Where’s Mum!

She has never felt a loving hand,

Nor grass beneath her feet

She lives alone and has never known,

A life that was complete.

 

She cowers at the man who passes by,

She’s hungry tired & cold,

Her life is brief and spent in grief,

For the puppies she has never known.

 

She has never lazed by a comfy fire,

Nor felt a summer breeze,

Or seen the sun as her days began,

Nor rummaged through the autumn leaves.

 

She has never had a special friend,

Or seen an owners loving smile,

It is today her pups are taken away,

She only nursed them for a while.

 

For her life is spent producing litters,

And is therefore very brief

He doesn’t care, to see her lying there,

He doesn’t feel her grief.

 

She has no choice but to endure a life,

Of solitude, filth & pain,

Even her babies die, as he passes by,

She doesn’t even have a name.

 

This is the plight of a puppy farmed dog,

Hidden from society,

Where cruelty reigns until the end of their days,

But it doesn’t have to be.

 

Next time that you are looking for puppy,

Please remember this poem,

Please try and adopt, but if you really want to shop,

Remember to ask ‘Where is mum’

 

By Nina Cole – Inspired by our ‘Adopt Don’t Shop’, campaign

www.ninasnanniesforpets.co.uk

The Forgotten Rabit

During my eighteen years as a pet sitter, one animal in particular, seems to be the most forgotten – the humble rabbit.

You would think the film ‘Watership Down’, given its popularity, would have helped to educate people with regards to their living conditions and requirements, but sadly we continue to care for solitary rabbits, some living in cramped conditions and often overlooked in their garden hutches.

Rabbits are community animals that desperately need to live in groups.  In the wild a community can consist of up to a hundred individuals, living peacefully in their network of tunnels, so please do not deprive them from having company.

Hutches should incorporate outside space and be raised off the ground to allow air to circulate and prevent water logging.  It should also be secure and in the summer months, moved to shady position in your garden.

You should also be mindful that the winter can be perilously cold and your rabbits should be moved to a warmer area, where they will not be exposed to the elements.

A hutch can never be too big.  I have seen some ingenious living quarters, often designed and built by the owner.  Care should be taken however, to ensure that there are no sharp edges or escape routes and before attempting a ‘do it yourself hutch’, seek professional advice to ensure that the home is suitable, before the building commences.

It is essential that your hutch has both a living and sleeping area and large enough that your rabbits can hop around.  The outside space should be secure and safe from predators.

Frequent cleaning is an essential and a daily regime is extremely important. 

Any soiled hay/paper should be removed, and the toilet area cleaned. Beware of harmful cleaning products, so ensure that any products are rabbit friendly.

Dirty hutches can result in illness, such as sore feet and dirty bottoms, which can result in fly strike.  This is caused when the eggs of the fly are laid and then hatch into maggots, which unless caught quickly can be a killer.

For full details regarding animal care you can visit their website:-

http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/rabbits

Owning and caring for rabbits, requires exactly the same commitment as owning a kitten or puppy and they will delight their owners if you are well prepared.  So please do not allow yours, to be the forgotten rabbits!

Pet Theft

At Nina’s Nannies for Pets, pet and home security is paramount, therefore the increase in pet thefts are extremely worrying!

Contrary to popular belief, it is not just dogs that are at risk of being taken! Horses and cats are also vulnerable and while home thefts are widely reported, dogs are now also being taken from outside shops and even whilst being walked!

There have also been reports of gangs that prowl Britain’s streets, stealing dogs to order.  They are identifying their victims by daubing the letter ‘K’ on driveways. Police report that  so called ‘lookouts’ are leaving the ‘K’ code in crayon or spray paint after finding valuable dogs worth stealing and selling on from unwitting owners’ gardens, so is it vital that dog owners are continually vigilant.

It is not just the owners who are being targeted.  Having worked closely with local animal shelters it seems even they are not immune from the thieves, so what can we do to safe guard our pets!

Here are a few basic tips –

  • Microchip your pet, and keep their details up to date.
  • Keep your garden secure and padlock your gate.  Thieves are less likely to target a secured garden.
  • Keep your pets inside when you are not at home.
  • Supervise your dog even in the garden.
  • Do not exercise your dog in remote locations.
  • Spay and neuter your pet, for they are less likely to stray from home.
  • NEVER leave your dog unattended in a car, or outside of a shop.
  • Be vigilant. Thieves will take every opportunity to snatch dogs that are being exercised off leash.
  • Take a photograph of your pet and make a note of any distinguishing features.  It may be required should they go missing.
  • Keep photographs of yourself with your pet, since it will help to identify you as the owner.
  • Vary the times and route in which walk with your dog.  High value dogs such as gun dogs can be targeted and snatched by criminals!

