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How To Teach Your Dog To Drop

How to teach your dog to drop

Teach Your Dog To Drop

STEP 1

The first step in teaching your dog drop is to show them that its worth it! You are going to be asking your dog to give up something of value to them. Get a small amount of your dogs’ food, or a treat, say the command “drop” and put the food/treats on the floor and allow your dog to eat. Repeat this 5-10 times over a few sessions. Once your dog looks for treats on the floor when you say the command drop, you are then ready to move to step 2.

STEP 2

Now you can start introducing items you want your dog to drop. Grab one of your dog’s favourite toys and a treat/food. Give your dog their toy and let them play for a minute or two. You then want to say the command “drop” and offer your dog the reward. Once they have released the toy, reward them and say the command “drop” again. Repeat this a 10-15 times over a few short sessions.

STEP 3

Now your dog understands the positive reward of the command drop, you should be able to verbally say the command, and your dog release whatever is in its mouth. You want to gradually build up distance between you and your dog, so from afar they still respond to the command.

Teaching your dog to drop is a very important part of building respect and hierarchy. It is a great way to play and interact with your dog, whilst been able to control playtime. Dogs can get overly boisterous when playing games, this can lead to them becoming dominant. If your dog becomes a dominant figure in the household, this can cause many other behavioural issues. Drop is also a very handy tool to have if your dog likes to pick up things they shouldn’t!

Teaching you dog to drop when they return
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The Canine Bakery – Chicken and Rice Bites

How to Make -
Chicken and Rice Bites

Ingredients:

6 oz . Boneless Chicken Breast, boiled or grilled; cooled
100g . Cooked Wild Rice; cooled
120ml . Chicken Stock
300g . All Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp . Salt
1 Egg

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C / Gas Mark 4), ensuring it reaches the desired temperature for even cooking.
2. Prepare the chicken mixture: In a mini food processor, combine the chicken, rice, and chicken stock. Pulse until the mixture forms a smooth paste, scraping down the sides as necessary to ensure everything is well integrated.
3. Make the dough: In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, a pinch of salt, one egg, and the prepared chicken paste. Stir the mixture vigorously until it comes together and resembles a dough with a consistent texture.
4. Knead the dough: Lightly dust a clean, flat surface with flour. Transfer the dough onto the surface and knead it for a few minutes, until it is smooth and no longer sticky. This process will help develop the gluten, making the dough easier to handle.
5. Roll out the dough: Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. Ensure the dough is uniformly flat to allow for even baking.
6. Shape the treats: Using cookie cutters of your choice, cut out various shapes from the rolled dough. Carefully place each shape onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving space between them to prevent sticking.
7. Bake the treats: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the treats are light brown and firm to the touch.
8. Cooling: Remove the treats from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. This step is crucial to ensure the treats firm up and are easy to handle.

Allow the treats to cool thoroughly before serving to ensure they are set and enjoyable.

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Springtime Adventures: The Joy of Outdoor Activities for Dogs and Owners

Lady walking her dog down a country lane on a bright sunny morning in spring

As the sun starts to peek through the clouds and the flowers begin to bloom, there’s no better time to embrace the great outdoors with our furry companions. Spring heralds a season of new beginnings, making it the perfect time to explore the world outside with our beloved dogs. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the myriad benefits that both dogs and their owners can reap from outdoor adventures, from improved physical health to enhanced mental well-being.

Physical Health Benefits

It’s no secret that regular exercise is essential for maintaining optimal health, and the same holds true for our canine friends. Outdoor activities such as walking and playing not only provide much-needed cardiovascular exercise but also help to keep our furry friends at a healthy weight and enhance muscle tone. But the benefits don’t stop there – as owners, we also benefit from increased exercise and fresh air, not to mention the boost of vitamin D from natural sunlight, which is essential for overall well-being.

Mental and Emotional Benefits

Beyond the physical, the great outdoors offers a sanctuary for the mind and soul. For dogs, being outdoors can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, leading to better behavioural patterns and an overall sense of calm. Moreover, the shared experience of exploring nature strengthens the bond between owners and their pets, fostering a deeper emotional connection that transcends words. The stimulation of the natural environment also provides a sensory feast for dogs, leading to improved moods and a greater sense of happiness.

