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.

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.

How To Stop Your Dog Barking When Left Alone

The incessant volleys of yips, woofs and whines of dogs when left alone can be a big problem for any dog owner and even the neighbours, except if you live in a detached house in the countryside. All dogs bark as way to communicate with their owners but a dog that barks continuously can cause so much trouble. To get your dog to stop barking when left alone, you have to first discover what triggers the reaction so you can address the situation effectively.

Here are some common reasons dogs bark:

  • Genetics
  • Attention seeking/demand
  • Alarm
  • Territorial
  • Frustration
  • Boredom
  • Fear
  • Play barking
  • Separation distress

Now that we’ve identified the factors that could be causing your dog to be especially vocal when left alone, here are some to tips to get them to stop.

1. Mask the sounds

Generally, most dogs bark when startled as a reaction to sounds they’re hearing. The solution here is to control the environment so you can limit their exposure to things that get their attention, and a good way to do that is to mask the noise with other sounds. For example, you could use a fan, a radio, a t.v. or a white noise machine to help your canine relax and lower their stress levels.

If you live in an apartment and share walls with others, covering up the sound of what’s going on outside can help keep your dog calm which in turns prevents frequent barking.

2. Use sight barriers

Another way to solve your dog’s barking problems via environmental management is to block your pooch’s sight-line to potential barking triggers. This solution is ideal for dogs that are territorial/alarm/defence barkers as it aids to prevent visual stimulation which can trigger your dog.

For outdoors, you can cut off visual access by using private fencing or privacy hedges in the garden.     If your dog stays indoors, you can leave the curtains closed or close the blinds. Alternatively, you can use place removable plastic films which allows light in but make the windows opaque. Be sure to place the window film a few inches above your dog’s line of sight to reduce the chances of visual stimulation.

3. Use treats and toys

As you leave the house, give your dog a chew-toy that has your scent on it to keep him busy. This can help distract your pooch as you leave and also keep him calm since the toy has your scent on it. The toy could be a stuffed Kong toy or a safe chew bone stuffed with cheese spread or peanut butter (without xylitol), but what counts is that the toys will keep their mouth occupied with something aside from barking.    Interactive treat toys are also a great way of keeping their minds busy.

Similarly, give your dog treats as a way of rewarding him for not barking. If he hears a noise from outside or doesn’t bark when you’re out of sight, praise him and give him a treat. Rewarding your dog is an excellent way of getting him to associate his refusal to react with something positive.

4. Create a quiet zone

A dog that suffers from separation anxiety shouldn’t be allowed to move freely at home, so create a quiet zone for them in the house where they can be when you aren’t at home. Ideally, the spot should be the quietest part of the house like a back bedroom, utility room or space. You can include a dog crate with comfortable bedding for them, and don’t forget to leave some food and water for them too.

5. Uses exercises

Some dog breeds like retrievers, pointers, setters and collies were originally used to work all day and they tend to become restless if they’re under-exercised. They need to be kept busy or they might resort to barking due to boredom. Experiment with different dog exercises to discover the ones that come close to tiring your pooch out. A panting, utterly exhausted dog will be too tired out to waste his remaining energy barking.

6.  Hire A Dog Walker

Hire a dog walker if you are out at work all day to tire your dog out and to break up his day.

All in All

If you have applied all the tips above and still can’t seem to get your dog to stop barking, you might need extra help from a dog trainer/behaviourist.   Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Get in touch with your local Scamps and Champs Branch here to discuss your pets needs.

Top 10 Summer Safety Tips for Your Dogs

summer tips, dog safety tips, dog walking

Whilst summer provides an abundance of outdoor opportunities for our canine companions, it also comes with additional risks. Hikes, swimming, holidays, picnics and exercising offer ample opportunities for us to take our beloved dogs out with us to enjoy the sunshine. At Scamps and Champs we definitely don’t want to suggest for one moment that this isn’t a fabulous idea! However, there are risks you can come upon in the summer months that as a responsible dog owner, it is good to be aware of so that preventative measures can be put in place and your dog’s safety ensured. Keep reading for our top 10 safety tips for your dog this summer:

  1. NEVER Leave Your Dog in a Hot Car

It goes without saying that you should never leave your dog in a hot car during the summer. Temperatures can reach over 90 degrees in a car during hot days and so the fairest thing to do is leave your dog at home in the cool, however beautiful the day is and how tempting it is to take your dog out to enjoy it with you.

