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Paws for Thought

Welcome to our blog

 

We're pet mad..... cats, dogs, bunnies, birds, lizards and scaley things.  Just lurve giant dogs (especially Great Danes).  Love to cuddle up with a cat and do feline frenzy things with the pusscats. Our desire is to see all living things have a fair shot at living on the planet, but sometimes reality checks knock us back into the real world.  Educate, educate, educate that is the key.  So stay with us, follow this blog, live and learn and share with us your pet tales and woes, Paw Bloggins is for all of us :)

By Homely Petz, Jan 4 2017 08:10AM

The importance of protecting your pet is more paramount than ever this time of year in the UAE. The cooler climate despite being great for dog walking and for your cat to explore the great big world of your back garden does encourage the little critters at ground level to be more active also.


Ticks, fleas, ant and bee bites, worms, ear mites all despite their tiny size can pack a powerful punch when it comes to the health of your pet.


Obviously prevention is better than cure, there are some easy ways to stop the little crawlies tucking into your pet and also some additional regimes and routines in your home that you can include in your pet's day.


Parasite pippettes (ie Advantix, Frontline) are the number one bit of advice any good veterinary surgeon will recommend to you. Applying a small solution to the back of your pet's neck via a small plastic bottle with a nozzle built in that you can easily squeeze on your pet without much fuss. All good vet clinics and pet stores will have various brands available, note that some are better than others, some of the more popular brands are now becoming less effective maybe due to the bugs becoming more immune to them. The best way to know is to try and if after the manufacture recommended time of the solution is to work you still see ticks or fleas then you know its not the one for your pet. Ensure you do not wash your pet at least 48 hours before or after applying any solution, it will be ineffective.


Check your pet daily if he or she is outside a lot of the time. Feel your pet all over, get hands on with your pet, they will think they are in for a nice massage and strokes but ultimately you are on a bug hunt. Notorious in the UAE are ticks, easily missed when they are young, additional search areas should include the groin area, under legs, neck and ears. Ticks live on their host (your pet) suck blood to feed (yep, sounds nasty and it's not pleasant), multiply and then start all over again. Your pet will get ill and weak very quickly so it is important to check very regularly to look out for these nasties! If you are not certain on how to do this and unsure what you are looking for always contact your vet clinic for advice or even better take them in for a "once over" by your vet to be sure.


Worming? Simple, ensure your pet takes a worming tablet (or more tablets dependant on the weight of your pet) available from all good vet clinics and shops, usually every 3 months to ensure full protection. Signs to look for if your pet is ill from worms is diarrhea, lethargy (low energy all the time), change in appetite, sometimes a "pot-belly" look, dull coat and weight loss. If all or any of the symptoms are present go to your vet quickly.


Pets, especially dogs who are playful and love a good dig in the garden or poke about in a bush can get themselves into a pickle by encountering a stinging bug. Pets find bugs fascinating and consider them a toy to play with, of course bugs are not in agreement here. Despite your dog's first engagement with a fun, flirty flying bug eventually if your dog persists or the bug is protecting a nest or young your dog (and sometimes cat) will literally get the tail-end of the bug's wrath, by way of a sting. As pet owner's we sometimes miss these altercations as your pet maybe unattended in the garden when the sting happens. Usually a yelp from your dog or a startled reaction from your cat if seen by you will be enough to indicate to you that something has happened, if you suspect a sting take your pet to the vet immediately to be thoroughly checked over and observed. If you didn't see the sting take place, symptoms to look for include swelling around the area of the bite, typically in or around the head if you see swelling on lips or ears this is almost certainly a reaction to the bite, take your pet to the vet straight away. Your pet may experience difficult breathing another symptom that may be associated with a sting if you know your pet has been outside, again take your pet to the vet immediately. Your pet may also start limping indicating that a paw or leg has been stung.


