How do you prepare your dog for when you go back to work after lockdown?

Once the coronavirus lockdown ends you may no longer work from, home resulting in a new routine for your dogs. This new routine may mean leaving your dog for longer periods of time than they are used to. Dogs are naturally very sociable animals and some may find being left alone very hard and you may notice a change in their behaviour. Some dogs may develop separation anxiety. What is separation anxiety and how can it be prevented?

What is separation anxiety?

Your dog may become distressed when you are preparing to leave home, or after you have left. He may start pacing, trembling, whining, drooling or panting. He may bark far more than usual or start howling. He may start digging at carpets or chewing furniture, such as table legs, or show other signs of destructive behaviour such as raiding the rubbish bin, or may have toileting accidents in the house. This may be in response to boredom, being left alone, or from being separated from one particular person.

This behaviour can be upsetting, so how can you prepare your dog for your return to work?

Although dogs should not be left on their own for too long the earlier actions are taken the better by spending some time away from your dog during the day, even whilst in the same house. This is particularly important for dogs that have been bought or adopted during lockdown, especially puppies, as they may have had no experience of being separated from their owner. Dogs who have been in rescue or have been rehomed several times can sometimes struggle with being left, especially in the first few weeks of being rehomed. This is probably due to a variety of factors, including the stresses experienced while in kennels and learning to adapt to a new home.

Start by leaving you dog alone for just a few seconds and then move onto minutes and a couple of hours. Take your time if your dog shows any sign of distress. If being left alone is too much for your dog you could start by being in the same room but avoiding eye contact and then move on to being the other side of a stair gate, being in another room and then finally out of sight and earshot. Give plenty of praise and rewards such as treats and toys. Being relaxed during this process will help not make a big deal out of it and the aim is that your dog feels relaxed and comfortable when left on their own for some part of the day. Being left at home should be fun!

As well as building on controlled periods of time alone giving your dog something to do will help reduce their anxiety when they are left alone and help them develop positive associations with being alone. Using food and enrichment toys such as Kong’s, appropriate chew toys, lick mats and slow feeders to keep him occupied. Provide your dog’s usual meal or healthy fillers such as cooked chicken, vegetables or peanut butter.

How to prevent possible triggers from causing anxiety?

You can desensitise your dog to any signs that you are leaving the house. Try opening and closing doors without leaving, picking up and putting down car keys throughout the day, picking up and moving shoes and bags or putting on a coat and walking around with it before removing it.

Do not use punishment as this will not work and will cause more harm

Any punishment given on returning home won’t help stop the problem. Dogs associate punishment with what they are doing at that moment in time and so a dog will not link the telling off with their actions before their owner came home, even if they are taken over to ‘the scene of the crime’. It is not that they cannot remember what happened; they just won’t be able to make a connection between the punishment and something they did hours ago.

If punished your dog will not only be feeling anxious about being left, but will also be worried about you returning, which can make any symptoms much, much worse.

Scamps and Champs provide puppy visits and a dog walking service whilst following the latest government and DEFRA advice. Get in touch to discuss your individual needs.

What do Scamps and Champs dog walkers do when it rains?

What Do Scamps & Champs Dog Walkers Do When It Rains?

A dog standing on grass

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We walk your dog! If you are happy for us to, we will always take your dog out in the rain. We love dog walking and are just as happy to go out in wet weather as we are on dry days. Dog walking in the rain is often as enjoyable as walking in the sun. It can be lots of fun and your dog will still have an engaging, fun and stimulating walk. A lot of dogs LOVE wet walks! I’m thinking of the Labradors and Springer Spaniels I know who lie down in the biggest puddle at every opportunity they get!

We will put your dog’s raincoat on, if he has one, to prevent him getting absolutely soaked and will always dry your dog well with towels after a dog walk.

If you would rather your dog not get too wet, then we can take him out for a toilet break and play inside instead.

Why chose a dog walker from Scamps and Champs Bristol?

Scamps and Champs are one of the country’s top pet care services, offering a professional level of pet-sitting and dog-walking excellence, within the animal care sector. Scamps and Champs are a well-known, established brand, offering a caring and trust-worthy service, to all pet owners and animals.

