The Omlet Blog Archives: January 2021

Go Big with 10% off Purple & Green Eglu Cubes!

Want to make a statement? Go Big, Go Bold, Go Cube with 10% off Purple & Green Eglu Cube Chicken Coops!

*Includes runs, run extensions and wheels when bought with the Cube house.

Use promo code: GOBIG

Hurry – offer ends 31st of January 2021. T&C’s apply.

 

Terms and conditions

Promotion of 10% off Eglu Cubes runs from 28/01/21 until midnight on 31/01/21. Use promo code GOBIG at checkout. Includes Eglu Cube chicken coops only. Includes runs, run extensions and wheels when bought as part of a Cube package only. Excludes individual Cube accessories, such as feeders and drinkers, sold separately. Subject to availability. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Offer cannot be used on delivery, existing discounts or in conjunction with any other offer.

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This entry was posted in Chickens on January 28th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Pet Days to Celebrate: The Top List in 2021

There are days that matter. Days we don’t want to forget and days we want to celebrate. There are dates that we want to mark: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving… And dates that we would like to know. While certain symbolic days are easy to remember, sometimes we need to refresh our memories. Our pets also have the right to their glory days! Here are the key dates to know in 2021!

Photo by Glenn Han on Unsplash

The list below is not exhaustive and takes into account the days established in some countries and not in others. However, we love any excuse to celebrate our pets so thought you’d love to here of these special days too!

Summary

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

January

The month of January is already almost over but nothing prevents us from taking a retrospective of past events.

Throughout January, two actions were put forward:

  • Adopt a rescued bird. Birds were therefore honored in this month of January. Many cats and dogs are asking to be rescued every day, but it was important to put the birds in the spotlight! Thousands of them are looking for a home and a family to care for them. Birds are awesome, they are fun, social, and smart creatures. There are many owners who underestimate the workload around these little animals. Birds require a lot of attention and love. This is why the abandonments are numerous and the shelters overwhelmed.

  • National Train Your Dog Month (US): A movement started by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers many years ago. This month is your chance to teach your dog new tricks. During the month of January, social networks become a real source of information for dog owners with tips and advice. Feel free to browse Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest. This is the time when trainers, canine experts, and dog owners come together to celebrate their love for their pets. Remember three essential things for your dog to learn in good conditions: loyalty, love, fidelity.

Specific Days in January for pets:

  • Jan. 24: Change a Pet’s Life Day: a day especially created to encourage people to adopt pets from shelters. And if you are not ready to adopt, you can sponsor a pet. This system is done through shelters, do not hesitate to inquire directly with them! You can also think of volunteering. Associations always need help.
  • Jan. 25: National Fun At Work Day

February

February is only 28 days but they are busy days. The month of February is particularly placed under the sign of health. Don’t forget to take your pet regularly to the vet. The all-important task is to spay our pets.

Throughout this February, two actions are put forward:

  • Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month: Rabbits make great pets too. Often forgotten like birds, the month of February allows these small animals to be honored. For people who have allergies to dogs and cats, adopting a rabbit may be an ideal solution! Allergies are actually less frequent. Rabbits bring joy and happiness, they are just waiting to join a loving family.
  • National Cat Health Month (US): This month we are focusing on the well-being of our cats! Parents of cats, this is the time to take into consideration not only the physical well-being of your pet, but also the occasion to take into account its emotional well-being. It’s time to celebrate our furry friends. This month we take our cat to the vet, we flood it with love and why not buy our lovely cat a new toy… It’s a secret but…Many surprises are arriving this spring at Omlet for cat owners! Stay connected…

Specific Days in February for pets:

  • Feb. 3: National Golden Retriever Day
  • Feb. 3: Annual Doggy Date Night: dogs are an integral part of a family. It is essential to give them quality time. Take advantage of an evening with your dogs to show them all your love: pet them, share a movie with them, give them a gift and above all tell your dogs that you love them. This day reminds us how much our dogs bring us daily joy.
  • Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day: Valentine’s day is not just for humans!
  • Feb. 14: Pet Theft Awareness Day: This day reminds us how much a pet brings happiness to a family but it also reminds us of the responsibilities that go with it. This day emphasizes the importance of pet identification and encourages owners to take steps to ensure the safety of the animal.
  • Feb. 20: Love Your Pet Day 💚💚💚
  • Feb. 22: National Walk Your Dog Day
  • Feb. 23: World Spay Day: This day is an opportunity for shelters to highlight their spay program. World Spay Day shining a spotlight on the power of affordable, accessible spay/neuter to save the lives of pets and street dogs who might otherwise be put down in shelters or killed on the street.
  • Feb. 27: Polar Bear Day: We leave the world of pets for a moment to highlight the importance of polar bear conservation who are an endangered species.

