What Is The Best Cat Litter?

Adam & Laura Cats, Pet Advice Leave a Comment

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When it comes to cat litter, there is no such thing as too fussy. We’ve tried every brand that you can think of out there from the cheap stuff, to the ridiculously expensive, plus everything else in between.


Many of our happy customers ask us which is the best cat litter, so to make life a bit easier, we decided to compile a list of our favourites!


Are you sitting comfortably?


5 – Catsan Non-Clumping


This stuff is cheap which is one of the reasons that so many people buy it. It’s like one of those bigger brand names that doesn’t cost the earth. We used this for a while but we found a few issues with it.


Firstly, the cats kick the litter everywhere when they are doing their business. No matter how clean and tidy your kitty is, they will still find a way of getting this litter out of the tray and on to your floor. Which obviously means more cleaning up for you!


Secondly, it doesn’t clump (as the name suggests) which makes it fairly difficult to work out which bits of the litter have been ‘dirtied’ and which bits haven’t. When it comes to scooping the poop, you end up wasting a lot because of this reason. Also, because it doesn’t clump, it is hard to scoop out as it just falls through the holes in the scoop!


4 – Wood Pellets


Your cats will either love or hate wood pellets for cat litter, and it doesn’t clump which again means you’ll have that wastage issue – you’ll throw more than you need to when you scoop the poop. Although we have to say that with wood pellets, it is easier to tell which bits have been soiled as it breaks up when it is wet which is handy.


The good thing about wood pellets is that it does hide the smell pretty well, and you can get hold of it anywhere for pretty cheap too.


3 – Worlds Best Cat Litter


This stuff is super expensive because its organic but it sure does what it says on the tin. As cat litters go, this one is nice to the environment, clumps together very well when it has been dirtied, so you don’t throw too much away, and it’s easy to see which bits need to be cleaned out. If only it wasn’t quite so expensive…


2 – Catsan Ultra Effective Clay Clumping Litter


It’s that Catsan brand name again, and yes, we actually did quite like this one. This one clumps together like a dream so you avoid the wastage issue, plus it’s not the most expensive we’ve come across either. The one thing we would like to say about the clay clumping stuff is that when it gets saturated right through to the bottom, it sticks like concrete and can be really difficult to get out of the tray. We had to admit, we have broken the odd litter scoop trying to get this stuff off the bottom of litter trays!


And finally, we come to our winner – the best cat litter to use. Can we get a drum roll please…


1 – Cats Best Okoplus


Its got a weird name but it’s a great cat litter! It’s pretty economical, both in the sense that it’s fairly cheap to buy, and you won’t waste a lot when it gets used because as well as clumping together nicely, you can clearly spot the dirty stuff from the clean stuff. It basically does what the clay clumping stuff does but better, and for a cheaper price, without getting stuck down as much to the bottom!


What do you think? Have you tried any great cat litters that you’d love to recommend? Why not head on over to our Facebook page and let us know what you think or leave a comment below!

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Why Is Home Dog Boarding The Perfect Alternative To Kennels?

Adam & Laura Dogs, Home Dog Boarding 1 Comment

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How would you feel if you had been home alone all day, all by yourself, with no one to talk to, no one to play with, and no one to keep you company when there is lots of shouting and crying outside?


It doesnt sound particularly pleasant, does it? In fact, to most people it just sounds like sheer hell. For that reason by itself, you should consider dog boarding over kennels. OK, admittedly, most kennels offer a walking service but for the rest of the time, there is a good chance that your poor pup will be left in a kennel for the majority of the time. Were sure you wouldnt treat your dog like that when you are around, so dont let him or her be treated like that when you are not around.


Home Dog boarding allows your dog to enjoy a home-based environment whilst you are away on your jollies. Theyll be placed with a lovely host family that not only knows how to care for your pooch, but can also dedicate as much time to the dog as it needs. This is a particularly useful service for owners that find their dogs suffer quite badly with separation anxiety when they leave them on their own for periods of time. Most of our dog sitters here are either retired, or work from home, so your furry friend gets as much love and attention as they desire. They might just have so much fun that they wont want to come back home again!


