Doggy Daycare

Wuff Wuff Doggy Daycare

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An ongoing series of informative entries

Cancer 

September 2022

This subject is very close to my heart right now, having sadly lost one of our regular dogs to Cancer recently. Losing a pet is the hardest thing to bear, so hopefully this article will help you spot any early warning signs.

The 10 Early Warning Signs of Cancer in Dogs

Did you know that dogs over the age of 10 have a 50% chance of getting cancer? Even though the risk increases with age, cancer does not discriminate and it is important to know how to check your dog for warning signs.

1. Lumps and bumps underneath your pet’s skin

You can gently run your hands across your dog’s skin like this, feeling for abnormal lumps and bumps beneath the skin. Unfortunately, to the touch, you can’t tell if a lump is cancerous or not, so it’s best to have it tested by a vet.

2. Abnormal odours from the mouth, ears, or other parts of your dog’s body

If you notice an unusual smell coming from your dog’s mouth or ears, this is a warning sign of cancer in dogs. They may need a dental or have an ear infection. Tumours in the mouth can result in a bad smell too.

3. Non-healing wounds or sores

Persistent, non-healing wounds or sores can be a sign that your dog’s immune system isn’t functioning properly, or is busy combating another infection. Cancers can also look like non-healing sores.

4. Loss of appetite or weight loss

Loss of appetite or rapid weight loss is a sign that something isn’t right with your dog.

Sometimes this can relate to dental or other medical issues, and in other instances, it’s an indication of something more serious – particularly if it’s out of character for your dog, or is also combined with other warning signs of cancer in dogs.

5. Coughing or difficult breathing

If your dog has had a persistent cough for longer than a couple of days, or has started to display breathing difficulties, this can indicate more serious health issues that need to be investigated. Dogs don’t really get colds and coughs like humans, so this could be a sign of cancer in dogs.

6. Increased drinking or frequency of urinating

Increased drinking or urinating can be a warning sign for certain types of cancer in dogs, as well as other metabolic illnesses. If your dog has started to go outside multiple times in an evening, it’s time to get this checked.

7. Difficulty in swallowing

If your dog is having difficulty in swallowing then this may be a potential warning sign of throat and neck cancers. This is something you should be paying attention to.

8. Changes in bathroom habits

If your dog is starting to display trouble when urinating or is struggling or straining when defecating it could be an infection or a sign of cancer in dogs.

9. Evidence of pain

Some cancers, in particular bone cancer, show themselves through your dog presenting signs of pain or discomfort such as limping and lameness. f your dog is showing reluctance to do physical acts that were previously, it’s time for a check up.

10. Lower energy levels

If you dog is lethargic, and isn’t showing enthusiasm for its usual favourite activities, then you should be alert and have your pet checked.Lower energy levels can be a sign of different ailments in older pets, many of which can be treated, such as heart disease and cancer.


If you have concerns about any signs of cancer in your dog get them checked by your Vet as soon as possible.

Anal Glands

August 2022

Most non dog owners will never have heard of an anal gland but, for us, they can be quite important. For some individual pets, anal glands can become problematic and it is important that owners are aware of what they are and what can go wrong with them.

What are anal glands in dogs?

As humans do not have anal glands, many of us are unfamiliar with what they are. They are small sacs; about the size of a cherry, that sit inside the anus. If we were to say the anus was a clock face, the glands are found at about 4 and 8 o’clock.

The sacs are lined with sebaceous glands and they produce a strong, foul-smelling liquid that dogs use to mark territory and communicate with other dogs in the vicinity.

Anal glands cannot be seen externally and can only be felt by inserting fingers into the anus. 

One of the obvious signs of anal gland issues is ‘the scoot’. Scooting or bum dragging is a dog’s way of trying to relieve the irritation they are feeling. Many owners mistakenly assume that this is a sign of worms, but it is simply an indication that the anal area is very irritated.

You might notice your dog sitting down abruptly and/or quickly looking behind them with an alert or concerned expression on their face.

A swelling may be visible around the anus and we might also detect a fishy smelling, brown discharge being leaked from the anus.

Some dogs will stretch to lick and chew at their back end. While some can reach, others may lick and chew their rump and legs instead. This can lead to fur loss and red skin.

How do you know if your dog needs his anal glands expressed?

Your dog will usually let you know something is amiss by scooting their bum along the ground and stopping abruptly to look quickly at their back end. They may also lick or chew obsessively at their back end.

What happens when a dog’s anal glands are full?

Full anal glands cause discomfort and can quickly become infected, leading to an abscess forming. If not treated on time, the abscess can burst out onto the skin.

