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

How Do I Stop My Dog Chasing Other Animals?

How Do I Stop My Dog Chasing Other Animals?

Before dogs became domesticated they were wild and lived by preying on other animals big and small. Their predatory drive was a mechanism that ensured their very survival as a species and was hard wired into their brain. The predation sequence in such dogs was “see-chase-grab-kill”.

In domesticating the dog some of this sequence has become weaker though it has never been totally removed, and all domestic dogs exhibit instinctive predatory behaviours to a certain extent, with some breeds of dog being more prone to this type of nature than others.

As humans we have, over time, also been responsible for breeding some dogs specifically in order to take advantage of that instinct, such as Herding breeds, Sporting breeds, Hounds, Terriers, Northern breeds and Wolf hybrids. . we often use and work many of these dogs.

Through years of genetic selection and training we have produced these working dogs that are very good at chasing and moving livestock but without the “bite-hold-kill” sequence thrown in.

Predatory Aggression, is a term often used to describe the behaviour of domestic dogs who target another dog, cat, sheep or indeed any other animal, then move with sudden impulsive action, silently and rapidly to bring that target down and then attack the vital organs of that creature in order to kill it. The main difference between an attack of this nature and standard aggression is that the dog fully intends to kill either by shaking the prey violently or choking it.

This behaviour is due to the retained instinctive desire to chase things that resemble prey; and because predation is instinctive, it is not based on the dog being hungry. Moreover, it is a behaviour that is marked by the absence of anger, neither is it based on self protection or competition for resources.

Dogs who exhibit predatory behaviour usually do not advertise their intent prior to attack which can make it all the more shocking.

Movement of the “prey” will always be the trigger that starts the sequence, so by allowing your dog to chase down small creatures will only serve to strengthen this instinctive drive. The behaviour is particularly dangerous because it cannot be fully trained or conditioned out of the dog, neither will medication be of any help because the instinct is hard wired into the dogs mind.

Just because the behaviour is inherited and instinctive doesn’t mean that it is either desirable or acceptable and it can be downright dangerous.

Such a dog living in a home with an infant child is also very risky because children under three years of age move quickly and often make high pitched noises that can make such a dog believe they are prey, whereas very tiny babies may resemble injured prey to the dog who may then pounce.

However, we can manage predatory behaviours by managing the environment – a suitably trained behaviourist will help you to assess how strong your dogs prey drive is. Once you know this you can then manage the environment by:

Ensuring that your dog can’t get out of your garden or get loose without you

When out walking, always ensure that your dog is kept on a leash, no matter what time of day it is.

If necessary, use a muzzle on your dog. This may seem cruel but preventing the behaviour is better than having your dog removed and destroyed because it has attacked and killed

Get the help of a professional trainer to develop exercises that will re direct and address the challenges of the prey drive, and find an appropriate outlet for him

Ensure that your dog gets sufficient exercise in general, but keep him out of situations that arouse his predatory instincts and never leave him alone with a child, even if he has never shown a desire to attack a child before.

Dogs are amazing creatures, and a delight to be with – Stay Safe, Stay Informed and Stay Happy with your best friend.

West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

Westies “The West Highland White Terrier” is a breed of Scotland with distinct harsh white coat and soft undercoat. These have longer legs as compared to the other Scottish breeds of terrier. The fur coat fills out the dog’s face, giving it a rounded appearance. This particular breed is so intelligent, are quick learners and are easy to go with children but they can’t bear rough handling. This is a hypoallergic dog breed and was once used to hunt rodents. The Modern Westies are descended from a number of breeding programs in Scotland before the 20th century.

About the West Highland White Terrier:

The best way to describe Westies is that they are full of self-esteem and they know they’re the best thing around. Although these are purebred dogs, you may still find them in shelters and rescues. This modern small white Scottish terrier was given its modern name for the first time in 1908 with recognition by major kennel clubs occurring around the same time. Other related breeds include George Campbell and Dr Aweric Edwin Flaxman’s Pittenweem Terriers. Several specific and non-specific issues of the breed, including the condition in young dogs named westie jaw causes overgrowth of bone in the jaw of the dog. These dogs are also prone to skin disorders and to the breed-specific condition called hyperplastic dermatosis. They are energetic and needs regular exercise of around one hour per day.

