Become a carer Find a carer

Monthly Archives:

Arthritis in Dogs – How Much Dog Walking is a Good Idea?

We are all aware that our fellow four-legged friends age rather quickly. And much like their human counterparts, dogs also suffer from certain common problems and diseases when they get older. Often, if your dog starts showing signs that it’s not enjoying the dog walk and returns with stiffness or each lie down is accompanied by a groan, there’s a possibility it could be arthritis. Arthritis simply means ‘inflammation of the joints’ so you can imagine why your dog may be showing signs of discomfort. Usually, arthritis in dogs is determined via a physical exam by a trained professional so we would always advise if you’re concerned, make an appointment with your vet. Once and if determined, to help relieve the pain for your dog, you’ll need to make some changes around the house and with its routine. Here are some tips on just how to do so!

#1 – Low Impact Exercise

Your dogs exercise routine should be focused around low impact exercise – so no jumping up for balls. Maintain a healthy level of energy, as sudden bursts might cause additional harm. In some cases, swimming can be a great idea if the arthritis is severe. 

#2 – Slow Walks, Instead of Runs

Depending on the extent of arthritis it’s always good to keep exercise levels up. Focus on slow but long walks in less busy areas and parks, where your dog can calmly enjoy a bit of relaxation along with building up the muscle around the joints effected. It’s always best to speak to your vet about appropriate exercise regimes for your pet.

#3 – Massages are Helpful

Massages and heat can really help your dogs achy joints. Certified canine massage therapists are available in most areas who can demonstrate techniques so you can do these at home. Massages stimulate blood flow so doing this after a long walk can really help your dog out.

#4 – Maintain a Healthy Weight

Make sure that your dog maintains a healthy weight. Any bit of added weight adds that much more pressure on the joints. It’s always best to speak to your vet about a healthy weight for your pet – it could mean they need to go on a bit of a diet but this will help ease some of the pain.

#5 – Around the house

Provide your dog with a comfortable padded bed away from any cold or damp drafts. If it’s a dog that enjoys a snuggle on the sofa then some padded steps or a ramp may be necessary depending on how severe your dogs arthritis is. Some dogs struggle with slippery surfaces so nonskid flooring can be ideal when it comes to where your dog spends most of its time.

#6 – Consult your Veterinarian

As we’ve said above, it’s always best to discuss things with your vet – they know the best thing for your dog and could also provide some medication to help relieve some of the pain.


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

A Tailster Guide to toilet training your Puppy

Here at Tailster we care about pets. In fact, we don’t just care, we love them! And with the constant barrage of opinionated tips and advice online, especially on forums, you might end up being confused. That’s why we decided to create this short guide to toilet training your puppy, the right way!

All dogs are different

Toilet training your new pup is all about being consistent, patient and positive with the end goal being to teach your pup good habits and creating a bond – and of course, making sure they do their business in the correct place. Size makes a difference when it comes to how often you need to take a trip outside – smaller breeds will obviously have smaller bladders so it’s likely they will need to make frequent visits to the specific toilet spot.

Introduction from the start

House training should begin with the introduction of your pup into its new home. Make sure to show it its toilet spot during your first tour of the house. Nevertheless, toilet training shouldn’t really begin until your pup is at least between 12 and 16 weeks old, this is primarily due to the fact that, according to experts, this is when your puppy first begins to have proper bladder control. If your dog is older, you might need to do some reshaping of dog habits, which is a topic for another time.

The proper steps for toilet training

To begin the toilet training, you first have to ensure that your puppy is kept on a regular schedule. Take them out first thing in the morning to do its deed, then proceed to take it out once every hour or so, after a nap (which is quite a lot when it’s a pup) and after every meal. Finally, taking your pup out before it’s left alone at night is also a must. Each time your puppy is going to the toilet in the correct place remember to reward them with an enthused head rub, treat or their favourite food – this is positive reinforcement.

Be observant

You’ll start to learn the signs of when your puppy needs to go to the toilet. Even though they’ll be sniffing every new object they see they will tend to sniff around in circles or near where they may have had an accident before. If they are aware of where they need to be to go to the toilet then door scratching and barking is also a key sign. Once you see this, it’s good to quickly take them outside – you can never be too cautious!

Habitual Training

For the puppy to build the habit of doing its deed outside, you need to ensure that you take it out to the same spot each time, usually it’s scent will allow it to instinctively go. Don’t forget to stay with it outside, at least until he’s properly trained as you want to praise it every time it goes outside.

