What we perceive to be scrumptious and indulgent snacks are actually quite lethal for our furry friends! These particular Easter foods may have ingredients or content that can make your pooch very ill and create a nasty mess for you to clear up!
Heard of the myth that chocolate isn't good for dogs? Well guess what! It actually is true.
Chocolate is known for the high caffeine content and an ingredient called Theobromine (a part of the cacao plant) that can throw off a dogs' stomach easily. If eaten, chocolate can eventually, if not immediately depending on the quantity consumed, cause vomiting, dehydration, abdominal pains, and in worse cases, hospitalisation or death. It's safe to say that it's best not to leave Easter eggs or bunnies laying around!
It's debatable as to whether your dog can consume goods with high dairy content. It is all dependant on your dogs digestive system, where some dogs can easily digest dairy foods whilst others undergo symptoms.
Dairy foods include ice cream, milk and cheese that can possibly cause gas, diarrhoea or vomiting for some dogs. This is due to the primary ingredient of lactose that some dogs' systems can't digest, just like us humans.
Amongst your Easter goodies (biscuits and chocolates), you may have products that have traces of nuts, or in particular macadamia nuts.
Dogs have been reported with signs of vomiting, ataxia (lack of coordination), fever, muscle tremors and depression associated with a non-fatal syndrome. The ingredient or chemical that causes all these symptoms is still unknown but you should keep any products containing macadamia nuts out of your pooch's reach.
Grapes and Raisins
Easter festivities may include hot cross buns embedded with sultanas and raisins. Delicious and tantalizing for our taste buds but extremely harmful for our pets!
Like dairy products, this is also a food product that depends on the dogs digestive system. Sultanas and raisins have been associated with the kidney failure with dogs, with the core reasons still unknown. Dogs can also vomit excessively, pertain to have lethargy or diarrhea within 12 hours of ingestion. It is best to consult a vet before feeding any foods containing this ingredient.
Easter is filled with sugar-high foods including chocolates, cakes, muffins and many more. These high sugar content foods better not reach your paw friend! Any food with high sugar content can lead to prolonged dental issues, obesity and even diabetes. So it'd be best to avoid feeding Fido any of the left overs.
If you're planning on going away these Easter holidays, ensure that your pet has the same amount of fun that you do! Find the perfect sitter for your pooch now!
It's a well known fact that dogs' senses are more heightened than us humans. But did you know all of the amazing things they can sense?
Your dog can sense you're pregnant, even before you can. Their incredible sense of smell means they can smell the tiny hormonal changes your body experiences in the very early stages of pregnancy.
Even more impressive, dogs can sense when you are close to giving birth. If you're near the end of your pregnancy and find that your dog is refusing to leave your side, it could be because he has sensed another change in hormones and knows that you will give birth soon. Your pooch feels the need to protect you and will keep as close as possible
"Don't be afraid, it will smell your fear" may sound like an old wive's tale but it's actually true. Fear results in the release of adrenaline and pheromones which dogs can sense with their incredible sense of smell.
When you're sad
We've all experienced this one. Your dog just appears to know when you're feeling down and comes to gently place his head on your lap as if to comfort you. They can read your emotions even without you saying or doing anything and they really are trying to make you feel better!
Changes in the weather
Apart from their noses, dogs have very finely tuned hearing and can hear a storm long before it arrives in your area. If your dog seems agitated during bad weather, it could well be because a storm is on the way! They can also sense the static in the air, which can feed into making them nervous and unsettled.
When you're nearly home
Ever wondered why your dog is already at the window when you arrive outside your house? Before he could possibly have seen you? It's all down to his superior sniffer again - he can smell you approaching and can hear your footsteps or car long before you think he can.
For many years, dogs have been trained as medical assistance dogs to alert their humans when they need to take medication for low blood sugar or need to get to a safe place before a seizure starts. Trials are also being conducted into using dogs to detect certain types of cancer and diseases.
Undetected by humans, there are changes in hormones when someone is close to death. Dogs can smell these changes and know that death is approaching soon.
Personality Traits & Trainability ★
As one of the most intelligent of all dog breeds, Border Collies can be trained to a very high degree. Unfortunately, this also means they can learn bad habits very quickly too so the owner must watch out for this! Their high intelligence level means they need plenty of stimulation to keep them challenged and settled as without this, Border Collies can become hyperactive and destructive as they seek outlets for their creativity and energy. This breed is happiest when they have extensive daily exercise, strong leadership and, preferably, a job to do. With the right amount of exercise and stimulation, Border Collies make good family pets who get along well with children and other animals.
Border Collies are prone to epilepsy, hip dysplasia and deafness.
Fun fact ❤
Border Collies are often used as medical-alert dogs for seizures or other medical emergencies. They are trained to detect minute odour changes that occur in humans before a medical emergency, communicate this to the owner and allow them to get into a safe position or call for help before it’s too late.
It's official - summer is over and Autumn is here! With the change of season, there are things you should do to get your pet ready. Lucky for you, we've listed them below!
