Blog - Tips and Tails of a London Pet Sitter and Dog Walker

How to give a pill to a cat?
04th April 2014 - 0 comments

How to give a pill to a cat?

Possibly every cat owner's worst nightmare! How on earth to give a pill to a cat? I'm sure through prayers and hope, most cat owners will say....some may even say that it should be classed as a new Olympic sport!
As a trained veterinary nurse, I'm incredibly good at doing this and it's not something I need to even think twice about. No fancy tools or tricks required - just the confidence & knowledge - and lightning speed.

But for most cat owners (my mom included) giving a pill to a cat is a bit of a nightmare, so lets go over the options:

1) pop it in the wet food and hope they don't spot it
this may work a few times but rarely continues to be a success. Cats aren't stupid, nor easily fooled. More often than not, after the first few times, you'll find that the pill is left neatly and cleanly pushed to the side. Quite untouched.

2) crush the pill finely and mix into the wet food
this could work and often works well (unless the pill is particularly bitter). Worth trying but it must be crushed as fine as powder and mixed into some wet food. To do so, you can get a pill crusher.

3) wrap pill in a bit of tasty meat (chicken, ham or salami) and hope they don't spot it
this method works quite well most of the time - however this depends on how long the pills need to be given for and how big they are. Again, after a few times, they'll start to spot the pattern and eat the meat, spitting the pill out.

4) using a pill popper such as this one
many vets use these and I think that whilst it's OK to use for the occasional pill, this is not a pleasant experience for the poor cat. A tad traumatic even. Would you like to have one of these things shoved down your throat and rattling your teeth on the way down - perhaps scratching your gums or palet? It can't be nice.

5) wrapping cat in towel, pinning it down and force pill down mouth (I've even heard of putting cat in a shopping bag!)
this is horrid and really traumatic for the poor cat. Might work once or twice - under huge protest and with almost certainly some damage to the owner. Just not worth it.

6) scruffing cat very gently & calmly whilst cat is with his back against you - just through positioning it - not by physically holding it against yourself on purpose (so it can't back away) - and then swiftly pop the pill right in the back of the mouth via the side
this is the method I use and I find by far the least stressful for everyone involved. Unless you're confident to do it this way, you'll find that the cat will probably just run off or try to bite your fingers if you don't put it in far back enough. But by all means, give it a go and see if you can get the hang of it.

7) Pill Pockets - now these I haven't come across before until recently - how/why, I'm not sure. But they look and sound pretty amazing to me and I've heard many great things about them from some of my clients. I'll now recommend these to owners who need to give their cats regular pills. If any of you have experience of using these, let me know - I'd love to hear how you get on with them :-)
Deciding to get a Puppy
14th October 2013 - 1 comment

Deciding to get a Puppy

After The last guest blog on "Deciding to get Kitten" I decided that it's only sensible to follow up with "Deciding to get a Puppy". And who better to have asked than Maddie with her über adorable puppy, Dolly! If you're ever thinking of getting a puppy, this is a must read!!

Maddie (Dolly's mom) contacted me long before even getting Dolly - or knew that she was going to get Dolly - to see if I'd help out with occasional puppy care.
And every so often, sent me emails to say that she thinks she's found the puppy, to have and to hold, forever. Only for that not to be the case, for Maddie really took her time to choose the right canine companion. And oh my goodness, how that patience paid off!
I remember getting an excited email to tell me that she's finally found "the one" - so (before ever having even met) asked her if she wouldn't mind capturing the experience of those first days in a blog.

I'll let her tell the rest :-)

Antonet kindly asked me if I’d like to write a blog about getting a new puppy. I’m going to take you through the no holds barred/ totally uncensored version of these little bundles of joy, all ends well I promise.

As I type I am on day 5 of no sleep sat at my desk at work….as a hardened tea drinker, I have now turned to strong coffees during the morning and have just devoured a snickers and can of “full fat” Coca-Cola all in a bid to keep myself functioning and awake having only managed a few hours of sleep a night since Friday evening, we’re now on Wednesday for those who are reading my blog. I thought this would be the perfect time to capture my deepest thoughts of motherhood to this complete cutie who is now 4 months old.

