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Are there more ticks around these days?

 

Even as a child I never found insects, bugs, and other little creatures scary or disgusting … including ticks. I know, little wierdo I am … we even used to pick off ticks with our bare hands and squash them, as we didn’t know about the potential danger back then.

The first time I really thought about how dangerous ticks were was when I was 16 and I was suspected of having the encephalitis virus and had to have a lumbar puncture done, to collect cerebrospinal fluid for diagnostic testing. Not nice!

At about the same time, I also heard about Lyme disease for the first time when one of our family friends’ got it and they spent a few weeks in the hospital, aching all over and apparently almost like they had paralysed legs. And then his dog got it a few years later, but as he knew the symptoms they rushed to the vet immediately.

Ticks were always very common in Slovakia, but when I moved to the UK and opened my first grooming business in Cannock, I was surprised not to have seen any ticks and fleas on my clients dogs. I thought that perhaps the dogs here were better cared for or that there weren’t as many of these parasites in the UK?

It’s only been in the last few years, and also maybe thanks to social media, that we talk more about ticks, the danger they pose, and how to deal with them. We are also now seeing more of them as well, and last year I had a clients dog on my table where I removed about 20 ticks!! No exaggeration!

I have done some research over the years and learnt that ticks have become more abundant, and extended their distribution, in Europe during the last two to three decades. Changes in farming, global warming, more animals moving around and across the borders, all contribute to ticks expanding their distribution.

Years ago you might come across ticks in rural areas and woods only, but these days we are at risk of tick bites (unless you are wearing Bodyguard Insect repellent bracelet ) when spending time in public areas like parks, beer gardens, picnic spots, gardens, while camping, cycling, running, or doing any outdoor activities.

The good news is ticks don’t like some of the essential oils. Which is really good for us, for our environment, and our planet. To read more about how the Tick Off works read our blog here: https://www.vitacanis.co.uk/the-magic-behind-the-tick-off-and-ear-cleaner/

The Bodyguard Insect repelling bracelet works on the same principle and will protect you from ticks, mosquitos, and other insects.

Despite all the potential danger from the ticks, and fleas, and mosquitos, and horse flies… I really hope you are enjoying the glorious weather we are having. I think we will all remember the summer of 2018 as the good and proper one 😊

 

Jitka xx

Meet our Vita Canis distributor in Finland, Pia von Koch

 

Pia is very well known in the dog show world. She is a very successful handler and groomer, and not only in her home country of Finland. She’s intelligent, tall, pretty and blond, and she has an incredible connection with every dog she shows.

Pia & our young Airedale Richard

I’ve known Pia for a few years now. I used to see her at Crufts and she used to come to Saredon kennels to look at the Airedales and Lakelands. She always looked very stylish and glamorous, and I’ll never forget seeing her coming out of the grooming room one day wearing high heels. Seriously, trimming an Airedale in high heels?! I can barely stand in high heels, never mind working in them and handling a dog. Impressive, I thought!

We became friends when Pia was staying with us a few years ago for the first time. She visited Saredon kennels and worked with John on improving her hand stripping and styling skills for a few weeks. She knows that even if you are at the top of your game you need to carry on learning and improving to stay at the top.

We had a great time together, which is not hard as we share the same passion for dogs, and we both like the same books, films, and jokes. It’s fair to say, we had lot of fun together.

After her first visit here, Pia became a Vita Canis reseller in Finland, and this is her story.

What can you tell us about yourself?

I have been involved with dogs all my life. My first dog was a smooth-haired fox terrier. In the 70’s I started to show my Bernese mountain dog, but at that time I wasn’t so passionate about showing and handling. I have been a cloth designer for about 20 years and over that time I’ve owned different dogs as my family members, the Standard Poodle, and the Doberman to name a few. I got my first Airedale in 1998, and I absolutely fell in love with this king of terriers. Today I have 5 of them. My Airedale terrier, Duke, was the top Finnish Airedale for 6 years, and the top terrier in 2014.

In 2015 I opened my first dog grooming salon, called PiaDog® , in Helsinki and in a short period of time it became very busy and successful, specialising in hand stripped terriers. Over the years in dog showing, I made many national and inter

We both enjoy nice G&T and good veggie food

national champions, won best in shows, and even judged in Japan at the Open Airedale terrier Show.

Why did you decide to sell Vita Canis products?

In 2016 I visited Saredon kennels and worked with John, and you [Jitka] introduced me to your products. The first time I tried the

Hand Butter I fell in love. I loved, and still do, the soft, silky feeling it gives to my dry skin.

What is your favourite product?

