Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dog Sitting Services

Dog  sitters are providers of contracted services that take care of animals or pets at your home. 

The industry of professional dog sitting is going through rapid growth at the moment as many

animal owners feel that using pet sitters are advantageous compared to options that include

traditional pet care. People use dog sitters for many reasons.

Do You Need a Pet Sitter?

There are more than a few reasons people decide to avail of the services of a pet sitter. This

includes not having to inconvenience family members, friends or neighbours when you need to

be away for some reason. Also, pets do not have to get used to brand new environments

whenever their owners are away. Rather, they are able to stay home on their regular routine.

When a pet has to stay at a kennel rather than at their own home, there are often less restrictive

vaccinations required. There is also less exposure to parasites and illnesses. Since your pet does

not have to be transported to any other place, there is no trauma involved that usually

accompanies traveling. Dog sitters are highly advisable because of the fact that since pets are

cared for in their own houses, there is an overall reduction in the stress they would otherwise

have had to go through.

Liability Insurance

Dog sitters who are professional are usually licensed. They also have insurance for liabilities they

are responsible for including control of the pets, custody and care. Many sitters are also insured

and bonded for theft. Usually, a dog sitter has training such as animal husbandry classes, first aid

certification or accreditation for dog sitting. Many organizations for professionals are available to

help the pet sitter go through service improvements.

Occupational Licenses

In most locations, there is no requirement for pet sitters to have an occupational license. Often,

the term “license’ is used by professionals of pet sitting to refer to kennel licenses or the license

to do businesses. There are also permits for animal transportation that are available within the

business coverage area. Licenses such as these may not or may be required depending on where

the pet sitting business is located. In every area, however, keep in mind that licenses are not

always available.

Dog Walking and Vacation Care

Walking the dog is one service that a pet sitter can do. Vacation Care is another service. During

pet sitting vacation services, the sitter pays the client’s home a visit as required, many times.

Both pet sitters and pet owners determine the exact visit length. On average, this is between 15-

45 minutes. Some sitters can also provide house sitting services aside from just caring for your

pet, as needed.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

LifeSPRINGS Walkies - Natural Nutritional Health Treats for Dogs

We love to find tasty dog treats which are Australian made and owned, and we were recently sent some LifeSPRINGS Walkies™ Nutritional Healthy Dog Treats for Dogs to road test.

Walkies Original Treat

These tasty treats help ensure that your dog is receivinga balanced intake of trace minerals and vitamins that may not be present in your dog’s current food.

LifeSPRINGS Walkies Natural Nutritional Healthy Dog Treats provides your dog with a unique nutrient formula not found in pet food or dog treats with over 70 major and trace minerals and 14 vitamins.

LifeSPRINGS Walkies® Original & Tiny Bites Nutritional Healthy Dog Treats for Dogs will help ensure that your dog will receive a balanced intake of trace minerals and vitamins that may not be present in your dog’s current food.

Healthy smelling and not too greasy, the office dogs loved the Walkies treats, and while it's too early to tell, we're confident the extra minerals and vitamins will help general health and a shiny coat.

For more information, visit

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Displaying Rehabilitation in hydrotherpay treadmill.JPGAs Melbourne’s early winter hits with a vengeance, many Melbournians have reached for their Ugg boots and doonas in an effort to keep warm, and in many cases, the family pooch is also rugged up and kept inside to avoid the winter chills, but experts warn this is the worst thing for the four-legged Melbournians.

With the onset of winter and a natural inclination to move less, pets are under real threat of not only weight gain from reduced movement, but also joint problems as their mobility and exercise tends to plummet. When these two elements – weight gain and reduced movement – are combined, it can spell disaster for many pets, with dogs facing the highest risk.

“When we become stiff a nd sore we do less – the same is true with our pets,” explains leading Melbourne Vet, Dr Karen Davies.

“But moving less, especially in winter months is not the answer as it leads to the joints becoming more restricted and stiff, and then this stiffness leads to a reduced desire for exercise which then leads weight gain which in turn, puts more stress on the joints. It’s a vicious and dangerous cycle than can easily creep up on pet owners during winter if they are not careful,” Karen explains.

