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We have put together some of the best content on dogs related issues including how to keep your dogs happy, calm and active. From time to time we will be updating this section, so if you haven’t visited this section for long, please check it out for updates.

dogs have anxiety with fireworks

Fireworks, Dogs and Anxiety

Most of us think of the fifth of November as a time for fun, fireworks, warm hats & gloves and the coming together of loved ones in celebration.

It can truly feel like a magical time.

Before my teens, the internet wasn’t a huge thing at all yet! And now that it is – creating and spreading awareness is an integral part of society. It’s important to attach a responsibility to an action and think about the consequences of what a seemingly innocent activity is.

Fireworks are fun to watch (for most) but there are other things we, as pet owners, need to take into consideration in order to keep our pets feeling safe and happy.

For dogs, Bonfire night continues to be one of the most terrifying times of the year – which is so heart breaking. Already this month, concerned owners have started sharing pictures and videos of their terrified pets.

To put it simply – our gorgeous dogs just don’t know what the ‘heel’ is going on.

Animals have a more acute sense of hearing than humans and so perceive any loud noise as a threat.

Loud noises trigger the flight or fight instinct in a dog and therefore their anxiety is triggered massively.

This blog is going to shed some light on a few little things that you can do at home that will help calm your pet. You can start with prepping as much as you can. For example, feeding them and filling up the water bowls before the fireworks start as there is a chance that they won’t eat or drink when feeling distressed.

  1. Take them for a long walk earlier in the day

It is best to take your dog earlier on in the day and not after dark when the fireworks start. Nice long walks well help them to relax, burn some energy and feel more at ease when the noise starts.

  • Don’t react to fireworks yourself

Dogs perceive fireworks as a threat so seeing their owners respond without fear will help keep them calm.

  • Sound therapy – Get them used to loud noises

There are a lot of CDs, apps or video’s that you can play to your dog as you get closer to fireworks season then will help condition them into understanding that they are not under threat.

You can play the sound of fireworks whilst cuddling your pet, giving them treats or just generally doing something to positively reinforce the sound

  • Muffle the sound of fireworks if you can

The RSPCA recommends that close your doors, windows and curtains to try to block out the sound as much as possible.

  • Create a safe space for your dog

It is important that your pet has a safe space to run to once the loud noises start – whether that is in a cupboard or under furniture. Trying to coax your pet out during loud noise displays can actually cause more stress and anxiety so it is recommended to give them a moment in their space.

  • A sleepover

If you are aware that your dog gets anxious and you know there are going to big fireworks displays near you – we’d recommend organising a sleep over for your dog at a friends or relatives house IF you know it is going to be much quieter.

We hope that some of these tips will help you and your pooch stay as calm as you possibly can. This time of year is all about helping dogs feel loved, positively in control of their environment and relaxed.

the dangers of rawhide

The dangers of Rawhide

So, I’m walking down the cute doggie aisle of a shopping centre and I feel ridiculously mushy and excitable about buying my beautiful dog a new treat. She’s the best dog ever and she deserves it. I’m thinking surprise and excitement. I’m thinking cuddles of gratitude. I’m thinking peace and quiet. I’m thinking fresher breath. Wahoo!

One of the most common dog treats available are ones containing rawhide. For example – You would have seen those bright white chewable hide treats shaped like bones. You can get big bones, little bones, rawhide tiny twists. You name it. They all look like delectable treats that you know your dog would LOVE.

However, these treats have started to raise a few eyebrows among top class pet professionals and today we are here to highlight some of the reasons why.

So what exactly is Rawhide?

Rawhide treats come from the inner layer of a cow or horse hide that has been stripped and cleaned of hair.

In order to remove the hair from this layer, the hide must be soaked in chemicals, primarily Sodium Sulphide and it is then whitened with Hydrogen Peroxide, pressed and put onto the shelves.

Aesthetically, it is the dehydrated skin of a cow or horse. As dogs chew on these tough treats their saliva softens and rehydrates the skin – turning it into a soft and gooey treat for your dog to eat.

What are the benefits of Rawhide treats?

Immediately what springs to mind are the psychological and dental benefits for your dog. Chewing keeps dogs’ jaws strong, teeth clean, and breath a bit fresher.

Dogs that chew regularly on rawhides and other bones or toys are said to have less plaque and tartar build-up on teeth.

Having something to chew can also help with anxiety as well as curbing the need for your shoes or the bottom of your couch to become your dogs’ next chewable conquest.

What are the dangers of Rawhide?

In terms of consumption, the most immediate hazard is choking. It is possible for a dog to swallow chunks of the hide too quickly and choke. It is also possible for large chunks that have been swallowed to cause a block in the intestines which could lead to a serious operation or the death of your dog if the blockage is found too late.

Toxins and carcinogens such as Arsenic and Formaldehyde have been detected in rawhide treats and this is why some professionals have classed Rawhide treats as a ‘slow dose poison’.

Rawhide is classified neither as a human food nor pet food, so there are no regulations over its production.

Do the benefits out weigh the dangers?

No they do not. As you look into the production of them – it is clear that the process in which they are made could very easily lead to a healthy dog’s decline or even worse. The process in which it is made means it is a by-product of the leather industry. It is a chew stick made up of leather, toxic chemicals, dyes and glues. That does not sound healthy.

A lot of dog owners are calling for Rawhide treats to be taken off the shelves due to the above and because the sale of them is unnecessary when there are plenty of alternatives and ‘No Hide’ treats available.

