How Often Should You Bathe Your Dog?

How often should you bathe your dog?

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Does your dog need a bath? If your dog is covered in mud or has been rolling in foul-smelling muck, then yes – you should probably give your dog a bath. Aside from these occasions when your dog is obviously dirty, there’s usually no reason to bathe your dog. Your dog’s fur is self-cleaning and can get rid of most minor dirt by itself. You certainly shouldn’t be giving your dog daily baths. This post goes into more detail as to why.

Why should you avoid giving your dog regular baths?

There are a few reasons as to why you should avoid giving your dogs regular baths. 

  • Firstly, your dog’s coat is full of natural oils. Dirt and bacteria is trapped by these oils and removed through natural hair shedding in most cases – so there’s no actual need to bathe your dog regularly. 
  • These oils help to moisturise your dog’s skin. Bathing your dog too often can remove these oils and cause your dog’s skin to become dry and itchy.
  • These oils also give your dog’s fur a natural sheen. If you bathe your dog regularly, you’ll strip away these oils and your dog’s fur will become dull and dry.
  • The likes of worming and flea treatments can be disrupted by frequent baths.

How much bathing is too much? Usually anything more than once per week will damage your dog’s skin and fur. If your dog is getting dirty every day, consider how you can reduce this such as taking alternative walking routes or finding a way to make the garden less muddy. 

What do I need to bathe my dog?

There will be times when your dog gets overly dirty, in which case you’ll need to give them a bath. While your dog’s fur can clean itself up to a point, it cannot clean out thick mud or animal faeces by itself. 

In these cases, you’ll need to give your dog a soak in some water and use some dog shampoo. Dog shampoo is not the same as human shampoo – it is specially formulated to get out thick dirt without containing harsh chemicals that could damage your dog’s fur or skin. You can find such shampoos at sites like www.thehealthydogco.com. A dog bath brush is worth using alongside this product to help thoroughly scrub the muck out of their fur. 

My dogs hates baths! How can I make them easier?

While some dogs enjoy baths, others hate them. Some will refuse to sit still in a tub and may fight to get out. You should consider what is making bath time stressful. A few ways to make baths more comfortable for your dog could include:

  • Putting down a mat on the tub floor to make it less slippery. A lot of dogs don’t like the slipperiness.
  • Making sure that the water is warm, but not too hot.
  • Waiting until the bath is run and the taps are off before putting your dog in the tub. Dogs can find the noise of running water scary. Similarly, avoid using the shower head.
  • Using an outdoor paddling pool. Some dogs may feel more comfortable jumping in this because the sides aren’t as big and it’s not as slippery. 
  • Comforting your dog with treats or standing in the bath with them (if there is enough room)
  • Hiring a professional to bathe them

How Long Do Puppies Sleep?

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Your new pup’s finally come home after you waiting and daydreaming about what being a pet-parent might be like for you! You may even be feeling a myriad range of emotions, that had you pacing around anxiously until this big day. And things start looking a little more serious the moment your pup places its cute, furry paws into its new home.

The questions start knocking around in your mind – how will you take care of it? How does it need to be fed? What can it eat? How will you train it? How often should you take it for a walk? And when does it sleep? 

All of these questions are completely normal and something that will come to you as you keep exploring the new world of pet parenthood. The first couple of days, weeks, or months might not be the easiest, but as you spend time getting acquainted with your new family member’s needs and wants, things are going to start looking a whole lot more clearer. 

What You Need To Know About Your Pup’s Sleep

So now that you have a new, energetic furry bundle of joy in your hands, you might be wondering about the following:

How many hours of sleep does your pup need? And how important is sleep for its development?

