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Grass Seeds and Dogs.30th July 2020
It’s that time of the year (which we love more than any other) where we can once again enjoy walking our dogs in the fields and meadows. We also all know to use some kind of protection, preferably natural, on our dogs for ticks and fleas as well as other little pests. But what about those sneaky grass seeds?
There’s sadly not much we can do beforehand as they are pretty much everywhere at this time of the year. The problem is that they are tiny and they have the potential to cause your dog serious pain. The seeds have pointy ends and are very sharp allowing them to easily get trapped in your dog’s coat. You might be thinking… well, that’s not so bad, however, they can burrow down through the hair and pierce the skin. The worse scenario is, albeit in rare cases, is that the grass seed can burrow under the skin and travel to other areas of the body.
So, if your question is can grass seeds hurt my dog? The answer is yes!
As I mentioned above, grass seeds can easily penetrate your dog’s (or cat’s) outer skin in many areas and if we leave it untreated this can be incredibly painful.
How do you know if your dog has grass seeds?
Two of the most common places on the dog’s body where grass seeds can cause problems are the feet and ears. Grass seeds can easily get stuck between the dog’s toes, which is called the interdigital space, “hold” onto the soft fur between the toes and then slowly make its way towards the skin where it can penetrate the skin with ease. Here it may slowly burrow itself deeper and deeper which can result in discomfort, extreme pain, infection and acute lameness. Your dog will vigorously lick its paws and toes because he’ll be very uncomfortable and/or even lethargic. This is when it’s time to visit your vet! Because sometimes the grass seed may travel under the skin where you won’t be able to see it.
When it comes to the ear the story is similar to the one above. The grass seeds shape allows it to work its way from the fur on the ears, down along the ear canal and can go so deep that it can damage the delicate eardrum. If the grass seed enters your dog’s ear he will shake his head vigorously and he will look very uncomfortable. If you notice this sign take your dog to see your vet straight away.
How to remove grass seeds.
After walks, I use a slicker brush with longer bristles for removing any grass and twigs from my dog’s coat. Especially the Scotties who are like magnets for them! How do I do this you ask?
If a grass seed is close to the surface of the skin or has just started to penetrate it you can use a tweezer. At this stage the grass seed is easily accessible. Once you’ve pulled the seed out you should disinfect the area. Perhaps give our Soothing Antiseptic Spray a try 😉? On the other hand, if a grass seed is lodged too deeply or there’s pus or blood coming out of the wound, do not hesitate and take your dog to the vet!
Always remember to check your dog’s feet, coat and ears after a walk in the fields, forest and meadows. It’s not just pesky ticks and fleas that you find out there!
Fleas – Know Your Enemy.24th July 2020
Fleas have arrived – your dog’s (as well as yours) enemies are here! Are you angry or frustrated and asking yourself, how the hell did this happen to us?Are they from the hedgehog in the garden, the neighbour’s cat or perhaps that scruffy dog in the park? These thoughts will drive one crazy!
Fleas and flea control.
Fleas have different strategies to ticks when it comes to landing on their host. As soon as a young flea hatches she starts looking for a host. Fleas notice vibration and body heat and as soon as the potential host approaches they’ll jump straight on, bite and then feed on the blood whilst being hidden in warm fur.
When I decided to develop a flea repelling product I wanted it to be safe, not only for our dogs and us but also for the environment. Commercial repellents contain synthetic ingredients that repel fleas and insects, however, many of them have been linked to skin irritation, negative respiratory effects and rashes. They also have a negative effect on bees, fish, birds and the environment in general.
If you’re like me and you don’t want to expose your dog, yourself and the environment to more unnecessary chemicals, you reach for the essential oils. Not only do they smell nice but they’re also effective against insects, fleas and ticks. When we use natural flea and tick treatments on our dogs, they need to be reapplied more often but why? The reason is that the active ingredients in essential oils tend to be highly volatile and, as a result, they may only be effective for shorter periods of time. Because of this, frequent reapplication is often necessary.
Insect Repelling Citrus Spray
Insect Repelling Citrus Spray is 100% natural and has a refreshing, bright and fresh aroma. The high-quality essential oils used in this spray are intolerable to fleas, mosquitos, horse flies, wasps and even ants. It’s suitable not only for dogs but also for large animals and humans.
