Halloween at Home

Although some pandemic restrictions are easing towards the holiday season, physical distancing is still in full force so, this year, we wanted to provide some great quarantine ideas to help you celebrate Halloween at Home with your fur family.

Trick for Treat: Instead of the annual pilgrimage around your neighbourhood, grab a few of your pet’s favourite treats and have a little in home (or backyard) scavenger hunt. Set up multiple stops and have your pet perform one of their tricks at each station for a treat. This will put them in high spirits and ensure they feel like they are part of the celebration.

Halloween Ghosting: Share the spirit and put together a little bag of goodies to leave on your neighbours doorstep. Not only will your neighbours feel the love, but this is a great opportunity to take your furry friend for a walk while avoiding the crowds and scary costumes.

Costume Competition: Grab some great photos of your pet dressed up in a scary or silly costume this year. If your pet loves playing dress-up there is no better occasion than Halloween. Look for comfortable and loosely fitting designs to ensure your furry friend stays relaxed and of course, what Halloween celebration would be complete without a costume competition.

Decorations: Pumpkin carving is becoming increasingly popular in Australia and is a fun way to get creative. Let your pet inspire your design this year and be sure to keep the final design out of reach. While pumpkin is non-toxic to pets, eating one that has been sitting around for a while can make them sick.

We also suggest replacing traditional candles in your Jack-o-Lanterns with safer flameless candles or LED lights just in case it’s knocked over.

With whatever you choose to do this Halloween, stay safe and always look after each other.

Cleaning Tips for Pet Parents

It’s may come as no surprise that our furry friends tend to be a little bit messy. As a Pet Parent it can be difficult to keep up with the constant tug-o-war that is keeping a home clean and tidy with one or two or more pet’s claiming their territory. In today’s post, we wanted to try and provide some friendly tips and tricks to help.

Pet Fur: While some unique breeds of Cats and Dogs out there do away with the issue of pet fur altogether, for the rest of us, it takes a little time and effort.

Grooming is key. Regular outdoor brushing sessions help maintain a healthy coat for your pet and remove any unwanted matting in their fur. This also promotes better hygiene in general and allows your pet to be checked for fleas, ticks and other possible skin conditions.

Another handy tip is to throw an old sheet on to your pet’s favourite indoor place to sleep to collect fur and allow easier disposal. For any fur that may end up somewhere a little more unwanted, there are even products like pet fur rollers and vacuum cleaners (rated specifically for animals) that might just make dealing with it all a little easier.

Keeping on top of regular grooming isn’t just isolated to fur. Your pet’s nails will need be kept neat and tidy aswell. This means less risk of infection for them and that your hardwood floors and kitchen cabinets are treated a little nicer by the eager pet at dinner time.

Accidents: When your pet, dare we say, “marks their territory” they may want to return to the scene of the crime again and again and again. Finding the right cleaning products specific to pet potty problems helps eliminate stains and odours and can ensure your pet doesn’t return to the same spot. While white vinegar or baking soda can help in a pinch, look for an enzymatic cleaner that is designed to solve the issue quickly and effectively.

Paw Prints: You can keep a small container of water by the front door to help wash off those muddy paws after an outside adventure, but sometimes mud can be unavoidable. If you do end up with a dirty carpet or furniture, always let the mud dry and then vacuum as much as possible. Then, mix a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with 2 cups of water (cool for upholstery, warm for carpet) and use a clean, white cloth to sponge the stain, repeating until the stain disappears. There are also a whole range of carpet & upholstery cleaners available out there but always test the solution first to ensure it doesn’t leave any stains of its own.

Pet Laundry: Help eliminate odours by regularly washing bedding and toys. While some of the heavier duty toys will be fine in a normal washing cycle, some of the softer plushies will need a gentle cycle with cold or warm water or may need to be washed inside a mesh bag. Some items, like rope, can also be sterilised in the microwave while others may need to be hand washed. Always check the washing instructions on the label.

Being a pet parent can be overwhelming at times. Rest assured our suggestions above only scratch the surface of the advice you can find online and although it may not feel like it at times, there is no better teacher than your own pet.

How Cats & Dogs see the world

Have you ever wondered how your furry friend perceives the world? While we, as their human counterparts, can see a brilliant array of colours and have a heightened ability to clearly view still objects from a short distance, we also have our limitations when compared to them.

Most of us were taught that Cats and Dogs are colour-blind but that’s not entirely the case. Remarkably they are able to see all types of colours but mostly in different shades, like blue’s and yellow’s. This isn’t so much of a problem as it is for us pet parents, where we have rely on certain colours to tell us if food is rotten or safe to eat or like knowing when to stop or drive at the traffic lights. 