You can book your dog into your Vets to have their glands expressed and many dog groomers will also do this for you too.

Getting regular exercise can help prevent problems, so get your dogs booked in for their walks with us!

It's Tick Season again...

July 2022

Tick infestations are usually seasonal in the UK and can be seen between March and June, and again from August to November, however there is always a year round risk.

Ticks are blood-sucking parasites which are normally picked up by dogs in long grass or in woodland areas.

Sheep ticks are the most common in the UK - they prefer moorland and woodland, Hedgehog ticks tend to be in parks and urban environments. Ticks are predominantly seen in spring and autumn. However, if it's been a particularly mild winter or wet summer they might be around earlier in the year and active for longer.

When an infected tick hooks on to your pet it can pass on any disease it might be carrying. Ticks don't usually transmit disease for 24 – 48 hours after attachment, so early removal can prevent this happening. Ticks at the larvae stage are harder to spot, but adult ticks are quite obvious - they resemble small, pale grey lumps. People often mistake them for growths. Run your hands through your dog's fur and check it - doing this regularly is key. If you do find a tick remove it as quickly as possible. Ticks are harder to spot in longer-haired dogs than short-haired breeds. Check the armpits, head, ears, around the bottom, and undercarriage.

Resist the temptation to pluck them from your dog as the mouth parts can remain in the skin and produce festering sores.

Never try to burn ticks out or squeeze them - these methods are more likely to injure your dog, and squeezing ticks can release toxins into your dog's body.

A tick removal tool is the safest implement to use to get rid of ticks. (We always carry one in our first aid kit!)

Use preventative measures to prevent your dog from getting ticks in the first instance. Several flea treatments are effective against ticks. Check out our April Blog for more preventative tips.

Salmon Oil

June 2022

What are the benefits of giving my dog Salmon oil?

  • Better brain function, mental development & memory
  • A glossy, healthy looking coat
  • No more dry or itchy skin
  • Boosted immune system
  • Improved cardiovascular & heart health
  • Lubricated joints and therefore better mobility
  • Bright eyes/better sight
  • Healthy weight gain (especially beneficial for puppies)

Just drizzle the recommended dose for your dog on their regular food and mix well.

For Maximum benefits use daily. 


May 2022

Top Fruits for Dogs

Dogs can eat many different kinds of fruit, so long as they’re served as an occasional treat and in moderate amounts. Many dogs enjoy snacking on healthy, fruity treats between meals. Still, you should only let them indulge from time to time to avoid the risk of adverse side effects.

Some of the best fruits to feed dogs;

Apples – Full of vitamin C, calcium, phosphorus, and dietary fiber. They’re also a good source of prebiotics. Apple seeds do contain very, very small amounts of cyanide (not enough to harm your dog), so if you’re worried about that don’t feed the core.

Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all good choices when it comes to fruits for dogs. They’re loaded with vitamin C, phytonutrients, fiber, and most importantly, antioxidants. They help strengthen your dog’s immune system and slow the aging process by fighting free radicals.

Pears – Fiber, copper, vitamin C, vitamin K, all make pears a good option. They are also relatively mild, and most dogs don’t mind the taste, even if they’re picky about other fruits.

Bananas – Bananas are rich in potassium, biotin, vitamins, magnesium, and fiber. The fiber content make them a good choice if your pet has digestive upset. They’re gentle and easy to digest. Magnesium promotes bone growth and can help the body produce protein and absorb vitamins.

Pineapple – Pineapples are a great source of vitamin C and B6, riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, and folate. Make sure that you also remove the tough core. (It has the potential to cause an obstruction.)

Mango – Rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, B6, folate, riboflavin and choline and minerals like iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, copper, zinc, and selenium. Plus it has antioxidants, carotenoids, and polyphenols. Just be sure to peel it and remove the stone before serving.

Oranges – Oranges, as well as grapefruit, are good for dogs. Many dogs like oranges (although admittedly fewer will go for a segment of grapefruit), and are happy to share, peel off.

Coconut – Another tropical item on the list! Packed inside a coconuts shell are valuable medium-chain triglycerides, which are a great source of energy. It also has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help with many conditions, including skin allergies, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and arthritis.

Cantaloupe – Canteloupes are an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, niacin, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. The seeds are harmless but be sure to remove the outer shell as it can cause digestive issues.

Fruits to avoid;

Grapes are a no-go (and raisins). Stay away from dried fruits, or processed/canned fruit. With dried fruits, the water is removed, and sugars get concentrated, making them really high in sugar. Dried fruits can also contain chemical compounds that are potentially toxic.