Scamps and Champs Bristol never pack walk your dog with multiple other dogs, as we fully understand how precious your pets are to you and therefore, we believe in a caring service and treating each dog as if it was our own.

Scamps and Champs Bristol offer a premium dog walking service which includes all the following:

  • A free meet and greet consultation to discuss your individual pet care needs. We can offer you a regular or flexible dog walking service, each package is tailored to your individual needs and your dog’s personality.
  • An online booking option – quick and easy to use.
  • A fully insured and police checked pet carer.
  • GPS tracking – location check in service.
  • Electronic feedback and photos during each visit – so you know what your dog has been up to!
  • Individual group size – Scamps and Champs don’t believe in pack walking your dog in large groups. However, if they love company and would benefit from socialising with other dogs, then we are happy to pair your dog up with a walking buddy or two. Assuming everyone is getting on well with each other and that every dog is going to benefit from a group walk, we are happy to walk your dog with up to three other pup-pals.
  • A main dog walker and a back up dog walker – so when your main dog walker is unable to walk your dog your back up dog walker will. You and your dog will previously have met both your main and your back up dog walker.

If this is the kind of dog walking service you would like then get in touch on 0333 200 5827

Love is in the air in Bristol ❤️

Love Is In The Air In Bristol - Scamps & Champs

With Valentines Day quickly approaching Scamps and Champs Bristol would like to take this opportunity to provide some information around the safety of some indoor flowers. This is just a snapshot of a 5 flowers that are known to be either safe or toxic to pets. Please contact your vet for advice or treatment immediately if you think your pet is unwell and showing a reaction to a plant or flower. Your pet may also have a sensitivity or an allergy to a plant so it’s important to always be vigilant and seek expert health if you are ever worried about the health of your pet.

Five flowers that are dangerous for our pets 🐾

Daffodil: All parts of the daffodil are harmful and even drinking the water from a vase of cut daffodils is potentially hazardous. A small bite from a daffodil bulb can kill a small animal

Iris and gladioli: The bulb is the most dangerous as it contains a higher concentration of chemicals but all parts of these are toxic

Tulip: All parts of the plant can be toxic in large quantities, but the bulb is the most toxic

Lily of the valley: Lily of the valley flowers and leaves are very poisonous to dogs and cats as they contain a toxin that can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, heart problems, fits and collapsing

Lilies: Including Tiger, Easter, Stargazer and Arum, are potentially poisonous, especially to cats. Eating or chewing the leaves, stems or flower heads can poison pets. Even the pollen can be harmful, as cats may lick this off their fur after brushing against the flower head. If you have a cat you will need to ensure any lilies are kept in a place in the house that your cat cannot access. Not always that easy!

Five flowers that are safe for our pets 🐾

We are ok ladies, these are a few of our favourites that are not harmful to pets 😊

Roses: mean love, desire and romance and ALL varieties are pet friendly!

Peruvian Lily: mean devotion and friendship and are the perfect substitution for toxic lilies

Phalaenopsis Orchids: mean love and beauty and are safe for pets

Snapdragons: mean gracious lady and are non-toxic and a safe optionSunflowers: mean admiration and loyalty and pose no harm to cats

Travelling in Bristol with a pet in your car

Travelling in Bristol With A Pet In Your Car

Whether it is a trip to the vets, to the local park, or further out of Bristol, at some point most pet owners will need to take their pet with them in the car. So, what do you need to think about before travelling with your pet in a car?

We are all used to buckling up in the car after the law changed many years ago. Some of us do remember the days before the law changed but it was a long time ago! Cars are just as dangerous to pets and it is just as important that our dog or cat is properly restrained whilst travelling in a vehicle to help keep both him and you safe whilst travelling.

How can we travel safely with our pet in the car?

There are products available to restrain your pet in the car. These include:

  • Pet Harnesses
  • Pet Seatbelts
  • Crates and carriers
  • Dog guards – you must be aware that whilst using a dog guard will help protect any passengers and the car driver, it won’t protect your pet.