🍃 Lemon essential oil is one of the best essential oils for fleas. Its strong smell and powerful active ingredients can repel not only fleas but also flies, midges, mosquitos and ants.
🍃 Grapefruit essential oil smells delightful and repels insects, particularly fleas.
🍃 The bright and sunny, spirit-lifting aroma of sweet orange essential oil is not pleasant to insects at all (unlike us 😉).
Can fleas live on humans?
Although different types of fleas prefer different hosts, they all bite humans. Yes, they do and it happened to me once. I didn’t catch it (I assume there was only one) from my dog but I think I picked it up on a packed bus 🙈. And I didn’t actually see the flea but my belly started itching and on closer inspection at home I had about a 2” diameter patch of quite a few tiny bites! I quickly took my clothes off and they went straight into the washing machine. Then I jumped into the shower. I assume the flea/fleas died in the washing machine or I flushed it/them off in the shower because no one else experienced any bites afterwards.
How do you know if you have fleas?
You should check your pet regularly for fleas. The easiest way is to open the coat and look for them, their bites or their dirt. Flea dirt looks like a sprinkling of black pepper. You might also notice your dog scratching more frequently. A flea comb is a very good tool to use as well.
If you’re moving house, renting a room or staying in a “suspicious place” where you’re worried about fleas, do the sock test. I’ve never tried it myself, so I can’t tell you how accurate it is, but here it is anyway…
Put on a pair of white cotton socks and pull them up to your calves. Walk around the room or house and if there are adult fleas present they’ll likely jump up and catch a ride. Because fleas are attracted to heat, shuffle your feet to create warmth on the floor and you’ll see them as brown/black specks on your white socks, if they’re around. Let me know if you’ve ever tried this!
Where do fleas live in your house?
Depending on the stage of their life cycle, fleas live in different conditions.
Flea Eggs: These are laid directly on your pet’s fur every day and the fall spreads wherever your pet takes them. This means that flea eggs can end up in your bedding, furniture and carpets. If you have a cat, then even on your table or shelves. They go everywhere!
Flea Larvae: The larvae are loners and prefer dark, narrow and dusty spaces that give them more protection. This is why they’re hard to find and get rid of and mainly why flea treatments often fail.
Adult Fleas: These only live and hide on live hosts such as cats, dogs, rodents and other furry mammals. As well as the occasional human… You can find them outside and they like shady humid places. If your furry friend wanders into these places on hot summer days, he’ll become an easy snack bar for fleas for sure!
How do you get rid of fleas?
Getting rid of fleas is not easy. You have to treat not only your dog but your whole household too. Regular and thorough hoovering is also necessary because apparently, this kills up to 96% of adult fleas. If you’re worried about the remaining 4%, get a professional flea fumigation booked ASAP.
The pupae and larvae are resistant to most of the pesticides used in flea control. And in fact, researchers recently found strains of fleas that are immune to popular pesticides such as fipronil as well as others.
Diatomaceous earth and bicarbonate of soda are popular DIY methods and cause fleas to die of dehydration. Bathing your dog helps too, even if you don’t have a special flea shampoo. Be sure to leave the lather on the coat for at least 5 min. This will trap the fleas before rinsing off. Regular bathing helps to keep the flea population in check. And if your dog has fleas you’ll be able to see them easily while shampooing. If you use a high-quality shampoo you don’t have to worry about dry skin or other issues either 👍🏻.
When it comes to fleas, the popular saying, prevention is better than cure, applies. It’s definitely easier, cheaper and less worrying. Wouldn’t you agree?
Dog Shampoo – Any Substitutes?24th July 2020
Your dog needs a bath but you don’t have any dog shampoo 😱. I bet you’ve found yourself in this situation before?
Before I owned my grooming salon it happened to me countless times and it was so frustrating! I’d get so annoyed with myself for not keeping an extra one handy. It was especially frustrating when one of our Howavart girls decided to roll in 💩.
I grabbed just about anything I had at home to wash her because all I knew was that I had to remove the 💩 as quickly as possible. By anything I mean washing up liquid, my shampoo, my conditioner… anything to make her clean and smell nice.
Now I bet you’re thinking…can I use human shampoo on my dog?