I chose “Daphne” (who was named by the breeder and who’s name kept getting shortened to Daffers – too like Daffy Duck and Daffs for my liking) who is now called Dolly, largely due to her age and because being realistic, I couldn’t see myself juggling an 8-10 week old puppy who needed potty training in between being at work. I thought – great! Ideal! Fantastic! God I’m so unbelievably switched on and grown up about this. Everyone around me kept throwing different questions at me making sure I’d thought of everything – all of which I had an answer to. Even with all the reading, discussions, browsing websites etc etc – not ONE of these clever tools gave me any idea what to expect, unless of course I was a supersonic dog whisperer!

Day 1

It all began on a Friday afternoon…..I decided to jump in the car and drive all the way to Leeds to collect Dolly, my new bundle of joy who on arrival, spent most of the time fussing around my feet at the breeders home. I was in love, it was instant. She was very attentive, I was just staring at her in awe and to cut a long story short, we set off back to London to start a very happy life together.

On reaching my flat in Brook Green, we jump out the car, I felt as if I’d almost given birth to this little thing. As we stood wondering if she’d have her first wee in the front garden, a very jolly cockerpoo walked past – a little bark came from what can only be described as a powder puff marking her territory already! A little premature I thought but hey – what do I know. She was already making herself known which I of course thought was just “so sweet”! I’m sure it’ll stop I thought..

Friday – With her crate all dolled up with beautiful taupe and spotty bed inside, not to mention the cashmere blanket draped over the top to make her little den safe and luxurious, she was swiftly moved into my bedroom so she could “see where I am” and feel safe. Little bit of barking and whining but nothing too much. She had only just arrived after all.

Day 2

Saturday – lots of morning cuddles, on my bed – she is a Maltese and so no moulting or smells, heaven! Little did I know that I was making a rod for my own back. Come night time, crate still in my bedroom, she cries and whimpers a little more with a few barks for good measures clearly desperate to come up onto the fun cuddly place she was for most of the morning.

Day 3

Sunday – well I thought, she cried knowing I was right next to her so maybe now is the time to start as we mean to go on and put her wonderfully colour coordinated crate in the kitchen where she will be mostly residing. Again, lots of barks and whimpering but a quick clap of the hands and “enough” and not another pip squeak.

Day 4

Monday – up at 7am, great I thought. What a little grown up treasure I have. Perfectly behaved and despite my rather short and snappy “enough” she’s still delighted to see me. Toilet trained heaven – she pops outside and does as she needs to do, independent as ever. First day at school today (work!)

Let me point out – WHAT a doddle I thought, this is just the easiest thing ever!

Bed by 11:00pm, back in crate, treat fed through door. Lights out.

But hang on: Day 4 (continued)
*horror begins* Howling……….barking………howling………..crying………..whimpering……….could be being strangled if I didn’t know better…..bit more howling/barking mixed together – you name it, she sang it all the way until Day 5 – 5:55am with NO let-up whatsoever. Ear plugs, duplicate pillows covering my ears (which the drums are now almost perforated due to the high pitched barks). This is TORTURE I thought.

Day 5

(lost track of days of the week I note) at my desk, Dolly passed out in her new taupe (obviously) donut bed from Mutts and Hounds with gorgeous cream bones all over it. I could almost see horns poking out of her head catching up on all the sleep she DIDN’T get last night. They say love is closest thing to hate….need I say more. Bedtime comes, I’m dreading it so we go to a friends for supper, having past Pets at Home to buy a toy that I can stuff food into to bribe her into playing and running her little heart out so that we both get a good night’s sleep. We’re improving, she spent the first hour past out, then intermittent cries for help. I stuck to my guns, ear plugs at the ready.

Day 6
(definitely no clue what day of the week it is any more!) requiring match sticks today, my eyes are glazing over, I feel physically sick, I actually cried today and wondered if I could continue with this thankless task. Back to school we go, regimented schedule with the thought that I must exhaust her before bedtime so a little explore around Wormwood Scrubs on our way home was just the ticket! It’s an open playing field with a view of the infamous prison, I wondered if one of the wardens might like to borrow her as a watch dog as she loves night time working or maybe they could use her as a torture aid to keep the prisoners awake when they have misbehaved!