As well as having free-roam of the house, your pampered pooch will get full roam of the garden too, plus as many walks as it takes to ensure your furry kids are happy and content. This is one of the worst things about kennels – the limited space, and the fact that they are only really allowed out of their kennel twice a day for a short period. Also there is generally 20 dogs to one kennel worker at a kennels where as with our home dog boarders, there will be a maximum of around 4 dogs there at a time so the dogs will get much more one on one time with the families. They also wont have anywhere near as much space in a kennel as they will in a home dog boarders home. It just makes sense when you think about it, doesnt it?


As well as separation and anxiety issues that can often arise if you tend to put your pup in a kennel quite often, you may also find that you find your dog has a sore throat when they come back from home. This is probably down to the fact that they will have been barking and howling for their family pack members to come back (ie. You). When you drop your dogs off at the kennels do you often hear a lot of barking? Then the chances are that as soon as you’ve gone, your dogs will be doing exactly the same, calling for their mummy and daddy!


Of course, when you have that many dogs in one area together, such as what you would find if your put your dogs in a kennel, fleas and other such nasty’s can spread a lot easier, and quicker too. There is less chance of that problem with home dog boarding as there will only be a handful of dogs there at a time in much cleaner conditions.


Home Dog Boarding may be a little more expensive than kennels are, but the many positives you gain from it far outweigh the extra cost so please give home boarding a thought next time you consider going on your hols.


Perhaps you have a pampered pooch who loves falling asleep on your sofa? Or perhaps you have a dog who pines for you when you’re not there? Or do you see yourself as a pet parent rather than a pet owner?


Whatever the reason, if you care for your dogs anywhere near as much as we care for ours, then we’re sure you’ll agree that Home Dog Boarding is the only option to consider next time you need your wonderful dogs looking after!


Adam & Laura

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The A-Z of Dog Breeds: Afghan Hound

Adam & Laura Dogs, Pet Advice Leave a Comment

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This is one of our favourite dogs, mostly because of how beautiful their long, flowing coats are. It’s an aristocratic dog – tall and slender in stature, almost almond-shaped eyes, a strong, long neck. When you see this pooch in action, you know you’re dealing with something a little special!


These are good-spirited pups and socialise well, both with other dogs and other people, although they are somewhat suspicious of new faces and smells. They do need to be trained firmly too…Don’t think you can get away with being lazy here. If you fail to show the dog strict guidelines, they will misbehave and play up. We’ve learned this after a few years caring for to some pretty adamant Afghan’s! 😉


The Afghan Hound is not a dog that you can keep combined to a small space such as a flat or place without a garden, or at least some place that they can stretch their legs. You’ve seen how big these dogs can get – they WILL need the space to accommodate this growth. Guys can grow to about two and half feet tall!


You won’t want to leave them in the garden overnight. They are sensitive pooches by and will probably whine all night long if you don’t just let them back in the house. And you probably will in the end anyway, just to keep them quiet!


This beautiful dog will be a long-lasting member of your family if you treat them like one of the family, and can live for around fourteen years or so. This is fourteen years of maintenance though, and you must remember that. The stunning coats of these dogs won’t be stunning for long if you don’t maintain it, and this will mean things like regular baths, regular brushes and lots of special attention.


Believe it or not, the Afghan Hound is one of the oldest breeds of dogs and has been noted as far back as Ancient Egypt, where papyrus’were found with evidence of the breed. They are a glamorous dog, that’s for sure, and they look almost oriental to look at, despite the fact that they have been in the UK since the early 1900’s. Originally, as you can probably guess from the name, the dog comes from Afghanistan – the mountains of the country and this will probably give you an idea of the temperament and personality…


An avid hunter, if there’s a cat about, the Afghan Hound will dash after it. This can make its attention span quite short if there are a lot of things happening, and you might find that training can be difficult if you have other pets in the house. They sure love to be the centre of attention! In fact, training can be difficult full stop if you don’t have a firm handle on things. The Afghan is a stubborn breed!


A few final things that you should know about the Afghan Hound before considering them as the new addition to your family are:


*You’ll need a large garden.

*They need around two hours of exercise per day.

*They have a very long coat and DO shed.

*They’ll need brushing every day.

*They don’t respond well to rough handling – probably not advisable for families with young children, unless they grow up together.