Karen, who has a special interest in animal hydrotherapy and rehabilitation at her Point Cook clinic says that there are many specific exercises pet owners can do with their pets to help prevent the winter stiffness, and one of her favourites is playing ‘shake hands’ with the dogs.

“Encouraging your dog to shake hands is a fun and easy way to support the delicate elbow and shoulder joints and the best par t is, it can be done inside anytime,” Karen explains.

Karen says that keeping joints mobile is the best way to reduce the effects of arthritis, and the most effective way do to this is through walking, but she does have some other fun tips for pet owners for exercises that can be done inside:

• “Dancing” and squats are great for the hips, supporting the pet but holding up the front legs and getting them to stand upright (like a human) then encouraging movement back and forth, side-to-side and in gentle circles. Squats can be done by getting the pet to sit and then stand, sit then stand repeat until your pet thinks your nuts or they have done a series of 10. These exercises are also great for cats.
• Hill climb is great for strengthening hips and knees and increasing “range of motion”, in the case of small dogs making a ramp up onto the couch can be a great option, otherwise ramps at the skate park can come in handy of you don’t have a local hill to climb.
• Hydrotherapy (exercise in water) will help support the body and provide resistance improving the benefit of the work out
• Natural supplements found in most homes such as Turmeric, Fish oil, Flax seed oil which all have natural anti-inflammatory properties can be used to make pets more comfortable.
• Pets should undergo a basic health check prior to commencing new exercise to ensure the exercises are appropriate to their needs and to minimize the risk of injuries.

Whilst Karen concedes that not every house has the ability to put their dog in a heated pool, there are specialist hydrotherapy units that enable owners and vets to tailor an aqua-based exercise program for even the stiffest of dogs, one of them located less than 30kms from Melbourne at Direct Vet Services Clinic in Point Cook.

Sometimes, a pet will need a bit of additional support over and above exerc ise, but Karen believes owners should take heart in the fact that keeping up the movement during winter will stave off many diseases.

Karen stresses though that many owners and vets wait till there are very obvious signs of joint degeneration before they take action, and her view is that the more owners can do to support their pets prior to serious joint problems taking hold, the happier their pets will be.

For more information on how owners can help their pets avoid the onset of early arthritis and other joint related problems this winter, contact Karen Davies 03 9369-1822

Monday, May 25, 2015

Best Labrador Retriever Names

Looking for a good labrador retriever name? labrador names can be so personal, but check out these top 10 labrador names and meanings for inspiration.

BuddyFriend; brother. (English) BaileySteward; in charge. (English and French)
MaxThe greatest. (Latin) MaggiePearl. (Greek)
JakeHeld by the heel; supplanter. (Hebrew) LucyLight. (Latin)
MollyStar of the sea. (Irish and Latin) DukeLeader; noble. (English)
DaisyEye of the day; synonym for Sun. (English) JackGod is gracious. (English)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dealing with Ear Mites Infesting Your Pet Dog

 Along with ticks, mold mites and dust mites, ear mites are a member of the class Arachnida. These are

tiny parasite invertebrates that tend to go about their business daily almost  undetected. They usually

live in soil and water, but do make their home on pet dogs as well.

What to Do

What do you do when you notice that your dog isn’t as lively as you know it is?  There must be

something wrong.  After bringing it to the vet, you are told it has ear mites.  Yikes!  The question in

your mind probably is: How did that happen and how do you make sure that it never happens again?

Picked Up Through the Paws

 Dogs pick up everything through the middle layers of their paws.  If you walk your dog often in a not-

so-clean-environment, then chances are this is where your dog picked up the mites.  These are nasty

creatures that can cause severe amounts of pain on your dogs and may even affect the balance of your

dogs.  To avoid this, here are a few simple tips for you to practice.

Alcohol or Soap Solutions

Firstly, after walking your dog outside your home area, you’ll have to clean its paws.  A moistened

cloth with mild alcohol or with soap and water will have to be applied on your canine friend after every

walk.  This is to ensure that whatever nasty bacteria or virus your dog stepped on will not be hiding in

between the crevices of his paws and fur.  If this is too much bother for you, a mat outside your door

moistened in the same formula will do.  Think of it like a foot-bath type of mat.  That way, before

entering your home, your dog’s paws are already partially clean.  There are powders available in the

vet’s clinic that you brush on your dog weekly to protect them form unwanted mites.  You might want

to invest in this. 

