Interactive toys

At Nina’s Nannies for Pets we are always on the look out for interactive toys to recommend to our clients.  Like humans, pets need regular interaction and stimulation in order to be happy. They might not get bored in the same way that we can, but without toys or humans to play with, they can soon get grouchy and destructive.

Kong Toys are a must for any healthy and hungry dog, and when it comes to boredom busters, these bad boys are up there with the best of them. We have a large one for our German Shepherd Luika, which he adores when stuffed with his favourite food.  Do remember however, when using treats/food in Kongs, to adjust their diet accordingly, so as not to over feed!

These boredom toys are great for maintaining healthy teeth and gums and will have your dog catching, jumping, chewing and tugging their little hearts out. There’s everything from squeaky tennis balls, tugging ropes, dog bones, and sticks to keep your dog busy for hours on end. Many products from the Kong range also allow you to place treats inside, keeping your eager pet busy for hours until they satisfy their canine cravings.

We are also a huge fan of Nina Ottosson Dog Games.  These toys prove that board  games are not just for people!  The Dog Magic game allows you to keep your dog at their sharpest while they use their sense of smell to track down treats hidden under a choice of hiding places. While the Plastic Training Brick is ideal for helping to develop your dog’s intelligence and reasoning skills, it will also keep them amused for hours on end. You might want to go easy on the treats though or else you might need to up their exercise regime even more.

Both the Kongs and Nina Ottosson Dog Games can be purchased from : http://www.swellpets.co.uk/dog.html They are a great company to deal with and are very reasonably priced.  For this reason we are happy to recommend them to our clients.

 

A Jackdaws tail!

In September of last year I was busy working in the office, when I was alerted to the distressed call of a Jackdaw.  We have rescued all manner of animals over the years, including wildlife, so I am particularly attuned to distress calls!

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Upon closer inspection I could a little black figure huddled under our ivy in the garden, trying desperately to defend himself from a mob of Blackbirds and Starlings.  His injuries were horrific.  His head was sore and bleeding from an open wound which looked as though it had been there for some time. His eyes were shut tightly and he was barely moving.  So appalling were his injuries that I wondered if this poor little fellow was beyond help, however it was obvious that he would die without immediate treatment and he was extremely vulnerable to further attacks, so I knew that his only chance would be to seek immediate help.

We are extremely lucky to have the Bedfordshire Wildlife centre on our doorstep, so I gathered the bird in a towel and popped him into our cat basket, hoping to cause the least stress as possible.   I had previously driven wildlife casualties to Tiggywinkles in Buckinghamshire, but had since been alerted to Sam in Houghton Regis, who has been involved in animal welfare for many years and runs the charity from a small set of treatment rooms at her home in Houghton Regis.  When we first met, it was obvious that if anyone could pull this little fellow through Sam could!

She shared my concern but her optimism was contagious and having made a donation for his care, I returned home feeling cautiously optimistic.

We kept in touch via twitter and as the days turned into weeks his progress albeit slow, seemed ongoing and some five months later and armed with a boot full of old newspapers, I returned to find a completely different bird.  Sam informed me that he was blind in one eye, but he was completely unrecognisable from the forlorn little creature I found huddled at the foot of our ivy.

Sam felt sure that he had previously been a pet that someone had become fed up with and decided to release!  The reason being that he had first been so tame and relaxed with her presence.  She also went on to explain that this was becoming less and less the more time he spends with other Jackdaws. He also had a pre-existing long term injury to a wing which was not as a result of this attack by the other birds!

He now shared an aviary with another two Jackdaws and a Magpie, whom Sam is hoping to release in the coming weeks.  Our bird however, could never be released since his is partially sighted and the injury to one of his wings, meant he could no longer survive in the wild.  After watching him interact with the other birds, Sam showed me around the centre.IMG_1034

There were two young squirrels that were awaiting release, several recovering pigeons and a baby dove that was handed in while I was there.  This was placed carefully into an incubator with a fully grown dove, who immediately cuddled up to the youngster as if knowing  it was desperately in need of their care.

Sam truly is an inspirational lady and her devotion is plain to see.  I left the centre with a couple of hens clucking around my ankles, safe in the knowledge that injured or orphaned wildlife would always have a place in Sam’s centre and heart.

 

So you want to engage a pet sitter!

So you are going away and Great Aunt Maude, who promised to come in and care for Kitty each day, has suddenly discovered that she is due to have her hip operation on the first day of your holiday!

