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How about homemade, healthy snack for your dog?

From time to time I feel like making some treats for my doggies, especially at this time of the year when evenings are becoming longer and darker earlier. And there is no way of going out for a walk unless we drive into town.

Apple & Peanut Butter bites have only 4 ingredients

Apple and Peanut Butter Bites

One of my favourite treats to make is Apple and Peanut Butter Bites. They’re easy to make, healthy and my dogs LOVE them (as do I 😂).


These Apple and Peanut Butter bites have only 4 ingredients!

Apples

Apple is a delicious fruit for us as well as our pets. You can give this fruit to your pets in various forms but there are, however, certain things to keep in mind. A commonly asked question is, ‘can dogs can eat apples?’ Dogs can, for sure. Only large amount of seeds can be toxic to your dog.

Apple is a nutritious fruit packed with dietary fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and antioxidants. It’s a wonderful idea to give your dog apples as a treat and dogs who have apples in their diet actually never face stomach issues. Did you know that?

Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter – I use Poochbutter from Nuts for Pets. This peanut butter is made in the UK without palm oil and it contains no added salt, sugar, xylitol or additives but contains very beneficial extra virgin coconut oil and Yorkshire honey instead. This makes it deliciously, extra sticky 😋.

In general, peanut butter is safe for dogs (unless they have a peanut allergy) and it has lots of health benefits too:

🥜 Peanuts are a great source of healthy fats or monounsaturated fats.  
🥜 They promote heart function and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

🥜 They contain vitamin E which helps in maintaining your dog’s coat and keeps the skin healthy and shiny.
🥜 They contain Niacin which is effective in keeping proper blood flow, brain circulation and improves brain health.
🥜 Peanuts are also rich in protein, manganese, and folate which will keep your dog healthy and able to fight off diseases.
🥜 They contain fibre which sustains better digestion.
🥜 Peanuts also contain calcium, which is very beneficial for ageing dogs as it can lower their risk of bone-related problems.
🥜 Peanuts contain resveratrol, a compound known for its anti-aging properties and which helps fight memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease. 
🥜 They also contain coenzyme Q10, which maintains oxygen flow in the dog’s heart. 


Despite all these beneficial qualities, peanut butter and peanuts should be given, just like everything else, in moderation.  

How about Flax Seeds ?



Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil is also known to be beneficial to dogs.

They help to…

Reduce inflammation and itchiness
Lower blood pressure
Boost the immune system
Strengthen cardiovascular health

And Pumpkin Seeds?


They’re rich in protein and contain…
Vitamin K
Phosphorous
Manganese
Magnesium
Iron
Zinc
Copper
Pumpkin seeds are also very high in fibre and can help to improve digestion in dogs. With a very high content of magnesium they can help dogs maintain healthy bones, regulate their blood sugar and pressure and reduce the risk of heart diseases. Pumpkin seeds have also been shown to help with certain diseases, infections and worms in dogs.
Poochbutter, chopped apples, milled pumpkin & flaxseeds

Apple & Peanut Butter Bites

2 apples – cored, peeled and chopped
1 jar of Nuts for Pets Poochbutter
½ cup milled flaxseeds
½ cup milled pumpkin seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds for coating

🍏 Peel, core and remove the seeds from the apples, and chop them into small chunks in a food processor.
🍏 Finally mix the apples, peanut butter, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds and stir until a dough forms which is slightly sticky.
🍏 Take small pieces and roll them into balls and coat the outside with the remaining pumpkin seeds

Storage

Store in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 7 days. But to be honest though, they never last that long with my 7 dogs 😊.

ENJOY!!

Jitka xx

Little munchkin Tinker Bell

Mental Health: It Applies To Dogs Too.

This year, World Mental Health day took place on 10th October and it was a part of the larger Mental Illness Awareness Week.

What is mental health? We hear about it and talk about it, but how do we define mental health?

Mental health is a psychological well-being, and the absence of a mental disorder. And simply put, it’s the ability to enjoy life and create a balance between activities and efforts in order to achieve mental resilience. It also means the ability to express emotions and adapt to a range of demands.

These days we have more knowledge than ever before when it comes to the mental health of our four legged friends.

Questions we can consider…

❤︎ Are they enjoying life?
❤︎ Are they able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult situations?
❤︎ Can they adapt to different situations?

One of the causes for mental health issues is not receiving enough interaction. And this issues can demonstrate in destructive behaviour, obsessive compulsive behaviour, anxiety, aggression, fear and depression.


Talk to canine behaviourist.

If you observe this behaviour in your dog I would recommend talking to a dog behaviourist. Adam Dunn, Qualified to degree level (Adv.Dip.Canineprac) and an experienced Canine behaviourist and Psychologist is my go to guy!

