Winter Care For Our Pets

How To Keep Your Dog Safe In Winter

As the British temperature starts to drop, it’s important to think about how to keep our furry friends safe and warm this winter. Despite having furry coats, they still need a little extra help to keep cozy. Each animal is an individual so do what works for your pet however there is slightly differing advice depending on type of pet.

One tip for all pets is to ensure they have a cosy bed to snuggle up in, somewhere away from draughts.

Dogs

  • Protect your puppy’s paws by investing in a nice set of booties for walks (only if they are happy to wear them). Booties can stop snow, ice, melting salt, and other debris from building up between your dog’s paw pads.
  • If you can, bathe your dogs paws after walks to make sure no grit, ice or salt has gotten stuck. Also make sure your dogs paws are nice and dry after this. If Scamps & Champs Derby walk your dog, we can also do this for you on the colder days.
  • Be seen, be safe! As the dark nights are here, ensure your dog has something reflective to wear during the walk so they can be visible. That also goes for those walking too, wear something reflective.
  • Consider investing in a fitted warm coat for your dog, especially if they are elderly or slim.

Cats

  • Depending on your cats temperament, you could try a reflective collar for your cat if they still like to go outside when it’s dark. If possible, use a quick release collar in case of any possible incidents of getting stuck.
  • Cat flap: If you have a cat flap, ensure your cat is always able to access indoors when they need to. If you don’t have a cat flap, consider leaving your cat indoors if you aren’t home to let them in when they want to come home.
  • Antifreeze is poisonous to cats but they are attracted to it’s smell! Keep out of reach of cats and try not to spill any when using outdoors.
  • Cats love cosy hiding places so be sure to check in sheds and garages before locking up for the night.
  • Litter trays: even if your cat is a ‘go outdoors’ kind of feline, it is always worth providing a toilet facility for them inside for when the weather is very cold. This gives them the option of staying in and sheltered.
  • If your cat or dog becomes less active in Winter, try playing with them to keep them active and to ensure they do not put on unnecessary weight.

Also be aware that the cold weather can affect older pets joints, especially if they suffer from arthritis. Ask you vet for advice on how to care for your pets joints.

Small Furries

  • Hamsters, gerbils and mice should be kept out of draughts.
  • Try a special cover to keep water bottles from freezing overnight.
  • If you have an outdoor rabbit, try to put their hutch in a position which is sheltered from the wind (up against the house if possible). You could also use a cover for the hutch to add to the protection and if it’s going to be a particularly cold spell, bring them indoors if possible.

Fish

  • If you have an outdoor pond, be sure to check it regularly. If it freezes over, it can trap harmful gases beneath the surface. Take care when trying to de-ice the surface, ensuring that the fish don’t accidentally get harmed.

If you need any help caring for your pets in winter, get in touch with Scamps & Champs to see how we can help.

Christmas For Pets

Christmas For Pets - Scamps & Champs

As Christmas approaches, it’s lovely to involve our pets in the festivities. This article mentions a few things to be aware of to keep our fur babies safe…

Real Christmas trees.

Whilst these look lovely and give an authentic Christmas smell, the needles can get stuck in paws or throats. Ensure you regularly sweep up any pine needles and consider closing the room so your pet isn’t left unattended with the tree.

Dangling tree decorations

These can be irresistible to pets – cats enjoy trying to bat them off the tree. However it’s no fun if the decoration falls, breaks and injures your pet. Also, chocolate is harmful to our pets so put these high out of reach.

Antifreeze

Strange inclusion in the Christmas list you may think, however antifreeze contains chemicals which can be harmful to pets so try not to spill any and always keep bottles out of pets reach.

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…..

Whilst this sounds lovely, we need to be careful if we have log burners etc. Ensure pets are not able to get too close to investigate, burnt paws are very painful!

(Hopefully!) A busy house

Christmas is (usually) the time to gather with family and friends and whist we are enjoying the merriment, we may forget that this can be an anxious time for our pets with unfamiliar people and noises in the house. Perhaps plan in advance if you are having guests, make a safe space for your pet to escape and enjoy some alone time.

Fireworks….

Many people choose to let off a few fireworks over the Christmas and New Year period. This will fill some pet owners with dread if your pet doesn’t cope well, it might only just feel like we’ve gotten past bonfire night and here they are again. Try and prepare in advance, leave on some soothing background music, prepare a small ‘den’ your pet can hide in if they feel scared. There are also plug in diffusers available which may help with your pets anxiety.

Christmas plants

A lot of the plants we choose a Christmas can be toxic to our pets. This doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them in our home, just perhaps keep these up high out of reach of inquisitive paws.