  • Sleep is extremely important to a growing pup. It enables the development of all his little muscles, his brain and immune system, as well as his nervous system. 
  • If you wake up one day and find your pup a little bigger than how he was when he slept, you can owe that one to the long nights of snoozing your pup will require on a regular basis. 
  • Puppies that are an average of 16 weeks old sleep around 11.2 hours to 14 hours in a day. Puppies younger than that, however, need as much as 18 to 20 hours of snoozing in a day . . . not unlike our human babies! 
  • From the psychological and cognitive state to immunity, energy conservation and waste removal – sleep is one of the most important aspects of your pup’s schedule! This is just as important as regular play-time and dog-walks

While your pup is still a pup, it is your responsibility to take care of your furry friend, allowing them all that they need to grow into a strong, healthy and energetic dog. To be able to provide your new friend with everything they need, it is important to create a space for your dog where they can catch some shut-eye without any worries. 

Where Should Your Puppy Sleep? 

The earlier you start showing your dog a specific place in the house for nap-time, the easier it becomes for it to get accustomed to its new sleeping space. 

So before you bring your pup home:

  • Spend some time finding a quiet nook in the house that does not have too much movement, which can double up as a sleep spot. 
  • Try to make sure that the place is not prone to noises or auditory disturbances, as this can disrupt your pup’s sleep. And the side-effect is that this could affect their behaviour while they are awake. 
  • Get a comfortable waterproof dog bed, crate or kennel and line it with a material that would suit your pup. You might have to wait and explore different materials with your pup to recognize what it prefers – maybe a specific pillow, or cloth that can help it enjoy a good night’s rest. 

It is also important to recognize that your pet will eventually find a spot meant for it as it grows older and reaches around 1 year of age. This might be different from the place you had mapped out for it but in either case, your pup will choose a spot that allows them to enjoy a comfortable and well-deserved night of rest after a whole day of fun and activity. 

How Can You Help Your Furry Friend Sleep Better and Longer? 

Now that you recognize how important it is to ensure your pup gets its due sleep, here are a few tips that can aid you in ensuring the dog is comfortable and well-rested. 

  1. Try Not To Disturb the Pup 

It can be difficult, trying hard not to play and cuddle with your pup and allowing it to fall asleep on you. But this can only prove to be detrimental to your puppy’s sleep schedule in the longer run. Learn to recognize when your pup requires sleep, leaving it alone and unstimulated so that it replenishes all of the spent energy. 

Take the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie” quite literally and allow your pet their time. Try to also minimize any loud noises around the pup as that could potentially frighten it when its defences are down. 

  1. Show Your Pup the Ropes 

If your pup starts showing those adorable signs of actually needing a good couple of hours of sleep, gently guide it towards the spot you have created for nap-time. Doing this frequently can cause your pet to associate sleeping with that specific place in the house, causing it to return to this space when it is time to get some shut-eye. This can even help if you have a professional pet-sitter over while you are away. 

You can start training it to recognize its bed the moment it comes home. Once a firm schedule has been developed, your pup will automatically cuddle into its favourite toys and blankets when it is time. 

  1. Implement and Regularly Follow a Schedule 

Creating a sleep schedule for your pup can allow it to adhere to a routine that compliments yours. If you are house-training your pup, sleep schedules are all the more important! 

Try to implement regular exercise in your pup’s everyday routine, which can further boost the health benefits associated with a good night’s rest. A dog that has been exercised well, is a dog that will not have any difficulties dozing off after dinner. Add to this routine by allowing your pet to relieve themselves before they hit the sack, as this can prevent the potential for future bed-wetting situations. 

Being a pet parent is challenging, albeit a fun challenge to face every day! Remember to go with the flow and allow your pup and you all the time you need, and you will have a well-rested and settled pet on your hands in no time! 

Pet expert Jackie Brown has spent 12 years following her passion for animals as a writer and editor in the pet industry. Her expertise includes dog and cat health, care, nutrition, feeding, grooming, behavior, and training.

Why Become a Dog Home Boarder?

Why Become a Dog Home Boarder?

With approximately 9 million dogs in the UK, the demand for dog home boarding is constantly increasing. People are looking for a home from home alternative to traditional kennels.

The main reason to become a dog home boarder is for the love of dogs! However, if you love dogs that much, why wouldn’t you get your dog fix by having your own furry best friend?

