Tag: dogs

Dentastix: Dental Care for Dogs

Admittedly, we haven’t done much about Doc’s dental care.  Not because we don’t care about it, I guess it’s because we assume that his teeth are alright.  As far as we are aware, he doesn’t have any problems.  How do we know? Here’s our checklist.

  • His breath doesn’t smell.  Granted it doesn’t smell like toothpaste or that you wouldn’t want to lock lips with him, but if you did, but I’m happy to share that he doesn’t have dragon’s breath.  Knock on wood.
  • His teeth appear to look healthy with no broken teeth.
  • Gums also appear good.  They don’t look swollen or inflamed.
  • And most importantly, he doesn’t have trouble chewing at all.  His most favourite thing to chew is sticks.  As soon as he’s off that, then I’ll start to worry.

And thanks to Dentastix, Doc has been getting excellent dog dental care.  What makes Dentastix perfect for dogs?

Pedigree Dentastix has a unique X-shape and when fed daily has been scientifically proven to help reduce the build-up of tartar by up to 80%.

It also contains two active ingredients (sodium tripolyphosphate and zinc zulphate), which bond with the calcium in saliva and slow down the build-up of tartar. This helps plaque stays softer and makes it easier to remove with Pedigree Dentastix.

As for us, we like it because it’s a treat and at the same it, it’s caring for Doc’s teeth.  And Doc? He likes it because it tastes yummy!  He’s been happily chewing on Dentastix for more than five days now and absolutely loves it.

What about you? Have you tried Dentastix?

Do you have tips on how to care for your dog’s teeth?  Do share.

“This post is a collaboration with Pedigree, but all thoughts are my own. For additional dental care information you can read the following Pedigree Reviews article for tips and advice.”

ANIMALTALES

You know You’re a Pet Owner When …

I’ve been seeing a lot of “you know you’re a mum” posts lately whether on a blog, a photo on  Instagram or Facebook that I’ve decided to make one for pet owners/parents.

You know You’re a Pet Owner when …

…  your front-door is dirty, especially when it’s been raining outside.  Our door is filthy almost all the time.  I hope our postie doesn’t think we’re slobs.  Our regular one will know, because he’s met Doc.  But not the others, especially couriers.  For the record, we are not slobs, we just have a Doc who likes to clamber all over our front door and kitchen window when he wants to come in and no one is there to let him right away.

You know you’re a pet owner when …

You find patches of black fur on your white throw.  I know what you’re thinking, why have a white throw when you have a young kid and pets right?  And I say right back at you, why on earth not?  And yes, I’ll whinge all I want.  If you’ve been reading my little blog for some time now, you might have read somewhere that I like white furniture/furnishings and I refuse to give them up just because I have a small child and pets.  Not to mention finding fur on your clothes!

You know you’re a pet owner when…

Your car is disgustingly dirty and we’re not just talking about the food T and her friends sometimes leave behind especially when we’ve just done a road trip.  I’m talking again of muddy paws all over, especially since the beach is less than a ten-minute drive away, yes, the inside of the car is always covered in sand, mud, muck and all that.  I really ought to give up trying to clean our car.  But at least, I try right?

You know you’re a pet owner when …

The kitchen floor slate floor is always dirty, no matter how you clean it everyday.  Don’t even let me mention the carpet in the rooms or else I’ll never stop.

You know you’re a pet owner when …

You find doggie pooh bags or stale treats in your coat pockets along with your daughter’s small toys.  How long has it been there?  How long have we had Doc or T?

You know you’re a pet owner when …

You talk to your pets.  I know people do talk to their pets, but I’m talking about actual conversations.  You say something, pet answers, and yes, it doesn’t matter that you don’t really understand what they’re saying.  Actually you do, with Doc and my husband, they actually have actual conversations with their eyes and eyebrows only.  No words used.  As for Boots and I, you’ll actually hear lots of words, especially from me.  She answers either with her meows or her purring.

But I just fed you!