The answer is… kind of. Basically, in emergencies like this, I wouldn’t hesitate because, yes, human shampoo will clean your dog, however, I wouldn’t recommend using it as a substitute to a good quality, as natural as possible, dogs shampoo.
What is The Acid Mantel?
The acid mantle is a very fine, slightly acidic film on the surface of human skin and it works as a barrier to protect the porous top layer (the stratum corneum) from bacteria and viruses. The stratum corneum keeps the outer body well hydrated by absorbing water and not allowing excessive evaporation.
When we wash our dog with shampoo, like it or not, we wash away the acid mantle. It’s for this reason why most human and dog shampoos, as well as soaps, are formulated with moisturizers – to replace the protective layer that has been washed away. This is at least until the skin is able to replenish itself around 12 hours later. If the stratum corneum is left unprotected without its acid barrier, it will be open to a host of microorganisms. This may show up as dry, flaky, irritated, or peeling skin and perhaps even as a rash of itchy lumps.
The acid mantle is also defined as the relative pH balance of the skin. As you probably remember from your school days, the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with levels less than 6.4 considered high acidity, and levels more than 6.4 considered high alkalinity. The normal range of skin pH level for humans is 5.2 to 6.2, which means it tends to be on the acidic side. Human shampoos and other skin products are formulated specifically to maintain this balance. Relative pH balance for dogs ranges from 5.5 to 7.5, tending toward a more alkaline concentration (depending on breed, gender, climate and the anatomical size).
So, what does all this mean?
In a nutshell, if we use a shampoo formulated for human skin on a dog, the dog’s acid mantle will be disrupted and it will create an environment where bacteria, parasites, and viruses can grow happily. Unknowingly many pet owners will repeat wash their dogs with human shampoos for different reasons. Perhaps it’s also more convenient because the human shampoo is always there and it smells nice too?
Before learning about the acid mantle, I too was a culprit. I’d even been advised by a friend who breeds and shows Poodles to use Pantene Silk and Smooth as it protects the hair really well allowing for faster growth too. But what about the skin? I’d never thought of that…
The more we learn, the better choices we can make. Don’t you agree?
A lot of people bath their dogs often because of their smell. This can be caused by a proliferation of bacteria, making the problem worse as the skin’s acid mantle (pH level) becomes more out of balance. If they then use a shampoo that makes the skin feel dry, their dog will scratch thereby creating abrasions for bacteria to invade and this will quickly become a vicious cycle.
In conclusion, what’s the lesson learned?
When you’re choosing a shampoo for your dog check the pH balance as well. Dog shampoos should be in the neutral range, around 7. Many shampoo manufacturers provide this information on their labels and even if there’s no specific number, they should clearly state that the shampoo is pH-balanced for dogs.
On a side note… make sure that the shampoo doesn’t contain artificial fragrance and perfumes and try to find natural skin moisturizers like vitamin E, aloe vera, honey, coconut or argan oil. Don’t rely on the front label alone – rather read the ingredients list.
How do I make natural dog shampoo?
Feeling creative and want to create your own homemade dog shampoo? Why not?! You may have some of these ingredients at home already and others can easily be ordered from Summer Naturals.
Aloe Vera and Glycerine Shampoo
- 1 litre of water.
- 230ml of shampoo base
- 230 ml of apple cider vinegar.
- 75ml of glycerine.
- 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel
I recently discovered this homemade shampoo for itchy skin too 🙂
- one cup of oatmeal flour (you can also chop up a cup of oats in a blender until it reaches a powder consistency)
- ½ cup of baking soda
- cups of warm water
Do you enjoy making your own shampoo? Perhaps you have your own recipe? What do you look for when choosing a shampoo for your dog?
Grief and How We Deal With It.10th July 2020
“Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve.”
Isn’t this quote amazing at capturing what grief is? The beauty of grief too is that everyone feels it and experiences it differently. Some may even question if they’re supposed to be feeling like this, how much they should cry or what’s normal etc? We’re all different and we all deal with situations differently.
I feel very fortunate that at my age I haven’t had to experience many of these trying times as I still have my parents, my sister and my friends. When I was 17 I lost my lovely nan, who meant the world to me, and then John’s mom a few years ago. There have, of course, also been many members of my animal family from childhood hamsters (they were all named Mikinko 😊), to cats and dogs over the years. Although there may not have been that many, each one of them were still painful.