Social Benefits

One of the joys of outdoor activities is the opportunity for socialization – not just for dogs, but for owners too. Whether it’s meeting other dogs at the park or striking up conversations with fellow dog lovers, outdoor adventures provide ample opportunities to enhance social skills and forge new connections. These interactions not only enrich our own lives but also help to combat feelings of loneliness and isolation, creating a sense of community among like-minded individuals.

Conclusion

As we bid farewell to the winter chill and embrace the warmth of spring, let’s make a commitment to spend more time outdoors with our furry companions. The benefits of outdoor activities for both dogs and owners are undeniable, from improved physical health to enhanced mental well-being and strengthened bonds. So, grab your leash, lace up your walking shoes, and embark on a springtime adventure with your four-legged friend – you’ll both be glad you did!

For dog owners seeking to enrich their pets’ lives and strengthen their bond through outdoor activities, this blog post serves as a friendly reminder of the joys that await in the great outdoors. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a novice explorer, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the fresh air and sunshine of spring. So, why wait? Get out there and make some memories with your furry friend today!

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How To Teach Your Dog To Heel

Training your do to heel

STEP 1
With your dogs lead clipped on and ready to go on your walk, you need to get into your starting position. Hold your lead in one hand, and a treat in the other. Ask you dog to sit next to you, so you are facing the same direction, reward once sat calmly. This is your starting position. If once you have given your dog the treat they try to walk off and pull, use another treat to bring them back, so they are stood next to you with no tension on the lead.
STEP 2
With a treat in your hand, let your dog sniff your hand. Then, raise your hand to your shoulder and give the instruction “heel” and take a step forward. Stop then feed your dog the treat for following you.
STEP 3
You now want to keep repeating step 2. Every time your dog pulls away from your side, you want to say your command “heel” with your treat
in hand at your shoulder. Once next to you (sitting or standing) with no tension on the lead, you want to say the verbal command “heel” and give them the treat.
STEP 4
Keep practicing steps 1-3. You want to aim to increase the amount of steps taken in between giving a treat. Aim for your dog walking by your side with no tension on your lead and rewarding this as you are walking without needing to stop to reward.
TIP
Its important to remember dogs are all different and have varying attention spans. Whilst some dogs are very focused and will pick this up very quickly. Others may seem to not respond at all at first. Remember to be consistent, even if you feel you are getting no results, its just going to take a little more time for them to understand what you are expecting from them. Remain patient, and keep practicing in regular, short training sessions. You can start in your home or garden at first so there are fewer distractions.

How to teach your dog to heel
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Small Pet Life Enrichment – Keeping Your Furry Friends Happy

Small Pet Life Enrichment

But what exactly do we mean by ‘enrichment’? Essentially, it refers to the range of accessories and activities we introduce into our pets’ living and exercise areas. These are not just frivolous extras; they’re fundamental to allowing our pets to engage in natural behaviours and habits. Enrichment goes beyond the basics of survival – it enhances the quality of life.

Digging Box:

A digging box is a straightforward yet effective way to cater to a rabbit’s instinctual burrowing behaviour. You can easily set this up using a plastic box or a large plant pot, filled with safe materials like hay or soil. It’s vital to keep this area clean and regularly refresh the digging material to maintain hygiene and interest.

Forage Box:

Unlike in a domestic setting where food is often readily available, in the wild, rabbits and guinea pigs would naturally forage for their food. This activity is not just about sustenance; it’s a critical part of their mental stimulation. By setting up a forage box or scattering food around their habitat, you encourage natural foraging behaviour. This can be as simple as hiding vegetables and greens for them to discover. It’s a fun way to keep them entertained and engaged.

Rabbits and how to enrich their little lives
Guinea Pigs and how to enrich their little pet lives

Varied Hay Feeding:

Hay is not just food; it’s a necessity for maintaining proper digestion in rabbits and guinea pigs. A lack of hay can lead to a dangerous condition known as “gut stasis,” which can be fatal within 24 hours. To keep your pets interested and ensure they’re eating enough, offer a variety of hay in different locations within their enclosure. Regularly replenishing their hay supply is also crucial for monitoring their health, as a decrease in hay consumption can be an early sign of illness.

Tunnels and Hides:

Given that guinea pigs and rabbits are prey animals, they naturally have a cautious nature. While they do require ample space to exercise and explore, this space shouldn’t be completely open and empty. Including tunnels and hiding spots in their environment allows them to satisfy their instinct to explore while feeling safe. These additions can make a significant difference in their comfort and stress levels.

