Can Animals Get Coronavirus? – How to Care for Your Pets during Self-Isolation!

Can Animals Get Coronavirus? - Scamps & Champs

Whilst the human world adjusts to the ever changing news headlines on the Coronavirus pandemic and prepares for self-isolating, there remains uncertainty surrounding our pets and what this means for them. The Government and health authorities have issued advice on how to minimise risk of infection for ourselves, but what about our beloved furry friends? What happens if we have Coronavirus and need to self-isolate with our pets, can they get Coronavirus?

Here at Scamps & Champs Chichester we would like to help answer some of these questions for you and provide you and your pets with support, during this difficult, confusing and uncertain time. Please find out pet care advice for self-isolation below.

Can My Pets Get Coronavirus?

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause serious illness in humans and in some extremely rare cases animals. However, there is no evidence that companion animals such as pets can spread COVID-19.

How Should I Look After My Pets Whilst Social Distancing?

The RSPCA are urging pet owners not to panic and abandon their pets. If you haven’t tested positive for the virus then they advise you to interact and exercise your pets as you normally would but to adopt a hygienic approach of washing bedding frequently and washing your hands after feeding and interacting with your pets. They also advise the following key points:

  • Try and avoid your pets kissing or licking you.
  • Don’t share food with your pets.
  • Ensure if your pet is on medication that you have adequate supplies at home, in case you need to self-isolate.
  • Speak to your vet or doctor for more advice if you are concerned in anyway.
  • Keep exercising dogs as normal. You can go outside for a walk when social distancing, however Government guidance advises keeping two metres away from other humans.

What if I Have Coronavirus & I Have Pets to Care For?

If you are ill then the best advice is to limit your contact with your pets and ask one of your family members to care for them whilst you recover. In addition, follow the bullet points above and maintain a rigorous hygienic approach as standard. However, some people may not have this as an option due to living alone and therefore we advise contacting a pet care company who provide; pet sitting, dog home boarding or dog walking. So that you can recover whilst self-isolating, but ensuring that your pet is cared for outside of your home and that your dog is walked and exercised. Ultimately you need to self-isolate but your pets don’t as they don’t carry risk of spreading the infection.

What Help is Available for Pets in Chichester?

Scamps & Champs Chichester recognise that this is a really difficult time for people and that ensuring your pets are well cared for and that dogs are taken for engaging walks is really vital to their exercise and well-being. Therefore, whether you are ill or even if you would just like some assistance caring for your pets whilst self-isolating, then Scamps & Champs Chichester are here to support you and your animals. We can provide pet sitting in the home where there are no cases of coronavirus, we also offer a dog home boarding service for people who would benefit for a 24 hour pet care service outside of their own home and we also offer dog walking services.

Scamps & Champs Chichester is a local business providing Pet Care Services to the community of Chichester, Bognor Regis & the surrounding areas. If you are currently self-isolating and need help to care for your pets. Please give branch manager Sarah a call 0333 200 5827 or email We really care about your pets and their well-being so we are keen to ensure that people know who they can contact for help.  

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

Why Is Chocolate Harmful To Dogs?

Why is chocolate harmful to dogs

Chocolate is the product of dried and fermented  seeds of the Cacao tree (Theobroma Cacao) and the active ingredient in chocolate is Theobromine.

Chocolate and cocoa products including the mulch made from the seed shells and used in gardening are poisonous to dogs even causing death if the amount ingested is large enough, though it also depends on the type of chocolate and the amount the dog has actually ingested and also the size of the dog compared to the amount that it has eaten.

The key toxic component chemical in the chocolate that harms the dog is called theobromine,  which is only produced in chocolate . Humans can metabolise theobromine quickly as the half life of the chemical is only 2-3 hours for humans who then excrete it from the body, but for dogs it is a much slower process with the half life of the chemical taking up to 18hours  which can cause a build up in the liver as it metabolises prior to excretion in the urine.Theobromine is known to affect the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system and the respiratory system.

Dark chocolate and cocoa products contain the most theobromine whereas milk or white chocolate contain the least. Bitter dark chocolate used for cooking also contains very high levels and even a vey small amount can be enough to poison even a very large dog, though the lethal dose is roughly between 250mg and 500mg per kilo of the dogs body weight.

