Hand-stripped Show Terriers and Holidays

If you have a hand-stripped terrier that’s also a show dog, you know how difficult it can be to go on holiday. Not just to find the time, because the shows are almost every weekend in the UK.

Why you won’t relax?

But also, you know that if you stop rolling the coat, if you stop maintaining the furnishings, the coat will blow. And then you get back from your holiday, all nice and relaxed, and boom! You can start on your hand-stripped terrier from scratch. And it will take weeks to get him or her ready for the show. And maybe you won’t even be able to relax! Because you know what will happen to your terrier’s coat, and you are already overthinking the work you must do when you get home.

And if you don’t have hand-stripped show terriers, then you have no idea what I’m talking about here. You may even think I’m being over dramatic. Well, I’m not.

Rolling the coat.

Keeping a hand-stripped terrier in a show coat takes much time and dedication. Weekly rolling – special hand stripping technique when we gently remove a top layer of the coat. This encourages the hair to grow and creates layers. It also helps to keep the hair short on certain body parts – called flat areas: head, ears, front, side of neck, shoulders, and back end. As we know, using scissors or clippers to shorten hair is not an option here!

Rolling has to be done weekly, sometimes even twice a week. Plus, regular weekly bathing and conditioning of the furnishings.

So, you know, when you go on holiday for a week or two, it will take some time to get the dog in good shape. And this thought will bother you while you try to chill on the beach. You know I’m right!

But here at Vita Canis, we have your back!

We are a family-run small dog boarding kennel in rural Uttoxeter, Staffordshire.
With love and dedication, we care for each dog’s individual needs. We understand dogs’ personalities, behavioural issues, and individual needs. We use enrichment games, aromatherapy, and a lot of personal interaction to ensure dogs enjoy their stay with us.

On top of all this, Zoe, who works at Vita Canis and is a terrier specialist, can keep your hand-stripped show terrier in tip condition while he or she is staying in our dog boarding kennels.

Zoe, the hand stripping specialist.

Zoe Oakes worked at Saredon Kennels alongside John Averis & Deb Ryan for almost ten years.
Over the years, she mastered the skill of hand stripping to the level that she was a vital part of the preparation of some of the top UK terriers for the show. Like Lakeland Terrier UK Int Ch Saredon Enigma ( Alan ) Crufts Terrier Group winner 2017, UK JP Ch Saredon Masterpiece ( Preston) UK top Airedale 2021; Irish Terrier Ch Turith Adonis ( Donnie ) Top terrier 2022 and Cruft’s Terrier Group winner 2022; Ch Holbam Ace of Saredon – currently top winning Irish Terrier; and many more.

How would this work?

With just six kennels, your dog will receive one-on-one care throughout the day, full of walks, enrichment, and outdoor play.
You board with us at the standard rate, and your dog’s grooming needs will be discussed with Zoe before the stay. And you can holiday with no stress while your dog is cared for and groomed to the highest standard. Additional charges will apply for the grooming work that your dog receives, and this will be agreed upon before their stay.

Do you feel relieved? Are you getting excited about your holiday?

Well, before you book your holiday, call us at 07928809992 to check our availability and discuss your dog’s needs. We are putting your dog first.

Rachel xx



Natural Tick Repellent For Dogs – Make Your Own!

Do you want to make your own natural tick repellent for your dog, but you don’t know how?

In this blog, I’m sharing my own recipe!

I keep receiving emails and messages about Tick Off and Ear Cleaner. When I closed down the products side of Vita Canis, I thought these two wouldn’t be missed much. And I was wrong!

Therefore I decided to share the recipe with you so that you can make your own natural tick repellent for your dog because the tick season is already here!

This natural tick repellent contains essential oils. These essential oils smell soooo disgusting to ticks (it’s like the smells of the food you don’t like or something even worse… cooked tripe… blah) that they would rather go hungry than come any closer to your dog! These include geranium, grapefruit, cedarwood, rosewood, and lemongrass… all of these are in the Tick Off, of course.

When shopping for ingredients, buy high-quality; that’s very important! I recommend Penny Price Aromatherapy, Naturally Thinking, and Essential Oils Direct.

Make your own natural tick repellent for  your dog.

