Pet Safety This Halloween

We love halloween but sometimes our pets aren’t as happy as we are to see fireworks and celebrations. Pets can become very distressed and agitated around this time of year. Here are some pet safety do’s and don’ts from DSPCA on how to keep your pet happy.

  • DO ensure that pets always have effective identification. Get your pets microchipped to make sure they are easily found if they escape.
  • DON’T keep pets outdoors during Halloween.
  • DO keep animals inside a bedroom or family room, away from all the commotion for everyone’s safety.
  • DO talk to your vet if your pet gets very scared from fireworks as there is a variety of treatments and medications that can help.
  • DON’T take pets trick-or-treating. Pets can become very distressed and confused by all the noise and activity with strange smells, costumes and loud bangs from fireworks.
  • DON’T let animals near bonfires, candles or other dangerous items.
  • DO make sure that rabbits and other caged animals are safely secured in a garage or outbuilding, away from the sight and sound of fireworks.
  • DO keep pets away from Halloween decorations and tell children not to share any sweets and chocolate with their pets.  Chocolate is very bad for pets.
  • DO take a pet suspected of ingesting a harmful item or substance immediately to a veterinarian.
  • DON’T ignore animals in need.

This Halloween make sure that all your loved ones are safe and sound including your pets. Enjoy this Halloween season.

Favour Pets foods is a family run pet food business who have been making dog and cat food for over 33 years, with extensive production and warehouse facilities based in Randalstown, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland. Favour Pet Foods offers a range of complete dog and cat food in a variety of bag sizes, as well as huge selection of treats, snacks, healthcare products, wild bird food and seasonal lines.

For further enquiries, please Contact Us

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How to train your Dog! Dog Training tips, techniques and advice Part 2

PART II

Following on from Part I we would like to think you’ve mastered how to walk your pooch on a leash, ensure they travel comfortably in the car and hope they haven’t made any toilet mistakes. Now it’s time for the next lesson on our Dog training masterclass:

Sit, Stay and Come are particularly useful skills for your dog to master and each follow the same general method – voice control, rewards and repetition.

  • “Sit!” –  Use healthy and familiar treats with your dog and start in a standing position with one treat between your thumb and fingers. In a strong (but not angry) tone of voice say “sit”. Keep the treat about an inch away from your dog’s nose and guide her into a sitting position i.e. lowering the treat to the floor so that you dog is required to meet the floor with her bottom or more effectively raising the treat above your pooch’s head – to enable the dog to look upwards she will have to sit down (clever trick!). This will take many many attempts but just be patient. When your pooch assumes the sitting position you may reward her with the treat so that she associates this voice command and position with a positive reward. You will not always want to rely on treats so be sure to combine the treat with a gentle pat and a “good girl”. Eventually she will follow the command and grow to expect just a loving pat from her master.
  • “Come!” and “Stay!” – Similar to the “sit” command you can follow the instructions above obviously replacing “sit” with “come” or “stay”. When asking your pooch to come to you crouch slighty so that you are at eye level with your pooch and gently tap your knees and call out their name. Make the treat visible so that your pooch knows that there is a reward at the end. To condition your pooch to stay in place use a strong hand signal to indicate that you mean for them to stand still. If your dog moves repeat this process until they remain still. Walk slowly toward your pooch continually signalling for them to stay and if they remain still until you reach their position then reward them with a treat. Do remember that if your pooch does not follow your command –she does not get the treat.

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  • “Paw!”: Once you have mastered the “sit” command you are ready to teach Fido how to give his paw. Again, start with treats. With your little friend in a seated position simply start by putting a treat in your hand and close shut. The smell will entice your pooch to come and investigate. The goal here is for him to place his paw on your hand. When this happens open your hand and allow him to be rewarded. It’s a good idea to say the word “paw” throughout to help your dog make the connection. If this method isn’t working try making the treat visible and motioning with your empty hand towards the dog’s paw – continually repeating the word “paw”. For the first few times you may need to gently take the paw in your hand yourself in order to explain to the dog what you are looking for.

Again, once you’ve mastered this command replace treats with assuring pats, cuddles and positive voice gestures.

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Hounds out of bounds: Here, prevention is better than cure. Here are some top tips to ensure a happy and safe environment for your pooch:

– Cables/ Wires/ Leads: Great teething toy but potentially lethal to pups. Try tucking away any cables or enclose them in a chew-proof PVC tube which can be bought in most reputable hardware stores.

– Cupboards/ Drawers/ Closets: If you store dangerous cleaning products, food and delicate items in cupboards and drawers you are best to invest in child proof latches so that your pooch doesn’t go wandering through lethal detergents, scoff your chocolate caramels or tear through that family heirloom.

