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

Shanklin Pet Stores The Beginning

 

Shanklin Pet Stores The Beginning, Lets go back to where it all started, a small town on the isle of wight, shanklin pet stores stared its life as a storage area for no more than a builders ladder and tools, he build a simple roof between his house and his neighbours, over an 8ft wide alley, over time as his business grow so did his storage alleyway, it was added onto 5/6 times, until one day he added a shop front to it and it became a builders merchants, in 1965 the builders merchants shut down and made way for a pet shop and shanklin pet stores was founded, over the years the pet shop saw 3 owners come and go until 1998 when the Knight family took over, now the shop has entered its second generation its reaching out to the modern world by opening this on line shop. 50 years on and the shop remains the same, walking the length of the shops bizarre shape, 8ft wide by 90ft to 100ft long, you can still clearly see each different add on made over 90 years ago by an old builder 

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Isle Of Wight Trader Approval Scheme

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Isle Of Wight Trader Approval Scheme has welcomed shanklin pet stores aboard

In response to concerns about ‘rogue traders’ which are often highlighted in the media, Local Authority Trading Standards Services have taken ground-breaking steps by developing Trader Approval Schemes. The Isle of Wight Trader Approval Scheme provides consumers with a list of local businesses which have given their commitment to trading fairly. Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks before being approved as a member of the scheme.

The terms and conditions of the Approved Trader Scheme define the minimum standards required of members. Membership of the scheme requires businesses to adhere to the terms and conditions of the Approved Trader Scheme. These minimum standards have been designed to ensure that member businesses are equipped to deliver good customer service, together with the right and proper personal approach by each and every member of staff.

In order to become a Isle of Wight Trader Approval Scheme member, a business needs to apply to join the scheme and  then must pass a set of tailored background checks. Membership of the scheme is not given lightly; amongst the checks, each applicant will have their complaints history reviewed and will receive a visit from Trading Standards. Good references are required from previous customers and applicants must agree to abide by the scheme’s code of conduct, which requires them to follow the letter and spirit of the law and the schemes terms and conditions. Criminal records disclosure may also be required in some circumstances. It is also essential that the business does not cold call on customers.

https://www.iwight.com/Business/Trading-Standards/Isle-of-Wight-Trader-Approval-Scheme/About-the-Scheme1

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Cloudy Water in Fish Tanks

Cloudy Water in Fish Tanks

Many fish tank owners find their water goes white and/or greyish, giving it a cloudy appearance. Sometimes the cloudiness will solve itself within a couple days, but not always. There’s multiple reasons your aquarium has cloudy water, making finding the cause a trial and error process.

Gravel residue

Cloudy water within an hour or two of filling the tank can be due to the gravel. Gravel that’s insufficiently washed will cause this as new gravel is covered in dust and hard-to-see muck and debris. To fix this, the tank needs to be drained and the gravel needs to be rinsed through until the water that filters through is clear.

Bacterial bloom

Sometimes cloudy water appears over time due to a bacterial bloom. As a new aquarium is being set up and goes through its first cycle it is common for the water to go cloudy until bacterial colonies are able to be established that consumes waste in the water – these being the ‘good’ bacterial cultures.

Over feeding your fish can cause a bacterial bloom, making them the ‘bad’ bacteria – if the foods not eaten within 5 minutes then you’re feeding too much. This excess food in addition to decaying plants can cause milky/cloudy water seen in bacterial bloom. To get rid of the cloudy/milky water the gravel needs vacuuming regularly with partial water changes to fix most cases of bacterial bloom, as well as keeping your filter clean. If your water still isn’t clear, water clarifiers can be brought to clump up any debris that’s too small for the filter to pick up without it.

Test your water

If its not the gravel, likelihood is that its the water itself. Water with a high level of phosphates, silicates, or heavy metals cause the water to go cloudy as it causes the pH to be high. Testing the water with a kit can confirm this with conditioners to solve the problem.