March

Throughout March, two actions are put forward:

  • Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig Month: Just like birds and rabbits, there are many guinea pigs in shelters! They are charming companions who will know how to bring joy at home. Guinea pigs are wonderful animals for your children. In addition to being excellent friends, they can also teach them empathy and responsibility.


  • Poison Prevention Awareness Month: Think you don’t have poison in your house? This day allows us to become aware of the products which surround us and which could be dangerous for our animals. Remember to store your products in your cupboards and not leave them lying around. Your animals are like children and they could easily swallow or inhale a substance dangerous to their health which could even lead to death. This period was established in the United States but it is important for any person in possession of a pet in the whole world to take note of it.

Specific Days in March for pets:

  • March 3: If Pets Had Thumbs Day: Yes this day exists and it’s a funny one! It comes straight from the United States and allows us to imagine the life of our dog with thumbs.
  • March 20: World Sparrow Day
  • March 23: National Puppy Day (US): this day celebrates all the love that puppies bring us. You might see a lot of social media posts emerging on this day! This day makes us aware that puppies are a big responsibility. This day also exists to educate people about the horrors of puppy mills across the world.
  • March 23: Cuddly Kitten Day
  • March 28: Respect Your Cat Day: give them the attention they deserve!
  • March 30: Take a Walk in the Park Day

April

Some important aspects of pet care are highlighted in April.

Throughout April, two actions are put forward:

  • National Pet Month (UK): This month is a time to educate pet owners about the responsibility of having a pet at home. Through numerous campaigns and an educational approach, associations hope to raise awareness.
  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month: This month is also the time to speak out and take action! Do not hesitate to condemn any behavior that could endanger an animal. The month of March is an opportunity to help associations by giving or volunteering. Your actions may be able to save lives.

Photo by Caleb Carl on Unsplash

Specific Days in April for pets:

  • April 4: Easter: Easter emblems: a rabbit, a chicken and a bell
  • April 8: National Dog Fighting Awareness Day
  • April 11: National Pet Day
  • April 11: Celebrate Shelter Pets Day
  • April 11: Dog Therapy Appreciation Day
  • April 12: World Hamster Day: hamsters also have the right to their glory day!
  • April 23: National Lost Dog Awareness Day
  • April 24: World Veterinary Day: This annual celebration aims to highlight a profession: veterinarians. This day underlines the vital role of this profession in also ensuring animal welfare, safe world trade in animals and animal products as well as protecting public health.
  • April 25: National Pet Parents Day
  • April 26: National Kids and Pets Day (US): This day is mainly celebrated in the United States however it can easily be highlighted in other countries by offering activities bringing together your children and pets! Why not do a family outing on April 26? Play hide and seek all together in the garden? So much activity exists!
  • April 28: International Guide Dog Day: It is important to pay tribute to these dogs who allow their owner to socialize with the outside world. These dogs are very supportive and do an amazing job. They bring love, comfort and help.
  • April 30: Adopt a Shelter Pet Day
  • April 30: National Therapy Animal Day
  • April 30: Hairball Awareness Day

May

In May, we celebrate the different breeds of dogs. We also do not forget the importance of microchipping your pets!

Throughout May, two actions are put forward:

  • Chip Your Pet Month: This month the focus is on the microchip. It’s a perfect time to spread knowledge about microchips. The American Humane Association evaluates that one in three animals will be lost or stolen in their lifetime. The microchip is like your pet’s identity card. If lost, your pet has a better chance of finding you if they are microchipped.
  • Pet Cancer Awareness Month: Did you know that cancer is a leading cause of disease-related death in cats and dogs? This month emphasizes the importance of a good medical follow-up of your animal.

Specific Days in May for pets:

  • May 1: National Purebred Dog Day
  • May 3: National Specially-abled Pets Day (US): Disabled animals are highlighted on this day. These animals have an immense need for love. Know that they will know how to return it to you.
  • May 8: Vet Nurse Day
  • May 8: National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
  • May 8: National Dog Mom’s Day
  • May 14: International Chihuahua Appreciation Day: And yes, chihuahuas have the right to have their own day! In addition, this day is international! They are the kings.
  • May 20: National Rescue Dog Day

June

In June, shelters see an abundance of kittens arriving.

