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Animal Urine Smell Counter-actions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Animal urine smell counter-actions

If given enough time, the smell of urine will keep building up until it’s unignorable – particularly cat urine. Not only is the smell horrible, but it can be embarrassing when people come round and can even be smelt on your clothes. While house training your pet will help prevent ‘little accidents’ around the house, they can still occur especially with older pets who have limited bladder control or animals without outdoors access during long periods.

Effective cleaning products

There’s a range of sprays and ‘cures’ for the smell of urine, but only some seem to be especially popular, particularly products with ‘anionic surfactants’ in as they allow the urine to be lifted from surfaces with limited moisture being created and leaves behind an easy powder to hoover up. These and similar can be found in products such as;

Natural remedies

While they may not completely clear the smell, it’s a far better option than just leaving the urine to soak in and are mainly household ingredients:

  • Lemon juice and bicarbonate soda
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda and white vinegar
  • 16oz of 3% Hydrogen peroxide, 1 tbsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of washing up liquid

Something to bare in mind with natural remedies is that they won’t be animal safe like products from a pet store. Hydrogen peroxide is similar to a mild bleach, white vinegar may cause a stomach upset and bicarbonate soda can be toxic in large amounts.

Despite the rumour that onions can get rid of the smell of urine, it doesn’t and just covers up the smell of urine with the stronger smell of onion with the urine smell returning as soon as the onion dries up. Also, onions are in fact poisonous to cats so are deeply advised against in case they try to eat one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team Shanklinpets

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Algae: Causes & Prevention of overgrowth

While a little bit of algae is good, if left to its own devices it will quickly begin to overrun your tank and cause quite the problem. Algae comes in different colours caused by different factors, the most common being Green Algae.

Green Algae

Whilst small amounts of Green Algae is a good food source, too much can make your tank quickly look like pea soup. Caused by too much light and dissolved waste, a solution to help prevent overgrowth would be to make sure your tank is not in a source of direct sunlight and to keep the lights on a timer. Tanks are recommended to have about 6 hours of light but this depends on the size of the tank.

Overfeeding your fish also causes a build of dissolved waste, if the food isn’t eaten in 5 minutes then you’re feeding too much. Any leftover food should be removed immediately.

Red Algae

Red Algae doesn’t always appear red as the name suggests, but can also be black, blue and green in colour. Caused by a lack of Carbon Dioxide in the water, it appears in threads around the tank High nitrates, infrequent water changes and inappropriate lighting are all contributing factors on top of this. If not controlled, Red Algae can literally starve plants or coral in the most severe of cases, so treating your pond/tank is incredibly important.

Placing fast-growing plants in the tank can help use up nutrients that algae would otherwise use to spread, slowing the growth of algae. Also introducing an algae-eating fish can help with this problem as long as the fish eats red algae specifically as the main part of their diet.

Brown Algae

Brown algae causes your tank water to become quite cloudy and makes the tank generally unappealing as the algae blankets everything with what can be describes as a brown fur. Although easy to wipe off, it can be hard to get off of gravel. Caused by a lack of sunlight, excess nitrates and low oxygen levels, it’s most commonly found in newly set up tanks.

Some catfish readily eat up brown algae, but if you’re not eager to get one increasing the light in your tank can help inhibit the regrowth of it. Any surface that brown algae covers would need to be wiped down to remove it and gravel would need to be vacuumed, vacuuming the gravel also helps to slow down the regrowth of the algae. Brown algae can also be prevented by regular water changes and tank cleaning.

Blue-green algae

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can be brown, black or red in colour as well as blue-green. Very slimy in appearance, it lets of a fishy odour and will quickly spread. Not really an algae, it’s actually a bacteria which can be spread by bringing it into the tank. Also caused by poor water conditions due to high levels of organic waste and excess light with anaerobic conditions. High levels of nitrates and phosphates which leads to the buildup of organic waste are prime in causing the overgrowth of blue-green algae, which can be shown from regular water checks.

Partial water changes and regular tank cleaning can help prevent the build up of the algae, as well as reducing light and physical removal. The blue-green algae is also found in new tanks before beneficial bacteria colonies have hold on the tank.