However, a dog that eats just a small amount of milk chocolate may still be affected and may develop an upset stomach with diarrhoea and vomiting,  it is always wise to seek medical advice however small the amount and however big the dog.

A dog that eats a whole box of chocolates or a large amount of very dark chocolate will require emergency treatment as they may suffer dangerous effects that lead to death.

The onset of the poisoning may be preceded by severe hyperactivity, muscle tremors and an irregular heartbeat, panting and increased thirst, during this time the dog may develop internal bleeding, increased heart rate and finally a heart attack.  The signs of chocolate poisoning may not show until 2-24 hours after ingestion and even for a small amount of chocolate ingestion you will need to watch the dog for at least 72hours afterwards.

If you know that your dog has eaten chocolate then you should try to induce the dog to vomit as well as getting advice from the vet.  If the dog’s life is in danger then the vet may put the dog on intravenous fluids to flush the stomach contents and may also give charcoal based medication to absorb the poisonous chemical before too much harm is caused.

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?

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.

Summer Sun and Dog Walking Fun

Dog, Walking, Summer

We all know that dog walking is a necessity for any of us that own one or multiple canine companions, however as the days get longer and the sunshine hours increase, there is definitely a lure to get outside walking with our dogs. But what can increasing our dog walking hours do for us and why should we get outside?

It is suggested, that on average we spend 90% of our time indoors, with millions of us working from home, in offices and in a variety of indoor environments. When we finish our days’ work, we are often exhausted and too tired to walk long distances, accompanied with the multiple other aspects of life and family that need incorporating into our routines.

Dog walking is fantastic in that it gets us out of the house once or twice a day, into the fresh air and daylight, accompanied of course by our furry best-friends. What nicer way is there to spend some ‘me time’ than with our dogs, walking around our local area. This is our time to switch off and mentally disconnect from life’s schedule, worries and stresses.

Of course dog walking is not only beneficial to us but our dogs absolutely love every second of it, it is the absolute highlight of their day! All those exciting sights and smells, the socialisation, the fresh air and best of all their special time with you. What is not to love about dog walking?

So what other benefits does dog walking have?

  • Strengthens Your Bond – Dog walking increases your bonding time with your dogs, through dog walking you are spending quality time with them.
  • Weight Control – Dog walking is excellent exercise and therefore will keep you both in shape and healthy.
  • Improves Socialisation – This is true not only for your dog but for you as well. You will meet other dog walkers and say hello to people. Dogs are excellent conversation starters for us humans and we love to chat about the breed and personalities of other dogs we meet.
  • Increases Physical and Mental Health – The vitamin D from the sunshine and the endorphins that are released from physical exercise, are all huge ‘feel good factors’ for our mental health. As well as the physical health benefits that can be experiences through dog walking.
  • Loneliness Decreases – Even if you say hello to people whilst you are dog walking and you never meet them again, it doesn’t matter. In fact even if you don’t say hello at all, just physically being around other people and by being outside, this can decrease loneliness and social anxieties.

So with all of the benefits of dog walking, why not challenge yourself this summer? If you normally walk your dogs once a day, why not walk them twice? If you normally walk one mile, why not try walking two? Increasing your dog walking hours can be beneficial not only for your dog, but for you as well. For your mental, physical and emotional health and in strengthening your bond with your dog.

Learn more about our Scamps and Champs Dog Walking Services via our Website.

Get in touch, ask us a question or check availability of our services using our online form.

Top Five – Valentine’s Safety Tips for Pets

We all know how much you love your pets! Many of us even admit to loving and spending time with our beloved pets more than humans! Therefore, at Scamps and Champs we want to make sure Valentines Day is a special occasion to remember, for all of the right reasons! Ensuring you can snuggle up with the lady or man in your life for the Pawfect Valentines Day!

Pets make the best Valentine’s date as you don’t need to buy them chocolates, they have no use for flowers, and in fact these gifts can be extremely dangerous for them. All they need is your unconditional love and affection. If you can’t keep your paws off each other – we want to make sure that you spend the day together safely. Here are our top five Valentine’s Day safety tops for you and your pets.