Remember, accidents can happen

It’s likely there will be a number of accidents whilst training your puppy – the key thing to remember is to not shout at them or punish them in any way, this will cause your puppy to trust you less and may make them hide their mistakes elsewhere around the house. If you catch them going in the wrong place, take them straight outside and praise them once they’re finished outside. It’s important to clean up any accidents with the correct cleanser to minimise the odour and make sure your puppy doesn’t go back to the same spot.


If you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

How dogs can smell when your leaving, And how to make it easier for them.

Did you know that dogs possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in us? And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is 40 times greater than ours?

Your dog’s nose is so sensitive that it helps them understand  the difference between the times of day and can indicate how long ago you left the house. The weaker your smell, the longer you’ve been away.

 

These days, most of our dogs spend their owners workdays at home alone. Often they’re bored and lonely. It is our responsibility as owners to ensure this time spent alone is as painless for our loved ones as possible.

Here is a few tips to make that time pass easily for your dog;

1) Tire them out

Taking your dog for a long walk before leaving them alone is not just great  physical exercise, but mental stimulation as well both of which will tire your dog out. How much exercise depends of the breed and size of your dog.

2) Relieve Boredom

Leave your pooch plenty of toys to keep them entertained. Puzzle games can be great for engaging your dogs brain. There is a huge variety of games to choose from and some of these toys offer variable difficulty levels.

3) Stay In touch

Technological advancements now allow us to communicate with our pets even when we are not with them. Pet cameras offer the possibility to soothe your dog with your voice and reward them with treats.

4) Food dispensing toys

Instead of leaving food out in the usual bowl try a food dispensing toy. This will draw out their feeding time as well as keeping them entertained. Make sure you test these toys out first when your around to ensure your dog is safe!

5) Use a dog walker

Find a companion who will love your dog as much as you do to come and take them out for a walk half way through the day. This will not only be great exercise for your dog but provide them with socialization and stimulation and give you peace of mind whilst your at work. Here at Tailster We have the option of dog walking, doggy daycare and dog boarding to help with those times you need extra care for your dog.


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Why Does Your Dog Lick You?

Depending on the type of person you are, you either love it or hate it, when your dog starts to lick you. As humans, we should remember that right from birth, licking is how dogs communicate. The mother will lick the newborn puppies clean and to stimulate them to start breathing.
But much like everything else your pet does, there might be something more behind your dog’s lick as they get a little older.

Here are a few thoughts on why your dog licks you and how to know what your pet is trying to say;
– “The Endorphin Rush”
Much like people, dogs are also driven by hormones. One happiness hormone we have in common is endorphin. When a pup is happy, endorphin’s rush to its brain and one of the instincts they have is to lick. In fact, some studies show that the act of licking alone helps a dog with the release of even more endorphin’s. Thus, if your dog is playing happily and starts to lick you, it’s both a way for your pup to show affection and to be even happier.

– Puppy “Bump” Kisses
Puppies love to lick, smell and touch everything. They are simply exploring the world. Thus, when a small pup bump kisses you on the mouth, it might be trying to understand who you are. Of course, licking your face is still a sign of affection, but when accompanied by a bump kiss, chances are your pup is taking a note of your smell.

– The Self Licking
If a dog is chronically licking themselves, it could be because they’re bored, anxious or it could be something a little more sensitive such as a skin irritation or a sign of pain somewhere else in the body. If you notice this happening with your pooch, it may be a good idea to get in touch with your vet!

So usually, your pooches licking is fuelled by happy emotions and affection, but it’s something you should keep an eye on in case it becomes excessive. We’ll take all of the puppy kisses please!


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Thousands of Dogs and Cats Killed Each Year by Salt and Antifreeze

Here at the Tailster blog, we strive to deliver useful content that either brings a smile to your face or inform you about a certain matter that we feel is important. And when we came across this discovery, we just had to share. Despite how grim this issue is, you just have to know – we already know that eating snow is dangerous for your pet due to the chemicals might be in it. But the sad and shocking truth is that it can be deadly for our little pets. That’s right. As much as thousands of dogs and cats are killed each year by salt and antifreeze!

Treating our roads with chemicals, such as antifreeze and salt, is crucial for the proper road operation of our society during winter times. However, did you realise the chemicals used to keep the roads free from snow and ice can be fatal to our beloved companions?