Blue-green algae can never be permanently eradicated, however there are steps that can be followed to help the re-occurrence of an overgrowth. Start by scraping the glass, scrubbing the rocks and plants, and vacuuming the substrate. Perform a partial water change of 15-20% and turn the lights in the tank off for three days. On the fourth day turn the lights back on and perform another 10-15% water change. That should get rid of the algae overgrowth and reduce the elevated wastes and nutrients that support its growth. If there is still Blue-Green Algae growth, the process should be repeated.

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Ear Mites in Dogs and Cats

What are Mites?

Mites are arthropods that live naturally on dogs and cats alike, however they can cause a problem to the animal in large enough quantities. There’s many different species of mites that can affect a range of animals and prefer a range of conditions. A common species of mites for dogs and cats is otidectes cynotis, one of the more typical species of ear mites. Despite their name they can actually live anywhere on your pets body and can be the cause of a range of symptoms. If you believe your pet has ear mites you should take them to the vets to be checked over for mites – you should also bring all your pets as if one pet has them it’s likely that they all do. If left untreated it can eventually result in permanent ear damage and even deafness.

How are Mites Transmitted?

They’re highly contagious and are transmitted by direct contact from infected pets or from the outdoors in general. Mites can also be picked up from bedding, grooming equipment and even toys. Anywhere your pet sleeps and roams should be thoroughly cleaned and treated to help decrease the likeliness of your pet from getting mites.

What are the symptoms of Ear Mites?

Some bacterial infections can mimic the symptoms of ear mites, so it’s best to visit your vet to get an accurate diagnosis rather than self-diagnosing. The symptoms of Ear Mites in both cats and dogs are similar to one another and can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Hair loss and dermatitis
  • Strong odor
  • Scratches or scabs near ear
  • Inflammation of the ear
  • Black or brown waxy secretion
  • Excessive scratching and rubbing of ears
  • Head shaking
  • Obstruction of ear canal with coffee ground-like debris

How do you prevent Mites?

Ear mites live by eating the debris in your pets ears and the dirt in their fur. Keeping your pets ear clean from any debris by using cotton and a pet-specific ear cleaner (dog ear cleaner, cat ear cleaner) can help decrease the likelihood of an ear mite living there. Also regularly cleaning/grooming your pet with clean grooming equipment and cleaning all of their bedding and toys regularly will help prevent ear mites from moving in as general uncleanliness is a common cause of ear mites.

As different species of mites live off different things (i.e. blood, dust, dirt, etc.) the symptoms, transmission and prevention listed in this blog cannot be applied to all kinds of mites. If you believe your pet is infected with mites then please consult your local vet to get the best advice for the species of mite your pet may have.

Team Shanklinpets

 

 

 

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How to Stop a Puppy from Biting

Puppies love to nibble and eat everything and anything as that’s how they play with other puppies in litters. But, how can you stop your puppy from biting everything?

Stop your Puppy from Biting you with Treats

When they get older their teeth get sharper and cute nibbles turn painful, so its important to make it clear that they can’t bite you as soon as you can.

One way of doing this is teaching them with treats. Hold a treat in your hand and wrap your fingers around it. Except your dog to try and claw and bite your hand for the treat, but don’t get them the treat until they’ve stopped and moved their nose away from your hand. Moving their nose away is what you’re rewarding them for so make sure to make a fuss out of them for listening!

Teach them to Play with Toys

When you play with your dog with toys its important to be consistent – so if their teeth touch your hands you must let out a clear ‘ouch’. This will tell your dog that they need to be more gentle, eventually resulting in them only biting toys and not you.

When you say ‘ouch’ make sure to stop playing for 5 seconds or so. This way your dog knows that if they hurt you they can’t play anymore! Make sure everyone who regularly interacts with your dog also practices this.

Try and substitute a chew bone or toy whenever they try chewing on something they shouldn’t. Or, feed them treats with one hand while petting with the other so they stop chewing on you whilst being stroked, as well as getting use to no chewing/licking you while getting petted.

Furniture

New horror stories of owners coming home to their sofas and cushions in tatters will always be fresh on the internet.

If you catch your dog chewing on something make sure to let out a stern ‘no’ before giving them a toy or bone to chew on instead. This will eventually teach them that they can only chew on their toys and bones.

