Pets & Anxiety

Separation Anxiety In Dogs - Scamps & Champs

by Victoria Brierley

Dogs are very much susceptible to some of the emotional struggles that humans can have. Anxiety is very much one of these struggles.

There are a few types of anxieties that a dog can suffer from. Separation anxiety is the most common form and can occur with examples such as when the dog owner leaves the house, leading to the dog feeling stressed. Other common anxieties consist of noise phobia, which triggers dogs to be stressed by loud noises, as well as social anxiety which causes a dog to feel uncomfortable in social situations.

Food for thought

Pets & Anxiety - Scamps & Champs

Pets suffering from separation anxiety may tend to display unwanted behaviours which can include: 

  • Excessive vocalisation
  • Excessive panting
  • Destructive behaviour such as chewing and tearing objects in their surroundings
  • Urination/defecating in the home

There may be a number of reasons why some dogs feel this way but not all of these behaviours are a direct result of separation anxiety, so owners need to determine if these behaviours only occur when the pet is left alone.

Food = Fun

Mental stimulation is a very useful and effective method of helping to manage pets suffering from anxiety.

Interactive feeding is an excellent way to keep their mind at rest and their mouths occupied when pets find themselves on their own.

Puzzle feeders and treat balls are a great way to help keep pets stimulated. These toys should only be given when the owner is not present, this way the pet can learn to associate the experience of receiving this ‘special toy’ and being alone, much more positively.

Here at Scamps & Champs, our Grain Free, Superfood and Treat recipes can all be used in conjunction with puzzle feeders, kongs, truffle mats and treat balls. Our 80% fish treats are small and ideal to hide in truffle mats and puzzle feeders.

Scamps & Champs - Pet Food

Always make sure to take into account any additional treats from the portion of your pets normal daily ration to prevent overfeeding.

Exercise and Training

There is strong evidence that clinical signs of anxiety can often be a result of failure to provide a pet with sufficient regular daily exercise. Exercising your pet before you are due to leave them alone provides them with the opportunity to go to the toilet and tire them out so they’re much more inclined to relax. You can also hire a pet sitter/dog walker to provide pop in visits or dog walks to break up your dogs day.

Contact us to find out more at or call us today on 0333 200 5827

Find your local branch here:-

Scamps & Champs Covid Policy

Scamps & Champs Covid Policy

Following the updates from the government and the latest guidelines from CFSG, Scamps & Champs can continue to offer all of our services in a safe and responsible manner. We are taking all of the necessary precautions and will continue to follow the advice from the CFSG.

Whаt Iѕ A Hаіrbаll And Hоw Tо Get Rіd Of Them

What is a hairball

Hаіrbаllѕ are balled tufts оf hair thаt form in уоur саt’ѕ dіgеѕtіvе trасt аftеr grooming ѕеѕѕіоnѕ. Fеlіnе tongues have hооk-lіkе fеаturеѕ that trар loose, рrеvіоuѕlу ѕhеd hаіr. Whеn your cat ѕwаllоwѕ thе fur, іt trаvеlѕ tо іtѕ ѕtоmасh аnd is nоt digested.

Evеrу cat owner knоwѕ about hаіrbаllѕ. Evеrу саt has them at ѕоmе роіnt, especially long-haired brееdѕ like thе Persian оr Hіmаlауаn ones. Since all felines suffer frоm thіѕ аt ѕоmе роіnt, еvеry саt owner ѕhоuld knоw hоw tо dеаl wіth thе problem.

Hairballs occur bесаuѕе cats frеԛuеntlу grооm themselves with thеіr tongues. Aѕ a result, they еnd uр ѕwаllоwіng a lot оf thеіr hаіr. Usually, thе hair dоеѕn’t gеt bunched together аnd is еvеntuаllу just раѕѕеd іn thе саt’ѕ ѕtооl. Other times, іt ассumulаtеѕ nеаr thе thrоаt оr іn thе uрреr dіgеѕtіvе trасt; in mоѕt cases, a cat wіll еіthеr cough uр a hairball оf vomit іt оut.