  • Protect Your Dog from Parasites

If you chose not to protect your dog then your dog can be at serious risk of; heart worm, Lyme disease and a lot of other serious diseases associated with the heat and parasites. So always protect your dog as prevention is far better than trying to treat a serious illness.

  • Keep Paws Cool

Pavements, stones and footpaths can become exceedingly hot when the sun is out and can very easily cause your dog’s paw pads to become burnt. This can be extremely painful for your dog and therefore keeping your dog inside whilst the heat of the day is at its peak, or opting for woodland walks can be necessary alternatives. If your dog appears to be over heating then put their paws in some cold water to cool their body temperature down.

  • Fresh Drinking Water at ALL Times

Dogs can sweat but only a small amount so they therefore need to pant to cool down, this means they need to drink a lot of water when the weather is warm. To avoid your dog getting heat stroke ensure cold, fresh water and shade are available at all times.

  • Pup Pool to Keep them Cool

Your garden can get very hot in the summer so why not provide your dogs with their very own kiddy pool to keep them cool! Who doesn’t love a cool dip in the summer!

  • Swimming Dangers

Whilst a quick dip in the river, ocean or a lake may seem like a great idea to cool your dog down, do not assume they can swim! Make sure your dog can’t jump into deep water when they are unattended, as if they can’t swim well they could drown. Make sure you are always there to supervise your dog in deep water.

  • Doggy Sunburn

Did you know that dogs can get sunburn too? Dogs can still get sunburn and it can be very painful, so keep them in the shade or ask your vet about pet sunscreen as it does exist. Do not assume sunscreen for humans will do the job, as this is not the case.

  • Keep the Lead On

When you go out for the day or on holiday, the temptation is there to let your dog off the lead to explore. However once in an unfamiliar environment this can be extremely disorientating for dogs and they can easily wonder off and get lost. If you are unsure at all about your dog’s recall then keep them on the lead or on a long line, where they can explore safely.

  • Watch their Weight

If your dog is overweight then this can cause them to struggle in the heat and make exercise and breathing more difficult. So after those winter months make sure your dog is the correct weight ready for the summer heat. If you are in any doubt ensure you visit your vet.

  1. Don’t Forget to Shut Windows

It’s tempting to keep all of your house windows open at night particularly when it is really hot outside. However, don’t leave them open too wide and don’t forget to close windows when you go out of the house. As your dogs may get curious and escape, putting them at risk of coming to harm or running away.

We hope you have enjoyed our preventative summer top ten tips for your dogs! We hope you all enjoy the fabulous summer months with your precious pooches in the great outdoors!

Scamps and Champs are one of the country’s leading Pet Care Service companies, we offer caring and reliable animal care for when you can’t be there. Check out our services and availability in your area. If we can assist you in anyway please do contact us.

Pet Safety Awareness – Foxtail Grass the Weed that can Kill Dogs!

The foxtail plant is a common weed-like long tall grass often found in large fields and countryside in the UK. The changeable British weather offers the perfect conditions for foxtail grass to flourish and set within rolling countryside conditions, this sounds like the ideal walking environment for our four-legged friends. WRONG! Foxtails in fact are one of the most dangerous plants that our animals can face during a walk, made even more harmful due to the fact that most people wouldn’t think twice about letting their dogs run around a field of long grass.

So what is so dangerous about this long-style grass with the fluffy-tail top? Well it is the ‘tail’ of the foxtail plant that causes the most hazardous symptoms, as foxtails travel and when they do they can become burrowed into your dog’s soft skin! The danger of the foxtail goes beyond simple skin irritations, it can cause serious infections for your dog. In addition, the seeds can move around whilst inside your dog, making the foxtail difficult to locate and remove. So what are the other dangers that fox tails can cause and what do you do if you suspect your dog may be at risk?