*You’ll need a good fence around your garden or yard – these animals can JUMP! (They escape with ease!)


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*Image courtesy of Maggie Smith / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hairball Prevention & Treatment In Cats

Adam & Laura Cats, Pet Advice Leave a Comment

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Watching and hearing your cat hocking up a hairball in the middle of the living room isn’t pretty. Ask any Cat Sitter and they’ll tell you the same thing – it’s one of the most common problems they find with cats, and it’s one of the easiest problems to solve too!


Let us educate you…


Indoor cats seem to have a harder time of things than outside cats. The main reason behind this is because they don’t get enough roughage in their diet. Also, what else is there to do when you are sat at home all day except lick yourself. Yes, you’d guessed it – indoor cats groom much more frequently than outdoor cats do.


As you can imagine, all this regular grooming ends up with more than a bit of fur escaping into their stomachs. This is essentially all a hairball actually is – a buildup of fur that accidentally happens when they are grooming. This means that if you brush your furry friend more often, they will be less likely to ingest their own fur. Plus its therapeutic for you too – what’s not to love?


As well as brushing them regularly, there are a few other things you can do to ensure hairballs aren’t a problem. Ask your cat sitter what treats they feed their cats. We bet they tell you some form of well-known brand and their specific anti-hairball treat. Feeding your cats these treats can help to increase the roughage in their diet, and this will help move the hairballs along naturally so they don’t end up in a hocked-up ball on your kitchen tiles.


Just like with treats, there are specific main menu items that you can feed your cat. We particularly like the Anti-Hairball Pets At Home Advanced Nutrition, but there are plenty of brands that you can make your choice from. You’ll probably find your cats will let you know what brands they like. They can be super fussy creatures!


The dietary supplements that you feed your cat will generally have a couple of things in common if you want to help treat or prevent hairballs. They will normally be foods that contain a lot of fibre to help solve that not-enough-roughage problem we mention earlier on. You may find that they’ll contain some sort of lubricant in them too, either in the form of a natural oil or a fatty acid. When these things work together what you have is something that is going to move that hairball along naturally, and also lubricate it on the way out. It’s the perfect solution. Katalax is a paste that you put on a cat’s paw so that they lick it off. It is a laxative that aids in the elimination of hairballs. We have personally found that this works pretty well.


Of course, there are a few things that you can use at home in a sticky spot to sort out the issue. Tinned sardines will probably give your cat a bit of an icky tummy, but the oily fish will help move those hairballs along if they are getting stuck somewhere in your cats system. Tuna is another great idea, especially the tinned kind. Try to avoid feeding your cat too much of this however…in our experience it does tend to have an adverse effect on what comes out the other end due to it’s richness!


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Animals WERE Harmed During The Making Of This Film

Adam & Laura Animal Cruelty Leave a Comment

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As much as we love to see some of our favourite animals in the movies, it’s sad to learn that sometimes, mistreatment DOES happen regardless of the laws that are put in place to avoid otherwise. As we did our research for this article, we were saddened by the information we found… information that we are sure will upset you.


In the MASSIVE blockbuster film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 27 of the cast animals died during filming. 27 – that’s a shocking number isn’t it? 1 dead animal is wrong. 27 dead animals is unjustified. Completely unjustified.


Apparently, the animals that died in that movie died of dehydration, drowned in sink holes, or simply collapsed from exhaustion because of unacceptable conditions at the farm where they were ‘looked’ after. These are all things that could have easily been prevented with proper care. For a film that grossed around £250,000,000 at the box office you would think they could have afforded to house the animals in a farm where they were well looked after wouldn’t you!


Moving along and it would seem as if The Hobbit wasn’t the only movie that had been involved in rather sombre tales of animal abuse. The Life Of Pi was a movie loved and adored by millions across the world, including ourselves, and it made us very sad to learn the news of the lead character in the movie – Richard Parker, better known as the tiger, almost drowned after it was left to struggle in the water scenes before being dragged to safety. King, as he is known in ‘real life’, is fine and well now, but a few moments more in that water and there could have been serious trouble. All because the computer generated footage wasn’t ‘lifelike’ enough. How lifelike do we need to go? To the point where animals actually die?!


