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Keeping your pets safe at Christmas

Keeping your pets safe at ChristmasDog and cat eating christmas foods they shouldn't. Keeping your pets safe at Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner, the excitement is building, not just for us but for our pets too. Decorations to play with and wrapping paper to hide in the opportunities are endless! Here we are to provide you with ways to keep yourselves and your pets safe during the festive period.

Christmas Food

Some Christmas foods can be a nice treat for our beloved pets but certain foods can also be quite dangerous to them. Here is a list of what you pets should and shouldn’t eat this Christmas.

Should:

  • Turkey. Only boneless, skinless, white meat as the darker parts of meat can be too rich for them
  • Cranberry sauce. It must be pure cranberry sauce with no added sugars or sweeteners.
  • Vegetables. Small amounts of carrots, peas, Brussel sprouts and parsnips are a nice treat for our pets. Avoid adding butter, seasoning and bulb vegetables, such as onions and leeks.
  • Potatoes. Potatoes are fine for your pets to eat in small quantities, they contain quite a lot of starch so too many potatoes can be hard for them to digest. Mashed, boiled or roasted potatoes are fine, as long as they are not mixed with anything else, such as butter or salt.

Shouldn’t:

  • Turkey or chicken skin and bones. Bones are seen as a choking hazard for our pets so they should be avoided. The skin on the turkey and the chicken is also way too fatty for our dogs to consume.
  • Gravy. Gravy is extremely high in fat and salt.
  • Stuffing. Stuffing usually contains onions, herbs and spices which should be avoided by our pets at all costs as it can cause stomach upsets.
  • Pigs in blankets. These may seem like the perfect treat for our furry friends but they contain way too much fat and salt for our dogs to consume.
  • Onions. Onions contain two compounds called disulfides and thiosulphates which can be toxic for cats and dogs to ingest.
  • Grapes, Raisins, Currants and Sultanas. All of these are toxic to your pet and you should seek help from a vet if your pet was to accidently eat one of these foods. (Christmas pudding cake is full of raisins, currants and sultanas)
  • Chocolate. A lot of us already know chocolate is dangerous to our pets but if you didn’t already, it contains theobromine which can be fatal to pets, even in the smallest of doses
  • Nuts. Any type of nut is toxic for our pets, so its best to avoid these altogether.
  • Candy canes. These are full of sugar and sweeteners and aren’t suitable for a treat for your pet on Christmas day.

Christmas Trees, Decorations and Household Items

Plants to avoid to keep your pets safe:

Christmas food isn’t the only hazard for pets around the house during the Festive period, most household items can be dangerous too. Holly, Ivy, Cat in Christmas Tree, keeping your pet safeMistletoe, Poinsettias and Lilies are toxic so avoid these to keep your pets safe.

Christmas trees and decorations:

Christmas trees are another hazard for our pets as our pets may be tempted to play with the decorations that hang from the tree.

If you tend to buy a real Christmas tree, yes they smell and look lovely but they can be troublesome for our pets. The oils in the fir tree can be mildly toxic, causing stomach upsets. The needles themselves can get stuck in your pets paws or throat so it is best to regularly sweep up the needles and keep the door shut to the room with the Christmas tree, when you are out.

When decorating the Christmas tree, strings of lights are a popular decoration to put onto the tree. However your pets may be tempted to chew these lights if they are dangling or swinging low. A good way to solve this is by placing them out of reach or keeping an eye on your pet when they are in the room and making sure they are not left along with the Christmas tree.

Wrapping Paper

When wrapping Christmas presents, your pets may become over intrigued with what you are doing and they may want to start playing with wrapping paper or the ribbon. Keep your pets away when wrapping to prevent them running off with your wrapping utensils! If swallowed these can cause more problems than just a wrapping headache.

Cold Weather

As the snow falls (hopefully) and the temperature drops, we need to ensure our pets all have a warm place to sleep especially if they have been out in the elements exploring for a while.

