You, Your Pet & Separation Anxiety

As we take a few more steps toward another new notion of normal, lets’ take our hats off and say a great big ‘THANK YOU’ to our pets for helping to keep us sane and feeling useful during the lock-down.

Pets can help people to live ‘mentally healthier lives’ by providing comfort, companionship and motivation. Lock-down has been really tough on everybody, especially those who live alone and owners have been praising their gorgeous dogs across the nation.

Now, we all know what a positive impact our pets have had on our mental health since the very beginning of the pandemic.

We now owe it to our pets to think ahead and try and relieve any stress they may feel when it is time for us to change their routine again and go back to work.

The pandemic has meant that we have spent a lot more quality time with our pets.

Dogs are social animals and most of them – haha – love our company! But some may become extremely anxious when they’re away from us all of a sudden. This is called separation anxiety.

Some of you may have even gotten your pet during the knockdown which means they won’t have spent much time – if any at all – away from you.

We should be proactive in making plans now and not delaying. Taking steps now will help them in weeks and months to come and will ultimately leave your pets feeling calmer and more relaxed.

How you start this process of separation depends on your dogs’ tendencies. If you know your pet gets anxious when you leave, we suggest you start off by taking things slowly.

Separation anxiety can turn into a major behavioral issue over time if it is left unchecked. And that’s the last thing you want for you and your pet.

Anxiety could present itself in the form of; panting, barking, whining, lip licking, attempts to escape, yawning and in some cases urination and defecation.

This process is all about supporting your dog during the adjustment period. Therefore, to avoid any unnecessary trauma manifesting, taking it slow and finding ways to tailor your approach would work perfectly. Be at one with your pooch we say!

They are very sensitive to minor changes in environment and energies.

If your dog is very anxious, start by taking a few steps towards the door and returning to comfort them when needed.

You can increase the time slowly and be sure to be there if needed. It’s a trust exorcise.

Leaving the TV or radio on is a good distraction for them or even leaving food puzzles for them to work out whilst you’re at home but in another room.

You could eventually be separated by a door or a child gate when your dog is comfortable. If your dog doesn’t show signs of anxiety – you can start off with longer bursts of separation.

The is the start of you factoring in time away from your dog each day – in order to help them cope when alone.

You can eventually start to organise their day with time apart, play times, exercise, food puzzle activities and quiet times. If you know your pet will be traveling in a car with you – now is the time to prepare them for that with short trips locally.

Picking up your keys and assessing your dogs’ reaction is another great one to help build your dogs’ resilience. Building positive associations with food rewards is a great way to help instigate new routine whilst helping them have a bit of fun.

Take baby steps with them towards a positive change.

Hypoallergenic and natural dog treats and its benifits

Here at Hounds of Hackney HQ, we are all about optimum pet health. We are always thinking about what we can do to help you and your dog feel great! Today, we are delving into the world of Natural & Hypoallergenic dog treats and their benefits.

Natural dog treats are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners who understand the importance of rewards that are both healthy and tasty.

Now, we all know that when we eat a healthier and more natural diet, in most cases, we feel much better. Albeit, it may just be on the inside!

Knowing what is best for your dog’s diet can be really tricky and can come down to a lot of different factors.

Your routine could come from your childhood and the environment you grew up in. It could come from a friend’s routine – if you don’t have a lot of previous experience or it could come from independent research.

Obviously, none of the above are wrong. However, it’s important to understand that dogs are subjected to the same ailments as us and their bodies are ever changing, just like ours. So, keep a keen eye for any digestive disturbances.

Over exposure to the same ingredient can cause the immune digestive system to react in negative ways.
Hypoallergenic treats are a great way to ensure your pooch gets as much nutritional value as possible and are a great way to help your dog get its’ digestive tract on the right path.
Ingredients like beef, dairy, corn and wheat (to name a few) are used in the majority of standard dog food and treats. Due to this fact, many dogs can no longer process them because of the over exposure. To make matters worse, once a dog develops an allergy, they may develop others too.

Common symptoms and reactions that dogs suffer from when fed ingredients that don’t agree with them involve; Digestive issues, Itchiness, Skin irritations and Ear infections.
For dogs who have developed allergies, hypoallergenic dog food and hypoallergenic treats are an absolute MUST!