Throughout June, an action is put forward:

Adopt-A-Cat Month / Adopt a Shelter Cat Month:

As stated in this article, adoption is a laudable alternative. By welcoming an abandoned cat, you are giving it a second chance to live the life it deserves. Cats need to be loved, and while shelters do an amazing job, nothing beats a family to take care of them.

Specific Days in June for pets:

  • June 4: Hug Your Cat Day: Hugs day is normally everyday for your cat. But we like to remind you that there is a specific day for that so this day make sure to give twice as much hug for your lovely cat!
  • June 8: Best Friends Day: If we celebrate best friends, it’s not just human beings. Who is more loyal than your dog? Who is more fun than your bunny or even your little chickens?
  • June 8: World Pet Memorial Day: It is a day dedicated to all our pets gone to paradise.
  • June 21: Take Your Cat to Work Day: Try asking your boss first though in case they’re allergic…
  • June 24: Cat World Domination Day: Oops it’s a secret…
  • June 25: Take Your Dog to Work Day

July

In July we take care of our pets. It’s summer, it’s hot, we try to be vigilant. We think of hydration!

Throughout July, an action is put forward:

National Pet Hydration Awareness Month (US): It is a month dedicated in United States but it should also be for every country in the world that happens to be in the summer at this time of the year. Your pets need to drink. Don’t forget them!

Specific Days in July for pets:

  • July 5: Pet Remembrance Day
  • July 16: Guinea Pig Appreciation Day
  • July 21: National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day: This is the perfect day to make something for the pets in shelters. It is also a perfect activity to offer to your children!
  • July 21: No Pet Store Puppies Day
  • July 30: International Friendship Day: Here again we celebrate our friendship with our lovely animals!

August

In August, we take advantage of our pets. Many activities are to be discovered with your furry friend!

Specific Days in August for pets:

  • Aug. 1: DOGust Universal Birthday for Shelter Dogs
  • Aug. 4: Assistance Dog Day
  • Aug. 6: Fresh Breath Day
  • Aug. 8: International Cat Day
  • Aug. 10: Spoil Your Dog Day: On this special day, spoil your dog with little treats, participate in activities and above all spend time giving him lots of love.
  • Aug. 21: International Homeless Animals Day: This particular day symbolizes the fight for better legal and physical protections for our pets.

September

Specific Days in September for pets:

  • Sept. 1: Ginger Cat Appreciation Day
  • Sept. 8: National Dog Walker Appreciation Day
  • Sept. 13: Pet Birth Defect Awareness Day: This day was established by David Rogers in order to bring awareness to the “interactive role humans play in our pets’ physical birth defects as well as their mental health”
  • Sept. 17: National Pet Bird Day
  • Sept. 25: International Rabbit Day: This day is dedicated to our little rabbits. Take out its favorite toys, carrots and a nice obstacle course so he can let off steam!
  • Sept. 25: World’s Largest Pet Walk (US): This day is organized by an association Pet Partners and allows fundraising. It is about promoting the physical activity shared with his pets.

October

In October, we pay attention to what our pets eat! Obesity is a problem that our furry pets can face.

Image by LorysCats from Pixabay

Throughout October, an action is put forward:

Adopt-A-Dog Month/Adopt a Shelter Dog Month: Like cats, dogs have one month dedicated for adoption. So we can never repeat it enough but if you want to adopt, think above all about shelters!

Specific Days in October for pets:

  • Oct. 4: World Animal/Pet Day
  • Oct. 13: Pet Obesity Awareness Day: Obesity in our animals is not to be taken lightly. A obist problem in your pet can lead to other health problems and affect the quality of life of your companion. It also interferes in all the activities that he is called upon to do: walking, running after a ball. These activities are nevertheless so dear to his heart.
  • Oct. 27: National Black Cat Day (UK): We did a recent article about black cats, read it here!
  • Oct. 28: Plush Animal Lovers’ Day: Ideal day to buy your pet a new toy
  • Oct. 30: National Pit Bull Awareness Day
  • Oct. 31: Halloween: We are careful not to leave chocolate lying around! It’s not good for our furry pets.

November

Throughout November, an action is put forward:

Adopt a Senior Pet Month: The whole month of November highlights the adoption of a senior pet. A month dedicated to older pets to find a lovely home. Dogs and cats of advanced age have higher euthanasia rates. There are many advantages to adopting an older pet: they are calmer, it is easier to teach them new tricks, they require less attention than a puppy.