Also, be careful with fruits with fruit stones (peaches, cherries, plums, etc.) The flesh is good – but not the stones.

April 2022

Natural Remedies for Fleas and Ticks

1. Garlic 

Garlic is a chemical weapon against fleas. In fact, it’s one of my favourite natural remedies for fleas, particularly prevention. Fleas detest the smell of garlic and by feeding it to your pets, they will become a walking flea deterrent.

It is a myth that feeding garlic to your pets will make them sick or kill them.

Garlic contains something called thiosulphate, which, if given in high enough dosage, is a liver toxin. However, garlic only contains trace amounts of thiosulphate and you would have to give your dog a very large dose in order to cause harm.

Instead, garlic can be great for your pets! It’s anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and a natural antibiotic that doesn’t destroy beneficial bacteria.

When using garlic for your pets, it’s important to remember to use fresh,  clove garlic. This is the only way to ensure proper dosage and effectiveness. You can safely give your pet 1/4 clove of garlic per every 10 pounds of body weight. If your dog or cat is below 10 pounds, then cut a 1/4 clove of garlic in half (so 1/8 of a clove). I am talking about a normal piece of garlic – not the elephant garlic variety. No matter how big your pet is, do not give them more than 2 cloves of garlic per day. So if you have a 100 pound dog, still give them only 2 cloves of garlic.

2. Nematodes

Nematodes are bugs we can all love and appreciate!

One of the most important ways to combat fleas is to kill them before they can reproduce. Use Flea eating nematodes, these microscopic organisms eat fleas, they are easy to use. Just order them from any online garden shop and use a garden sprayer to spray the nematodes on your garden. Spray once each in the Spring, Summer, and Autumn.

3. Garden Care

If your dog has a favorite place to curl up outside or if you garden, spread diatomaceous earth  on the ground. It is a non-toxic powder made up of fossilized organisms called diatoms. These little gems help break apart flea eggs and dry them out before they can grow into adult fleas. (Google diatomaceous earth for fleas for stockists)

Gardens can also benefit from potted mint, rosemary, mexican fleabane daisies,  geraniums, lavender and lemongrass. These plants repel fleas and ticks, while helping to make your garden an unfavorable habitat for pests.


March 2022

Broccoli

The Vegetable you need to be feeding your dog!!

Adding broccoli to your pets food is the best way to make their diet better and have an impact on their health. Several studies have shown the sulphophane found in broccoli destroys cancer cells and/or damaged cells in dogs.

No matter how you prepare it, chopped, raw, fermented, boiled, start by adding 1/4 teaspoon per 10lbs of body weight mixed in their food. 


February 2022

Some Healthy Recipes to make for your dogs;



January 2022

Dog Obesity

Whilst January is the time for many people to make resolutions and start dieting, exercising more, how many owners look to their dogs health and well-being?

Controlling your dogs weight can be particularly hard when your dog is food motivated. As dogs age they are naturally less active and will start to gain weight if fed the same portions. Obesity can occur at any age in dogs so we need to be regularly monitoring our doglets. Whilst there is a temptation to reward good behaviour with treats and filling that bowl to the brim, try half filling it - you can always top it up if your dog empties it and is still hungry.

Excess fat will not only affect the quality of life for your dog but could potentially shorten their lifespan!! Letting your dog become obese could lose him a year or more. 

Heart disease, joint disease and skin diseases are all seen more in our overweight pals. Don't kill your pooch with kindness, giving him an extra tit-bit at dinner time or a treat for good behaviour doesn't really show that you love your dog if it could be affecting his health. Try making some homemade healthy treats (Some recipes coming next month!) and get your fur baby booked in with us for regular exercise to help shed those pounds.


December 2021

Winter Dog Care

Our Top 10 tops for keeping your dog safe throughout the winter months...

1. WRAP UP ON WALKS

Whilst it might be cosy and warm inside, your dog needs regular walks regardless of the weather. When your are out on walks its important to ensure your four legged friends are wrapped up warm. Put a dog coat on - if you have a fine coated dog, such as a Greyhound or Staffie.

2. CHECK FOR SNOW BETWEEN THEIR TOES

Check your dog's paws and dry them thoroughly after they've been outside. This is particularly important for long haired dogs as they are prone to snow compacting between their toes and turning into ice balls, which can be very painful. If you dog doesn't mind, trimming the long hair between their toes can help prevent this. 