Grieving for your pet.
When it comes to grieving for your pet, the mixed emotions can be overwhelming, especially when we have to make the hard decision to have them put to sleep.
We’re flooded with feelings of guilt, loss and sadness as well as flashes of happy memories. For me, the guilt is the worse. The constant questioning if I had done the right thing, had I done enough, should I have done more, should I have tried something else, was it too soon… was it not? These voices can drive one crazy.
We may also experience all kinds of emotions, like shock, anger, disbelief and profound sadness. The pain of grief can even disrupt our physical health, making it difficult to sleep, eat, concentrate and even think. These are all normal reactions to a big loss. One thing I know for sure is that we need to deal with our emotions and let them out. Marisa Peer says that emotions are like a gas. They need to be let out because if you keep them in it hurts.
When we made the hard decision to take Rosie to the vet I cried… A LOT! I cried every time I looked at her, every time I held her and then all over again the next day on the way to the vet. John and I then both cried saying goodbye to Rosie. For the rest of the day I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t concentrate or even think so I just went to bed in the afternoon and cried myself to sleep. John, on the other hand, kept himself vigorously busy. You see, we’re all different and all deal with our emotions differently.
The next day I started using Comfort Blend by placing just a few drops on my wrist and rubbing it onto my neck. I felt calmer and cried only when I saw Rosie’s photo, collar or pillow. I also went for a run because I knew it would clear my head and that I’d be able to switch off completely. Endorphins flooded my body and then finally, I felt joy. Endorphins, our brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, are bumped up by physical activity… running in my case and energetically sorting his workshop in John’s. They’re a kind of “protective system” for the body when it’s hit by intense stress, tension or grief and have numerous other benefits such as: alleviating depression, reducing stress and anxiety, and boosting self-esteem.
Essential oils can help.
Another easy way to release endorphins is by using our sense of smell. Research has shown that the inhalation of essential oils can communicate signals to the olfactory system and stimulate the brain to release neurotransmitters which help regulate our mood. An example of one such essential oil is Ylang Ylang, which can be found in Comfort Blend. Another example, as found in one study, is that smelling bergamot, lavender and lemon essential oils help trigger your brain to release serotonin and dopamine.
Exercise and essential oils were the two things that helped me enormously when dealing with Rosie’s loss. Eventually, happy and funny memories started to appear more. We could talk about Rosie with smiles, not tears, and even laugh at her mischiefs.
She was gone, and I had to accept it.
Accepting the things we can’t change and this acceptance gives us the ability to embrace the new change. We all have great memories from our past. And sometimes feel that we’d like to relive them again and again. But we can’t keep borrowing things from the past. We have to look forward, to move forward.
Love, Jitka xx
RIP Rosie2nd July 2020
This particular blog is not an easy one to write. A few days have passed and I’m still struggling to believe that our Rosie is not with us anymore 😢.
For those of you who don’t know who Rosie was, she was my Welsh Terrier and the face of Vita Canis from day one. Not only because she had an undeniably cute face and clever expression. But also because she was always keen on taking an excellent photo. What a star our Rosie was! She always knew how to pose and was always keen to participate. She’d stand on her eyelashes for a treat if I asked her to 😂.
I got Rosie from John’s mom when she was 2 years old. I needed a hand-stripped dog for grooming competitions and she stole my heart from day dot. She was easy going, easy to train (not a typical Welsh). Always friendly with other dogs that we met on our walks (not like some of my other terriers). The only dog she didn’t like was my Kerry Blue Terrier Kimi, which was always a mystery to us. They’d lived together happily for 7 years and then one day they decided to kill each other! Hopefully, they’re friends now 🤗.
Rosie was a wonderful companion, a wonderful mum to her puppies. And a wonderful foster mum to other puppies that required extra care. She was also a greedy chop that would eat anything, anytime, no matter the amount. Once I had to pull her out of a bag of dry food where all that you could see of her was her back legs sticking out! She’d also happily eat half a box of Thornton’s chocolate, a tub of butter, cheese, ham and nuts… Which would all be stolen from the fridge or bags of course. This cheeky little persona was also evident when she would shout at us if we didn’t listen!
One of my fondest memories of Rosie is when she hid in my suitcase while we were packing for our first holiday abroad. And also not forgetting the time she pooped in my mom’s suitcase! (I think my mom upset her somehow😂).