Why do we need to restrain a pet whilst driving? Well, there are many reasons which include:

  • For the safety of your pet – using a pet seat belt or carrier can prevent serious injury to your pet if you are involved in an accident. Generally, pets are safer on the back seat as riding in the front passenger seat can be a distraction. If you do harness your pet in the front seat check your car manufacturer’s instructions about the airbag as you may need to disable it.
  • For the safety of the car driver and any passengers – if you are involved in an accident a pet that is loose in the car could cause serious injury.
  • To prevent an accident – a loose pet can cause distraction to the driver which can cause an accident or could get in the way of the brake pedal or steering wheel.
  • It is the law – Rule 57 of The Highway Code states “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly”. If the Highway Code is not followed then you could be considered to be driving without due care and attention. If your pet distracts you causing an accident this could be considered as dangerous driving.
  • To be covered by your car insurance policy – your car insurance policy may require you to restrain your pet properly and you could break the terms of your insurance if your pet is loose in the car. If you had an accident due to a pet being loose in your car your insurance may be invalid leaving you a huge bill to pay. Pet insurance may also be invalidated if they are injured and need treatment.

What else should be considered before taking your pet on a journey? Making the car travel as comfortable for your pet will not only help your pet but also the rest of the family travelling together! Some pets have no problems travelling in the car, but others hate it! What can you do to try and make the journey more relaxed and comfortable for your pet?

  • Introduce your pet to travelling in the car from a young age if possible – pets who are introduced to travelling in the car from a young age are much more likely to be relaxed and happy during car trips. This is part of “socialisation”. You can start with introducing them to a parked car and getting used to sitting in it with you. Then start going on short trips and build up to longer trips. Ending a trip with a treat or a walk can help make the experience as positive as possible. Hopefully your pet will associate going in the car as “fun”!
  • Some pets get car sick so avoid feeding them just before a car journey. If your pet gets car sick even on an empty tummy then you can talk to your vet for advice about medication. Regular breaks may help if your pet does suffer from car sickness.
  • On long journeys it is important to stop every couple of hours to allow everyone in the car an opportunity to get out for a leg stretch, a drink and toilet break. Some service stations have a dog walking area, or you could stop at a dog friendly attraction or park to break the journey up.
  • Keep the car cool – pets can get very warm very quickly in a car. Be aware of your pet’s temperature and open the window or use the air conditioning to keep them cool. Sun blinds can prevent your pet being in direct sunlight.
  • Never leave you pet in the car – cats and dogs are unable to cool themselves down like humans. They can overheat VERY quickly if left in a car which can lead to death in a very short time. Leaving the windows down or parking in the shade does not do enough to keep your pet cool.
  • Don’t ever let your dog stick his head out of the window – he could hit his head on something, at high speed, with awful consequences. He could fall out of the window. He could distract other drivers.
  • Always get your pet out of the car on the pavement side of the car, and never the roadside. This is for your safety as well as theirs. Training your dog to wait in the car until you tell them it’s safe to exit is helpful as it gives you time to get them safely on the lead, assess traffic or other dangers and get them out safe and stress-free!

Scamps and Champs Bristol provide a reliable pet taxi service. If you would like to know more contact 0333 200 5827

What are the health benefits of daily dog walks?

dog walking in bristol

Can man’s best friend make you healthier? The answer is most definitely Yes. Not only that but taking your dog for a walk not only improves your health, but also the health of your dog.

Public Health guidelines say that we should all take as many opportunities as we can throughout the day to be active. The more we do, the better it is for both our mental and physical health. So, if you have a dog to walk you are at an advantage as you have a planned activity scheduled into your day from the outset.

So, how exactly does walking your dog effect your health?

Walking is therapeutic by helping reduce your stress giving a positive psychological effect. This can lower your blood pressure. Increasing relaxation, walking can provide good thinking time and after a walk a solution to a problem may become clearer. Being outside is good mental stimulation for your dog too, reducing boredom and bad behaviour. He will have much needed quality time with you which strengthens your bond with him, and the feeling of companionship is good for both of you.

Walking your dog becomes a habit needing discipline. Those early morning walks before work can be hard on waking, but once out with your dog you feel a lot more energetic, positive and have a sense of accomplishment. Seeing the look on your dog’s face when you are getting ready to go for a walk makes it all worthwhile! Having to be responsible for caring for a dog is a good motivator and can help reduce depression and improve sense of well-being.

