Todays Doggy care Post is about LOVE!

 LOVE YOUR PET

Love can be shown in so many ways and all dogs are ‘driven’ or ‘motivated’ by different things, some like to be petted others like to play with a toy, some like treats.

PETTING:

Rule number 1) ALWAYS ASK BEFORE YOU PET SOME ONE ELSE’S DOG and be aware they may not know if their dog has issues with men/women/ children. It’s not a guarantee that because they haven’t bitten or snapped at their owner, that they won’t to you. There are right and wrong ways to pet an animal. DO NOT OVER CROWD IT. You look BIG to a dog and if you come over to it and put your face in theirs it can be very intimidating! I always suggest letting the dog sniff your hand first (hold your hand in a loose fist- fingers tucked in) near your side, at their height so they can smell you. If they seem calm you can stroke the dog in the direction the fur grows, not making any sudden movements and beware that some dogs have sensitive spots or issues with certain parts of their body being touched. A dog will usually tell you if it doesn’t like what you’re doing before it potentially bites so watch out for the signals!

dog behaviour

TOYS:

If your dog likes to chew their toys, do not give them toys they can chew bits off of and swallow. These include children’s ‘stuffed’ soft toys with button eyes and plastic noses, soft plastic toys and pieces of material or clothing! I recommend toys like this (pic below) made out of very resilient rubber.

rubber toys

TREATS and FOOD:

Try not to fall into the trap of over feeding your dog with treats or ‘killing them with kindness’. It is VERY important for ALL dog owners to know which foods to avoid and which foods are ‘safe’ to give your dog. It’s equally important for any one that comes into contact with your dog to abide by the same rules. Dogs cannot logically choose which foods might cause them harm. ‘Bad foods’ can cause Toxins to build up in the dogs body resulting in pain/illness/ death for them and costly vet bills and heart ache for you!

toxic fd dogs

You should also avoid uncooked potato, cooked bones (as they splinter and shatter) Tomatoes and Tomato plant, and citrus fruits.

Here are some examples of ‘good snacks and treats’

good dog foodsOur Dog loves Blackberries, Strawberries and cucumber and everything from the cabbage family!

It’s good to bear in mind that all dogs are different and some have intolerance to certain foods, just like people!

max moo

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Spring Cleaning Chicken House tips and getting rid of Algae!

Now the warmer weather has started it is the perfect time to sort out your chickens house and give every thing a thorough ‘spring clean’.

chickens

There are a few things to remember in regards to cleaning animals housing/ bedding/ living areas, the main being that some animals can be allergic to certain cleaning products and some can even cause death! Every chicken ‘care book’ I’ve read advises NOT to use bleach in any areas chickens may come into contact with! They give a  recommendation list of other products.

Also cleaning out chickens is a messy job, so wear ‘old clothes’, apron or even a bin bag and wear rubber gloves!

Do this job on a sunny day when  the fore cast predicts good weather all day!

Start cleaning in the morning so that everything is dry by the time your chickens go to bed.

Chicken living quarters contain faeces insects, possible mites and other diseases that could be very aggravating and dangerous to people so I advise wearing a face mask.

Firstly you have to make sure your chickens are out-of-the-way and not likely to walk in part way through your cleaning mission, these chickens were having a peck around in a safe ‘fox proof’ area and the entrance door to their house was shut .

chickens 2

Start by stripping out all the straw/ bedding material, then using a hard bristled handled brush to scratch off layers of mud etc that seemed welded on to their shelving area and perches. Soften it and make the job easier by using hot water.

Use a ‘chicken safe’ anti bacterial product, you can put it in a dis used clean ‘spray bottle’ and coat the surfaces well during and after scrubbing.

Wedge the door open, so that the fumes won’t over power you but also ‘air drying’ the chicken house on a warm day is the best way to get it to dry.

You can use a flat trowel shaped tool/ something similar to dislodge dirt off of the floor and scrub that too.

Lots of spiders and spiders webs congregate in the roof of Chickens houses so take a stick and ‘Fiona from ‘Shrek’ style roll the web (using the stick in a circular motion to collect it all up!

When it is thoroughly dry dust all the surfaces with Mite powder and replace the Straw with fresh straw.

It’s a physical job that requires lots of ‘elbow grease’ but the Chickens will Thank you for it! 🙂


Algae on the outside of the chicken house,

chic shed algae

This tip can be used for sheds, fences alike, (areas where animals won’t be coming into direct contact with surface) to treat and kill off Algae!

Also be aware that because it contains bleach you need to protect anything it could come into contact with, including your plants!

METHOD

1) To 1 bucket of boiled water from the kettle add 1 cap of  bleach

2) Then add approx 1 – 2 tbsp of white vinegar

3) Add a squirt of washing up liquid

4) Wearing rubber gloves and using a stiff bristled brush scrub the Algae off the wood, be aware that this can cause patchiness to painted wood and would benefit from another coat of paint/ stain when wood has thoroughly  dried.

This is the result

chic house no algae

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Brightlingsea – sights, nature and fluffy things!

I’m back again in one of my favorite Sea side towns  🙂

Flowers in the Garden here in April

Mr Newt 🙂

These are old glass bottles and jars dating back to the Victorian times, it has inspired me to look at my old glass bottle/jar collection and use them in some craft projects!

