Archive for the ‘Pet Safety’ Category

Halloween and Pets – Have Fun and STAY SAFE!

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Every Halloween we hear of those sad cases animals being intentionally hurt or accidentally injured or killed through carelessness or inexperience. That’s why on the run up to Halloween we always like to do a re-cap of the basic do’s and don’t’s – better to be safe than sorry.

Halloween can be a scary time for pets – fireworks, noisy kids in scary masks knocking at the door, bonfires…. Loud noises like fireworks can cause pets to panic and run, sometimes ending up in road traffic accidents or simply getting lost and never finding their way home. Make sure your pet has somewhere in your home that they can go to feel safe if they are not happy. Ideally with something over their head to make them feel secure so in a covered crate, under a bed or even in a boiler room where the noise can be drowned out is helpful.

Do your best to keep them calm and feeling safe and it is imperative to keep your dog or cat SAFELY INDOORS in the run up to and on Halloween night.

You should always make sure your pet has a microchip and is wearing a collar and ID tag at all times so they can be identified, regardless of the season.

If your cat is usually outdoors, we have plenty of cat toys available to keep him happily entertained inside. For dogs, try to get them used to loud noises as much as possible, turn the tv or radio up a little louder than usual and give lots of cuddles and dog treats as a reward for NOT barking at the noise, try not to “reward” the scared behavior itself though as this may encourage it.

DAP (dog appeasing pheremone) diffusers can also help de-stress your pets, as can our bestselling Sleepy Time Tonic.

Not all pets are bothered by fireworks and can really enjoy Halloween. If they are happy to play along why not include them in the fun with their very own Pet Costume? We have lots to choose from. Lots of pets (including Molly) are more than happy to dress up and really enjoy the attention but please don’t force your pet to dress up if they don’t want to.

On the night, don’t forget that chocolate and any sweets containing xylotol are poisonous for pets so keep them well out of their reach; that also includes any foil sweet wrappers that could cause a blockage if ingested. We have a wide range of dog treats and cat treats to choose from if you want them to join in the snacking.

Make sure there are no lit candles at “tail swatting” height or where your cat likes to jump up, unfortunately many fires start this way on Halloween. If you are carving a pumpkin please, please make sure there is no space for a kitten to climb into and singe their fur.

For more tips on pet health, pet costumes and lots more please subscribe to our blog.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Claire & Molly

A Very Clever Dog Collar & Lead

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Every so often, a product comes along that really makes us sit up and take notice. The type of product that really does solve a problem or make something easier… like I don’t know, maybe a collar with a built in lead? Genius! :)

The collar is made of a soft but hardwearing nylon. Its not a very “pretty” collar but its certainly not ugly, and it can be easily prettified a bit with one of our stylish ID Tags or just worn for walks only.

The idea is when you have your dog in a safe off lead area, instead of having to keep a lead in your pocket or around your neck you simply pull out the elasticated, built in short lead when it’s time to walk back to your car, kids walk by, or any other reason you may need to bring your dog under control.

While were talking smart, time and effort saving gadgets, how about a lead with a built in car seatbelt adaptor?

It works at a regular 3′ lead with a padded nylon handle when out for a walk. When you get back to the car, adjust the slider to shorten the lead then pull back the velcro at the top to reveal the car seatbelt attachment. Simply click it into your car’s seatbelt receiver and attach the lead hook as usual to the back of the harness!
I tried it out last weekend and its great having one less thing to have to bring to the park – it leaves more hands free for tennis balls and water bowls at least!

There was only one thing about the product we thought was not so clever – this picture:

Attaching a seatbelt to a collar instead of a harness can cause serious injury to your dog’s neck or even death in the event of a crash, or even just having to break suddenly. Please always attach your dog’s seatbelt to a harness not a collar. If your dog will not wear a harness for some reason, we suggest using a dog crate instead of a seatbelt connector.

Looking After A Bandaged Paw

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Poor Molly was back at the vet today with a sore paw :(Isn’t it so awful when one of your pets is sick?

A week or so ago, she started licking one of her nails excessively – presumably something got stuck under it and it quickly started to lift. Nicola at Brayvet expertly cut the nail back (as in right back, exposing the quick – ouch! poor Molly!) It was healing up really nicely until yesterday when it started swelling.

We went back to the vet today, Molly was not happy when she realised she was actually there for an appointment, not just to sniff and socialise in the reception area! We eventually coaxed her in and Andrew took a look. It turns out she had started the licking again and it was stopping the healing, so it was time for a bandage, along with some painkillers and antibiotics just in case of an infection.

Knowing that Molly is quite the stylish lady, I was happy to see a super cute paw-print bandage wrap was used. The happiness dissipated at reception though when I was told oh by the way, don’t get it wet – at all, very important.
For a second I was wondering how I was supposed to keep a big, active, muck and water loving dog dry for five whole days, then I remembered a nifty product we have in the shop called Pawz.

