers for pets during Halloween, more than you’d probably think. With that in mind we have created this infographic of Halloween pet safety tips.

Halloween and Pets Infographic

Halloween Bonfire Pets

Split Personality – Cats on their own terms.

Cat - Cheyne

The eldest of our two cats Cheyne is coming up to nearly 8 years old. She’s my first real pet other than a goldfish I had when I was 10, and is a beautiful blonde brown tortoiseshell. Around my wife and me – she is loving, calm, playful and affectionate – with a little torti sassiness thrown in for good measure. But outside of the house – it would seem that Cheyne leads a slightly different life.

Over the course of the last 8 years – we’ve had 3 different neighbours complain about Cheyne. Nothing serious of course – just reports that Cheyne had apparently been bullying their own cats. Not our Cheyne… She’s not like that! But how can anyone honestly know? After all, when your cat ventures outside, you’re trusting that A) it’s got half a bag of common sense enough to avoid get injured and B) that they’ll play nice with the other cats. But of course you have zero control of this. (more…)

Accident Help & Advice

Knowing what to do in an emergency could save your pet’s life.

We’ve compiled a list of suggestions as to how you can keep your pet and yourself calm and react most appropriately when faced with an emergency situation.

In Emergency Situations:

First ensure the safety of yourself and others. Keep calm and assess the situation before acting. Injured animals are frightened and in pain and may try to bite anyone who touches them.
Contact the vet. Keep your vet’s phone number to hand and know the name of the practice.
Always phone first, whatever the situation, as there may not always be a vet available but staff may be able to suggest immediate action you can take.
Have a pen handy in case another number is given. Treatment can usually be provided more quickly if the dog is taken to the surgery, rather than if the vet is called out.
If there is a risk of biting, put a muzzle on the dog, or wrap tape around the nose and tie behind the ears, unless the dog has difficulty breathing. Small dogs may be restrained by putting a thick towel over their heads.
If there is a risk of biting, put a muzzle on the dog, or wrap tape around the nose and tie behind the ears, unless the dog has difficulty breathing. Small dogs may be restrained by putting a thick towel over their heads.
Drive carefully when taking the dog to the surgery.
firstaid

Keeping your pet healthy

Body Condition

When you run your hands over your pet check its weight. Checking will enable you to notice any changes that may occur over time and alert you to possible weight loss or gain

Skin Coat

Your dog’s skin can be pink or black depending on the pigments common to that breed or the individual genetic history. It should be free of crusting, itching, scaling, black/white spots and infected or hot and inflamed areas. The coat should be thick (depending on breed) and shiny with no broken hairs, bald patches, dandruff or fleas.

Ears & Eyes

Your dog’s ears should always be clean and without any thick brown or green waxy discharge. There should also be no redness, itchiness or offensive smell. Eyes should be bright and clear, with no signs of runniness, redness or soreness.

Nose & Mouth

There should be no crusting on the surface of a healthy nose, nor there any runny or thickened discharges or bleeding. Bad breath can often indicate bacterial overgrowth/plaque on the teeth/gums, which can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Teeth should be white/cream with no excess tartar, which looks thick and brown. The gums should be a healthy pink (or black depending on skin pigmentation) and not red, swollen or bleeding

Pet Donors

Pet Donor Card

A topic that I would like to talk about in this article is that of pets and tissue transplants. I have been immersed in the transplant world since 1996 when my mother had a heart and double-lung transplant. She is still with us today and is fast approaching her 17th transplant birthday; thus, I am obviously very pro-transplants and try to encourage more people to sign up as a donor. However, when it comes to my dog I am not so sure whether I would like him to be a registered donor. (more…)

Speaking Your Pet’s Language

Speaking Your Pets Language Infographic

A flick of the tail, flattened ears, loud barking – most pet owners are familiar with these common behaviors, but what exactly, do they mean? To make it a little easier, we’ve come up with a cartoon demonstration for reading your cat and dog’s expressions. (more…)

Do You Need to be the Pack Leader?

Group of dogs

I recently came across a thread on a dog forum that discussed whether dog owners really need to be the ‘pack leader’ in order to get the best out of their dog. For the last 50 years the majority of canine behaviour psychology has focussed upon the belief that an owner needs to be dominant and exert themselves as pack leader in order for their dog(s) to be well behaved; from my experience this isn’t so. (more…)