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In This Issue:
If you’re planning to head away this Christmas period, don’t wait any longer to book your pet in for their VIP holiday with the friendly staff at The Pets Hotel
*Important information: Please note we require a 20% booking fee to secure all Christmas bookings, a minimum stay of day 10days is required. The Pets Hotel rates are based on a buddy system, please note that if your pet cannot share accommodation there will be a surcharge of 50%.
Please ensure that your pets are fully vaccinated prior to checking in.
Call us now – (03) 9646 3696
On Thursday the 30th October we had our annual Howl-o-ween party!
The Pets hotel was decorated head to toe.
We had little monsters and big monsters and everyone had a scary fun time! – Even The Pets Hotel team got involved in the fun!
What would any howl-o-ween be without treats? Once everyone had their fun and it was time to go home, we sent all the little fur-children off with a treat bag filled with beefy goodness!
To treat the parents we even discounted the Howl-O-ween Doggy Day Care Party to $30.00 for the day!
We would like to thank everyone who dressed up in their scariest outfit, as well as everyone who participated in the day; you made it such tremendous fun! – Can’t wait until next year!
Check-out our Facebook page to see how much fun was had!
The Pets Hotel continually strives to be innovative and improve our ability to provide you and your pets with excellent service.
To facilitate this, we are moving to a new Australian booking and pet care software system. When the change occurs, there will be a period of time when we may be a little slow. We ask for your patience and understanding until we “pawfect” the system.
This new system requires a 20% booking fee for all bookings which will then be subtracted from the final account. This payment will be refunded if you need to cancel your booking. However, we require 20 days notice over the Christmas period, 10 days notice over the Easter period and 48 hours notice for public holidays and all other times.
Did you know cats played a large role in ancient Egyptian society? They even became deities — Mafdet (goddess of justice) and Bast (goddess of war). And while these creatures aren't held in such high esteem today, there is still an aura of mystery and a particular presence a cat has. Even their behaviour is quite dissimilar to that other favourite domestic pet: the dog. With a little understanding of the feline "way," you’ll discover their behaviour isn't so strange after all.
For instance, you might not have known that feral (wild) cats have their own territories and are responsible for their own food, water and safety. This autonomy and feeling of self-preservation is also seen in domesticated cats to a certain degree. Some people may even call cats aloof or unfriendly because of this.
However, for all the times you find your cat alone doing "cat things" (perhaps plotting to kill that evil dust bunny lurking in the corner), there are plenty of occasions your cat is quite social.
Let's take a cat's sense of affection, for example. Cats know when their owner is coming home and are often found waiting patiently by the front door when the owner arrives. Most cats also love to jump on laps and be cuddled and stroked, while others are content to sit nearby their human companion. And some cats are even high-tech, loving to help with any computer work — though this usually consists on sitting on the keyboard or walking across it.
What of their territorial instinct? Yes, we all know how cats will spray an area in order to "mark" it. (This is obviously a no-no anywhere in your home, and we're not condoning this.) But did you know cats rub their heads against objects and humans alike? Similar to lifting a leg and spraying, rubbing their scent on things is another way of marking property.
Now, if you happen to have someone over who's not into cats — I know it's crazy, but there are those kinds of people around — then you might suggest allowing themselves to be rubbed by the cat. Brushing the cat away will only annoy it, and make your guest a kitty foe.
What of their laziness? Cats are often labelled "lazy" because they like to sleep for about sixteen hours a day. But they are almost never completely asleep during that time. Make a sudden noise or movement, and you’ll find your cat alert and with its eyes open, watching you. Big cats in the wild sleep the same way. The cat is a natural hunter that needs to conserve energy for quick, intense movements in order to catch prey.
How about ankle-level attacks? If you’ve ever found yourself walking around your home and...Wham! Don't worry, your cat is not angry or even maladjusted, it is merely playing with you. Cats are playful creatures that love to hone their hunting skills, and well you have just become a target. Lucky you. Thankfully, you can avoid any future assaults by distracting kitty with some string or another toy. Play with your cat for a little while. The cat will absolutely love you for it. More importantly, you'll have less "loving" scratch marks.
So, we've busted the myths. Strange cat behaviour isn’t that strange after all. It is merely natural instinct coming through. Now by all means, put that cat up on that pedestal. Just make sure it's got something to play with up there. Or watch out!
Our pets give us give us "pure, unconditional love," according to Moore. Source: Supplied
ALISON Moore has pretty much seen it all.
Working as a cremation consultant for Brisbane-based Pets Eternal, Ms Moore’s job is to lay dearly loved pets to rest — and comfort their often distraught owners.
“As a pet cremation consultant, you’ve got to be able to handle dead animals and grieving humans,’ Ms Moore tells news.com.au.
“We live very closely with our animals right by our side. As humans, we accept that they’re always going to be there. When we lose them, it often takes people by surprise and it is such an intense grief process that you go through with animals because they give us pure, unconditional love. These animals are still somebody’s baby, so we treat them like that.”
