Archive for March, 2010

Why Does My Dog Or Cat Need An ID Tag?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

If you are a responsible pet owner who doesn’t let your dog or cat wander unattended where they may be in danger, you may wonder why you would need to get them an ID tag. Apart from the fact that it is a requirement by Irish law, it can make things an awful lot easier if the unexpected happens. I can’t imagine the heart ache of waiting by the phone for information on a lost pet so would much rather be safe than sorry.

While microchipping is a fantastic way of identifying your pet, if your pet has simply escaped from the garden while you are out, or run off and got a bit lost during a walk – it is so much quicker and easier for a neighbor or passer by to ring a mobile number on an ID Tag than to call the dog warden or bring your pet to a pound or vet’s office to be checked for a microchip.

The presence of a tag can also let people know that your dog or cat is not supposed to be out roaming and is in fact lost – many people put “If you find me, I’m lost” or similar on a tag to let people know to call them if their pet is found.

So what to put on my pet’s ID tag?

The most important information to put on your pet’s ID Tag is your contact telephone number. This is the quickest way for someone to reach you if your pet is found.
If you allow your dog or cat to roam free around your neighborhood, it is also advisable to put your vet’s name and contact number in case they are involved in a road traffic accident and need immediate attention. If your pet has any illnesses or is on a restricted diet you may like to mention this also.
As mentioned earlier, letting people know if your pet is not meant to be wandering alone is also a good idea – so “If you find me I’m lost” or similar lets people know to call you if your pet is found.

Letting people know if your dog or cat is spayed/neutered and/or microchipped is also advisable. A microchipped pet is a traceable pet, while a spayed/neutered pet is no good to a thief looking to steal dogs or cats for breeding purposes.

There is much debate as to whether you should put your pet’s name on their tag. Personally the idea of a dog or cat snatcher reading an tag then retreating to try to coax the animal into a vehicle by calling its name seems ludicrous to me – surely they would just grab and run? On the flip side though, dogs and cats learn information about each other by sniffing, not reading each others name tags… so it’s not essential to put it on either πŸ˜‰

On a lighter note, while ID Tags are essential, ugly and heavy handscratched ones are not :) Our tags are digitally engraved with a diamond tipped needle so the information will not rub off. We have many different colours and styles to choose from to compliment your pet’s collar.

Our large ID tags can fit up to five lines of text on each side and our small ID tags can fit up to three, so you should have plenty of room for all the required information. The coloured tags are also very lightweight (aluminum) so are ideal for kittens and small breed puppies.

Why Rescue a Dog or Cat?

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Dogs and cats of all ages (including puppies and kittens) end up in rescue for many, many reasons – it does not mean they are “bad” animals. Their owner may have become ill, moved to an apartment where pets are not allowed, or simply realised that having a pet is too much effort and they’re not actually committed even though they may have forked out for a purebred dog or cat. Animals of all shapes and sizes, ages, breeds and mixed breeds end up in rescue.
Actually, here in Ireland where puppy farming is rife and genuine breeders who care about their breed and perform all the necessary health checks are few and far between, you are more likely to get a dog with health or behavioral problems from a supposed “breeder” on an internet marketplace (who is happy to take your money and snatch the puppy away from its mother long before the recommended 10-12 weeks) than from a dog in rescue who has had its health and temperament checked.

Dogs and cats in rescue are carefully assessed, as are potential owners – then suitable matches made. Don’t think there’s something wrong if they ask to do a homecheck, this is merely to see your environment and find out what sort of dog is suitable for you and your lifestyle. For example, if you’re a couch potato who hates walking for long periods – a labrador puppy is a terrible idea – an older, smaller dog or a cat would be better. If you spend all your time running up mountains, the labrador would be ideal! The rescue will help you choose a perfect companion for your family. They genuinely care about the animals in their care and often have a no kill policy.

There will be an adoption fee to cover the cost of injections and spay/neuter, but this is usually less than what it would have cost you to get these essential procedures done yourself. I would much rather pay an adoption fee than shell out for a “purebred” puppy at the side of the road (oldest puppy farmer trick in the book – they say its so save you the journey but they actually don’t want you to see the state of their farm.)

Welcoming an animal into your home is a wonderfully enriching experience, I can’t imagine my home without dogs running around. It is a commitment for the next 10-20 years of your life though, so please don’t do it on a whim. If you are unsure if you are ready for a full time commitment, perhaps consider fostering for a rescue such as Dogs in Distress or Cats Aid.This involves taking care of a dog or cat for an agreed period of time, it can range anywhere from overnight to a few months. This enables the rescue to find a permanent home for the animal rather than leaving it straying or in the pound to be destroyed.

