Cats Versus Dogs – Which Do You Prefer?

Many people think that you’re either a cat or a dog lover and there seems to be a somewhat unfounded sense of competition between our furry friends. However, there are still many of us who love both and wouldn’t want to decide which one they would prefer. While dogs may be more dependable and give us plenty of unconditional love, cats are more independent but still offer us sufficient cuddles and affection that makes them an important part of the family.

Money-saving experts Voucherbox recently discovered in a survey how much pets are costing us throughout their lifetime. They also revealed that an incredible 51% of households in the UK own a pet and 25% of those have dogs, which is only 1% more than cats at 24%. This confirms that cats and dogs are probably the most popular pets in the UK – there were 9.4 million dogs and 11 million cats in households throughout the country in 2016.

Why We Love Dogs

Dogs are man’s best friend. They are always loyal, loving and fun to be with. They’re always pleased to see us and often shadow us around the house wherever we go. Our dogs are forever loving and faithful friends that adore and respect us. Dogs are dependable and they rely on us to walk them daily, feed them, groom them and let them in and out of the garden to do their business. They need us to be an essential provider for their happiness and comfort, to care for them and look after them, much like a human.

Why We Love Cats

Cats are popular pets because they are perhaps easier than dogs being so independent. They can get exercise by going through the cat flap and wandering wherever they want; they can feed themselves whenever they’re hungry (so long as there’s food in their bowls) and they don’t usually need a human to let them in and out of the garden to do their business. Cats will cuddle up with us on the sofa and can be quite needy in terms of a human company, but they will also want time alone. Cats seem to do everything on their terms and have a funny stubbornness which makes them amusing at times.

Co-habiting Friends

The myth of cats and dogs not getting on in the household is not so much true. Although their characters and needs can be quite different, they can also be very good friends. You will often see cats and dogs cuddle up or playing together nicely and they can sometimes have a sibling type of love/hate relationship. However, it seems cats may not have as much patience as dogs and look like they find a happy pooch sniffing them irritating at times, they are perhaps a little warier and less tolerant, very much showing that any kind of human or pet contact is always on their terms.

Cats and dogs are part of the family, faithful additions to the household that like to curl up close to their human pack. While cats are more independent and can be quite self-sufficient, dogs can be reliant but forever by our side. There should be no competition between our furry friends because regardless, they provide us with unconditional love, happiness and affectionate cuddles at the end of the day.

Are you a cat or a dog person or, like us, you simply love both?

5 Top House Cleaning Tips For Dog Owners

Being a dog owner has many, many benefits but it always comes with one unavoidable nightmare – dog hairs, which can and do spread like wildfire and get almost everywhere! Having two large dogs paired with two long haired cats I know something about this nightmare. So today I want to share with you my main house cleaning tips which hopefully will help you minimise the hairy mess our pets can make.

Being a dog owner has many, many benefits but it always comes with one unavoidable nightmare – dog hairs, which can and do spread like wildfire and get almost everywhere! Having two large dogs paired with two long haired cats I know something about this nightmare. So today I want to share with you my main house cleaning tips which hopefully will help you minimise the hairy mess our pets can make.Generally to keep your house clean as a dog owner you have to remember that cleaning the house itself is only one part of the solution… keeping your dog in perfect health is another…

Good diet

Some of you might think at this point what the hell does their diet have to do with keeping a clean house… well, a proper diet for your dog will help you with unnecessary shedding. Healthy, well-fed dogs, which have a well-balanced diet will shed less, which as a result means less hair to clean up in general, which means less cleaning!

Daily grooming

No this isn’t a joke. A daily 5 minutes dog grooming session will go a long way. It will remove all the dead hairs from your pooch and significantly cut down on the amount of loose hair floating around the house. Grooming during their daily walk is the best way to go. We normally do it near the end of the walk when the dogs are tired and less distracted.

Buy a good vacuum

Invest in the best vacuum you can afford.  Read the recommendations and make your choice wisely as this will be your main cleaning tool. I personally use a Bosh Athlet ProAnimal for my mid-week daily cleaning and a Dyson Animal for a proper weekend cleaning session. And yes, you really need a vacuum designed for picking up dog hairs… it makes things so much easier!