The neighbour has already expressed their dislike of cats and is forever chasing him out of their garden, so what do you do?

You have exhausted your contact book and someone suggests that you try a pet sitter.

Your first thought is shock horror. A stranger in your home is not what you had anticipated when you had booked your dream holiday to Barbados, but since you do not wish to expose little Kitty to the confines of a cattery, the option of a pet sitter suddenly seems very attractive.

Following your research you discover that not only do they provide extra home security, but they also take in the post, water the plants and even put bins out for collection. Perhaps the idea of a pet sitting service is quite attractive after all!

So now to the nitty gritty.

1. Is your pet sitter insured

2. Are they registered
3. Do they have a CRB check
4. Can they provide testimonials
5. Can you speak with their clients

If the answer is ‘Yes’ to all of the above, the chances are that you are employing a good, professional pet sitter to care for your pet(s) and provide home security while you are away.

With bags packed and passport in hand, you are now able to enjoy that well earned holiday, content in the knowledge that you will have happy pets, a well watered garden and secured home while you are away.

We are now able to cover the following areas for our live in service:-

http://cambridge.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

http://surrey.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

http://westsussex.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

http://hampshire.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk/

Bravo Working Dog Rescue

The Daily Mail has recently highlighted the growing numbers of retiring Police and Military dogs put to sleep at the end of their working lives.

Bravo Working Dog Rescue, run the only specialist working dog rehabilitation and retraining rescue in the UK.  They have had many successful cases over many years but the increasing numbers of failed and retiring working dogs that are not staying with handlers needed its own rescue. Bravo was created to offer this on a bigger scale.

They are currently fundraising to find enough money to set up one main base with kennels.  Their motto is “sometimes, even a hero needs help”. These dogs find our lost children, catch our burglars and keep our workplaces safe and protect us from drugs and explosives. They really deserve help.

Bravo Working Dog Rescue is the only rescue offering rehabilitation and retraining to failed and retiring working dogs. Whilst some dogs do get to retire with their handlers, everyone will have seen recent news reports about the amount of dogs put to sleep at the end of their career or sold on badly.  We  fight many in the industry to take dogs, often helped secretly by handlers who want to save their dog.

Sadly Bravo Rescue are now turning dogs away as their original kennels are being turned into something else.  Therefore they desperately need to raise £5,000 to enable them to move and set up a kennel base in the Midlands.

Anything you can do to help is much appreciated, for without this wonderful organisation, many of these dogs could be dead or worse.

Please help by sharing this link and donating if you can.
http://www.gofundme.com/BravoWorkingDogRescue

Pup Aid

When I received an invite from Marc Abraham to attend Pup Aid this year, I did so without hesitation. Many of our clients have unwittingly purchased dogs/kittens from puppy farms and I welcome any opportunity to raise awareness of these appalling concentration camps.
Being used to early starts, we set off for London at 6.15am, with our car piled high with the equipment,  required to set up our temporary camp on Primrose Hill. London has always filled me with horror, since my last encounter driving around the city . So lost was I, that I ended up with a police escort who had answered my frantic pleas of help. I was much younger then and have long since lost my ability to catch the eye of a passing policeman!   I was therefore reliant on my trusted Sat Nav, who thus far had always helped me to reach my destination.059
The next hour was spent making friends and setting up our marquee – not an easy task and I would like to thank the two lovely gentlemen from Primrose Hill Bookshop, without whom our marquee would never have made it out of the bag!
As passionate animal welfare advocates, we are always keen to raise a little money on the day and Pup Aid was no exception. Our wonderful twitter friends had donated all manner of doggie toys, treats, training aids and even a doggie bed, which was carefully positioned in front of our stall to attract public attention. We had hoped to raise at least £100 for the pup aid cause and we were not disappointed. People were extremely generous in their donations and over £130 was raised at the end of the day, so a huge thank you to everyone from Primrose Hill who supported such a good cause.
The event was well attended by the general public and even the VIP’s came out in force. It was lovely to meet some of my twitter friends including the lovely Leean Pindar from http://lovesniffys.com/ and my favourite VIP Peter Egan, whom with his wife Myra, work tirelessly in their support of animal welfare.
The day was a resounding success and I would like to thank Marc Abraham on behalf of animal owners everywhere, for his efforts in bringing the misery of puppy farms to an end.
Marc and everyone from Pup Aid still need your support with their petition to close down these barbaric puppy farms, so PLEASE sign and share http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49528

Pup Aid

When I received an invite from Marc Abraham to attend Pup Aid this year, I did so without hesitation. Many of our clients have unwittingly purchased dogs/kittens from puppy farms and I welcome any opportunity to raise awareness of this appalling concentration camps.

