Grooming your pet will not only help reduce this excess hair but is also important for the wellbeing of your pet.
As well as aerating the coat and ensuring healthy growth, brushing promotes good blood circulation. Grooming helps to keep grease levels down — a build-up of grease in a pet’s coat can block pores and cause sebaceous cysts.
Grooming is also the perfect opportunity for you to check your pet over to ensure they are healthy. Giving them a once-over also enables you to check for any balls of matted fur between paw pads, which can sometimes become hard with dirt and grease, causing discomfort.
On an emotional level, grooming reduces stress in both parties, helping dog and owner to relax and build up a close bond. When you groom your pet regularly — start when they are young to let them used to the procedure — you’ll get to know your pet better, both physically and mentally.
Which is why all of our Hay, Straw and Shavings are sourced from our favourite local supplier Pure Pastures, producers and distributors of fine quality hay and straw, based in Pewsey, the heart of the Wiltshire countryside. The fertile fields of the valley produce the highest quality hay and straw that their customers, and ours, have come to expect.
Pure Pastures operate from their family run farm in the village of Manningford Bruce and with over 3 generations of experience in making hay and straw. http://www.purepastures.co.uk/
Because when it comes to our customers and their pets; only the best will do!
The most important basic foodstuff for rabbits and guinea pigs is hay. You should make sure they have access to some crunchy blades of hay at all times.
Guinea pigs and rabbits seem to spend the entire day nibbling away at crispy twigs, fresh herbs and seeds. And it’s true! In contrast to carnivores, these animals eat more regular, smaller portions spread throughout the day, meaning they spend a large proportion of the day eating.
To make this important meal a bit more interesting for your small furries we have introduced new product lines to our already fantastic range of Hay and Straw.
The best bit about our new products? They are better quality and a far better price than our competitors!
Don’t miss our standard hay, straw and shavings prices:
Now that we are finally heading in to spring, it’s been a long winter hasn’t it?! Here is some advice for your favourite furry friends, from chocolate to allergies to the garden and cleaning.
Remember that chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine (a bit like caffeine) that is poisonous to dogs, and hot-cross buns contain raisins, which can cause renal failure in dogs and cats. Keep your treats out of reach, why not treat your pet to some Carob Easter eggs instead?
Spring plants and flowers
Watch out for poisonous plants. Species common at this time of year include lilies, daffodils, spring bulbs and azaleas. If you notice any signs of poisoning such as excessive salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, appearing ‘drunk’ or even collapsing – then contact your vet immediately.
Cats and dogs alike love spending time in the garden. Make sure that your garden is safe for your pet and be careful if you need to use any pellets, pesticides or other chemicals. Slug and snail pellets are a common poison.
Wasp and bee stings
Most cases of wasp or bee stings are not emergencies. With a bee sting, check and remove the sting if it is still in place, then bathe the area in bicarbonate of soda (one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to 300ml warm water). With wasp stings bathe the area with malt vinegar or lemon juice.
If your pet is stung in or near the mouth or neck then you may need to seek veterinary help. Animals, like humans, can be allergic or become allergic to stings. Signs include swellings, distress and breathing difficulties.
Make sure your pet is up to date with his vaccinations, flea and tick medications as this is the time of year fleas and ticks start to increase in number. Rabbits can be vaccinated too.
Just like people, dogs and cats can develop allergies to plants, pollens, grasses, and many other substances in springtime. Allergies in pets normally appear as itchy skin and ear problems, accompanied by hair loss or inflamed skin. Some pets will even change their behaviour due to irritation. Some will suffer respiratory symptoms or runny eyes.
It has become very apparent that stress affects our mental and physical health and, sadly, our world has become more stressful than ever. We live in a face-paced world that demands our attention and can easily wear us out. There are certain methods to reduce stress, but one of the best is to own a pet. Pets provide support like a best friend because they are always available to listen (without judgement), which can help you unload after a hectic day. Talking out issues can help you see the situation differently, let out some steam, and feel more relaxed. Moreover, when you are feeling stressed, there is nothing like a sweet pair of eyes that instantly attract your focus and help you get your mind off the thoughts and emotions that are causing the stress. Pets need to be handled, fed, and loved, so you don’t have time to sit and stew in a negative place; you have better things to do.
People are not always around when you need them, but pets are. They are constantly giving off love and gratitude, and they are happy to be in your presence. You can be yourself around pets. You can dance silly or talk silly, and they will not judge you. In fact, depending on the pet they will love the silliness and get silly themselves. Of course, unconditional love like that is a good stress reliever, but constant companionship with a loving being has been shown to improve health in many other ways. Studies have shown that it boosts your immune system, improves heart health, reduces physical pain, and improves mental health as well.