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– Balconies/ Gardens: curious pups can cause serious damage to themselves if they are allowed to roam freely on a balcony or garden. Balcony ledges can be covered rather decoratively with bamboo fencing or even hanging baskets to prevent your pooch jumping. Gates and clever fencing can provide a safe arena for your four legged friend to frolic and develop. Please make sure there are no dangerous plants in your garden – check out the dog’s trust website for a comprehensive list :

https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/help-advice/factsheetsdownloads/factsheetpoisonoussubstances09.pdf.

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In the next few weeks we will be posting Part III of this blog which will deal with :

Excessive Barking – How to control your pooch’s barking

New Dog, Old Tricks – Basic tricks for your pup

Favour Pets foods is a family run pet food business who have been making dog and cat food for over 33 years, with extensive production and warehouse facilities based in Randalstown, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland. Favour Pet Foods offers a range of complete dog and cat food in a variety of bag sizes, as well as huge selection of treats, snacks, healthcare products, wild bird food and seasonal lines.

For further enquiries, please Contact Us

Flea Q & A – Frequently asked questions about dog fleas

Unfortunately all dogs will have either  worms, ticks or fleas at some stage in their life. Many owners think that if their pooch contracts fleas that it’s their fault and that maybe they weren’t providing a clean environment for their pet. Our Favour team would like to put all those dog-loving minds at rest. We’ve listed some of the most common queries about fleas and provided some tips for you to help prevent, treat and defend against those pesky mites!

How do I know if it’s fleas?

If you find your pooch constantly scratching or biting their rear end or tail take a closer look for dry skin. Little black specks found on the skin may indicate flea faeces. To be sure remove one of the dark specks and place on a tissue paper. When dripped with water faeces will turn pink indicating the blood that is present and that your pooch has fleas. If you are in any doubt please visit your veterinarian who will be able to diagnose your little friend then and there.

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How did my dog get fleas?

Firstly – don’t blame yourself! Canny fleas can come into contact with your pooch in many different ways. Other animals, wild or tame, can be carriers of fleas and ticks. Humans themselves can be carriers of fleas from another’s home or pet. Pet owners who love the countryside and long walks qualify as great carriers for fleas who will latch onto your trouser leg, sock or shoe. Even a visit to the vet can open up your four legged friend to a whole world of fleas. In short, it’s tremendously difficult to prevent fleas without using preventative treatments.

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Does it hurt my pooch?

Flea bites can be itchy and painful if not treated quickly. Some pets can develop an allergy to fleas which will result in patchy hair loss, red skin or scabs in the affected areas. The more aware you are to your pet’s changes in behaviour the quicker you can get to work towards the treatment of these fleas in order to ease your doggie’s distress.

How do I treat fleas?

Effective flea treatment will involve the treatment of your dog and your home. Vacuum your home thoroughly focussing on shady areas such as underneath the sofa and below the curtains. Hoovering you home can remove up to 50% of flea eggs so when you’ve finished hovering please dispose of the hoover bag safely and away from your home. Wash cushions and bedding materials on a high temperature wash with detergent in order to kill fleas. To kill any remaining adult fleas in your household you may want to purchase a product that contains an adulticide and an insect growth regulator, often found in powder or spray form for easy application.

Now that you’ve treated your home it’s time to treat your four legged friend.

Thankfully there are a number of good effective products available, for our full range of flea products please get in touch – please always follow the instructions on pack.

If you have any concerns please contact your local veterinarian.

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How do I prevent fleas?

It is a universal fact that prevention is better than cure. Use an effective flea treatment all year round in order to ensure the best protection. Most treatments can be applied at the back of the neck and between the shoulders, each treatment provides protection against fleas for up to 8 weeks and protects from ticks by up to 4 weeks.

Also try investing in a flea collar which will provide protection for up to five months without the need for topical lotions and potions.

Daily grooming is another great way of preventing the dreaded “F” word. Use a fine tooth comb and if you do come across any fleas remove them appropriately and drown them in some water mixed with soap.

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Favour Pets foods is a family run pet food business who have been making dog and cat food for over 33 years, with extensive production and warehouse facilities based in Randalstown, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland. Favour Pet Foods offers a range of complete dog and cat food in a variety of bag sizes, as well as huge selection of treats, snacks, healthcare products, wild bird food and seasonal lines.