Characters:

They stand 10-11 inches at the shoulders with dark piercing eyes, compact body and carrot shaped tail wagging with delight and seems irresistible. They actually were bred to hunt the rats and rodents and are surprisingly strong and tough. Their coat is hard to touch but has a soft undercoat They exhibit traits of plucky and self-reliant ratting terrier and can have a tendency to chase cats, squirrels and badgers. Westies can be trained nicely with time and patience. It is thought that this breed of terrier is descended from the same ancestral stock as the other Scottish terriers the Dandie Dinmont, Scottish and cairn terriers. This particular breed probably originated at Poltalloch in the former country of Argyll, Scotland and were bred there for many years by the Malcolm family whose dogs appear to be traceable back to the times of King James I of England. They are fiesty in nature and very independent but also very friendly.

Usually they are bright, deep-set, have almond shaped eyes, which are dark in color. The members have typical weight between 15-20 pounds and their body is shorter than the height of the dog. They have a deep chest, muscular limbs, black nose and closely fitted jaw with scissors bite. For better grip they have slightly turned out paws which help them to climb on rocky surfaces. The foot pads are with pink marking that turn black with age. They have short, sturdy tail and due to the history of catching rodents, the tails were bred to be thick that a westie trapped in hole could be easily pulled out by the tail.

History:

This particular breed was recorded as early as the reign of James VI of Scotland who resigned between 1567 and 1625. Thousands of Terriers were presented as a gift by the king to the Kingdom of France. White breeds were considered weak as compared to sandy and brindle colored breeds. In 1588 a report indicated that the ship from Spanish Armada was wrecked on the island of Skye which indicated that the ship was carrying white Spanish dogs whose descendants were distinct from other breeds by Clan Donald including the families of the chiefs. One of the family was the Clan Macleod and it was reported that at least two chiefs of this family kept white terriers. The most closely associated persons for the development of the modern breed of west highland white terrier is Edward Donald Malcolm, 16th Laird of Poltalloch. He used these terriers for work game and these were mistaken for a fox and shot. Malcom developed white terriers which were known as Poltalloch Terriers. The first generation was with sandy coats and prick ears and this trait was later seen in modern breeds. The term”West Highland White Terrier “ appeared in 1908 and was used by L. C. R. Cameron in Otters and Otter Hunting.

This breed is successful on both sides of the Atlantic. In the conformation shows, the first member to win a show championship was Ch. Morvan in the 1905 at age of seven months. Because this breed was not much recognized, the title was not retained when the dog was re-registered as west highland white terrier. The major win of this breed came in 1942 in the kennel club dog show when Constance Winant’s Ch. Won the title of best show. This breed’s popularity during the 20th century was such that the dogs were exchanged for hundreds of guineas. In 2010, The west highland white terriers were reported to be the third most popular breed of terrier in the UK with 5361 puppies registered with the kennel club. The breed’s position was stable being in the top three of all breeds since around 1960. In 2001, it was ranked as the 30th most popular breed based on the registered American kennel club breeds and varied around 30s in decades, it ranked 34th in 2010.

They are very loyal, lovable companions.

How Do I Clean My Dogs Teeth?

How Do I Clean My Dogs Teeth?

Your dog’s teeth are used for more than just eating, they also use their teeth during play and to learn about their surroundings.

And just like us, dogs can get dental problems If their teeth are not cared for. Your dog can suffer serious health issues including gingivitis that can lead to gum disease and tooth loss. Bad teeth can also affect dogs that have heart problems by allowing infections to travel through the bloodstream.

If your dog has bad breath (thats not caused by any underlying illness) and a yellow/brown hard coating of plaque building up over their teeth, it’s time to do something about it.

It’s always best to start from an early age – but you can still get them comfortable with teeth cleaning, whatever their age.