Antifreeze is also used a lot by us during the colder months but did you know, the smell of antifreeze is extremely alluring to our pets. However it is hugely toxic and can also be fatal, so be careful not to spill any on the ground. Keep bottles out of reach as even the smallest drop can be dangerous.

Puuy in the snow keep them safe at christmas

For more information – please visit:

https://www.heart.co.uk/christmas/unsafe-christmas-foods-for-dogs/

https://www.medivet.co.uk/pet-care/pet-advice/keeping-your-pet-safe-at-christmas/#:~:text=Baubles%20and%20Christmas%20tree%20decorations&text=Avoid%20hanging%20decorations%20on%20the,re%20highly%20toxic%20to%20pets.

https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/seasonal/christmas/petsafe

By following these Christmas tips you can ensure you have a safe and wonderful festive season with your furry friends.

From all of us here at DogFence – Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

How to Stop Your Dog Chewing Furniture


Dog Chewed Sofa

How to stop your dog chewing furniture

Why do dogs chew furniture?

At DogFence we specialize in keeping your dogs (and cats) safe within the garden, however, there may be areas of the house that you want to keep off-limits from your pets? Customers will often ask how can I stop my dog chewing the furniture or going upstairs? Perhaps you want to keep the dog out of a room or away from the rubbish bin. A white sofa and a muddy dog do not always mix well and it’s important to understand what triggers these behaviours to find the right solution to alter the behaviour.

Chewing is a completely normal and natural behaviour in dogs, they will use their mouths to explore the world around them in the same way we use our hands. Chewing will accomplish a number of things for a dog no matter what the age. In young puppies, destructive chewing will generally be a way to relieve pain from any teeth that may be coming through. For older, more mature dogs, it’s nature’s way of keeping jaws strong and teeth clean. Chewing will also combat:

  • Boredom
  • Mild anxiety
  • Frustration

While chewing behaviour is normal, dogs sometimes direct their chewing towards inappropriate items such as your beloved furniture. Dogs need to be taught in a gentle manner what is acceptable to chew and what isn’t.

Need to understand your dog and why they destructive chew 

Adult dogs may engage in destructive chewing for any number of reasons. In order to deal with the behaviour, you must first determine why your dog is chewing—and remember, they are not doing it to spite you. Possible reasons for destructive chewing include:

  • They weren’t taught, as a puppy, what is okay to chew and what isn’t.
  • That they are bored
  • That they may suffer from separation anxiety
  • That their behaviour is fear-related.
  • That they want attention.

Separation Anxiety

Separation anxiety is a condition in which the dog will exhibit stress and behavioural problems when separated from their owner. When a dog is experiencing separation anxiety they try and find ways to relieve the stress they are experiencing, such as chewing on many different household items they can get their paws on! They will also display other signs, such as:

  • Whining
  • Barking
  • Pacing back and forth
  • Restlessness
  • Urination
  • Defecation

Fabric Sucking

Some dogs will tend to lick, suck and chew at certain fabrics. Experts believe that this behaviuoral problem stems from the puppy being weaned too early (before seven or eight weeks). If a dog’s fabric sucking behaviour has been ongoing for a lengthy period of time then it will be difficult to distract him when he attempts to engage in it, this means that the behavioural problem has become compulsive. If you think this behaviour has become compulsive it may be worth contacting a balanced dog trainer for assistance. The IACP have a list of trainers and should be able to put you in touch with a trainer in your area.

Hunger

A dog on a calorie-restricted diet might chew and destroy objects in an attempt to find additional sources of nutrition. Dogs usually direct this kind of chewing toward objects or furniture which may smell like food.

Indoor Dog Fence to Stop Dog Chewing Furniture

The new B.O.B for 2020

Dog chewing solutions

DogFence Indoor Solutions

At DogFence we offer an indoor product (B.O.B – Battery Operated Boundary) to stop your dog from chewing your favourite rug, sofa or even jumping on the beds! Our indoor system can be moved from room to room and is completely wireless and re-chargeable. The B.O.B can be discreetly placed underneath the objects you don’t want your dog near so its virtually impossible to see, the unit can also be used for all breed of dogs and cats and they can be purchased as an addition to your existing outdoor fence or as a complete indoor solution (Dog Fence Collar Required).