Having a dog to walk encourages you to go outside, and to explore your surrounding area. You may find walks in areas that you normally wouldn’t find if you didn’t have a dog to take out. You will have more exercise in the fresh air promoting better sleep.

Walking your dog is a free way to get fit, with no need to pay to join a gym to get fit. The physical benefits of dog walking are plentiful. It is good for your heart, muscles, joints and waistline! This also applies to your dog!

Walking your dog inevitably allows you, and him, to meet new people and quite often make new, long lasting friendships with other like-minded people. It is sociable, even if you don’t want to talk to someone your dog may think differently and you will find that you find yourself stopping, commenting or having a chat with other dog owners and their beloved pets.

If you have a dog but need help to walk him on the days you find it difficult to then get in touch with Scamps and Champs Bristol. We provide a professional dog walking service. We love walking dogs and will provide stimulating walks to ensure your dog is happy. We never pack walk and offer a flexible dog walking service to meet your individual requirements.

Get in touch with Scamps and Champs Bristol on 0333 200 5827 or bristol@scampsandchamps.co.uk

How to keep your dog safe when Dog Walking in Bristol in Winter?

How To Keep Your Dog Safe In Winter

Here are some tips from Scamps and Champs Bristol to keep your dog safe when out walking during these winter months.

Ensure your dog wears a collar and ID tag when out and about, that he is microchipped and that the chip details are up to date. This is MOST important all year around. 

Keep your doggy friend safe by ensuring he can be seen in the dark by using a high visibility jacket and a flashing collar. Letting yourself be seen in the dark is equally important so wear clothing that is visible in the dark whenever possible. Also, think about your footwear to avoid slipping and falling whilst out walking your dog.

Keep your dog warm. Short haired, young or older dogs may benefit from a warm winter dog coat. Also, consider letting his hair grow longer over the cold winter months.

Regularly check your dog’s leads, collars and harnesses for wear and tear or damage. Check they are all working properly. Be aware that if it is very cold it can be difficult to do up lead clips and attach them to collars and harnesses. Check for rust as wet weather may make the metal clips rust.

Keep anti-freeze out of reach of your dog. Anti-freeze is tasty but is highly poisonous to a dog. Keep out of reach and mop up any spills immediately.

When you get back from your dog walk it is important to wipe your dog’s paws, legs and tummy. Grit and dampness can irritate his skin.

Ice can slice! Take care as stepping on ice when out walking can cause cuts and bleeding on your dog’s paws and legs.

Don’t let your dog walk on frozen ponds as he may fall through the ice into the water if the ice is not thick enough to take his weight. It is hard not to go in after him if he falls through, but you must never do this. Instead encourage him to swim back to you and call the emergency services.

When walking in snow be mindful that this new walking environment can be very exciting to your pup so consider keeping him on the lead.

NEVER leave you best friend alone in a car. Never. Not in cold or hot weather.

Consider changing your dog’s routine. If you are finding it difficult to exercise your dog in the dark evenings after work, then get in touch with Scamps and Champs Bristol who provide a professional dog walking service. We can walk your dog at a time that you think is best for him. We can vary the route, so your dog is entertained by experiencing new sights, sounds and smells.

How Often Should I Walk My Puppy In Bristol?

When can I start walking my puppy around Bristol?

I remember when our border terrier puppy joined our family and we were so eager to take him out for his first walk, to be able to put his lead on and take him to the local park for a dog walk in Bristol. Waiting for him to fully protected from his vaccinations seemed like an age! Playing in the house and garden was a lot of fun for him and us but he soon became fidgety when carrying him in our arms in public areas! However, it is essential that your puppy doesn’t come into contact with unvaccinated dogs in Bristol or areas where dogs have fouled until he is fully protected by vaccinations.

How far can my puppy walk?