Most саtѕ hаvе trouble wіth removing hairballs. If thе саt саnnоt get them up, іt can gеt іntо the intestines аnd саuѕе a blосkаgе. Thіѕ is lіfе-thrеаtеnіng tо the pet. If уоur саt seems to bе соnѕtіраtеd, іt may bе a ѕіgn of оbѕtruсtіоn.

 If thе cat іѕ lеthаrgіс аnd hіѕ соаt is dull аnd unhеаlthу looking, thіѕ tоо may be a ѕіgn. Wаtсh that he eats аѕ hе uѕuаllу dоеѕ. If not, уоu should саll аnd tаkе him tо see the vеt who will thеn find out іf it is a hаіrbаll, аnd then hе’ll remove it.

Grооmіng уоur fеlіnе уоurѕеlf wіll mіnіmіzе the problem оf hairballs. Pеt shops sell ѕресіаlіzеd bruѕhеѕ thаt ѕіmulаtе the tеxturе оf a саt’ѕ tоnguе. In mоѕt саѕеѕ, уоur саt wіll ѕtіll self-groom, but bу dоіng muсh of thе grооmіng yourself, уоu can gеt rіd of excess fеlіnе hаіr and lеѕѕеn thе аmоunt of hаіr thаt your саt ѕwаllоwѕ. In ѕоmе саѕеѕ, whеn groomed rеlіgіоuѕlу еnоugh, саtѕ have bееn known tо stop ѕеlf-grооmіng altogether.

Thе lоng-hаіrеd саt nееdѕ to bе соmbеd аnd bruѕhеd еасh dау to rеmоvе еxсеѕѕ hаіr. If you ѕtаrt to grооm him whеn hе іѕ ѕtіll уоung, hе wіll lеаrn tо tоlеrаtе it. Hе mау even look forward tо bеіng groomed. Sоmе саtѕ will bring thеіr соmbѕ tо thеіr оwnеrѕ also. If he doesn’t lіkе tо bе grооmеd, use a grooming glоvе instead.

If thе саt still ѕееmѕ to hаvе trоublе with hairballs, уоu саn add dіеtаrу аіdѕ tо hіѕ dіеt. Onе оf these is a dry саt food that can hеlр to prevent hairballs. Don’t juѕt buy thе fіrѕt bаg оf thе fоrmulа that уоu fіnd. Make ѕurе it іѕ still a gооd quality fооd for your реt, оnе thаt іѕ hіgh іn рrоtеіn and оthеr nutrients.

If уоur саt hаѕ a hаіrbаll, you can ѕhор for thе gel thаt can bе аddеd tо thе fооd, whісh wіll hеlр thе hаіrbаll tо раѕѕ. Mаkе ѕurе tо tаlk tо уоur vet bеfоrе uѕіng оnе of these hairball rеmеdіеѕ for long реrіоdѕ, thоugh.

Yоu can trу ѕоmе of thе more nаturаl rеmеdіеѕ as wеll, but уоu ѕhоuld еnѕurе they аrе okay with your vet first. Sоmе will асtuаllу cause уоur реt dіѕсоmfоrt оr wіll rеmоvе еѕѕеntіаl nutrіеntѕ frоm hіѕ bоdу. Thеѕе include ѕuсh things as рumрkіn, mineral оіlѕ, аnd even butter. If your саt соntіnuеѕ to have trоublе with hairballs, tаlk tо your vеt аbоut what you ѕhоuld dо tо improve thіѕ.