Team Shanklinpets

Controlling Fleas in Dogs and Cats

Controlling Fleas in Dogs and Cats

With flea season fast approaching its important to keep on top of fleas on your pets and in your home! This can be done in a number of ways:

  • Kill fleas on your dog/cat – getting rid of the fleas in your house is pointless if you still have fleas on your pet and vise versa, so it’s vital to rid all of them to stop the problem
  • Eliminate fleas in your home – either by contacting professionals to rid your house of fleas or doing it yourself, it’s important to clean every surface and everything thing in your house as fleas will be hiding everywhere and anywhere
  • Prevent future infestations – simply by taking tablets fortnightly or weekly in hotter periods, you can prevent another severe infestation

Spot-on Flea Treatment

Spot-on treatment works by putting a liquid directly on the neck of your pet from a pipette. It in general costs less and lasts longer so can be great if you’re on a budget. It’ll also mean you won’t have to get a tablet down your pet’s throat, which to some owners will be a great relief.  Spot on treatment can also be applied any time of the month and only needs to be applied once every 4 weeks, compared to the every 2 weeks for tablets and is also quick to work and easy to apply.

Although it sounds like a winning product, spot on treatment takes a couple days to completely absorb so can be dangerous to children or other pets in the process and can cause skin sensitivities.

Some other examples of disadvantages to spot on treatment:

  • Can be very dangerous if your pet ingests it
  • It contains an exact dosage, so if you don’t get all of the product out it wont be as efficient
  • Harmful to humans
  • Has to be places in exactly the right position otherwise it won’t work or your pet will be able to lick and scratch at it
  • Some treatments need your pets to be bather before and/or after treatment

Oral Flea Treatment

Oral Flea Treatment is the easiest to administer out of flea treatment for your pets, and also the most effective. It is also 99.9% effective compared to the 88.4% effectiveness for Topical flea treatment. This makes it 11.5% more effective and gives a whole-body protection. Not only is it fast working – in some cases as fast as 15 minutes – it’s also out of your pets system in up to 3 days. This means you can use them in conjunction with other flea and worm treatments. However, the tablet has to be taken whole to be effective as it is less likely to work when crushed up.

The main advantage of oral treatments is that there’s no sticky mess and the doses are better. This means that you won’t leave any dose behind like you do with topical flea treatment. However, oral treatment doesn’t include flea eggs and larvae which will fall off in your house and garden, so your house will need to be treated too to hopefully completely stop any further infestations.

House Treatments

If your pet has fleas there’s a high likelihood that your pet does, and vice versa, making it important to treat your house for fleas as well as your pet. Despite popular belief, house pets can get fleas without going outside as fleas and their eggs are brought in by us when we leave the house and nest in our homes especially when temperatures rise above 20°c- making it important to treat both pet and house regardless if they’re an indoor pet or not.

Houses can be treated in a couple of ways:

  • Professionally – we recommend getting your house treated for fleas by professionals as they’ll be the most effective and efficient  way of ridding them.
  • Flea Sprays – the sprays are also effective, but only if you do the entire house in one go. For them all windows have to be shut and all pets removed as they’re toxic to them for a couple hours after use. The foggers work the same, just without the trigger.
  • Flea Bombs – the bombs also work the same as the spray, but you light them up.
  • Flea Powder – just shake onto the surface, leave, and hoover. Don’t allow anything to walk over the powder.

Team Shanklinpets

How to Keep Dogs Cool in Hot Weather

How to Keep Dogs Cool in Hot Weather

Its important to keep your dogs cool in the summer heat as dogs can quickly develop heat stroke and die within minutes if due attention isn’t paid. Dogs don’t sweat through their skin like humans do, so they rely on their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature – this means that dogs with shorter noses like pugs are more likely to get heat stroke from just running around. Heatstroke can be seen in dogs when they are excessively panting, dribbling, and even collapsing.  If you believe a dog has heatstroke you should move them to a cool place, contact a vet and wet their coat with cool water.

Constant Access to Fresh Water

Making sure your dog has access to clean water at all times is vital – even during walks. Ideally a large bowl should be filled to the brim with fresh water that’s changed at least daily and water should be carried around with a travel bowl during walks. If you spot signs of your dog over-heating during a walk – including heavy panting and loss of energy – stop and find shade for your dog, also giving them water.