It is worth noting that when a stray is taken into the pound in Ireland, it has a five day grace period for its owner to come reclaim it. If a dog is surrendered into the pound, even if its the cutest puppy ever and “surely someone will want it” it has no grace period and can be destroyed immediately. If you are having issues with your dog please, please do not bring it to the pound to be killed – rehome it yourself or contact your local rescue.

For a full list of all rescues in Ireland, check out

Keyboard Cat

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Sorry cat lovers, it seems like the blog has been full of all things dog lately, we love cats too… honest!

To make up for it here’s a classic cat video everyone should see πŸ˜‰

You can see our full range of cat supplies including cat collars, cat beds, cat food and cat toys right here on :)

Our New Puppy…

Friday, March 12th, 2010

.. well, sort of πŸ˜‰ He actually belongs to my dad but we’ve made him an honorary staff member so will be hanging out at Mollys lots!

His name is Mac and he’s an 11 week old German Shepard cross rescue from Dog’s Trust. He’s so gorgeous with a great personality, we’re shocked that somebody didn’t want him, just goes to show that its not just “bad” dogs that end up in rescue. He’s wearing our Mustard Lumberchic Hoodie in the top picture and looks like the slickest stud! :)

He’s made friends with some of our regular shoppers already, here he is tired after playing with Crackle and Pop, two adorable Maltese puppies who popped in for some new red harnesses and were more than happy to pose for the camera!

He also had a brilliant time playing chasing with Daisy, another Bichon who popped in to say hi

You can’t really see because of her lovely fluffy coat but Daisy is wearing our Lots of Love Puppy Collar.

He’s very high energy but has finally fallen asleep after a good run around with Dasheen, a fabulous Shiba Inu who loves to play:

Dasheen is wearing our Red Trim Reflective Harness.

After just three weeks, clever Mac has already learned to sit, give the paw and lay down – we have achieved this by using motivation and praise only, we never shout at him or hit him. His favorite rewards during training are Scallywags Treats and his Squeaky Bee Toys.

If you have a new puppy and would like to enroll in obedience classes, Dog Training Ireland are excellent.

Make sure first and for most to have fun with your new puppy, enjoy them!!

Well that’s all for Mac now we’ll keep you posted on how he grows up and the crazy antics I’m sure he’ll get up to! :)

Sandra Bullock Loves Our Dog Beds!

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Our bestselling Bagel Beds have been a massive hit since we started carrying them just over two years ago.
Dogs love them because they are soft, squishy and super comfortable – once they climb in they don’t want to get out! I can vouch for that myself because Molly’s dad bought an XL one for our sitting room for himself πŸ˜‰

Owners love them too, because they are super durable, washable, and best of all don’t go flat after a couple of washes. So while they cost more than an average bed to begin with, you don’t have to keep replacing them every few months so you actually save money in the long run.
I’m sure Sandra Bullock didn’t care too much about the price tag or washing instructions when she was purchasing one for her dogs recently, but I’m sure she’ll be happy to see that they look FABULOUS in any living room πŸ˜‰

Natural Remedy For Ear Infections In Dogs

Monday, March 8th, 2010

Apparently, ear trouble is one of the most common reasons for vet visits. If your dog shows signs of discomfort or pain be sure to visit your vet, however a regular cleaning regimen can help prevent the excess build up which can cause discomfort and infections for your pet in the first place.

As you can see from her picture, Molly has gorgeous long houndy ears. While she looks adorable she also has some not so gorgeous long ear canals to match, so is prone to ear infections.

If your dog has lovely long ears like Molly, you’ll probably find using a special Spaniel Bowl instead of a regular one will be a big help. Its narrow top is designed to keep their ears dry while they are eating and drinking.

Molly used to have recurring bacterial and fungal infections in both ears which caused her a lot of discomfort and distress, fortunately switching her food to a grain free one (Orijen) got rid of almost all of the problem within a few days, we were amazed! She also lost that little bit of extra weight she’d been carrying around and her eyes stopped running. Apparently grain or grain mite allergies are common causes of ear trouble in dogs so it’s well worth investigating a high quality grain free diet if your dog is having recurring problems. There is no “one food fits all” solution and this post is not intended to push Orijen, I’m simply relaying Molly’s grain allergy experience πŸ˜‰

Unfortunately for Molly, her right ear was still filling up with that lovely reddy brown “stuff”, not half as much as before but still enough to bother her (and us, it doesn’t smell great!) so I was off to find something to tackle the problem.

I wanted a natural remedy if possible so was excited when I got some recommendations for HappyTail’s Ear Aid. This fab kit contains a box of single use Ear Wipes and a dropper bottle containing the Ear Clear formula. The wipes are soaked in a mixture containing collodial silver to suppress bacteria and witch hazel to safely and gently clean the area, while the Ear Clear is an olive oil based formula which breaks down wax build up while helping to reduce pain and discomfort from swelling – important for poor Molly as she really digs her foot in when her ear is itchy :(

After a two week initial twice daily cleaning routine with the Ear Aid program, we are now to to a twice weekly maintenance clean and Molly is much happier now her ears are clear!
After seeing the great results Molly had, we decided to carry Ear Aid in our store. It is available in a pack or you can buy the Ear Wipes and Ear Clear separately if needed.