Fіnаllу, Yоu саn аlѕо рurсhаѕе certain types оf саt fооd thаt hаvе a hаіrbаll control remedy. Thеѕе рrоduсtѕ аrе nоt a tоtаl answer but mау gіvе a slight rеduсtіоn іn hairball buіld-uр. Onе ѕоlutіоn thаt ѕееmѕ tо wоrk fоr some саt owners is рuttіng a dіgеѕtіblе oil оn the tорѕ оf thе саt’ѕ paws. Whеthеr уоu do іt to thе frоnt раwѕ only, оr bоth back аnd front feet, the cat wіll lick off the оіl. They dоn’t like thе feel of іt оn thеіr fееt, and іn thе ѕtоmасh, іt еndѕ uр as a coating thаt makes thе fur ѕоmеwhаt dіgеѕtіblе. You саn use оlіvе оіl or саnоlа оіl, but mоѕt сооkіng оіlѕ wіll work juѕt as wеll.

Supporting You with Your Anxious Dog in London

At Scamps and Champs South East London we are receiving more and more enquiries from owners of dogs who are anxious, and who want to know whether we have the knowledge and experience to care for their pet.

This is an area of service that some of our pet carers have particular experience of and they also have the patience to slowly build a trusting relationship with the anxious dog. The support we can offer for these dogs has to be carefully planned in close collaboration with the dog’s owner, and for the most anxious dogs, we have to start slowly building the relationship some months before the owner plans to leave the dog alone in our care.

Beautiful Spanish Podenco, Rufus, is a great story showing how both owner, Clare and one of Scamps and Champs South East London’s pet carers, Klaudia, have worked brilliantly together to build up Rufus’ confidence, with the ultimate aim of Clare being able to leave Rufus whilst she goes out for whole days, either for work or for other reasons.

Klaudia started visiting Rufus in his home a few months ago. Visits about 1-2 times a week were arranged when Clare was there. Klaudia started by just being in the same room as Rufus and Clare, ensuring that she moved slowly and quietly around him, as new people, loud noise and quick movements were very frightening to him. Rufus loves a sausage and Klaudia began to win his confidence by slowly feeding these to him.  Although treats don’t always work with Rufus, he gradually allowed Klaudia to stroke him and in time would also stay in the room with Klaudia without Clare being there.  Now, Clare explicitly tells Rufus she is leaving the room or house and repeats Klaudia’s name to him.  Last week, when Klaudia arrived, Rufus came to meet her and wagged his tail and allowed her to stroke him immediately! It is still a challenge for Rufus when Klaudia arrives and Clare isn’t there, but he is gradually reducing his fears and they are now going to work on Klaudia letting Rufus into the garden and getting him back into the house on her own.

Klaudia, who is delighted that Rufus is accepting her, says the key to giving him confidence is to be patient and relaxed and not to rush him. She knows Rufus’ triggers and the signs of anxiety in him; no eye contact, jumping back, shaking and freezing. Close collaboration and planning between owner and pet carer is key and ensuring that you are gradually working towards key goals.

Ultimately we hope to be able to offer dog walking services to Clare for Rufus and to be able to pet sit in the house if Clare needs to go away.

Rufus’ story is just one from several dogs we are slowly getting to know and love at Scamps and Champs South East London.  Please contact us to find out more about how we can support you with your anxious dog.

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

Scamps and Champs South East London 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.

Pet Sitting in Stockport

We’re never thrilled about leaving our best friends behind, but certain situations, like holidays abroad, nights out or travel for work dictate we must.   When you can’t take your pets with you, you can now leave them at home with our pet sitting services.

A professional pet sitting service, like Scamps & Champs Stockport take the worry out of leaving your pets. We offer daily pet sitting visits or overnight pet sitting where we will have a sleepover with your pets.

Maintain Your Pets Usual Routines

One of our professional Stockport pet sitters will stay at your home and take care of your pets and home according to your exact requirements.  This maintains your pet’s usual routines. We will feed them at their usual times, give medication at exact times and walk your dogs at their usual times.   


Our pet sitting service helps ensure your home is protected from security risks. We can bring in your post, put out recycle bins and close the curtains in the evening all giving that lived-in look whether you book daily pet visits or an overnight stay. Scamps & Champs Stockport pet sitters provide their own food and drink and only use appliances in your home with prior permission.

Your Pets Remain at Home

Getting used to a new environment, whether it be dog home boarding, or a kennels/cattery can be very stressful for our pets. With pet sitting, your pets can stay in the comfort of their own homes

Lots of Love and Cuddles

Your pet sitter will give lots of love, cuddles, and attention to your pets, they can even sleep on the bed at night with their pet sitter if that is what they are used to.

With overnight pet sitting, you can go away and not having the worry and stress about your pets knowing they are being looked after by a professional pet sitter in the comfort of their own home.   Your pet sitter will send daily updates with photographs so you can relax on holiday knowing that your pets are happy and well taken care of.  Scamps & Champs offer a professional pet sitting service around Stockport and the surrounding areas.

All of our Stockport pet sitters are fully insured, vetted and DBS checked.

Scamps & Champs are members of the Pet Industry Federation and National Association of Registered Pet Sitters. Contact us to ask us a questions, check availability or to make a booking, via our online form.

Recent Animal Welfare Act – Improves Home Boarding Services

Home Boarding, Dog, Room, Scamps and Champs

Most of us would prefer to have our dogs with us at all times, however some circumstances such as travelling abroad, means that leaving our furry friends in the capable hands of dog-caring experts is the fairest option. Dog kennels are a viable solution for some owners, however for many of us we require a ‘home-from-home’ environment for our beloved dogs, who we class as one of the family. Our home boarding services match your dog’s personality and requirements to a suitable host family, who have experience of looking after animals and who have opted to be a canine carer specifically for our company, Scamps and Champs. You have the opportunity to meet your carer and the option to approve them, before leaving your dog in their capable hands. We guarantee that your pet will treated with the love, affection and respect that they deserve and that their normal routines, diet and medications, will be catered for. Read more about our home boarding services and check availability via our Scamps and Champs website.

Understanding the Rules

Recent adjustments to Animal Welfare Government Legislation (October 2018) has meant that home boarding services have had to alter, in order to align with the new regulations. The HMRC Department for Environment and Rural Affairs documentation on the ‘Animal Welfare (Licencing of Activities Involving Animals) Regulations’ can be viewed in full. Providing guidance for the statutory conditions required when providing home boarding services for dogs.

But what does the new legislation mean for home boarding business and dog owners wanting to use our services? Rest assured the guidance has been formulated to protect your much loved pups and ensure that they are accessing an elite, caring and safe environment, when home boarding with us. Every dog must have their own private room space when home boarding, where they can relax, sleep and retreat to when needed. Here are some additional reassuring facts regarding your dog’s required personal room, to put your mind at rest:

  1. All rooms provided for dogs must be of sufficient height that an adult human can stand comfortably in it.
  2. All rooms must have a secure window to the outside in place that can be opened and closed as necessary. 
  3. All rooms must have a full height, securable door which preferably opens inwards. To ensure full access and security to the room is achieved.
  4. All rooms must have a secure latch device to the room to ensure your dog is safe at all times.

Education is Key

Home boarding carers will only be allowed to look after your dog if they hold at least a Level 2 in an OFQUAL regulated qualification, demonstrating that they have the education, knowledge and skills in one or more of the following areas:

  • City & Guilds Level 2 Certificate of Technical Competence in Dog Walking
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Animal Care
  • City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care
  • BTEC Level 2 Diploma in Animal Care

Whilst regulation on this has yet to be finalised it would be assumed that this would mean your home board carer would have pet first aid as part of their qualification, in addition to a licence and experience of working in the animal care industry.

Policies and Procedures

Home boarding carers will need to keep full policy and procedure documentation including; training for all staff members, cleaning regimes, monitoring and ensuring the safety and welfare of all animals and emergency procedures. Full records will need to be kept on; attendance, behaviour monitoring and documentation of familiarisation sessions.