For some, full time dog ownership doesn’t suit their lifestyle. It could be that they have to travel sometimes for work, they are on holidays 3 or 4 times a year or they just don’t want the full time commitment a dog requires. However, if you are a dog lover and without a dog, becoming a home boarding host  in Derby is the perfect way of getting your doggy cuddles without the full time commitment.

By becoming a dog home boarder in Derby, you can have the chance to have the company of dogs by caring for dogs whilst their owners are away. In most cases, you can meet the dog before accepting the booking to see if you get along. There is also the financial aspect (which for most boarders is a secondary reason for boarding). Boarding offers the chance to earn an extra income purely for looking after dogs in your own home.

There are various responsibilities that come with being a home boarder:

  • You must be licenced by your local council (if you become a dog home boarder with Scamps and Champs, you will be covered by our licence. No lengthy paperwork for you to complete and submit – bonus!).
  • You must have indemnity insurance (if you become a dog home boarder with Scamps and Champs – you will be covered by our insurance).
  • You must care for the dog to the best of your ability and be able to take it to the vets should treatment be needed.
  • Never leaving the dog(s) alone for more than 2-3 hours.

There are also several perks of being a dog home boarder including:

  • Meeting lots of types and breeds of dogs
  • The company of dogs – homes seem a cheerier place with dogs around
  • The enjoyment of lovely walks with the dogs and the exercise that comes with it!
  • Flexibility – you can board dogs only when it fits in with your schedule. If you are on holiday for 2-3 weeks, no problem, no bookings to be made for that period!

Becoming a dog home boarder is best suited to those who are retired, or who work from home part time. It is a rewarding role knowing that you have made a dog comfortable and at home whilst their owners are away. Owners are so grateful on their return when they find a happy and content dog!

If you would like to find out more about dog home boarding in Derby, contact our Derby branch on derby@scampsandchamps.co.uk

What is home boarding for dogs?

Dog Home Boarding - Scamps & Champs

Home boarding for dogs involves your dog going to stay at someone’s home whilst you are away. That means they become part of the hosts family for that period of time enjoying the comfort of a family home.

In 2018, new legislation was introduced which means dog boarders must obtain a licence from their council to home board dogs. This should provide reassurance when looking for dog home boarders as the Council have strict criteria for boarders to be approved.

How does it work?

Usually the dog home boarding company will offer you a meet and greet with the host family they match your requirements to. This is a great chance to take your dog to the host families home and discuss your dog and their quirks! You can also see first hand how your dog is in a new environment with new people. As usual, gut instinct can be a big influence here.

You can also ask the home boarding company if there is an option to book an overnight trial stay with the home boarder. Most companies will be more than happy to do this, but there may be a fee for the stay. This will give you peace of mind prior to booking a big stay away for your dog.

Will there be other dogs there?

This depends on the policies of the boarding company. Some home boarders may have their own dog(s) which is why the meet and greet is so important to check everyone gets on. At Scamps and Champs, we only ever board one families dogs at a time. We feel this adds an extra level of protection against any problems with dogs getting along.

There are also boarders without dogs if your dog is more suited to being the only dog around.

What does my dog need when going to a home boarder?

Try and think through your dogs daily routine and pack anything associated with this. Here is a basic (not exhaustive list):

  • Bed/blankets
  • Lead
  • Water bowl
  • Food bowl
  • Food
  • Toys
  • Favourite comforter
  • Towels (for those muddy walks!)

What will my dog do whilst I am away?

If the match is right, your dog will settle in to the host families home and become ‘their dog’ for the period of time you are away. The home boarder will try to keep your dogs routine as close to normal as possible to ensure a smooth transition. Your dog will get their usual walks and lots of fuss and cuddles if they’d like it (a boarders favourite thing!).

Once settled, a good host should send you regular updates and feedback about your dogs stay so you can relax knowing they are well cared for.

What if there is an emergency with my dog?