Religious Ear Cleaning
Another thing that you’ll need to do religiously is to clean the ears of your dog.  No need to go to the

groomers for this as you can do so yourself.  With a tissue rolled around a finger, hold the ears of your

dog gently but firmly and wipe inside.  You’ll be surprised at the amount of goo in there.  That can be

another cause for ear mites to stay.  The more times you do this to your dog, the healthier it will be.  

Stay away from the inner ear and you’ll have a mite-free, happy, healthy, tail-wagging dog.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Joseph Lyddy and Guide Dogs Australia

Leading Australian pet care brand, Joseph Lyddy, has announced an exciting partnership with Australia’s most trusted charity, Guide Dogs Australia.

Joseph Lyddy has produced a range of ‘Pet Indulgence’ products co-branded with Guide Dogs Australia, with the aim to increase community awareness about the invaluable help and support Guide Dogs Australia provides to people who are blind or have vision impairments.

Guide Dogs enable these individuals to have the freedom and independence to move safely throughout their surroundings with confidence.

Joseph Lyddy is proud to provide this much-needed support to Guide Dogs Australia and the
community by ensuring that a contribution of the product sales goes directly to Guide Dogs
Australia. “Joseph Lyddy's commitment to excellence and quality is aligned to the values of
Guide Dogs Australia and we appreciate their passion for supporting our future success”, says
Karen Hayes, CEO Guide Dogs Victoria.

Guide Dogs Australia receives very limited government funding for the breeding, training and
provision of Guide Dogs and relies heavily on external support.“It is a privilege for Joseph
Lyddy to be able to support Guide Dogs Australia in the sale of products within the Pet
Indulgence range” says Neil Cox, CEO Joseph Lyddy, “we look forward to assisting in the
ongoing success achieved by the team at Guide Dogs Australia”.

The Australian made Joseph Lyddy grooming range is specifically tailored for dogs and uses
high quality natural ingredients with a blend of essential oils, which are kind to your dog’s
coat and skin! The grooming range is designed to leave your pets smelling great and includes
a dog specific oatmeal shampoo, conditioner, deodoriser, detangler, and dry shampoo for
both dogs and cats. Special treats have also been created that boast natural Australian
ingredients with high nutritional value.

The service that the Guide Dogs provide to the community is invaluable, so it is only fair that
they receive some tender loving care. “Joseph Lyddy supports both Guide Dogs Victoria &
NSW/ACT by supplying product to be added to the grooming range at both their breeding and
training centres” says Guide Dogs Nurse Eamon Quinn. “The products will not only help to keep
the dogs looking their best but also have the extra benefit of being safe to use on puppies too.”
Joseph Lyddy Pet Indulgence products are available at Coles, Big W, Pet Barn and online at the Joseph Lyddy Online Store.

The range includes:

Joseph Lyddy Pet Indulgence Conditioning Shampoo for Puppies
RRP: $16.95 - A calming, conditioning shampoo for puppies on the go. A fast rinsing product that will not compromise your washing routine. It contains a calming blend of natural ingredients enriched with an essential oil blend of lavender, orange and ylang ylang to create a relaxing mood.

Joseph Lyddy Pet Indulgence Everyday Oatmeal Shampoo
RRP: $16.95 - An everyday oatmeal moisturising shampoo ideal for dogs with all skin types. Containing natural ingredients and enriched with an essential oil blend of cedarwood, geranium, ylang ylang & lavender providing a gentle cleanse for your dog’s skin and coat.

Joseph Lyddy Pet Indulgence Enriching Creme Conditioner
RRP: $16.95 - A delicate and rich créme conditioner which helps maintain a soft and natural coat. Enriched with warming essential oils of sweet orange, lemon and vanilla.