Star Rating

All home boarding businesses will be assessed against welfare standards and given a star risk rating which will help inform you as to whether the home boarding setting is suitable for your dog. If businesses are assessed as a higher risk then they will subsequently receive a low rating, whereas if the business is assessed as a low risk they will receive a high rating. View further details regarding the home boarding star rating system.

You are in Control

Consent is required from you before home board carers can do the following things. Yes that is right, you are in control! You must be completely comfortable and provide written consent before carers can:

  1. Walk your dog off the lead.
  2. Walk your dogs with other dogs from the same household.
  3. Walk your dog outside of the home or garden environments.
  4. Give any medical preventative treatments.
  5. Use a crate.
  6. Feed your dog anywhere except by themselves in their designated private room.
  7. Use enrichment such as toys and scatter feeders.
  8. Allow other dogs to use the outdoor space at the same time as your dog.

Overall it is evident that although the new legislation may initially appear daunting, it is designed to protect the welfare and safety of your beloved dogs. Ultimately providing both home boarding businesses and dog care professionals with the education and knowledge they need to ensure your dog’s safety and welfare during their stay. By providing you with complete control over what you give consent for your dogs to do during their stay, you can rest assured that you pups are provided with a uniquely tailored experience to suit their needs and personality. Finally, with their own personal rooms to enjoy whenever they wish, it ensures your pooches will be fully pampered during their relaxing home boarding holiday.

View full details of Scamps and Champs Home Boarding Services, check for availability and book in with us.

We would love to have your precious pet dog stay with us soon for their very own pup-tastic holiday!

Caring for Pets in Cold Weather

With snow on the way, some tips for looking after our fur babies this winter

Dogs cold weather advice

  • Put a dog coat or jumper on them when you go out for a walk, especially if you have a fine coated dog, such as a Greyhound or a Staffie
  • Check their paws and defrost snow – and dry them thoroughly after they’ve been outside as long haired dogs are prone to snow compacting between their toes
  • Clean their paws at the end of your walk as salt and grit from roads and pavements can get between your dog’s paws
  • Dry off wet and muddy dogs after walks
  • Provide them with lots of toys for them to play with indoors and do not force your dog out in the cold weather
  • Make sure your dog has good recall if you’re letting them off the lead when out dog walking so they do not get lost when visibility is reduced in foggy or snowy weather conditions
  • Attach a small light to your dog’s collar so other pedestrians can see them when out on walks in weather which reduces visibility
  • Keep contact details on your pet’s collar and microchip up to date in case they should stray.

Cats cold weather advice

  • Avoid using antifreeze and products containing products. Cats are attracted to the taste of the chemical which is severely dangerous causing many cats to die every year. If this does occur, seek veterinary advice immediately
  • Provide a litter tray for your cat so they do not have to go outside if they choose not to
  • Provide lots of interesting toys for your cat to play with if they are spending more time indoors
  • Dry off your cat if they get wet outside
  • Check their paws and dry them thoroughly after they’ve been outside as long haired cats are prone to snow compacting between their toes
  • Leave somewhere warm and snuggly for them to curl up in if your cat is home alone during the day, especially for older cats
  • Keep your cat indoors in the colder evenings so they are safe from the traffic in conditions with reduced visibility
  • Keep contact details on your cat’s collar and microchip up to date in case they should stray
  • Tap the hood of your car before starting the engine to disturb any sleeping stowaways – cats have a habit of crawling under car bonnets to soak up the warmth from the engine

         Outdoor pets cold weather advice

  • Check your pets water in cold weather the water can freeze leaving your pet with no water to drink
  • Top up bedding extra bedding will help keep your outdoor pet warm
  • Popping a cover over the front of cages through the night, will help to keep some heat in the cage as the temperature drops.
  • Outdoors pets may need more calories in the cold weather to generate energy and keep warm.
  • Consider moving inside in extremely cold weather you may want to move your pets indoors. Perhaps in shed or garage. Or for field kept pets like horses or donkeys, providing a shelter or stable.