1. Top up treatments
Contrary to popular belief, autumn is actually the most likely time for your pet to pick up fleas and ticks. Piles of leaves and tall grasses are prime spots for the pests to live in and, coincidentally, are often your pets favourite places to hang out. Make sure your treatments are up to date to protect your furry friend.
2. Get out the blankets
During autumn, temperatures can fall dramatically in the evening and so your pets may need a little extra bedding than they have in recent months. It's time to get the fleeces and blankets down from the cupboard and let Fido or your feline wrap up at night!
3. Establish a routine
The holidays are well and truly over, kids have gone back to school and your pet is trying to get used to a whole new routine. Your pets will have very quickly got used to having extra humans around during the holiday so it's important to be mindful of separation anxiety, perhaps booking daycare to give your pet some attention during the day.
4. Pool safety
It's unlikely you will be using your pool as much during the autumn as temperatures lower so make sure the water has a cover that can hold your pet's weight, just in case they become curious!
5. Prepare for the holidays
It's never too early to sort out your pet care for the holidays. Book a pet sitter now to avoid disappointment and then you can put it to the back of your mind knowing your pet will be safe and loved whilst you're away.
Veterinarians don't tend to be petty or pedantic but certain behaviours can really get under their skin. Have a read below and see if you've ever been guilty of their top five pet peeves.
Using Google as a vet
Some pet owners trust Google to diagnose their pet by typing in their symptoms. Although occasionally it may be right, it's a very dangerous risk to take. Vets often see animals arriving too late to their surgeries because their owners opted to "wait and see" after Google said they would be OK. Don't take the risk! If your pet is unwell, consult your vet ASAP.
Not being prepared for pet ownership
Time and time again vets see owners who have not researched their pet's breed and learned about what they will need in terms of healthcare, grooming, exercise or what their temperament is like. Owners then arrive at the surgery surprised to hear that their pet is developing a very common disease for that breed or are shocked to hear that they should be grooming at least once a day to avoid matting.
Complaining about the price of vet care
People who spend ridiculous amounts on fancy beds, clothes and toys but then complain at the reasonable price of veterinary care - to look after their pet's health - are guaranteed to rub vets up the wrong way!
Letting children run wild
Veterinary surgeries are no place for children to play. For one thing, there are most likely some very sick animals in the surgery who will not appreciate children squealing and bounding around. Apart from that, children running around, climbing on chairs (and sometimes even the vet's table itself!) is unsafe and a distraction for the vet. Vets would much prefer if you brought an extra adult to watch the children while the consultation is underway.
Not giving warning that pets bite / scratch
If your pet gets anxious at the vet and is prone to biting or scratching the vet, there are actions your vet can take to ensure the safety of themselves and your pet. If you neglect to let them know that your pet may lash out, you are leaving both unprotected and things can get ugly!
Did you identify with any of them? If so, we have the perfect way to apologise. The producers of Bondi Vet have started the search for their next TV star. If you think you owe your vet an apology, nominating then to be the new Bondi Vet is a great place to start...
Most vets will do their best to take care of your pet but really good vets are like gold dust. You know when you've found one and, more importantly, so does your pet! But what is it that makes good vets so much better than most? We've boiled it down to five characteristics.
Most vets show compassion for their animal patient but the best vets also show compassion for owners too. Although your pet may be their last of the day and, to a trained vet, your pet's condition may not seem dramatic or frightening, the best vets understand that to you and your pet, this is a big deal. They are able to empathise with you and give your pet the tender care they deserve, even if it is 7pm on a Friday and they've been on their feet for 12 hours straight!
Unless you're popping in for yearly boosters or a flea treatment top-up, you're usually only ever at the vet when you are worried about your furry friend. The best vets are those who act with confidence from the moment you walk in and make you and your pet feel like everything is going to be OK because they, the expert, are taking over and know exactly what to do.
3. Good time management
This one is a fine balance and is very tricky to find - the perfect vet runs their clinic on time and yet doesn't make owners feel rushed to keep their appointment within their allotted 10 minutes. How those super-vets out there manage to do both, we're not entirely sure! But if you find a vet where your appointment starts on time AND you feel you had ample time with them to talk things over, you've hit the jackpot.
4. Ability to 'break it down'
Vets are very intelligent people who know numerous species' anatomy inside out, literally. As a consequence, some can forget that we don't all share their knowledge and that when they use long, complex medical words it can leave us non-vets feeling completely lost. The very best vets have thorough knowledge but are able to break it down into language that makes sense to the average human. They also give you plenty of time to ask questions and clarify any areas you're unsure of without making you feel stupid!
5. Being a true animal lover
This one you can tell from the second you walk through the door. Do they treat your pet like one more animal on a long list of patients for the day? Or do they take the time to get to know them a little? Stroke them, find their favourite scratch spot, talk to them and maybe even sneak them a treat? These are the vets who really understand our animals and, as a result, they are the ones our animals trust which, ultimately, is the most important thing.