For 100ml Tick Off, you will need:

Geranium floral water 30ml

Lavender floral water 30ml

Aloe vera leaf juice 20ml

Alcohol 5ml

Purified water 10ml

Vitamin E 1 drop

Geranium essential oil 12 drops

Cedarwood essential oil 10 drops

Rosewood essential oil 6 drops

Lavender essential oil 6 drops

Grapefruit essential oil 6 drops

Lemongrass essential oil 3 drops

Ear Cleaner 100ml:

Aloe vera leaf juice 20ml

Geranium flower water 30ml

Lavender flower water 20ml

Which hazel flower water 30ml

Niaouli essential oil 10drops

Lemon essential oil 5 drops

Vitamin E 1 drop

Keep both products in a cool, dry place, preferably a fridge.

SHAKE WELL BEFORE USE!

To find out more about the Tick Off, the natural tick repellent, and how it works in my blogs here: 

The Magic Behind The Tick Off And Ear Cleaner | Vita Canis

Are There More Ticks Around These Days? | Vita Canis

Enjoy making your own natural tick repellent!

Jitka xx

Age Is Just A Number

Saying that age is just a number sometimes sounds like a cliché but not when it comes to changes in career, especially in the grooming industry. Don’t you agree? There is not too young or not too old to start something new. Everybody takes their own pace. How many dogs you can groom in a day is not a competition. The main thing is that you enjoy what you are doing. 

Jitka teaches grooming courses, and her students often worry about their age. These worries shouldn’t stop you from learning something new and gaining a new skill or improving your existing skills. Age is really just a number!

‘The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle’. —Steve Jobs

There are many different reasons why people decide to change their careers:

*Wanting more flexible hours to suit around family 

*Less stress

*More money

*Wanting to manage own business

*Turning a hobby into a job

*Being bored or not happy in current job

*Wanting a new challenge

Things to consider when thinking about career change:

*Evaluate your current job and what made you consider a career change. 

*Do a pros and cons list. 

*Assess your skills and interests and think about the careers which would suit you and your lifestyle

*Research careers. Find out as much as possible about the job roles you are interested in.

*Arrange work experience; talk to someone who is already doing the job you set your heart on.

*Learn new skills that could help you to change your career. Develop the skills before you do the career change. Some jobs can be done part-time and later progress to full-time like ‘Grooming.’

*Consider if you have time and funds for the new courses or college to gain new skills. Remember they won’t be cheap but think about it as a good investment!

Deciding on becoming a groomer

So, you thought hard and long and decided to become a groomer. Now is the right time to look for some good courses where you can gain your qualification. Always do your research and read reviews or ask for recommendations. 

Jitka’s grooming courses at Vita Canis are very popular. Do you want to become a professional dog groomer, run your own dog grooming business, and gain City & Guild qualifications? Or are you an established dog groomer wanting to improve your skill or learn new techniques? Jitka also offers one-to-one sessions for dog parents who want to learn to trim their own dogs. Some students decided to top up their skills in one day Handstripping course, and others will go for 15 days, 20 days, or 32 days course and learn over a more extended period. There is plenty to choose from to suit your needs and help you in your career change. 

Bea xx

Calm Cat

May is our young grooming apprentice who is passionate about all animals. She has two cats & 2 snakes. May’s cats are called Rebel and Pringle, and they are black&white one-year-old sisters. Both are indoor cats, and they are not spaded.

Recently May and her boyfriend Mark moved houses, and Rebel and Pringle really struggled with the changes. They could not settle in, which worried May a lot, especially when she was at work, and they were left home alone. May then talked about it to Jitka. And she then suggested using Vita Canis Calm Cat.   

‘Both cats would always be scared of tumble dryer, of all visitors, hiding under beds and upstairs.’

How did May use Calm Cat? :

May would spray a few sprays in the air, on the sofa, on their bedding, and around her kitties, especially before any visitors were coming or when she needed to put the tumble dryer on.

‘I was amazed. The changes were instant. Rebel and Pringle would cling to the spot on the sofa or their cat towel where I applied Calm Cat. Both kitties were so chilled. Happy days for me, Happy times for my cats!’