Use a time when your dog is relaxed and keep the training sessions short, don’t force the issue or your dog will never want you near their mouth.

Start by getting them used to having your hand near their mouth – this can be done by gently stroking your dog’s face and cheek very gently – stop if your dog gets upset – do this over a period of several days so that your dog knows you are not going to hurt them.

The next stage is to put dog toothpaste (never use human toothpaste) onto your finger and allow them to lick it off – again do this for a few days.

Once your dog is happy with this, you can start with the tricky stuff

– using the toothpaste, run your finger along the inside of their mouth very gently. After a few days you can move on to the next stage.

Buy a suitable dog toothbrush and introduce this with the toothpaste on and just let them lick it off the brush.

Do this over a few days until your dog is happy with it and then slowly introduce the toothbrush inside their mouth, using gentle round motions, just do the front teeth first always let them lick the brush in between. Do this for a few days.

Slowly but surely move to the back teeth – do it ever so gently, stop if they get distressed and always praise them and let them have the toothbrush to lick so this becomes the reward.

After several weeks you should be able to clean their teeth without too many problems – always try to clean where the teeth meet the gum margin but always be gentle.

You can use vet approved dental chews and treatments that can be added to their water bowl that will help to maintain their oral hygiene between brushing.

If your dog’s teeth are very bad or have a large build up of tartar then speak to your vet who will arrange for the teeth to be specially cleaned.

Don’t worry if it takes longer for your dog to get used to having their teeth cleaned, just keep praising them and take it very gently one step at a time.

Take A Look At Scamps And Champs Very Own Range Of natural And Specialised Foods, And Chews. To Discuss Our Range Call Us On : Tel 0333 200 5827. 10% discount for new customers using code SCAMPSNEW at checkout.

Autumn Hazards For Dogs

Autumn Hazards For Dogs - Scamps & Champs

Keeping your pet safe – Hazards to look out for during Autumn

The leaves are starting to change colour and fall, conkers and acorns can be found aplenty on the ground, bushes and trees are full of luscious berries, It’s a sure sign that autumn is finally here.

However, the autumn also brings some hazards for your pet that you need to be aware of.

Seasonal Canine Illness

Seasonal Canine Illness (SCI) has been under investigation since September 2010. It’s a mystery illness generally seen between the months of August and November which can affect dogs of any size, shape or sex, it can cause dogs to become very ill. The condition appears very quickly after the dog has been walked in woodland.

The most common clinical signs are :

  • Sickness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy

These signs are typically experienced within 72 hours of walking in woodland.

If you suspect your dog is showing signs of SCI then contact your vet immediately.

Leaves and leaf mould

Piles of leaves can develop bacteria and mould. If your dog ingests these it can lead to gastrointestinal upsets.

Contact your vet if you think your pet has ingested leaf mould.

Conkers

It can be rare for a dog to be poisoned by the Conker, however, ingestion can cause gastrointestinal problems, signs to look out for

are:

  • Drooling
  • Retching
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain

The conker can also cause intestinal blockages, and though dogs normally vomit any ingested conkers quite quickly, you should always seek help from your vet.

Acorns

Exposure to acorns is common in the autumn and winter. Acorns have a toxic ingredient thought to be tannic acid, which can cause damage to the liver and kidneys.

Signs of ingestion include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain and lethargy
  • Ingested acorns can also cause an intestinal blockage

Berries

Both elderberries and holly berries can cause stomach upsets in dogs.

But the most dangerous berry-bearing plants are deadly nightshade with its shiny black berries; cuckoo pint, aka lords-and-ladies (which produces spikes of orange-red berries), and mistletoe. All are typically found in woodland.

Many popular ivy plants, including English ivy and Devil’s ivy/Golden Pothos, have moderate toxicity to pets.

Signs of ingestion include:

  • Mouth and stomach irritation
  • Excessive drooling
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Swelling of the mouth, tongue and lips
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

If your pet has eaten berries, take them to the vet for treatment – always try to take a sample of the berry for the vet to identify.