Specific Days in November for pets:

  • Nov. 1: National Cook for Your Pets Day (US): It’s an excellent idea to test new recipes and share them with your furry friends.
  • Nov. 17: Take a Hike Day
  • Nov. 25: Thanksgiving (U.S.)
  • Nov. 28: Hanukkah Begins

December

December, it’s gifts month!

Specific Days in December for pets:

  • Dec. 5: International Volunteer Day: the opportunity to volunteer with an animal association
  • Dec. 9: International Day of Veterinary Medicine
  • Dec. 24: Christmas Eve
  • Dec. 25: Christmas: Gifts are also for our animals!
  • Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve

There are many, many dates that celebrate animals around the world. If you are not celebrating a particular date, that’s okay, the most important thing is to give lots of love every day to these pets who bring you joy and happiness all year round!

 

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This entry was posted in Uncategorised on January 27th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


15% off Geo Bird Cage for a limited time only!

For a limited time only, save 15% on the Geo Bird Cage from Omlet.

Upgrade your budgie cage for 2021, with the stylish, easy clean Geo and it’s integrated ‘no-spill’ feeder and drinker. Available in three contemporary colours with optional accessories, including the constellation Night Cover and striking blue Bird Bath, all now with 15% off!

Use promo code: HAPPYGEO

Offer ends 24/01/2021. T&C’s apply.

See what our customers have to say about the Geo Bird Cage…

Julie, Washington: Amazing cage! Aesthetically beautiful as well as spacious for two budgies. We bought the high stand and all the accessories and are completely satisfied with the purchase. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sharon, Queensland: Absolutely love this bird cage looks so good with the modern legs and such a great size highly recommended. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

 

Terms and conditions

Promotion of 15% off Geo Bird Cages runs from 20/01/21 until midnight on 24/01/21. Use promo code HAPPYGEO at checkout. Includes all colours of Geo Bird Cage, plus stand, bird bath and night cover. Excludes Geo Bird Cage Perches – Pack of 2. Subject to availability. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Offer cannot be used on delivery, existing discounts or in conjunction with any other offer.

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This entry was posted in Budgies on January 19th, 2021 by chloewelch


Are my chickens too cold?

Chickens are hardy birds, and are fantastically good at adapting to the climate, whether it’s midsummer or deepest winter. Unless the winter in your area is very harsh, your chickens will be able to keep warm by snuggling up in the coop, and the cold weather will not prevent them from going about their usual business of scratching and pecking through the run or garden.

How do chickens keep warm in the winter?

The chicken’s secret is natural insulation. Their feathers help them retain body heat and warm the air trapped beneath their downy under-feathers. When she’s at rest, a hen’s body temperature is 40–43C, and her heart rate is around 400 beats per minute – evidence of a high metabolism that sets up the birds very well for winter weather.

Watching chickens scratch at the frozen ground or strut through the snow, you might wonder how they manage to keep their feet and legs warm. After all, this is one part of their body with no feathers to keep it cosy (unless you happen to have a feathery-legged breed such as the Cochin, Brahma or Silkie). The answer lies in the chicken’s leg scales, which retain heat to a certain extent. The average chicken will always be on the move, not keeping all its toes on the ground for too long.

How can you tell if chickens are too cold?

You can tell if a hen is feeling cold by simply looking at her. She will have her feathers ruffled up and will be perched off the ground, probably with one leg tucked up. Her wattles and comb may look paler than usual. These are not signs of distress, and as long as the chicken is only having a brief rest, rather than staying hunkered up for the whole day, you don’t have to worry.

Chickens are should not be allowed to remain soaking wet. This is more dangerous than the outdoor temperature or the falling snow, and in extreme cases will result in hypothermia. An affected hen will be stiff and cold to the touch, with her eyes wider and unblinking, or closed. If you find one of your chickens in this state, take her indoors and wrap her in a warm towel. When she recovers, put her in a bedding-lined box in a warm spot for a few hours.

Does perching keep chickens warm?

Like many other birds, chickens often adopt the ‘one leg’ pose in the winter, tucking one of their limbs up into the warmth of their bellies. This reduces overall heat loss and stops feet and toes from freezing on the icy ground. Like all birds, chickens are warm-blooded, and their own body heat soon works its magic.

Perching is the most effective way for a chicken to retain body heat. A hen hunkers down when roosting, with her feathers fluffed up and her legs tucked into her warm body. If space allows, install a flat perch in your coop or run. This will enable the hens to roost without having to curl their toes around the roosting bar, which in really cold weather will prevent their toes freezing. An upturned pot, a log, pallet or other slightly elevated space will give the birds a flat surface to perch on, to escape the ice and snow.