Pets are a great source of entertainment. They are living creatures that have habits, quirks, and personalities that can keep you laughing for hours. The best part is that pet’s personalities can distract you from issues you are having, cause you to engage in more heart-healthy laughter, and keep boredom away.
No matter what type of pet you get, it will require you to take care of it. Being responsible for another living being can help you be more responsible in the rest of your life too. This is especially true for kids who are learning the value of routine and good habits. However, adults can benefit from the consistent responsibility as well.
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” Dalai Lama . We need more compassion in our lives, both self-compassion and compassion towards others. Owning a pet who depends on you for survival, good health, and happiness, can definitely cause you to become a more compassionate person. You have to look outside of your own wants and needs, and look into their wants and needs. And, more importantly, you have to take action on their wants and needs!
We all know that dogs will bark when they sense someone near the house, and that can be very good for home security; however, pets can sense far more than just a stranger.
If Christmas is all about eating and drinking, then New Year has all that and a jolly big party as well! However, taking reasonable steps to help those pets, who might find some of the revelry more challenging, should be considered. Here at Hill’s Pet UK, we thought to share some good advice from our dear friends at Medivet Coventry, courtesy of Simon Pudsey, Veterinary Surgeon.
We would all do well to look at how our pets behave when their world is ‘normal’, and this will give us some clues as to how we might help them over the New Year party season. It may well be that your pet will take all this in their stride and not be at all bothered, but for the rest of us, a few pointers could help.
How to make New Year’s Eve a happy one for your pets
Noise is a very big issue for some pets and if your dog or cat is easily startled, runs away, hides or cowers when there is a sudden noise. Then you should be prepared to think about them when the volume gets turned up and the fireworks are being let off. As a pet parent, you’ll already have seen your pet’s behaviour on other noisy, festive nights, such as Bonfire Night and Diwali. This should have given you some idea of how they react and what worked to help them. A viable option, is to create a safe hideaway place for your pet with some favourite toys and maybe some food treats. This ought to be in a quieter part of the house and your guests should be encouraged to leave the pets alone. An endless stream of those going to say hello and see “how they are” could actually be quite stressful for them.
How to help your pets when you have crowds
Some pets do not respond well to social events and do not necessarily enjoy the company of others, particularly if they come to the party bearing the scent of their own pets. The stimulation may just be too much and you might want to consider how they normally respond to strangers coming up to them. If your pet is the sort that “loves a crowd” and will happily interact with anybody in the park, then they may well be OK. However, we must remember that we might push their limits slightly too far and they could react badly. A little thought might save an unfortunate nip from a pet that has just had way too much.
Why feeding your pet before the party can help?
We might want to consider feeding them a little earlier than usual to give them time to settle before the evening when guests are arriving. They are more likely to eat if their environment is relatively normal and this may well not be the case once the party is under way. A high quality easily digestible food may well be a good idea for this meal, as this might prevent unexpected vomiting, due to excitement.
Whilst much of the above is aimed at thinking about cats and dogs, we must not forget the bunnies, guinea pigs, birds and other small furry friends. These guys, by their very nature are naturally quite afraid and thinking about how you might reduce their stress would help them very much. This might mean moving a hutch into a shed or garage or making sure a cage is in a quieter room.
For some pets, particular treatments and remedies can be helpful. It is probably out of scope for this article to go into these in depth. They can include diets which are specifically formulated to help calm your pet and your vet can advise you on these. It is my opinion you should avoid sedative drugs as these can act as a chemical “straightjacket” where the pet has all the sights and sounds but is unable to act to get away from them. Quite often the desire to ask for sedative drugs suggests that the planning has been left a little late and everyone will be much happier if these matters are thought of in advance.
The New Year party should be fun and safe for you and your guests and stress free for your pets. With a little thought this is quite achievable.
On that note, I hope you have a Happy New Year!
A Cambridge University graduate and keen blogger, Simon is a Veterinary Surgeon at Coventry Upper York Street branch of Medivet http://www.medivet.co.uk/practice-finder/west-midlands/coventry/. Simon’s ultimate aim is to help pet owners, make decisions that ensure their pets are as healthy as they can possibly be. You can read more about pet health on his blog: earlsdonvettalk.wordpress.com.
Published 29th December 2014, by Hill’s Pet Nutrition UK www.hillspet.co.uk
Thank goodness you have a pet.
We are (according to most experts) a nation of pet lovers. I have to say that with some of the things we see and hear, that can be questioned. However, latest research tells us that responsible pet ownership can be more rewarding, than we ever imagined. In fact, for nearly 25 years, research has shown that living with pets provides certain health benefits…..