That was five minutes ago, feed me again now!

You know you’re a pet owner when ….

You have lots of photos of your dog and cat almost as much as your daughter’s.  And your pets and daughter gives you the same exasperated look every time they see you pick up your phone or camera.  Well except Doc.  He gets all excited especially when he sees me pick up my big camera, he knows we’re headed outside to take photos.  He loves that.

You know you’re a pet owner when …

You can’t bring yourself to move even though you’ve just decided to get up from the couch, only because your fat cat has decided that she needs your belly for a nap.  That’s it human, stop moving!  I need my beauty sleep.

You know you’re a pet owner when …

You have a love-hate relationship with them.  One moment you can’t imagine life without them, the next you’re screaming your head off and threatening to leave them in the middle of nowhere, strangle them, or swap them for a new puppy/kitten.

Life with pets eh?

Anyone looking for a cat or dog?

Email me.

Just kidding.

Am I?

What’s the one thing your pet does that makes you want to throttle them?

ANIMALTALES

Top 10 Dos and Don’ts for Pet Owners on Bonfire Night

In collaboration with YuCALM

Doc has been in a weird mood lately.  We think something out there has spooked him.  If you’ve been reading my blog for some time now, you will be familiar with what he’s like – over-excitable, over-friendly and loves, loves, loves the outdoors.  As soon as he sees the door open, he’ll be out as if he’s bum is on fire.

doc_withbaking_tin

Doc having fun in the garden with a baking tin he found somewhere.

Lately though, you’ll have to literally drag him outside even in the morning, unless he knows you’re following too.  And if by chance you come in before him, he’ll whimper by the door till you let him in.  If not, he’ll find his way in, even if it means squeezing through the small window in our boot room.

boot_room_window

Spotted!

Something has definitely spooked him and we’re worried about what he’ll be like on Bonfire Night.

Thankfully we were provided the following tip by YuCALM and Lintbells National Dog Happiness Survey and we thought we’d share it with you lovely folks, especially for those who are dog owners too:

Top 10 Dos and Don’ts for Pet Owners on Bonfire Night:

1. Do – keep your dog safe indoors and ensure they have identification such as a registered microchip and a collar with a disc including your contact details: 37% of survey respondents said their dogs are likely to react to stress by running away.

2. Do – provide a safe hiding place indoors (such as a tent or pet bed in a quiet, secluded part of the house): 56% of dog owners told Lintbells that their dogs tend to react to stress and anxiety by cowering or hiding.

3. Do – act calmly and normally, providing too much fuss can reinforce the idea that there is something to be afraid of.

4. Do – make sure the environment is safe if your dog starts to react in an uncharacteristic way: 13% of survey respondents said their dogs become destructive when stressed.

5. Don’t – keep the house in silence, a radio or TV can help mask the noise of fireworks.

6. Don’t – leave your dog alone at night if at all possible: 21% of survey respondents felt that being left alone was stressful for most dogs and in fact it’s estimated that up to 80% of dogs suffer from some form of separation anxiety when their owners are absent.*

7. Do – draw the curtains or blinds and if necessary drape over additional fabric to muffle noise and flashes of light.

8. Do – take your dog for a long walk during the day so they are more likely to rest or sleep in the evening.

9. Do – think about using a supplement or other aid to help your dog feel calm and relaxed.

10. Do – ask your vet or certified animal behaviourist for advice about longer term training which can include desensitisation (helping your dog to become accustomed to triggers over time by slowly building up their exposure) and counter conditioning (helping your dog to start associating a fearful event with positives rather than negatives).

yucalmpact

Doc was also given a YuCALM pack which consisted of the following lovely items:  A blanket for comfort, a new toy for exercise, a dental cotton bone for play, some doggie treats and lastly some vitamin supplements to help with doggie stress.

doc_with_blanket

And there’s Doc with his guilty look which he’s perfected over the years, even though he hasn’t done anything.  Btw, that lovely blanket will be shredded to pieces in the morning hey-ho.

doc_with_toy

He absolutely loves his dental-chewy toy.  Doc says woof!  Thank you!

