Winter is sneaking up on us but how can you keep your pets safe this season? We've listed out top tips below!
Antifreeze is thick, very sweet and extremely toxic to animals. Its sweet scent appeals to pets and it only takes a very small amount to kill an animal; it is the most common toxicity vets see during colder months. To avoid exposure, make sure store antifreeze high up in a tightly sealed container. Also check your car to make sure it is not leaking antifreeze. It takes a very small amount to poison a small dog or cat; just walking through the antifreeze and then licking to clean paws can be enough. If you suspect your pet has been exposed to antifreeze, contact a veterinarian immediately; don't wait for symptoms.
Make sure your pet has a comfortable, warm space to sleep away from any draughts. If your pet sleeps outside or in a garage, check daily to make sure their bedding is dry - wet bedding can be potentially fatal for pets as they have no refuge from the cold. Also make sure your pet has plenty of food during the colder months as they'll be burning more calories than the rest of the year as they try to stay warm.
Car arches and bonnets provide a very welcome escape from the cold for many cats. Even if you haven't used the car for days, it may still be a sanctuary away from the winds for chilly felines. To be safe, bang on your bonnet or toot your horn before starting the engine to scare away any stowaways!
When walking your pets during the dark winter nights, make sure they can be seen! Reflective collars, tags, harnesses and flashing LED collar attachments will all make sure that your furry best friend can be seen by other people, cars and cyclists.
Know the signs
In the unlikely event your pet is exposed to prolonged cold temperatures and suffers from Hypothermia, you should make sure you know the symptoms:
If you are concerned that your pet has Hypothermia, move them to a warm space and contact your vet immediately. Do NOT place them in a hot bath or heat them too quickly. Instead, use hot water bottles around them to gradually raise their temperature until the vet arrives.
If you're going away this winter, book a Mad Paws sitter now to keep your pet warm and loved whilst you're not around!
Personality Traits & Trainability ★
Chihuahuas have an unfair reputation for being ‘yappy and snappy’ and this is in part due to their small stature which makes it tempting to treat them like toys; carrying them everywhere and making excuses for poor or even aggressive behaviour. If owners treat Chihuahuas like larger dogs and don’t let them get away with territorial or aggressive behaviours, just because they’re small, Chihuahuas make loyal, lively, affectionate companions with quirky personalities! Some Chihuahuas can be nervous of loud noises and unpredictable movements and so do not cope well in houses with young children. Chihuahuas are a fairly intelligent breed and can be trained through consistent positive reinforcement - treats and praise - to be obedient and well trained pooches!
As a very small breed, it does not take much to poison a Chihuahua so be very careful when leaving toxic items such as chocolate around. Genetically, Chihuahuas are prone to dysplasia, heart disease and eye problems.
Fun fact ❤
The Chihuahua has one of the largest colour combinations of any breed. Chihuahuas can come in virtually any colour combination imaginable!
We all love our pooches and would never knowingly do anything that they don't like. However, there are some common behaviours that we may be guilty of that are upsetting our furry best friends without us even knowing. Check them out!
We think we're gazing lovingly into their eyes, they think we are challenging them. Although you're probably perfectly safe to stare down your own dog without them reacting to your 'challenge', they certainly won't enjoy it as in their world, long eye contact has a whole different meaning.
We are not suggesting for a second that your pooch doesn't enjoy regular love and attention from you, their all time favourite person. Strangers, children or super tight huggers are a different matter entirely! If you think about it, hugging is a completely alien concept for dogs - it is not a way they naturally show affection. In fact, in the canine world, close body contact is more likely to be an attempt of domination or control. Some pooches love being hugged by anyone and everyone but most dogs would rather be greeted by strangers with a pat or stroke.
Children can be particularly guilty of this one! Offering a treat or toy and snatching it away at the last second or chasing an unwilling dog can seem like a very fun game for young children but is not fun at all for your pooch. Instead, teach children to respect and show kindness to your dog and channel their animal interaction energy for positive things - show them how to teach Fido a trick!
Yelling is interpreted as aggressive barking and will only serve to frighten and confuse your dog. Using shouting as a training technique should be always be avoided. Instead, use the pitch of your voice to get your message across - higher pitched phrases indicate "good job" or "let's play!" whereas lower pitches indicate "I'd like your attention" or "stop that".
Dogs are pack animals, they are naturally social and do not enjoy spending long periods alone. Dogs left alone regularly can develop separation anxiety, excessive barking and even depression! Your dog is one of the family and needs just as much attention as everyone else! Naturally, sometimes we have to leave the house for prolonged periods and cannot take Rover with us - not to worry, book a Mad Paws sitter for a House Visit or Dog Walk to break up your pooch's day!
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
We've all heard the old saying, right? But there's truth to it! Particularly for older dogs or those with impaired hearing who may not hear you approaching. Being woken suddenly from a deep slumber can be frightening and should be avoided. If you need to wake up your dog, try to wake them gently by stroking and talking softly to them. Children in particular should be taught not to disturb your slumbering furry family member.
Changes To Routine
Pooches are creatures of habit. Waking, feeding, walking and bed time all form part of their daily routine - even the times you leave and return from work. Changes to routine can leave you with a stressed, anxious dog. Try to keep their days as regular as possible without disruption. If you're out for a long day, avoid disrupting their routine by booking a Mad Paws sitter to pop in, feed and walk your pooch to keep things moving like clockwork!
As Mother's Day approaches for us humans, we take a look at four legged mums and reveal some interesting facts about them!
1. Humans carry their young for 9 months but dogs have a much shorter gestation period of an average of 65 days.
2. Dogs can only become pregnant when they are in "heat", which generally happens twice a year.
3. Newborn puppies cannot smell, see or hear! The first sense they use is touch, which is why it is so important for pups to stay near their mum.
4. The size of a litter depends on the breed, mum's age and other factors. The largest ever recorded litter was 24 Mastiff puppies in 2005.
5. During their first week, newborn pups spend about 90% of their time sleeping and 10% eating
6. 24 hours before labour, pregnant female dogs become restless and may start shredding paper or blankets. It is unclear whether this shredding is a nesting instinct or just a reaction to discomfort.
7. Just like humans, some dogs can experience Postnatal Depression. This can show itself in them sleeping excessively, showing no interest in their puppies and a loss of appetite.
8. Puppies start to move from milk to solid food at around 3 - 4 weeks. Not long after, they will eat a completely solid diet and won't need mum's milk any more!
If you have a mum or pup at home who needs some attention, book a Mad Paws sitter now for a weekend, dog walk or just to pop in whilst you're out!
Personality Traits & Trainability ★
Burmese are one of the friendliest, most affectionate breeds and are referred to as a “dog-cat” as they crave human attention and can learn tricks like their canine friends. Burmese are highly intelligent, always down to play and can learn typically ‘doggy’ tricks such as fetch and roll over. Because of their affectionate nature and need for attention (expect to be followed around the house by your Burmese!) it is not recommended to keep this breed on its own if you will be out of the house for long hours.
Fun fact ❤
Burmese were originally kept as temple and palace cats and were bred from Siamese and “copper cats” of Burma (now known as Myanmar).
May the 4th is here and that gives us a great excuse to post pictures of cute dogs and cats dressed as Star Wars characters. Chewbarka, Jabba the Mutt, Princess Leash-a and Obi-woof-kenobi, we've got
Do you have a pet at home who needs some company? Book a Mad Paws sitter now!
Having felt unfulfilled working in an office environment, Anne from Coburg, VIC took the plunge, set up a Mad Paws profile and began a career in pet sitting. It's safe to say she's never looked back and with more than 50 five star reviews under her belt, it's clear that she is a natural! We caught up with Anne to find out a little more about what it means to be a Mad Paws pet sitter.
What made you become a Mad Paws sitter?
I have always had a love of animals. Before finding Mad Paws, I had worked in office environments and felt like that wasn’t where my heart was. I found myself at a point in my life where I needed to think about what I would really like to do. I sat down and had a good hard think about what I really loved and realised that taking care of animals was where my passion was. Initially, I felt a little bit overwhelmed as I thought about getting a website up and running and getting myself known as a pet sitter, when I came across the Mad Paws website on social media. It really made life so much easier and I started getting bookings very quickly. I was so excited to start meeting new people and best of all…I was able to give lots of pats and cuddles to all the beautiful animals that I have met.
What is your favourite thing about being a Mad Paws sitter?
I have been very lucky to meet some wonderful people. Some of them, I could easily say they would be friends but the best part is looking after their furry children. I love giving them lots of pats, cuddles, love and attention. They all have such different personalities which makes it so much fun!.
What's a typical day for you as a Mad Paws sitter?
I don’t think there is a typical day as a Mad Paws sitter. That’s what I love about it. The only thing that is typical is it involves lots of photos, pats, cuddles and attention.
Why do you think owners should use Mad Paws?
Mad Paws offers a way for your precious ones to be taken care by people who love animals. There are a number of different options available too which I think is a great way to ensure that your fur children feel comfortable while you are away enjoying your holiday.
How do you keep owners coming back time and time again?
I guess it’s because owners can see that I genuinely love looking after their animals. The owners know that they will be absolutely spoilt when they come to visit or I visit them. I do my best to get to know each one individually and cater to their needs as best I can. I treat them like they are my own and I also like to make sure that I keep in touch with the owners as much as possible. I send them regular updates so that they know that their babies are safe, relaxed, happy and well taken care of.
Can you sum up your Mad Paws experience in a few words?
I’ve had a wonderful experience so far. I met some amazing people and their pets and I look forward to meeting many more. : )
Australian laws in all states state that we have a duty of care to ensure that pets are safe when travelling in vehicles. In some states, it is illegal to travel with a pet unsecured within your vehicle. Wherever you live and however far you are travelling, you should protect your pooch whilst travelling and make sure their journey is as comfortable as possible. Keep reading to find out our four top tips to keep tails wagging on the road.
Show some restraint!