Joseph Lyddy Pet Indulgence Relaxing Silky Detangler
RRP: $14.95 -A relaxing silky detangler ideal for long haired dogs. Leaving the coat shiny and silky, enriched with natural essential oils of lemon and clary sage.

Joseph Lyddy Pet Indulgence Refreshing Deodoriser
RRP: $12.95-  A refreshing and invigorating aromatic blend of mint, lime and coconut oils. It’s naturally odour deodorising and maintains the natural oils in your dog’s coat.

For more information about this great range, vist Joseph Lyddy online.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pet Indulgence Dry Shampoo by Joseph Lyddy.

Displaying EASYWASH_COLES_200g Matt Silver.jpgThe Joseph Lyddy Pet Indulgence range has released a dry shampoo specifically for dogs! Taking the stress away from troublesome bath times!

Perfect for the colder winter months, this dry shampoo instantly refreshes your pets coat leaving them smelling deliciously clean. The dry shampoo uses all natural ingredients and is enriched with essential oils, and will leave your pooch smelling of delicious honey, vanilla and coconut!

The Joseph Lyddy Easy Wash Dry Shampoo For Cats & Dogs retails for $12.95 and is available fom the Joseph Lyddy online store.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Puzzle Toys Solve Pooch Problems

Displaying Hide-A-Bee.jpgAnyone with rambunctious puppies of any age knows that some toys have the same shelf life as a carton of milk – five minutes after Brutus is given a new toy, piles of stuffing, too-easy-to-access squeaky parts and all sorts of once-stuffed limbs are strewn across the lounge room carpet.

It looks like a scene from The Walking Dead, really.

It’s not good for your dog – how many of us have picked up pieces, mentally putting them back together like a jigsaw puzzle to make sure each piece is accounted for, whilst simultaneously reaching for the car keys in case an emergency trip to the vet is nigh?

That’s where Kyjen was born.  Realising that quality dog toys and accessories were hard to find, Kyjen became one of the first manufacturers of plush toys specifically for dogs, making them not only high-quality, bright, eye catching and fun – but also durable. 

Kyle Hansen, founder of Kyjen realised that dogs need to be stimulated mentally, just like the toys that we give to our human children.   We’re not talking iPads for pooches or an abacus for an Alsatian, but mental games that keep Fido from getting bored and ripping poor Teddy’s head off.  Puzzle toys work in reverse of human puzzles – pooch pulls the pieces out, you put them back in.  Puzzle Toys were developed to enhance paw-eye coordination skills whilst increasing intelligence and problem solving skills by testing their natural instincts towards prey. 

There’s the fun Hide-A-Bee which is a bee hive with mini plush bees  – pull the bees out of the hive, Mum (or Dad) puts them back on, then Benji pulls them back out again.  It comes in Squirrel version too, if you’re worried about pup getting an eye (and puffy cheeks!) for bees! 

Bottle buddies are great for dogs that love plastic bottles and paired with a stuffed animal, it’s doggy nirvana!  They come as they are, but when the bottle is crushed, simply replace with another and - boom! – brand new toy. 

Kyjen produces items that keep dogs active and engaged, educating them and sharpening their paw-eye coordination.  Whilst this sounds boring, it really isn’t – Puppies of all ages and sizes love the Puzzle Toys! 

All dog lovers know that a happy dog has four things: A plush bed (or three), a great meal (or three), doting parents (or three) and an array of toys to keep them happy and occupied.  Whilst not food-orientated, Kyjen Puzzle Toys will stand the test of time, the test of boredom… and the test of strength! 

Villa Mondo is the exclusive wholesaler for Kyjen dog toys.

Best names for Maltese Dog

Looking for a good Maltese dog names? Maltese dog names can be so personal, but check out these top 10 maltese breed names and meanings for inspiration.