All my family noticed the difference. Rebel and Pringle let themselves be picked up by my mum and even sit on my sister’s lap, which had never happened before. They are well settled around all visitors now. Another thing that I have noticed is that when they are on heat, Calm Cat calms them down. I rent only a tiny house, so the place for my kitties’ feeding bowls sits next to the tumble drier. They are fine now also with a noisy tumble dryer, and they will happily munch on their food while the dryer is still on. It doesn’t bother them anymore! I can’t recommend Calm Cat enough!

Does your kitty get stressed?

If you have similar problems with your cats as May had, give our Calm Cat a try! 

Calm Cat is a 100% natural calming and balancing spray for cats and other small animals.

  •  Non-sedating formula
  •  Prevents symptoms of distress
  •  Promotes relaxation
  •  Use during fireworks, storms, car journeys, visits to a vet or a groomer
  •  Alternative to artificial pheromone essence

It is a UK-made, calming, natural remedy for cats, a vegan and cruelty-free alternative to artificial pheromone essence.

What groomers think:

“I use the Calm Cat when I groom my Persian Cat, and the spray works incredibly! No more scratches on my hands!!”

~Vasileios Barlos, Purplebone Dog Grooming, London

I have been grooming cats and dogs for over 35 years and followed with great interest developments in both areas. Cat grooming has many challenges, none more so than in keeping a cat compliant and calm throughout the groom. I have consistently found that remedies that claim to calm cats can also heighten some behaviours, making a groom more difficult. The Vita Canis Calm Cat spray has proved to be effective and versatile on all cats, from cats that travel badly, which is a big problem for a lot of owners, to cats that are especially lively and difficult to handle and groom. An area can be misted quickly, helping to keep calm even aggressive cats. ”

~Julie Harris, The Groomers Spotlight 

Bea xx

Itchy Pet Month

Did you know that August is Itchy Pet Month? We at Vita Canis take your dog’s itchy skin problems very seriously. Jitka developed a few unique products, including Skin Relief Shampoo, Skin Relief, and Paw Butter. All these products can help and support your pooch with skin problems and itchy skin. 

“Over the years of grooming dogs, I’ve noticed an increasing number of dogs with sensitive skin and skin prone to allergic reactions. Sensitive skin is linked to the disrupted barrier function of the skin. And also, to environmental and psychological stress.” Jitka

Itchy skin

Itchy skin bothers many dogs and causes stress to many dog parents. Lots of different factors can cause itch (or pruritis). Firstly, the itch can be histamine related, like an insect bite or an allergic reaction. Secondly, non-histamine related like dry or sensitive skin. And also scars, pregnancy, and the side effect of some medications. 

A few reasons why your dog could have itchy skin:

External parasites-when your dog starts scratching, the first thing you should check for are external parasites. Especially fleas, because flea bites can make a dog uncomfortable and itchy, they can also bring about other problems.

Environmental allergies – Dogs’ skin problems are commonly caused by allergic inhalant dermatitis (hay fever, atopy). Like mould, pollen, and dust mites. When dogs inhale the pollen, they might develop atopy in the skin. Dogs don’t usually sneeze with atopy; most just become itchy, which causes them to lick, chew and scratch. Also, dogs may develop contact dermatitis when they come in contact with pesticides or some preservatives.

Ear Problems-Problems with ears are very common, and once they start scratching, it causes a vicious cycle of scratching, skin irritation, and then scratching even more. 

Dry skin– Those with dry skin know how it feels. And we also know how fragile, dry skin is and how easily it can be damaged by scratching. 

Pain-When trying to find out why your dog is licking or chewing excessively, especially his feet, be sure to consider the possibility that something is making them physically uncomfortable. For example, joint pain or arthritis. Or if you notice your dog is biting his paw repeatedly. He could have a thorn, or sharp stone stuck in his paw pad or between the pads. 

A few other possible reasons why your dog could have itchy skin:

Anal glands- if the anal glands don’t empty, they cause discomfort for the dog, so he will try to lick his back end, nibble the base of his tail, or scratch.

Food intolerance-food allergy is one of the most common allergies or hypersensitivities affecting dogs. The immune system overreacts and produces antibodies to substances it would usually tolerate.

Tight muscles- scratching will be the dog’s way of trying to soothe himself. 

Hormonal imbalances can cause superficial skin infection that makes the skin itchy. And hormonal imbalance may be a reason why your dog is itchy. 