It’s often this grief that propels people to want to hold on to the memory of their beloved dog or cat in a more tangible way. From requests to save the animal’s fur to owners wanting to mix the ashes with ink so it be tattooed, here are some of the requests Ms Moore has received:
Alison Moore from Pets Eternal. Source: Supplied
Keep a lock of fur or a whisker
We get asked for these all the time! Five years ago, we didn’t get these requests very often but now we include it as a complementary service, as well as a memorial candle. This is something we offer to everyone because we get asked for it so often so now it forms part of our package, along with a golden paw print. I would say that 95 per cent of people accept that offer from us.
Some people want something quite specific such as fur from a certain part of the body. The most common places people ask for the fur to be taken from include behind the ears, tail and chest. If the pet’s fur is three or four different colours, we always get all of the colours. Some people ask for eyebrows because they are a different colour.
Sometimes the cat or dog has different coloured whisker so the owner will ask for the different coloured whisker. We’ve had people who want all of the fur shaved off so they can keep it for different reasons.
Shave the animal and make the fur into a jumper
We’ve been asked this a couple of times. Other people just want large amounts so they can put their hands into it and feel it.
Shave the animal and put the fur into a pillow or a cushion.
We’ve done this maybe five times for different pet owners over the years.
Keep a tooth
We’ve been asked this probably half a dozen times. Most people would ask for a canine tooth which are actually the hardest ones to remove. Sometimes, owners want to have this mounted onto jewellery.
Mix the ashes with ink and have it tattooed onto the skin, or have a paw print tattooed onto the skin
We do get asked that some of the ashes are ground quite fine so pet owners can do that. A small amount that can be mixed in with the ink. Most of the time, people just request a very clear paw print to get copied as a tattoo onto the skin. This request is very, very popular now. We would get asked this once or twice a week now.
Ensure the body faces a certain direction because of the sun
We receive different religious requests on a daily basis. From body placement to holding the body for a certain amount of time, to specific requests about how the ashes are presented. We will try to accommodate everyone’s request. Some Buddhists ask that the body must lay next to a Buddhist chant machine for 3 days. An Asian custom is to keep a bone to take back to the birthplace.
Exhume the pet’s body from the ground of the owner’s backyard because the family is moving house and can’t bear to leave the body behind
More often than not, we get asked this because the family is moving. Other times, it’s because they’ve buried the pet and then changed their mind so we exhume the body and then cremate them. It can be a sad thought for some people that they’re moving house and the new homeowners will come in and build a deck over where their dog is buried. We get asked that probably a couple of times a month now.
Put the ashes into an alcohol bottle
If the dog’s name is Tia Maria, we’ve been asked to put the ashes into a Tia Maria bottle. We’ve had a couple of animals named Jack Daniels or JD. Sambuca is another popular pet name we come across — there have been a few different ones. We have been asked this approximately five or six times. The owners have named the animal for a reason — it’s a very personal thing.
Paw print or nose print
Paw prints are definitely the most common request as we get that all the time. Nose prints are not as common — we’ve only been asked that maybe a dozen times.
Ashes made into jewellery
Putting ashes into jewellery has become EXTREMELY popular. It used to be something we would do approximately once every six months but now we get asked it 10-15 times each week.
The ashes can be made into almost anything from a necklace or earrings to a ring. The ashes can also be made into gemstones where you can choose the colour of the stone from clear, red or green. Stainless steel jewellery is very affordable however gemstones are much more expensive.
Turn on the news and chances are that you’ll see at least one report on the obesity epidemic affecting many developed countries. Unfortunately, this goes for our pets as well. There’s no doubt that better nutrition standards for humans and animals has led to improved overall health. However, too much of a good thing has undeniably turned into a widespread problem. Here’s why your kindness could be hurting the one you love.
More than a third of Australian pets overweight or obese, yet many owners aren’t aware that their pet may have a weight problem, says Dr Chris Gleeson. ‘I’ve been practising for over ten years and the level of owner awareness about the appropriate body condition for their pet is still probably not where we would like it to be. Most of them are surprised when they find out that their pet is actually considered overweight or obese.’
Some people may have preconceived notions of what a breed normally looks like, whether that be from pictures, shows or the local park. However, these don’t necessarily translate to the optimal body condition for an individual animal, says Dr Chris. ‘Just as different people have different body shapes, the same applies for animals. That’s why it’s difficult to say an animal should weigh a certain amount – it’s more to do with how their physique and muscle to fat ratios compare.’
‘The optimal body condition in dogs and cats is being able to see a waist, to easily feel their ribs (without them sticking out prominently) and see that the abdomen is neatly tucked up underneath the body, rather than sagging down. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of assessing your pet’s body condition regularly.’
Obesity in animals is linked to a myriad of health issues, just like it is in humans – cardiovascular disease, diabetes, shortened lifespan and arthritis to name a few. Dr Chris says that respiratory problems in brachycephalic breeds of dogs, such as Pugs, Boxers, Shih Tzus and British Bulldogs, are further exacerbated by carrying excess weight. ‘The anatomical features that make these breeds so loveable – in other words their pushed-in faces – also predispose them to breathing difficulties. Add lots of ‘love handles’ to the mix and we have a recipe for disaster.’