If you suspect at all that your pet has been stung by an insect, don't panic, stay calm, pop your pet into the car and go to the vet, there are various medications to help calm a sting and anti-allergic meds can be given to help the wound recover although do bear in mind like humans some animals are highly allergic to insect stings and are high risk hence our saying to go to the vet regardless to be on the safe side.


Protect your pet from bugs, ensure you have preventative measures in place, regularly give your pet the "once over feel" touch your pet all over to feel for bugs, watch your pet's temperament, observe your pet and seek veterinary advice if you are at all unsure.


Most of all enjoy this wonderful weather with your pet, don't be put off by bugs just make yourself informed of what to look for and if you see your pet playing happily with a bee or ant it's best to pull them away and find something else more friendly to play with!







By Homely Petz, Sep 10 2016 09:20AM

The lifestyle of the UAE is that many people have a pool in their garden or a friend who invites them around with their dog and without a second glance your dog jumps in. With all clients we visit we habitually go into Dog Swimming Pool safety mode to ensure a dog owner knows the risk to their dog when having a pool in their home. Ultimately having a fence built around your pool or gate to restrict access is the best recommendation not only for dogs but also if you have children too. Zero access at all times is best, locked gates and secure routines when finishing use with your pool each time is imperative.


Obviously dogs should be supervised in the pool area at all times. But there’s always the risk that your dog could get into the pool area undetected. Falling in the pool could be disaster for a dog who has not been taught how to get out of your swimming pool. Remember not all dogs are good swimmers!


Here are some ideas for making sure your dog can get out if necessary assuming you have steps or a slope in your pool that allow a dog to get out on. If you have stainless ladder-type steps then the below will not work for obvious reasons, ensure you have a fence surrounding your pool.


First, carry the dog into the pool, set him gently into the water, and help him swim to the steps. Then reward and repeat several times until he gets the idea. When he makes it to the steps easily, move to next exercise. Make sure to offer lots of rewards be it praise or toys. You want your dog to view reaching the steps as a great cause for celebration.


Turn away from the steps and bring your dog into the pool and guide him lightly around and to the steps. After one or two times most dogs will aim for the steps naturally. Some water-loving breeds may not want to get out, but all dogs need to know how to exit. So be persistent in getting them to reach the goal before you let them free to swim on their own.


Teach your dog to reach the step from anywhere in the pool by putting him in the water at different points and guiding him to the exit. This is something dogs pick up on quickly. The steps are the reward now! Knowing where the steps are eliminates a panic if the dog falls or is knocked into the pool while playing.

Of course, you should always supervise your dogs around water, but by following these easy exercises you should have peace of mind if the inevitable happens.


TOP TIP:

If you do not have easy steps for your dog to get out on, search the internet for "swimming pool pet ramp" ideal for dogs to scamper up, using the same techniques above you can train your dog to swim to the ramp and climb out. A good ramp we like is the "Scamper Ramp!" (pictured).


By Homely Petz, Mar 1 2016 11:00PM

The pet product industry has boomed in the last few years and we, as pet owners are literally spoilt for choice. Different colours, textures, sizes, firmess and even scented dog beds are now a common choice. Being spoilt for choice can complicate things for us the mere dog owner who can't decide. Let us help you.


What colour?

Easy one really. Are you someone who is house proud and wants everything to match? If so, complete your interior design with a cool matching dog bed so your pooch can blend in in style. If you are a snazzy, couldn't care less kind of person than go funky and add a splash of colour to your home. A little something to consider though, if you have a black dog getting a white bed is probably not a wise idea unless you have a time to de-hair the bed every day or have a super de-fuzzing vacuum cleaner.


Firmness?

A good question not many dog owners will consider. The size and age of your dog should be indicative of what type of mattress/cushion your dog should have. Elderly dogs should have a thicker cushion for stiff joints and to allow more comfort, there are orthopeadic dog beds on the market complete with memory foam and additional padding to allow not only elderly dogs get better support but also some of the giant breed dogs where regular cushion will go flat pretty quick under their weight.