How cold is too cold for chickens?

Chickens will regulate their temperature and behaviour accordingly, so wherever humans can live, chickens can thrive too. It is the combination of cold and wet that can prove fatal, so ensuring a dry coop is vital, and any bird who becomes soaked should be towelled dry. Applying Vaseline to their combs will prevent frost bite.

Can chickens freeze to death?

Cold conditions will not usually kill chickens, as long as they have a warm coop to retire too when the weather become extreme. Cold hens may be more susceptible than usual to illness and parasites, though, and their egg production will fall. The chickens will simply hunker down on perches and in nesting boxes, with their feathers fluffed out.

What’s the best chicken coop for cold weather?

The type of coop you have makes a big difference. In really cold winters, a wooden coop with a draughty coop door can soon become damp and semi-frozen – not to mention very draughty – while a more robust state-of-the-art structure such as the Eglu will keep out the cold and damp and enable chickens to defrost after a busy day in the run. The temperature in the Eglu will remain relatively high when all the hens are tucked in at night.

You can help your backyard chickens keep warm in the frost and snow by making sure the coop is clean and dry. Clear out any snow dragged in on the birds’ feet, and keep an insulating layer of straw on the floor. You can give the birds extra protection by insulating the run – although there should still be some ventilation, to allow the gases released from the birds’ droppings to escape.

An automatic door will help keep the living quarters snug, too. If installing a heater, it must be one designed specifically for hen houses, and it’s best to use it only if the temperature dips below -5°C, otherwise hens may get used to being cosy all the time, and that could be disastrous if the heater fails and the birds are suddenly exposed. Heat-pampered poultry can die of cold shock.

What happens if a chick gets too cold?

Chicks and young hens are more susceptible to the cold than adult chickens. If a young chicken has its full coat of feathers, it will be as hardy as the older birds. Chicks, however, will need protection from the cold, and should be kept under an appropriate heat lamp. Any chick left to fend for itself in cold weather will die.

Cold Weather Tips

The following precautions will help ensure happy chickens in winter:

  • Protect combs and wattles from frostbite with petroleum jelly or an equivalent product.
  • Prevent water from freezing. Check it at least twice a day to keep it clear of ice. If a freeze is forecast, bring the containers indoors at night, or, if possible, buy a water heater designed for the job of preventing freezing.
  • Chickens usually return to the coop at dusk, but in the winter you may find your birds trying to get more pecking time from the short days. If your hens tend to wander in the dark, a high visibility hen coat will help you locate them, and will ensure they’re visible to anyone else, should they stray from the garden. The coats also keep the birds cosy, so it’s a double blessing in the winter.
  • Heat lamps or oil filled radiators can provide extra warmth in sheds and outbuildings, but are generally only needed for frail birds or ones with lots of feathers missing (such as ex-battery hens). The space should be made slightly less chilly rather than actually warm.
  • If you do not have a cosy Eglu, a wooden coop can be insulated with bubble-wrap, cardboard or old carpets or blankets.
  • Extra bedding on the floor of the coop will help keep the chickens warm, too.
  • Providing weather-proof shelter in the chicken run will give the hens some respite.
  • Some extra corn offered as a treat before the hen’s bedtime will act as an internal heater as the chickens digest it overnight. In general, hens will eat more food in the cold months, as more of their energy is spent keeping warm.
  • Some owners like to supplement their chickens’ diets with extra protein or a little suet, to increase their fat levels for the winter. Fat retains heat, and the whole bird benefits – not just the legs.

So, the answer to the question ‘Are my chickens suffering from the cold?’ is usually ‘no’. Make sure the hens’ environment – specifically the coop and run – is fit for all weathers, and your hens will be too.

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This entry was posted in Chickens on January 18th, 2021 by emmaibadioune


Competition Winners

In December, Santa Barbara and her team of Elves helped us say a big thank you to our pets and all they have helped us through in the past year. We’ve been in touch with some of the lucky winners from around the world to see how their pets are enjoying their special prizes…


Santa sent 11 year old Bobo a Luxury Super Soft Blanket to help him stay cosy and comfortable this winter.

Bella had a super comfy Christmas in her new Bolster Bed – the perfect place to wind down from all the excitement and festivities!

Maple and Pecan had a nice, cosy Christmas with their new Extreme Temperature Blanket from Santa Barbara.