Final Thoughts


Incorporating enrichment into your pets’ daily routine is more than just a nice gesture; it’s an integral part of providing a nurturing and stimulating environment. These simple, yet effective, ideas not only cater to their basic needs but also encourage natural behaviours that are crucial for their well-being. By taking the time to enrich your pets’ lives, you’re investing in their happiness and health.

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Caring For An Arthritic Pet

Caring For Arthritic Pets

When your dog’s favourite run becomes a stiff walk, getting up from the comfy bed is now accompanied by a groan and a growl and running up the stairs is just too big of a mountain to climb. These will all be familiar scenarios for senior dog owners. You want nothing more then to be able to take away the pain and see your canine companion bound around once again. Whilst there is no miracle cure for aging or arthritic joints, there are few things you can do to relieve some of the discomfort your dog may feel.

Dog Laid on a Bed
Regular Trips to the Vets

It’s important to take regular trips to the vets and to maintain any treatment plan your vet puts in place. Whilst speaking with your vet ask if your dog would be a suitable candidate for hydrotherapy. Hydrotherapy is the use of water to exercise and mobilise joints, proven to relieve and even halt the symptoms of arthritis. Also, it’s worth discussing the prescription of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs to help if you feel your dog is in pain.

Glucosamine assists your dogs body to produce cartilage in the joints. As dogs get older their body breaks down cartilage quicker than it can be produced. Loss of cartilage is what leads to arthritis and joint pain. You can buy glucosamine supplements from most pet health stores. Lastly, making sure your dog maintains a healthy weight relieves the pressure on the joints, this can offer an instant pain relief, also allowing them to increase their mobility. If you have worries your dog is significantly over weight, for effective weight loss, speak to your veterinary surgery. Most practices run free weight clinics to support owners with pet obesity.

Dog Health Supplements
Tip for Caring for Arthritic Pets
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The Canine Bakery – Doggy Scotch Eggs

Doggy Scotch Eggs

How to Make -
Doggy Scotch Eggs

Ingredients:
150g minced pork

12 small eggs

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

1 medium egg beaten

Milled flax seed (or fine breadcrumbs) for coating

Hard boil and peel the eggs. Place the minced pork and parsley in a plastic bag and press it together until it forms a smooth blended ball. Remove the mixture from the bag and divide into 12 equal balls. One at a time press each piece flat into the palm of your hand. Put an egg in the centre and wrap the minced meat around it. Roll into a smooth ball and make sure there are no gaps or cracks. Coat in beaten egg. Roll in milled flax seed or fine breadcrumbs. Place on a greased baking tray and cook at 180 degrees C (356 F) for 30 mins, or until the meat is cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before serving.

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Vetfleece Top Crufts Facts

Vetfleece Top Crufts Facts

Adored by dog lovers all over the world, Crufts was founded in 1891 by dog biscuit salesman, Charles Cruft and has grown in popularity to become “The World’s Largest Dog Show”.

Here at Vetfleece, we love watching and attending this amazing event each year, so we thought we’d put together a list of interesting facts, some of which we didn’t even know.

  • In 1886, five years before the first Crufts was staged, Charles Cruft started a dog show which was only open for Terriers. This was then changed and other breeds we invited to enter and the creation of the Crufts we love was born.
  • It’s a royal affair. In 1891 three of Queen Victoria’s dogs won prizes in Crufts. The following year several European royals also entered their dogs in to the show, Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia, Prince Henry of Battenburg and the Princess of Wales.
    Since 1891, Crufts has only not been held 10 times. This is due to two world wars and an electricians strike.
  • It’s a record breaker. In 1991, The Guinness Book of Records named Crufts “The World’s Largest Dog Show”.
  • Following the 4 day show, around 350kg (55 Stone) of dog hair is cleared from the floor of the Birmingham NEC.
  • Crufts have been known for their strict rules regarding purebreds, but in 2000 they introduced the Scruffts show for crossbreeds. Scruffts entrants can compete for the titles of most Handsome Dog, Prettiest Bitch, Golden Oldie and Child’s Best Friend.
  • The first “Best in Show” award took place in 1928 and it was won by a Greyhound named Primley Sceptre.
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Pet Profile: Rabbit

Pet Profile - Rabbits

Rabbits are becoming increasingly popular pets across the UK. It is now estimated in early 2024, that 1.5 million are kept as pets in gardens up and down the country. This comes as no surprise as they are cute, intelligent, inquisitive playful animals, which can bring endless joy. Rabbits come in a range of breeds and sizes, and typically live between 8-12 years when cared for correctly.