Do you worry about your dogs or pets on bonfire night too?

Pet Stories: Doc’s Night Out

Our adventurous-sometimes-annoying dog, Doc went missing last Sunday night. We usually let him out once last time before calling it a night.  And Doc being Doc, likes to galavant around for one last hurrah of the day.  I’m guessing he likes to sniff around after doing his business and never really strays, till last Sunday night.

When our movie ended, my husband went out to call for him.  Usually after a few calls, he comes bounding excitedly along.  This time he didn’t.  To be fair, there are times when it takes a while before he comes rushing back, so I told my husband not to wait up for him, thinking I’m such a light sleeper, I’ll hear him coming.

At 12 0′ clock, there was still no sign of Doc, so I stepped outside, into the chilly air.  The moon was still full and gave an eerie glow around the garden.  I called out to him but was met with silence apart from the rustling of the leaves so  I went back in.

1am.  I poked my head out of our bedroom window and gave a little call.  Nada.

Was awoken by my alarm, and got up quickly.  Passed the Historian already busy working in his study, without taking his eyes of his screen he said, “He isn’t home yet”.

I was more puzzled than worried.  We live in a safe area, even if he strayed, he wouldn’t go very far.  I went out and the cold air greeted me, but there was still no sign of Doc.  I got T ready for school and thought that if he isn’t back yet after breakfast, I’d go out and look for him.  But just as my husband was cooking, we heard dogs barking outside.  The farmer’s dogs were in our garden along with Doc.

“Where have you been?”  We asked him, as we let him in.

He gave us a look as if to say, “Oh I just had a night out with the chaps down the road”.

“You’re grounded” I announced and slammed the door which made the poor dog jump.  I was also thankful at least he didn’t smell like shit this time.

Dogs.  You’ve just gotta love ’em.

 

Doc Wears a Lamp Shade

Doc was born with only one ball, when I say ball, I mean testicle 😉  Apparently, it is common among dogs to be born with only one.  When he was a pup, the vet said to give it time for it to descend, if it hasn’t by age two, he will have to have an operation to remove it, since it can be cancerous if left alone.

By September, he will turn three and I guess, no amount of waiting for that other ball to turn up isn’t going to happen.  Reluctantly, my husband phoned the vet to book him in for an op.  He went under the knife last Thursday. The said missing ball was found in his stomach.

Poor Doc, he came home looking dazed.  The light in his eyes were gone as he whimpered and desperately tried to take the cone off from his head.  He wasn’t his usual self and wouldn’t even eat any of the delicious food he’d normally eat in one gulp.  The Doc we knew was gone and I felt terrible and helpless watching him whimper like a baby.  My husband and I took turns watching him, trying to comfort him with massages on his back, at one point I even lay on the carpet, our eyes locked together as I petted him and repeatedly said “It’s okay, Doc.  You’ll be fine”.  We didn’t want to leave him alone, so my husband slept in the living room with the aching Doc beside him.  He said he hardly had any sleep and had to get up several times just to console him.

On the second day, he was taken back to see the vet to remove the dressing.  When he came back, he was so much better.  I guess it was the dressing and the way it was wrapped around him that caused the discomfort, because Doc we knew was back.  He’ll have to wear the cone though for another seven days, until his next vet appointment to remove the stitches.

They advised us not to let him run around or jump, but Doc being Doc is hard to restrain.  I guess all dogs are like that.  What’s the point in being a dog if you can’t jump and run around like a loony?  The important thing is, Doc the one balled-dog is okay and will soon have his cone off.

Has your pet ever worn a cone?

ANIMALTALES

In the spotlight: Doc

I don’t remember the last time I wrote a post about Doc, I think he has been feeling a bit left out lately.  He keeps giving me a heavy sigh when he sees me typing away, as if to say “You’re always writing about HER that cat who is always hissing at me!  So my dearest, bundle of smelly fur, I’ve decide to write you a letter!