Foxtails
Foxtail Safety Tips – Credit Red and Howling

Foxtail Risks and Symptoms

  • Feet – Foxtails love to become stuck in the tender skin in between your dog’s toes. If your dog begins limping, appears to have a swollen foot or begins licking excessively in this area, check in between their toes for foxtails.
  • Ears – Foxtails can become deeply embedded into the ear canal and if your dog is displaying the following symptoms then you will need to visit your veterinary practice. If your dog begins vigorously shaking their head or scratching their ear incessantly, then they could have a foxtail in there.
  • Eyes – If your dog has a red eye, appears to have swelling of the eye or is itching around the eye area, they could have a foxtail stuck in there. In this instance you will need to visit a professional vet so that they can examine your dog’s eye thoroughly and remove it.
  • Nose – Foxtails can become lodged up inside the nasal passage and the seeds can then disperse inside the nose. If your dog is sneezing a lot or if you see discharge coming from the nose, they may have a Foxtail stuck in there.
  • Genitals – Foxtails can become lodged in this area too, so if your dog seems to be in great discomfort in this area contact your veterinary practice for an appointment.

Dogs with long coats and long ears are particularly prone to getting foxtails lodged within them. So what can you do to prevent this from happening to your dog? May to December is foxtail season, so perhaps consider cutting your dog’s fur short during the warmer months, so that any foreign objects can be spotted quickly.  Examine your dog’s body on a regular basis to check for anything that shouldn’t be there. Check your dog’s paw pads and in between the toes and also your dog’s nostrils. If you notice a foxtail up your dog’s nose you can use a pair of tweezers and gently attempt to remove it, if it doesn’t come lose DO NOT LEAVE IT!

Foxtails can become lodged in your dog’s brain, lungs and spine and cause them serious damage and in severe cases it can cause death. If you are in any doubt avoid fields with long grass and if you think your dog has a foxtail stuck in them and you cannot remove it, then seek professional veterinary assistance immediately.

Scamps and Champs are one of the country’s leading Pet Care Service companies, we offer caring and reliable animal care for when you can’t be there. Check out our services and availability in your area. If we can assist you in anyway please do contact us.

Send Your Dog on Holiday this Summer!

As summer approaches it is time to start planning our family holidays and whilst we always endeavour to take our precious pooches with us, this is not always possible. Particularly when we chose to holiday abroad. Until now we have had to either rely on a family member to take care of our furry-friends or place them into the local dog kennels for a week or two. But is this the fairest option for your beloved dogs?

We know that you are a huge animal lover and that you only want the very best for your pets!  So why settle for traditional kennels when your pampered pooch could be going on their very own holiday? – Find out more about dog home boarding here

For some, finding a kennel for your pet can be the easiest and quickest option. But is it always the best?

Taking an animal out of its environment and placing it in a kennel can be really distressing and scary for them!

Kennels can be extremely noisy places. Your dog will be kept in an enclosed and often caged environment with no company or home comforts. It can be a breeding zone for parasites and fleas which can be harmful to your dog. 

In addition, dog kennels often pack walk dogs as they simply don’t have the staff ratio or time to take your dog on the usual scenic one-on-one walk that they are used to. 

So what is another alternative? Well here at Scamps and Champs we recommend dog boarding. Here are 3 super important reasons why you should choose dog boarding holidays over a traditional dog kennel:

1) Your pet will be staying in a family home 

Your dog will be staying in a home-from-home family environment with other animal lovers. Where they will be safe, cared for and loved. 

2) They will have 24/7 company

24/7 care means they will be able to maintain their usual routine including; meal times, toilet trips and walks. They will also have loads of love care and attention in a caring friendly environment. 

3) They will be comfortable and cosy

Your dog can take their own cosy bed which smells of home ensuring they can get the best night’s sleep snuggled up with their home comforts. They will be warm and will always have access to the home they are staying in without being confined in one space. They can roam freely and thoroughly enjoy their dog home boarding home and family. 

Check availability for your dogs holiday here

Did you know that Scamps and Champs Dog Home Boarding Holidays  offer a fresh new perspective on dog care and place your pet best friend at the centre of its notion.

 Providing your canine companion with the following luxuries:

  • You select exactly which home boarding family you would like your dog to home board with.
  • You and your dog get to meet your home boarding host family to ensure that everyone gets along and that you are all happy.
  • You dog will be staying in a family home whilst you are away, providing a home-from-home environment.
  • Dog home boarding allows your dog to remain in their usual routine, including walks and meal times.
  • Your dog will always have company with a home boarding family.

