Tag: pets

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

The Killer in Our Midst is Back

I first wrote about the murderer a couple of years ago and now the killer is back.

A month or so ago, my husband found the first victim lying lifeless on the ground.  I was hoping it was just an isolated case, but then it happened, again and again and again.  In the morning, we would find all the victims lying dead in our garden.

The first was a mouse.  I wondered.  Could it have been a deaf mouse?  The killer has a bell around her neck to warn victims away.  Surely the mouse would’ve heard the tinkle of her bell as she approached?

Then the next victim was a poor mole.  I keep thinking of that lovely mole who adopted Thumbelina, I’m hoping he isn’t family.

Yes, Boots’ killer’s instincts have re-awakened.  She is the murderer.  Or maybe it never really left her, and she murdered her victims far from home and was just being lazy now and couldn’t be bothered to get rid of the body anymore.

I wonder, are all her victims deaf?  Or perhaps she is as stealthy as an experienced thief in the night?  I do wish though that she’d at least get rid of the bodies than leave them on the ground.  Thankfully little T has never seen them.

Poor innocent victims.  I shall light a candle for them and pray for their souls.

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

One Special Cat

I’ve never been a cat person.  I’ve always preferred dogs, having grown-up with them all through out my childhood.  As a child, I didn’t have any experience with cats.  They meant nothing to me.

But Boots?  Boots is a special cat.

At the beginning, I wasn’t fond of her at all.  We got her for T when she was about two years old.  The plan was to get a cat first, then a dog.  I wasn’t really keen on the idea of having a cat.  But gave in.  We got Boots from a local cat rescue centre down here in Cornwall.  She moved in with us and that was it.

Boots_littlesteps

She didn’t pull at my heartstrings, not like some pets did.  But I was very impressed on how patient she always was with little T who liked to pull her tail and whose idea of fun was strangling the poor cat.  She never hissed or scratched her.  Even though she herself was only young at that time (around six months), she never hurt T and for that I was very grateful.  But she was still just a cat to me.

When we first got her, she didn’t like to be petted by other people except T.  If I did it or my husband, she’d allow it only for a while and then leave as if to say “That’s enough”.  She was never an affectionate cat.

Then we lost her.

And I found myself missing our Boots and even pining for her.  After a year, my husband “found her”, we kept her inside till we moved house and now, she’s a changed cat.  As I keep saying, she prefers the indoors to the outdoors.  And since our house move was delayed time and again, Boots was forced to stay indoors and because of that, we all grew closer to her.  And now, I can say and really mean it, I am very fond of our Boots.  And I have a suspicion the feeling is mutual.

When I’m sitting on the sofa, she’ll sit on my lap and allow me to pet her.  She’d fall asleep and just lay there, only waking up to hiss at the dog if Doc dares go near us.

And when I’m lying on the bed reading, she’d come to me and sit on my chest, purring and fall asleep.  I don’t dare move even though I really want to, or even need to.

In the mornings, when she’s on our bed, I’d wait for her to wake-up before I even bother to make the bed.

T of course loves her too.  They’ve always had a special bond.

But Boots and I?  Ours has just begun.

Do you have a special bond with your pet or even as a child?

ANIMALTALES

Tab Cat, Safe & Found: A Review

If you’ve been following my little blog for some time now, you will know how our cat Boots used to go astray, at one point, she was gone for over a year.  We thought we’ve lost her.  We went from worry, to actually accepting that maybe it was meant to be, and wished her well.  Of course all the while she was living with that crazy cat woman, but then my husband found her, we moved away and as they say, the rest is history.

Does your cat like to stray just like Boots?  If you’re a cat owner like us, worry no more – Tab Cat might just be the answer for you.

What is Tab Cat?

It is a pet locator.  The pack comes with two Homing Tags and a locator handset.  It’s very easy to use.  All you need to do is activate the handset battery, register the tags you’re going to use on your pets, stick it in splash proof case and attach it to your pet’s collar.  Then it’s ready to use.

tabcat2_littlesteps

The pack comes with the locater, two homing tags, with two splash proof cases.  If you have more than two cats, you can order additional homing tags for them.

How far can you track your pet?

The range is impressive too and can reach up to 122m/400 feet (if the cat is on a tree).  But of course it will be less if you’re trying to locate them through doors or walls.  Just keep walking and searching till it picks up its signal again.

The Test

We tried it on Boots.  But the thing with our cat, ever since we moved, we’ve never had a problem with her.  She comes and goes as she pleases, and always comes back.  As mentioned on some previous posts, she seems to prefer to be indoors too, than the outdoors.  Ever since we moved, she’s a changed cat.

sleepingboots_littlesteps

But T and I were still curious, so we put the Tab Cat homing tag on her, even though she was just taking a nap on the chair by the window.  We went out and pretended we were looking for her in the garden.  And of course, T was in her Belle costume, after all, that’s what you do on weekends right?  Wear ballgowns and go traipsing in your garden, pretending to be in search of your cat.

tinthegarden_littlesteps

It made a few beeps, especially when T pointed it to a direction.

pointing_littlesteps

I told T to walk back towards the house.

litteslteps

The beeps became more frequent as we walked towards the house…

window_littlesteps

And as T stood outside the window, pointing to where Boots was lazily napping on the armchair, the beeps and the green light were out, signalling we were indeed very close.

boots_littlesteps

 And then it went crazy, the beeps were louder and the green light was in full blast.  Little T said, “There you are Boots!  We found you!”.

Boots gave us a “You humans are weird.  You knew I was here all the while” look.  Yawned, and went back to sleep.

I drafted this post in the afternoon, by evening, when Boots went out for the night, before going to bed, my husband and I decided to try it out.  I pressed her assigned tag on the locator, it beeped, and then the green light came on, I called out to Boots, since I knew she was nearby and true enough, I heard her little bell and she came back in the house with us.  I’m really pleased it works.

We’ve put the other tag on Doc, since he’s the one who likes to go out and go galavanting through the fields and annoy the cows.  Let’s see what happens …

Would you be interested in using a cat-tracker or have you tried this before?

Do share.

*PR sample.   All photos and words by Little Steps.
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