Dogs Really Do Love Their Food!

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

I wouldn’t be a fan of this brand of dog food but the slow motion camera work in this ad is amazing.
It really captures the look of pure joy on the dog’s faces when they catch the kibble – it’s very sweet. Enjoy! :)

The Perfect T-Shirt For a Dublin Dog

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

I wonder did the designer of this awesome dog t-shirt have Dublin in mind when they printed our (un)official favorite adjective on the back? :)

Maybe they were referring to the deadly gas emissions in dogs we are sadly all too familiar with, or the little dog syndrome where they bark and act fierce to make up for their short stature?

All I know is, I think this t-shirt is DEADLY! πŸ˜€

The Truth About Puppy Farms In Ireland

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

I know that usually we blog about new products, cute visitors to our pet shop or pet nutrition… but we genuinely care about the welfare of our own and our customers animals, so would like to take this opportunity to let people know some shocking facts about puppy farms right here in Ireland.

You may be disgusted to hear that Irish puppy farms currently export about 30,000 dogs to the UK. These shocking figures mean that Ireland has been dubbed the “puppy farm capital of Europe”. Ex puppy farm dogs can have a whole range of issues ranging from health complications due to poor breeding and unsanitary conditions to behavioral problems due to lack of socialisation. The breeding dams (the mothers) often spend their whole lives in small pens churning out litter after litter with little or no exercise, natural light or even fresh air.

We have met some ex farm “breeding machines” in our store who have been rescued by families and they are lovely, gentle creatures enjoying every minute of their new surroundings – but sadly, many rescued from farms are too traumatised and need to be put out of their misery.

Have a look at this recent Ear to the Ground episode on RTE where some farmers did a quick tidy up in an effort to friendly up and justify their sick business.

There is one reason these farmers are in business – TO MAKE MONEY. Dogs are not cattle and farming them like cattle is unethical and cruel. Oh and saying a dog will not mind not getting out of its pen to exercise because its “used to it” is just plain stupid. Children can get “used to” being beaten but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

A lot of the time, people buy puppy farmed dogs without realising. Some of the oldest tricks in the book are to offer to meet you halfway at the side of the road somewhere, or to move the litter in question in to a separate viewing room so everything appears to be ok. Also unfortunately the sight of a sickly or frightened looking puppy can often tug at the heart strings and people hand over the cash to “rescue” the puppy from the situation. This is NOT you rescuing the puppy, it is simply supporting greedy farmers who are relying on soft hearted people to fork out for a sick puppy… be strong – WALK AWAY. Β I’m sorry to say I’ve lost count of the number of puppies we’ve met in our store who have become seriously ill or diedΒ within weeks of them being purchased. This is also the case for some of the puppies featured in this RSPCA expose:

This process is costly, traumatic (especially for families with children) and can be easily avoided. I will blog soon with tips how to go about choosing a puppy, but for now I need to go home and cuddle my precious dogs.

The Dog Breeding Establistments Bill is currently being debated in the Dail. Well done to ANVIL, the ISPCA, and all involved for getting this far.


A practical Guide To Pet Strollers

Monday, March 1st, 2010

The reaction we get to the Pet Strollers in our store can be quite funny :)

Kids try to put toys in them and push them around, Dads shake their heads and retire to the safe haven of the sports magazines in our “dad parking” seating area to wait for their ordeal to be over … but mostly people tend to laugh.

I will admit, the idea of a Pet Stroller seems pretty pointless at first glance – dogs have four legs to walk around themselves right? πŸ˜‰ But there are many perks of owning one – once people discover the possibilities they wonder how they managed without!

For starters, they look suspiciously like a regular kids buggy so you can take it on places like buses and trains where loose dogs are not permitted, this is great if you don’t drive and there’s a great dog friendly spot a little too far to walk to. You can even sneak your dog out with you to meet friends for lunch after a walk!

They are also great if you have an older or convalescing pet who can only manage short distances at a time. When they get tired or are unable to go any further, they can take a little break while the rest of you keep going. This is especially handy if you have a multiple dog household and the younger dogs want to walk for longer, you don’t need to leave the older dog home anymore, you can all enjoy a walk together.

If you don’t think you need a stroller but like the idea of sneaking your dog into more places, a Pet Carrier would be a more discreet option. Oh and guys, fear not – they’re not all pink and pretty, we have some chic and understated versions for you too πŸ˜‰ As well as this practical hands free version that many people like to use while hillwalking.