Anxiety, stress, boredomDogs can respond to stress by nibbling, chewing, and scratching. They can even develop a condition similar to humans’ obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Vita Canis products that can help and support your dog with skin problems and itchy skin:

Skin Relief: Provides fast relief for allergic reactions and combats itching. Most importantly, it helps break the frustrating circle of itching and scratching. 

Skin Relief Shampoo: Like you and many other dog owners, scratching is a symptom you would like to see resolved for your beloved canine friend. Sadly, environmental allergies are not limited to a certain season of the year anymore. We see more and more all-year-round allergens. If you have a doggie suffering from environmental allergies and you’re desperate for a holistic solution, Skin Relief Shampoo can help with it.

Paw Butter: It will help your pet with cracked paws and noses. It is also perfect for calloused elbows and dry patches. Paw Butter is a 100% natural blend of essential oils, plant butters & oils. 

Does your doggie suffer from itchy skin?

Bea xx

Almonds

Do you like almonds?

I absolutely love them! Especially in the form of almond milk, as I like to add it to my morning coffee and afternoon Chai Latte. Then I like to munch on them in their natural shell-free or blanched salted form. When I bake, I will use them as flour in some cakes, and then there is a food of my childhood chocolate-coated marzipan made of almond paste. Every time I eat it, it brings back memories of my mum, who loved chocolate-coated marzipan.

What are almonds, and why are they good for us?

I always thought almonds were nuts, but they are teardrop-shaped edible seeds that are the fruit of the almond tree. They are high in fat, but much of it is in the form of monounsaturated fats. This fat is good for us as it helps to protect our heart by maintaining levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol often referred to as” bad “cholesterol in our blood. 

Almonds contain many nutrients such as dietary fiber, protein, fat (but more than half of it is monounsaturated fat), vitamin E, Magnesium, Manganese, copper, vitamin B2 and phosphorus. They are also high in phytic acid, which is considered a healthy antioxidant; it slightly reduces the amount of iron, zinc, and calcium you get from almonds. Calcium and phosphorus are good for our bone health as they can protect us from fractures.

A healthy intake is about 28 grams = max 21-23 pieces of almonds per day. Overdosing on almonds can cause some side effects.

Almonds are very versatile. At Vita Canis, we like to use them as Sweet Almond Oil. Sweet almond oil is used in some of your favourite Vita Canis products, such as  Comfort Blend and Hand Butter. 

Are almonds good for our doggies?

Dogs cannot properly digest the proteins present in almonds. But they can still benefit from its nutrients, such as niacin, also known as vitamin B3, which is good for your dog’s skin, hair, eyes, and liver. (Present, e.g., in almond butter). Almonds are not directly toxic if properly processed but can cause gastrointestinal distress, obesity, and pancreatitis. 

If you are looking for vitamin E content, almond butter is the right choice as it has significantly higher vitamin E than peanut butter. It can be used in moderation as an occasional treat for your dog. You can spread it, for example, on a licky mat or bake doggie cookies using almond butter.

Bea xx

Boredom

Do you ever get bored? Now and then, I will get bored and become very jittery, and as a result, I will visit our fridge a lot. Some of us get bored more often than others. Why do we get bored when there are so many things to do? Boredom is an emotion or signal that we are doing something that doesn’t give us satisfaction and a feeling of excitement. 

Did you know that there are five types of boredom? I always thought boredom was just boredom. But it is not that straightforward.

“Is life not a thousand times too short for us to bore ourselves?”– Friedrich Nietzsche

Signs of boredom

*You might be experiencing a lack of interest in activities and surrounding

*Activities don’t give you satisfaction, feeling of excitement, or thrill

*You might struggle to stay motivated for longer than short periods and focus on tasks

*Difficulty resting, relaxing, being nervous, stressed, anxious

*Feeling lethargy, emptiness, frustration, restlessness, jittery

Signs of boredom are very similar to signs of depression and can often be mistaken and lead to depression. We have to be cautious in reading these signs. The difference between them is that with depression, you have a continuous low mood, feeling unhappy, empty, and tired all the time. You don’t want to do any activities; if you do, you usually perform poorly. When you are bored, your mind is not stimulated enough to be interested in your surroundings and activities, and that causes you will be unmotivated to do things.