Learn more about our indoor solutions here: https://dogfence.co.uk/indoor-dog-wireless-dog-fence/

Also feel free to read our blog all about our indoor dog fence system: https://dogfence.co.uk/posts/

Puppy Teething

Much like human infants, puppies go through a stage when they lose their baby teeth and experience pain as their adult teeth come through, because of this the intensified chewing phase usually ends by six months of age.

Some solutions for puppies who are teething and tending to chew the furniture, are:

  • Giving the puppy ice cubes
  • Dog toys that can be frozen
  • Frozen wet cloths to chew

Giving the puppy something cold to chew will help relieve and numb the pain from the teeth that are coming through. Gentle guidance can be given to teach the puppy on appropriate and inappropriate things to chew.

Supervise your dog until they learn the house rules.

Keep the dog with you on their leash in the house so they can’t make a mistake out of your sight. Confine them when you’re unable to keep an eye on them. Choose a “safe place” that’s dog-proof, and provide fresh water and “safe” toys.

Give your dog plenty of people-time.

Your dog won’t know how to behave if you don’t teach them alternatives to inappropriate behaviour, and they can’t learn these when they are in the yard by themselves. Be patient with your dog you cant rush them into learning what’s right and wrong as you will confuse them.

 Give your dog plenty of physical and mental exercise.Dog getting exercise on outdoor dog fence

If you do catch your dog chewing on something they shouldn’t, such as the sofa, don’t interrupt them with a loud noise, instead offer them an acceptable chew toy instead and then praise them for taking the chew toy in their mouth.

Your dog may be bored if they are not getting enough physical exercise and as a result of this they will try to find something to amuse themselves or fight the boredom, such as chewing your beloved furniture! The amount of exercise should be based on their age, health and breed characteristics.

Make items unpleasant to your dog.

A spray can be used on items, such as furniture, to prevent your dog from wanting to chew.

Don’t chase your dog

Do not chase your dog! If you chase them you are giving the dog what it wants. Instead call them and wait for them to come to you and give them a treat.

Have realistic expectations.

At some point your dog will inevitably chew up something you value; this is often part of the transition to a new home. Your dog needs time to learn the house rules and you need to remember to take precautions and keep things out of their reach.

Different Toys and chews to give to your dog that is chewing your furniture

Most people tend to get dog toys and chews confused, so here is a list differencing the different toys and chews.

ToysElephant dog toy

Dog toys are easily destroyed and are NOT designed to be chewed. The owner should always pick up the toy at the end of a game and put out of the dogs reach, this will therefore save you money because the toys last much longer – you will also avoid the need to take your dog to the vet because of a blockage caused by swallowing toys. Do not leave them for your dog to chew once the game has finished.

Chews

Chews should be given when a dog is settling down for a quiet time, either in your presence or alone. Unlike toys, chews are designed for nibbling and gnawing and are essential if you want a dog to chew acceptable items instead of your furniture. Examples of chews include rask, chew stick, dental rawhide, pressed hide, large and medium Kong’s, and activity balls.

Kong’sKong puppy chews

All dogs like to play on their own sometimes, so it is important to leave at least one “safe” toy down for them to play with at any time. An excellent choice for this purpose is a chew toy such as a Kong (available from most pet shops). This is a firm rubber toy, hollow on the inside and which can withstand lots of chewing. Kong toys can be filled with biscuits or a special treat to keep the dog occupied for some time. Kong’s are also good at stimulating play and chase behaviour since they bounce unpredictably in different directions when thrown.

Activity balls

These are toys in which you can place small pieces of dry food inside (such as a portion of the dog’s daily food ration or mixer), the dog has to roll the ball around to get the food to drop out of the holes, because of this it keeps the dog occupied for quite some time.