Create a dirty dog zone

If possible, designate a dirty dog zone somewhere outside (or inside your house) where you can clean the pooch after muddy walks. In our last home we used the conservatory for this purpose, now we use a half enclosed porch. This space should be used for cleaning your dog before they are allowed into the rest of the house. If you can’t find the space for a doggy zone, you can simply lay a big dog towel (also known as that old towel you don’t want anymore) by the main door and train your dog to sit on it after entering the house. This will give you time to clean your dog’s paws before they get mud all over your floors.

Clean as dirt comes

I know we are all busy and a daily cleaning routine isn’t always on top of anyone’s fun list but if you clean every day the little mess your pooch left behind, you will greatly reduce the spread of the hair all over your house, you will get rid of pet odours and you will be able to enjoy fairly clean pet friendly home (I said fairly because as much as you might want and try you will never have The perfect home with pets around, but you know what… that’s ok… they are worth it).

Those are my basic cleaning tips for keeping our house in order whilst enjoying the company of some very hairy friends.

What would you add into my list?

Have you found some secret top tip for aiding us in keeping our houses clean?

#MotherAgain – Time to End Backstreet Breeding

#MotherAgain – Time to End Backstreet Breeding

A mother… again… and again… and again… and again…

Every year, countless defenceless dogs are forced to repeatedly produce litters of puppies by unlicensed breeders and are then sold for easy money. They are mothers again and again before being callously abandoned, having served their only purpose; to make a profit.

Their litters are sold to owners who are often unaware of their origins before its too late, or worse, dumped when they fail to sell. Such over breeding can cause countless health defects and temperament problems in each generation.

Leading animal welfare charity, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is urging prospective dog owners to think twice about how and where they buy a dog, in an attempt to crack down on the horrific and cruel practice of backstreet dog breeding.

The relentless breeding of dogs usually in dirty, squalid conditions takes place throughout neighbourhoods up and down the country, so Battersea has decided to launch a major campaign – End Backstreet Breeding – calling for a clamp down on the many undercover dog breeders that profit from their cruel treatment of these animals.

The world famous animal charity is calling for:

A ban on the sale of puppies under eight weeks’ old. The current law allows for litters to be separated from their mothers at less than eight weeks old, to be sold on by pet shops when they are 12-weeks-old. Separating a mum from her puppies at such a young age denies her young from vital life and socialisation skills.

The introduction of a required breeding licence for any household producing two or more litters per year. A breeding licence is at the moment only required for a household producing more than five litters a year. Producing so many puppies has serious health and welfare implications for the mother.

Dogs used for backstreet breeding whose sole purpose is to make money are usually forced to lead a miserable life. They are frequently kept in cramped, uncomfortable conditions, are more often than not never exercised and are just used to produce litter after litter, with no regard for their health and even less for their happiness. Totally exhausted and inevitably under socialised, these dogs are all too often thrown onto the streets once they have served their purpose to fend for themselves until caught and entered into the “system”.

Battersea Ambassador Paul O’Grady is supporting the campaign and says:
“I’ve seen first-hand the poor, damaged dogs in Battersea’s kennels that have been bred from over and over again. It sickens me to think what these dogs go through before they’re dumped on the streets broken and unloved. The awful thing is that backstreet breeders are everywhere lining their pockets from the demand for puppies. If there’s one thing we can all do it’s to make sure we think about where we’re getting a puppy from. Visit a rescue centre or a registered breeder and help Battersea end backstreet breeding.”

If you are planning to buy a dog please spend some time and find a reputable breeder. The Kennel Club offers an excellent advice on how to pick a right breeder. Yes it will obviously cost more to buy your dog, but you will know the history and more importantly the mental state of your new found family member. Though never undervalue the importance of the small step you have taken to help eradicate the backstreet breeder.

And if you have two minutes to spare please email your MP today and help us change the law. No pet should be forced to breed again and again and again… no matter how profitable.

To spread the word about the campaign please share it with hashtag #MotherAgain

Why all pet owners should use PetsPyjamas?

Why all pet owners should use PetsPyjamas

Ok, I know what you are thinking now… “Why on earth would I need pet pyjamas?”… You wouldn’t but you might need PetsPyjamas – the website where smart pet lovers go 🙂

PetsPyjamas is the number one lifestyle website for smart pet owners – putting you and your pet at the forefront of everything we do, from providing the very best products and services to arranging your next pet friendly holiday.

