Sometimes it’s the Absence…
Hello Fellow Pet Parent!
So… we did manage to go wild camping in Galloway last weekend – just squeezed in before the local lockdown began.
We went a bit further this year, hiking for 5 hours up the hills until we were literally miles away from anyone.
We were lucky enough to have cloudless and almost moonless nights. I’ve may never see that many stars again, the milky way was unmistakable as it stretched across the glittering sky.
Jupiter and Saturn reflected brightly in the lake.
We were even woken the second morning by a wild Billy Goat standing on the nearest outcrop of rocks to our tent.
However the best thing was an absence.
The lack of sound.
There were no trees, almost no animals.
The nearest roads were miles away, so were the nearest people.
(No sounds except the phone’s mic hitting the slightest bit of wind)
If you have an older dog or one with a more sedentary lifestyle.
Or maybe you are struggling to cope with your dog’s pancreatitis or their diabetes…
It’s also a lack of something that you find the best thing.
Anna back in May asked us about low fat treats for her dog and at last we’re just a couple of weeks from releasing them.
For Dalmations and their owners it’s a lack of offal in treats that is the best thing (Anne asked us about this in August).
The new softer training treats we’re releasing have no offal in them and just one ingredient.
Another lovely absence.
Delivery during COVID-19
Like us you are probably shocked by the sudden and rapid escalation of both the virus and the actions being taken to stop the spread of COVID-19.
We use a fulfilment company who we are happy have a good plan in place to cope with the health, staffing and logistical issues.
If that situation changes, we will of course make it immediately clear by setting up obvious and unmissable notices at the top of the website and elsewhere so you will always be fully aware of any issues before buying (we’ll email too of course).
You can help now by:
- Including a contact number when ordering.
- Anticipating that deliveries may be a little slower than usual because of the increase in workload on delivery firms due to the online sales spike and decrease in staffing numbers.
Here’s important advice from Hermes that will help:
“So, we are making some changes to the way our couriers deliver parcels to offer ‘contact-free delivery’ right to everyone’s doorsteps. These include:
- – Asking customers to choose a safe place for deliveries. Anybody due to receive a parcel should visit the tracking section and choose ‘divert’ to select a safe place. This can also be done through our app, within the MyPlaces section.
- – If a safe place hasn’t been chosen but there is somewhere safe to deliver the parcel, then couriers will leave it there, even when there is someone in the property. A photo will be taken and this will be included in the delivery notification email.
- – For parcels requiring a signature, our couriers can temporarily do this on behalf of the customer to avoid unnecessary contact via hand-held devices. This will only happen when the customer opens the door and gives their name for security reasons. The courier will stay at least two steps away.
- – If there is no safe place available, please be assured that we will always attempt delivery 3 times.”
Hermes, A message from CEO about COVID-19
Ongoing advice from Hermes is available here:
Seven Dog Greeting Tips…
How best to greet a dog?
Just found a great article on how to approach dogs you’ve never met before. I’ve picked out 7 solid tips for meeting and greeting for the first time but have a look at the article for more good info about dog body language.
1. Ask the dog’s guardian if you can pet the dog, if they like contact and if so what kind.
2. Let the dog approach you. Give them the choice.
3. Make sure they can move away if they want – don’t restrict their movement and give them a route away.
4. A rude or threatening approach is made from the front. One shoulder facing the dog in a side-on approach is the polite way to greet.
5. Avoid direct eye contact – use your periphal verison with a turned away head (if you use tip 4 you should be side on anyway).
6. Any eye contact that is given should be short glances with soft and slow blinking eyes.
7. Allow them to walk away if they just want to sniff you and wander off.
Here’s the article – chock full of interesting stuff:
How to keep dogs cool in the summer heat
The Blue Cross have a great article on the danger of heatstroke in dogs, the signs and what to do. They also provide advice within the article on summer exercise, water intoxication and sunburn in pale coloured dogs.
Facebook is full of repeated hot temperature and dog warnings but we don’t all use Facebook and some messages are mixed so I’ve copied a key section from an article you can trust here.
There’s much more information in the article itself:
How to keep a dog cool and prevent heatstroke
- Make sure your dog has access to clean water at all times, ideally a large bowl filled to the brim. Carry water and a bowl with you on walks.
- On hot days, walk your dog during the cooler parts of the day, in the early morning and late evening
- Watch your pet for signs of over-heating, including heavy panting and loss of energy. If you recognise these signs when on a walk, stop, find a shady spot and give your dog water.
- Never leave your dog (or any pet) alone in a car, even with the windows open
- Make cooling tasty treats by making ice cubes with your dog’s favourite food inside or stuff a Kong and pop it in the freezer
- Be particularly careful with short nosed dogs such as bull breeds, boxers, pugs, older dogs, and those that are overweight. These dogs can get heatstroke simply by running around.
Once again, here’s the link to the full article…
Swedish scientists have shown that dogs mirror our stress levels…
Swedish scientists have shown that dogs mirror our stress levels.
They measured the level of the stress hormone cortisol in hair and the link between dogs and humans held throughout the year.
It was also mirrored in whatever circumstances dog and owner lived eg hours the owner worked, other dogs in the household, garden or not.
Dogs who most closely mirrored their owners were those who regularly trained or competed in agility or obedience competitions. This was believed to be because the dogs had formed a closer bond with their owners.
However, one thing that did have an effect on dog’s stress levels was their owner’s personalities – with the largest factor being neuroticism.
This didn’t quite play out how I expected…
The more neurotic the owner (as assessed by a survey) the lower the levels of the dog’s stress – shown by the cortisol in the hair.
Lina Roth who led the study suggested this was likely because those owners were more likely to comfort themselves with hugs and attention for their dogs thereby soothing and de-stressing their dogs.
Therefore – if in doubt hug it out!
Here’s the link to the full article, enjoy…
Dog Owners are 4x More Likely to …
As dog owners we are about 4x more likely than people without a dog to get enough physical exercise each week.
4x more likely!!!
The study of a neighborhood near Liverpool included almost 700 participants and about a third of them owned a dog. They were given activity monitors and completed questionanaires on their movements each week.
In general most dog owners spent close to 300 minutes each week walking with their dogs while those without dogs only walked 100 minutes each week.
So we walk 3x more than non-dog owners and as such are 4x more likely to get enough exercise every week.
Not bad at all – pat on the back time for us – pat on the head time for our dogs (and maybe a quick treat and a belly rub!)
To find out more including which section of dog owners never walked their dogs visit: