Due to their inability to sweat, dogs are not good at regulating their body temperature. If their internal temperature rises too much, it can have fatal complications for your pooch. As temperatures soar across Australia, it's important to know how to spot when a dog is suffering from Heat Stroke and what you can do to help.
What you can do:
How to prevent:
BBQ season is upon us and an afternoon outdoors just isn’t complete without your four legged friend accompanying you. To make sure your dog is safe and that your BBQ is as stress free as possible for both you and your dog, follow our four handy hints.
1. Store dangerous food safely
Whilst some foods are safe to share with your pooch, some can can be dangerous and even toxic if eaten by dogs. Unfortunately, your dog does not know the difference so it’s up to you to keep your dog away either by either putting food out of reach or storing it in sealed containers. For a list of particularly toxic foods, visit our post about food your dog should never eat. Also bear in mind that even though some foods may not be toxic, they can burn your dog if they are super hot and gobbled down straight off the grill.
A great idea is to put out some dog-safe snacks for you and your guests to give to your dog, this way you can control what - and how much - he’s eating and relax knowing he’s safe.
2. Restrict access to the grill
Perhaps the greatest threat to your dog during a BBQ is the grill itself. Delicious smells may be too good to resist and could put your dog in danger without him even realising. If your dog is well trained, using an “Off” or “No” command can be effective in keeping him away from the hot surface. If not, keeping your dog on a leash away from the grill whilst it’s hot is also a great alternative.
3. Protect against the heat
As temperatures rise across Australia, it is incredibly important to keep your dog cool. Heat stroke and heat exhaustion can be fatal but, thankfully, are very easy to prevent. Keeping your dog's coat short during the summer months is vital and can be easily done by booking one of our Mad Paws groomers. During your BBQ, a constant supply of fresh water and an area of shade for your dog to relax in will ensure his body temperature stays at a safe level. As a refreshing treat for your pet, you could create some of our dog-friendly frozen tidbits.
4. Keep bug repellant away
Insect repellants can be dangerous if they are ingested by your four legged friend. If you are using a spray, apply it far away from your dog and when lighting insect repelling candles such as citronella candles, put them where your inquisitive pooch can’t reach them.
If you're going away over the summer and need someone to care for your pet, Mad Paws can help. Click here to browse our pet sitters and find the perfect match for your four legged friend.
photo by: Jessica Trinh on Flickr
While this time of the year will be so much fun to us it could be a bit stressful to our doggies. The unexpected noise and loud could cause stress, anxiety and unpredictable reactions in a lot of them.
Here are some tips to keep your dog happy and safe during these happy times:
1. Keep them indoors: Dogs in fenced yards could make their way out to escape the sounds. Your home can provide them a sense of security as it will help to minimise the noise.
2. Update their ID and microchips: Some very nervous dogs will make a great effort to run away, this is why it’s very important to have their microchips and your contact details updated on your dog’s tag.
3. Give them a safe place/room to hide: Select a room in your house where your pet can hide for the duration of the fireworks. Pick the room that is least impacted by the noise and that you can close off so your pet feels safer. Don’t forget to remove sharp items or things that could break in case your pet starts jumping or running around.
4. Keep them entertained: Give him familiar toys like balls or chewing toys. Another great idea is to give him something super yummy to keep him focused on it; this might even help to create a positive association with fireworks.
If you are planning to be away from home don't forget to book a pet sitter for your dog, they can provide him company and make him feel safe.
When the holidays come, we love to meet with friends and family and share food together, have lunches, dinners and barbecues and we could be tempted to give some of our leftovers to our canine companions. Who can resist those those cute puppy eyes? But there is some very common human food that could be very dangerous for our four legged friends. Every dog owner should know what they are, recognise the symptoms and call promptly a vet when they occur.
Cooked bones, might splinter and cause an obstruction or injury to the dog’s digestive system, only raw, uncooked bones that should be as big as your dog’s head, you want the dog to chew on the bone and not to chew it up, so it will be better to remove the bone after a few hours.
Onions and garlic, they are part of the same family and, if eaten in large amounts,they can lead to anemia in dogs, interacting with their red blood cells. The size of the dose determines the level of poisoning so keep an eye for lethargy and reduced appetite.