A ‘No Hide’ chew has no poisonous ingredients and provides all of the psychological satisfaction your dog could need.  They are super nutritious, highly digestible and completely healthy for your pet.

Of course if your pet has a rawhide treat rarely – make sure you are around when they have it but we sincerely believe that often is way too much with this dog chew and that a more natural alternative will be a lot better in the long run.

aggressive dog behaviour and dog attacks

Common reasons Why Dogs Attack

Good day to ALL from us at Hounds of Hackney.

We are reporting to you after what was a magnificent bank holiday full of gorgeous sunshine and long walks with the dogs.

Warm & dry weather is always a good excuse to go for walkies and whilst the sun is still shining and making your dog’s social life hectic, we’d like to talk to you about staying safe whilst you are both out and about.

Today we’d like to draw your attention to dog attacks. Whilst we’d like to keep the subject light and lovely – we are all about raising awareness and talking about concerns. We want you to feel as equipped with information as you possibly can be and regrettably – this happens.

There are many reasons as to why your dog or another dog may become aggressive. Illness, frustration, leash aggression, protection (hyper vigilant over territory), social aggression, anxiety or fear – to name a few – can all be reasons for a dog to attack. However, whatever it is that causes the hostile reaction doesn’t really matter when two dogs are locked in battle, with you on the other end of your dog’s lead.

Advice on what to do seems to depend on who you are talking to. If you manage to spot the start of a stand-off between your dog and another dog – Be wary of pulling your dogs lead as this could make your dog more aggressive as it is reacting to your aggression and anxiousness.

If the interaction becomes more heated – try to put a barrier in between the dogs or distract the dogs attention with something like a stick. However, NEVER use it to hit the dogs out of fright as this could make the situation worse. You should never pick up your dog in an effort to protect them as this may encourage the attacking dog to leap at you.

Body Language is a big thing to consider and lowering yourself and making eye contact with the offending dog can encourage their rage. Also, it is important to remember not to open your mouth and show your teeth, as again, the offending dog could turn on you.
Snarling, growling, barking, baring teeth, a stiff tail and ears are all things to watch out for but sometimes these things can come out of nowhere.

The most important thing to do for you and your dog is to stay as calm as possible, avoid running away, use stern commands and where possible, try to separate the dogs without putting yourself in danger.

If your dog is hurt, seek medical advice straight away. Wrap them in a blanket and keep their nose exposed but be wary as a dog in pain can bite out of frustration.

We hope you have no need to employ any of the strategies above when out with your pet but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Knowledge is power.

Xylitol poisoning in pet dogs

Xylitol is poisoning your beloved dogs

Hello to all of you Canine lovers!

Today our voice is with you to raise awareness of an issue that we believe could be potentially lethal to your beautiful pet.

That issue is the rise of the sugar substitute Xylitol. You may have heard of it and it may even be in you cupboards right now.

This seemingly harmless sweetener is found in a variety of foods and has no threatening adverse effects on humans. However- If ingested by your Dog, the effects could lead to a rapid decline in your pooch’s health and potential death by poisoning.

All of us here at Hounds of Hackney, would you believe, absolutely LOVE any and all Dogs. At our core – we want to stimulate their wellbeing by keeping them calm, happy and active. The very thought of any of the above just makes us shudder in horror which is why we are raising awareness today.

Although Xylitol has been used as a sugar substitute for decades, it’s popularity has increased dramatically in the last few years as a healthier alternative. Unfortunately, the spike in use has led to a massive increase in canine deaths – now hitting the thousands.

There are many reasons as to why its popularity has soared. It has a low glycaemic index which means it’s a better option for diabetics and has dental plaque fighting qualities. Due to this, it has been approved for use in lots of oral care products, pharmaceuticals and as a food additive.

Here is a list of some products that may contain the sweetener;

  • Sugar-free gum
  • Breath mints
  • Baked goods
  • Toothpaste/mouthwash
  • Cough syrup/children’s chewable vitamins
  • Puddings/sweets/sugar free deserts
  • Peanut butter/nut butters/yoghurt/takeaways
  • Allergy medication/digestive aids/over the counter nasal sprays

Even small amounts of Xylitol can cause Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar), seizures and liver failure. When non-primates eat something containing Xylitol, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, resulting in a potent release of insulin from the pancreas. This rapid release causes a profound decrease in the level of blood sugar.

The most common cause of poisoning is sugar free chewing gum as it is easily ingested off the floor whilst on a walk – although it is best to remember that not all chewing contains it.
Some symptoms to look out for are; Weakness, lethargy, vomiting, tremors, disorientation, jaundice.

If you feel like your pet has come into contact with Xylitol, get in touch with your vet immediately. There are lots of out of hours services available and in cases where your pet has eaten something containing the poison but isn’t displacing any symptoms – it is imperative that you get them checked out due to its toxicity.

In terms of prevention in your home; try to familiarise yourself with any products that contain it and keep them locked away.

Be wary of how you get your pet to take any medication. For example; if you use peanut butter!

Also, be sure to only use pet toothpaste and not human toothpaste when cleaning your canine’s teeth.

Outside of your home, talk about it with non-pet owners and pet owners a like. Not everyone is aware of Xylitol or the effects of throwing chewing on the floor. Spreading the word will absolutely make a difference.

Change can and will happen over time.