In one particular study, stockbrokers with high blood pressure who adopted a cat or dog had lower blood pressure readings in stressful situations than people without pets did. Like any enjoyable activity, playing with a dog can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine — nerve transmitters that are known to have pleasurable and calming properties.
Traditional thinking was that if your family had a pet, the children were more likely to become allergic to the pet. And if you came from an allergy-prone family, pets should be avoided,
However, a growing number of studies have suggested that kids growing up in a home with “furred animals” — whether it’s a pet cat or dog, or on a farm and exposed to large animals — will have less risk of allergies or asthma.
Dogs for the Aged
“Studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home,” says Lynette Hart, PhD, associate professor at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
“Their caregivers also feel less burdened when there is a pet, particularly if it is a cat, which generally requires less care than a dog,” says Hart.
Walking a dog or just caring for a pet — for elderly people who are able — can provide exercise and companionship. Heart attack patients who have pets survive longer than those without, according to several studies. Male pet owners have less sign of heart disease — lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels — than non-owners.
Improve Mental Health
Playing with, chatting to or just holding a pet is believed to increase our brain activity and improve our mood. If you live alone, it’s easy to feel down, especially if you used to have a busy household and a large family. Your animal companion can give you that lift you need and we all know there’s nothing better after a difficult day than coming home to a purring cat or a wagging tail.
It has always been our belief that pet owners are generally nicer people than non-pet owners, and this is now an accepted truth. Children who own or help to look after a pet are often less self-centred than those who do not, as they learn to care about something other than themselves.
Children with learning difficulties can also benefit from interaction with pets. One study found that the presence of a dog helped to channel the children’s attention and responsiveness towards the therapist’s suggestion. In effect, the dog helped increase the attention span of the children.
And now the advertising bit. PetShed has everything you need to give your pet everything he or she needs. If you visit our website petshedonline.co.uk, you can see our latest offers, and sign up to receive our newsletter, which will keep you informed about everything we are doing, as well as our latest deals.
Unlike most other Pet Stores, we do not have our own brands of pet food, so if we recommend something, you can be sure that it’s because it’s right for you and your pet, not for us and our profits.
It can get very cold here in England and not a good place to have a cavy. Guinea Pigs cannot cope with the harsh weather and really must be brought indoors or kept in a shed/outbuilding until the weather gets warm again.
Bringing your Guinea Pug inside:
Keeping your Guinea Pig in a shed or outbuilding:
Get a good stock of food in, including vitamin c pellets, timothy hay, and ensuring they have a good supply of water to keep them well hydrated. Any changes or anything you may be worried about, phone your vet.
Rabbits do not tolerate extreme weather temperatures so you need to make sure their home stays warm, comfortable and protects them from the elements. Rabbits do not hibernate, so if your rabbit looks limp or sleepy and isn’t really reacting to anything then you need to get him to a vet ASAP. If you have just got a rabbit and he’s been kept indoors or is a baby, don’t put him outside until the weather gets warmer, as the sharp change in weather can kill.
Indoor house rabbits should be fine in the cold weather as the temperature indoors tends to be regulated for yourselves! But check that their living area is not in a draught.
Outdoor bunnies rely on their owners to keep them safe in all kinds of weather. They are silent creatures and can’t bark or ask you for help so please keep a close eye on your rabbits. Any changes or anything you may be worried about, phone your vet.
OUR CJ WOOD PELLETS ARE IDEAL FOR ALL SMALL FURRY ANIMALS, BUT WHY CHOOSE WOOD PELLETS OVER YOUR NORMAL SHAVINGS OR STRAW?
Firstly they are ultra absorbent of both urine and odours. Nobody likes a smelly cage or hut and this includes owners, CJ wood pellets help neutralise those nasty smells. They are easy to store and makes cleaning much easier. Being 100% bio-degradable they are fully compostable.
If you wish you can still throw some straw or hay on top of the pellet and you are all set.
30 Litres only £8.98
Rabbits Grunt or Growl for various reasons. This is often simply a bunny’s way of telling you to be careful or to leave it alone. It could also be an expression of fear, or even just a greeting, depending on what is happening at the time. Pay attention to posture and body language.
This is very common behaviour in rabbits. As well as leaving scent by chinning, rabbits mark their territories by leaving their droppings in concentrated piles. Rabbits are also very clean animals – They frequently wash and groom themselves. Rabbits do not like to sleep in areas soiled by urine and droppings.
This behaviour also explains why rabbits can be house-trained easily to live indoors
The female rabbit (doe) builds a nest, which she lines with fur plucked from her chest, for her babies (called kittens). Some females show nesting behaviour even though they have not been mated and are not pregnant. This is called a ‘false pregnancy’ (or pseudopregnancy). The doe may even defend the nest from any human interference by growling and biting.