Be Aware of the Dangers of Snow for Cats and Dogs!

Not letting your pets eat snow that is by the side of the road is the first step towards avoiding any possible dangers. However, the way chemical poisoning in pets usually happen is that by walking on areas treated with rock salt or antifreeze, the paws of your pal get irritated. Once they do, your pet will usually end up licking them. Hazardous materials left from drivers can also end up on the hair of your pet. By licking and digesting those chemicals, your pet might start suffering from chemical poisoning.  

Symptoms of Illnesses

In case you think your pet might have already been poisoned, make sure to look out for these symptoms. Get to a vet as early as you notice these signs. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

  • Depression and Lethargy
  • Lack of Coordination
  • Low Body Temperature
  • Vomiting and Excessive Thirst
  • Excessive Urination
  • Rapid Breathing/Heart-Rate
  • Progressive Weakness
  • Tremors and Abnormal Eye Movements

Avoid Dangerous Areas and Keep your Pet Safe!

One of the first solutions is to avoid taking your pet out for a walk in urban areas. Instead, get in the car and take them to the park. Don’t have a park nearby? You can always purchase cat or dog boots to help your pet be safe in the cold weather.


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Top tips for Dog walking at night time

The winter season is well under way and days are shorter than ever. This leaves you with one of two options, you are either going to take your dog out for a walk in the dark, or your beloved pet will be taking you out for a quick stroll in the dark. There’s just no way around it! No matter how late it might be, your four legged pal needs to keep its routine intact. That is, unless you want to hear barking and scratching noises at your door when you are going to sleep. But now that, what is supposed to be your best friend, is making you do a chore in the cold and dark, what you are supposed to do? Well, we’ve got some tips for you!

#1 – Equip Yourself and your Dog for an Adventure

The first step to take when taking your dog out for a walk in the evening is to have the proper outerwear. This means both comfortable and warm clothing, if possible reflective vests as well – both for you and your dog. A headlight might be too much for you, but it works wonders for letting you and your pal find the way in the dark. And if a headlight isn’t for you, you can always go with a light-up collar or a light up leash for your dog. Want to have some fun in the park? Take a light-up toy with you… Yeah. Those exist as well!

#2 – But don’t be too adventurous!

Keep your dog on a leash. During the summer and the light of day, it might be a good decision to let your pal explore the world, but in the dark you want to be safe. If your dog is prone to chasing the odd squirrel or two this can be a nightmare in the dark and losing them out of sight is certainly not a scenario you would want to tackle. Make sure you’re comfortable with your dogs recall before letting them off and it might be an idea to invest in a light up collar – just in case!

#3 – Take a Safe Route with your Best Pal

Exploring a safe route is also a must. Make sure to take your dog for a stroll in familiar places. The path you take should be one you know like the back of your hand to ensure you don’t get lost in the process. Plus, while this might be obvious, make sure to take your phone with you. Technology is extremely helpful and a handheld GPS with easy communication availability, in the form of your handheld, is always a plus.

#4 – Longer walks during the day or the weekend

It might be an idea to give your dog a longer walk during the day so the evening walks are more about doing their ‘business’ than doing a lot of exercise. Burn off that extra energy on their lunchtime walk to save yourself from feeling unsafe on evening walks. Alternatively, weekends can be used to give your pet the exercise they really need. Long walks can keep some energy subsided for a couple of days. Don’t have the extra time? Try out a Tailster dog walker for the days you can’t do!


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Tailsters Dog Winter Survival Guide!

Keeping your pet safe during the winter is more difficult of a task than it might seem. Here is a quick dog winter survival guide to help you out!

Research and Purchase Appropriate Dog Clothing

Dog breeds vary in terms of dog fur and dog hair. With that in mind, make sure to do some digging on how well your particular dog breed performs in the snow and the cold weather. You certainly don’t want your dog to be freezing! We might be able to help with our article ‘Does your dog really need to wear a coat this Winter?

In most cases, what you would need to do is purchase appropriate dog clothing to keep your dog warm.

If your pet is having trouble playing in the snow, it might be because it’s paws are not made for the cold weather. If your dog has long fur it’s advised to trim the hair between their toes and around their feet, this stops them from getting ice clumps and causing discomfort. Dog boots also exist. Don’t forget to buy your pet some boots to let it have the best and cheerful winter experience it deserves, they can also be a life saver. In this cold weather, us humans use salt and antifreeze to keep our paths safe. Unfortunately, this means are dogs are walking in it and we all know our pups love to lick their paws which means a mouthful of salt or antifreeze – boots mean your dogs paws are kept safe and dry.