The best bit is if you send your Dog on Holiday with us you are in complete control of who they stay with and where they stay. It’s just like selecting their very own holiday destination!

Then all you need to do is start packing your Dog’s suitcase and all look forward to your summer holiday break

Contact us to check availability and make an enquiry via our online form.

Cat Sitting High Maintenance or Low Maintenance?

People often decide to get a cat as they don’t have time for a dog and they are out all day, but is this hypothesis correct? People often think that cats don’t need much attention or care and that they simply need a meal providing twice a day, however this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whilst it’s true that cats don’t need walking daily and they are able to go to the toilet inside using a litter tray, this does not subsequently mean that cats are ‘low maintenance.’

Often cat owners will go away for a night or two, or even on holiday and leave there cats alone with a large bowl of food and water and assume that their feline friend will be alright. Cat sitting in this instance seems pretty straight forward! However, this assumption neglects to identify the sensitive creatures that cats are and how much they crave fuss and attention.

Whilst it is true that cats are extremely territorial and prefer to be at home, it is fair to say the ultimate cat combination, is to be at home with company. If this company can’t be you and you are away then you need a cat sitter. A cat sitter can come into the comfort of your own home and ensure your cat is fed at regular intervals, has fresh water and cat litter, let outside for fresh air if required and best of all have a thorough friendly fussing.

Scamps and Champs cat sitters are all DBS checked providing you with reassurance in allowing them into your home to cat sit for you. They all have experience in animal care and most of them have pets (often multiple) of their own, so they know exactly how you feel going away and leaving your cat at home with a sitter. All of our staff are really friendly and caring and thoroughly enjoy looking after your pets for you.

Hiring one of our cat sitters means you have the peace of mind of having your cat and your home checked on simultaneously and most importantly your loving high-maintenance kitty will have everything they could possibly need, whilst remaining the king of their own castle, whilst their humans are on holiday!

To check availability of our cat sitting services in your local area, to ask us a question or make a booking please complete our online form.

Dog Home Boarding Holidays – The Latest Trend to Rival Traditional Dog Kennels

dog home boarding, pet sitting, dog walking,

As summer approaches it is time to start planning our family holidays and whilst we always endeavour to take our precious pooches with us, this is not always possible. Particularly when we chose to holiday abroad. Until now we have had to either rely on a family member to take care of our furry-friends or place them into the local dog kennels for a week or two.

However, there is a new canine camp in town ready to rival the traditional set up of dog kennels! Dog home boarding holidays’ offer a fresh new perspective on dog care and place your pet best friend at the centre of its notion. It is now not merely suggested that you are taking off on your jolly holidays and having to find a ‘space’ for your dogs to go whilst you are away, completely fitting in around your plans! Now it is suggested that in fact your dog can go on their own holiday break, leaving your plans rendered almost insignificant!

Your dog is likely to be at the centre of your family life, in fact many of us admit to preferring dogs to humans! So it feels only right that your dog gets to go on their very own home boarding holiday and that it’s as big an event as our own planned break! Dog home boarding offers many benefits to that of traditional kennels such as:

  • You select exactly which home boarding family you would like your dog to home board with.
  • You and your dog get to meet your home boarding host family to ensure that everyone gets along and that you are all happy.
  • You dog will be staying in a family home whilst you are away, providing a home-from-home environment.
  • Dog home boarding allows your dog to remain in their usual routine, including walks and meal times.
  • Your dog will always have company with a home boarding family.

Scamps and Champs offer Dog Home Boarding Holiday’s within their services. The best bit is if you send your Dog on Holiday with us you are in complete control of who they stay with and where they stay. It’s just like selecting their very own holiday destination!

For your peace of mind all of our dog home boarding families are DBS checked. In addition, unless your dog is crate trained and you wish them to sleep in a crate, Scamps and Champs will NEVER use crates or cages for our dog home boarding holidays.

So if you love your dog and you would love to book them their very own Dog Home Boarding Holiday get in touch with Scamps and Champs via our online enquiry form.

Cat Sitting in Chichester & Bognor Regis

Let us look after your Feline Friends while you catch some sun!