Whilst we don’t like to imagine the awful situation of our dog becoming unwell whilst we aren’t around, good boarding companies should prepare for this. This should be part of the initial paperwork when you can leave details of your veterinary practice and who to contact in emergency if you aren’t contactable. Boarders would always act in your dogs best interests and contact you where possible.

Anything else to know?

Home boarding is constantly increasing in it’s popularity, and with the rise in people getting pets during the lockdown period, if you have specific dates in mind and want to secure a good home boarder, book as early as possible.

Hiring a dog walker?

Dog Walking Derby - Scamps & Champs

During the past year, dog ownership has increased by a huge amount. Lots of households have taken advantage of the home working to introduce a new puppy/dog into the family. Despite there being a lot of downsides to this pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns, more time at home to welcome a new furry family member is definitely one of the positives.

With restrictions due to ease further in the coming months and companies looking for employees to physically return to work, even if on a part time basis, dog owners now need to consider their new family member and how they fit into a normal working lifestyle. If you will be out at work for most of the day, you may need to consider getting a dog walker. Despite sounding like a daunting task, the right dog walker can help your weekly routine run as smoothly as it is doing now. There are things to consider when hiring a dog walker and we’ve outlined some below:

Group and solo walks

A consideration is whether your dog would prefer a solo walk – just a walk by themselves, or whether they may enjoy the company of other dogs on their walk. If this is the case, ask the dog walker how many dogs they walk at one time. Whilst it’s nice for your dog to have company, too may dogs walked in one go means your dog may not get the care and attention they deserve.

Meet and greet

Make sure any potential walker offers to come and meet you and your dogs first. This is a great way to see how they interact with your dog and to as any questions you may have. Good walkers would offer this as a standard and not shy away from any questions. Always trust your gut with this meeting, it’s almost always right!

Flexibility

Check with any potential walkers how flexible they are – can they fit walks in as and when you need them or do they require a regular commitment? How do you book walks? Do they have a booking system or is it just a quick text/phone call to book?

Reliability

What happens if your walker is ill, has to self isolate or is on holiday? Is there a back up plan in place? You need to know that if you have booked a walk and your walker should become ill, that an alternative option could be provided to save changing your work arrangements.

Trustworthiness

Is your walker insured? Dog walking is so far an unregulated business area so anyone and everyone can set up a dog walking business! Have they been police checked? Remember that you are probably going to be trusting this person with a key to your home so you need to trust this person.

Area of walks

Where will the walker walk your dog? Do they walk around your local area or do they use a vehicle to take them to a local park? If your dog doesn’t travel well, this is definitely something to consider.

Follow up

Ask if your walker gives you any feedback following the walks. It’s always great to receive a quick message ‘Barney had a great walk today!’ along with a picture whilst you aren’t there. This means you can relax and move on with your day knowing your dog has had a good walk.

Here at Scamps and Champs, we are passionate about dogs and their daily exercise. While we are a national brand, we have small local teams in each area so you get the best of both! Get in touch if you want to find out how we meet the above points, and ask us any other questions you may have!

Dog Theft

Dog Theft - Scamps & Champs

Although an ongoing problem, dog theft reports are on the increase. The thought of losing a pet is heart-breaking at the best of times, but to have them stolen must be pure torment not knowing what has happened to them.
There are some things you can do to reduce the chance of your dog being stolen. Below are some tips to keep you and your dogs safe.

Keep your dog visible at all times

Make sure you can see your dog at all times. When you are out in public make sure you know where they are, and don’t risk lead free time if your dog can’t be trusted.

Ensure your garden is secure

Only leave your dog in your garden if it is secure. It’s worth checking fences for gaps and getting gates put in to keep your dog enclosed. You don’t want them to be able to escape, or anyone to get into your garden easily.