Shape and sides?

Round or rectangular are the usual shapes. Best way to decide on a shape is to watch your dog sleeping. Does your dog curl up into a tight little ball with toes and tail tucked in or spread out in all directions. A curled up dog will appreciate a round bed to snuggle into, a spread-eagled dog who like to stretch and moves about more in his sleep will probably fair better on a rectangular or square bed. Some beds are just cushions whic are better suited to larger dogs and those that like to stretch and run in their sleep. Beds with sides are good for elderly dogs and those that like to snuggle.


Material?

Whether you choose cotton mix, nylon, rubber or faux fur. Take a look at your dog's lifestyle. If you dog is heavily into digging holes in the garden and bringing all the dirt in on his paws then faux fur is impractical and hard to clean. Pick an easy to clean cotton mix and a bed cover that can be put in the washing machine. If your dog is an urban dog that doesnt come across "real" dirt often then you may get away with a more deluxe and complex material that doesnt require constant cleaning or brushing. Getting a bed with a removable cover is a must.


No bed?

It is not uncommon that some dogs just do not need or want a bed, they are happy to sleep on a rug or blanket or even just the floor. If you find that your dog usually sleeps on a bed but then starts to sleep on the hard floor consider that he maybe getting hot, at which point turn up the A/C, you may find he then starts using his bed again.


By Homely Petz, Feb 24 2016 04:00AM

You've taken your poorly pet to the vet and have come away feeling a little better about things but dread the throught of having to medicate your pet. What to do?


The chances are you already have some idea on what works and what doesn't work with your pet. Thoughts of how to deceive and trick your pet into taking that tiny tablet or dribble of medicine to get him or her back on to the road of good health flood your brain. Surely if Fido is happy to raid the kitchen rubbish bin a simple little tablet will be a piece of cake......... maybe not!


Hide meds in strong tasty food, simple enough and effective. Animals have very efficient noses and sniff out a foreign body in their usual food. Offer medicine in more pungent, stronger smelling foods like peanut butter, camembert, sharp cheddar or liver based products.


Check with your vet beforehand if they can offer flavoured pet meds. The UAE vet clinics are now starting to get prescribed flavoured meds for pets, like arthritis drugs and oral flea preventatives, they can come in flavors animals love, such beef, liver and, for cats, seafood.


Manual tablet for a Dog. If your dog will let you, open his mouth by firmly gripping his muzzle/mouth with the thumb and index finger of your nondominant hand. Hold the pill in your dominant hand and use the middle finger of that hand to open your pup’s lower jaw. Moving quickly, drop the pill as far back on the tongue as possible. Close the dog’s mouth immediately and blow on his nose or massage his throat to encourage him to swallow.


Manual tablet for a Cat. With your non-dominant hand, hold the cat’s head at the cheekbones. Tilt her head back and her lower jaw will drop open. With your dominant hand, hold the pill or capsule between your thumb and finger. Use the remaining fingers to keep the cat’s mouth open. Press down on the cat’s incisors, not the sharp canine fangs. Drop the medication as far back on the cat’s tongue as possible and blow on her nose or stroke her neck to make her swallow.


Get a Pill Gun/Applicator. Also known as a pet piller or pusher, these syringe-like devices have a soft rubber tip that hold a pill or tablet, allowing you to insert the medicine at the back of the animal’s throat. Clamp your pet’s mouth shut, rub his neck to help him relax, and the medicine should go right down.


If all else fails, most good, reputable vets will have a Vet Nurse/Technician on hand to help out, although a daily trip to the vet maybe in order, if it is a serious enough health issue don't be worried about asking your veterinary clinic to help out if your pet is just not cooperating or your arms are shredded from scratches.






By Homely Petz, Jan 22 2016 04:00PM

Not an uncommon question. We often get asked for recommendations and who is the best. A hard one to answer when there are now a large selection of vets in the UAE.