Rosie, you were my helper and best buddy at many trade shows. As well as the best demo dog I ever had… you didn’t move a muscle on the table… You were loved by all my students because you made them feel at ease. And you were so incredibly special to me that it’s hard to find the words to describe the love I have for you.
RIP Rosie ❤️ 🌈 ❤️
Take Your Dog To Work Day.25th June 2020
Take your dog to work day was created by Pet Sitters International and celebrates the great companions dogs make and encourages adoptions from local shelters, rescue groups and humane societies.
For me “take your dog to work day” is every day as I am working from home 😊
But if you are back to your usual work routine, you may suggest to your boss to bring dogs to work on this day. And if you are the boss, even better! Make it mandatory, lol!
But why not make “take your dog day” any day of the year? Or once you’re back to work, you can make it a weekly or even daily thing?
Here are 5 benefits that can help you to make your point at work:
If you are an introvert like me, a dog is the best icebreaker ever!! And there is always something to talk about with a fellow dog owner.
GET POINTS FOR WORKING LONGER
This one your boss will l-o-v-e!!! If your dog is with you at work, you don’t have to rush home to take him out and you’re also not stressing about what he or she is doing. So you can work for longer…
There are many benefits to bringing your dog to work. According to some studies, keeping a dog in the office is an instant stress reliever, which helps to encourage production of the stress-reducing hormone oxytocin and decrease levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Creativity just flows when you’re not stressing. Because your dog is with you, you’ve subconsciously lowered your stress levels allowing you to fully concentrate. You can focus better and tap into your inner genius!
If your dog is very young, or sick, or misbehaving, has separation anxiety, or is an elderly pensioner… leaving him or her home alone for longer periods of time can be stressful and worrying. You may worry about what your pup is destroying, or if he is feeling lonely or in pain and uncomfortable. But bringing your dog to work means you can keep your eyes on your dog all day long. And your dog will be happier after spending the day with you.
Our friends from HOWNDS are organising an interesting charitable event about this day tomorrow, and you can join live.
This is what Jo Amit, founder of HOWND said:
“This year “Take your dog to work day” is about staying at home and joining in the fun LIVE. We have 5 incredible streamed events lined up for Friday June 26th from 8am-5pm which you can purchase tickets for on Eventbrite – ALL THE MONEY RAISED is going to All Dogs Matter Animals Asia. For the first time ever online, you can watch the peaceful rescued Moon Bears at Animals Asia’s sanctuary in Chengdu, China (£33) or enter your dog into one of 4 celebrity judged dog shows (£10 per entry). Tickets can be purchased at https://bit.ly/30PwbsT . Thank you x
Ps. You can join in from overseas too!”
Love, Jitka xx
5 Summer Activities To Do With Your Dog.18th June 2020
Summer is here, even if it doesn’t look like it, but hopefully, we’ll get some nice weather soon. When it arrives, be prepared with these 5 tips for summer activities you can do with your dog!
1. Paddling and swimming.
This is the most obvious summer activity, as you can imagine 😊.
When it comes to water all my dogs are different. Mr. Tank just loves water and so does Martha, my other Scotty. Mr. Tank loves his paddling pool so much and gets so excited that he bites the walls of the pool to the point that we can’t use it anymore. As a result, we’ve gone through quite a few of them over the years 😂.
On the other hand, Rosie, the old wise lady, stands in her water bowl and has an occasional lick, lol. Adele does the same but she has to be in the mood. My other Lakeland, Tinker Bell (Adele’s daughter), is not keen on water at all. She doesn’t like getting wet and she also doesn’t like it when the others are having too much fun in the paddling pool. Is she jealous, or what?
Richard hates water with a passion! He runs away from the hose and he won’t even step into a puddle. When we went for hydrotherapy he wouldn’t even move on the water treadmill for the first few sessions and stayed glued to the belt! No idea why?
Apparently, Airedales were also called Waterside Terriers as they originated in the valley (dale) of the river Aire, in Yorkshire. I would definitely not call Richard a Waterside terrier lol.
2. Hills and beaches.
Dogs love hiking, walks on the beach and exploring new places. Be sure to find a dog-friendly beach and trail though. Don’t forget your poo bags, water, treats and snacks because these are your necessities!