“You need to let the little things that would ordinarily bore you suddenly thrill you.” -Andy Warhol

How to combat boredom:

*Try some new hobbies or activities

*Ignite your creativity (colouring, drawing, painting, writing)

*Do some meditation, relaxation, go for a walk, try exercising

*Set new goals and challenges and pursue them

*Call old friend, make a new friend, 

*Do some volunteering

Do the dogs get bored?

Yes, they do! They are not very different from us. In the past, dogs were used to working alongside us, which gave them stimulation. Nowadays, many of them spend lots of time on their own while we are at work. Doggie’s boredom can lead to behavioural problems and an unhappy and depressed dog. A bored dog will find ways to entertain himself when we are not around. He will become destructive and chew on shoes and furniture, destroy things, dig, bark, scratch, anything to pass the time. 

Ways how to help our doggies with boredom:

*Give them long-lasting chews

*Kong filled with some treat. keep changing the treats to make them more interesting

*Licky mats, snuffle mats, and food puzzles

*Treat/scent trails, destruction boxes

*Introduce a new toy

*Go for regular walks and make sure your dog has plenty of exercises

*Do obedience training as it will provide mental stimulation

*Get your doggie a brother or sister for company

Bea xx

James Webb’s Space Telescope

Living with a space-obsessed husband teaches me something about the moons, suns, stars, space technology, new inventions, etc. Nowadays, he listens to every update about James Webb’s Space Telescope (JWST). Recently he showed me the first images of the Carina Nebula never seen before. What a fantastic sight. It looked like something out of this world. I find it all very fascinating but more from the beauty point of view. 

What is James Webb Telescope? What can we see?

The JWST is the most advanced and most expensive telescope ever built. It was launched on the 25th of December 2021. And first, images were released to the public about a week ago, on the 12th of July 2022. James Webb’s Telescope images compared to Hubble telescope images are unbelievable. It is because JWST is an infrared observatory with longer wavelength coverage.

These images tell us more about the birth and death of stars, the collision of galaxies, the early universe, and the atmospheres of exoplanets. Can you imagine that it can see almost 13.7 billion light years away? So, things we see in the images already happened long ago.

When will we get to the space? Will dogs be going with us?

For ordinary humans, there will be a chance to go to space when the Colonization of Mars starts. Colonization might probably happen in the next 8 to 30 years or so. I will be too old to go, but hopefully, I will be around to see it happen. Humans will rely on producing, repairing, recycling, and growing everything by themselves. This might also mean using more plant-based medications, essential oils, etc. 

This made me think. Will dogs be going to Mars with us too? Is it really such a crazy idea? Many people will have only a one-way ticket, and having a companion would be great. And what better companion than dogs? Don’t you think? Unfortunately, there are no plans for it to happen at the moment, but who knows? Things might change in the future. 

Dogs in space

The most famous dog in space was canine cosmonaut Laika. She was the first dog to orbit the Earth. Other famous dogs were Belka and Strelka. Strelka went on to have six puppies, one of which was given to US president J.F. Kennedy and was named Pushinka.

Bea xx

Diabetes In Dogs

Recently I was working with a dog who has diabetes. Seeing all those instructions from the owner and medications made me think about dogs affected by diabetes and other long-term illnesses. And about their dedicated, loving owners looking after them and giving them the best care possible. What causes diabetes in dogs?  

Diabetes in dogs/canine diabetes

Canine diabetes develops because the dog’s pancreas stops producing insulin or is not producing enough. The function of insulin is to carry the glucose around the body, helps absorb sugar into the bloodstream after eating, turns food into energy.. and keeps the sugar levels in check.

Unfortunately, diabetes in dogs is not curable. Close monitoring can give doggies better quality of life.  

Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs:

 *A diabetic dog will try to drink at every opportunity. He will become excessively thirsty as the body tries to keep up with the excess fluid loss

*You might notice that your dog will wee more often, too, as the glucose will draw water into the urine

*Being more hungry as his body thinks it is starving

*Being lethargic as energy levels as low

*He will start losing weight as his body won’t be able to use sugar from food if there is no insulin. Lack of insulin prevents sugar from turning into much-needed energy. This will mean that your doggie is not getting enough calories, and his body will start digging into reserves and break down fat and muscle to get more energy

How common is canine diabetes?

About 1 in 300 dogs will get diabetes throughout their life. Canine diabetes is more common in middle-aged to senior and female dogs and obesity in dogs might play its role too.