Walk Dogs during Cooler Hours

A general rule to live by before deciding if you should take your dog on a walk or not – if you can’t hold your hand against the pavement for more than 5 seconds its too hot for your dog to walk. Many don’t realise how important it is to check first, without doing so could result in the paw pads blistering, making it painful to walk. Avoiding taking your dog out when the sun is at its strongest (around 11am til 3pm) is a good way of preventing your dog from overheating as it’ll be cooler. If it can’t be avoided, dog boots are available for them to wear to prevent their paws from blistering from the heat.

Walking during cooler hours also helps prevent dogs getting sunburn. Pale-coloured dogs are susceptible to sunburn, especially their ears, nose and areas where the fur is thinner. Another prevention is to use non-toxic suncream (preferably specific to dogs) or to put a t-shirt on the dog to cover their vulnerable areas.

Pools and Dogs Cool Mats

Pools, empty ceramic baths, and cool mats are effective ways of cooling dogs down once they’re hot – with a cool mat having been manufactured to keep dogs cool in the summer to give them relief when they need it as it doesn’t need electricity and is easy to use. Cool mats are particularly good because they don’t contain any toxic materials or chemicals – unlike some cool beds.

Pools, lakes, and other large bodies of water are good up to a limit. Salt water can make dogs sick and some kind of algae (such a blue-green algae) are toxic to dogs, so it’s best to keep them supervised when in water – even if its to make sure they don’t drown.

Keeping Their Fur Well-Groomed

Do not shave your dogs fur off for the summer – whilst dogs fur serves to keep them warm in the winter it also protects them from the heat in the summer. This means that shaving all the fur off a dog exposes them to heat that they wouldn’t have been before, making them more likely to overheat and get heatstroke. A tangle-free and well-groomed coat will help to protect their skin from sunburn as well as keeping the dogs cool, but if in doubt consult your local groomers.

Do Not Leave a Dog Unsupervised in A Car

Under no circumstances should a dog be left alone in a car – even if its just for a moment. Temperature can quickly increase in a stationary car, even if it’s reasonably cool outside, putting your dog at risk of heat stroke and death. During hotter days, air conditioning should be on with the windows shut to ensure the car is cool throughout – not just at the front. A dog cool mat could also be used for travel to help keep them cool.

Team Shanklinpets

Why do Cats Meow?

Why Do Cats Meow?

Some owners find that their cats meow almost constantly, where as others may only hear theirs meow rarely – so why do cats meow? The amount they meow varies from breed to breed, their age, as well as the cat itself.

Age

Kittens meow to their mothers whenever they’re hungry, cold, or scared – making these meows necessity. Over time cats will start vocalising in different ways – such as scent, body language, growling, and hissing – to communicate to one another. They may still meow, but it’s normally reserved for communicating with humans. Paying attention to the different lengths and pitches of meows will allow you to figure out what your cat is saying to you over time.

Why do Cats Meow?

Cats meow for a variety of reasons, some seem to like hearing themselves talk, others meow for a more serious reason.

  • Attention seeking – despite the popular stereotype, cats like attention just as much as dogs and will meow to get it or to initiate play, and being lonely throughout the day will make them meow more
  • Stress – just like humans, cats get stressed too! A new pet, environment, or baby can contribute to this until they’re use to it
  • Hunger – cats tend to meow whenever you’re around food in the hopes of getting some themselves, in addition to when its getting close to when they eat
  • Illness – cats tend to vocalise more when they have the symptoms of a more serious problem such as kidney disease or an overactive thyroid, both of which can cause hunger, thirst, or pain, which causes excessive meowing
  • Greeting – when you see them in your home they’re likely to meow as they’re happy to see you!
  • Cats in heat – females will meow more when in heat, and males will meow more when they smell it
  • Age – as well as meowing frequently as kittens, cats meow more when they’re older as they’re confused so will often cry for no apparent reason

What should you do?

If your cat has started excessively meowing more than normal, take them to a vet to be checked! It’s better to be safe than sorry when your pet starts acting abnormally. If your cat is healthy, start changing your habits. For example, give your cat food once they’ve stopped meowing, or give them attention when they’re being quiet rather than when they’re meowing for it. Do not ignore your cat or avoid feeding them! These changes may help in cutting down meowing, but it wont stop it. Equally, you can switch to an automatic feeder to get them to meow at the feeder rather than you, or get various toys (interactive, balls, normal) to keep them occupied whilst you’re out throughout the day.