Never leave dogs in the car

Despite this being a health risk to your dog when it is warmer weather, if you leave your dog in your car with the windows down then they are an easy target to thieves. It would only take a few seconds to steal your dog

Don’t leave your dog outside shops etc

It is a common sight to see a dog tied up outside shops/Post Offices etc whilst owners go in to grab some shopping etc. Try to avoid taking your dog if you know you need to pop into a shop, as thieves would view this as an easy opportunity to steal your dog whilst you are out of sight.

Report any incidents

If you see any suspicious behaviour or people come up to you and start asking strange questions about your dog, report it. You never know, you may prevent an incident from happening by doing so!

Use caution with strangers

Be wary of anyone who comes to your front door, or admires your dog in the park. Beware of distraction techniques used by those looking to steal dogs – maybe asking to hold your dog, or take photos with them.

Identification

Ensure your dog has a collar with an ID tag on it. Put your surname and phone number. Get your dog microchipped and state on their tag that they are microchipped.

Do thorough checks before employing a dog walker/pet sitter

Always do a background check on any potential pet sitters. At Scamps and Champs, we do thorough checks of anyone joining our team, including a police check and a reference check. As a profession company, we invite clients to ask about our rigorous checks for team members, be wary of sitters/walkers who shy away from checks/documentation.

Fit Alarms/Bells

Consider getting alarms installed or bells fitted to your garden gates so that they will alert you to any intruders. This might also deter any potential dog thieves.

Stay alert everyone and keep your fur babies safe.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier Breed - Scamps & Champs

Yorkshire terrier –most popular among the toy breeds in the UK and rightly so. Though this cute little toy breed has a small size, it possesses a big personality. Yorkies stay in most people’s hearts due to their love and devotion for their owners, their suitability for apartment living, and their elegant looks.

More about Yorkshire terriers

Yorkies look quite full of themselves, and rightly so. With its silky, long coat and a perky knot at the top, Yorkshire terriers are amongst the world’s most glamorous dogs. Wherever they go, they are the show-stealers and grab the attention of everyone.

History of the breed

The Yorkshire terrier was developed in England (Lancashire and Yorkshire) during the Victorian reign. It is thought that this breed descended from other terrier dogs like Dandies Dinmont terrier, tan and black Manchester, Maltese, and Clydesdale terrier, which is now extinct.

General features

  • The Yorkies are energetic, affectionate, and tomboyish dogs.
  • They have breed popularity of 10 out of 197 breeds according to AKC
  • Yorkies have a height of 7-8 inches and usually weigh 7 pounds.
  • Their life expectancy stands between 11 to 15 years of age.
  • Yorkies belong to the toy group of breeds.

The general body features of Yorkshire terrier, as explained by the Yorkshire terrier club of America, are as follows:

Generally, Yorkies have a long-haired coat having tan and blue colour. It appears part from the base of the skull, face, end of the tail, and it hangs straight down on either side of the body. Their bodies are well proportioned, compact, and neat.

Head:

The head is somewhat flat from the top and small in size. Muzzle and skull are not so long and prominent, respectively. They possess a black nose with medium-sized eyes that are not much prominent. They usually have a sharp, sparkling and intelligent impression in their eyes.

Body:

They have compact and well-proportioned bodies, with short backs and levelled backlines. Height at the shoulder and rump region are the same.

Tail:

Tails are slightly at a higher level from the back and are docked at a medium length.

Coat:

When we talk about the coat, its texture, quantity, and quality bear great importance. Their coat hair is glossy, silky, and fine in texture. The hair coat is dead straight and moderately long. It will be best to trim it to the floor level to ease movement and a neat appearance.

Colours:

New-born puppies have a tan and black colour, intermingling tan hair in the black till they mature. When they become adults, their heads and legs become rich in tan colour.

Personality traits:

Self-assured and smart, the Yorkies make a combination of adventurous spirit with a small-sized body. There is variation in this breed’s personality from cuddly to perky to following the owners’ footsteps the whole day long. Some are outgoing, mischievous, and into everything.

Yorkies make great companions but watch out before spoiling them. They need training from a very young age when they are puppies. Early socialization of Yorkies is necessary as many other dogs. Make them greet other pets, sights, people, and experiences at an early age. Socialization turns them into all-rounder, friendly dogs.