Hati has already been out in the snow with her new Joules Olive Bee Water Resistant Coat from the Omlet Grotto.

Rescue cat, Mr Pickles now enjoys the finer things in life, and he love his Luxury Super Soft Blanket from the Omlet elves.

Princess Penny, Lady Henney and Madame Francis D’Borah have given their new Eglu holiday home the stamp of approval!


Boris the Bunny is over the moon with his new Caddi Treat Holder from the Omlet Grotto!

Boris the cat is very happy about his new Sofa and grey Bolster Bed from Santa Barbara. Cats love memory foam too!

These 5 wyandottes moved from a wooden coop to the Cube in summer, and now have the luxury of an Autodoor thanks to Santa!


Tommy also recieved a memory foam Bolster Bed in peach from Santa Barbara. So comfy!

Miny and Résy are very pleased with their brand new Autodoor from the Omlet Grotto. No more waiting to be let out to play!

Clare now has a second Qute Gerbil Cage from the Omlet Grotto, so she can expand her clan of gerbils!


Since receiving the Eglu Cube from Santa, Cinnamon has been gifted three new hen friends to play with!

Skye is super happy with her new Geo Bird Cage from the Omlet Grotto and can’t wait to have a new friend in February!

Lady, Stephanie and Freya are loving the new Autodoor for their Eglu Go UP in sunny Sydney!


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This entry was posted in Competitions on January 15th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Do Dogs Laugh?

Photo by Jane Duursma on Unsplash

Many dog owners believe their dogs enjoy a good laugh. Check out YouTube, where there is no shortage of smiling and laughing dogs!

However, can a dog laugh in the same way as a human laughs? It’s very easy to anthropomorphise animal behaviour – i.e. judge everything they do from a human emotional and moral perspective – and the real question, perhaps, should by why would a dog laugh? What does it mean, and what advantage would it have given the dog’s wolf ancestors in the wild? Or is it perhaps something they have only learnt to do since they were domesticated by humans?

There is no definite answer to that last question, but we do know a bit about animal laughter.

Do other animals laugh?

From a hard-nosed science point of view, the only animals that are definitely confirmed as laughing are the great apes, dolphins and lab rats. Chimpanzee laughter sounds to our ears more like a shriek, and in the wild it is linked to reassurance and the release of pressure rather than pleasure. However, a tickled chimp definitely laughs, just like a human child does.

Gorillas have been known to laugh at slapstick human behaviour, suggesting that they would make a great audience at a pantomime! Orangutans are a bit more inscrutable, and their signs of laughter may be more akin to simple copying than genuine amusement. They laugh when tickled, though.

A 2004 study of dolphins found that the animals produced a sonar pulse followed by a whistle when playing. The researchers concluded that these sounds meant that the dolphins were feeling happy and relaxed in a fun, non-threatening setting, and that the ‘laugh’ prevented the rough and tumble play from escalating into violence. This is fascinating, as many psychologists believe that human laughter evolved for these exact reasons, and it ties in with those wild chimpanzee ‘laughs’ too.

The fact that lab rats laugh when tickled suggests that, given the chance, many other mammals would chuckle when tickled too. They just haven’t been given the chance in a scientific setting. Dogs, however, seem to relax rather than burst out laughing when tickled.

The fact that you can’t make your dog laugh by tickling it doesn’t mean it can’t laugh, though.

What does a dog laugh sound like?

Dog laughter – if that’s what it is – is a kind of rapid panting – a play-pant which they use to invite humans and other dogs to play. It is a hhuh sound followed by a hhah sound, and humans can impersonate it by making breathy ‘hoo-haa’ sounds. The panting will often be combined with head bows, and the dog may reach out with one of its paws too, or make little teasing jumps in your direction. This is an invitation to play rather than an expression of amusement in the human sense of laughter, though.

If you laugh at your dog using the hhuh hhah panting sound, drawing your lips back in a cheesy grin during the ‘aaa’ part, you may make your dog laugh back. It’s a great way of bonding with your furry friend!

Do dogs smile?

When a dog is relaxed it often pulls back its lips, lets its tongue droop and narrows its eyes, it can sometimes – depending on the

breed – look like a smile. The fact that they pull these faces when happy and relaxed makes it an easy associated with smiling. The fact that human smiles seem to have their origins in tension-reducing body language suggests that the same might apply to dogs. The wild wolves, close cousins of the domestic dog, does indeed have a tongue-wagging facial expression linked to relaxation and submissiveness.