So we have nearly done a week together. It’s been the longest week of my life. I haven’t seen a shop, I’ve hardly eaten and living on my own, I had a slight shudder at what I had actually let myself in for – it’s scary, you experience negative and positive emotions and EVERYONE has their own and varied opinion about how you should cope or deal with it. Some harsh, some too soft. I am trying desperately to make my way to the weekend where I hope we can bond a little more. Time will tell. It is exciting, it will be rewarding and I’m sure we will be great companions together but please if you don’t take anything away from this blog……………think, think and think again and just prepare for the first week, it will get better if you invest time and effort into making them feel at home and secure. Failing that – you can borrow Dolly although it’s a little late as she’s become a good sleeper and patiently waits for me to get up. Believe it or not, she LOVES her crate now….

May I just add, that I've had the immense pleasure of meeting Dolly and caring for her on several occasions now. She is beyond adorable and has a massive fan club.
Maddie, if ever you find yourself in a position to rehome Dolly, you know where she's w-a-n-t-e-d
Welcoming a Kitten (by Lisa Miller)
27th August 2013 - 1 comment

Deciding to get a Kitten

I recently had the pleasure of not only looking after the most adorable little kitten, but also help to introduce him (over a period of 2 weeks) to a household with an older cat. Lisa Miller, Earl Grey's new mom; understood exactly what a big undertaking and 14+ year commitment this would be. And I take my hat off to her for the amount of research & preparation she did!
Whilst I could have easily written an informative "do this/don't do that with your new kitten" article; coming from a 1st time kitten owner, packs much more of a punch - and I would love to urge any prospective kitten owner, to read her informative & funny blog.

For a few years I've wanted a second cat as a companion for my 8 year old cat Pearl. She is a rescue who had a difficult start in life and I've made it a priority to pamper her – hoping to make up for all the wrongs done to her by others. As she adjusted to her pampered lifestyle I began to suspect she would benefit from having a feline friend.

I chatted with a vet nurse and was advised that a kitten would be the best as Pearl would not feel too threatened and would be able to boss the little one around. I weighed the pros and cons for another year:

•Could I afford the added expense?
•What if the two cats clawed each other's faces off?
•A kitten is a lot of work. Do I have capacity to look after a kitten properly?

After letting the idea marinate I began to see how a kitten would fit into our lives and I started to really want one. It was a no-brainer that I would adopt from a shelter but my kitten quest was thwarted at the outset.

I don't have a garden but the plan is to move in the next 1-2 years to a place with a garden. The shelters would not allow me to adopt a kitten unless I had a garden but by then Pearl might be a little too old to go through this process. The shelters would happily let me adopt older cats with special needs and I would have loved to adopt them all but I don't think they or Pearl would have been happy together.

Through a mutual friend I met Lana who had 4 beautiful boy kittens that she could not keep. A few days later I was at Lana's home getting to know her, seeing how the kittens were being cared for, and letting Lana interview me to ensure I was suitable. I passed the interview and was allowed to meet the kittens. I sat on the floor and three of them, curled up inside a child's doll house, eyed me from a distance but the little grey boy shot over to me in an instant, crawled into my lap and demanded I play with him. I was chosen and that was that. I named him Earl Grey.

Bringing Kitten Home

Initially, kittens need to eat 3-4 times per day and need a lot of attention. I was concerned about being at work all day and the logistics of introducing the little man to Pearl. I researched my dilemma online and spoke to my vet who provided a free kitten preparation consultation. Armed with loads of helpful information I turned my bedroom into a den with kitten friendly toys, a crate, a sort of snuggle pod, food, water, and a litter tray. I unplugged all the electricals in anticipation of him chewing the wires and opened the windows just a hair for a bit of fresh air. But, I still felt uneasy. Getting the introductions wrong could be disastrous. I needed hands-on help.