Team Shanklinpets

Raw Food Diet for Dogs

Raw Food Diet may seem daunting at first for owners, but it’s not as hard as it initially seems! With the right balance of Meat, Vegetables, Fats and Carbohydrates your Dog can have a homemade meal that meets all of their daily needs that most shop-bought dog foods don’t. Besides knowing exactly what your Dog is eating and knowing that it’s fulfilling their daily needs, there are other advantages to feeding Raw Food.

Why feed raw food?

One of the first advantages of a Raw Food Diet is that your Dogs’ stools almost immediately improve, becoming more firm. This is due to no cereals being present in their food so more of the food digested is absorbed in the digestive tract, making the stool firmer and less frequent. Another benefit is that raw food doesn’t get extruded like some pet foods do – meaning that more of the original nutrients is retained and means that supplements don’t need to be added to the diet.

Other advantages include:

  • More palatable
  • Healthier
  • Better looking coat

what does a raw food diet need to contain?

1. Bones

Macro-minerals are the most important minerals within a dogs diet and are needed in the largest quantities, without them your Dog could die. These include Calcium; Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium and others. Bones contain enough minerals to mostly cover  these needs. Bones should make up about 12-15% of a Dog’s daily diet.

Meaty bones that are good for this include:

  • Chicken or Duck wings, legs, necks or thighs
  • Lamb or Goat necks or ribs
  • Beef tail bones

 2. Organs

Another good way of getting your Dog all their vitamins is through feeding them organs. Organs contain the most nutrients and without them your Dog could be missing some of the most important vitamins. Organs include Lungs, Kidney, Liver, Brain and other nutrient-rich organs. A third to a half of the Dogs diet should be a kind of a muscle meat from either Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Pork or Lamb. These provide important proteins that help with the build and repair of tissues and also allow new hormones and enzymes to be made.

3. Fat

Only slightly over 10% of the Dog’s diet should be made up of fat. Over-feeding fats can cause malnutrition of vitamins and minerals that other parts of their diet would normally supply. Fat is important for skin health and the immune system so it can’t be missed from a daily diet and is a must for making sure you don’t over or underfeed fat.

4. Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and Vegetables are the more optional part of the diet, while your Dog could live without them but they can also source some important macro-minerals such as Magnesium from leafy green vegetables, for example. If you decide to feed Vegetables it should make up approximately 30% of a daily diet.

Finally, don’t forget to give your Dog some variety! The food might be more palatable but your Dog can still get bored of eating the same food every day – even if it is healthier for them.

Team Shanklinpets

Can Dogs get Cancer from Lawn Fertiliser?

Can Dogs get Cancer from Lawn Fertiliser?

Recent studies have found a link between some cancers in dogs and chemicals in lawn fertiliser. Chemicals such as 2,4-D from the fertilisers have been found in urine of dogs, with the chemical able to travel to neighbouring gardens.  This increase in exposure has been found to have a direct link to an increase risk of bladder cancer in dogs. In more recent studies its been found that professionally applied pesticides on lawn links to a 70% higher risk of cancer. These chemicals have been found in pesticides normally used to kill clovers and dandelions.

Unfortunately, these chemicals can be both digested and absorbed so its hard to control whether or not your dog gains these chemicals. The main cancers caused by these chemicals are Canine and Bladder-related, making it important to keep an eye on dogs.

Which breeds are more at risk?

Dogs such as sheepdogs, beagles, and scottish terriers are more likely to get bladder cancer once exposed to 2,4-D. However, this doesn’t limit these cancers to these breeds, they’re just more likely to get it than others.

What are the symptoms?

Most dog cancers have similar early symptoms so its important to keep an eye on any changes in them. These symptoms include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Weight loss
  • Blood in the urine
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Frequent urination/pain when urinating
  • Changes in eating

The best way to try and limit your dogs content it to avoid contact. Unfortunately, not a lot can be done other than to limit contact. This can be by changing parks to somewhere you know doesn’t use the fertiliser, or using more natural methods to fertiliser your soil, and avoiding the use of pesticides.

Something to keep in mind is that animals are normally more sensitive to environmental changes than humans are, so it is possible that these risks apply to humans. However, this is currently under investigation both legally and scientifically to see if these claims are true.

Team Shanklinpets