Intriguingly, smiles appear to be contagious among dogs, just as they are in human to human interactions. If you can’t make your dog laugh, you can certainly make it smile! Smile at your dog, and your dog may well smile back!

Do scientists believe that dogs can laugh?

Science is on the side of the laughing dog. In a 2005 study titled ‘Dog-laughter: Recorded playback reduces stress related behavior in shelter dogs’, it was discovered that a dog sometimes pants in a way that sounds like a laugh. When recordings of these ‘laughs’ were played to other dogs, the dogs became playful and de-stressed, as measured in stress-related behaviour such as tail wagging, doggie ‘play-faces’, happy body language and lip-licking.

However, being happy, relaxed and playful is not exactly the same as laughing. There is no evidence that a dog ever finds things amusing in the same way as humans – or gorillas – do. On the contrary, slapstick behaviour is more likely to startle or scare a dog.

Laughter is all about fun, though, and you can certainly have plenty of that with your dog. They readily show their emotions through sounds and body language. Take the panting and playful body language as a sign of deep friendship. And that means there’s plenty to laugh about!

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This entry was posted in Dogs on January 14th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Why do guinea pigs popcorn?

Photos by Photoholgic on Unsplash

When a guinea pig is happy and excited, it will often ‘popcorn’. This describes the sudden jumps performed by guinea pigs, sometimes from a standing position, sometimes in mid-stride, and often involving a change in direction and an endearing squeak!

Not all guinea pigs entertain their owners with popcorning, but most of them do. The usual reason for guinea pigs popcorning is happiness. They’re simply having a good time, they become excited, and pop! They are literally jumping for joy. Well, most of the time…

Do guinea pigs popcorn when scared?

Popcorning in guinea pigs is certainly not abnormal, although guinea pigs may occasionally popcorn out of fear. You can easily tell when this is the case – was there a sudden noise, for example, or did the guinea pig spot a cat or dog or some other potential danger? If fear is the trigger, the guinea pig will run for cover after landing, and will often make some alarm calls too.

In most cases, however, a guinea pig will ‘freeze’ rather than popcorn if it perceives danger. This is a behaviour common to all rodents (and rabbits too).

Popcorning can be seen in many young mammals (although it is only called popcorning if a guinea pig is involved). Young lambs are a classic example. The behaviour is often part of a running and jumping combination, actions known to guinea pig lovers as zoomies.

Encouraging a Guinea Pig to Popcorn

Although guinea pig popcorning can’t be taught to a guinea pig as such, your pet can be encouraged in various ways. Offering a favourite treat often inspires the behaviour, and in a keen guinea pig popcorner, the very sight of the treat might, in time, produce the behaviour. At this point, it crosses over into training territory, and if you use a command word (such as ‘Popcorn!’) each time a treat is offered, you are in with a chance of making your pet associate the word with the treat. This means, in theory, that simply saying ‘Popcorn!’ will cause the guinea pig to jump for joy!

Guinea pigs love exploring new toys, and these will often produce a spell of guinea pig popcorning, too. The excitement often lasts, too, and a new hay station, ball, ramp or section of tunnel will often produce a popcorn jump several weeks after the item was first introduced.

Regular play sessions with your guinea pig will be a source of pleasure for your pet, too. If they feel safe with you in their run, guinea pigs will sometimes popcorn their way into double figures. If you pick them up, and cuddle them, it will often inspire popcorning when the guinea pigs are back on the ground. 

If you have a secure space outside the cage, this can provide great stimulation for inquisitive guinea pigs. Supervise your furry friends as they nose through the space, and count how many times they perform a popcorn! This should only be allowed outdoors if the space is completely secure and safe for guinea pigs (i.e. no gaps in the fence, no other pets, no toxic plants), and if the outdoor temperature is warm (a minimum of 18C).

Why do guinea pigs do Zoomies?

It’s a little odd that the guinea pig, a short-legged animal that lacks the ability to climb very well and is usually unable to jump over an obstacle, should be able to perform these vertical take-off manoeuvres. Younger guinea pigs tend to jump highest, and more portly specimens will seldom attempt to perform zoomies and popcorns. Younger guinea pigs, in general, will do most of the running and jumping, letting off all the excess energy associated with youth and vigour!