He encourages using positive reinforcement methods by using the most up to date scientific studies. Adam is a member of ISCP and ICAN and working towards full INTO membership, he specializes in separation related behaviours, fear and anxiety, aggression, phobias, canine body language, OCD type behaviours and improving wellbeing and self-confidence. He also focuses on how homeopathic remedies can improve your dogs lifestyle and works with rescue dogs from across Europe to adjust to life in the UK.

I’ve hosted Adam’s seminar in my salon twice already and both times proved to be very interesting. Because of the success, I’m sure we’ll be planning one next year. Or alternatively you can come to Vita Canis Style to Rescue on the 26th April 2020. Adam will be one of our speakers there.

Let’s look at…

Stress and Anxiety

To choose the right approach, we need to understand the difference between stress and anxiety.

Stress is a response to a specific stressor, like fireworks, a car journey or a visit to the vet. Anxiety has no identifiable root. And sometimes we have to dig deep to find the cause (which is not always successful).

Stress typically goes away when the stressor disappears. However anxiety tends to stick around for longer and is more difficult to treat. And in the case of anxiety, Comfort Blend works very well in many cases. This synergetic blend of essential oils can be used for dogs suffering from separation anxiety. And also distress, sadness, homesickness or having difficulty adjusting to unfamiliar circumstances.

Dementia



There are many behavioural changes in older dogs that can be signs of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction or doggie Alzheimer’s such as…

· Getting lost in familiar places
· Sleeping more during the day and less at night
· Getting generally more fearful and anxious
· Performing repetitive behaviour
· Barking for no apparent reason
· Lost and confused
· Walking into corners


There’s no cure for dementia but the synergetic blend of essential oils in the Comfort Blend can help to alleviate the symptoms.

I was using it on my old Kerry Blue, Kimi who passed away about a year ago. The last year of her life saw her getting confused, barking for no reason (well I couldn’t see any reason but I’m sure she had one) at silly hours in the morning and getting lost in the yard. Comfort Blend was a blessing!

This is what Jade Borrow had to say about our Vita Canis Comfort Blend and how it helped her and Disney…
  “My Bichon, Disney, has recently been diagnosed with doggie dementia so has been really unsettled, hysterically barking and not wanting to be away from me. In January I spoke to Jitka and she recommended that the Comfort Blend may work but couldn’t guarantee it as it is new and hadn’t tried it on a dog with what Disney has. I bought a bottle and although I know nothing will cure it, it has most definitely settled him down a lot. He’ll go and relax by himself in a cage and I can now leave a room without him panicking on my whereabouts.




There’s no cure for doggie dementia but the synergetic blend of essential oils in the Comfort Blend can help to alleviate the symptoms.

Obsessive compulsive behaviour

Obsessive compulsive behaviour in dogs often occurs because of the Canine Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This is an anxiety-related disorder in which dogs engage in repetitive and often self-destructive behaviour, for example, excessive licking. To calm themselves down, dogs often resort to repetitive behaviour. Licking (being sensory stimulation) can distract them from their internal stress.

These dogs may have recently experienced a great deal of stress, or may even have a history of abuse 😞.

What do you do to improve your dog’s mental health?

Low Maintenance Coat: Truth or Myth?

Some breeds moult constantly, some matt easily, some take ages to dry… but what is low maintenance for one person can be really hard work for another.

Unless you own a Chinese Crested Dog or another hairless breed, you are definitely dealing with dog hair one way or another.

Non-shedding? Really?

All dogs shed at least a little hair at one time or another (as us humans do too) and there’s no such thing as a non-shedding breed. Let’s have a look at some coat types, how much they shed and how much work you need to put in to keep the coat healthy. I’ll try my best to consider you all 🙂.

Coat types

Short and smooth coat

Easy peasy lemon squeezy you may say 🍋. Yes, it’s easier to look after a Whippet’s or Staffie’s smooth coat than let’s say, a poodle, but they do still moult. You’ll find tiny hairs stuck on your socks, on your clothes, in your carpet and they aren’t that easy to get rid of either. Regular bathing and brushing with a rubber brush can help and eliminate the amount of hair. With breeds like a Labrador, Bullterrier or Beagle with short dense hair, I would recommend using the Furminator to remove the excess coat.

When using Furminator, remember to be firm but gentle, and to always stretch the skin. 

While using the Furminator keep checking the skin to avoid redness and irritation. If not used correctly (this applies to brushing as well) it can cause brush burn which is skin irritation caused by prolonged brushing in one area. If this happens Soothing Antiseptic Spray can come to the rescue. This spray has a regenerative effect on damaged skin as the astringent formula will constrict cells where it is applied.