Dear Doc,

I’m still very cross with you for disappearing the other day, although yes, I know, you were just having fun in the fields and that you weren’t in any way in danger, and yes, I also know you always come home.  That’s not it, Doc.  You came home smelling lethal!  And while you’ve done this dozens of times, rolled over goodness-knows-what, it’s never stuck to you like this.  And I had no sympathy for you at all, when I gave you a bucket shower out in the lawn, because I couldn’t find where the hose was dumped during our move last month and you sat there whimpering and shivering like a drowned rat.  Nope, no sympathy at all, especially since no amount of scrubbing could get whatever it was caked on your ear off and you still stink. I think you’ve certainly out done yourself this time.

T’s disgruntled Mum x

What’s the most annoying thing your pet does?

Do share.

ANIMALTALES

What Our Pets think of our New Home

Even our pets love their new home.  We may not have the coast at our doorstep, what we have instead are farm land around us, although to be fair, my husband pointed out the sea from our back door.  Yes, we have sea-views, though to be honest, they really look more like horizon views 😉

However, we do have a massive garden.  Well, I guess, depends on what “huge” is for you.  Let’s just say our garden is big enough for Doc to have a run-around and get enough exercise without having to walk him.

We have a front-garden where little T likes to pitch up her tents and DIY tepees, where they usually play.  There’s a tiny “meadow” which we plan to let the grass grow a bit to encourage more wild-flowers to grow.   And where Doc is usually found rooting around.

flowers_littlesteps

There’s also a tiny patch of land behind that small outdoor building (more like a shed really).  And a back-garden that isn’t big either.  The biggest part is on the side of the house…

doc_littlesteps

It suddenly dawned on me, when searching for photos for this post, I don’t have much recent photos of Doc.

As for Boots, I’m happy to share that she’s back to being an outdoor cat.

boots_littlesteps

She loves our new home.  She can come and go as she pleases.  We don’t have a cat-flap but we leave the boot room window open for her.

spotthecat_littlesteps

Spot the cat …

It’s funny.  She has all that ground and tress to explore, but most days you’ll find her inside the house You’ll either find her in the conservatory or in little T’s room.  She has claimed her bed as her own.

Boots has her own blanket on the foot of T’s bed.  As much as I’d love to share that Boots and Doc are now best-friends, sadly that isn’t the case.  Let’s just say she tolerates him more now.

And of course, one of the reasons why I love our house and its location is that there is no crazy-cat woman in the area 😉  Little Boots is safe.

Are your pets best-friends?

Do you have a cat?  Where does it sleep?

ANIMALTALES

Cats who love Dogs

I’m sure a lot of you have seen cute videos of cats hugging dogs on social media right?  They are everywhere! Little T can spend ages watching cat videos on you tube, you’ll hear her laughing her little head off.  I don’t blame here, some are really, really hilarious.

As for those videos of cats who seem to really love their doggie friends, are they really real?

Exhibit A:  This dog was apparently missing for ten days.  The cat missed him so much that it actually couldn’t stop hugging him.  The first time I saw this video, I kept expecting the cat to suddenly pounce her little claws on the dog’s neck, but no, it just kept hugging the dog, as if it really missed its furry friend.  Real or not?

Exhibit B:  Sweet moments between cats and dogs.  Really?  No, hissing, clawing or death stares?

While I don’t expect Boots and Doc to have this kind of relationship, though it would be nice if they did.  At the moment, Boots hates Doc with a passion, especially since he likes to steal her food.

On the other hand, Doc I think likes her.  He likes to please you see and if he had his way, he would like everyone to love him, like really love him.  After all, who would say no to this face?

saddogface_littlesteps

Actually, I know who would.  This one:

cat_littlesteps

There aren’t any cuddles happening between Boots and Doc in our house, more like hissing, barking and “You move you die” looks from Boots.

catanddog_littlesteps

I don’t doubt the authenticity of those videos.  I’m sure they’re real and not staged.  I just wish Boots and Doc would learn how to tolerate each other without the cat going wild when he’s around.