Grapes and raisins are the most toxic and dangerous food for dogs as consumption can lead to kidney failure and even death, so make sure that you keep grapes and raising out of your dog reach at all time.
Avocado, depending on the variety they will they can have a higher or lower toxic effect due to a toxin called persin that can cause stomach upsets and is concentrated especially in the peel. Also the pit can be accidentally be swallowed by dogs causing obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract.
Caffeine, who doesn’t love a good flat white in the morning? Your dog most definitely doesn’t! All food and drink types containing caffeine should be off limits with dogs, as it will provoke vomit, diarrhea and difficulties in breathing, it might also affect the heart and the nervous system.
Alcohol, it has the same effects that has on humans, affecting dogs’ brain and liver, and it takes much lower quantities to do damages in dogs. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, coordination issues, difficulty breathing and worse.
Chocolate, the darker, the more dangerous it is, as it will contain more caffeine and theobromine. If eaten it can cause vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pains, severe agitation, muscle tremors, irregular heart rhythm, elevated body temperature, seizures and death.
Candies and gums, these small and sticky human treats could become a choking hazard for your dog but more dangerous is the xylitol that sugar-free gums and candies contains. Xylitol is a common sugar substitute and it can be lethal to dogs.
It is normal feeling like you want to treat your dog, and sometimes a little treat here and there from the family table won’t hurt, especially if your dog doesn’t have a particularly sensitive stomach. But as always, moderation is the key and most of your dog food should be dog food! If you think that your dog has ingested any of these food, make sure you keep an eye on him or her and contact your local vet as soon as possible.
It is so warm that here at Mad Paws HQ the only thing we can possibly think is to take a swim! Going to the beach, the lake, the swimming pool and of course bring our friends with us! As we all love photos of cute pets in funny dresses, we got here the best Instagram Dog Bikini Pics! Which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!
We consider pets as members of our families, so it is normal and quite common that we might want to include them in our holiday photos, which might make for the perfect holiday greeting card. Sometimes it can be challenging to get the perfect shot, so we have some tips here for you to make everything smoother and easier. Get your pets, get your camera (or phone) and smile!
1. Get your pet familiar with the camera. Whether you are using a professional camera or a phone, cats and dogs can get shy and scared of new devices that they don’t know. To avoid this, get them to associate the camera and the phone to positive experiences.
2. Ditch the flash. Natural lighting and outside shots will give you the best results and while avoiding the red eyes effect. Natural light will give that soft effect while at the same time being bright enough to illuminate faces.
3. Get their attention. You don’t want to get them too excited and agitated (and get a blurry photo) so make sure you are using the right way to get their attention. You might want to use their favourite toy or treat to have them facing to you.
4. Focus on the eyes (or nose), as it will give depth to the photos, but also create the soft fur effect. As long as the face is in focus, your eye will not notice the other blurriness. If you are using a professional camera it is going to be easy to focus on your pup’s eyes or nose. With phones you can touch the screen to set your point of focus.
5. Get props or festive backgrounds to create the perfect atmosphere. You can get creative with Christmas or Holidays props and decorate the area where you are going to take the photo. Wrapping paper is perfect to give that festive vibe and it can be used on the floor or on the walls as background.
6. Try to capture their personality with an action shot. This type of photos are the most challenging but also the most fun ones, both to take and show around to your friends and family. To avoid getting blurry pictures try taking multiple shots at once, using the burst mode of your camera or phone.
7. Get creative. Why not try to dress up your pet, or even yourself! Festive pets clothes, accessories or even fairy lights can give that holidays season mood that you are looking for. Or if you are going somewhere with your pets, get the perfect spot to take a festive pic with all your family, children and dogs at the beach are always a good subject for festive photos!
It is that time of the month in which we celebrate our Pet Sitters and their stories! This month we had a chat with Trini F., from Bowral, New South Wales. With a permanent pack made of one dog, a cat and six chickens, and a house with a big backyard, Trini loves to have new pets to take care of, giving them all the love, care, attention and treats they need. Here we had a chat with her and what she loves about being a Mad Paws Pet sitter!
Why did you decide to become a pet sitter and what do you love the most about Mad Paws?
I work from home, have a big garden and I love to go for at least one walk a day with our dog, so having another dog to take care of is easy. Also it is fun for Nitnoi (our dog) to have a friend.When I am hosting dogs, they generally sit literally at my feet while I am at the computer in the office. They have constant company, with me, my husband, Nitnoi and our grown-up children when they are at home visiting. I find it very fun to meet and get to know so many different breeds of dogs, but it is also interesting to meet new people, the owners, who generally live in the district.
What is your greatest tip to other pet sitters and what have you been learning from your pet sitting experience?
Sometimes owners might be a bit worried about leaving their dogs in a new environment. But of every dog that we have had to stay, and there have been many and varied, they all seemed to enjoy being here and this shows how flexible they are with a slight change to their routine by not being at their own home. Without exception, they have all be nice, friendly and easy - but perhaps it’s because I am a super relaxed type of person!
Any fun stories from your pet sitting experience?
Due to our location, and our big backyard, another fun factor is that there is a wide variety of animal that I have looked after. Apart from dogs who come to stay, cats that I feed at their house and birds that I have fed at their house, I have looked after a cow, a goat and a sheep all from the same family! Everything went very well, but at some point the goat managed to jump the fence out of the paddock and into the garden, and that proved to be interesting! Fortunately, I was able to convince it to follow me back into the paddock without letting the sheep and cow out!
We thank Trini for sharing her experience and tips with us and we will be back next month with another Pet Sitter story! Do you feel inspired by Trini's story? Join Mad Paws and become one of our trusted Pet Sitters!
We all love our furry friends, being them cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, but matter that, sometimes we might find living with them challenging. Let’s be honest, it is in their nature to be a bit smelly and be a bit messy, especially when they are bored. And even though no one wants a messy house, we really can’t live without them.
Some of the most common problems with pets are smell and hair. Dogs, but also cats, shed and leave their hair around that eventually ends up on flooring and carpets, couches, clothes, air filters and in the least expected places. Also, if your pets go from the inside to the outdoors, they are likely to bring dirt and germs inside. So how can we have both a clean and tidy house and a happy pet? We asked our friends at TidyMe for some life hacks that could definitely help you out. TidyMe is a tech platform connecting customers with fully verified, top rated local home cleaners. Having cleaned more than 25,000 homes since launching in 2014, the TidyMe crew have lots of experience on how to keep your home clean even with furry friends around.
1. Use a towel, or a blanket, for their favourite spots. You know your four legged friend, you know where they love to sit, lay and sleep and where are their favourite spots. That’s exactly where you will get the highest concentration of hair, so leaving a towel or a blanket will make it easier to clean it just by washing it.
2. Regular brushing. The best way of getting rid of excess hair is brushing your pet with the appropriate brush for the type of fur. This could be useful especially during season changes, as your friend will be getting rid of the old fur and getting the new one on. In order to avoid moving your pet’s hair straight to your house, you might want to do this outside.
3. Don’t leave your clothes hanging around, if you are tired of getting hair on your clothes, and keep your wardrobes closed so that your best friends won’t be able to sit on them. If it still happens, you can try some tape or a hair roller to get rid of the extra hair on clothes.
4. Don’t let mud and dirt in. You can achieve it by keeping a shallow container with some water by the door to wipe down muddy paws before getting into the house. If you have a dog you can train her to wait on a mat before getting in and get the paws cleaned up.
5. Make the eating zone spill safe. Feed your friends in the room with the easiest cleaning floor, like tiles, and avoid carpeted floors, also put something under the bowls (like newspapers) so that you can get rid of them after food time. Regarding bowls, metal ones are easier to clean both by hands and in the dishwasher.
Finally remember that mischiefs happens. Be it your dog getting over excited and breaking things, or your cat knocking off a pot, we love our pups also for the small disasters that they do. The important thing is to clean the mess as soon as possible and it might be useful to keep a clean-up kit handy, with pet safe cleaning products, old towels, paper towels and disposable disinfectant wipes. If you don’t have time, you need an extra hand, or your pup went really overboard with the disaster, our friends at TidyMe are here to help you. They provide reliable service straight to your house, giving you the time to be you and enjoy more time with your furry friends.
