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  • With the warmer weather finally here its an ideal time to get out and enjoy the outdoors and spend some quality time with our family dogs.

    As much as our four legged friends enjoy this time of year there are a few things us humans can put in place to ensure that their fun in the sun is safe.

    Dogs do not sweat, aside from their feet, meaning their only natural way to cool down is to pant, along with a full fur coat they can overheat quickly, but there are many things we can do to help
     

    -          On particularly hot days avoid walking your dog during the midday heat, stick to mornings or evenings. This will also decrease the risk of burnt paws on hot tarmac or concrete

    -          Never leave your dog in a car or conservatory, even with windows open temperatures can quickly rise to fatal levels

    -          Always ensure your dog has fresh clean water available, including taking with you on walks

    -          Make cool treats by freezing ice cubes with tasty tit bits inside or even stuffing a kong toy and popping in the freezer. This will give your dog a mental work out and cool them on days when its too hot for a walk

    -          Lay a wet towel on the floor, never over the dog, for them to lie on

    -          Pay particular attention to brachycephalic dogs like pugs or bulldogs, older dogs, over weight dogs and those with a thick double coat as these suffer the most in hot weather

    Double coated breeds like huskies and malamutes may suffer more in the heat as they are designed for harsh cold climates. Don’t be tempted to shave off your double coated dog. This has been proven to make them hotter as it removes the natural guard hairs and exposes their skin to the heat. The best way to help keep them cool is to remove the loose or dead undercoat with some specific rakes or brushes, booking your dog in for a professional groom and deshedding treatment will save you a lot of time and mess at home

    Heatstroke is a veterinary emergency and it pays to be clued up about what to look out for.

    Signs of heat stroke

    -          Heavy panting

    -          Excessive drooling

    -          Lethargic

    -          Fast heart beat

    -          Diarrhoea or vomiting

    -          Seizures

    If you are in any way worried about your dog, immediately contact the vet, then move the dog to a cool area and start slowly to cool them down. Do not use iced water or anything that would cool them down too quickly as this can be a massive shock to the dogs system. Wet cool towels are useful!

    Frozen Kong Recipes

    Try stuffing your dogs kong with these and popping in the freezer until solid!

    Banana Yogurt

     Mashed Banana, Honey, Plain yogurt

    Peanut Butter Crunch

    Peanut butter, kibble or dog biscuits, cottage cheese, yoghurt

     

    There are a range of fun toys designed to keep dogs cool in summer from Chill Out Dogs – including hydration bones, ice bones, dog paddling pools, cooling mat, garden fountain and many more. We are currently offering 35% off on any order so now is the ideal time to grab a bargain and enjoy 

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    Our native wild birds are in trouble! In recent years birds that were once common and widespread are now declining in numbers to the point many of our breeds of garden birds are now critically endangered. This is due to a number of factors including loss of habitat & use of pesticides.
    One of the ways we can dramatically help is to provide a clean, constant food source in our gardens.



    What to feed to attract certain species

    Wild bird seed mix - a good all rounder, attracts sparrows, starlings, tits, chaffinches, doves, pigeons, black birds

    Peanuts - high in fats & protein - attracts tits, finches, sparrows, starlings & siskins

    Sunflower seeds - high energy - attracts greenfinches, blue tits, coal tits, great tits, bullfinches, robins & blackbirds.

    Nyger Seed - high energy - attracts goldfinches & siskins.

    Insects - both live & dried - attracts robins, blackbirds & thrushes.


    Also much enjoyed by wild birds:
    Fat balls
    Rice (cooked)
    Fresh Coconut in shell
    Breakfast cereal
    Mild grated cheese
    Beef suet


    What not to feed

    Salted or roasted peanuts
    Cooking fat
    Dry dog/cat food
    Desiccated coconut
    Mouldy/stale food

    When to feed?

    It is best to feed year round, but birds require different nutrition during different parts of the year. During autumn and winter feeding high fat content foods are best and a fresh supply of unfrozen water is gratefully received.
    Spring and summer is baby season, avoid peanuts as these can choke baby birds instead chose high protein foods

    Hygiene

    It's easy to forget that hygiene is really important for feeding stations, after all you'd be forgiven for assuming that it wouldn't matter for wild animals. Unfortunately feeders and bird tables that aren't regularly disinfected are a breeding ground for bacteria & disease which can spread easily from bird to bird as they congregate in a condensed area. 
    Ensure you clear away any uneaten or spoiled food and regularly disinfect with an animal safe disinfectant.

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    As we make the transition in to the warmer months of spring and summer, one major problem all horse owners will agree on is flies!

    Flies work on the smell of their prey. Repellents work by releasing strong scent molecules into the air and animal, which confuse the insect by mixing in with and masking the smell of the horse, so they are unable to home in on the smell of the horse.

    The term ‘repellent’ may seem misleading though. These products don’t actually repel the insects but rather confuse their sense of smell.

    There are various forms of fly repellents for horses, available as ready to use sprays, which tend to be the most convenient method of applying the repellent onto the majority of horses.

    Wipes, gels and creams are ideal for use on horses that are anxious about the sprays.

    Citronella bands can also be used in stables, platted into manes and can also be used by handlers.

    Most natural repellents will contain citronella – one application will tend to only be effective for a few hours.

    Synthetic repellents may contain a chemical called DEET, slightly more powerful and last longer.

    Aloe Vera products can also be used as a natural repellent.

    Fly masks and sheets can all help against the fight of flies.

    We sell many fly repellent products in store, drop in and have a look – our experienced team are always willing advice on different products.

    All products available in store.

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    We have just started to stock these tasty ‘Iced Dog Treats’. Suppliers Billy & Margot produce these nutritious iced dog treats in three flavours. They are similar to Human Ice Creams but because they do not contain any Dairy/Milk Fats they cannot be called Ice Creams!

    The treats are 100% vegetarian only contain fruits, aloe vera gel, and oils as well as other natural ingredients.

    The Iced Treats can be enjoyed all year round, simply hold the tub and let your dog lick away!

    Why not pop into the shop and pick one up for your four legged friend.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qn9QaLlN2ug

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