Do you have a cat and a dog too?

What’s their relationship like?

Are they like the animals in the videos, or more like Boots and Doc?

Do share.

ANIMALTALES

Life with Boots

It’s been about two weeks now since Boots has re-joined our family.  Just a quick recap for those who don’t know our history with Boots our cat.  She left us over a year ago (we think she was cat-napped by a weird woman who likes to lure other cats in her home.  I’m not making this up, she does exist in our little village by the sea).  But hopefully that’s all in the past now, especially since my husband cat-napped her back

cat_littlesteps

Now she’s back home with us, as if she never left, although I’m not really sure she’s pleased, because we’ve kept her in.  Most of the time, she looks really annoyed and nags to be out again. She’s not allowed outside till we move house and I’m afraid at the moment, it isn’t clear when that is exactly happening.

Boots sleeps with little T and I on our bed and likes to wake me up really early, demanding to be fed.

She also spends her time having staring contests with Doc.  To be fair though, it’s always Boots who leaves the room as if in a huff.  Doc just wants to play, Boots wants him dead.

littlesteps

There’s T trying to distract Doc so Boots could escape. 

Day in and day out, she sleeps on our bed.  Demands to be fed.  I clean up her litter tray and when the sun is out, she likes to sun herself on the windowsill.  She also likes to interrupt me when I’m on my laptop.  She sometimes likes to use it as a step to get to the window sill. Once there, she gives an incessant “meowing” and nags to be let out.  I ignore her of course.  Till she gives up and goes back up stairs with her little bell “jiggling” behind her.

Yes, she is now wearing a cat collar with a bell (so we know where she is) and a tag with our contact details on it.  I sent the husband out to buy one and the man at the pet shop assured us that this is a safe collar.  It is elastic and can break if caught in an emergency.  Of course this won’t stop the crazy woman from taking it off her.  But Boots is chipped and we’re not letting her out till we move.

cat2_littlesteps

“Please let me out”  Says Boots.

“Nope, sorry.  Not letting you out”  I reply.

“You are a wicked woman!”  Her eyes tell me.

Evil laughter.

Boots meows “Help” 

Do you have a cat?

Do you keep them in or out?

Do share.

 ANIMALTALES

When to Let Go: Saying Goodbye to Our Furry Friends

Note:  In case you’re wondering, this post isn’t about Doc.  He is very much alive and after all is only 2, still stinky and a bit annoying, but thankfully very healthy! 

I try to catch Super Vet on Channel 4 when I can.  I like watching animal stories and how the amazing Dr. Noel Fitzpatrick and his team help our special furry friends with cases that are deemed too difficult for your local vet to deal with.

Funnily enough, Doc likes to watch it with me.  Of course, he just likes to sit with me when I’m in front of the TV, so I doubt it’s because he likes watching it too, but you’ll never know right?

b720c499-d533-4f8b-8899-a1515521416f_625x352Image source here.

It’s not always miracle stories of course, Super Vet has also featured stories where sadly, in spite of Noel’s expertise, there’s just absolutely nothing to be done to save their lives. I’ve seen a few episodes where because of their age (too young to die), the owners tell Noel to do all they can in spite being warned that they might still in the end have to be put down, or in worse case scenarios, die during or even after surgery.

Which brings me to ask, when do we let go?  When do we say enough is enough?

I’ve written about how we were put in this situation before, so I know how difficult it is.  Before Doc, we had a dog that had to be put down because of bone cancer age 11.  His name was Mutley. Till now I feel guilty and wonder did we make the right decision?  Should we have fought harder for Mutt?  I don’t think he would’ve liked it though with just one leg, although I’ve read stories online about dogs with only one leg who still managed to live life to the fullest.  And yes, reading about them makes me feel guilty all over again.

Would you do all you can for your beloved pet?

Or would you just let go?

ANIMALTALES