You might have your own list of resolutions, but what about your pets’ new year manifesto? Here are some simple suggestions to help your furry friends’ lives improve this year.
Friend for life
Dogs can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for certain periods of time. One equation states the amount of time your dog can be left alone equals one hour per kilo of dog.
Borrow My Doggy is a helpful site for people who love dog company and are willing to look after your pet in return for canine companionship.
While your dog gains a new friend, you might find one too. It’s a win-win-win situation.
Butter them up
If you’ve recently moved with your cat in tow, spare a thought for their adjustment period. A strange but handy trick is to cover their paws in butter.
The benefits are threefold: firstly they won't be able to get anywhere fast with slippery paws and will spend more time surveying the area closer to home, your cat will be able to smell the route home more easily and the oils from the butter make their coat shinier as they groom themselves along the way.
You might think your pets ears are self-cleaning, but wax can build up and cause problems if left untreated for too long.
Immediately improve their quality of life by gently cleaning their ears, avoiding the ear canal and concentrating only on the parts you can see.
When bathing your dog, don’t let their ears/eye area get too wet or stay wet for too long.
Afterward, keep the hairdryer (if used) away from the face as it can get too hot very quickly and they can’t always tell you. A warm towel is better and/or keeping the hairdryer on a low heat 30cm away from the hair.
I’ll scratch yours
Cats and dogs nails need to stay trimmed which can be painful if done incorrectly. Their quicks are found higher up the nail than our own and will draw blood if cut.
Even your vet can find this difficult to achieve, so prevent the procedure by offering your cat scratching posts and your dog lots of walks on pavements/roads to keep those claws nice and manicured.
This has the added benefit of less scratched furniture and a well-exercised pooch.
It’s not just humans who appreciate a bit of alternative medicine. Your pet can benefit from herbal treatments too.
Aloe Vera’s natural gel can be used to help treat burns and scrapes as well as ingested to aid stomach complaints and infections. Ginger can be used to settle your pet’s stomach and strengthen their immune system. They may also enjoy the warming properties in the colder months.
Goldenseal is a powerful antibiotic preventing bacteria from attaching onto cell walls, fantastic if used in a wash for treating eye infections for example, as well as in food/water for bowel complaints. And finally milk thistle, which improves liver function and protects from damage. Particularly useful if your pet has been given medicine that affects the liver.
For the cat owners looking for something more futuristic and aren’t afraid of parting with a few pounds, there are a few handy gizmos available that will help you find more peace of mind this year. How about a cat tracking app? Try Tractive or Pawtrack.
Once you’ve linked the micro-chipped collar to your app and popped it round their neck, you’ll never have to worry about Mr Furballs getting lost up a tree again. Well you might, but at least you’ll know which tree he's hidden in thanks to the online map that sends you updates of their whereabouts.
It also offers constant streaming if you’re particularly moggie-obsessed. See twitter account Mr Pepito for an example of how to have fun with this online.
Once they’re on their way back home with a rotting present for you in their mouths, avoid finding the dead bird/rat/mouse on your doormat with a facial recognition cat flap and feeder.
The technology profiles your cats face and won’t unlock the flap if it discovers something ‘fishy’. Also means you won't find any unwanted foxes, badgers or drunken teens halfway through your kitchen door.
You don’t have to just grin and bear your dog’s halitosis.
Enjoy your cuddles even more by investing in bones/treats that promote fresher breath, available from most pet shops and supermarkets.
You can also clean your dogs teeth as often as your own using dog toothpaste and a brush or your finger.
They’ll most likely enjoy it and you can appreciate their loving face licks all the more. You’re welcome.