There are a few breeds that are predisposed to diabetes: Alaskan Malamute, Bichon Frise, Labrador Retriever, Keeshond, Poodle, Miniature Wirehair Dachshund, Cairn Terrier, Pug, Miniature Schnauzer, Spitz, Australian Terrier, Samoyed, Tibetan Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Norwegian Elk Hound, Springer Spaniels.

You know your doggie the best. If you are worried that he might have diabetes, get in touch with your Vet. If untreated, it can cause more serious diabetic ketoacidosis. The vet will do simple urine tests and blood tests to determine the diagnosis. If managed and monitored, your doggie has a chance for a happy life as possible.

Bea xx

Traveling With Mishy

Mishy is an experienced traveler and founder of MistAdventures who doesn’t like to spend holidays without her furry babies, as she calls her two doggies. She embarks on a few long journeys every year. Either from the UK to Slovakia or in the summer, she travels from the UK to Croatia. She is so well organized that everything appears to be effortless. I asked a few questions about her travels with her two dogs. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

What are the names of your doggies & could you tell us a little bit about them?

Hi, we have two boys, MAXimus, a gorgeous, smart, playful, and silly german shepherd & Reign, a daft, funny, loving Northern Inuit dog. 

MAX’s story: I got him when he was ten weeks old as a small pup …hmm he never really was small in size; I expected to meet a little boy & was greeted by a bouncy beagle-sized puppy – he was (and still is) big for his breed standard. We have lived together happily ever since and been on many adventures. I love to travel in my van, and Max comes along, often stealing the bed along the way. In his 1st year alone, he has been to 13 different countries. 

REIGN’s story: He joined our family of 3 in November 2021 as he was looking for his forever home. Reign came with many problems, but we weren’t too phased by that and loved him from the first time we met him. We fell in love with him after reading his story and seeing the gorgeous photos of him on Facebook. He is a stunning-looking Northern Inuit. He is catching up with Max on the places he has visited and traveled. Reign is learning to be an adventure buddy, and most importantly, he completes our family. 

Why have you decided to take them with you on holiday to Croatia?

I have traveled with Max since he was a very young puppy, and it was a given, after making a few adjustments, that Reign would join in any family trips. Having been to the destination previously, we weren’t completely unaware of any potential issues. The place where we stay is dog friendly, with a private beach, making life much easier when planning a trip. 

How do they cope with traveling in the van? On a ferry? 

Max has always been a little star when it comes to traveling. He settles down and just goes along with it all without any fuss. Ferry crossings have never been an issue, but he did not like the Eurotunnel, so I don’t use it when traveling with him. Reign has had a steep learning curve as we got him in late November and then traveled to Slovakia for Xmas. It took a bit of time, for him to eventually settle down, but with great reassurance, he got there in the end and relaxed. We have now adapted the van to make it more suited to two large dogs, but more often than not, they choose to steal their humans’ bed while we travel.

How often do you have to make stops for them? How long are they?

We tend to stop every 3hrs or so when traveling in the daytime. And not as frequently during the night to mirror their usual sleep pattern. We are very lucky as Max has always been able to let me know if he needed me to make a toilet stop for him & Reign somehow observed and learned this too. 

How are your dogs coping with the long journeys? Do you have any tips you could share? 

They do well. Like I already mentioned, Max is just super happy & chilled (it’s me who panics when he pants in hot weather), and Reign is embracing pretty much everything we introduce him to. My tip would be to give it a go, do not overthink all that could go wrong, and consider your dog(s) needs, the space needed in the vehicle, are you able to keep it at a suitable temperature, can your pet(s) stretch their legs on a long journey, etc. Adapt, improvise and roll with it. I don’t have kids, but it must be similar in a way, I think. It’s important to ensure comfort. Oh, and always let your dog(s) have access to water. You can get a special travel bowl with a float that stops it from spilling out. 

What part do you find the most challenging? 

In the summer, the heat. Max pants like crazy at times, and although I know he is fine, I can overreact and will keep the van cool and ventilated even if the other passenger needs to layer up to handle the temperature. We have bought a large battery-operated fan & also use a small plug-in fan when it’s so warm that the aircon becomes sluggish. Reign loves to steal food, so we must remember to hide everything and put it securely away as that boy has some special powers when sniffing out food. I must say, Max has made travel easy, so Reign came into our lives to spice it up a little. And finally, the hair, their fluff gets and is everywhere… tumbleweeds of the stuff, dog hair has become our accessory. 