This varies according to the age of the puppy (younger puppies need less walks) and the breed of dog. The Kennel Club UK recommend 5 minutes walk per day for each month of age up to 2 times a day, so 20 minutes up to twice a day for a 4 month old puppy, 30 minutes up to twice a day for a 6 month old puppy. This guidance should be followed until a dog is fully grown. Every dog owner has a duty to walk their dog at least once a day. This should be in a safe and secure area and a different environment than the garden at home to allow socialisation with other dogs in Bristol and time to explore. Walking has less impact than running and jumping putting less stress on developing bones. Over exercise as a puppy must be avoided as it can damage growing bones and joints and can lead to problems later including early arthritis.

Large breed dogs can take longer to reach maturity than smaller dogs and may not reach maturity until 12 to 15 months of age so you may need to hold off on longer walks until then. Consult your vet if you are unsure.

How can Scamps and Champs Bristol help?

Scamps and Champs Bristol offer puppy visits which can be as frequent as you would like. A fully trained, DBS checked, animal care professional can visit your puppy to provide food and fresh water, and take him out for a toilet break and some fresh air in the garden. We provide company and lots of cuddles so that your puppy is not left for too long. To prevent separation anxiety when they are little it is best not to leave a puppy alone for longer than 2 hours. Our animal care team can visit you at home to devise a personalised plan, which can be amended as your puppy grows.

Your Scamps and Champs Bristol pet carer will send you feedback and photos of your puppy during each puppy visit keeping you up to date and reassuring you that whilst you are away from your home your puppy is receiving all the love and attention he deserves.

To find out more about how we can help, contact Anne at our Bristol branch on bristol@scampsandchamps.co.uk or give us a call on 0333 200 5827.

Dog Home Boarding In Bristol

Dog home boarding in Bristol

Why choose dog home boarding in Bristol?

Finding a pet carer to care for your dog in their own home in Bristol allows your dog to stay in the comfort of a family home receiving lots of love and undivided attention, individual walks and complete care. No kennels or crates are used and your dog is treated as one of the family, experiencing a home from home experience.

What are the benefits of dog home boarding in Bristol?

You will always know who is caring for your dog. You and your dog will have visited the host family before the home boarding takes place to see where your dog will be staying and who will be caring for him ensuring you are completely happy with the arrangement. You are in complete control over which host family your dog stays with.

Dog home boarding allows your pet to stay in the same routine. A plan is made before the home boarding takes place as a result of discussions with you about your dogs daily routine, feeding requirements, meal times, walks and administration of any medicines. Your dog would be walked on the lead unless written consent is obtained from you that you are happy for him to be taken off the lead and that he has a solid recall.

When you drop your dog off for home boarding you will take your dogs bed, toys, blankets, food (to minimise the chance of a stomach upset), treats and anything else you feel would help him settle into the host families home.

Why home board with a Scamps and Champs Bristol host family?

You will always drop off and pick your dog up from the host family so you know exactly where your dog is being cared. The dog home boarding host family in Bristol will have been selected according to your individual requirements.

All our Scamps and Champs Bristol dog home boarding host families are fully vetted, insured and registered with the local council. They all have secure gardens and are covered by our company insurance policy.

Only dogs from one family are cared for at the same time so your dog will receive all the love and attention he deserves. He will never be left alone for longer than 2 to 3 hours maximum per day so will have lots of company.

Feedback and photos are sent to you at least daily providing reassurance whilst you are away as we understand how stressful it can be leaving your beloved furry family member behind when you go away.

Contact Anne at Bristol on bristol@scampsandchamps.co.uk to check availability or ask for further information.

Dog Walking Services in Bristol – Why Bother?

Using dog walking services over the past 5 years has been become increasingly popular by dog owners in the Bristol area. No more are loving dog owners finding it acceptable to leave their dogs unattended for the whole day while they go to work.

With the use of professional dog walkers in Bristol our Bristol dogs are getting to go out, stretching their legs and have stimulation during the day, despite their owners being at work. Having this type of dog walking service available has also opened up the possibility of having a dog as part of the family to families who are out all day at work or school and had otherwise discounted owning a dog.

There are the obvious reasons our dogs really need to have the day broken up for them, number 1 being the need to pee! No one wants to come home after a day at work or school to a find a puddle or worse, greeting them as the walk through the door. But there are other reasons, including the dogs mental health.