Are you aware, that a dog collar and tag is a legal requirement in identifying your dog, if she/he goes missing?  Please refrain however, from including your dogs name, since this is an added bonus for anyone wishing to lure your dog away.

Lastly and importantly, please ensure that any company, or persons unknown to you, have been thoroughly vetted before leaving your pets in their care.  Are they registered and if so, with whom!  Do you carry public liability insurance and can they provide a police background check to verify that their details are correct.

If the worst does happen and you believe that your dog has been stolen, report it to the police and insist that it is recorded as stolen and not lost. There is no central database for lost or stolen pets, so report them to as many agencies as possible and alert your local dog warden.

Social networking sites can prove invaluable in reunited pets with their owners, so use them.  Put up posters and mail shot your neighbourhood and notify, veterinary establishments and local shelters.

Most importantly, keep your pets safe.

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/

Your local pet business needs your support!

Please do not turn your back on local trade!

In this tough economical climate Midhurst Pets, along with all other stores, desperately require support from their local community. If you haven’t been to them yet and you live within their area why not pop round and give them a try.

Midhurst  Pets have two deliveries a week and can order almost anything that your pet requires.  If you have a food brand that is difficult to order, why not give them a try.  They will also discuss the frequency of your pet requirements and place an automatic order, sparing you a weekly collection visit.  If you live locally they can deliver it to your door FREE OF CHARGE.

You can even do your pet supplies shopping on line.

Petshop2u, is Midhurst Pets internet shopping site, which you can browse at leisure in the comfort of your home. If you would like to place an order, call Adrian or Melissa and they will offer you a discount code so any delivery charges are omitted. Your goods will be ready and waiting, at the shop for your  collection within days!

So…if you are currently traveling out of town for your pet supplies, give them a try. You wont be disappointed!

A Mans Best Friend

I cannot remember a time in my life without the company of animals. As a small child I remember Springer the marauding Collie cross, who would terrorise the bin men on their weekly visits and Shiner the worlds greatest escape artist, who would, at every opportunity, find his way to our local police station just because he enjoyed a trip home in a panda car and of course Charley the lovable Cavalier, who simply adored the ice cream man.

In those days I cannot recall opening a newspaper and seeing ‘Dog attacks two people’, or ‘Toddler savaged by dog attack ’. Today however, such headlines have become the focus of increasing media and public attention, making pariahs out of the owners of these high profile breeds.
Millions of us share our home with mans best friend and the vast majority of these relationships are happy and rewarding. Not only do dogs make wonderful companions, they also give us the opportunity of making friends.

Scientific evidence shows us that children brought up with pets are more considerate and responsible. They will often confide in their pet and those with learning difficulties have been shown to lead a happier and more contented life.

I strongly believe that the majority of dog attacks can be prevented. For example, you should

  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with your dog
  • Do not play aggressive games with your dog
  • Give him proper socialisation when a puppy
  • Never approach an unfamiliar dog
  • Spay and neuter your dog
  • Never tease a dog

There really must be an emphases on responsible dog ownership and better education. I do not believe that people would deliberately put their child in danger, but with attacks on the increase, I honestly believe that dog owners must take far more responsibility for their actions

Separation anxiety

This is without doubt the most common problem that I address in my working life and can occur more frequently in dogs that come from rescue centres and puppies being left alone for the first time.

This type of behaviour can produce various behavioural responses such as chewing, prolonged barking, hyperactivity and so on. Destructiveness can be intense and the worse case I have seen was with a young Boarder Collie called Tickka. She had such a wonderful disposition, but when left alone her destructiveness knew no bounds.

With the owners determination however, and a little guidance from me, she eventually became a settled and confident dog, but sadly there is not always a good outcome.
For puppies I always recommend a kennel or crate, which may sound like imprisonment but is actually a safe area or den, for your dog to spend quiet time, away from the noise of everyday life. Older dogs will also benefit from these and by placing bedding, and toys within this space, it will encourage them to return voluntarily to rest. A radio tuned to a talk station will add to his familiarity, and by leaving him for short periods, gradually increasing over time, will not be such a shock to his system.

As with all behavioural problems, the restructuring of the pack is essential and while it is tempting to assure Rover that you are going now but will be back very soon, you should in fact ignore him and just leave the room. Any prolonged goodbyes will only serve to heighten his anxiety, causing further panic when the door is closed. A good long walk prior to your leaving with also be beneficial, and an item of clothing with your scent can be a comforting reminder of his pack.

Please remember that with a little patience, and by following these simple instructions, you should be well on your way to having a well balanced dog.