For further enquiries, please Contact Us

How to train your Dog! Dog Training tips, techniques and advice

PART I

Our Favour team believe that only you are the best person qualified to train your pooch. Not only will it strengthen your relationship but it will help your hound adhere to the rules of your home and family. Here’s a few pointers to guide you when training your four legged friend :

  • First things first – always reward good behaviour! Clever owners will make sure to have some tasty treats on hand as well as a gentle and encouraging tone of voice in order to comfort and reward your pooch whilst dog training. Remember that sometimes a little cuddle and an ear rub can act as a great substitute for a foodie treat.
  • Walking on a leash, lead or with muzzle – Never let the dog walk you! Walk in front of your dog at all times. Keep a short leash so that your pooch does not feel the need to dart ahead. Although you may feel a tad weird, talk to your pooch slowly and reassuringly to let them know you are there and that you are in control. You must make sure that the leash or muzzle is not too tight and that you are not pulling hard on the leash in order to restrict your doggies breathing. Don’t adopt a rapid pace in the early stages – slow and steady until you are sure you are fully in control. If you find he is following you steadily and obediently, slip him a little treat by his side or a gentle “good boy” to let him know he is doing well.

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  • Toilet training – This section is aimed at those cute little bundle of joy puppies who create their own little “bundles” in the most inconvenient areas! Most puppies can be reasonably house trained by 4 or 6 months but it can still take them a little time to develop bowel and bladder control. Try to keep your puppy on a daily feeding schedule to help regulate his movements. Unlike cats and their litter trays you will need to keep a closer eye on puppies in order to let them outside. Signs that your puppy needs the loo will include pacing, whining, barking or scratching the external door. When he does his business make sure to reward him well so that he knows how obedient he is being. If your puppy makes a mistake do not reprimand him too strongly, use a loud noise to indicate your dissatisfaction so that he will associate this with the inappropriate behaviour. Time is the best remedy for this exercise, the more he is rewarded for his toilet obedience the better trained he will be. Always make sure to feed your dog a well balanced diet which will ensure regular and and healthy movements.

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  • Teaching your dog his/her name – So you’ve spent hours and hours coming up with the perfect name for your perfect little pooch but how do you train her to respond to her new title? Whether its Goofy, Spot, Scooby or Marley it’s the same old tricks that are needed in order to make your pet familiar with her name. When cuddling your pooch always mention their name in a soft and caring tone. When you feed them or greet them coming in from work use their name the same would you would a human being. If your pooch responds to their name, reward them with a little treat to let them associate the sound of the word with nice things. If your four legged darling has done something bold do not use their name as a reprimand (they will have negative association with the name if hearing it while being punished or used in a strong or sharp tone).
  • Feeding – We at Favour have built our reputation around providing a healthy and balanced diet for pets. When feeding our puppy range to pooches please make sure that you read the instructions and provide plenty of fresh drinking water. Puppies can be weaned onto Puppy food from three to four weeks of age. For the first few feeds, the product should be soaked thoroughly in lukewarm (not boiling) water. Puppies will need a total of 30-50g of food per kg of body weight per day and this should be divided into a number of daily feeds. Very young puppies need four to five feeds per day. From four months of age this can be reduced to two or three feeds per day up to 12 months of age. Keep food easily accessible and if you find that your puppy is off her food please notify your local veterinarian of any concerns.
  • Car training – overtaking sickness, securing seat belts and regular pit stops! It is natural for dogs to have concerns when they experience a car for the first time. Let’s face it, it’s not the most natural of places for these animals to be, often for lengthy journeys. Introduce your car to you dog slowly and when the engine is off and the car is immobile. Draw open all the doors and allow her to lie inside making sure there is a comfy pillow or blanket inside so she can associate these smells in future. It is best to sit in the car at the same time with your pooch in order to encourage comfort and confidence. If you feel that the dog is calm then you may start the engine but remain still and maybe a little later take a short drive up the avenue. The key here is slow and short journeys until your dog builds up confidence in the car. Please also use a doggie seatbelt to ensure the safety of your pooch and other passengers. For longer journeys take hourly breaks for exercise and fresh water as your pooch will feel the heat more than you.

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In the next few weeks we will be posting Part II of this blog which will deal with :

Sit! Stay! Come! Paw! – Teaching your dog the basics

Hounds out of bounds –  Outlining the boundaries of your house

Excessive Barking – How to control your pooch’s barking

New Dog, Old Tricks – Basic tricks for your pup

Favour Pets foods is a family run pet food business who have been making dog and cat food for over 33 years, with extensive production and warehouse facilities based in Randalstown, Co.Antrim, Northern Ireland. Favour Pet Foods offers a range of complete dog and cat food in a variety of bag sizes, as well as huge selection of treats, snacks, healthcare products, wild bird food and seasonal lines.

For further enquiries, please Contact Us