It’s known that a lack of exercise and mental stimulation can lead to attention-seeking and destructive behaviors. With sufficient daily exercise and stimulation, dog owners are far less likely to come home to a house that’s been torn apart by anxious or neglected feeling dogs.

There are also many physical health benefits to ensuring your dogs are exercised regularly and have plenty of enrichment throughout the day such as maintaining a healthy weight and joints.

Being the owner of younger dogs or puppies brings increased demands on your time but this is also the key phase where unwanted behaviours can develop. Ensuring your puppy has sufficient stimulation, exercise and training while it is young will help create the well-behaved, happy family dog you no doubt want. Using an experienced dog walker for your younger dogs and puppies is definitely worth considering, if you are struggling for time yourself.

There are many great places to go dog walking in Bristol and finding a safe route suitable for your dog will make the walk even better. Allowing your dog to sniff and search provides them with good mental stimulation and using their senses in this way will also tire them out…bonus for you when you return home for a nice cup of tea.

Reputable dog walkers in Bristol will have some form of GPS tracking, where you are able to monitor the service provided and check where your dog has been and how long for.

It’s tempting to use the “girl or boy next door” to walk our dogs as sometimes it can seem easier to arrange or possibly less costly. However what happens if something goes wrong; your dog lost, injured or injures someone else? Or what if the person you are relying on has something of their own crop up last minute, where does that leave your dogs walk.

Just in the same way you wouldn’t have the bloke next door service your car (unless they so happened to be in that trade), why then do we risk our four-legged family member with someone un-qualified or at the very least uninsured?

Protect your dog and your friendships; use a professional dog walker for your dog walking in Bristol.

Contact your local Scamps and Champs branch for more information or to discuss your dogs pet care needs.

Hiring a Cat Sitter in Bristol

It can be a difficult decision to leave your cats when you take a holiday or go away with work. It may not be possible, or you may not want to keep asking a friend, neighbour or relative to cat sit for you. Your cat may not enjoy going to a cattery.

Another option is to hire use our Cat Sitting Service and hire a professional Bristol cat sitter.

What does a Bristol Cat Sitter Do?

A Bristol cat sitter will take care of your cat in your own home allowing your cat to stay in their own familiar surroundings. At Scamps & Champs Bristol a cat sitter will listen to you and provide a bespoke service according to your requirements. A Bristol cat sitter will visit your cat as many times as you would like during the day to feed your cat, change litter trays, give fresh water, and medications if required, with all the fuss and attention that your cat deserves.

Your cat sitter can also draw the curtains, turn your lights on and off, bring in any post and put the bins out giving your home that lived in look when you are not at home.

Using pet sitter software your cat sitter will send you updates at least daily. Photographs will be sent allowing you the comfort of knowing that your cats are being well looked after and are happy and relaxed at home.

How Many Times Will You Visit?

Your cat will be visited as many times during the day as you would like. If your cat is an inside cat, then you may feel once a day is enough. If your cat likes to go outside and hasn’t got access to a cat flap, we can visit in the morning and let your cat outside after feeding and then visit at teatime to let them back in again. If your cat is elderly or likes a lot of company more frequent visits may be preferable to check on your cat and give your cat companionship.

What if my cat doesn’t like new people?

A visit once a day may be enough if your cat is shy and timid. A cat sitter will always take the time to get to know your cat but only give affection if it is welcomed. If they don’t want affection or us to play with them, we will give them the space they need. We usually find that once they realise we are coming to feed them, they start to relax more and get used to us.

How Much Does A Bristol Cat Sitter Cost?

The price for cat sitting depends on how many visits and how many cats you have but visits start at £8.00 for 1-2 cats.

For a detailed quotation, please contact us for further information.

Scamps & Champs Bristol provide cat sitting services in Bristol and the surrounding areas.

All of our pet sitters are vetted, insured and DBS checked. Scamps & Champs Bristol are members of the National Association of Registered Pet Sitters and the Pet Industry Federation. Contact Scamps & Champs via our online form, to check availability and make a booking. Learn more about our Cat Sitting Service by visiting the Scamps & Champs Website.