 

Being used to early starts, we set off for London at 6.15am, with our car piled high with equipment needed to set up our temporary camp on Primrose Hill. London has always filled me with horror, since my last encounter driving around the city . So lost was I, that I ended up with a police escort who had answered my frantic pleas of help. I was much younger then and have long lost my ability to catch the eye of a passing police

059

man, so I was reliant on my trusted Sat Nav, who thus far had always helped me to reach my destination.

The next hour was spent making friends and setting up our marquee – not an easy task and I would like to thank the two lovely gentlemen from Primrose Hill Bookshop without whom our marquee would never have made it out of the bag!

As passionate animal welfare advocates, we are always keen to raise a little money on the day and Pup Aid was no exception. Our wonderful twitter friends had donation all manner of doggie toys, treats, training aids and even a doggie bed, which was carefully positioned in front of our stall to attract public attention. We had hoped to raise at least £100 for the pup aid cause and we were not disappointed. People were extremely generous in their donations and over £130 was raised at the end of the day, so a huge thank you to everyone who supported such a good cause.058

The event was well attended by the general public and even the VIP’s came out in force. It was lovely to meet some of my twitter friends including the lovely Leean Pindar from http://lovesniffys.com/ and my favourite VIP Peter Egan, whom with his wife Myra, work tirelessly in their support of animal welfare.

The day was a resounding success and I would like to thank Marc Abraham on behalf of animal owners everywhere, for his efforts in bringing the misery of puppy farms to an end. Marc and everyone from Pup Aid still need your support with their petition to close down these barbaric puppy farms, so PLEASE sign and share http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49528

So you want to become a Pet Sitter!

Since Nina’s Nannies for Pets was formed in 1998, our business has seen rapid growth.  So much so, that we are now offering our live in pet care service throughout the majority of the South of the England.

We now have an established team of pet and dog sitters in the Cambridgeshire, London, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Hampshire, Bristol, West Sussex area and beyond.

We are always keen to welcome fresh faces to our team of self employed, live in pet sitters, especially from the above areas. We are particular interested in recruiting from the Surry area. This type of work is ideally suited to retired people/couples, who have experience of caring for animals, but no longer want the responsibility and expense of owning a pet.

I am often asked what makes a good pet sitter and my answer is often unexpected!  Of course people need to have the relevant experience and those people on our books come from all walks of life, including retired police officers and those from the caring and nursing profession. Each pet sitter shares one important thing in common and that is to keep a level head at all times and to deal with any emergency when they arise.

Pet sitting is most certainly not for the feint hearted and for those people who feel that this type of work is a good excuse to enjoy mini holidays throughout the year, should think again!

A typical service includes, the upkeep of pet’s customary diet and exercise routine, administration of any medications, monitoring health and arranging for medical treatment in case of an emergency.  Managing incontinent cats/dogs and of course clearing up after puppies.  You must also be ready to endure cold winter nights when the client’s heating fails, separating feuding dogs at meal times and all manner of unexpected events, that can occur during the course of your duties.

I should stress however, that there are also many pleasures to be had, such as visiting new areas of the country, making new friends on two legs and four!  Delighting when the shyest of cats take up residence on your knee, when the client has assured you that they will only appear for their meal times and enjoying the company of pets, without the responsibility and cost of owning your own.

 

We would love to hear from newly retired people, that are interested in becoming a live in pet sitter, so please do not hesitate to call Nina telephone 01525 220732 or email info@ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk

Animal Cruelty

I honestly believe that introducing ‘animal welfare’ into the school curricula will undoubtedly see a decrease in animal cruelty. I would therefore please ask all visitors and clients to sign and share our petition to ‘Introduce Animal Welfare into the School Curriculum’.

Animals have encouraged the moral and personal development of children, bringing social benefits to their communities. Scientific research has also proved the health benefits as well as promoting a general feeling of wellbeing.

Animals also bring out the nurturing instinct of a child and help them to understand the responsibility of owning a pet.

Therapeutic and educational benefits have been identified, especially benefitting those children with special needs. Their calming affect can also help to reduce stress, improve concentration and help to boost self esteem.