1.    Toxic Chocolate – Ensure it’s for your Mouth only

It is well known that chocolate is extremely toxic for dogs, however it is one of the most common gifts on Valentine’s Day and therefore means that there’s lots of chocolaty temptation around for their tongues! Make sure any chocolates are kept up high and out of reach even the fruity flavours. Also make sure that you don’t leave wrappers lying around as they may still have chocolate on them and in addition the foil or plastic can be harmful if consumed. If chocolate is consumed by dogs they can become extremely ill and in severe cases it can be fatal. If your dog consumes chocolate then

2.    Skip the Love Hearts

Sugar free sweets, sweetener and gum contains the toxic ingredient xylitol. If ingested xylitol can cause; vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures and in severe cases liver failure. Therefore, skip the sweets this Valentine’s Day as love hearts, are far from loving for your purr-fect pets!

3.    Restart the Heart

We know you love your pets with all of your heart, therefore jeopardising their safety is just not worth the risk. If your pets consume, chocolate, sweeteners or sweets, this can devastatingly cause them to go into cardiac arrest. Stay smart by learning how to perform CPR on your pets effectively, so that in the event of emergency you can save the life of your pet.

4.    Rose-Worthy

Believe it or not your beautiful Valentine’s Day floral arrangements can be harmful to your pets, the aroma produced by flowers can be an enticing scent for your pet. If they manage to nibble your beautiful bouquet the results can be disastrous, even just small amounts of toxic flowers can cause; vomiting and upset stomachs. Be additionally cautious if your floral arrangements contain lilies as these can be fatal if consumed by cats.

5.    Animals are NOT Gifts

You may think that a cute puppy or kitten would make the most romantic gift of them all! However, it won’t be puppy love if you and your partner separate, or you move into a new home together which does not allow pets and your perfect pet ends up at the animal shelter. Bringing a living animal into your home needs careful consideration and is a life-long commitment that should not be taken lightly. Animals are not a choice that can be picked up and then thrown away, in accordance with your life style. Don’t buy an animal as a gift, take time to think about this life-altering commitment and talk it through with your partner thoroughly. Perhaps plan a date to visit an animal shelter or breeder together instead, once Valentine’s Day is over and spend Valentine’s Day together on a date talking things over.

We hope you have the most purr-fect Valentine’s Day with your pets, remember to stay safe and most of all give your animals the love and affection they deserve on this special day of the year.

Going away to celebrate Valentine’s Day and need your pets to be cared for? Take a look at Scamps and Champs pet care services.

It’s Time to Talk – Mental Health Matters for your Dog

Pets, Mental Health, Health, Care

Time to Talk Day – Thursday 7th February 2019

Mental health affects one in four of us yet people are still afraid to talk to each other about it; usually due to insecurities, experiencing embarrassment and feeling worried about what others will think of them. This subsequently means that many of us suffer in isolation, which can often have a detrimental effect on an individual’s mental health and well-being. Time to Talk Day is all about bringing people together so that they feel comfortable to have ‘that’ conversation. Whether it’s with a cup of tea, a chat with a close friend or meeting up with a family member, the aim is to break the stigma of talking about mental health and raising awareness in the process. Here at Scamps and Champs we recognise that it isn’t just humans that suffer with mental health issues, our beloved dogs can too! Therefore, we aim to prompt the conversation with our followers regarding mental health for dogs, in order to inform you with what problems can look like and signs to look out for. By raising awareness and promoting an informed discussion regarding your dog’s mental health, we also hope to arm you with the details you need to support your furry friend on the road to recovery.

So how can my Dog be affected by Mental Health?

As we know mental health is just as real as physical health and can be completely debilitating if it isn’t treated correctly. Believe it or not our dogs can be affected by many of the same mental health issues us humans can from anxiety, depression, social anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, but how can mental health problems in our dogs be recognised and how can they be treated? People’s experiences impact who they are and how they choose to behave, it is the same with our four-legged friends. A positive experience can influence us to make excellent choices and model us into decent human beings, who have the ability to act and react in a well-rounded thought out way. However, a negative experience can cause stress and have a lasting detrimental impact on the way we chose to behave. Below we are going to cover the main mental health issues that can be experienced by dogs, explain how to identify each condition and then offer some advice on how to support your pawly pal back to health.