The Calming Floral Spray  and Hand Butter . I use the calming spray in my salon on an every day basis and it is always in my show case as well. The Hand Butter helps my dry skin (really it should be called body butter, not hand butter !)

What is the best seller in your salon?

This time of the year it is definitely the Tick Off. Ticks are a massive problem in Finland. The ticks have become more abundant and have extended their distribution range in Finland, and Europe, during the last two to three decades. You can come across ticks not only in the countryside but also in Helsinki city centre!

 

If you would like to become a reseller or are interested to know more about stocking our products, please get in touch with me on enquiries@vitacanis.co.uk

Jitka xx

Sneaky and Dangerous Grass Seeds

It’s the time of the year when we enjoy walking our dogs in the fields and meadows more than any other time of the year.

We also all know to use some kind of protection, preferably natural, on our dogs for ticks and fleas and other little pests.

But what about those sneaky grass seeds? And why?

There’s not much we can do beforehand as they are pretty much everywhere at this time of the year.

And what happens if they are left in the dog’s coat?

There are two most common places on the dog’s body where grass seeds can cause problems, and these are the feet and ears.

Grass seeds can easily get between the dog’s toes, this part of the foot is called the interdigital space. When the grass seed is ‘holding’ onto the soft fur between the toes, it is slowly making its way towards the skin and can/may penetrate the skin with ease. And then slowly burrowing itself deeper and deeper … this results in discomfort, extreme pain, infection, and acute lameness. Your dog will vigorously lick its paws and toes, he will be very uncomfortable and/or even lethargic. That’s the time to visit your vet, because sometimes the grass seed may travel under the skin so you won’t be able to see it.

The situation with the ear is very similar and also very dangerous. The grass seeds shape allows it to work its way from the fur on the ears down along the ear canal and can go so deep that it can damage the delicate eardrum. If the grass seed enters your dog’s ear he will shake his head vigorously and he will look very uncomfortable. If you notice this sign take your dog to see your vet straight away.

After walks, I use a slicker brush with longer bristles for removing any grass and twigs from my dog’s coat, especially the Scotties who are like magnets for them! They are not so keen on brushing but I’d rather persevere with brushing and checking than rush to the vets later.

Brushing after walks is very important

Sneaky grass seed between Tanky’s toes So, always remember to check your dog’s feet, coat, and ears after a walk in the fields, forest, and meadows. And don’t just look for ticks, keep an eye out for those seeds too!

Enjoy your walkies.

Jitka xx

Awesome Summer Activities to Do with Your Dog

Paddling, swimming, diving

This is the most obvious summer activity as you can imagine 😊

My Scottie, . Tank, loooooves water!! He loves his paddling pool so much and gets so excited that he starts to bite the walls of the pool to the point that we can’t use it anymore, so over the years we’ve gone through few of them 😊.

He loves water but unfortunately, he isn’t a good swimmer because of his short legs and heavy (masculine) body. So when we were at the Dogs Unleashed Show at the end of June, he tried the diving pool with an assistant, and loved it! Unfortunately, without the assistance he wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as much, so I think my next purchase for him is going to be a swim vest!

Homemade frozen treats

Here you can really get creative!

Mash your dog’s favourite fruit and/or veggies and fill the ice mould or any other moulds you like and have. Put it in the freezer and voila … frozen doggy treats! You can also use meat or veggie stock with chunks of meat and veggies, pour it into a mould and freeze … and as Aleksandr the meerkat used to say, sheemples!!

Twist with the Kong

Does your dog like the Kong as much as my dogs? Have you thought about filling it with something delicious like a meat, mashed veggies, peanut butter and freezing it?

‘Chuckit!’ toys

My dogs like the ‘Hydro Squeeze Chuckit!’ toys in this hot weather. Soak them in water and freeze (lots of freezing this summer, lol!)

Fun with a hosepipe

No explanation necessary 😊 ! Mr Tank in action!

Early morning walks

My dogs and I are morning people.

You can easily find us out in the early morning walking around the quarry behind our house. I love early morning walks in summer … the quietness, haze, breeze, and no one around … just me and my dogs.

What are your summer activities with your dog/s? I love to try out new activities with my doggies (as I’m sure you know!) and always love to hear new ideas.

Jitka xx

What People Say...

Just to let you know we LOVE the Comfort Blend we got from you at Crufts. The girls love the smell and try to lick it, and I find walks are a lot calmer these days. THANK YOU!! Calming Floral Spray is next on my list and maybe a burner with some stones.”
Savannah and Jasmine are  two lovely Italian Greyhounds, and you can find them on Instagram @sister.iggies.ig