Equally, you can try and spray anything you don’t want to be chewed with an anti-chew training spray. This is a bitter but harmless spray for animals that deters them from chewing on items or parts of themselves that are sprayed with it. Not completely fool-proof, but it helps while training your puppy what is and isn’t okay to chew.

Team Shanklinpets

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Meadow Hay vs Timothy Hay

Image result for happy small animals

Hay is used for Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, and Chinchillas as a requirement, as well as other animals. But, it can be hard to tell whether Meadow Hay or Timothy Hay is best for them.

What is Meadow Hay?

Meadow Hay is mainly made up of native soft stemmed pasture grasses. These contain more leaves than Timothy Hay, making it have an overall softer texture. In addition to this, Meadow Hay will also contain plants other than grass – such as dandelions, daises, and thistles. These additional plants are loved by some pets – such a guinea pigs and rabbits – and are normally given as a treat, making them an added bonus! You can also buy Meadow Hay that has purposely added dandelions and other herbs for their benefit.

Meadow Hay being softer also makes it better as a bed and to forage in, but also less consistent in content than Timothy Hay.

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What is Timothy Hay?

Timothy Hay is made from Timothy Grass, which is a tall grass that has a ‘cat tail’ with broad leaves. Due to how stalky the grass is, timothy hay is high in fibre and is great if you’re looking for consistent texture and ‘stalkiness’.

Timothy hay being more consistent allows you to know exactly what your pet has had in regards to fibre – where as Meadow hay the animal may pick out the higher in calorie bits and leave behind the high in fibre bits.

Image result for timothy grass

What do these hays do for them?

They both provide fibre needed for digestion, as well as keeping their teeth clean and healthy. The colour of the hay also depends on what added benefit it gives – with the colour depending on how its been dried:

  • Greener hay has higher levels of calcium and vitamin C
  • Browner/stalkier hay is higher in fibre and vitamin D

You should always buy the right type of hay according to the animal, and the needs and requirements they have.

Team Shanklinpets

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Saltwater Killing Dogs and Cats

It’s common to see owners bringing their dogs to the beach to cool down after a hot summers day or just to play in the sea whilst they walk along the sea front – but little do people know they’re putting their dogs at risk! Excessive saltwater kills animals alike, but how?

How Does Saltwater Kill?

Whilst dogs play in the sea they unintentionally digest sea water. In copious amounts, sea water will cause dehydration and possible brain haemorrhages before dying from saltwater poisoning. Saltwater is in fact extremely toxic for animals and should be avoided if possible.

When too much salt builds up in an animal’s body the cells release their water content to try and restore the salt balance between cells and outside of the cells. This causes the severe dehydration of the cells and the animal itself, eventually causing death if left untreated.

What Are The Symptoms of Saltwater Poisoning?

Symptoms can come on gradually with stomach issues, vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and no appetite. One of the first symptoms that usually happens is vomiting, but it can vary case to case and rapidly escalate.

  • Stomach issues, i.e. vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • ‘drunk walking’
  • Swelling
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Comas
  • Death

Prevention

Vets recommend limiting animals to two hours of play in saltwater, with frequent fresh water breaks every 30 minutes to try and prevent saltwater poisoning and plenty of freshwater before they go into saltwater. If you think your pet could possibly have saltwater poisoning take them to the vet immediately.

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Diabetes in Dogs: An Overview

Diabetes in Dogs: An Overview

How do Dogs get Diabetes?

The rate of diabetes in dogs has tripled in the US since the 1970s, with 1 in every 160 dogs effected in the US.

Dogs can only get type 1 diabetes, meaning the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin. For over 70% dogs, this occurs once they’re older than 7 with some dogs having a natural predisposition to it – such as Poodles, multiple Terriers, Siberian Huskies, etc. In addition to this, dogs can also develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy.

Autoimmune diseases damaging the pancreas is thought to be linked to 50% of diabetes in dogs, with much speculation on the causes of the autoimmune diseases. A further 20% of diabetes in dogs is from them developing an insulin resistance from other conditions or the long-term use of steroids.

Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs

Like with humans, dogs have the classic symptoms of diabetes, including but not limited to:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Weight loss despite normal or increased food consumption
  • Increased urination
  • Acute-onset blindness
  • Cataracts

If you believe your dog has any of these symptoms you should visit a vet who can run some simple tests to either confirm or deny this. With proper treatment, diabetic dogs can live just as long as dogs of the same gender and breed that are healthy.

Treatment

The vet will recommend the right course of treatment depending on the type of diabetes and other factors. Finding the right insulin for your dog requires an element of trial and error, but once it’s determined your dog can carry on living a healthy and happy life.

Insulin is normally given twice a day surrounding meal times – either before or after the meal, with after being the safer option as you know your dog has definitely eaten. Giving the insulin shots is key to the treatment, so if in doubt get your vet to check your technique when giving the insulin to your dog.

Diet & Exercise

Diet is key for humans with diabetes, but this isn’t the case for dogs. There is no single recommended diet for dogs with diabetes, its just key that the dog likes the food and will eat it without a challenge.

The dog should be fed the same food at the same time each day, with the meals at equal intervals apart – changes in carbohydrates can effect the insulin needed that day, causing risk of death. Whilst opinions are changing frequently, it is recommended to feed the dog with a food low in fat to avoid complications that can occur from diseases that can be caused by diabetes.

Like with feeding habits, exercise in dogs should also be consistent in activity and time of day, with the best time being 20 to 30 minutes before the evening meal to avoid hypoglycemia.

Team Shanklinpets

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Ken Wight’s Grain Free Pet Food

Ken Wight’s Pet Food is our newest food in Shanklin Pet Stores catering to both Cats and Dogs with a wide range of flavours. A special blend in ingredients creates a unique and varying taste, aroma and texture in all of our foods meaning your pet is unlikely to ever get bored of it, all made from 100% natural and UK-sourced ingredients.

✓ Grain Free

✓ Added Vitamins, Minerals and Omega 3

✓ 50% Minimum Meat content

Biodegradable bag 

✓ Hypoallergenic 

✓ Free from artificial colouring, flavours or preservatives

Available both in store and other stockists, it’s a must have.

Grain Free, Hypoallergenic and added Omega 3

Natural, complete and balanced, Ken Wight’s pet food is designed to be suitable for Dogs and Cats with grain sensitivities. This means that you don’t need to worry about bad reactions or runny stools as it is 100% natural.

Using high quality ingredients, our highly digestible food means more firm and less frequent stools  – especially helpful in older, incontinent pets. This also means that more nutrients will be absorbed into your pet’s digestive tract and therefore their body.

Also with an excellent source of EPA & DHA –  to support cognitive function, visual development and help to reduce the inflammation response – with added Sweet Potato to give a boost of Vitamin B.

Added Omega 3 and Fish Oil will give your pet a healthier skin and shiny coat – ultimately transforming your pet’s coat.

High Quality Protein fit for Humans

A human quality protein source that dogs will go out of their way for with a larger percentage than other pet foods. High quality protein is more bio-available and can be better absorbed by the body, making it ideal for your pet. This also means your dog is more unlikely to eat other dog’s’ faeces.

Dog’s eat other dog’s’ faeces as their digestive system is dependent on a specific mix of enzymes to break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats. There is some evidence that suggests that dog digestive systems haven’t quite caught up to modern diets that include less animal protein and far more carbohydrates and plant proteins. Some veterinary nutritionists have suggested that dogs eat stool to replenish enzymes so that they are better prepared to digest their food.

Reviews for ken wight’s pet food:

“Shanklin Pets in Clarendon Road Shanklin are well worth a visit . My two Chihuahua’s have been on Ken Wights grain free complete food for three weeks and they love it. They are bright eyed and bushy tailed. We can highly recommend it, give it a try” – Clare

“Two things. Firstly I’ve got my sticker from Shanklin Pet Shop so that’s great. Secondly the pet shop are promoting an island brand of cat food. Tried it on inky who’s as fussy as hell (the only cat I know who hates dreamies) and he loves it. So highly recommend can’t remember the exact name but something like Ken Wight. More Meat or fish and less rubbish and cheaper too” – Rachael

“Having been let down by a local pet food shop who strongly recommended Canidae dry dog food and now have decided not to stock it I was looking for a suitable alternative.