Some people believe that because their pet is well behaved in the car, there's no need to restrain them. In actual fact, no dog is safe unrestrained in a moving vehicle, no matter how well trained and calm they may be. When a car is in a collision, an unsecured dog could be thrown from the vehicle at speed. It is also common for dogs who are lucky enough to have remained in the car following a collision to get spooked and run away from the scene. Fitting Fido with a harness or travelling with them in a crate will ensure they are as safe as possible in the case of a collision.
Turn the power (windows) down
Paws can make excellent button pushers and the last thing you want is to be driving down the highway when your overexcited pooch accidentally pushes activates the electric window and makes a break for it. If your car allows, deactivate the windows in the area of the car he is travelling in.
Take a break!
Think of travelling with a dog like travelling with a child - you will need to take regular stops to allow them to hop out, stretch their legs and do their business. Whilst you're at it, make sure you enjoy the break too - grab a drink or have a stretch. Just because you can do a 12 hour drive in one go, doesn't mean you should!
No matter the time of year, it's vital to provide water for your dog during a car journey. Taking a bottle and bowl to refresh each time you stop is fine, even making a bowl with your hands if all else fails! If your pooch is travelling in a crate and you don't want to make a mess, try freezing the water in the bowl before you set off.
Are you off on a journey and can't take your pooch? Book a Mad Paws sitter now to take care of Fido while you're away!
Anzac Day is the time to pay our respects to the brave men and women that have served in operational service. We have all heard the stories of our Aussie Veterans but the tales of service animals are forgotten. These brave animals played critical roles in armed conflicts from providing comfort to vital service activities. This post is in honour of our animal and human veterans that have sacrificed so much and made significant contribution.
Dogs were often used as messengers, companions, and military working animals. The top left image below shows a dog providing medical bandages to a soldier. Since they have a keen sense of smell and excellent hearing, dogs were often used to find wounded soldiers.
Bottom left image shows a messenger dog with fitted spool harness for laying out telephone wires.
Bottom right image shows a dog handler reading a message brought by a messenger dog, who had just swam across a French canal.
Finally top right is of Stubby, the most decorated war dog of WWI, who started out as a mascot but became a full-fledged combat dog. Due to his acute sense of smell, he warned his soldiers of incoming gas attacks by running through the camp and barking, sounding the alarm. He saved thousands of lives also by locating wounded soldiers on the battlefield and even captured a German spy. Stubby received countless awards for his outstanding service.
Pigeons were crucial for communication and surveillance during WWI because of their speed and ability to fly at high altitudes. They are also highly reliable messengers to find their way home due to their natural homing instincts. The pigeon below has a small camera attached to capture aerial images.
Horses and mules
Probably the most common animals associated with WWI, as most sketches and photographs depict. Horses and mules were used as beasts of burden to pull heavy artillery or other materials and also used as transportation and in cavalry units. They were often seen as the key to a soldier's survival and hundreds of thousands of horses were imported from allies around the world in a constant flow. An estimated 8 million horses were killed during the four years of warfare.
Cats and other animals were often used as mascots to provide companionship and raise morale. Below is a mascot cat peering out from the muzzle of a cannon aboard the Australian HMAS Encounter. Cats were often used as mascots on warships as they did not mind confined spaces and helped rid the ship of rodents.
Personality Traits & Trainability ★
Labradoodles first appeared in the 1980s and their popularity has skyrocketed since due to their potential for a lively, friendly nature and hypoallergenic, minimally-shedding coat. Although they can be very boisterous as puppies - and will benefit from early obedience training - adult Labradoodles make excellent companions. However, as with all cross breeds, it’s impossible to predict what you might get - you would hope that your pup inherits the best of the Labrador and Poodle it originates from but this cannot be controlled and is not always the case. The well balanced Labradoodle is smart and easily trainable thanks to the Poodle intelligence and the Labrador’s love of pleasing people, friendly and patient around children and happy to lay at your feet but will jump up to play at a moment’s notice!
Living Conditions ⌂
Labradoodles need exercise and so a home with an outdoor area would be ideal. Daily walks and swimming are needed to keep your Labradoodle stimulated, happy and healthy.
The Labradoodle was initially bred to be a hypoallergenic, minimally shedding dog but this can vary widely, even within the same litter of pups. Some Labradoodles have tightly curled coats like a Poodle whilst others look more like a shaggy retriever; some are virtually non-shedding whilst others can shed as much as their Labrador ancestors; some may need minimal grooming whilst others will need weekly brushing with regular clipping. As with their temperament, it is difficult to predict how their coats will develop into adulthood.
Ear infections can be a problem for Labradoodles, particularly if they are fond of swimming and ears should be cleaned and checked regularly. Although they are generally healthy dogs, Labradoodles could inherit typical diseases for either Labradors or Poodles such as Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Epilepsy, Allergies, Diabetes and Hypothyroidism, amongst others.
Fun fact ❤
A man named Wally Conron was the first person to deliberately breed Labradoodles. He was head breeder for the Australian Guide Dog Association in 1989 and was asked to recommend a breed that would make a good guide dog for a blind lady whose husband had severe allergies. He crossed the typical Labrador guide dog with the hypoallergenic Poodle and the Labradoodle was created!
Mad Paws Pty Ltd