If you often go hiking or on beach holidays with your dog make sure to check his paws regularly. Years ago we went for an all-day hike and poor Blondie scraped her paw pads on the rocks we were walking on. Looking back now, I wish I had had Soothing Antiseptic Spray and Paw Butter at that time. They would have made such a difference for her!
3. Pupsicles and ice cream.
This is where you can get really creative!
Mash your dog’s favourite fruit and/or veggies and fill and ice mould or any other moulds you like and have. Put it in the freezer and VOILA … frozen doggy treats! You can also use a meat or veggie stock with chunks of meat and veggies.
Here’s a very simple recipe for a healthy, delicious ice cream you can share with your doggo:
- 4 very ripe bananas
- Slice the bananas and put them into a covered container
- Freeze for at least 12 hours.
- Allow to thaw for 5 minutes before processing in a food processor until light and whippy-like.
- Serve with chopped nuts, nut cream, chocolate chips or your other favourite toppings. Serves 2-3.
Variation: Add cocoa powder to make chocolate ice cream. This is not for your dog though!!!! Be careful that you don’t strain your food processor too hard. Just a little tip 😉
4. Twist with the Kong.
Does your dog like the Kong as much as my dogs? Have you thought about filling it with something delicious like meat, mashed veggies or peanut butter and then freezing it? Give it a try and let me know if it’s a hit!
5. Early morning walks.
My dogs and I are morning people. Most often than not you’ll find us out in the early morning, walking around the quarry behind our house. I love early morning walks in summer with the quietness, haze and breeze and no one around except me and my dogs ❤️.
What are you up to this summer?
What are your 5 summer activities with your dog?
I love trying new activities with my doggies and always love to hear new ideas!
Love, Jitka xx
10 Reasons Why Dogs Are Man’s Best Friend.14th June 2020
We celebrated Best Friends Day on the 8th of June, as you would have seen in Tuesday’s newsletter. There are at least 10 reasons why dog’s are man’s best friend. And I am sure you can think of more…
Let your best friend know how grateful you are that you have one another!
There are many reasons why dogs are ideal best friends for us humans:
Your best friend has a terrible short-term memory.
The short-term memory of my best friends always makes me laugh, especially when it comes to food. I can give my dog a treat and within just a few minutes he’ll be looking at me as if to say, “umm… you didn’t give me anything and, in fact, I CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER the last time you gave me one!”
Your best friends has a great long-term memory.
Your best friend’s long-term memory can be very emotional. It’s quite something to see their joy when you get back home from your travels and he/she greets you like crazy -jumping, barking, fetching toys and not leaving your side for the rest of the day.
Your best friend has your back.
I think even the tiniest dog would try to protect us… at least by making a noise. My first dog Ajo, a Miniature Schnauzer, was truly my best friend. And he was really good at protecting me. He would not only bark, but he would attack as well. Part of our training was protection training. With this training, dogs will defend you upon command and he’d automatically respond if I was threatened or physically attacked. During the training real-life situations were simulated and as a teenager I was never afraid to go out when he was by my side. It was quite comical to watch him training with all the German Shepherds, Rottweilers and other large dogs but he was so good and passionate about it! I bet if he had bitten an attacker on his leg or just below the waistline (you know where I mean), it would’ve caused some harm.
Your best friend can mimic your emotions.
When we’re happy, they’re happy and when we’re sad, they’re sad. They even try to cheer us up! When we’re stressed they are too and because of that, we need to be careful and watch our emotions. With quite a few dogs in the house, this can cause tension which isn’t ideal for group dynamic.
You best friend acts as mini-dishwashers.
Do you let your dog lick your plate or your spoon? I’m guilty! Don’t judge me 😊.
Your best friend is a great motivational tools.
This is a big one! You don’t feel like going for a walk… Hey Ho… you still have to! This applies especially if you live in a flat with no garden. In this case, you actually have to go out a few times a day, whether you like it or not. This is how my mum stays fit with her Chihuahua Cherry.
Your best friend is freaking smart!
Sometimes too smart! They can learn how to open a door, a cupboard, a bin, even a fridge and then help themselves to food. Did you have to buy a new bin with a lock to stop your dog from getting in, like me? What’s the smartest thing your dog’s ever done?
Your best friend won’t allow you to eat alone ever again.