The immediate benefits of natural & hypoallergenic treats are;

    • Wholesome Nutrition
      Natural dog treats are usually rich in ingredients derived from natural sources and free from artificial additives, chemicals and preservatives. A combination of good quality meats, vegetables and gentle grains for a treat that your dog can enjoy with no adverse after-effects.
    • Hormone-free
      Low quality artificial treats are often manufactured from animals that have been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. When pets eat these treats they build up an immunity to antibiotics, while ingesting the hormones in animal products can result in hyperactivity and has been linked to various health issues. Natural dog treats, however, are often made from the meat of free range animals that have not been subjected to hormone treatment and antibiotics.
    • No Unnatural Additives
    • Gentle Digestion
      Natural dog treats are easy to digest and gentle on the stomach. Switching from low quality to natural dog treats can reduce inflammation and lessen the severity of allergic reactions. And, the high quality ingredients mean less waste!
    • Better Dental Health
    • Weight Management
      Switching to high quality natural snacks that are sources of protein but contain little fat can be a useful way of helping your dog lose weight without taking away their favourite snacks.
    • Improved Immunity
      Natural Dog treats can help boost your pet’s immune system: Protein is essential in supporting immunity and natural dog treats are great sources of high quality protein.

Hypoallergenic & Natural dog treats were once upon a time, rare and expensive. However, these specialized treats are now an accessible option for pets with food allergies and intolerances.
The treat options are endless and be sure that your dog will absolutely be running back for more!

importance of grooming dogs

The Importance of Dog Grooming

Today we’re going to talk about the importance of grooming. Now, don’t be alarmed! It’s regarding your dog. I don’t know about you but working from home has created a slight change in the way that I go about my daily tasks. Working through this change, I have realised that establishing certain daily regimes and sticking to them is a catalyst for a healthy day and a healthy mind.
In the same vein, helping your dog keep up with certain grooming and exercise regimes is going to ensure that they feel their best at all times.

Grooming your dog in between visits to the grooming salon is vital to their wellbeing – both physical & mental. It may seem like it’s not a big deal but imagine how you would feel if you hadn’t brushed your hair for a few weeks? Probably a bit less than fresh.

Grooming takes many different forms. Whether it’s clipping your dog’s nails to the right length; cleaning their teeth for a big, healthy smile; cleaning their ears, wiping their eyes so that they can see comfortably as well as brushing and bathing their coat to bring out its healthy natural shine.

A dog’s fur can often become tangled and knotted around itself without frequent brushing. Matting occurs a lot in many dog breeds with curly, fine or double coats. In extreme cases, a dog’s coat can become what groomers call ‘pelted’. This is when matting is very tight to the skin, preventing proper air flow.

Matting and pelting prevents proper temperature regulation, causes skin irritation, hides parasites like fleas or other nasties, and causes extreme discomfort and pain for the dog. In these cases, humanity over vanity is the best case scenario. Taking your dog’s fur back quite short – although a daunting thought! – is actually much better for the well-being of your pooch. This way, it will grow out much healthier and your dog will feel healthy and happy.

It’s all about putting preventatives in place.

‘Looking good now and feeling great later’. For instance, cleaning your dog’s eyes regularly with specially formulated pet eye wipes, helps to clean away any existing tear stains and dirt that could cause a blockage of the eye duct later on.

Another extremely important aspect of grooming your dog is familiarising yourself with your dog’s body. For example; combing your dogs fur is a good opportunity to catch any skin anomalies much earlier on.

By regularly cleaning your dog’s teeth, you will realise quickly if anything is out of the ordinary. You’ll know if they seem more sensitive or even if there is a slightly different smell which could be a sign of infection. When cutting their nail’s, you will notice a difference in sensitivity – if there is one.

Grooming is so important for both you and your dog as you are better educated on any potential problems you may want to bring up to your vet.

And it’s a great way of keeping your home clean!! The more you brush and bathe your dog, the more fur you catch in the brush and less floats around your home. It’s a win win really!

A dog grooming glove is a great option for lifting excess hair whilst simultaneously massaging your dog for a therapeutic –and most importantly, positive grooming experience.

I’d say one of the most important aspects of dog grooming is being able to bond and build trust between you and your dog. If anything occurs in the future, your dog will allow you to ease them through situations that they feel uncomfortable in.

Grooming your dog is a great relaxant for you both and an easy way to give your gorgeous dog some much needed attention.

how to keep your dogs cool in the heat wave

Keeping your Dogs cool

Ooh! It has been an absolute scorcher recently. This unusual British heat wave has got us thinking about you and your dog. And despite the rain, we wanted to give you some information on how to keep your dog cool & happy in this heat and crazy humidity.

Keeping your dog nice and cool can sometimes be difficult to manage. Especially as we are not used to this kind of heat. So, we thought we’d put together some do’s and don’ts on keeping your dog’s body temperature under control and some general information to keep you in the know. Dogs can’t sweat through sweat glands as much as we humans do. Dogs have sweat glands on their noses and their paw pads. So whereas we can sweat from just about anywhere on our bodies, dogs are limited. Instead, dogs regulate their body temperature through their respiratory system.

Dogs with shorter noses and flatter faces have much harder time tolerating heat, so beware if you own a pug, bulldog, or another breed with these features. Dogs can suffer fatal heatstroke within minutes. Helping them regulate their internal thermostat is very important. Just like a lot of us, they love a good run around on a sunny day and sometimes do not understand their limits.

