Top 5 gifts to help keep your dog healthy

Greenfeeder enrichment for dog feeding time

There is nothing more important than good health – and whilst we may indulge in Christmas pudding and turkey these are not the best ideas for our pet dogs. I’ve decided to put together this list of some of my favourite dog gifts that help improve their health whilst also being fun.

The Green Feeder

This is one of the first games I ever came across for dogs that made food time more healthy. Just like with humans if a dog gulps all its food down quickly it is not healthy – and in dogs there is some suggestion that this can also be a contributor to bloat. GET IT HERE

Buster Dog Cube

Buster Dog Treat Dispensor

Another way to slow down feeding – or just to make your dog more active in finding their food there are a set of these cubes which progress in difficulty. I was introduced to this when I won one at a vet conference and spent many weeks using it with the clinic dogs. GET IT HERE

Timed Treat Feeder

Foobler Electronic Timed Dog Treat ToyThis is perfect for if you are going be away from your dog for a while – whether that is a trip to the shops or for work. It allows you to set a timer on an interval to release different treats or just spread food through the day. It will make a noise when it releases a new treat to get your dogs attention and break up their time alone. GET IT HERE

Dog Magic Activity Toy

Nina Ottosson Dog Magic Activity ToysThere is an entire range of dog games by Nina Ottosson which vary in difficulty from easy to hard depending on how much experience your dog has with such toys. If your dog is just starting with these I would recommend starting with the easy level such as this and building up to the harder levels. GET IT HERE

Brain Games

Brain games for dogs by Claire ArrowsmithThis gift is not just for your dog but also for you. Dogs are amazingly intelligent and this book gives you many ideas to try with your dogs. Seeing just how smart your dog is can be one of the most rewarding ways you can spend time with them. GET IT HERE

Fussy eaters – tips for finding a food they like…

Sometimes out pets can be extremely fussy when it comes to food turning their nose up at specific flavours or types. It can get even more complicated when they are on a medically prescribed diet.

Where there are so many different types and flavours available it can be confusing to know what to feed and especially if your furbaby will like it before you buy it. However the internet is here to help you – not just for reading about different types of food or researching the nutrient requirements to match your pets age and medical status.

The rise of free stuff uk websites also give you the benefit of finding free samples of pet foods for dogs, cats, and even rabbits in some cases. These are often sent directly from the manufacturer or distributor in a smaller pack size of the food as a way to try and get you to start using them to feed your pet. However these are a great way to see if your pet likes the flavour and style of food.

For example you can try this free offer to try Wafcol dog food, in the past there have also been offers from Pedigree and other manufacturers. Sometimes also vet practices or rescues may offer free samples of different foods when you register a new pet with them.

In some pets such as rabbits it is especially not to make drastic changes in the food which can cause an upset stomach. For these animals it is often best to introduce a new food gradually.

Once you have found a food that they like it is important not to run out. In the UK you can even order pet food in bulk from amazon on a scheduled delivery so that you always have a good supply without having the last minute stress of finding something for them to eat.

Pets and Holidays: What to Do About Your Dog When You’re Away

As much as we love our dogs, there are times when we just can’t be around to take care of them. Be it a business trip or a surprise visit from in-laws, there are situations where we’ll have to be away from our loyal companions.

But many people are faced with the trouble of what to do when those situations arise. For some people, taking their dog on holiday with them is a natural thing and they’ll even choose destinations that their dog loves. It could be a beach where they can play in the sand and water or a cosy cottage where they can sleep and relax around a crackling fireplace.

If you’ve got an event coming up soon that will separate you and your companion, consider some of these tips on how to go about dealing with the problem.

Take Your Dog on Holiday With You

As long as you aren’t going too far away or on a plane, then you can take your dog with you no matter where you go. As long as you buy a suitable crate for your dog (or a strong leash if they’re big) then you can keep them in the car with you as you drive. Just make sure that someone is looking after them, or if you’re travelling alone then drive slowly. If you break suddenly, it could frighten your dog or worse, send them flying off the seat and hurling into something. If you’re travelling via coach or train, then make sure you inform the driver or rail service before taking your pet on board.

If you’re travelling via plane, then there are still options to take your dog with you. Owners would love if there was no hassle involved when travelling with their pets, but the truth is: there is a lot of preparation involved. You’ll have to buy a bag or crate to carry your dog, and you need to inform the airline when you purchase your ticket that you plan to take an animal on board. Don’t show up to the airport with your dog in a crate because they might deny you entry!

dogs-on-holiday-on-the-beachDoggy Daycare & Boarding

There are many services around the world such as http://www.auntbspetresort.com that specialise in looking after your pets with the utmost love and care. Whether you have a small dog or a large canine, they’ll most likely be able to offer you a service that is tailored towards your needs. Does your dog have certain hobbies or dietary requirements? Not a problem, the daycare service will handle it for you. Will you be separated from your companion for a week? Again, that’s no problem because many daycare centres will be equipped with long-term services as well.

It’s an inexpensive method of keeping your pet occupied and looked after while you’re away, and you can have peace of mind knowing that your dog is in good hands and being cared for.

Asking a Friend or Family Member

If you take regular trips away from your dog, then it might be worth making friends with the neighbours or bringing your companion to a family member’s home. As long as you leave your dog in safe hands with the same person or family each time, your dog will grow used to their scent and voice and listen to them.