Eating Snow is a no-go!

Dogs are playful creatures and when they see something new and interesting, their first instinct is usually to eat it. And as cute and harmless as it might seem, eating snow is a definite no-go!

The first reason for this is the small pieces of rubbish that might be covered by it. Glass, metal and other harmful materials might be a paw away from harming your dog.

What’s more, one of the worst scenarios during the winter is for your dog to end up eating antifreeze. It’s common for dogs when playing around and eating snow they end up coming in touch with chemicals, oil and antifreeze that has leaked out of vehicles.

Avoid Ice at All Cost

A little less obvious, ice is as slippery for dogs as it is for humans. Make sure to avoid any icy areas in your neighbourhood when walking your pet and if this is not possible, remember to walk slowly and always keep your dog on a leash. Avoid frozen lakes or ponds as you don’t know how thick the ice is and it could easily crack, it’s best to keep your dog on the lead around these areas.

The Dog Park is your Best Friend

Depending on the weather and the area you are in, a better option might be taking your dog to the park and walking it once you are there. Usually, parks that allow dogs are cleaned more regularly and thus hazards, such as ice or rubbish covered by the snow, should not be as common. Always keep an eye on your dog, just in case.

 

Finally, it’s important you have a great time with your pooch this Winter. Although some of the above seems a little over cautious, it’s still important to give your dog the exercise it needs.


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Group Dog Walks or Solo Walks – Which one is Best for your Dog?

There are two main ways you can walk your dog, each with its own benefits.

Nevertheless, when choosing a dog carer or a dog walking professional, you have the option to choose whether you want your dog walks to be solo or whether you like the idea of group dog walks. If you can’t decide between the two, here are a few thoughts on the benefits of both.

Solo Dog Walking Services

One of the biggest benefits of solo dog walking is that your dog will have 1 to 1 attention from your dog walker. Walks can be catered to their specific requirements and the journey to the park will not be interrupted by further pick ups of other dogs. You can choose whether a lazy stroll around the block is suitable for your elderly dog, or a very active walk in the park for a very energetic puppy.

If you know your dog tends to react to other dogs, then a solo dog walk is probably best as an option. They also won’t end up holding up a group. Dogs with behavioural or health issues are probably best starting as solo dog walks as their nervousness or anxiety could set in if surrounded by other dogs on the walk.

A walker who is walking your dog solo is also well placed to potentially help with issues like lead pulling, aggression or excessive barking.

You should be conscious of a dog walker’s ability to be able to handle multiple dogs on leads at the same time – it may be the case that you do not want to take the chance of them losing control – if your dog is one that tends to dart off at inappropriate times, a solo dog walk is probably best.

In terms of price for a solo dog walker, some may charge a little more per hour because they find themselves in a position that they are missing out on the income of a second dog for that hour’s walk. At Tailster, we have over 20,000 dog walkers across the UK who are there to help. Due to this volume, the chances of you finding a solo dog walker are very high if that is what you wish for.

 

Group Dog Walking Services

Quite common in urban areas, group dog walking services are far cheaper. Yet, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have certain benefits over solo walks. In fact, if your dog is more social towards other dogs, group walks might be the better option as they will allow it to socialise more.

If your dog is social and loves being around other dogs, then we think group dog walks are the way forward. He may not get the attention of a solo dog walk, but the interaction with other dogs will more than make up for it. It’s important to get your puppy socialised as early as possible so this might be a great option for new dog owners.

When in a pack, your dog will have the chance to explore its surroundings with other dogs and certain pups love that. Nevertheless, make sure that your dog is properly vaccinated and that you choose the right dog walking service, as group walks might lead to dog fights and/or injuries.

In terms of dog walking prices for group walks,  many walkers do not typically pass over the saving in costs to the owners and rather use the ability to walk multiple dogs in the same hour for the same money. There is often an opportunity to gain a discount if you have more than one dog – we find that quotes for multiple dog walks are typically lower than 2 dogs in separate households that need to be collected by the dog walker.

At tailster, as the UK’s favourite dog walking service, we offer the various choices of group dog walking or solo walks – all you need to do when you create your pet care request is, in the more info box, add whether you prefer solo or group walks. Our dog walkers will then quote accordingly. You can create a pet care request below and feel free to invite both dog walkers who will walk in groups versus those that are solo.