So I popped into Shanklin Pet Stores who could not have been more helpful. They suggested I try Ken Wight’s dry dog food which has similar ingredients and has a high fresh meat content and grain free. I was given a couple of free samples to try. Our dog can be a bit fussy and has quite a sensitive tummy but he loved it and no upset stomach. I will now be going over to Ken Wight’s dry dog food. Nice to support a local business as well” – Paul

We have plenty of flavours available – call 01983 863546 or visit our website to find your local stockist!

Team Shanklinpets

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Excessive Mites in Rats

Mites In Rats

Mites in rats is in fact very common as they are present in small numbers under normal conditions without bothering the rat. However, when rats are stressed, ill, or injured, their immune system decreases causing the number of mites to increase – then causing an issue for them.

They often appear as white specks under the fur near the root of the hair, most commonly around the shoulders, neck, and face.

Symptoms

Excessive mites are most commonly seen as increased scratching due to inflammation in the skin, and occasionally abrasions in the skin. These abrasions create an environment where a skin infection can occur if the skin isn’t kept clean. Action should only be taken when it causes complications to the skin.

Treatment and Prevention

If you’ve noticed that your rat is having skin problems you should take them to the vet, especially if you suspect it is mites. Rat mites come in three types – the rat fur mite, the tropical rate mite (uncommon), and the rate mange mite (rare). Mite infestations are often treated with topical applications of medicated dusts, sprays, or solutions to kill the parasites depending on the type of mite the rat has. The vet will advice on the best administration depending on how excessive the case of mites is as well.

If one rat has mites then it is likely that they all do, making it important to treat all of your rats – even if they don’t all have scabs as rats can have mites without symptoms.

Routinely cleaning and disinfecting the cages to maintain a clean living environment for the rats is the best prevention from them getting excessive mites. Keeping a stress-free environment and feeding nutritionally balanced food will also help prevent mites from growing to an excessive number.

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Firework Season

Firework Season

Its a worrying time of the year for dogs and cats with many getting into accidents due to the loud bangs scaring them away from home. With firework season getting closer, dog owners will be asking how do I keep my dog calm and stop him or her being scared? There are many ways to help our four legged friends, with simple preparation you can take the stress and anxiety away from fireworks.

Symptoms of Anxiety in Dogs

For noise anxiety, Dogs will show many symptoms of fear and stress including:

  • Shaking
  • Panting
  • Drooling
  • Yawning
  • Barking/whining
  • Hyperactivity
  • Clawing
  • Digging
  • Hiding
  • Clinging to owners

How Do I Help?

It’s important to keep your pets inside and calm – try and minimise the noise from the explosions by shutting curtains and keeping doors and windows shut, as well as providing a white noise like a radio. Walking pets during day light is also advisable to avoid being out during any firework displays.

Thundershirt

One way is a thundershirt, with its gentle, constant pressure having a dramatic calming effect for most dogs if they are anxious, fearful or over-excited. Based on surveys completed by over two thousand customers, over 80% of dogs show significant improvement in symptoms when using Thundershirt. It is already helping tens of thousands of dogs around the world, and is recommended by thousands of veterinarians and dog trainers.

Hiding

Dogs have many ways of dealing with being fearful, In most cases, when it comes to Fireworks, they just want to hide until it goes away. Therefore, if you create a nice cosy den in the corner of the room you are in then they can feel safe. This can be under a chair with blankets over the top of it, in an actual dog cage, under the table.  Put their favourite toy and perhaps even a filled Kong in it too.

Exercise

Do a lot of mental and physical exercise during the day before it gets dark. If you have a well balanced dog, that is happy mentally and physically, they can cope more easily when the noise anxiety kicks in. Take them for a long walk, hide toys in bushes for them to sniff out, play agility, do some obedience training – anything that will relax them ready for the night before.

Herbal Remedies

If all else fails, then you could look at the number of herbal remedies on the market, these include herbal tablets, plug in diffusers and calming sprays, most take a few days to be most effective as they don’t work in a matter of seconds so if you need any of these products preparation is key, make sure you have and use them 24/48 hours in advance.

Team Shanklinpets