An extra little tip...


Bath your dog as usual, and while the shampoo is in the coat, use the Furminator in the bath. You’ll remove more hair and it will stick on the bathtub and tiles and won’t fly around when you dry your dog.

Wool Coat

This coat can be low maintenance when kept short… but very short. We don’t see many Poodles and Bichons in full coat, do we? Unless they are show dogs, most of the owners like to keep the coat short. A wool coat is very thick and curly and has a lot of volume. It requires a lot of regular grooming, even daily, because it matts very easily and can grow quite quickly. The best way to achieve a matt free coat at home is regular brushing with a slicker brush followed by thorough combingVERY IMPORTANT! 


Line Brushing

The method we use in the salon (and which is also recommended for home) is called line brushing. Line brushing is suitable not only for a wool coat but also long hair, double coats and mixed coats. Line brushing will allow you to methodically work your way through your dog’s coat, down to the skin making sure you cover all the hard-to-reach spots.

I’d recommend putting your dog on a grooming table or some other non-slip work surface, using this area as your ‘brushing station’. It’s also good to spray the coat with some de-tangling or conditioning spray first. With one hand, hold and push the coat up and work in seam line with your slicker brush pulling down a small amount of hair with each brushstroke. Once your brush glides smoothly through the coat you then move onto the next layer. Once you’ve finished brushing, use the comb the same way you used the slicker brush. A comb will help you to double-check your brushing 👍🏻

Long coat

This coat, such as the Old English Sheepdog, Maltese and Shih Tzu also require a lot of maintenance. It needs to be brushed at least three times a week, if not daily. 

Wire coat

I have a few of these at home lol. It’s a very unique coat and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to understand the growth and texture changes. As a result, I can tell you that it’s not black and white… but that would be another story 😂.

The proper way to look after this coat is by using a technique called hand stripping. Hand stripping maintains good strong colour and coarse texture but there are a lot of buts. This is a process which must be done from the puppy stage. Once the coat is clipped it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to get the texture back by hand stripping and it would be very sore for the dog. I DON’T RECOMMEND THIS!

Hand stripping is a skill that is very hard to master, and is very labour intensive. It’s therefore more expensive than clipping, and also, not many groomers do it.

Wire coats shed much less when they’re hand stripped than when they are clipped. They still need lots of brushing though, especially their legs and whiskers and many of your terriers are not so keen on it. Regular brushing, handling and perseverance from an early age pays off later on. Why not get Calming Floral Spray to help you out here!

Hand stripping is a skill that is very hard to master, and is very labour intensive.

Double coat

These breeds are nice and fluffy but when they shed it’s as if it’s snowing (especially when you have a Malamute or a Husky) 🌨. I have a Malamute that comes for daycare and at this time of the year, as well as at springtime, hair can be found everywhere. The undercoat comes out in clumps so when I walk him I take the opportunity to pull it out. What you should actually do is get a slicker brush with long pins, like a wide-tooth comb and start line brushing. GOOD LUCK!


Mixed wool coat

This coat can be seen in some crossbreeds like Cockapoos, Labradoodles and Schnoodles and is wavy or curly with different densities. It requires a lot of regular brushing, just like wool coats, as well as regular grooming by a professional. 

The coat is easily managed in the earlier stages of life but once the puppy is about 6/7 months old, or slightly older, the coat starts to change from a soft thin puppy coat to a dense and curly/wavy adult coat. In this stage of life, a lot of new owners lose track of brushing and the then matted coat has to be clipped off. This is far better for the puppy then de-matting, which I wouldn’t recommend. A mixed wool coat grows pretty quickly and the puppy will be a fluff ball in no time… if the owner wants ❤︎.

Earlier I mentioned the importance of using a comb. A comb will help you to catch the smaller or bigger knots you missed with the slicker brush. If the comb is easily sliding through the coat, you did a great job with brushing. If the comb stops, it means there is a knot and you need to go back to a slicker brush and brush the matting out.

Mixed wool coat ( Cockerpoos, labradoodles, Shnoodles…) requires a lot of regular brushing, just like wool coats, as well as regular grooming by a professional. 

Is your dog low or high maintenance?

Jitka xx




What People Say...

Used you’re Calming Floral  Spray yesterday was so impressed with it . I had a dog in my salon that has dryer seizures and gets anxious. I sprayed it around her and was remarkable the difference in her behaviour. It actually worked so well I had to check dog was okay she was very relaxed snoozing I’ve tried other remedy’s with no real effect shall be sticking with your calming spray from now on 😍
Lisa Addison