How to Introduce a New Puppy into your Home

There’s no better gift you can receive than a new family member. Puppies are adorable, can teach responsibility and are great companions. Yet, much like little children, dogs also need to be properly taken care of as they learn and adapt their habits from the very moment they walk into your home. With that in mind, here are a few tips on introducing a new puppy into your home.

Preparation

Make sure that you are prepared to welcome your new puppy into your home. First and foremost, you need a collar and a lead for the new fellow – and in the UK the Control of Dogs Order 1992 states that all dogs in a public place must have a name and address written or engraved onto a collar or tag. If you don’t teach your pup to wear a collar the first day, you could have a lot of trouble doing so later on. But that’s not all you’ll need. A dog bed, possibly a crate, as well as bowls and grooming materials are also a must. Having a few dog toys around is also helpful. Don’t forget to remove any hazardous items (wires, sharp objects) and to “dog-proof” your home!

 

The First Walk Around the House

The first thing you should do once you bring your new pup home let it sniff everything, but don’t let him/her chew things. Instead, when it inevitably starts chewing on random objects, tell it calmly to leave it and give it an appropriate toy – start as you mean to go on, those puppy teeth will grow! Having a clear sleeping and clear toilet area will help your new addition feel comfortable and fall into routine.

Avoid Having Visitors Over and Long Excursions

Your pup is probably stressed out as it is, avoiding having any guests over on its first day will give it a chance to settle and gain some confidence. Instead let it get to know his/her new family first – there are so many new sights and smells to take in. Of course, introducing your new puppy to strangers (human and furry) once the appropriate time comes is very important to having a friendly, sociable and well adjusted pooch. Longer excursions and walks are also out of the question for the first few days, little puppies get tired very quickly and spend most of their days sleeping and of course cannot go outside for walks until all the right vaccination courses have been given.

Be Observant

One of the most important things when bringing a pup to your home is letting it settle at its own pace. Be observant of its actions and reactions and don’t stress it out unnecessarily. Let it explore its new home calmly and learn of its surroundings. Tailster have thousands of carers across the UK available to help with all of your walking and puppy sitting needs! Already have a dog and getting a new one? Learn how to introduce a dog coming into your home with a host dog right here.


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.

Are Dogs smarter than Cats? The age old question answered!

Dog owners, Rejoice! Science has finally proven beyond a biological doubt, that our beloved canines are smarter than their feline pet counterpart. That’s right! The fact that dogs are smarter than cats has finally been made scientifically clear and defined as “the truth.” So now may be the best time to call your cousin and end the debate of which pet is better once and for all, as the science has spoken! I know it could be hard for some people to believe when they pull off the Resting Doofus Face so well….

Dogs Have More Than Twice the Neuron Count Compared to Cats

Back in 2010, an Oxford University study went on to suggest that canines are more intelligent than felines due to their increased social interaction. According to their theory, the more social the animal, the smarter it is. And we are well aware that dogs are far more interested and curious about the world around them than cats.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t until just a few weeks ago, when a combined researcher group from multiple universities across the world decided to look at the brainy facts. Lead by Vanderbilt neuroscientist Suzana Herculano-Houzel, the group explored the brain sizes and neuron counts of different species.

When it came down to our pets, the truth was obvious, the researchers found that dogs have twice the neuron count compared to cats. 530 million neurons for dogs, compared to 250 million neurons for cats, to be exact. And as the theory goes, the bigger the brain and the more grey matter it has, the smarter the animal.

Stanley Coren, in his book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ (definitely worth a read!) reviewed the results of almost 200 judges of dog behaviour and identified breeds such as the Border Collie, Poodle, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever and Doberman Pinscher as intelligent dogs – bright working dogs who tend to learn new commands in less than 5 seconds and a tendency to obey orders from their owners quickly.

Dogs Have Always Been Smarter!

Of course, the fact has lingered over in history as evidence of the now scientific truth have been left all over the place. Dogs are trained as K9 Units, are often used as assistance dogs and can learn to execute complex tasks too, and famous dogs are known for performing calculated tricks.  The same can’t be said for cats they tend to stay out of the way and are most famous for, well, bringing down the christmas tree.

 

What do you think – are dogs smarter than cats? Let us know via Facebook and Twitter.


And if you need any help finding the perfect carer for your pet, make a request below. It’s free and it only takes 30 seconds – let’s see who we can find for you.