My pet sitters have always been friends and nice people in the neighbourhood. I felt the weight of responsibility to ensure my cats had the best possible transition and had to be honest that my regular sitters couldn’t meet our current needs. We needed a pro. Antonet’s website stood out from the rest. It's just so professional, sensible, and easy to navigate. Her previous experience as a vet nurse was a confidence booster as well. She started work within a day of Earl Grey's arrival and worked with us for two weeks. I was the "night time mum" and Antonet was the "daytime mum".
The day I brought Earl Grey home Pearl was asleep and had no idea I was harbouring an interloper in the bedroom. I was a double agent in my own home. Earl Grey spent most of the first day hiding under the bed. Every 30 minutes I crawled under the bed with a torch to check on him. Eventually we played and he ate a bit. 11pm rolled around and Pearl still had no idea and I was struggling to stay awake. I placed him in the crate, took her to the closed bedroom door and let her hear and smell him, and then opened the door so she could see him. She was nervous and became aggressive towards Earl Grey and sometimes towards me. I felt terribly guilty about upsetting Pearl and scaring Earl Grey but Antonet assured me the two cats would become friends.

Mistake #1

My first mistake was attempting to sleep in the bedroom with Earl Grey the first night and locking Pearl out. The poor girl yowled non-stop. I felt awful and cruel. So, for the first two nights I slept part of the night on the sofa bed with Pearl and partly in the bedroom with Earl Grey who used my face as a launching pad for his nightly acrobatics. Pearl was devastated by my behaviour so I moved to the sofa bed for the duration. When I was home I spent time in Earl Grey's room every 30 minutes but at bedtime I belonged to Pearl. With Pearl feeling a little more confident about my loyalty and the pattern of Antonet’s supervised introductions beginning to gel things started to improve meaning Pearl glared and hissed but didn’t lunge at him instantly. This was progress.

Mistake #2

My second mistake was on day 6 when I over estimated our progress (and yearned for my bed) and moved Pearl and I back into the bedroom too soon. When Earl Grey jumped onto the bed, Pearl had an epic melt down. I grabbed him and ran out of the room afraid for us both. She wouldn't let me near the bed and I nearly lost my arm trying to coax her out of the bedroom. I had no choice but to gather the sheets up around her and carry her out in a make shift sack. With her still in the sack, I got Earl Grey settled into the bedroom and then released my enraged girl. This was a low point.

Peace and Harmony - Nearly

But I needn’t have worried because day time mum was on the case. By the 8th day we were all sleeping in the bedroom and the cats were being left together unsupervised during the day. They wrestled and chased and there was an occasional hiss but no major brawls. Just 3 ½ weeks since bringing Earl Grey home I found them napping together. A few days later they snuggled close and Pearl even groomed him. They are still working out how to share and I'm still working to make sure Pearl feels like number one but we are doing great.

It has been wonderful watching Earl Grey grow and change. He runs and plays non-stop which provides Pearl with a good fitness regime. I have a million tiny scratches on my legs and hands from him climbing on me. I have to supervise their meal times to keep them from eating the other's food. Pearl is on a prescription diet and he of course eats kitten food. I am woken promptly at 5am for their breakfast. It sounds like work but it doesn't feel like work. I'm enjoying all of it. Having to supervise their meals forces me to stop everything else I'm doing and see him splashing around in his water dish which I would otherwise miss. I even like the tiny scratches because they remind me of him when I'm away from home.

Quick Tips
  • Do your research and talk to your vet before getting a kitten.
  • Make sure your kitten initially has a safe room of his or her own and lots of kitten-friendly toys.
  • Invest in quality kitten food recommended by your vet.
  • Be patient. Your kitten might have an upset tummy and might be nervous at first.
  • Cats and kittens don't respond to discipline. If your kitten is doing something that doesn't please you, then distract him or her with a toy or a game. They will abandon whatever it is for some of your attention.
  • Invest in getting the help of a professional pet sitter to ensure your kitten gets settled into your home safely and with the least amount of stress as possible.
  • Get insurance.
  • Make a plan with your vet for vaccinations, micro-chipping, spaying or neutering.
  • If you have an adult cat then be prepared for drama but it will pass. Help your adult cat adjust by assisting in maintaining their spot in the pecking order. For example, if your kitten shows interest in your adult cat's usual perch, kindly remove kitten and give him or her something to play with and place the adult cat on the perch. Give the adult cat lots of extra cuddles. Your kitten will come to understand the pecking order.
  • Take lots of photos and enjoy every minute while they are tiny because the time goes really fast.