Feeding a good quality, balanced diet is critical to maintaining your pet’s health, he continues. ‘Many people worry that their dog or cat might get bored by eating the same type of food all the time but that’s not the case. Choose a premium brand such as Hills Science Diet, Advance or Royal Canin that is suited to your pet’s life-stage and stick to it. These are complete meals, which do not require supplementation so resist the temptation to give your pet anything else.’
Dr Chris says that it’s not only important to feed the right type of food but also the right amount. ‘The main determinant of weight for domestic pets is calorie intake. Use the feeding guide on the pack to begin with but then adjust the amount according to your pet’s body condition. Remember too, that an animal’s nutritional requirements can fluctuate so you may need to increase or reduce the portion as required. If you understand the basic principles to pet nutrition then you will set up your pet for a healthy and long life.’
Source bayside mobile vet summer newsletter: (http://baysidemobilevet.com.au/2014/02/21/nourishtheone/)
One of my mother's favourite television shows is The Dog Whisperer, a National Geographic Channel program starring the dog behaviorist Cesar Millan and many ill-behaved pooches of all breeds. After watching the show with her for the second time, I rolled my eyes and said, "Mom, this isn't about messed up dogs, it’s about messed up people!"
Okay, two shows does not a fair assessment make, but from what I could see, there are more than a few people out there encouraging poor habits in their dogs. There was man who let his dog sleep on the sofa, but then was embarrassed when the Doberman refused to get down when guests visited. Or the dog that tore up newspaper and magazines in a frenzy, clearly finding its owner’s high-pitched, nervous reprimands as an overture for play. Most disturbing, was the woman who laughed nervously when her dog growled and nipped at her son! In too many cases, the dog was the one in control - not the person, much like a petulant toddler who wails and connives until getting his way.
While there are a few important, but simple, things to keep in mind when trying to train or retrain your dog, probably the most important thing to keep in mind is that you may have to retrain yourself first.
Assume the Leader-of-the-Pack Role
Dog trainers agree that the first thing to understand in establishing good habits in your dog is that dogs operate in a pack mentality. Descendants of wolves, they operate in a group and have one of two roles: leader or follower. In a human household, the human is the leader, the dog is the follower. No other arrangement will work in the long run. It's your responsibility to be in control and provide clear guidance to your dog in a calm, non-threatening manner. We've all heard a person yell, "No! No! No!" at a barking dog, and we've all heard the dog continue to bark. And yet, the person doesn't stop to think, "Hmmm, this isn't working" People, it turns out, aren't very good at retraining themselves.
Prepare Yourself to Spend Time Training
Having a dog means providing a certain level of time and energy to it, especially to provide much needed exercise. In its earliest weeks - even years - in your house, it takes especially focused time to teach the dog good behaviour. As I consider whether my family will get another pooch when my dog Hannah passes away, I keep this in mind: Do I have the energy and attention it would require to train a new member of our pack? Last year, when I got my first cat, I was amazed by the way it came home, looked around, discovered its food and litter box and that was pretty much that. What about the nights of whining in the kitchen? The weeks of toilet training? The nipping and pulling on the leash? I'd done all of that with Hannah and the end result was a dog that understood the rules and has been a gentle companion for my kids and me. She's a gem, but not by chance.
Nip Bad Behaviour in the Bud ... Now
Most dog trainers agree that a good human pack leader will actively discourage the following habits and replace them with those that follow:
It's harder to teach an old dog new tricks for certain, but it's hardly impossible. Miriam Smith, a high school freshman in Indiana, got an adult dog from the animal shelter following the death of her family's golden retriever. She quickly discovered that Harley wasn't quite as well trained as her old friend. "Harley would pounce all over my friends whenever they came over and scare them. No one wanted to come to my house anymore, so that was a problem."
Miriam and her mom worked with a trainer to put Harley in a down, or submissive, position in another part of the house when someone came to the door. It became a rote behaviour: a new person enters the house and Harley goes to his pillow in the corner. Through a series of reprimands and/or affection, based on Harley's behaviour, they were able to retrain him in a few months. "Now, Harley is everyone's best friend" says Miriam, pleased not only with her dog but also with her ability to teach him good behaviour.
My dog is quite elderly now, and her bad habits rarely extend far from her king-sized dog bed, but I remember the days when it was hard to be Alpha to her adorable insouciance. Just as I sometimes have to work to keep a straight face while disciplining my five-year-old son because he’s just so dang cute, I had to force myself to provide tough love to my dog. But it was worth it. If you're feeling soft, consider whether a dog's present behaviour is going to be so cute once he's older or, in some cases, much bigger. A puppy that jumps up on you is one thing; an eighty-pound lab that jumps on you is another.
"I have never met a dog I couldn't help; however, I have met humans who weren't willing to change."
- Cesar Millan