Dog boots and shoes are very popular in more extreme climates – for example they protect paws from piping hot pavements and snow melt chemicals – here in Ireland we rarely get the weather that requires them but we do carry Pawz rubber disposable boots in our store for things like allergies, cut pads, older/convalescing dogs who need better grip on laminate floors and now I can personally add and recommend keeping bandages dry to that list! :)  Apparently dogs prefer them as they are so thin they can easily feel the ground beneath them so don’t panic, owners prefer them as they come in a pack of 12, so if you lose or tear one just grab another from the pack – genius! :)

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We measured Mollys actual paw and saw that she was a size medium, but the fat bandage meant that a large was a perfect fit. Pawz are colour coded by size, the large is purple so looks quite pretty and girlie and suits Molly very well :)

Getting her to take tablets is no problem at all (if its going in my mouth that means its food – right?) and she can walk perfectly on the now water proofed bandage – once she doesn’t try to eat it we’re laughing 😉

Keeping your pets safe at Easter

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Easter is truly a chocolate lovers favorite time of year, Easter egg hunts, Easter eggs, chocolate, more Easter Eggs… :) There are however some important potential hazards for your pets that you should be aware of.

Chocolate
Chocolate contains something called theobromine which is toxic for dogs, sometimes even fatal. People may say “oh a little bit won’t hurt them” which is probably true but I’d much rather give my dogs a nice Dog Treat that isn’t toxic for them instead of something harmful! If your dog is an expert counter surfer like Molly and manages to steal some Easter Eggs over the weekend, best call the vet with their to get their professional opinion. The darker the chocolate the more dangerous it can be and don’t ever let your dog near cocoa powder! Cats and other species can be susceptible to toxicity from chocolate also, they are just less likely to be interested in sniffing it out than dogs.

Easter Lily
Contact your vet immediately if you suspect your cat has ingested any part of your lily plant. The Easter Lily and some other related Lillies are highly toxic for cats if ingested, potentially leading to renal failure (kidney failure) or even death.

Xylitol
This artificial sweetener is found in many sweets, chewing gum and some commercially baked goods is also toxic for dogs and cats.

Sweet Wrappers and Decorations
Most cats love anything that rustles, sparkles or makes fun noises when it moves/is pounced on. Some cats then love to eat their “catch” and this can cause painful blockages. So keep paper decorations well out of their reach and bring those egg wrappers straight out to the recycle bin!

Well now that we’ve finished with the spoilsport stuff, all that is left is to wish you a very Happy Easter!

Hopefully the weather will improve so we can all get some quality dog walking time in over the bank holiday weekend.

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 😉

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.

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? 😉 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 😉 As well as this practical hands free version that many people like to use while hillwalking.

When Your Dog Eats Something They Shouldn’t Have…

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

We’ve all been there. You come home to find a box of tissues/your favorite shoes/the remote control/part of the wall(!) shredded into a million pieces and your puppy sitting with a smug expression on its face as if to say “look what I did for you! Aren’t I the BEST?!” The good news is, puppies tend to grow out of this behavior.

Molly is seven now so you can imagine my surprise last night when out of nowhere she decided to gobble up a pair of (very pretty-boo!) glass ear plugs I’d left on the table.
We found one on the couch later but she definitely swallowed the other. As it was 11pm, it was time to call the emergency Vet Clinic in UCD to see what was the best thing to do with her.
Don’t you just HATE those conversations – why do they never swallow anything easily explainable?!

“She swallowed what?”
“a PLUG its um, glass jewellery that goes in your ear”
“…oh.”

The worst was when Molly’s brother Lucky chewed up a tub of little plastic farm animals, we had fun explaining that one:

“he ate a tub of… what?”
“its a child’s toy.. nevermind we’d better bring him straight in, there’s half chewed bits of plastic chickens and cows all over the floor.”
“…………….oh.”

Anyway, the lady on the phone in the emergency clinic was very helpful. She asked about the size and shape of the the object swallowed and Molly’s size and weight. Based on those figures she thought it best to “let nature take its course” 😉
We were also given a list of things to watch out for, in which case we were to bring her to the vet right away.
I’m not going to share the details of that list here, as it is particular to Molly’s incident and you should ALWAYS consult a vet immediately if this happens to your pet, not the internet. NEVER try to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide or anything else, I’m aware that dosage information is available online but your first port of call should always be to seek advice from a qualified vet. And never be afraid to call the after hours clinic, they’ll be happy and able to tell you if you have a real emergency on your hands or not.

Which brings me nicely on to my next pearl of wisdom… Pet Insurance. The monthly payment for my three dogs costs about the same as a takeaway dinner for two.
If you haven’t insured your pets yet please, do it. now. You never know when little emergencies will pop up – in my experience, usually late at night, weekends,bank holidays and other inconvenient times! Knowing your insurance will cover whatever your pet needs is so reassuring. Not to mention if something more serious happens, I can’t imagine the pain of having to decide if you can afford a five figure operation for your beloved pet or will be forced to say goodbye.