You do need to look at a number of considerations when registering your pet with a veterinary clinic. Simple things to consider are:


The location: If you need your vet urgently the shorter the time it takes to get there the better.


Cost: A consideration for everyone. Budgets differe between all of us, ultimately most pet owners will spend all they can on their pet to provide the best care but your budget can have limiting factors. We are lucky in that there are a variety of vet clinics in the UAE whose costs cater to both low and high income brackets ensuring that most people can usually find a vet whose services are affordable. The best way to check the costs of a clinic is to call 3 or 4 and ask them the price of the same service ie the consultation fee or how much the annual booster vaccination is, you will get a variety of answers indicating which are more expensive and which are better suited to your own budget.


Communication: Not only language, typically the staff at most clinics will speak English and Arabic but if you are looking for further languages check their website or call each clinics to ask the nationalities of their vets and staff and ask if someone speaking your mother tongue is available. This is useful to know if you have more complex issues with your pet if they are not well.


Recommendations: Research, research, research! Not only on the internet, but ask your friend with pets, the kennel, cattery or pet sitter you may use. Relocation company if you have recently moved here. Check with the animal charities and dog trainers.


Emergency Support: What are the out of hours arrangements? Does the clinic open 24/7 or work only office hours? If you know you have an elderly or known pet that gets ill frequently then seek out a clinic that is open all hours or at least is part of an Emergency Vet Care group. Call any clinic and ask what their hours are and what you can expect to do if you need them out of hours or at the weekend.


Supplies: If your pet is on regular medication, check that they have a continued supply of the drug or supplement that you use. The majority of drugs and medication are not manufactured in the UAE and veterinary clinics have to import in through their wholesaler the products required. If they are a well managed clinic supply shortage should not be an issue if they manage and plan their supplies to prevent shortages and not having supplies to support their clientelle.


Equipment: A good clinic should have access to x-ray, ultrasound, dentistry, in-house lab tests, IV pumps, blood pressure, and eye pressure monitoring, as well as the ability to send out samples to outsourced Laboratories and refer to specialists if necessary. Enquire about any areas of health care that are specific to your pet. Does the vet offer those special pet care services specific to your own pet?


And finally........

Follow your gut feeling and instinct. Visit a few of the clinics, pop in and say hi, get a feel for the reception area, are they friendly and interested in you, are the first impressions given off as clean, efficient and welcoming? If you feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed, leave. If the staff make an effort to help and can answer your questions quickly and knowledgeably then you are onto a good thing.


Homely Petz have their own 15 years experience of veterinary care and support in the UAE, not only did our Executive Director manage a well known veterinary clinic in Dubai for 4 years before Homely Petz was formed, we also have our own pets and experiences. You are most welcome to ask for our own recommendations.

By Homely Petz, Jan 20 2016 11:07AM


With innovative new software with Homely Petz, you can now check and make sure that your pet sitter or dog walker did in fact make their visits to your home to care for your pet/s. Using the latest GPS technology, the Homely Petz software accessible on a mobile/cell by your pet sitter/walker (since July, 2013) will be able to check in and out when at your home using their smart phone. You will be able to see where they are, what time they arrived and left and for how long the visit was. Throughout January the pet sitters/dog walkers have been testing the new system and as of *1st February all sitters and dog walkers using the Homely Petz software will have to comply with this new policy.


How do I check?


Log into your Homely Petz account.


Go to your schedule.


Click on the day you wish to check.


Look for the two green time stamps (only one if your pet sitter/walker is still on location and not finished).


Click on the green Google Pin (as show on the image below).




Another window will open to reveal the location of the pin when the time stamp was made.


Effective on all accounts from 1st February, inception going on throughout January.


An amazing new feature that gives you peace of mind and makes it all the more easier to choose Homely Petz the leader in Pet Care connections.







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