Christmas lights

Ensure cables from Christmas lights are covered with cable guard or placed out of reach otherwise cats, rabbits and dogs may try and have a little chew!

Presents

If you know (or suspect) a present contains food, leave these in a place your pet cant reach rather than under the tree. You wouldn’t want these disappearing and potentially causing harm to your furry loved ones.

Keep up your pets regular exercise and feeding routines.

This will avoid adding any stress to your pets if other things are slightly different over the festive period. Long walks will also help to tire your dogs out so they won’t become bored or destructive.

Scamps & Champs Derby can help with this if you don’t have time for long walks during your festivities, just get in touch to see how we can help.

Are You Looking To Adopt, Foster or Rescue?

Are You Looking To Adopt, Foster or Rescue?

Once you have made up your mind and you have found a reputable rescue, make a list of priorities of what you are looking for.

Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE You Approach The Rescue

What do you want from your Rescue, Foster or Adopted Pooch – are you looking for a companion/family dog or a project dog – do you know the difference?

Do you want a specific breed – read up on that breed so you know what to expect. How much time have you got to commit to your new family member?

How will you deal with toilet training, lead training, separation anxiety or fearfulness?

What do you understand about rescue dogs?

Do you have children in the home – how will you introduce them to the new family member?

Most importantly – can you afford a dog?

If you rescue during lockdown – how will you prepare your dog for when you return to work?

Taking on a Foster or Rescue dog is a huge commitment and one that can be hugely rewarding, so it’s very important to find the right dog for you and your family.

What to expect at the rescue

A good Rescue Centre will do all that they can to prepare your dog for adoption. This will include initial and ongoing behavioural assessment, ensuring that fearful or reactive dogs receive as much help as possible.

The Rescue will have the dog health checked by a veterinarian who will provide an initial dental check and identify any ongoing medical issues. The vet will also neuter, microchip and provide first vaccinations.

Dogs arriving from overseas should have been given Rabies injections and have travel documents BEFORE arriving in the UK – this includes dogs travelling from Southern Ireland.

The Rescue should insist on you, your family and any other pets meeting your prospective pooch BEFORE you take them home.

You should be able to walk the dog offsite and see them interact with other dogs and people.

They should also insist on completing a full home check and should provide ongoing support after homing.

So you’ve adopted/fostered – What happens next?

Bringing your new family member home is an exciting time, but please remember that your pet may never have lived in a home before and may be very fearful, they may not be house trained or ever have walked on a lead.

Tips to help your dog settle

ALWAYS Set your new dog up for success – remove anything you don’t want damaged.

If your new dog is going to be left unsupervised for any time – consider a crate or a large pen so that they can’t get into any mischief.

Set your house rules (is the dog allowed on the furniture or beds) and stick to those rules – it’s unfair to keep changing the goalposts.

Set up a designated toilet area and take the dog there immediately on arriving home (it make take a few trips before they get the idea), ALWAYS Reward when the desired behaviour is achieved.

Don’t make commands – just use reward for good behaviours and ignore any mistakes, this will prevent your dog from becoming frustrated when they don’t understand.

NEVER shout at or hit the dog – it will not understand what has gone wrong and this will lead to aggressive behaviours developing.

ALWAYS use reward to introduce any new situation.

NEVER force your dog to do anything – this will create problems.

ALWAYS remember that your dog may never have lived in a home before – it takes time- try to put yourself in their place.

When your dog first comes home, they will need quiet times to prevent them becoming overwhelmed – provide a designated bed/crate and give them a stuffed Kong or suitable chew toys.

Think about any training or enrichment your dog will need and set out to make it a positive experience.

By rewarding your dog’s good or acceptable behaviour from the outset you are introducing positive reinforcement, and this will make all future training a happy and successful time for you both.

Rewards should also reflect your dogs achievements – so grade the treats accordingly.

You can use part of your dogs daily food allowance to prevent too much weight gain, but always enhance this with something of a higher grade depending on the dogs achievements.

Scamps and Champs have qualified and experienced staff on hand and we are here to help you and your new pet through all the stages of settling in and becoming a happy family.

We can provide Home/Pet Visits, Dog Walking, Doggie Day Care, and Dog Boarding. We also provide specialised Puppy/Kitten visits, and care for Birds, Fish, Reptiles.

Scamps and Champs also provide our very own range of Vet Approved Specialised Food and delicious High Grade Treats – with free delivery to your home.

So whether you need extra help whilst you work from home or you want someone to help whilst you are out or away, Call Us Today!