Pet Profile - Rabbits
Rabbits cannot be housed alone as this goes against their natural behaviour. In the wild they would live in groups and this would be essential to survival. They groom each other, keep each other warm and also alleviate stress by offering protection. Rabbits which are kept without a companion can develop abnormal behaviours which can be detrimental to their health.

Rabbits are extremely active animals and need plenty of space to run, stretch, play and hide. The minimum hutch/house requirement is 6′ by 2′ (180cm by 60cm). Your rabbit must be able to do 3 full hops and stand up on their back legs. They also require access to a run for around 6-10 hours per day, which needs to be at least 3m long by 2m wide. Rabbits need plenty of places to hide as they are prey animals, which means they naturally become startled easily.

Pet Profile - Rabbit Fact
Rabbits Eating Grass

Don’t be fooled by their timed nature, they are extremely playful. Plenty of toys, things to climb on and chew material is essential to keeping them occupied. Rabbits require a specific diet which consists mainly of hay and water which must be provided fresh on a daily basis.

When hay becomes soiled, your rabbit cannot eat it. This can lead to gastro-issues as hay is essential to your rabbit’s digestion. They also require nuggets, which provide all other nutritional needs, along with a small amount of fresh greens and the occasional treat.

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How To Keep Your Dog Cool During Summer

How To Keep Your Dog Cool During Summer

Vetfleece tips for keeping your pet cool

It’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again, but it looks like the temperatures are still rising. I know that we can’t always rely on a hot British summer, but on the days that are above average temperature we need to be aware that our furry friends need a little extra TLC.
You might be surprised to hear that dogs can also suffer from heatstroke, which can have worse symptoms and more fatalities than the human kind. But unlike us, dogs aren’t able to sweat through their skin, so they release heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep themselves cool. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heatstroke, you need to look out for these signs, excessive panting, dribbling, a bright red tongue, increased heart rate and in more serious cases collapse. If any the above signs are present in your dog, immediately move them to a cool, shaded area (preferably with a breeze), spray them with cool but not freezing water and call your vet.

Here are a few tips for keeping your dog cool and hopefully preventing heatstroke during the warmer months of the year.

Ice Cubes to Keep Your Dog Cool In Summer

Ice cubes

Last summer we found that the best way to keep our dog hydrated also turned into a fun game that kept him entertained for ages. We froze several different treats in normal ice cube trays and popped them in his water several times a day. Please be aware that aggressive chewers could break teeth.

Paddling pool

We found a small children’s paddling pool in our local Poundland and set this up in the garden. It wasn’t an Olympic sized pool and he couldn’t swim in it, but it was big enough for him to sit in. We also put some of his plastic toys in and he had great fun splashing around trying to get them out.

A paddling pool helps to keep your dog cool in summer
Take pleny of water with you when walking the dog

Carry water on your walks

You can buy dog water bottles with integrated bowls to carry in your bag whilst having a walk. This way you are able to take regular stops to make sure your dog keeps cool and regulates his body temperature. It is always a good idea to carry an extra bottle of clean drinking water as you may be out walking longer than you originally though.

Constant supply of water

Make sure that you have a bowl of water available for your pet at all times. Having a bowl in the house and in a shaded area outside means that even lazy dogs have access to a refreshing drink whenever they need it.

Keep a bowl of water for your dog
Ensure your dog has access to shade on hot days

Shade in the garden

At certain times during in summer our garden doesn’t have any areas that are shaded, so if our dog has to go out at these times, we make sure that our patio umbrella is up so he can go under if he wants to.

Ticks

On a side note, please remember to keep an eye on your dog and check for ticks after a walk in woodland, grassland and heath’s. It’s during the hotter months of the year that these disease carrying creatures make an appearance, and not only will they attach themselves to your dog, but they are also fond of humans too. It’s advisable to carry a tick remover like out Tick-Off.me with you at all times. Our tick remover can easily fit in a purse or wallet and it comes in 3 different sizes to remove even the biggest ticks.