We all know that our cats love the comforts of their own home.  They are not the happiest of animals when taken out of their territory and much prefer to be looked after in their own home, within their familiar surroundings.

That’s where Scamps and Champs in Chichester can assist you.  We have a team of cat sitters waiting to look after your feline friend.  Our Chichester cat sitters are highly trained in cuddles and will lavish attention on your cat or kitten.

The Chichester cat sitting service will include all of things you might expect, with the extra special touches that only comes from our Scamps and Champs premium cat sitting service.

All our cat sitting services take place in your own home. 

  • We will visit once or twice a day, whichever you prefer,
  • feed your cat,
  • give fresh water,
  • clean/scoop litter trays if required,
  • give lots of cuddles and attention,
  • and maybe some treats if you would like us too.

Our unique cat sitting service in Chichester will take into consideration your cats personality, needs and routine and integrate this into your professional tailored cat sitting package. Where possible we will endeavour to feed your cat at their usual times, ensuring they only eat the food and quantities they are used to. We will make sure their bowls are clean and fresh every single time. If they like to be let outside we are happy to let them out, if you like your cats to be in at night time we will ensure that they are bought back inside ready for the evening. If any of your fur babies are on medication we can ensure that these are given at meal times for you, we recognise each cat is individual and therefore we tailor your cats care to suit their unique needs.

Chichester Scamps and Champs will always go that extra mile to ensure your cat is happy, content and looked after.

As our Chichester cat sitters are in the house anyway taking care of your fluffy friend, if you need us to take care of anything else for you we are happy to accommodate your requests. These can include things like;

  • shutting your curtains for you,
  • watering your thirsty plants,
  • turning lights off and generally keeping your house safe for you whilst you are away.

If you have other pets at home in addition to cat sitting, we can offer our services to look after them too all at the same time.

You want your cat to be cared for, relaxed and comfortable within your own home or with one of our selected Chichester cat sitters; We do to!

Whilst you are away we will send you photographs of your cats so that you can see how they are getting on at home and keep up to date with what they are up to, so you can enjoy your trip away knowing your kitties are happy and safe. They will probably feel like they are having their own fabulous mini break, filled with attention, cuddles and care!

Our personal approach and real love of animals will make your cat  feel safe and secure in our care.  We are fully insured, DBS checked and completely committed to your animals’ welfare.

Please do give me or one of our enthusiastic team a call or drop us an email.  Our number is a national number and there is always someone ready to answer your call.

All messages are passed onto me personally and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

We hope that you enjoy the walk and the views across the West Sussex countryside.  Please share your photo’s here and if you think thaChichester Scamps and Champs could offer their many dog-walking and pet-sitting service please do get in touch.

Dog Home Boarding – Advice and Services in Halifax

Having a dog is great until you want to go away for a few days and then there is the dilemma of who is going to look after your dog and the even bigger dilemma of whether you trust them. If you live in and around the Halifax area we have the perfect solution for you.

At Scamps & Champs Halifax all our dog home  boarders are DBS checked and have gone through a rigorous selection process to ensure your dog is well looked after and has as much fun as you do when you are away and treat them as if they were their own.

A lot of thought goes in to matching each dog to one of our dog home boarders in and around the Halifax area. This matching process is very important to us as we want your dog to have the most enjoyable stay and you to have peace of mind in where you board your dog. All our dog home boarders are local and so you won’t have far to travel around the Halifax area. You will always know exactly where your dog is staying and you will also get to meet the dog home boarders before your dog(s) stay, so you can feel reassured your dog is going to be well looked after.

This is also the perfect solution for dogs that really struggle being boarded in a kennel environment. Some dog’s just don’t cope well with this, as they are so used to the comforts of being at home. You can rest assured they will receive all the usual home comforts they are used to if they stay with one of our trusted home boarders in Halifax, from frequent walks and lots of cuddles to sleeping on the sofa if that’s what your dog prefers.

We will take extra care to get to know you and your dog(s) prior to any dog home boarding booking, as here at Scamps and Champs Halifax we know the needs of each dog is different and knowing your dog is vital to making them comfortable during any dog home boarding stay. Our dog home boarders will keep their routine as normal as possible and will happily cater to any quirks they may have.

If you are going away and would like to use our dog home boarding service in and around the Halifax area please do get in touch and we will be happy to help.