What must you not forget when packing for your pets? 

Our list is endless. We definitely do not travel light.

We take:

*their bed / favourite blanket,

*food, bowls, treats, feeding stands/table

*a couple of toys, poo bags (lots of those)

*a range of leads & harnesses for the various activities we plan to do, buoyancy vests for paddle boarding,

*water, meds for upset tummy & any regular meds they need, Tick off spray, Calming Floral Spray.

And I’m sure that’s not everything. We have also recently purchased a 65L fridge/freezer to travel with for Reign’s raw food, as we discovered that it’s not always easy to source this type of feed on the go.

How do they handle the heat? 

Dogs are very clever, I think, and intuitively know where the coolest spots are. They pant, especially Max, to reduce their body temp. We try to park & stop over in shaded areas and take them out or create a breeze for them whenever possible. Aircon & portable fans work a treat. 

What do you need to sort out for them before the journey?

I must ensure that the vehicle is comfortable, packed sensibly, and has everything they need. We need to make sure that where we go is pet-friendly and that all their paperwork is in order, as well as book them a place on the ferry. They have a backpack each for their journey – essential.

Do they need some vaccines? 

They need an in-date rabies vaccine to travel abroad, and we administer tick prevention tablets. Max is also vaccinated against the canine parvovirus yearly. 

Do they need passports or health certificates to travel from the UK to the EU?

Max has always had an EU pet passport issued in Slovakia, as this is where he was born. Since Brexit, the UK no longer supports the pet passport scheme; hence we had to get a “Fit to Travel” / Export Certificate paperwork for Reign’s first trip. Dogs also need to be microchipped, and these get checked at a border crossing, so it’s important to know the approximate location of the microchip. 

Do they need the same paperwork for return travel? Do they need to quarantine?

For return travel to the UK, there is also a requirement, in addition to the rabies vacs & microchip, to get a vet to state that the pet is fit to travel and to administer worming treatment between 24-48hrs of anticipated arrival in the UK. 

What dog food do you feed them on your travels? 

Max has always had a sensitive tummy and will have a mix of dry & wet food and home-cooked meals. When we stay in the UK, he is on a tailor-made ‘Tails’ mixed diet that suits him great. Reign is raw fed.

What are your fave activities with your dogs? 

With Max, I like a mountain bike, stand-up paddle, boating, walking, hike as well, as training in agility & obedience. As for Reign, we have had success with mountain biking, running/jogging, walking, and hiking. We have not tried sup yet as we are only just introducing him to the water and swimming, which he is not super keen on, but we hope that he’ll embrace all of our hobbies in time.

Where do you stay?

Most of my travel is done using my self-build camper van for the journey and road-tripping. We wild camp, stay at pet-friendly campsites, or if we want more comfort, we’ll book into B&Bs and have even stayed in a four-star hotel.

How do you find dog-friendly places? i.e., beaches?

Right now, the resources and information availability are great, whether via social media, i.e., groups/forums/ads/mentions / other people’s accounts, or a simple online search. Using booking.com or Air B&B and selecting pet-friendly options always brings about successful suitable choices for a stay. 

Would you like to add anything else? 

Get out there, take your dog(s) with you wherever you go, and seek adventures. Remember to enjoy life, as sometimes that’s harder than we may want it to be, but everything is better with a dog by your side. 

Bea xx

Planning The Holiday With Your Pet

Yippee, you made that decision and are going on holiday with your beloved pet. You are not alone; more and more people are making the same choice. Nowadays, it is much easier as there are many pet-friendly places. Good planning is essential. So let’s start planning the holiday with your pet!

Do you want to travel within the United Kingdom or go further? There are many things to consider so everything goes as smoothly and stress-free as possible.

If your pet is an anxious traveler or suffering from motion sickness. You could always get him used to traveling bit by bit. Vita Canis Calming Floral Spray helps with motion sickness and adjusting to a new environment.