The Perils of Cats & Windows
30th June 2013 - 0 comments
For any cat owner with an indoor cat, it must be their worst nightmare to think about (the unthinkable) - what if their cat escapes from the window?

Not such a huge problem when it's a house and it hops from the window into the garden. But most houses with gardens, tend not to have indoor cats in the first place.
A huge percentage of cat owners, are however in the situation where they live in a apartment block of flats. How on earth to keep a cat safely indoors without keeping all windows constantly closed?
A bit of a problem in summer months in particular (not that we have much of a "summer" here in the UK to speak of I guess!).

I myself have been in such a situation - living with 2 cats in the top part of a converted house. After hunting wide & far, I came across Cataire.
As I lived in rented accommodation and couldn't exactly hammer holes into the wooden window frames, this proved to be the perfect solution.
The service they provided was superb & made to measure. The assembly super easy too (though I'm fairly good at DIY, you don't have to be).
I have since lived in a couple of other properties where I had different types of windows - but yet again, the Cataire solution proved to be the life saver of the day (quite literally). One of my cats, a Bengal boy, was particularly adamant that he wanted out. But despite any of his initial best efforts to pry the screen away or claw it apart, it stayed put. And he finally gave up trying to escape completely.

My sister's cat wasn't so lucky with his window experience however.
She lives in France and had to make do with her own DIY solution to keep him safe & secure on the 11th floor of their apartment block. Sadly he found a way out and tumbled all the way down (suffice to say, there was no soft landing of any sort to break his fall).
I cannot begin to image what a horrific experience this must have been. Both for cat, but as well as my sister. However, Minou (photo above) was an exceptionally lucky lad and lives to tell his tale unscathed. Miraculous.
Though I have a sneaky suspicion that he might have cashed in on all those 9 lives in one go!

I have since stumbled upon another couple of solutions for alternative products. I have no experience with them myself, but they may be worth checking out. FlatCats and also Happy Window

Lets be safe rather than sorry.

=^. .^=
Bespoke Pet Hair Jewellery - something different?
22nd May 2013 - 0 comments
I came across this website the other day - Lock of Hair Jewellery (by "Shpangle") and think it's quite wonderful really!
Using your beloved pet's hair to create a piece of bespoke jewellery?

Whilst I can't quite see myself wearing these as earrings, I think that incorporated into a bracelet or pendant, it could create a beautiful piece. I also note that the artist creates all sorts of objects; ranging from cufflinks to paper weights.

The key chain idea is most appealing to me and this is most definitely a website I'm going to keep in my favourites list for future use.

Ps: I happen to think the price for creating such a bespoke piece, is rather super fabulous too....
So, what's not to have?
Behavioral Adjustment Training (BAT)
06th April 2013 - 0 comments
On Tuesday the 28th of May, the Oxfordshire Animal Behaviour Centre will be presenting a two hour seminar at Kings College in London. Grisha Stewart, MA, CPDT-KA, who developed the BAT training method and began sharing it with the world in 2009, will be presenting.

Behaviour Adjustment Training (BAT) is an increasingly popular and effective low stress, non-aversive technique used to treat problem canine behaviours such as aggression, fear and frustration.

If you are a dog owner struggling with such behaviour, why don't you join me to learn more? For more information and to book a place, please do so through the OABC website.
Charity, Sponsorship & Membership
28th March 2013 - 0 comments
I have decided to start a new a new programme, whereby West London Petsitter will donate to a different animal charity each month, sponsor it or become a paid member. I am aware that they all heavily rely on on-going monthly donations, however I already do so in my personal capacity to my chosen charities.

This programme will hopefully raise and spread awareness when a new Charity or Organisation will be highlighted each month.

I will make a minimum donation of £25, but depending on the cause or size of the animal charity, this could be much more.

The Charity for the Month of March is The Dogs Trust

The UK's largest dog welfare charity, outreach programs, education, information, dogs for rehoming, legislation and campaigning.
For more information on the Dog Trust, please see the Charity Page.

