Going on holidays with your pet can be a lot of fun. Here are some tips to keeping your pet safe and happy while away.
· Make sure your dog’s microchip details and I.D tags are up to date. Being in an unfamiliar environment can heighten their desire to escape and increase the risk of becoming lost. Staying on top of your pet’s identification will enable a quick and safe reunion if needed.
·Packing essentials. A list of things needed to make the experience less stressful:
Ø Ample food and water (for the car ride and your stay)
Ø Prescribed medication
Ø Insect repellent and sunscreen (yes, dogs require this too)
Ø Carrier /crate
Ø First aid kit
Ø Treats and toys
Ø Lead and collar
Ø Bedding and familiar items from home. Your dog may feel out of place in a new environment so having familiar items will help them feel more settled and at home.
Ø Doggy towels if you’re heading to the beach
Ø Travel food and water bowls
Ø Poop bags
· Pet safety in the car is a must, not just for your pet but also for you and other family members in the car. Dogs should never be seated on the driver’s lap or the front passenger seat. A crate or harness is a good way to keep your dog secure and safe.
· If it’s a long drive, regular breaks are essential to keeping your pet comfortable and allowing them to have a stretch, play, have a toilet break and hydrate.
When You Arrive
· Spend time introducing your dog to the new environment. Having a play or throw of the ball will even give the new area a positive feel.
· Check that all fences and gates are secure and if needed find a safe place that your dog can be tethered out from all the elements.
· A thunder shirt is a great tool for those dogs that tend to get a bit of anxiety in new places, helps them feel safe and secure.
Lastly, have fun and enjoy!!
Got a pooch that eats like you are throwing a raw chicken to a starving crocodile? This behaviour can cause problems such as vomiting, food aggression and bloating. So here are some inexpensive tips to slow down their eating habits:
1. Changing their bowl - Making food harder to access from the bowl is one way to slow down your dog. One easy way to do this is to flip their stainless still bowl upside down. The crevice makes it harder to get to the food. Muffin trays are also a great idea; it divides the food into smaller portions and allows the dog to pause between mouthfuls. You can also place a tennis ball on top of each muffin cup and turn it into a fun game!
2. Nothing in life is free - This is the number one rule for dogs that I find helps with many behavioural problems. Not only does it create good manners it also changes the dogs thinking process from scoffing food as fast as possible, to slowing down and thinking about what they have to do next to receive that food. It is also a great bonding experience. How it works: Start out simple, asking your dog to sit and hold that sit until you give a release command. Asking your dog to preform a task before giving each portion of food.
3. Feeding toys and games - Another great way is toys and games. However while they do work well there is no need to buy expensive food balls. Filling containers such as water or coke bottles with food works cheaply and effectively. You can also use PVC pipes with the ends sealed and holes drilled for the food to drop through. Placing food in an old cereal box and sealing the ends is another great idea.
4. Food mat - on a plastic table mat smear wet food around and then sprinkle dry food on top. The longer the mat the more fun!
5. Splitting up family members - Sometimes fast eating can be caused by fear that food is going to be taken by other family members. Giving them their own space when eating takes out that fear and allows the dog to eat in a calm manner.
1. HIDE AND SEEK
This can keep your pet entertained for hours with enough variety to prevent it becoming repetitive. Start by getting your dog to stay while you go and hide somewhere in the house. At first hide somewhere they can still see you and offer treats as a reward when they find you. Then you can gradually make things more difficult hiding well out of sight. The game can be transferred to your dog’s favourite toy or treats.
2. TUG OF WAR
This is another great energy release game for both you and your pets. It’s important that your dog knows a ‘release’ command to let go of the tug toy when needed.
3. INTERACTIVE TOYS
You can find many interactive toys at your local pet shop but are also easy to make your self at home. A drink bottle with a small neck filled with dog or cat food. Or you can fill one with raw rice and close the lid tightly the noise will entertain your dog for hours.
All dogs need grooming and love the extra attention. Not only will this help you bond with your pet it will also keep the coat healthy and matt free.
5. PASS THE PARCEL
Nothing more fun than unwrapping a present and your dog loves it too. Wrapping their toys and treats in different layers of newspaper and watch him have fun finding what’s inside.
It’s hard to keep your dog active and entertained during those long rainy days. With winter just around the corner, over the next two weeks we’ll show you 10 ideas to keep your dog from being bored senseless…and you going stir crazy.
Being cooped up indoors can be the perfect opportunity to practice some basic training commands. Once you have mastered the basics you can move on to more advanced tricks like playing dead or high five. You tube is a great source for new tricks you can teach your dog.
2. DOGGIE PLAY DATE
Does your dog have a favourite friend? Invite them over for a rainy day play date, this will keep both pets entertained while you can catch up with a friend for a coffee.
3. OBSTICAL COURSE
If you're going to do something, go all-in, right? Setting up an obstacle course for your dog and helping teach him how to navigate the obstacles is a lot of fun. A lot of work, sure, but you're stuck inside on a rainy day so why not! Here are some suggestions for what to use:
· A sturdy milk crate, stool or other item to balance on
· A kitchen chair to jump up on or run underneath
· A box with two open ends that he can crawl through
· A basket alongside a pile of toys he has to place in it
· A pole on two stools or boxes that he can leap over
· A hula hoop to jump through
· A frisbee or ball to catch
Create a few obstacles and guide your dog through each one, building up to go faster each time. Make sure to reward your dog with lots of praise, tug games or other high-value rewards each time she gets through the obstacle course. Make it fun, rather than work. And you can make it as challenging as your dog needs.
4. LASER POINT
Not just for cats, a cheap laser pointer can keep your dog entertained for hours. Move it around often to give him plenty of exercise.
5. DOGGIE BASKET BALL
This great clip shows you how to teach your dog to play. Don’t have a basketball ring? Why not use a washing basket? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwzScx4tnZQ
Next week: Want to know how to play Hide and Seek with your dog? We’ll tell you in Indoor games for bad weather days, Part two
Bianca is the owner and groomer at Funky Fur dog grooming and always looking for ways to help you care for your pet.