In the Paul Walker movie Eight Below back in 2006 apparently one of the Disney dogs, a husky, was repeatedly punched, apparently in the diaphragm. Who really sits back and let that kind of abuse happen to a poor, defenceless animal? It hardly bears thinking about, does it?


Apparently the 2011 Sony film, Zookeeper, saw an elderly giraffe die. Failure To Launch apparently resulted in a chipmunk getting squashed. Plus there were the dead fish that kept turning up on the beaches around the area in which Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was filmed. According to reports, special effect explosions that were used in the area were the cause, but no one can ever really be sure. After all, such special measures are taken to ensure that this sort of thing DOES NOT leak out into the media. It would cause an uproar – quite rightly so.


Not just during films are animals getting neglected and abused either. There was one Kmart commercial that apparently saw the death of a five foot beautiful shark, after it was left in an inflatable pool that was too small for it to survive in. It would appear that neglect is something that is fairly commonplace in Tinseltown. We can’t believe all the horrifying stories we’ve come across, just from a little bit of research.


Animal neglect is something that we, and many other Cheshire Pet Sitters won’t ever let happen. If you think that you have spotted an animal being neglected or abused, do something about it. Tell the authorities and get the correct people involved. Could you live with yourself six months down the line if you heard that, that animal had died?


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Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit Care!

Adam & Laura Pet Advice, Rabbits Leave a Comment

Cute Rabbit In Cheshire

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Did you know that there reportedly 1.7 million rabbits in the UK that are kept as pets? That’s a serious amount of rabbits, isn’t it? It’s no wonder so many homes have opted for this type of furry critter for their home though. Alongside fairly minimal maintenance, they are great fun for kids and can even teach them a thing or two about caring for animals.


What a lot of people aren’t aware of is that rabbits need much more daily care then they are being given. Just think of how many people go away on holiday and only have their friends or relatives pop around once or twice in the week to let them out of the hutch, eat a bit of fresh greenery, and have a couple of poo’s in the grass. This isn’t enough care for a rabbit, not a healthy and happy rabbit anyway. This is why you should check out Pet Sitters in Cheshire before you go hop on a plane to a place sunny and far away…


Rabbits should have a home that is well protected from the cold and the rain. On top of this, they need a nice, large area that is both safe and secure in which they can round around in daily. How would you like being stuck holed up in a cage all day long? Rabbits are jumpy critters – let them jump!


On top of daily exercise, a rabbit will need a constant supple of fresh hay to nibble on. You should also feed them some fresh vegetables on a daily basis. It doesn’t need to be loads either – when you are doing your dinner, just chop up a little bit extra to feed to your furry friend. This is a great exercise to take up with the kids.


Of course, the rabbit will also need fresh water daily, and even more often than that if the weather is particularly hot. This should be just common sense for most pet owners these days though…


Generally a rabbit will only go to the loo in one area of their cage or hutch, so be smart and pack that area well with enough absorbent stuff to keep any nasty smells away. It also makes life a whole load easier when it comes to cleaning them out. You could get a small cat-litter box (or similar size/shape of box) and fill it with shredded newspaper or even rabbit-specific litter. Ask your local Cheshire Pet Sitter to give you a couple of names to look out for, and you could even ask in local pet stores and your Vet’s too. Never use wood shavings because it’s not really safe for the pet and could end up making them sick.


Once you’ve got your layer of shredded newspaper or litter, you’ll want to add another layer of hay. They eat and poo at the same time (Ew!) so they can eat and do their business as they normally would out in the wild…Gross but true!


Rabbits also need grooming, toys to play with, nail trimmings, and a careful eye kept over them. Generally rabbits are prey in the wild so their most basic instincts will tell them to try and hide any physical signs that they may be weak. If you don’t keep an eye out, you could miss something for weeks, running the risk of your poor bunny becoming seriously sick! That’s not something you’re going to want to explain to your darling children, is it?


They are great pets to have in any home, especially a home with children, but they do need human interaction from a young age to avoid them from nipping, biting and getting skittish. Before you go ahead and make the rabbit your pet of choice, ask yourself this – are you ready for a pet that needs a bit of maintenance?