AngelAngelic; messenger of God. (Greek) BearStrong; brave. (English and German)
BellaBeautiful. (Latin) BuddyFriend; brother. (English)
DaisyEye of the day; synonym for Sun. (English) BusterHitter; puncher. (English)
GingerPep; liveliness. (English) CharlieManly; strong; free. (English)
LucyLight. (Latin) DukeLeader; noble. (English)
MaggiePearl. (Greek) JackGod is gracious. (English)
MollyStar of the sea. (Irish and Latin) JakeHeld by the heel; supplanter. (Hebrew)
PrincessRoyal daughter. (Latin) LuckyFortunate. (English)
SadiePrincess. (English and Hebrew) MaxThe greatest. (Latin)
SophieWisdom. (Greek) RockyOne who gives rest; strong, firm. (English)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Are Lilies Poison for Dogs

Vets are aften asked "are lilies poisonous for dogs?" or "are lilies toxic for dogs?". When it comes to toxic garden plants for dogs, lilies seem to be the number one concern for many dog owners.

Displaying _DSC3744.jpg
Dr Liisa warns dog owners about lilies
Dr Liisa Ahstrom, Bayer Technical Services Vet, tells us that  lilies can cause gastrointestinal upset and indeed there are many plants and flowers which are toxic to dogs including popular cut flowers Tulips and Hyacinths and popular potted or garden plants Cyclamens, Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Sago palms, Lily of the Valley, Daffodils, Dieffenbachia, Oleander and Crocus. 

For those of us who have both cats and dogs, it is very important to be aware that many lilies are toxic to cats including Tiger (Lilium tigrinum), Day (Hemerocallis spp), Asiatic (Lilium asiatic), Easter (Lilium longiflorum) and Japanese Show (Lilium speciosum) lilies. All parts of the plant appear to be highly toxic to cats including the petals, stamens, stems, leaves and even the pollen. Ingestion of small amounts of any part of the plant or even water from the vase containing lilies can cause severe kidney damage.

Fortunately lilies don’t cause kidney failure in dogs, but because lillies can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs, it's still best to restrict dogs' access to these plants.

When asked what is the most concerning toxic problem for dogs in Australian gardens, Dr Liisa quickly identifies, not a plant, but  nasty life forms of a different kind. Ticks and fleas!
Displaying _DSC3488.jpg
Most toxic garden concern for dogs

To keep your dog free from ticks and fleas, Dr Liisa tells us,  you need to use an effective parasite protection product, according to the directions on the pack.  Most products rely on parasites biting the dog to receive a lethal dose of active ingredient with their blood meal.  Bites from ticks and fleas cause discomfort and can spread disease, and the bite from a single paralysis tick can be fatal.  

To prevent ticks from biting, including the deadly paralysis tick, it’s important to use a product that can repel ticks before they bite. Advantix for dogs is the only product that kills and repels ticks.  Advantix also kills fleas and lice, repels biting flies and kills and repels mosquitoes and sandflies. To stop fleas from biting your dog, use a product that kills fleas fast, and on contact, so they don’t need to bite your dog to be killed. The Advantage Family products (Advocate, Advantix, Advantage) all stop fleas that jump on your dog from biting in just 3 – 5 minutes, and kill them on contact within 1 hour.  If you live in or are visiting a paralysis tick zone with your dog, it’s also important to check them over for ticks every day.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Best Staffie Names

Looking for a great name for your Staffordshire Bull Terrier? Try these great Staffie names on for size:

BellaBeautiful. (Latin) DaisyEye of the day; synonym for Sun. (English)
DiamondyHigh value; brilliant) DemonAn evil attendant (Irish)
ZeusLIving; chief; powerful. (Greek) DieselA pet form of Matthias; Urban Dictionary definition is cool, strong, hip (English)
AngelAngelic; messenger of God. (Greek) SadiePrincess. (English and Hebrew)
BuddyFriend; brother. (English) BaileySteward; in charge. (English and French)

Recipe: Homemade carrot and sweet potato dog biscuits

Homemade carrot and sweet potato biscuits for dogs is a great treat for your pup
  • 2 cups of wholemeal flour
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup of sweet potato, diced
  • 2 generous tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (about 350 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Chop the carrot and sweet potato into cubes and place on the boil
  • In a mixing bowl, combine flour, egg and peanut butter
  • Once the sweet potato and carrot are soft, take them off the boil and drain the water out. With a potato masher (or a fork) mash them to whatever consistency you like
  • Add this to the mixing bowl and then combine all the ingredients with a wooden spoon, you may need to get your hands dirty at this point to combine it all into a ball
  • Roll out the dough mix between two sheets of baking paper to your desired thickness, make sure you sprinkle a little extra flour to stop it sticking
  • Get your cookie cutters out (I use ones shaped like bones) and cut out the shapes, placing them on a lined baking tray
  • Put them in the oven for about 20 minutes until they get a nice brown colour
  • Wait for them to cool a little and then Bon Appetit! Hope your pups enjoy them!
Keep them in the fridge or freezer!