3. CHECK FOR SALT & GRIT BETWEEN THEIR TOES

Clean their paws thoroughly at the end of a walk. Salt and grit from roads and pavements can also get lodged between their toes.

4. KEEP THEM WARM & DRY

Dry wet and muddy dogs after walks and make sure they have somewhere cosy to snuggle down that is away from any cold draughts such as a warm bed or blanket on a chair.

5. KEEP THEM ACTIVE INDOORS

Some dogs can be reluctant to go out in the cold. If this is your dog, don't force them out, make sure instead that you provide them with plenty of indoor stimulation, dog toys, snuffle mats, lickimats all keep them occupied while indoors. Interestingly, scent work can be very tiring as it gives them lots of mental stimulation.

6. ADJUST THEIR FOOD IF NECESSARY

If you do find that your dog is less active in the winter then make sure that you adjust the amount of food that you give them to avoid unnecessary weight gain.

7. MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE GOOD RECALL

Cold weather often brings reduced visibility in snowy or foggy weather. If you're letting your dog off lead, ensure their recall is good to avoid them getting lost, and , as always ensure their microchip details are up to date with the correct contact info.

8. MAKE THEM VISIBLE

As the nights draw in earlier and the sun rises later, attach a light to your dogs collar, use an LED light up collar or pop them a high-vis coat to ensure that they can be seen when out in reduced visibility.

9. NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR UNATTENDED

Just as in the summer months cars can become fatally hot, in the winter temperatures can drop very quickly in cold weather. Always take your dog with you rather than leaving them in the car for any length of time.

10. STAY AWAY FROM FROZEN LAKES AND RIVERS

Keep your dog away from frozen water, be it lakes, rivers or ponds. It;s impossible to tell how secure the surface is. If they're a true water baby, keep them on a lead to avoid the temptation, Frozen water can be fatal, to both dogs and owners if they attempt a rescue.

ENJOY THE FRESHER WEATHER ON YOUR WALKS, BUT DO STAY SAFE.





November 2021

Dog Car Travel

Transporting your dog without a dog car seat, seat belt, harness or crate, can lead to a fine of up to £2,500 and 9 points on your licence!! 34% of drivers do not do this when out on the road with their furry friend, so you are not alone, but, keeping your dog secure when travelling can negate the risk of them, and you, being injured should the worst happen and you are involved in a collision.

Dogs can travel in the front seat, and 1 in every 10 drivers let their pets sit beside them, but you MUST turn off the passenger side air bag and move the seat as far back as possible. (As well as securing them).

64% of drivers are unaware of these regulations. Driving without your dog being secured can also invalidate your car insurance. So get yourself a dog seat, seat belt, harness or crate and travel safely. (Prices start from as little as £2.99 on Amazon for a dog car seat belt).

I.D. Tags

Please be aware that if you swap from a collar to a harness whilst out walking your dog/s, you could be breaking the law - and at risk of receiving a £5,000 fine.

By law, your four-legged friend has to wear a collar with an identification tag when you’re out and about in public.

This is particularly important with smaller breeds, as collars tend to put pressure on windpipes and lead to health problems - our advice - use a harness for walking but ensure your dog wears a collar with an id tag just to ensure you aren’t breaking the law, as the Control of Dogs Order 1992 law for Scotland, England and Wales states that a dog must wear a collar with an identity tag on it in public places.

There are some exceptions to this, including working dogs but the rule applies to all pets.

The tag should include your name, and your address - so failing to have any tag, or having a tag without the correct information could land you a hefty fine. Whilst owners are understandably nervous about adding their address with so many dog thefts since the start of the pandemic, it is still a legal requirement. Owners should be aware that their postcode must also be included on their dog’s ID collar or tag, but the law does not obligate you to include your phone number. (We would strongly advise that you do add your phone number so you can be contacted immediately).




October 2021

Fireworks

Yes Bonfire Night  is almost upon us....

....you may have already heard the late night revelers letting off fireworks at 11pm, if you haven't your dog certainly has. Fireworks can be frightening for our pets. Their enhanced senses make the loud bangs, vibrations and flashes very, very, scary. There are some simple steps that the PDSA recommend you can take to prevent your pets becoming scared while they are young, or to help keep older pets safe and calm.

The first step is to spot the signs that they are afraid:

     Trembling and shaking, Clinging to owner/s, Excessive barking, Cowering and hiding, 

     Trying to run away, Spoiling in the house, Pacing and panting, Refusing to eat, 

     Seeming depressed or withdrawn, Freezing, Yawning and licking lips or Digging.