Baby Lambs!!! 🙂

A rather tatty, but still beautiful Emperor moth.

Max trying to get through the gap in the gate 🙂 – soppy Dog!

Coming soon, my Charity shop bargain haul! 🙂

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Maxwell moo <3

This is Max, he is our 14 year old (bless him) Labrador.

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We assume he’s a cross-breed because of his giant head (and consequently the nick name I have given him of ‘meat ball’). 🙂

We’ve had him at least 11 years I think, although I’d have to verify that, it feels like we’ve had him for ever!

His previous owners were struggling to get out and walk him, I believe they had a disabled child and at least one of the Parents had back problems.

That just wasn’t fair to Max, so they re-homed him.

When we got him he was a little crazy, boisterous, in to everything and pulled on the lead.

My Dad relished the task of ‘re- training him’ and always takes a keen interest in dogs personalities and ability to adapt into a new family.

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Although he had lived with cats before, Bonnie cat (my out going ‘bossy’ cat, no longer with us) had to remind him every so often how to behave like a gentleman.

They loved each other a lot, or rather Bonnie would force kisses and rubs on him whether he liked it or not. 🙂

Most of the time if I wondered where they’d got to they’d be sun bathing somewhere together.

Max’s personality hasn’t changed, he is stubborn, boisterous – when his body lets him, Placid, friendly, curious, cheeky and laugh out loud hilarious!

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He is in AMAZING condition for his age, (even if I do say so myself) and I/we do take credit for that.

He is a bit deaf and has arthritis, he is up to date with all his medications, I review his weight regularly and am strict about what food/ treats he has.

Some of his favourite ‘people food’ treats are : raw carrot, cucumber, anything from the cabbage family, apple, berries and Banana!

I will talk in another post about pet care & well-being (dogs) and about how I take care of Max.

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Every body wants to be a cat…..

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If I had to be a domestic pet, I would definitely be a loved family cat…

Having naps when I wanted, laying stretched out in the sun, snuggling up on warm laps and by the fire when It’s cold…

Exploring the garden, laying on the patio and in the grass, ahhh bliss 🙂

I love all animals, that’s not to say I’d want to have them all as pets. But I definitely have a huge soft spot for cats.

Elegant, funny, majestic, scatty, full of personality, beautiful, affectionate(when they want to be).

On my 11th birthday in a caravan parked in a farmer’s field,somewhere near Legoland, with my mum and dad watching on excitedly and mum pointing a camera in my face I blew out my candles and opened my presents. Amongst them was a cat flap for the back door.

I looked bemused thinking my daft Mum had given me some one elses present.

‘But we don’t have a cat’ I said quietly.

I’d been going on and on about getting a cat for ages, the only pet I’d ever really wanted.

Gold-fish had kept me content for a while, and all the other pleas for rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters had fallen on deaf ears.

My mum not relishing the thought of cleaning the cages and she’d already seen how much time they could take up (my cousins had owned many).

‘No we haven’t, but we will have’ My Mum said beaming.

I was so excited I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. I couldn’t wait for our little trip away to end so we could go and see them and pick out one to be our very special new family addition.

We went into the living room of  a friend of the family to where the kittens where in a box with lots of blankets snuggled up to their Mum.

I peered in at them all warm squealing little balls of fluff, the mummy cat purred affectionately and licked which ever kitten she could reach,while the others fed.They climbed over each other and there little ears and tails looked so stubby and strange I’d never seen kittens this young before.They weren’t ready to be re-homed yet they had some weeks to go before they were ready.

‘Which one do you like?’ asked the lady. How do you choose? It was all a blur, I thought they were all beautiful and lovely I didn’t even have a colour preference, the lady handed me a beautiful little tortoise-shell girl, her big eyes looked up at me and she squeaked and nuzzled into me, I was smitten.

‘Well she said, if your going to have that one you have to take this one too’,she said pointing to a multi coloured tabby with white paws and chest. ‘They are best friends, they are always together’, my Mum looked un decided and discussed quietly behind me while I looked on in wonder at the tiny creatures.

Then she turned a decision had been made, we were going to have two kittens and collect them in a few weeks time (which couldn’t go quickly enough for me).

When we collected the Kittens once they were ready I was agog at just how much they had grown and changed they both had long sleek bodies the tails were still slim like little furry rats tails and huge ‘bat ears’ there faces were no longer squished and they had needle sharp teeth. We didn’t own a proper ‘cat box’ the type you would take cats into the vets,so into a cardboard box with blankets and a thin one over the top and into the back of the car on my lap they went.

All the way home there pitiful cries penetrated my heart and I felt awful for separating them from their mother, even reassurance from my mum couldn’t stop my tears from falling.

For the first few weeks they cried, alot and I vowed that I would do everything a good cat owner could do to make them happy.

In no time at all they had settled right in, they explored every inch of the house,up the curtains, under the bed in the bed, it was so comical to watch their acrobatics and watching the two little blobs under the duvet chase each other 😀

They became my best friends, each having distinctive personalities, always there for me, always an inquisitive meow and cocked head, I couldn’t wait to see them at the end of my school day and we fell into a blissful routine,they brought joy into my life and so began my love affair with cats!