For more information visit the Blue cross’ website and have a look at some of their articles as they can be very helpful https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-advice/how-control-dogs-chewing

What NOT to Do

  • Do not show your dog the damage he did and spank, scold or punish him after the fact. He cannot connect your punishment with some behaviour he did hours or even minutes ago.
  • Do not use duct tape to hold your dog’s mouth closed around a chewed object for any length of time. This is inhumane, will teach your dog nothing, and dogs have died from this procedure.
  • Do not tie a damaged object to your dog. This is inhumane and will teach your dog nothing.
  • Do not leave your dog in a crate for lengthy periods of time (more than six hours) to prevent chewing.
  • Do not muzzle your dog to prevent chewing.

Why not check out our web site or give us a call today to talk about our indoor dog fences. 01628 476475 or click here

Lowering Your Carbon Pawprint

Lowering Your Carbon Pawprint: How to be a more Eco-Friendly Dog Owner

When people talk about being more “environmentally friendly” they might consider using public transport to get to work, making sure that the lights are turned off or conscientiously splitting rubbish and recycling.

But how many people think about their canine’s carbon pawprint? Humans produce “over 300 million tons of plastic every year” and “the largest market for plastics is as a packaging material with this market accounting for nearly half of all plastic waste that is generated globally.”

With an estimated 9 million dogs in the UK, there are a lot of bowls to fill and a lot of packaging to be binned. Add to that poo bags, dogs toys and treats packaging, and our canine companions can be contributing high volumes to the excess of plastic waste which the world struggles to recycle, inevitably ending up in landfill or in our precious oceans.

So, what can you do, as an eco-conscious dog owner, to help reduce the carbon paw-print of your furry family member?

Dinner time!

Did you know… “Fewer than 1 in 20,000 food pouches are recycled… making them more of a burden than single-use coffee cups”?

Within the pet food industry, there are several food packaging options, some more recyclable than others.  Black plastic trays, for example, are more likely to end up incinerated or in landfill as automated recycling facilities find it hard to distinguish black from other colours.  Cans and jars have high carbon emissions through their sourcing and production – plus the only elements that can come from a renewable source is their label.

A more environmentally friendly option would be to consider a carton packaging. These innovative packs are more commonly associated with dairy products and chopped tomatoes than with wet dog food and treats, but some manufacturers are persevering with this type of packaging as they are fully recyclable and keep the food fresh and protected without the need for nasty preservatives.

Made primarily from FSCTM cardboard, cartons start from responsibly managed forests and then end up being turned into roof tiles and toilet rolls at the end of their life cycle.

Consider the origin.

There are still a small number of British dog food manufacturers – which are more than just a brand. Some source produce from within the UK, whereas others get their ingredients from the UK and abroad. By being a UK based manufacturer, they will use less fuel miles from the fields to the factory. Other brands have their food manufactured abroad, thus increasing fuel miles dramatically, and raising your canine’s carbon footprint.

 Toys

Have you ever thought about making your own dog toys? Be imaginative with fabrics – an old tea towel, t-shirt or blanket makes a sturdy plaything.  Add in a knot for interest, or alternatively you can plait or weave some fabric and hide treats for extra brain exercise!

If you don’t want to make your own, consider choosing toys that are biodegradable or from environmentally conscious companies.

Walkies!

Whilst it is lovely to get in the car and drive to a beautiful countryside location or beach, it is more environmentally friendly to walk straight from the front door.  Make use of your surroundings, go on an adventure, and see what you can find locally to your home. There may be many undiscovered places that you and your dog can enjoy together without the need to get in the car.

Poop…!

Dog mess is a huge problem – the need to pick it up and the need to not use plastic bags have to be equally balanced. A labrador could potentially use over 10,200 poo bags during their lifetime.  There are, however, other options that avoid the use of plastic bags, whilst still cleaning up after your dog.

The easiest solution would be to consider bio-degradable bags. Readily available and easy to purchase as an alternative to plastic, this is a relatively simple switch. You could think about a compost bin at home – although hygiene would need to be a consideration, or a pet poop wormery as more environmentally friendly options.

So, consider making these small steps to make a big difference for all our canine companions to be more environmentally savvy, and begin your journey to a greener world.