Use the code PAWS for your first time regular booking and get $30 off.
Many people believe that swimming is one of many dogs’ natural instincts, just like barking, howling, digging holes and loving humans. But, while for some dog breeds that might be true, others might not feel so comfortable in the water. Newfoundlands, Spaniels, Retrievers and Setters are all excellent swimmers and enjoy being in the water, mainly because of their strong limbs, but also because these breeds have been selected for centuries specifically for retrieve in waterflow or for water rescue. On the other hand, breeds that are bulkier, like Bulldogs or Boxers, or short faced, like Pugs, might find more difficult to use their legs to keep afloat or might get easily fatigued and might require extra attention to enjoy their water experience.
This is why we prepared some tips to introduce your dog to water and to swim with you in the hot days of summer, have fun and be prepared to get wet!
1. Find the perfect spot to start your lesson. The area should be safe like a shallow lake or a pond, make sure that there are no plants that might get into your dog's paws or waves that could disrupt and make your dog anxious.
2. Bring treats and friends along, both human and canine. The aim is to help your dog feeling more at ease and other water loving dogs will make yours more prone to get into the water, seeing that it is not dangerous. Also, you might want to bring along your dog’s favourite treats or toys or anything that might help him to feel at ease.
3. Show your dog how to enter and exit the water. Small slopes or steps might be very useful if you are in a swimming pool. If your dog has never been in the water, make sure she can touch the bottom for these first encounters.
4. Consider using a life jacket for dogs, especially if your dog is very cautious around water. Most pet supply stores have life jackets in many sizes and styles that are appropriate for every body type. Lifejackets with handles are very useful in guiding your dog in the water and help them moving around.
5. Start in the shallow water, then have your dog swimming a few strokes towards you, reward her and then swim back outside of the water, so that she will know she can. Motivate your dog with a ball of with a toy, to make her swim forward.
6. Take your dog’s time. Swimming might be an overwhelming activity for a dog that is not used to it, so take your time when teaching and in approaching the water. Also make sure you keep an eye out for signs of distress and anxiety as the experience should be a nice and fun one both for you and your dog.
Some weeks ago we talked about how you can help your dog to stay cool during summer time (you can find the article here). When you are feeling warm, your dog is most likely feeling the same, so as you reach for the fridge or the freezer for some cold drinks or food, having something you can give to your dog as well makes it for a extra special treat. Here we have for you our favourite recipes that are safe to try for your dog.
1. Frozen chicken or beef broth. Dogs love to chew on ice cubes, so why not give them some flavoured ones! You only need to freeze some low sodium broth in ice trays and you will have a easy, cool and flavorsome dog treat.
2. Peanut butter and strawberries freezies. Dogs love peanut butter, there is no doubt about it, and these freezies combine it with strawberries, another crowd favourite. Blend some strawberries with water, pour into an ice tray and spread it with peanut butter before giving it to your dog.
3. Frozen banana treats. This potassium rich treat will help your dog recover her energies after a long day of running and playing around. For a tray of 16 frozen delicious treats, just blend together 4 cups of plain yogurt, 2 tablespoon of peanut butter, 3 peeled ripe bananas and freeze.
4. Frozen pumpkin treats. Pumpkin is very good for your pooch digestive tract and it is easily available all year round. Blend some with a cup of yogurt, a teaspoon of honey and a banana, spoon it into ice trays and enjoy your dog loving it.
5. Watermelon summer pops. These delicious, summery and easy to make treats only need you to puree some watermelon with some honey and some coconut milk (or water) and freeze.
6. Frozen cheeseburger treats. Perfect for when you have leftovers from all the barbecues you will most definitely be having this summer. Put the cooked ground beef (or leftover burgers) in the ice trays, add some grated cheese and some low sodium broth and froze.
As all the recipes involve the use of an ice tray, you might want to consider using one specifically for dog treats, a different color or shape than the ones you usually use for you, no one likes to have broth in their drinks. Also, as always when giving food that is not specifically made for dogs, be careful that the ingredients you are using are not dangerous for your dog. For example, some peanut butter brands might use xylitol as a sweetener which is highly poisonous for dogs. Finally, treats are treats and should not make up for a balanced meal.