Telephone : 0333 200 5827 – WE REMAIN OPEN THROUGH THE PANDEMIC AND OPERATE ALL SERVICES IN LINE WITH GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES.

We look forward to hearing from you Soon.

How Can I Entertain My Dog?

Separation Anxiety In Dogs - Scamps & Champs

During these uncertain and constantly changing times, our best friends and companions need consistency to keep them calm and happy. One day we are out at work for long periods the next, we are at home full time. Despite being home more, most of us still have to work meaning our furry friends have no one to play with or entertain them all day. There are some simple things we can do to ensure our dogs remain happy and healthy:

A good view!

When we were fully locked down, I know people found a good source of entertainment was looking out of windows, it can be the same for our dogs! If they have somewhere comfy to sit with a good view, this will provide hours of ‘company’ but not suitable if your dog likes to bark at people going past as this may annoy your neighbours!

Indoor scavenger hunt for treats

Does your dog love a good game of hide and seek? If so, hide some treats in places you don’t mind your dog searching. This can become several little games during the day as they find treats in other places. You could also use a Kong to provide a game with treats too. Our 80% fish treats are ideal for this.

Scamps & Champs - Pet Food

Leave the radio or TV on

Some dogs suffer from separation anxiety when you aren’t there and one way to combat this is with the radio or TV. These provide distractions from the sounds which may make your dog anxious – traffic, construction and other outside noises. You can experiment to see if your dog is more of a ‘classic vibes’ or a ‘soft rock’ kind of pooch.

If you haven’t tried leaving the radio on for your dog before, have it on as background noise when you are around so your dog will associate this noise with the comfort of home.

Set up a playdate

How about getting your dog’s favourite friend round for a few hours so they have company? This can help to socialise your dog and keep them comfortable around other dogs on a regular basis.

Hire a dog walker

Why not treat your best friend to a walk with Scamps & Champs Derby? Dog walks can provide much-needed stimulation and exercise during a long day whilst their owner is busy working.

Walks can be tailored to your dogs’ needs. It will also mean it won’t be a shock for your dog to be walked by someone else as and when you do return to work.

A lack of walks may lead to bordem, possibly even destructive behaviour and potentially a weight gain. We can help with this!

Doggy daycare

Scamps & Champs Derby have a team of carefully selected families who could offer your dog some care and attention leaving you free to concentrate on a busy day at work. Our team provides a home from home experience and never leaves dogs alone for more than 2 hours.

If you’re not able to be with your four-legged friend during the day and need friendly dog walking or doggy daycare anywhere in Derby, contact our team today. You can call and chat to us about what you’re looking for and we’ll be happy to help.

The Cat’s Whiskers – And The Dog’s Too!

The Cat's Whiskers - And The Dog's Too!

Ever wondered why your pet has Whiskers – what they are for and what do they do?

Whiskers are a type of hair found on a number of mammals, they are typically characterised by their length. You will find them on cats, dogs, mice and rats as well as other mammals.

Tactile Vibrissae is another name given to these long hairs which grow around the muzzle, jaws and eyebrows and which are used as tactile organs.

These hairs are different to other hairs on your pets body because they are thicker and stiffer and more deeply implanted. The follicles at the base of these hairs are packed with blood and nerve rich endings which allow the vibrissae to work like antennas that are hugely sensitive.

Dogs and Cats don’t need to make full contact with surfaces to know that they are there. The vibrissae are also an early warning system that allows your pet to navigate, especially at night.

They provide an awareness of both size and shape that prevents your pet from colliding with objects that may damage it’s eyes or face, because vibrations travel down the hair follicle and send messages to the sensory parts of the brain.

The Whiskers also make your pet aware of blind spots and changes happening around them, as they can pick up slight differences in air currents which can alert them to any coming dangers. In cats, the whiskers also detect movement even when they are in hot pursuit which makes them such amazing hunters.

Cats also have special sensory organs at the ends of their whiskers that give them information about their own body and limbs and this, along with their vision, helps them make such death defying leaps from one place to another. If you trim a cat’s whiskers, they often will become disoriented and have trouble moving around.

Cutting a cat’s whiskers is like cutting off the ends of our fingers, and even though the whiskers will often grow back, they should never be cut.

Your Pets Are Just Amazing And Deserve The Very Best Of Care!!

Scamps and Champs offer a range of pet care services which are designed to support you and your pet.

Whether you need dog walking, pet visits, day care or home boarding we are here for you, and we work around your shift patterns, shopping days or get togethers. Discounts and packages available.

We also offer a fabulous range of Vet approved and Specialised Pet Food.

Call now on 0333 200 5827