Paperwork:

When traveling to EU countries, you will need an animal health certificate. (AHC) This certificate is proof that your dog has a microchip and vaccination against rabies. Only OV- official veterinarian can issue AHC. You must take your dog to a vet and apply for a health certificate at least ten days before travel. AHC is valid for ten days to enter the EU. It will be valid for four months to re-enter the UK. 

When traveling to non-EU countries, you must obtain an export health certificate (EHC). Each country has its specific EHC requirements. 

Ways of traveling:

*By car or van: when in a vehicle, ensure that your pets are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while driving. One of the options is to put your doggie in a crate/cage with a leak-proof bottom. Or you could use a dog car seat, seatbelt harness, dog guard, or pet carrier. ( the Highway code rule 57).

*Traveling by train: dogs might travel free of charge but only max 2 per passenger for free, provided they do not endanger or inconvenience customers or staff. Dogs, unless contained in a basket, must be kept on the lead or in a harness throughout the journey, including at stations.

*Traveling by plane: there are a few pet-friendly airlines in the UK, including British Airways, Emirates, Qantas, Air New Zealand. Lufthansa, KLM, South African Airways, Air Canada, Tui Group, United, Thai Airways, Iberia, Singapore Airlines, Aeromexico, Kenya Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, and American Airlines. Check before booking a ticket. Three airlines allow pets in the cabin: KLM, Lufthansa, and TUI. This option applies only to small doggies weighing less than 8 kg. The heavier dogs will have to travel in the cargo hold. 

We are almost there, all paperwork sorted, all vaccinations done, pet-friendly accommodation booked, transportation for you, and also your pet booked. Now you just need to do the packing. I don’t know about you, but packing is my least favorite part of traveling. This time you are not packing only for yourself but have to do extra packing also for your dog.

Your pet’s travel-packing checklist:

*Toys, blankets, towels, playpen or crate, bed, dog brush

*Medication, Tick off spray, Antiseptic spray, Comfort Blend, First aid kit,

*Vaccination records, Microchipping records, AHC or EHC certificates, 

*Food, bottled water, treats, food and water bowls, collars with up-to-date tag, leash, harness, and poo bags. 

Bea xx

Traveling With Pets The Pros And Cons

Summer is here, and so are the holidays. Many of you are trying to decide if to take your dogs with you on the holiday or not. When traveling with pets there are so many pros and cons to consider. If you can’t decide, look at the list of pros and cons, which might help you. 

My friends Mishy and Paul have two doggies. They don’t like to spend holidays without them. Every year they make a few long journeys from the UK to Slovakia to start the winter season, and in the summer, they go even further and travel with their furry babies from the UK to Croatia. 

Things to consider when you think if to take or not to take your pet on holiday with you:

*Firstly, you must consider how far you are happy to travel and what transport you want to use. (car, van, plane, train, bus, ferry)

*If you want to stay in the UK or travel to Europe or even further

*Then, you must consider if your pet is an anxious traveler or suffering from motion sickness. You could always get him used to traveling bit by bit. Vita Canis Calming Floral Spray helps with motion sickness and adjusting to a new environment.

*Think about the general health and age of your pet

*Activities you would like to do and activities you will be able to do if taking your pets with you

*Cost of boarding kennels or pet-sitter if you don’t have family or friends who would be able to look after your pet if you decide not to take him.

*Extra cost of traveling, e.g., by plane if you decide to take your pet with you.

*Your pet might be missing you a lot, and you might be missing him a lot.

Traveling with pets the pros and cons

Pros:

*You might be more active 

*Visiting lots of pet-friendly places and meeting with likeminded people

*Having fun and creating unforgettable memories 

*Don’t have to worry about your pet

*You might slow down a bit 

Cons:

*It can get expensive

*More packing not only for you but also for your dog

*Need to sort vet, Animal health certificate or Export health certificate, pet travel insurance

*Compromises

*Can be a bit limiting in things you can do as you always have to consider your pet’s needs.

*Traveling and a new environment can be stressful for your pet

Are you thinking about taking your pet with you on holiday? 

Bea xx

What People Say...

I have three elderly dogs, all 14 years old. They have specific needs and I wouldn’t feel safe leaving them anywhere else. They love staying with Rachel at Vita Canis dog boarding kennels! And they have been staying there for years when we are going on holiday.

I know they always get the best care and plenty of fuss. I get daily updates on how are they doing and what they have been up to.

Klaudia Szonyi