There are a lot of aspects to the PetsPyjamas website. It is not just your average online pet shop. You can find in there all sorts of information that you may need relating to your pet, including pet-friendly travel, pet services and a lot of well written articles covering all sort of pet related topics like travel, wellbeing or current trends.

To make PetsPyjamas even more attractive they run a PetPoints scheme. For every purchase you make you are rewarded with points which you can then swop for goodies. I know that a lot of shops run reward schemes like this but here you can actually get something useful without the need for collection your point for ages and ages. You will get 10 PetPoints (more or less) for every £1 spent and the rewards can be redeemed starting for as little as 500 points, which means that your £50 purchase could already yield a free gift…

PetsPyjamas rewards

Actually you get 400 points as a joining bonus so… you do the math 😉

The PetPoints scheme is one thing which makes me want to shop on PetsPyjamas but there is something else which in my humble opinion beats it – shopping by breed. Bunk is giant (as a generic breed only… as an individual dog he is actually on the skinny side), which makes shopping for him rather difficult. So many times I have spotted something I would love to buy for him, only to find out that this particular item is not available in his size. PetsPyjamas gives you an option to shop by breed – for both cats and dogs – which will bring in your search results only items suitable for your selected breed.

PetsPyjamas advanced search

No more getting excited about that nice new collar, which is only available for “cat” sized dogs.

But this isn’t all the things I like about the website. I also like all the additional bonus information which you can find on the PetsPyjamas site, especially all the Pet Services. Currently they have a selection of both pet friendly services and pet friendly places covering:

PetsPyjamas and Pet Services

Every vendor on the website is described in detail and has a review page, so you know exactly what to expect. This really makes life easier, doesn’t it? No more hours of internet searching and checking forums for feedback on that new sitter or groomer you found… now all you need to do is open PetsPyjamas and pick your location.

Have you ever used PetPyjamas?

Did you know that they offered so much more than just an online pet shop?

* Post written in collaboration with PetsPyjamas

For the good of your health, Get A Pet!

*By Gemma Harling

You may think being a pet owner is stressful, dogs chew up their beds (and everything else), rabbits dig holes and cats, well, they are plotting to rule the world so are basically uninterested in doing what you want them to do. But, what may actually surprise you is that pets are actually good for your health.

Of course there is the physical benefit of taking dogs for a walk, chasing an escaped rabbit and the occasional game of hide and seek with a hamster, but the health benefits of pets go way beyond this.

Pets have been proven to lower your blood pressure, the stroking of a pet is a relaxing activity that keeps a person calm and stops their blood pressure getting out of control. Plus, if it is a person that has made you mad you could all stroke the cat in a Bond villain like manner while plotting your revenge (hypothetical revenge of course).

A survey by Mindlab International showed that 55% of people were calmer after spending time with their pets and 44% were also less anxious about problems such as money troubles. That is pretty potent pet power there.

In the case of the elderly, pets are an excellent source of therapy. They have been proven to reduce depression, one of the most common problems affecting the elderly today. They provide constant companionship and require lots of love, which in turn eliminates feelings of social isolation and loneliness, whilst also giving an older person a reason to go out and meet people.

Some care homes in the UK allow elderly residents to have pets with them, due to these benefits. Sunrise Senior Living even has residential pets for those residents without, such as Alfie from Hale Barns, Treacle from Tettenhall and Chino from Westbourne (see below).

Residential Pets from Sunrise Senior Living

From the old to the young, pets can also help children suffering with certain disorders, such as ADHD, and autistic children. As children with ADHD find it hard to settle and focus, the pet’s routine of feeds and walks can help a child suffering from this disorder focus on their responsibilities regarding taking care of the pet; while pets can have a soothing effect on children with autism, through the petting and holding of them.

They can also help children build up immunity to allergies and kids are generally healthier as a result of having a pet in their household whilst growing up. It can also decrease the risk of a child developing asthma.

So even though their barking, scratching or incessant whining may be driving you nuts, be nice, they are actually helping you out in the long run!

The Wonder of Pet by Sunrise Senior Living