Glow sticks

If you or your children like to use/play with glow sticks around the bonfire, please ensure that your pet can’t get hold of them

The chemical mixture inside of both luminous jewellery and glow sticks can cause irritation to your pets gums, it can also cause:

  • Dribbling
  • Frothing and foaming at the mouth
  • Vomiting and stomach pain

Thankfully, although the signs can look dramatic, ingestion is unlikely to cause significant problems – however, you should always seek professional help and advice from your vet.

For Something Nutritious And Delicious That Your Dog/Cat Can Eat All Year Round, Take A Look At Our pet food webpage and See Our Excellent Range Of Pet Food, Tooth Chews And Treats. All of our recipes are made here in the UK with ethically sourced ingredients.

To Discuss Our Pet Food Please Call Us On 0333 200 5827.

How To Litter Train Your Cat or Kitten

How To Litter Train Your Cat or Kitten

Fluffy fur, hypnotizing eyes, and cute meows make our favourite feline creatures – cats – so adorable. However, things can get a bit messy if they refuse to use the litter tray and do their business around the house. For most cats, using a litter tray is a natural habit, that they learn as kittens, particularly after they pass the three-week point. Still, some kittens need a little encouragement and manual stimulation to get the hang of it. In contrast, adult cats may have an aversion to using the litter tray, especially if they associate the tray with a negative experience. Whatever the case, if you are finding it difficult to litter train your cat, these steps will help.

Choose the Right Litter tray

The first step to litter train your cat is to get the right support tools such as a litter tray and cat litter. Use a litter with very fine sand (think recreating nature) and avoid using clay litter as your cat may consume it, and have digestive problems. It is also advisable to use an unscented litter because ones with a heavy scent may discourage cats from usage. More importantly, select a tray that your cat can easily get in and out of. Sometimes, adult cats can stop using the tray because of an achy body, so consider using a low-sided tray for older cats, and for kittens who may not be big enough to climb into a bigger tray. Also, be consistent in what litter you use, as changing the litter could cause your cat to stop using the litter tray temporarily.

Plan Where To Place the Litter tray

The litter tray location and availability can be a crucial element in encouraging your cat to use the tray. So, remember not to hide the trays. Do not place them in cupboards and corners as cats do not like to feel cornered or trapped during toilet time. Some owners like to put the litter tray in the bathroom. Also, provide some light -ambient or night light -so they can see and find their trays. Avoid setting up a litter tray where many things can distract them from their primary focus, such as rugs, carpets, or beddings. Spreading out the trays throughout your home and at least on every floor can also go a long way to stimulate litter tray usage as it will make it easy for your cat to access the trays. Always place the tray a good distance away from their food and water bowls.

Give your cat a Tour of their new toilet.

After you have effectively set up the litter trays, the next step is to introduce your cats to them. Show your cat the locations of each litter tray, let your cat sniff them and then gently place your cat in the tray. They may immediately start pawing at the litter or even using the litter tray. But, If they don’t, run your fingers through the clean litter to illustrate the pawing action. If at initial introduction, your cat refuses to use any of the trays, try placing it in one of the trays each time they eat, drink, or wake up from a nap, until they begin using it on their own.

Keep it Squeaky Clean.

Scoop your cat’s litter tray after every elimination. After scooping, add some clean litter to maintain a litter depth of 2 to 3 inches to give your kitty ample room to dig. Cleaning is essential during training to prevent your cat from developing an aversion to its litter tray. If your cat starts using the litter tray consistently, you can scoop daily instead of each time it uses the tray and periodically empties all of the litter in each tray, clean the boxes, and fill them with clean litter.

Conclusion

Reinforcing good habits during training is also a tested and trusted method to encourage your cat to use litter trays say experts. For instance, when your kitten uses the litter tray appropriately, reward them with their favorite treat to create a positive association with the activity. And if your kitten makes a mistake, do not scold or raise your voice, but calmly clean up the mess with an enzymatic cleaner and do not react in any other way.

Scamps & Champs offer cat visits when you have a long day or as an alternative to a cattery. We feed the cats, clean litter trays, give fresh water and lots of fuss and attention.