What To Look For In A Dog Bed

Displaying sleeping dog.jpg 
Can you imagine your life without a comfy bed to crawl into each night? Your dog’s bed should be a haven and a place they can spend a good deal of time. It needs to be sturdy, comfortable, safe and of course easy to clean and resistant to parasites.

But what kind of bed should you buy for your dog? After all, beds for people come in a bewildering array of sizes and shapes and the same is true of beds for our canine companions.

When looking for a bed for your furry best friend we recommend you ensure that the bed you choose meets the following criteria:

·         Made of non-toxic materials. Synthetic products, including stain-proofing and flame retardant chemicals, may harm your dog. This is particularly important if you dog has sensitive skin or allergies. This is also important for dogs who may chew their bed! When you first bring your bed home give it a good wash to remove any residues from processing.

·         Non-skid bottom. When your canine companion dives into bed the last thing you want is the bed to slide out from under him. A moving dog bed not only poses a risk of injury to your dog but can also become a trip hazard around the home. You can use non-slip matting if the bed doesn’t have its own non-slip base, the style used under floor rugs.

·         Easy to clean. If you have a smaller dog, buy a bed you can throw into the washing machine on a hot cycle over 60°C. This will kill flea eggs and dust mites. If you can also pop it in the sun to dry, perfect. If you can’t wash the bed, make sure the cover is washable or the bed can be hosed off and put in the sun to dry.

·         Warm or elevated. If you live in a cold area or your dog sleeps outside, an insulated bottom or an elevated bed is ideal to get your pet off the cold ground.

·         Water repellent. Many beds have a water repellent cover, particularly useful for pets that head off to bed after getting wet. You can also keep a collection of old towels to throw over the bed if your pet is a little soggy.

·         Indestructible. Particularly for puppies or those that chew, ensure the bed is tough, there are no parts that can be chewed and swallowed and for the chewers, avoid heated beds!

·         Big enough to stretch out fully. You will need something that will allow your dog to stretch out when it is hot, or curl up when it is cold. If your dog is young, ensure you are getting something that will fit when he is fully grown.

A bed suited to your dog and situation

There are many types of beds and depending on whether your dog is old, young or likes to chew you will need a different sort of bed. The type of climate you live in and whether your dog sleeps indoors or out is also a consideration.

Displaying Elevated dog bed.jpg
Older pets. Pets that have old aching joints need to be kept warm. For those pets, an elevated bed or an orthobed could be ideal, particularly those with joint pain or mobility issues. Ensuring the bottom is insulated also helps if the bed is sitting directly on cold flooring.

Warmer climates. Cooling beds are a great idea, or you can pop frozen water bottles next to or in your dog’s bed on hot days. Dogs that have snub-noses like staffys are particularly prone to heat stroke. Hanging wet towels near your dog’s sleeping quarters can also provide make-shift air-conditioning. For larger dogs trampoline dog beds are ideal as the air can circulate under the bed.

Itchy dogs. If you have a smaller pet make sure the entire bed is machine washable and not treated with any chemicals. Avoid washing detergent or use a very small amount of hypoallergenic detergent and wash on a hot cycle (over 60°C) each week. For a larger dog a trampoline dog bed that can be hosed off and put in the sun to dry will be relatively low allergen. Consider getting two beds so you can rotate them and wash the bed on a weekly basis. Dust mites and fleas are the most common concerns relating to bedding that can cause allergies in pets.