So for now, I have the delightful task of checking through Molly’s poo for the next few days to look forward to.
Look at her face though, you can see why she gets away with being so bold! :)

Dogs health in the Cold Conditions

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Some pets are better suited than others for these weather conditions were having at the moment, there is a common misconception that dogs will be fine outside. Just like us humans dogs can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite. A below zero temperature is too cold for any house pet.

Puppies and the senior pets are especially at risk. At this time of year many new christmas puppies are being house trained and a common mistake is to assume that they need to be brought outside, during the icy conditions paper training is best and once the extreme cold period passes you can later move the paper outside.

Dog Clothes

Get a Warm Dog Jacket and ensure that they wear it when going out for walks.When out walking in snow, dogs may get large ice balls between their pads, causing the dog to limp and be uncomfortable. Be sure to keep ice clear from this area. For dogs that have a lot of hair between the pads, keeping it clipped shorter will help with ice ball formation. Dog boots offer protection to those dogs that will tolerate wearing them.
Pets walked on paths that have been de-iced with salts are prone to dry, chapped, and potentially painful paws. This will encourage the pet to lick their paws, and ingestion may cause gastrointestinal irritation and upset. Wash off your pet’s feet after an outing with a warm wet rag.

Lastly remember that water bowls too freeze in the cold weather. Its essential that your pets have access to water at all times.

Keeping your pets safe this Halloween

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Pumpkin+Chainsaw+Incident
Halloween can be a scary time for pets too, but not in a fun way.
Us humans jump when we hear an unexpected firework go off, imaging how scary it must be for a dog or cat who doesn’t know what the noise is! Add in noisy kids dressed in scary costumes knocking on the door, bonfires and lots of extra activity in the neighborhood and no wonder you have a confused and freaked out pet on your hands.

cowdog harness

During the season, it is imperative to keep your dog or cat SAFELY INDOORS in the run up to and on Halloween night. Unfortunately, every year there are stories of much loved pets that have fallen into the wrong hands on Halloween night. Apart from that, loud noises like fireworks can cause pets to panic and run, sometimes ending up in road traffic accidents or simply getting lost and never finding their way home. Even Wonder Woman dog can’t save them then!

wonder woman dog
You should always make sure your pet has a microchip and is wearing a collar and ID tag at all times so they can be identified, regardless of the season!

If your cat is usually outdoors, a good quality catnip toy such as the YEEOOOW! range of premium catnip toys available from Mollys.ie will keep him happily entertained inside. For dogs, try to get them used to loud noises as much as possible, turn the tv or radio up a little louder than usual and give lots of cuddles and treats as a reward for not barking at the noise. I got one of my dogs over an emerging firework fear by sprinkling grated cheese on the floor every time a bang went off, he was too busy hoovering up the cheese to worry about the noise! Both dogs and cats feel safer with something over their heads so make sure there are plenty of hiding places available; under beds or tables, and in airing cupboards for cats. DAP (dog appeasing pheremone) diffusers can also help de-stress your pets, as can sprinkling a little rescue remedy in their water.

Purple Pimp Pooch

A lot of pets can really enjoy Halloween, personally I like to have a party on Halloween night and include my pets in the fun. They wear funny costumes like the humans and luckily, the noise of the fireworks doesn’t bother them. The most important thing to remember about costumes is don’t force your pet to dress up if they don’t want to. Its not fair to stress them out just for the sake of a few funny photos. How will you know if they like it on not? Believe me, the look on their faces will let you know right away! 😉

 

chocolate eclair

 

On the night, don’t forget that chocolate and any sweets containing xylotol are poisonous for pets so keep them well out of their reach; that also includes any foil sweet wrappers that could cause a blockage if ingested. Make sure there are no lit candles at “tail swatting” height or where your cat likes to jump up, unfortunately many fires start this way on Halloween. If you are carving a pumpkin please, please make sure there is no space for a kitten to climb into and singe her fur!

For more tips on petcare, interactive toys, pet costumes and lots more subscribe to our blog!

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Claire & Molly

Pets Overheating – Tips to Prevent it!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Staying cool can be hard work in unexpected hot weather, here’s some tips to help your pet enjoy the rays!

*ice cubes in water – some dogs love to munch on them, if not they will at least keep the water nice and cool.

*wet your dog’s favorite t-shirt in cold water and pop it on to instantly cool your dog down.

*always make sure plenty of water and shade are available.

*fill a paddling pool with water and your dogs favorite toys so they can splash in and out to help keep their paws cool.

*NEVER leave your dog unattended for any length or time in a hot car, even with the window open your pet will dehydrate very quickly.

Have fun and stay cool!

Claire and Molly