Getting a new puppy during lockdown

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What a fantastic opportunity! While everyone is at home it is a wonderful time to introduce a new puppy whilst you have plenty of time to bond. But what about when life returns to normal and everyone is back at work and school? Puppies are very open to new experiences when they are young but as they get older they don’t adapt to change very well. This could mean that puppies who have their early socialisation during lockdown never get used to being alone. This can lead to something called separation anxiety, which can be incredibly stressful for both dogs and owners. A dog with separation anxiety will be very distressed when they are left alone, they cry bark and howl, show destructive behaviours such as chewing or digging and messing in the house.

It is crucial that your puppy gets used to being left alone during the day now, even if during lockdown no one is leaving the house. It is best to start with small periods every day. This can be when you leave the house or even with you upstairs or in a different room. Start with 5 minutes at a time, and gradually increase the time you are away so that he or she gets used to it. You can leave a safe toy or treat with your puppy so they are distracted and have a positive association with you leaving. We often find kongs good, you can stuff a small treat in the end or smear something sticky on the inside which will keep your pup busy for ages. It is important that you come back while your pup is calm to build the positive association. If you return when your pup is stressed and crying it could encourage the pup to cry more and more, expecting you to come back.

Then before you know it, you’ll be back at work and your puppy will be at home, calm and content in the knowledge that you haven’t left them behind forever!

For more information on preventing separation anxiety see this link:

Enjoy this lovely time with your new puppy to have some fun! We looking forward to seeing you all with your new furry friends in the coming months!


Rescuing from abroad – things to think about

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There are many charities dedicated to rescuing and re-homing stray dogs, whether it be here in the UK, or abroad from countries such as Romania or Serbia.

Re-homing a rescue dog is a big undertaking, and as the amount of dogs being brought over from abroad for re-homing rises, there are few things to consider as you might be going through the process.

Some dogs will not have been very well socialised or trained, so may need extra work with a trainer or behaviourist and will take a while to adjust.
There is a risk of exotic parasites or illnesses that will need to be addressed quickly with a vet in the UK as well as general health checks.
And some pets may be brought into the UK without proper checks or documents, so it is often best to find a rescue pet through a reputable source or charity, or look to adopt more locally.

If you have any questions or need help with what to do next, or just a bit of friendly advice, feel free to give us a call and speak to one of our staff – 01442 833198.

Click here for the full advice.


A big thank you!

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A huge thank you to everyone who donated money over the past few months. Whether it was a few pound or some loose change, every penny makes a difference.

Over £126 has been donated to The Cinnamon Trust, a charity dedicated to helping elderly or terminally ill owners and their pets, in a variety of situations.

They have recently let us know that their tumble dry broke down at one of their sanctuaries and was not fixable, so our donation has gone towards buying a new one in these cold winter months.


Friend or foe?

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Do you know if your cats are friends or foes? Best buds or just tolerating each other?

Most cats are happier living the single life, this is how many will choose to live in the wild. However, some will live with siblings or their mother their whole life. In many cases this works fine but it can also go wrong.

Adult cats living in multicat households often simply tolerate each other which can be manageable, but can cause stress. These situations can prevent a cat showing their true character, cause behavioural issues such as fighting or inappropriate urination and they can even lead to health problems such as vomiting, diarrhoea, cystitis and skin disease.

Many stress signs and interactions between cats can be missed or simply misread by us. The Cats Protection have created a very helpful (and very cute) video, to help us differentiate between friendly behaviours and not-so-friendly behaviours in our households.

Click here to watch the video.

There are things we can do to make life in a multicat household healthier and happier for all concerned, as mentioned in the video, separate feeding areas, bowls, litter trays, beds and scratching posts will help to reduce stress, as each cat will be able to have space and not have to share with another cat unless they choose to do so.

Other aids to assist in reducing stress and improving feline relationships includ products such as Feliway Classic and Feliway Friends. These produce good pheromones which are associated with feeling safe and content which can make a big difference.

Click here for more information on Feliway.