Feel free to contribute with suggestions via the blog comment section at the end, to suggest your favourite organisation - big or small. For the month of April, I would like to support & highlight a feline charity. However, all animals or causes will be considered.
After I've made the donation each month I will add my chosen organisation to the Charity Page.
Tick Tock, Tick Tock...
24th February 2013 - 0 comments

Tick Bite Prevention week is soon coming up from 24-30 March. Please take a moment to read a bit more about what you can do to help your pets best deal with these nasty little blood suckers!

Whilst most dogs in central London aren't exposed to ticks, I would highly recommend that you protect your dogs against ticks - especially if you ask that I walk your dogs in Richmond Park and other large woodland parks. That said, ticks can most certainly find their way into your back garden or other green & bushy spaces around your neighbourhood.

Though protection is recommend mostly from March - November, I've found ticks on dogs during the low risk period too. And whilst many ticks do not carry disease (don't panic the minute you see a tick!), you simply cannot tell which do, so caution is better than cure.

One of the ticks that can carry disease, is Ixodes ricinus - the sheep or deer tick - and it's they who are the carriers of an agent that causes Lyme disease. Once infected, Lyme disease symptoms include lack of appetite, depression, lethargy, joint swelling / stiffness (which may appear to come and go or move between joints).
Some dogs (Labradors in particular) may also develop kidney disease (where the signs may include increased thirst & urination).

Ticks will mostly attach around the neck, ears, belly, between the toes or leg area. And whilst I generally give dogs a quick brush post walk (which should potentially remove any ticks in the fur, not yet attached) the nymphs are so small that they are hard to see until they've grown much larger. As it takes at least 12 hours - 48 hours for the tick to start transmitting the bacteria that carries the disease, it is important that you regularly groom and check your pets for ticks.

I suggest that you speak with your veterinary practice to see which products they stock & recommend, as many other products are available too. Some available are:

Please ensure that you read and understand all the directions with your chosen medication for tick & flea treatment.
Some medication is toxic to cats and fish.

When it comes to the removal of ticks once they've attached to the skin, take great care to do so correctly. You can get a tick remover tool from your local vet practice or through an online retailer.
For further information on Lyme disease & awareness, have a look at the website for Lyme Disease Action.
11th February 2013 - 0 comments
I'd love to know how other dog walkers cope with De-Muddification?
Seriously- I mean, just look at this... ("this" being a really good day!)

I don't have a garden hose in my car and there's just no way on earth that these 4 legs are entering my car (furry "dog-mobile" that it may be). Not to mention letting them back into the house into which they belong where the cream carpets reside....

So the way I deal with this: Evian
Nope, not kidding.

The very first time, I went out and bought a six pack of 2litre bottles of Evian water. * Ever since then, I simply refill them with tap water ;-) However won't ever tire of the incredulous looks of amazement by others in the car park, post walk.
A mixed combination of "seriously?!uhhhh....why?? they're just dogs" to "wow, they are so well trained - how impressive".

Actually, at the end of the day I truly don't care what others think of my de-muddification regime. It takes less than 5 minutes for the dogs to be clean, my car to be clean and the house to be clean. Happy days!

* I actually add a tiny dash of Hibiscrub to each bottle of water - it not only helps to remove the dirt (much more so than water alone) but more importantly, it's an antiseptic used to kill micro-organisms that are found on the skin and thus prevent them from causing infection. It also kills a wide range of bacteria and yeasts and some fungi and viruses.

Furthermore, they will always get a flick through with a brush and a cleansing spray with "Pet Head Blueberry Muffin Waterless Shampoo" (don't laugh!) Smells delicious and your dog will be sparkling from top to toe ;-)
The ultimate & deluxe dog walking treatment or what?!
The Best Way to Start the Day!
07th February 2013 - 0 comments
Fact: I'm not a morning person.
I'm a real night owl through & through.