For young dogs and puppies, its important to get them used to the sound of fireworks as part of their socialisation, so they are less likely to be scared later in life. 

Using pre-recorded sounds to help them get used to the loud noises, including fireworks is a great way to prepare them. Start out playing them quietly, rewarding your dog with a yummy treat, a new toy or by playing a game. Gradually build up their tolerance until they remain calm while the sounds are playing loudly.

Secure your home and garden as fearful pets may panic and their instinct is to try and escape when they are scared. Secure any holes in garden fences/ hedges beforehand.

Make sure your pets microchip details are correct and up to date, just in case they do get scared and run away.

Build a den to give your pet a safe, secure place to hide by building them somewhere to take refuge. Simply covering a table with a blanket or tablecloth, putting soft and cosy bedding underneath with their favourite toys and treats a week or so before can help them learn that this is a safe place to go.

Pheromone products can sometimes help relieve stressed pets. Designed to mimic natural animal pheromones, they come in sprays, plug ins, diffusers and collars.

Playing music or TV loud enough to mask the sound of the fireworks can also help keep pets calm.

Ensure your pet isn't left home alone on Bonfire Night, walk them whilst it's still light-before all the bangs begin. Keep doors and windows closed, draw the curtains, comfort them as you would normally. Keep your routine as normal, ensure your tone and mood remain calm, and NEVER punish or shout at your pets, its not their fault they're scared and it can add to their anxiety.

https://www.pdsa.org.uk



September 2021

Blueberries

Yes Blueberries are good for your dog! 

Believe it or not, these are one of the most beneficial treats that you can ever feed your dog! These little blue gems, quench free radicals and protect against oxidative damage, plus they're full of longevity-promoting biomolecules, meaning they are the best thing you can share with your furry pal. Whether fresh or frozen (great when out of season) blueberries are one of the best anti-aging treats you can offer - straight from the bush, if you're lucky enough like me, to live somewhere where they grow wild, and they are in season now!! Great for use as a training treat (in small numbers).

There are new studies that show blueberries can slow down the aging process in numerous species by repairing DNA damage and modifying genes associated with aging, which promotes significantly longer life spans! (Now who doesn't want that for their best pal???)

Researchers have also found that they reduce the risk of cells becoming cancerous and aid the prevention of cognitive decline in aging dogs.

I'm just off to buy some for me and the dogs!!


(1 blueberry per 2lbs of bodyweight per day.)


September 2021

Pen Farthing

We had to write a bit about this amazing chap and all that he has achieved.

If you don't know of him; Pen Farthing is a former British Royal Marines commando who has recently organised a rescue of 173 dogs and cats from Afghanistan.

Whilst serving in Afghan, Farthing and his troops broke up a street dog fight in the town of Nawzad. One of these dogs, later named Nowzad,  went on to follow him for the next six months. At the end of his deployment, Farthing sought to bring the dog home to the UK. He then went on to set up Nowzad Dogs, a charity which seeks to reunite servicemen with the dogs and cats who befriended them, and humanely control Kabul's stray animals through a trap–neuter–vaccinate–return programme. The charity also aided animal welfare in Afghanistan, reported as the first animal rescue centre in the country.

Since the recent developments in Afghan, Farthing has confirmed that the dogs and cats rescued from Afghanistan will be going to different shelters across the country, with some going to a shelter in Wales. He is still working to get "terrified" staff members out of the country.

His book One Dog at a time outlining his amazing story can be purchased directly from the charity, or can found in all good book shops.



August 2021

Kennel Cough

Whilst this is not something anyone wants their dog to catch, most people don't know a lot about it. 

Also known as Contagious Canine Cough (CCC), Kennel Cough can be easily caught by any dog when it socialises. There are only an estimated 1 in 32  dogs vaccinated in the UK  against Kennel Cough. Unless your dog goes to Doggy Daycare or stays somewhere for Dog Boarding or in Kennels, where it is a requirement for all dogs, you may not have even known that you can protect against it. Kennel Cough symptoms can last between 1 to 3 weeks but dogs can shed the disease, passing it onto others, for up to 3 months. Dogs develop a hacking cough which can be distressing for both the dog and its owner. Symptoms also include a reduced appetite, low energy and a high temperature. Puppies, older and poorly dogs can go onto develop serious symptoms. A quick visit to the Vets is all it takes to get your pooch protected. Make sure you spread the word, not the disease!!


5 activities that can put your dog at risk:

1.Going to Doggy Daycare, Dog boarding or Kennels

2.Taking your dog into the office

3.Going to the vet

4.Meeting other dogs out on walks

5.Going to a training class