Want A Pet But Lead A Busy Lifestyle? Simple Solutions & Compromises

There are countless benefits of owning a pet. They make ideal companions and in many cases are completely devoted to their human friends. Research shows that they make us happier and help alleviate stress. But what if you lead a busy lifestyle and don’t have time to take care of them? There are several simple solutions.

How Much Time Do You Have?

Whether you get a pet and the type you get will depend on how busy you are. Being out of town for several days each week is one kind of busy. Staying late at the office a few nights a week is something completely different.

Pets like dogs take a lot of looking after. They also need lots of human contact. If they don’t get this, they are likely to fret and develop destructive behavior. So if you’re away from home a lot, a dog wouldn’t be the best option for you. In these circumstances, fish may make more suitable pets, as long as you have someone who can call in and help feed them and clean their tank. You can find many varieties of fish for sale online, and they can can be delivered quickly and safely to your door. They won’t fret and become distressed if you’re away. They do still get sick, of course, but with the proper care and attention, they can live long and healthy lives.

Another benefit to having a fish as a pet is that they don’t make a mess. They won’t wee on the kitchen floor or chew your shoes. Because their activities are confined to their tank, you won’t be confronted with a messy apartment after a long day at the office.

Friends And Family

All pets need some care and attention, even if it’s just feeding and cleaning their environment. Do you have friends or family who could help out if you’re busy or away? There are many professional services that provide pet sitting or dog walking if you’re away. However, if you’re away regularly, this wouldn’t be a viable option as many pets need regular human contact.

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Independent Animals

Dogs are possibly the neediest of domestic pets. They need a significant amount of love and communication. Cats are less dependent on their owners as they do not need the same time input for walks and exercise. The most important is they have a warm place to sleep and plenty of food, with some toys they can manage their own entertainment. If they don’t have access to a cat flap to go out of doors, you will need to establish a litter box. That said, some cat breeds are quite needy and require lots of human attention. If left for long periods of time, like dogs, they tend to fret and can be destructive.

Fish are possibly the least needy of pets and won’t fret if left alone. Small animals such as hamsters are also fairly low-maintenance. They are also nocturnal which means that they sleep during the day and their activities are confined to the nighttime. Though intelligent and social, as long as they have the right environment they keep themselves occupied. Ensure they have a wheel and plenty of toys to play with.

It’s still possible to own a pet, even if you have a busy lifestyle. It’s just a matter of finding the right pet for you. Their health and happiness should be the first consideration. So opt for pets that won’t fret if you’re away for long periods. And for those times when you can’t get back to feed them, ensure you have a reliable friend or professional to call in

What doctors don’t want you to know… (Day -200)

What doctors do not want you to know

Growing up I always believed in doctors knowing everything. Actually it was more like doctors were not human being only doctors and living in the hospital and that was all they did. For me this applied the same to dentists. One time going to the dentist for a morning appointment, and the dentist arriving in their street clothes looking normal actually made me nervous about my treatment that day.

How could someone that looked so normal carry out treatment on my teeth?

I was thinking about this today whilst I was visiting the doctor at the human hospital for my rabies booster.

By thinking of doctors like this it is possible to remove the fear from the visit as doctors knowing everything would prevent anything going wrong. Actually I started to realise that it wasn’t just thinking of them as doctors, we start to elevate them to gods and miracle workers. We need that hope to protect us from the fear of what is going to happen as when we go to hospital we are vulnerable and not in control.

We need that doctor to be in control – and to do this we need to elevate them to a superhuman status. Where we will be safe under their care, where they will not make a mistake, where they will fix any problem.  We need to do this to trust them with our life, especially when it comes to surgery where we are absolutely helpless.

I then realised the same thing happened when I put on my scrubs and step into clinic. Especially when things go wrong – people look at you and expect you to have an answer.

Even when you don’t have an answer you have the responsibility of finding one. Sometimes it is logic, sometimes it is common sense, a lot of the time it is having support there from others and then sometimes it’s a combination of all three.

I remember the first time I was in this position was a couple of years ago. It was lunchtime and I was alone in recovery with a patient that had just come out of surgery, and there was the patient from the previous surgery whose owner was sitting with them whilst they recovered. The next thing I know the owner is saying something (I didn’t understand Slovak back then) however looking at the dog I see the eyes are flicking side to side.

I’ve no clue why however the first thing I do is check the breathing and heart. I see there are no muscle tremors. I’d read about nystagmus which is the random movement of eyes side to side, I thought this may be nystagmus, however I did not know why this dog had just started showing this. However I didn’t think that the dog was going die in the next few moments and my recovering anaesthesia patient was stable so I decided I had time to run to the staff room to get a doctor.

It was only a few minutes, however it felt like eternity. I had no clue what I was dealing with, I was not sure if it was even nystagmus. It turned out that it was positional nystagmus from the anaesthesia drugs that only happened because the dog was laid on its side. Knowing that my book knowledge was a little bit correct didn’t take away the feeling that I had got really lucky.

It was the first time that I felt like an imposter. Since then I’ve learnt that it is not just me that feels like this. Apparently it is a very common feeling that doesn’t completely go. No matter how much you learn, there is always more to keep learning. The really scary thing here is when you have something that you try to find out more about to only learn that there is no answer.

This is where you just start to realise just how human doctors really are. That no one has all the answers. Then you start to realise that doctors can make mistakes.

Then you realise that they really are no different to you, they are only human, people. Maybe they have studied a lot, maybe they have worked for many years…

The white coat or scrubs is almost a protective barrier to remove the human element. Remove this and they really are just another person.