However...... when I have *this* to look forward to in the morning (video below), no matter how early my alarm is set, I'm always up before it has a chance to go off - rearing to go :-)

I zoom out of bed, flick on the filter coffee machine while I have a quick 2 minutes shower and pull on some clothes, grab my doggie paraphernalia bag, pour coffee in a flask and head over to pick up my buddies, Hunter & Riley.

They are 2 of the most adorable Labradors. Hunter, the goofy boy with his somewhat creaky joints and the most hugest grin & waggy tail ever - and Riley, the little tank engine with stamina (and an appetite!) that shies at nothing.
They are a true delight to take for long & leisurely walks - or look after at home while their owner is away on business or holiday.

And being able to take them to Richmond Park early in the morning, seeing their excitement when I collect them - and then watching them as they behave like (abnormally) super good children, quiet as mice all the way to the park - to sharing their delight when we arrive at the park; that makes me happy.
The freshness, the quiet, the beauty, the sights, sounds and smells. The sunshine through the trees, the dew on the grass, the birds around us.

It just doesn't get better...

(For now, lets not think about all the poop I have to scoop and mud I have to scrape off at the end of the walk!!).

Happy Days :-)

Have a look at their photo album to see what else these guys get up to.
Protect those Pretty Paws!
19th January 2013 - 1 comment

Do you love & have wooden floors in your home? Tiles or laminate flooring?
Whilst I love the look & feel of wooden floors, they sadly tend to be a nightmare for dogs - especially older dogs.
I've come to realise that most pet owners aren't aware that there's a way around this - a solution that won't only protect your floors against gouges & scratches from their nails, but more importantly, make life so much easier for your pet.
The answer: dog socks or dog boots .
It's simply astounding what a difference these socks or boots can make to your pet's life - and improving it immeasurably. Silly as they may look, practicality & quality of life overrules aesthetic beauty.

One of my lovely pets I care for, is Rose. A very frail and elderly black Labrador.
Her owner has a stunning home with wooden floors and tiles - alas Rose found it very hard to stop herself from slipping & sliding (pro ice skater style) across the floor. She's really arthritic with substantial muscle loss and unable to properly balance herself. Which (sadly) meant that the wooden floors proved to be her worst enemy.

I told her owner that I'll get her some special grip socks to see if they could help her.
To my sheer & utter delight, she seems to be a changed dog!
Instead of slipping and sliding, she's now hop, skipping & jumping steadily and securely across the floor. She can even sit upright (as in the photo) instead of helplessly falling down in a splayed position, unable to get herself up again.
In fact, the moment she realised that she could actually walk, she grabbed her leash in her mouth and practically dragged me outside for a walk - choosing to walk further than we have ever before.

If you have wooden floors, please consider getting some socks for your dogs.
There are plenty of alternatives available on eBay as well. As well as Paw Wax (the latter however much less effective & practical in my opinion).
For something more robust, you can try Dog Boots.

Please make sure that you measure your dog's paw though. If the socks or boots are too big, they'll twist around and slide off. If they're too small, they'll scrunch up and fall off too. Please follow the individual manufacturer's advice size of the product you're considering. The boots in particular are very useful for protecting paws against ice, snow, heat or cold.

£5 can change your dog's life!

Note: I do not endorse any of these products or companies. They are merely recommendations of products that have been effective for my use.
Thank you!
18th January 2013 - 0 comments

For my very first blog post, I'd love to mention a few of my friends and family who stood by me during the creation of my website. And taken the time to give their invaluable feedback, critique and support. Truly, without them, it wouldn't be as it is now (albeit still in the beginning stages).
Nicholas Stafford-Deitch (an artist & author of note; for graciously taking the time & making the effort to develop & create my logo and critiquing my text), Lisa for relentlessly cracking the whip & her unforgiving feedback. Seraphina for her unyielding support and artistic input, LJ for pulling my text apart and pointing out little things I forgot to mention.
My sister, Henriette, niece & nephew (Océane & Kilian) for gently bullying persuading me to use the photos I have displayed on my "about" page.
Apparently my pet chicken is "so me" - and simply nothing else will suffice.
Sara-Jane @ Shutterbaby for the months of support & advice she gave me. A true perfectionist & professional!
My mom for always encouraging me to pursue the things I love.
And Robin for being my inspiration.