Health:

Like other breeds, Yorkies are also prone to some ailments; but generally, they have good overall health.

If you will have a puppy, check for a reputable breeder and get one after having every clearance for health issues. By this certificate, you would know that your dog is tested negative for a particular health condition. Common problems in Yorkies are von Willebrand’s disease, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and elbow dysplasia    Always insist on seeing the puppy’s Mum in the home.   Never agree to meet a breeder away from the home.

Other common health problems include the following:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Renal atrophy
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Reverse sneezing
  • Collapsed trachea
  • Portosystemic shunt

Care of Yorkshire terrier

Yorkshire terriers are highly active dogs; high activity levels indoors fulfil their exercise needs. Generally, these cute little dogs are responsive to training and enjoy playing tricky games that involve obedience and agility. You need to train them at a very young age about toilet training.  Patience and consistency is key, never scold a puppy if they get it wrong and praise when they get it right.  If you train them well, you will end up having a well-mannered Yorkshire terrier.

They make lovely household pets with a little less tolerance to extreme weather conditions.

Feeding:

Divide their meal into two with a ½ to 3/4th cup of dry food daily. Remember, it mostly depends on your dog’s size, age, weight, and activity levels. Like humans, dogs do have particular needs of food depending on the previously explained factors. A couch potato dog will have a lesser need for food than a more extensive, highly active one. Make sure they do not become overweight as this is bad for their health. 

Small in size but Yorkie’s can be feisty and they make loving, loyal companions.

Enrichment & Entertaining

Enrichment & Entertaining

During these difficult times, if we have to isolate, this has a knock on effect and our pets mental health can suffer. We’ve put together this blog to give some ideas for enrichment and entertainment to keep your furry friends happy, whether it be due to isolation or if you need a bit of time to catch up on work or chores, this list should help:

  1. Cupcake tin puzzle.
    Using some of your dogs favourite treats, why not fill a cupcake/muffin tin with some treats and then cover these with balls or other kinds of toys and encourage your dog to search for the treats.
  1. How about making an agility course for your dog? You could use furniture (indoor or outdoor), cardboard boxes, tunnels etc. This is a great way to keep your dog active and a great way to help keep us entertained too, who can come up with the best course?!
  1. Towel puzzle: a simple and quick game to set up to keep your dog entertained. Roll out a towel, sprinkle over some treats and then roll into a sausage shape and let your dog have fun searching for the treats. Did you know, Scamps and Champs sell a range of tasty treats? Find out more at: Pet Treats – Scamps & Champs (scampsandchampspetfood.com)
Skin & Coat Treat - Scamps & Champs Pet Food
  1. Just as children love a good ball pit, so do dogs! Fill up a paddling pool or something similar with balls and sprinkle in some treats so your dog can have fun hunting for them!
  1. Tug of war –  a classic but one our dogs really love. This helps give your dog a little bit of exercise whilst keeping them happy as they get to spend some quality time with us.
  1. As we are at home more often than not at the minute, why not take the opportunity to teach your dog some new tricks? There are plenty of hints and tips how to do this online and it will certainly keep your dog busy.
  1. Cardboard boxes! A great source of free entertainment. Perhaps hide some treats in a box which is then hidden inside other boxes. If you are worried about using boxes from an outside environment due to Coronavirus – leave the boxes out of reach for a few days first.
  1. Hide and seek. Dogs will love this. Ask your dog to sit and stay and then go off an hide. Maybe take some treats along for when they find you!

9. Snuffle mat. Snuffle mats are great for stimulation and can be used to relieve boredom. Hide lots of small tasty treats for your dogs to sniff out. I use the small fish treats and apples chopped up very small. Below is a picture of my 3 dogs with their snuffle mat.

  1. Treat your dog to a walk with one of our fantastic team – they can take your dog out for an exciting walk while you catch up on work if needed. Walks can be one off or a regular treat.

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.