With sight alone, your Cat or Dog can expand their peripheral vision up to 250 degrees (for Dogs) and around 200 degrees (for Cats) compared to our 180 and can spot even subtle movement for up to 800 meters. Cats can hear and locate incredibly high-pitched sounds to help them catch rodents and some breeds of Dogs have a sense of smell thousands of times better than we do. No wonder they are always waiting for us at the bowl before we have a chance to pour their food in!

A better understanding of our companions and how they see the world might just give you some insight in to why they behave in certain ways and allow you to grow even closer to them.

Victorian Source Number Update

Currently (as of 1st July 2019), any person or business selling or giving away a dog, cat, puppy or kitten in the state of Victoria is required to enrol on the Pet Exchange Register and obtain a Source Number.

This source number serves to identify the first owner (individual, breeder, business or organisation) and assists in promoting responsible pet breeding and improved traceability for dogs & cats in Victoria.

It is an offence to advertise a dog or cat (for sale or to give away) unless the advertisement includes the animal’s microchip number and a source number generated by the Pet Exchange Register.

Effective on the 1st of July 2020

A source number must now be included on any microchip registration for a dog or cat born and microchipped after 1 July 2020.

This means that if you are the first registered owner of a dog or cat in Victoria born on or after the 1st of July 2020, you will require a Source Number. The Authorised Microchip Implanter must collect and include a source number on all dog or cat microchip records in order to ensure compliance with regulation requirements. A failure to do so may incur penalties.

Note that if your pet was born and implanted in another State (other than Vic) you will not require a source number.

For frequently asked questions or to find out more about Source Numbers or the Pet Exchange Register, Click Here

To apply for a source number now, visit https://per.animalwelfare.vic.gov.au/.

Stay Informed About Parvovirus

Due to a recent spike in Parvovirus cases across Queensland & Northern NSW, Vet’s across Australia are urging all dog owners to have their pets vaccinated as soon as possible. The potentially fatal disease is known to have cause 40 cases in the first half of 2020, compared to a total of only 58 cases in all of 2019. So, what is Parvovirus and can it be prevented?

What is Parvovirus?

Known to affect unvaccinated Puppies & Dogs, Parvovirus is a highly contagious disease of the stomach and small intestines with symptoms such as fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Attacking the lining of the intestines and the bone marrow, hindering your pup’s ability to produce white blood cells to fight off infections. It can resist routine infections and weather changes which makes the spread harder to control. What’s worse is it can be transferred easily to your dog through direct contact with an infected animal or indirectly via contaminated items such as people’s shoes, bedding and faeces.

Can it be Prevented?

The good news is that Parvovirus is a preventable disease. Taking extra care when going on walks or to your local dog park and vaccinate your pup against the virus to be sure your dog is protected. If in doubt, be sure to check your vaccination records or check with your Vet who should have medical history for your pet. If you suspect your dog may have it or are unsure, contact your Vet immediately.

Your Pet’s Emergency Plan

Think about what may happen to your pets if you become unable to look after them due to an illness or crisis. Having a Pet Emergency Plan in place means peace of mind knowing your loved ones will be cared for while you get back on your feet.

If the Covid-19 Pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that life can be unpredictable. 6 months ago, we may have thought to ourselves “It’s never going to happen to me” but now, our perceptions of the world have changed and we have become more aware of our need to prepare. Your pets depend on you to see them through so, there is no time like the present to get a little more organised and put together a go bag for your furry friends.

Some things to consider:

  • Who is going to look after your pets?
    • Get in touch with family, friends or possibly even your local Vet to see if they provide boarding facilities. If possible, make sure your pet is familiar with those they will be around in an emergency. Being around familiar scents and sounds will make them more comfortable.
  • What to have in your Go Bag.
    • Pack at least a 3-day supply of food in air tight containers. While boarding facilities will have food, your family or friends may not, this will give them time to get to the local supermarket while keeping your pets fed.
    • Medication (if required), along with instructions on frequency and time to give it to them.
    • Copies of important documents. Make a copy of documents like your pets’ microchip & registration details, vaccination paperwork, etc. these can be left with your pets’ caretakers in advanced and added to the bag.
    • Emergency Contacts. Include the contact details for your local vet as they will have detailed medical history on hand. Make sure the carer has been granted permission to talk to your vet on your behalf.
    • Your pet’s favourite toys. Just as you will be missing your pet, they will also be missing you. A favourite toy or two will bring them comfort as they patiently await your return.
  • Test your plan.
    • Preparation and practice. Consider leaving your pet with their intended carer overnight. This will help them get use to a new surrounding and determine if you have done enough should a real emergency occur.

Being prepared now is simple, trying to think while going through an emergency will only add to the stress you and your pet face. Get the bag ready and leave it somewhere convenient and out of the way then, if something should happen, it will be one less thing for you to worry about.