The most common form of anxiety identified within dogs is separation anxiety, this is where your dog absolutely hates being separated from its owner, particularly for extended periods of time. This could be due to spending too much time with the owner as a puppy and then circumstances altering, for example an owner obtaining a new job that takes them out of the home environment. However, separation anxiety can occur in dogs that have had a troubled start in life and therefore do not like to be left on their own, as they fear that something bad will happen to them.

Common signs that your dog has separation anxiety:

  • Your dog becoming erratic as you leave the house
  • Damage to your home being found on your return home
  • Dog mess accidents being found on your return home

The solution is to seek professional help from a dog behaviour expert who can assist you in identifying why your dog has separation anxiety. Then work with them to find a solution that suits your dog’s individual needs. If you have a new puppy it is important that you create them a space they feel safe in such as a crate, bed or small room, which is their personal safe space of comfort. Then work on settling your puppy into its safe space each time that you go out and leave your puppy for short bursts of time, such as ten minutes to begin with whilst you go to the shop. Then gradually increase the time you leave them up to four hours, once they are old enough to hold the toilet and wait to go outside. Often leaving a speech radio station on such as BBC Radio 4 in the safe space, can assist in keeping them company and mask outside noises that may be initially frightening for your dog.


Depression can be experienced in dogs when an alteration of routine occurs. This can be in the form of a change in home environment, an alteration in food or walking routine or following the death of a fellow canine companion. Whereas in humans a ‘change of scene’ may be beneficial for depression, any change can actually be the trigger of depression in dogs.

Common signs that your dog has depression:

  • Appetite decreases
  • Alteration in sleeping habits
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Excessive licking
  • Avoidance or hiding

You can improve this by creating and maintaining a daily routine for your dogs, keeping their life aspects as consistent as possible. Taking your dogs out and exercising them efficiently in fields where they can enjoy the grass, mud and fresh air. If you have just experienced the death of another loved pet and your dog is showing signs of depression, give them as much love and attention as you can, support them through the difficult phase. If symptoms of depression persist then seek advice from your veterinary health professional as they may have further advice or your dog may have an underlying condition that needs treating medically. 

Social Anxiety

Dogs are extremely sociable animals and enjoy lots of walks, cuddles and most importantly company. They require a lot of attention and tender loving care, just like we do! However, if dogs are not socialised properly as puppies or if they are bought up in isolation, they can develop social anxieties which are not usually associated with their breed. Thus, meaning that when you try and socialise your dog out in public and it is approached by another dog, your dog can become aggressive as it is frightened about what the other dog may do to it.

Common signs that your dog has social anxiety:

  • Physically trembling
  • Tail tucked in
  • Withdrawal and hiding
  • Reduction in activity
  • Aggression and excessive barking

The best way to eliminate social anxiety is to commence training whilst your dog is young, by socialising your dog with other humans and dogs on a regular basis. This can cause an issue if you have adopted a dog or you have obtained an adult dog from a rescue shelter, as it will already have established negative behaviours within previous years. In this case it is advisable to seek professional assistance from a dog behaviourist or dog trainer, who can tailor support to your individual dog’s needs. In addition, you need to establish trust with your new furry friend, by spending as much time with them as you can and positively rewarding good behaviour with treats. This needs to include gradually introducing other dogs to your dog, commencing on a one-on-one basis and taking it slowly, monitoring your dog’s reactions and rewarding positive experiences with treats.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic stress disorder occurs in dogs following a traumatic event, just as it does in humans. This can occur through mistreatment, physical violence or abuse, from humans or sometimes from other dogs. This can cause long-lasting mental health issues with crippling effects on a dog’s life, as triggers such as similar noises or places, can cause the dog to relive the trauma over and over again.

Common signs that a dog has post-traumatic stress disorder:

  • Sleep disturbances
  • Hyper vigilance
  • Irritability
  • Distress
  • Avoiding familiar areas
  • Shaking
  • Displays of anxiety and depressive symptoms (as above)

As with anxiety and depression, canine post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) can cause your dog to act out more than usual or in un-characteristically for the individual dog. It is recommended that you seek immediate assistance from your veterinary doctor in order to see if medical assistance is required. Dog behaviour and training can assist you in addition moving forward and with the correct treatment for your dog CPTSD can subside within a couple of months.

Take a further look at our business Scamps and Champs and our full range of pet caring services available.