With a dog, your best friend, you’re never alone and this applies especially to when you’re eating! Remember the short-term memory loss I spoke about? They don’t remember that they’ve, in fact, already eaten, even if it was only a few minutes ago 😂.
Your best friend won’t leave you hanging.
They’re always ready to do something and ANYTHING together. I can’t even say the ‘W’ word (walk) ‘G’ word (go) or ‘B’ word (biscuit) when we’re just sitting around! What are the words that your dog understands and get him all excited?
Your best friend knows how to live.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog! If you can’t eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away 👍🏻.
Love, Jitka xx
6 expert tips on how to groom your dog at home.4th June 2020
Home grooming doesn’t come to an end now that most grooming salons are open again. Here are 6 expert tips on how to groom your dog at home.
Regular coat maintenance from an early age is very important. It keeps the coat nice and healthy and deepens the bond between you and your dog. It also aids in identifying health issues like skin allergies, ear infection, external parasites, etc much earlier on.
Here are my tips on how to groom your dog at home.
Regular bathing of your dog will make sure that their coat is kept clean. Make sure you choose your shampoo well. Take note of not only the suitability for your dog’s coat but also the ingredients. Ideally, find a shampoo that is free from sulfates, parabens and petrochemicals.
We use For All Dog Kind shampoos in the salon which are as natural as possible (97%). It cleans well, and smells lovely. I would recommend a 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo for everyday skin and coats. The scent is great and the coat is easy to brush afterward. Bathing without brushing can cause the coat to tangle. Therefore never bath your dog without following up with brushing and combing.
I prefer to brush and comb dogs once their coat is clean. Not only does it feel better on my hands but this way I also avoid breathing in debris, dust and hair. My dogs are low maintenance. They don’t need daily brushing and combing so I only need give them a good thorough brush and comb when I bath them, which is about every 10 days. Well, that’s my goal at least. When they were little, they were brushed daily so that they could get used to it.
Have you noticed a build-up around your dog’s eyes? If the answer is yes, please don’t try to use clippers or scissors to remove it! Instead, use a small, moist, piece of cotton wool. For example cooled down chamomile tea is very soothing. Carefully wipe from the corner of your dog’s eyes moving in a downwards direction gently. Repeat if necessary with a new, clean piece of cotton wool. This will remove or loosen any discharge surrounding the eye. Practice this daily with dogs with hairy faces such as a Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Schnauzers, Cockapoos, Doodles, Yorkies, etc. When done daily, this can help prevent any build-up from occurring.
Nail clipping is one of the many things that dog owners have had to have a go at for the first time during lockdown. The fear of cutting the quick puts a lot of dog owners off of cutting their dog’s nails. This is fully understandable, however, sometimes we have to do things we aren’t comfortable with. You have to think about it differently… you’re actually helping your dog! Check my step by step guide to nail clipping here.
Preventative care is always best, which is why regular checking and cleaning of ears is so important. Just like clipping a dog’s toenails, starting from an early age is suggested so that your puppy gets used to it as soon as possible. You can do this by gently holding the ear, massaging it and turning over the ear flap while playing with your puppy. Check my blog on how to clean your dog’s ears here.
Paw pads consist of a layer of pigmented skin, usually black or pink, as well as insulating fatty tissue. This fatty tissue gives your dog’s paws a bit of protection from colder surfaces in the winter.
Paw pads are a fundamental part of your dog’s foot structure and are protected by nails. The two work in conjunction with each other. Paw pads help with your dog’s stability and balance as well as providing traction and shock absorption. A dog’s paw pads may feel rough, calloused, or smooth and soft which all depends on what surface you walk your dog on as well as his/her lifestyle. Rougher walking surface = rougher paws.
Make it a habit to check your dog’s paw pads regularly from an early age. Gently spread your pup’s toes apart and inspect the sides of his paw pads and between the toes. Check for any injuries or foreign objects. Like pebbles, dry mud or grass seeds and also check for any swelling or discoloration. Remember to never walk your dog on hot pavement! Follow the 5 seconds rule. If you can hold your palm on the pavement for 5 seconds it’s ok for your dog to walk on it.