False pregnancies usually occur in early spring (although they can happen at any time) and they are more common in rabbits housed with other female rabbits. Do not be alarmed if your rabbit has a false pregnancy – it will do her no harm. However, they do not occur in neutered female rabbits and if your rabbit is aggressive during a false pregnancy, consider having her neutered (spayed).
Wild rabbits live on the ground. Pet rabbits do not like being held above the ground as it is unnatural to them, and they do not feel secure. They will struggle and may kick and scratch – often they are dropped and this can result in injuries such as a broken leg or back. Small children should not be allowed to handle rabbits unsupervised.
It is extremely important to learn to handle your Rabbit correctly so that it feels secure when you pick it up. Tuck your rabbit’s head close to your body underneath the elbow of your left arm (if you are right-handed). Use the left hand to hold the bottom of the rabbit, while supporting your rabbit against your body. Steady thehead and front end of the animal with the right hand. NEVER pick a rabbit up by its ears – this is extremely painful and dangerous for the rabbit.
If you have a young rabbit it is important to handle it often so that it becomes used to this from an early age.
Rabbits are territorial animals and like to defend their patch against intruders. Because of this it is very difficult to keep two same sex together.
By far the easiest combination is a male-female pair – but both rabbits will have to be neutered. Same-sex pairs sometimes work if both rabbits are neutered and, preferably, if they were introduced as youngsters or come from the same litter, but this is by no means easy to achieve.
Rabbits should be very gradually introduced to their new companion on neutral territory with lots of cover and piles of food. Slowly build up the amount of time the rabbits spend with each other. Separate them if severe fighting occurs as rabbits can inflict nasty injuries on each other.
Never try to compromise by putting a Rabbit and Guinea Pig together. The Guinea Pig will not be able to defend itself should the Rabbit become aggressive.
If you decide against keeping two Rabbits, then please ensure that your Pet gets plenty of attention and interaction from you and members of you family.
Rabbits are territorial animals – so they like to have an area (hutch or burrow, etc) to call their own. They will often identify this territory as theirs by leaving scent marks for other rabbits to detect. Rabbits have scent glands underneath their chins and they rub these on objects to leave behind their scent. This behaviour is very similar to cats rubbing their faces (which also have scent glands) on objects or people.
Rabbit thumping is generally all about your Bunny signalling a warning or expressing his or her displeasure. Occasionally a Rabbit may ‘thump’ just to attract your attention.
This is much less common these days, as the quality of foods has improved, but nevertheless Guinea pigs eating their own droppings is a fairly normal behaviour. This is called coprophagy and it can be part of daily life to help the bacteria in their guts flourish. This in turn helps them digest even more grass, hay and pellets with ease.
There are a many reasons that Guinea Pigs make noises, including being hungry, angry, happy or contented. How can you tell one noise from another? Here are a few tips which may help to identify the different sounds that your Pet may make.
Guinea pigs are very vocal creatures and ‘wheeking’ is a classic ‘piggy’ high pitched squeaking sound. This noise represents the Guinea Pig craving attention, most probably because they think that food may be about to arrive, possibly because they have heard a sound that they associate with food, often the rustling of food packaging.
Teeth clacking is the noise that a guinea pig makes by grinding its teeth together. The Guinea Pig does this as a warning sound. He/she is trying to tell you that they feel threatened and are not happy. Teeth clacking is a pre-cursor to a possible attack. Guinea pigs make this noise to both other animals and humans. If you hear the clacking, it is probably best to back off, or you may need to separate pigs that share the same cage. Guinea Pigs rarely bite humans, but it is better to remove the stress from your Pet.
Guinea Pigs are very sociable and vocal animals. They will often make an array of different sounds to each other which convey different meanings. For example, one animal may make a high pitched squeak towards another. This is a sign that he/she is upset and not happy. They can also make purring noises to each other. Low level purring suggests that they are happy and comfortable in each other’s company. However a louder purring and staccato body movements may indicate a problem between them.
Any product that claims to “cure, kill, or prevent” is considered to be a medicine, and has to be licensed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) which is a Government regulatory authority.
All licensed products must carry a VM (veterinary medicine) number and, in pet shops the AVM-GSL symbol on their packaging. So all you have to do is pick any product off the shelf, and look for the symbol. You can also go on the VMD website, and check the product, and see the level of testing it has gone through.
Household Flea Products are not considered to be pesticides, and not medicines, and are therefore licensed by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Once again it is easy to spot a licensed product, as it will have an HSE number on the packaging.
Products licensed in this way must be proven to be safe, efficacious, and produced to a consistently high standard. This basically means, you can be sure it does what it says on the label.