‘Pets in the city’ – Keeping your dog safe in busy areas

With 8.5 million dogs in the country it’s fair to say we’re a nation of dog lovers! Over 24% of the UK population own a dog, with a third of them housed in urban areas. Their safety is the owners’ responsibility and so here at PetSafe® Brand we’re dedicated to helping owners have the best moments with their pets.

Hi-rise living

Two Dalmatians relaxing at home

Towns and cities are rife with apartment blocks, and some will allow owners to bring their pets with them. This of course restricts the availability of immediate garden space, which will affect your pets’ exercise and toilet training. For a backyard in a box, try our Pet Loo™ Portable Pet Toilet to help with training and those times you can’t let them out.

Also to keep your apartment a haven for your pup, keep your windows and sliding balcony doors appropriately fenced so they have safe freedom.

Take it slow

French bulldog sleeping on a wooden floor

If you are a new dog owner in an urban area, or if you and your pooch have moved into a flat for the first time, take it slow in getting them used to their surroundings. Being near a busy road or overwhelmed with lots of smells and sounds is scary! So, make sure you’re reinforcing calmness and praising good behaviour when out and about.

Lap it up

Scruffy dog poking out from under couch

Cities and towns tend to have puddles that never properly dry up, it just sits there stagnant and smelly. Although it doesn’t sound appealing to you and I, your dog may decide that it’s going to sample this delicious puddle water when out and about. Dirty puddles house bacteria which will make your dog sick, so keep an eye out for where they’re stopping to drink!

To entice your pup to drink more fresh and clean water when at home, take a look at our Drinkwell® range for a Pet Fountain designed to keep your pets hydrated.

Rubbish on the streets

Jack Russel on lead on pavement

There’s always the chance that when you’re out with your dog you’ll come across food waste or packaging that has been discarded and that looks quite tempting to eat. Stay aware of your dog’s movements and redirect attention away that’s focused on any rubbish.

Two’s a pair

gang of dachshunds being walked

If you’re taking your dog out for the day while running errands, it’s likely you won’t be able to take them with you into shops. Having someone with you allows you to leave your pup with them while inside shops. Although some shops provide posts to attach leashes to, it may be scary and overwhelming for your pup to be left alone especially if by a main road.

Exploring the city with your four-legged best friend can be so exciting as there’s plenty of things to see and do! If you’re thinking of travelling further afield, take our advice for being on the road with your pet.

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10 things you should know about your cat’s shedding

Longhaired ginger cat lounging in the window

Domestic cats have been evolving for millions of years and because their wild ancestors faced extreme weathers. The cats we know in the modern day still retain the ability to shed and regrow their fur for the changing weather conditions.

The difference between a cat’s summer and winter coats can depend on its breed, the climate in which it lives and the length of fur.

Tortoiseshell cat rolled over on the sofa

Here are 10 things you should know when your cat starts shedding his fur:

  1. Shedding fur is how cats keep their fur in good condition! If dead hair stays on your cat’s body it can cause irritation.
  2. The fine, down-like fur beneath the glossy outer coat acts as insulation.
  3. Even short-haired cats lose their coat in Spring.
  4. Long-haired breeds such as the Norwegian Forest Cat shed so much fur in Summer they almost look like a different cat!
  5. The only cats that don’t shed fur are pure-bred hairless cats such as Sphynx.
  6. Sick cats don’t shed as much fur as healthy cats.
  7. Shedding is influenced by daylight, and as the daylight hours reduce, it triggers the shedding process.
  8. Shedding can be controlled with frequent brushing and combing which helps remove loose hair and keep your cat’s coat healthy.
  9. Short-haired breeds such as Siamese need very little brushing, whereas long-haired such as Persian need brushing more frequently
    (more on your pet’s coat health here).
  10. If your cat has a heavy shed throughout the year, it may point to a food sensitivity or a dust allergy.

Feeding your cat a healthy diet with quality cat food can help keep their fur in good condition and lead to a healthy shed. If you’re concerned with your cats shedding or if they’re having problems with hairballs, your vet can provide advice so it’s worth giving them a call.

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Why does my cat scratch and how can I stop it?

If your furniture is in shreds and your wooden floor has a new pattern etched into it, you’re probably feeling exasperated with your cats need to stretch out and drag their claws across almost every surface!

This behaviour, however frustrating, is a natural and instinctive behaviour that makes a cat a cat. And trying to train them not to do something instinctive won’t end well.

But why do they do it? And how can we redirect it to a less impacting area?
(And keep your furniture in one piece!)

Reasons a cat scratches

cat with his head through the bannisters

• To condition their claws – claws shed layers just as our nails grow. Think of your couch as their nail file, useful for removing excess nail, but not so useful for your antique sofa.

• For exercise and stretching – your cat’s back and shoulder muscles can only be fully stretched when reaching right out in front, where their claws are then in contact with the floor. And well, we all know how that ends…

• It relieves stress – it’s common for cats to scratch to help release some built up emotions!

• As a territorial marker – a cat will also use scratching to rub their scent around the house as the pads on their paws have scent glands which allow them to mark their territory. You might find that scratching occurs on chair arms closest to a doorway, this is strategic to increase their feeling of security.

Alternatives to scratching

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Now let’s look at a few ways you can try to redirect your cats’ scratching in a positive way that also saves your furniture and flooring!

• A tall scratching post – for full stretches, this is an appropriate alternative to your furniture and will allow your cat to continue its natural behaviour. If you have more than one cat, you’ll actually need more than one scratching post. Read more considerations when it comes to multi-cat homes here.

• Catnip – try sprinkling the surfaces you want them to scratch with catnip! Then try sprinkling their new scratching post with catnip too to attract them towards it and encourage them to use their paws to rub their scent on it.

• Provide them with exercise – try playing with your cat more regularly and provide toys which appeal to their hunting instincts (such as our FroliCat® POUNCE™) to distract their behaviour from scratching.

• Change their focus – try making the place they’ve been scratching unattractive by positioning physical or scent related deterrents near the area that has been scratched. Citrus or menthol smells are repellent to cats so soak cotton balls and place them in areas you want left alone.

• Trim your cat’s claws – keep an eye on your cat’s claws! Left untrimmed they can cause some ailments, so trimming them is a good way of reducing scratching. For more information about cutting your cat’s claws read ‘Trimming a cat’s claws’.

For more toys that will engage your cat, check out our FroliCat® range of cat toys.

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