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*Image courtesy of [artemisphoto] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dog Friendly Pubs In The North West

Adam & Laura Days Out With Dogs, Days Out With Pets, Dogs Leave a Comment


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These balmy summer evenings are just perfect for late evening walks with your pet pooch, aren’t they? Walking arm-in-arm with that special someone in your life, while allowing your dog to roam around serves many purposes – a bit of exercise, a happy dog, and a chance to have a PROPER conversation with your ‘other half’without having to do it through a mobile phone…


Just think of it like getting back in touch with nature!


The North-West has some beautiful sights to offer with the rolling hills and amazing greenery, and better than that, there are some fabulous pubs along the way. No owner likes tying their furry friend outside with just a bowl of warm water to keep them company while they pop inside for a ‘quick beer’. It almost feels like neglect doesn’t it?


Thankfully, there seems to be an abundance of dog-friendly pubs in the North-West but to start with, you could try checking out a couple of these:


The Egerton Arms, Chelford


You’ll find this pub along the A537 and with the beautiful rolling hills around, there’s no better place to enjoy an evening walk with your pooch. Have a break and an ice-cold shandy in The Egerton Arms to see the evening in, or even treat yourself to a spot of dinner with the traditional family-run kitchen surrounded by the traditional country detailing? We’ve enjoyed many a pint or two in here, and the dogs are free to relax in the shade in specially designated places in the restaurant, and also have free roam of the bar.


The Old Farmhouse, Ulverston


With two chocolate labs called Bracken and Bailey, The Old Farmhouse is a well-known dog-friendly pub in the neighbourhood. The converted barn is the perfect spot for watching sports on the big screen TV’s or for chilling in the beer garden with the pups laying under the table for shade, and if you want a great meal, you’ll find the locally sourced grub is especially delicious.


The Black Bull, Nateby


If you want to head somewhere super quiet and just get away from the rat race that is everyday life, the only pub in Nateby (not far from Kirkby Stephen) is the place to head to after a peaceful dog walk. You’ve got traditional homemade food on the menu, beautiful scenery, and plenty of room for the dogs to roam free. Of course, you could just use the dog as an excuse to get away and grab one of their real ales!


You’ll probably find that most of the dog-friendly pubs in the North West already have a dog or two living there so there’s likely to be a biscuit or two available for your pampered pet. There’s definitely plenty to pick from! Why not check out The Derby Arms in Witherslack, The Bank Tavern in Keswick or the Golden Rule in Ambleside while you’re there?


Do you have any other suggestions for doggy friendly pubs in the North West?


If so then let us know in the comments box below.


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QR Code Dog Tags – Bringing Dog Ownership Into The 21st Century!

Adam & Laura Dogs, Pet Advice, Pet Tech Leave a Comment

Animal Sitting QR Code

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Did you know that you can now get pet tags with a QR code built into them? Don’t worry, we know that you might not know what a QR code is… although you’ve probably heard of the term. Let’s start with that to make life easier!


What is a QR code?


You know those black and white barcode-looking things that you keep seeing everywhere – they are in newspapers, on walls, on business cards, etc.? Well, they are small boxes that contain information so that when you scan the code with a specifically created QR code reader app (that you can download on most smart phones,) all the information is bought up right there on your phone, generated through a completely private web page.


Smart, right?


All you need to do is download a QR code reader app on your phone and scan away. If you scan the QR code at the top of this page, it will take you right to the home page of the AnimalSitting.co.uk website. You can preset these QR codes to home pretty much information you want, which makes it perfect for things like dog and cat tags!


What about QR code dog tags…?


Rather than having the traditional dog tags, you could have one of these new QR code ones. Most people have smart phones these days, so finding the owner of a lost dog really couldn’t get much simpler. With one scan of their phone, they could find your phone number, email address, home address, and a whole bunch more information, all generated onto a private web page that the code itself directs you to. Rather than calling you, they could just turn up at your door with your beloved pooch. It’s quicker, easier, and brings dog ownership into the 21st century. How cutting edge?!


There are more than a few benefits of your pets rocking QR code dog tags. For a start, our home dog boarding service requires that your dogs wear an id tag anyway (as stated by law) so why not choose a QR code tag? As well as contact information, all of your pets health information and needs could be stored on your private web page that your QR code would take people to if they scanned it on their smart phones. If your pooch needs regularly medication, the person that finds the dog will be able to see that and hurry him or her back to you – the owner. Or if you can’t be contacted, take the dog straight to any Vet where they will be able to see more. In fact, what’s to stop you having your Vet’s information on that web page too??