Does your vet do all of these things? Firstly, well done to you for finding an amazing vet! Secondly, the producers of Bondi Vet want to know! The search has begun for a new Bondi Vet and Mad Paws are partners in that search. If you think your vet deserves recognition, nominate them now!
We are definitely a nation of pet lovers, and our recent database analysis proves that. With more than 25 million pets in Australia, we hold one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. So let's begin with our research findings!
Australia’s favourite pet
The name Bella and the adorable Labrador Retriever breed has just been named as Australia's favourite pet out of 40,000 animals in Australia. Thanks to her loyal companionship, good-natured personality and being a master at playing fetch with the kids - not to mention being totally cute! - Bella was Australia's top pet and pet name of 2016.
It's estimated that there are more than 25 million pets in Australia, with nearly 5 million of Australia's 7.6 million households home to pets. Dogs are still the most popular pet at 39%, followed by 29% for cats.
Rise in Micro Dogs to Match Micro Aussie Living
While the Labrador is Australia's favourite dog and pet, the Mad Paws 2016 database revealed there is a new trend in Aussies choosing smaller dogs over medium and large, as their cherished companions. Top breeds after the Labrador include the Maltese, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Poodle, Border Collie, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, Pug and Chihuahua! Watch our for information about these breeds in our Dog Breed Corner blog posts! It seems that with more Australians having to micro live due to the rising cost of living, we are also having to choose micro dogs to fit into our compact living.
Puppy Power! Rise in Dog Empowerment
In 2016, we saw a new trend of Australians giving puppies names of empowerment. Previously the trend was Australians humanising their dogs, naming them Charlie, Ruby and Oscar. However, the new Aussie generation of dogs are being named Zeus, Maverick, Nala and Max. With more of us leading busier lives, it seems we are turning to man's best friend for empowerment when we return home!
Edible Pets - Aussies Call Household Pets after Food - Tango, Mango and even Skittles!
There is a new trend in household pets including cats, birds and rabbits being named after... food! Names for rabbits included Coco, Gnocchi, Honey, Toffee and even Nibbles! Birds - Tango, Mango and even Skittles! There was also a Butter Chicken. Also for cats, Oreo, Yoghurt, Sausage and Rum! It seems that as some of us like to comfort eat, we also like to comfort pet name!
Rise in Rabbit, Bird and Horse Pet Sitters
When you think of Australians looking for pet sitters, dogs and cats might spring to mind - but not anymore. Over the last two years we are seeing an increase in people getting their sitters to pet sit rabbits, birds and even horses!! Who knows the next trend might be rabbit walking!
It's nice to get out of the office every now and then and last week a couple of the Mad Paws team had an opportunity to go and visit our friends at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home, the only not-for-profit pound in Sydney. Although the primary reason for the visit was to talk about some future exciting collaborations, we were also keen to have a sniff around and meet some of the furry residents! We weren't disappointed - as soon as we stepped through the doors we were met by a sleepy reception cat snoozing on the desk and two very excitable chihuahuas in the office bouncing to say hello. Our very own welcoming party and perfect start to our visit!
In the own words, Sydney Dogs and Cats Home's mission is simple: to prevent the unnecessary euthanasia of healthy, loving, domestic pets, young, old or with special needs, by re-homing them and giving them a second chance at life. Having had the guided tour, it's clear how much effort and love they plough into that mission. I don't think they would mind us saying that they do not currently have the most state-of-the-art facilities (more on that later...) but one thing was clear - they are ALL about the animals. For a place that claims to be a home for dogs and cats, they also have a menagerie of other feathered and furry guests ranging from rabbits to parrots, a homing pigeon and, recently, two goats! As Sydney’s only charity pound they never turn away an animal from the 10 Council areas they service and this just makes us love them more.
When a lost dog or cat comes through the doors of the Home, their first point of call is to find the owners, if they can’t be reunited, their team launches into action to give that animal a full health and behaviour assessment, provide them with any medical procedure it needs and then places them up for adoption. Each year the Home has around 3000 animals come through their doors and regularly finds itself filled to capacity. Amazingly, the Home manages to reunite an enormous 65% of dogs and around 5% of cats with their owners.
During our visit, we met the delightful Disney, a SharPei mix who came in to the Home in a mess - suffering from itchy, irritated skin, underweight and in pain from Entropian (a nasty condition where eyelashes grow inwards and irritate the eyes). After some serious attention from the Home's vet, Disney is now a new dog! Tail wagging and a smile on his face, we would never have guessed what he's been through in his short life. He's now looking great and waiting to be swept up by a new family!
We are super excited for all that's to come for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home as they raise $3million for a new facility as they can't stay at their current premises, which they have called home for over 70 years. Once built, they will be the proud owners of a Home with even more space for their furry guests, new-and-improved kennels, exercise yards and a cattery so purrfect the felines will be queuing to get in! Head to their website now to make a donation or to take a look at all the beautiful dogs, cats and other animals in need of a home. It took all of our willpower not to walk out with an animal under each arm...
Mad Paws Pty Ltd