Soothe and moisturise rough and cracked paw pads with Paw Butter. You don’t have to worry that they’ll become too delicate for outdoor activities 😉). Massage the paws with the Paw Butter by taking a small amount and rubbing between the pads on the bottom of the paw as well as between each toe. This will help to relax your dog as well as promote better circulation. Some dogs don’t like to be touched on their paws. So a little spritz of Calming Floral Spay will help them to relax.
Just like any other grooming routine, little and often is the way you get your dog used to paw care.
What part of the grooming process does your dog enjoy… and what part not so much?
Love, Jitka xx
How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears30th May 2020
Preventative care is always best, which is why regular checking and cleaning of ears is so important. Just like clipping a dog’s toenails, cleaning your dog’s ears is suggested so that your puppy gets used to it as soon as possible. You can do this by gently holding the ear. And massaging it and turning over the ear flap while playing with your puppy.
If your dog doesn’t like to be touched on the ears, a gentle spritz of Calming Floral Spray can help him to stay calm. If you’re the nervous one you can even use the calming spray on yourself. It works wonders! Don’t forget that it’s important to ease your dog into it slowly. You want your puppy to associate ear cleaning with something positive. A good idea is to always have treats ready to offer him each time he is well-behaved during the process.
Most of the breeds have smooth, hair-free ear canals that require only regular whipping with cotton wool and Ear Cleaner.
How to clean your dog’s ears.
Wet a cotton ball with Vita Canis Ear Cleaner. Wipe the part of the ear that you can easily see, the inside of the outer flap. Then wet a new cotton ball to clean a little further into the inner ear. Make sure you use a new piece of cotton wool for each ear! Ideally, you want to do this about once a week. You want to keep your dog’s ears free from infection and smelling sweet. Alternatively, you can put a few drops of the Ear Cleaner inside of the ear, massage it. Then wipe thoroughly with cotton wool.
If your dog has a lot of hair coming from the ear canal some of it may need to be plucked. This will enable the free flow of air into the ear. Plucking can easily be done with your fingers. By gently but firmly holding a little bit of the hair growing inside the ear. There are also special ear powders that may help you in gripping the hair) and pulling. Do just a little bit at a time to avoid discomfort. Then use the Ear Cleaner to clean your dog’s ears.
Just like with human ears, you never want to use cotton buds because they can hurt your dog’s ears. Instead opt for cotton wool or cotton pads.
Here are some facts about a dog’s ear and what we should be looking for when we check the ear:
Ear infections in dogs are most commonly caused by a range of factors, including bacteria, yeast, ear mites. Also excessive hair, moisture or wax, foreign bodies and allergies. The ear canal in dogs is mostly vertical. Unlike the human ear canal, which is horizontal. Therefore it is easy for debris and moisture to be retained in the canal itself leading to problems.
When to see the vet.
If your dog shows sudden signs of ear pain, inflammation of the ear flap (redness), ear odour, discharge, continual head shaking or drooping of the ear please have your veterinarian check it out. There may be an infection or it could even be that a foreign body is present causing the infection.
Methods of transmission of infection include direct penetration from the external environment, overgrowth of microflora in the ear itself (perhaps due to stress), hot weather or other factors (immunosuppression or injury for example).
How are you getting on with ear cleaning? Do you find it stressful or easy?
Love, Jitka xx
What People Say...
When we got home from the hospital with our new arrival it was clear that Perri, one of our miniature poodles, maternal instincts kicked in and went into overdrive. She was immediately acting like a mother separated from her pups and just wanted to care for the ‘naked puppy’. She has a history of being so motherly, even to the point that she has produced milk for puppies that aren’t hers even before she had a litter and has mothered every type of animal she could. She was panting, pacing and unable to relax for long at all. She could whine for England!
We tried other herbal remedies we had at hand for a previous anxious dog and nothing worked at all. She stopped eating and stressed herself into overheating too. Her stress was starting to impact the other dogs and she just couldn’t unwind. No matter if we worked off her energy with a walk and she wasn’t even interested in her usual mind games or call games. We also couldn’t offer long-lasting treats and chews too often as they gave her an upset stomach.
As soon as the Calming Floral Spray arrived I gave the bed a spritz and put some on her coat and the change was instant. She just got on her bed and fell asleep. She stopped panting and barely whines now, started eating again and she only does a bit of whining if the baby cries. We have now been able to positively reinforce her calm behaviour. I honestly can’t recommend this enough to people.