There may not be a ‘quick fix’ for animal abuse, but educating our children how to better care for our animals is a start. I would therefore ask EVERY person who reads this article, to PLEASE sign our petition. We can force change and we CAN make a difference. It is easy to tut tut at the horrific images of animal abuse, or feel sickened by the puppy who has just been put to sleep having been thrown from a motorway bridge!

I am therefore asking people to put their pen where their mouth is and to force our government to make animal welfare education part of the school curricula. Together, we can and will make a difference.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38361

Nannies Expand for Dorset Dogs

A pet sitting business, formed after its founders recovered from serious illness, has expanded their workforce to cope with growing demand from their Dorset clients.

Nina Cole set up their enterprise in 1998 after recovering from a brain haemorrhage, which she suffered 6 months after her husband, had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Nina has worked with animals throughout the majority of her life, both as a volunteer fund raiser for animal charities and studying for her diploma in dog psychology, which was postponed indefinitely when her business, Nina’s Nannies for Pets took off.

Today business is flourishing, particularly in Dorset and the surrounding area, where she recently held interviews at The Sandbank Hotel in Poole.

The majority of Nina’s and Doug’s pet nannies are retired people or couples, who have undergone vigorous security checks before being accepted as part of their family team.

“We do occasionally take the odd prank call”.  Nina stated, recalling one potential client who requested care for his one eyed incontinent Anaconda!  “We always try to accommodate our client’s needs, even if it means sharing your bed with a St Bernard, or dealing with a burst pipe”, and we take these oddities in our stride”.

In 1997 the company were proud to reach the semi finals of the Barclays Small Business award, narrowing missing out on a place in the final and their certificate takes pride of place on the office wall.

Their website boasts glowing testimonials and their service is recommended by pet professionals and clients alike.  They are particularly keen to keep the ‘family’ feel to their business and this is reflected in their prices.  Nina states that it is important to offer an affordable service and clients such as the Cinnamon Trust are always given a discount.

Bravo Announcement

 Bravo to the UK’s First Working Dog Rescue Centre

Recent media stories have highlighted the sad end of many working dogs who have given their lives to protecting humans and our country, only to be let down for their loyalty.  The shocking release of MOD figures, showing that over 800 dogs have been put to sleep in the last decade, has again made animal lovers question whether it is ethical to have dogs working for humans.

 

There is no specialised working dog rescue in the UK, so retiring dogs from the Police and security industries, or those not quite making the grade during training, have nowhere to go and therefore are often put to sleep.  Whilst some are sold on independently, this bears no resemblance to the careful home checking, contracts and lifetime back up that a good rescue centre can give a dog.

 

In a career spanning 30 years, leading UK animal behaviourist Debbie Connolly, has retrained and rescued many working dogs on a small scale basis. Debbie currently uses boarding kennels or foster homes to assist her in getting these working dogs the help that they need.  This severely limits the numbers that she can help as kennels are expensive.  Debbie is now expanding her operation through Bravo Working Dog Rescue and is raising funds to move to new premises with its own kennels to secure a future for many more dogs.

 

Debbie said: “There are many dogs out there that don’t quite make the grade for working, who are rejected during training or retire with nowhere to go.  Whilst many dogs stay with their handler in retirement, some don’t and need retraining to make them safe to live as a pet. I am being asked to help more and more of these dogs so I need to set up a bigger centre”

 

“As well as the pets I have helped, I also work alongside many Police and security dog handlers and I am continuously in awe of the courage and ability that these dogs show us by protecting us on a daily basis.  The industries that use these animals should start to give something back to the dogs and they can do that by supporting their rehoming through Bravo Working Dog Rescue.

 

“Many dogs go on to retire with their handlers, but a few can’t and this can leave a dog that is not ready to be a pet dog with no options.”

 

The Bravo Working Dog Rescue Centre will help failed and unwanted dogs from the working world.  Those without a retirement home can get the help they deserve and be given a chance to go on to become happy, loved pets.  We are appealing to the world of working dogs to support and sponsor this initiative.

 

The horse racing industry and the Greyhound racing industry already put money into the rehabilitation of their animals, but nothing currently exists for working dogs.  Anyone interested in sponsoring Bravo Working Dog Rescue can contact them on 0208 144 5799, visit www.bwdr.co.uk or email info@bwdr.co.uk for more information.