Of course, sometimes you just can’t be reached by a phone call, which makes the idea of phone numbers on dog tags pretty obsolete. What happens if you are at work and can’t take a call? A simple text message or email address would make life simpler, wouldn’t it? You can be urgently told of the situation in hand, and take active steps to sort it out. You could have something like ‘If found please text 07*** *** ***’ – it is simple, to the point, and easy to understand.


The QR in QR code stands for ‘quick reader,’ and that’s exactly what it does on a QR code dog tag. The older style ID tags for your pets only contain limited information because of the size of it. The QR code tag scraps that worry – in the same size that a ‘normal’ ID tag would come, you can have a whole web page full of information.


That’s a lot of information!


For more information on QR code dog or cat tags, why not have a browse on the net for them or have a chat with us? You might be surprised at how popular they actually are!


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How To Keep Your Pets Safe During A Storm – Useful Pet Advice

Adam & Laura Cats, Dogs, Pet Advice Leave a Comment


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The UK seems to have been battered by the elements recently with floods up and down the country, sinkholes appearing out of nowhere, lightning like we’ve never seen before, and booming thunder that shakes us right to the very core. Just last night a lot of us experienced one of the most spectacular lightning displays ever seen.


If you get a tad startled from time to time with the booming thunder and flashing lights, just imagine how startled your pets are going to be. You shouting at the kids is enough to have your cat running for the hills, and the dog hates it when the kids start crying. Pets get scared during storms and it is important to make sure you have kept your furry little friends nice, safe, and soothed while the excitement rages.


First and foremost, your pets need to have safety and shade away from the battering winds and pouring rain. You wouldn’t like it if you got soaked and then had to spend the night in a cold, wet bed. Don’t expect your pets to put up with it. Your pets can and will get sick.


If you have rabbits, bring them inside. If you have a dog, make sure he is not left in the garden. If you’re at work when the storm hits, look up a local Cheshire Pet Sitting company such as Animal Sitting and ask them if they can let your pets in, or take them to safety. Do you have a cat flap that your feline friend can easily dart through?


No one likes to see their pampered pooch or their beloved kitty cowering in the corner, so try to keep things as natural inside the house as possible. If they see you guys panicking, or hear fear in your voices, they’ll react to it. They’ll get scared too. Have the TV on or the radio playing, and have some fresh food and water down for them should they fancy it. Make sure that their bed is easily accessible – they may want to crawl in and hide. A blanket or two of yours won’t go amiss either – your smell will help to comfort them, and it’ll give them something to hide their poor little faces in. Dogs love this idea!


Play time is important during this time, and although they may not want to play around with you at first, having toys to hand is a great idea and can help to work as a nice distraction. A few treats will help things along nicely too. Our dogs love it when we play with them during thunderstorms now, and we’ve found that once they had gotten their head around the idea, it worked well to soothe them.


If your pet wants to hide, let them hide. If it just so happens to be under your bed, let them stay there. They will come out when they are good and ready and the storm has passed. Trying to coax them out from small spaces and hidden crevices is going to be difficult and in fact, you’re probably agitating the situation further. You should let them hide away if that’s how they’d like to deal with the flashing lights and loud rumblings.


Some animals such as dogs have been shown to have an increased awareness of something called barometric pressure. Essentially, something in the air changes and dogs are more sensitive to it. This is why pets play up so much right in the lead up to a big storm. They can sense the storm is coming and you probably don’t even have a clue yet. They might try and tell you that the storm is coming, especially if they are a protective breed, but to you it’ll just look like they are having a temper tantrum.


Pets can react in all sorts of ways when thunderstorms happen. The dog might pee on the carpet or the cat might throw up on your bed. Rabbits will run around like crazy and make too much noise. They might bolt away in fear or hide in places you’d rather they wouldn’t. Just remember, as frustrating as it is for you right now to try and calm them, put yourself in their shoes and remember how small they are and how scared they must feel.


Give them a break and keep your pets safe in a thunderstorm!


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*Image courtesy of [bk images] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net