Crates are a great way to transport dogs. Image: Orvis

Kennels and crates. If your dog sleeps outdoors in a kennel, you will need to make sure it is easy to clean. Avoid a carpeted floor, unless it can be removed and washed. Carpet would need a good vacuum, hose and to be put in the sun to dry. Wooden kennels can easily get damp, harbour mites and other creepy crawlies and end up very dirty. Kennels in hot climates also need to be in shade and well ventilated. Crates are very easy to clean and can mimic a ‘den’, providing a safe haven for your dog. They are easy to move should you need to and can be used for car travel. You also then have an area you can secure your dog at night or when guests are visiting. An old blanket or towels that can be washed weekly on a hot cycle are ideal for the base. For some useful information on how to crate train your dog, the RSPCA Victoria has a guide here.

Things to avoid

·         Mattresses that can’t be fully washed. Washing the cover is not enough to get rid of fleas and dust mites. These creepy crawlies live in furnishings like mattresses, carpets and cushions and are a common cause of allergies and dermatitis. Some covers such as Gore-Tex are resistant to fleas and dust mites, often by having a very narrow weave, but most regular mattresses are not protective and over time they will become smelly, dirty and harbour all sorts of creatures if they can’t be properly cleaned.

·         Beds with straps, buttons, zippers or piping. Particularly dangerous for those dogs that like to chew. Too much fussy detail can attract the attention of a destructive dog and anything that can be pulled off has the potential to be swallowed and form an intestinal foreign body. You should also avoid cooling or heated beds that have batteries or an electricity connection if your pet likes to chew!

·         Wooden beds and kennels often have a finish or lacquer on them that can be toxic when chewed. Wood also has the potential to harbour mites and can absorb the damp and go mouldy.

Whatever the sleeping quarters you choose for your beloved friend, remember that this is going to be a place that your dog could potentially spend up to 18 hours a day sleeping (half his luck!). Choosing something comfortable, safe and durable that is easy to clean is your priority. Sometimes it is worthwhile spending a bit more to make sure it will last and be resistant to common parasites.

Eloise is a Sydney vet working for the online pet care company Love That Pet. She has a particular passion for helping pets with anxiety and itchy dogs. She currently enjoys the quiet life in Sydney with her young boys, Jimmy the cat and a constant procession of stray cats and birds.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Swimming Lessons for Your Pet Dog

No doubt about it, one of the best things you can do this summer is to cool off at the local pool.

Swimming becomes extra fun when you can take your buddy with you. In the event you live near

a beach or a lake that is dog-friendly or have your own pool in the backyard, it is a good idea to

take your dog out swimming. On the other hand, if your pet dog has never gone swimming in the

past, you might want him or her to learn a few basics beforehand.

Being Safe

Contrary to popular belief, just because you have a new pet dog does not automatically indicate

that he or she will automatically know how to swim. As a matter of fact, bulldogs and other

breeds are unable to swim. If tossed in the water, these breeds will sink straight to the bottom if

they don’t have a floatation device that holds them afloat. Dogs that you plan to take on a boat

into deeper waters, or have shorter legs and are light weight should wear a life jacket.

Start Slowly

Keep in mind that too much activity and noise can be a distraction. Start with a quiet pool, river

or lake and keep the leash on your pet the entire time. Until your pup is able to swim without

assistance, the leash should not come off at all. At no time should you leave your dog unattended

while he or she is in the water. Also, for the first swim, make sure you don’t throw your pooch

straight into the waves. This may just frighten her to a degree that she may never want to do that


Shallow Water

When taking your pet out for swimming lessons, make sure you begin in an area that is shallow

where you can guide your dog. If needed, put on the vest for flotation. Walk slowly into the

water after you attach the leash, and let your pet get used to wetting his or her paws.

Learning to Swim

When you meet with a reluctant pet swimmer, bringing in a few treats or toys to help convince

your pet to go in further is a good idea. Use a lot of verbal praise and a positive tone of voice.

Take your pet in deeper gradually until she can paddle to remain floating. When this happens,

this is the time you can support the belly of your dog for extra support. This will convince your

pet to paddle both front and rear legs. Keep doing this until your dog becomes an expert

swimmer who enjoys the water. The time you take to give your dog swimming lessons will truly

be worth the enjoyment you will both have swimming in hot summer weather.