  • Here a few do’s & don’ts just for you:
  • Encourage your dog to stay in shaded areas and out of direct sunlight;
  • Put a damp towel down for them to lie on;
  • Fill a hot water bottle with cold water;
  • Circulate cool air – keep windows open, turn on a fan or keep air con at a reasonable temperature;
  • Keep dogs out of greenhouses or conservatories. These places can get dangerously hot even if its mild outside;
  • Never leave your dog in a parked car. Temperatures inside cars can reach astronomical levels on a warm summers day;
  • It is advisable to keep white faced dogs indoors during the peak heat of the afternoon as they are more susceptible to sunburn. As well as dogs with white ears and noses;
  • If you have one, put a paddling pool in the shade for them to splash about in. However, if your dog gets super excitable – be mindful of them exhausting themselves in the paddling pool.
  • ‘Swimmers Tail’ can occur in an overexcited dog which could lead to a bruised immobile tail;
  • Always leave a bowl of fresh water out;
  • When out walking on a sunny day, always pack fresh water and a bowl;
  • Ice cubes as a cooling snack always go down well;
  • Try popping their favourite treat in the freezer to cool it down;
  • Be careful of your dog playing in the garden for long periods of time;
  • Check the pavement isn’t too hot for walks. If it’s too hot for your hand, then it’s too hot for your dogs’ paws. If that is the case then stick to grassy walks.

The best thing we can say after taking these precautions is to keep an eye out for signs of heatstroke. If your dog is panting heavily, seems exhausted or dribbling – move them to a cool place and put cool water on their coat. Make sure the water is cool, not freezing.

There are other things you can do too! Sunburn could lead to painful blisters & sores on your dog. Long term exposure could even lead to some skin cancers. However, It is possible to buy pet sunscreen as a precaution. You can also buy a few accessories to keep your dog cool. For example; Cooling Vests, Cooling Mats and even Cooling Bandanas!

We hope you have a great week guys.

Covid-19 and dogs - corona and

You, your dog and Corona (Covid-19)

We join you today to answer some questions and shed light on a subject we know all of you, and us included, are concerned about. And rightly so!

Covid-19 and what that means for you and your Dog.

In the last few months we have had to jump head first into unprecedented times. And whilst we all sit in wait; waiting to emerge into our new normal, it is very easy to experience anxiety & confusion about what actions to take now and in the future regarding you and your Dog.

At the moment, a lot of this will be stemming from the unavoidable amount of information about Covid-19 spilling out from every source possible.

It is difficult to separate fact from fiction in tense times like these and we would always urge you to check sources thoroughly as unfortunately, fake news has the tendency to spread at lightning speed.

Due to this, we at Hounds of Hackney have done the research for you. We have gathered all up to date information regarding various concerns raised about Corona Virus and your Dog.

We hope this information eases any fears you may have so that you can find some peace and relaxation in this turbulent time with your beautiful pooch.

Firstly, it is important to note that most people who will become infected with Covid-19 will be infected by people and not animals – which is why social distancing as well hand washing is so unbelievably important when it comes to fighting this virus.

Globally, there have been a few reports of human to pet transmission BUT these appear to be very isolated incidents. As of April 25th 2020, there have been no reports of animals in the UK with Coronavirus.

Several global health organisations have issued advisories saying there is no any evidence that pet animals can spread coronavirus or indeed be infected with it in the same way as humans.

Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare.

In saying that, taking precautions when it comes to how you handle your dog in your home and out on walks is necessary as this is a rapidly evolving situation and the science and facts based around it will continue to develop.

If you or someone in your household has been infected with Covid-19, it is theoretically possible that traces of the virus could be on your pets coat or skin.

In this case, we would recommend someone else in your home to handle your pet and take care of their needs whilst you are self-isolating and in recovery. If this isn’t possible and you live alone, we would recommend taking precautions such as;

  • Wearing a mask when handling any of your Dogs needs
  • Wash hands before and after feeding or dealing with your pet in any way – using sanitizer with 60% alcohol and above for safe measure
  • Avoid petting, snuggling, kissing or being licked, sharing food and bedding
  • Keep your dog on a lead when on walks and do not allow it to come into contact with any other human or be petted in any way
  • Avoid dog parks or public places where a large number of people or dogs gather
  • Maintain a safe distance when outside at all times

The risk of your dog passing it on or becoming infected by someone outside your home and passing it to you is extremely low at this moment but we consider this to be best practise in these uncertain times.

If you are well and self-isolating then you can interact with your dog normally but washing your hands and sanitizing regularly will also help stop other viruses and germs from spreading.

In the same vein, we would also recommend that whilst out and about you adhere to government guidelines when it comes to social distancing with both humans and animals that belong to other people unless it is absolutely necessary.

We understand the emotional repercussions of all of the above and we are all absolutely feeling it!

If we can help in any way at all, please get in contact.

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.