Novice guinea pig keepers have been known to mistake guinea pig popcorning for a seizure. Once you take time to watch your guinea pig you will soon spot the difference, however, as the guinea pig popcorning will become a very familiar sight, and there is no confusing the two. A guinea pig that is having a seizure will fall on its side and wave its legs around, often with jerky motions to the head. The attack will last several seconds too, unlike a swift popcorn. If, after jumping or falling, a guinea pig fails to get back to its feet immediately, it’s time to consult the vet. 

What does it mean when guinea pigs popcorn?

Guinea pigs, being naturally portly, need all the exercise they can get in order to stay trim. It is thought that when guinea pigs popcorn it is part of their natural workout. It may also be a behaviour that causes predators to stop in their tracks, out of sheer surprise, giving the guinea pig an increased chance of escaping unscathed.

Guinea pig popcorning and guinea pig zoomies are two of the things that make guinea pig keeping such great fun. These little furry characters are so full of fun, it’s contagious!

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This entry was posted in Guinea Pigs on January 11th, 2021 by alisa.deluca


Exclusive interview with Jamieleigh from the Youtube channel “BirdTricks”

Photography by Rachael Baker Photography

 

How and when did you get into keeping birds?

Like most kids, as a child I had a budgie I, nor my parents, knew nothing about. At the age of 17 I hadn’t had birds since that time in kindergarten but my boyfriend (and soon to be husband) did. It kind of forced me into a world I didn’t understand but wanted to.

What does a typical day look like for your budgie?

I half-wish there was such a thing as a “typical day” in my life at all! Because there’s a lot of different areas of my life, it keeps things interesting for my birds based on the fact that I travel so much. My budgie has been to a lot of states and hotel rooms

already, and one of her favorite things is actually road trips because she enjoys being in the car with us!

When we are home, she owns the house and we even screened in an outdoor porch area for her to fly around in as well. The cutest part of the day is when she wakes up and flies herself into the main living area of our home to greet everyone, and when you notice in the early evening she is nowhere to be found because she went off to find the quietest room in the house to sleep (we keep foraging trees in each one – and her open Omlet cage in my daughters room.)

How can you tell your budgie is happy?

All animals make happy noises – cats purr and birds sing. Our budgie is no exception and has her own set of content and happy noises we’ve grown to love to hear. She also flies laps daily around our home which is always fun for us to watch!

What is your budgie’s favorite treat?

Like a typical budgie, she loves herself some spray millet.

What would be your best advice for someone thinking about keeping budgies?

Ask yourself “why” you want a budgie. Make a list of the reasons why and ensure you’re committed because budgies can be really discouraging pets – they spook easily, they’re flighty and they can become hand and human shy if not interacted with and instead left to their own devices inside a cage. A lot of the typical things humans interpret as “budgie loves” like mirrors, will work against you creating a meaningful relationship with your bird.

What is it that you like about the Geo bird cage?

The first thing that attracted me to the Geo cage is its unique design and how well it looks in the home. The footprint is also nice, and it fits easily in any room and looks great in it too. Of course, my main concern with any budgie cage is design and materials and once those both checked out for safety, I was hooked!

 

 

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This entry was posted in Budgies on January 6th, 2021 by emmaibadioune


How to Keep Your Dog Cool in Hot Weather

Just like humans’, dogs’ opinions on hot weather vary. Some absolutely worship the sun and will take any opportunity to find a sunny spot to lie down on, whereas others prefer to stay in the shade sipping some cold water, longing for autumn. Certain dogs are more likely to struggle with heat, including flat-faced breeds, dogs with thick coats, giant dogs, overweight dogs or dogs with underlying medical problems, so if your pooch is in a high risk group it’s extra important to make sure he or she stays cool. Here are some ways you can help you dog beat the heat:

1. Adjust Exercise

When it’s really hot outside it’s best to stay inside during the hottest hours of the day. Your dog will still need exercise, but if possible, stick to walks early in the morning or late at night when it’s cooler. 

It’s also worth trying to walk as much in the shade as you can, to avoid hot pavements and tiles, and to stop your dog from running around too much whilst out on the walk, maybe by keeping them on a shorter lead.

2. Keep Hydrated

Make sure your dog always has access to clean, cold water, ideally in all rooms of the house. If you’re going out, bring a bottle of water and a foldable bowl. 

If you’re worried your dog doesn’t drink enough water, try feeding them things that are hydrating and have a cooling effect. Frozen fruit and veg are great, but you can also put some cooked chicken in a blender with some banana or assorted berries and freeze in ice cube trays. 

3. Get On Top of Grooming

This is extra important for breeds with thick fur, as they particularly struggle in the heat, but most dogs benefit hugely from some extra grooming in summer. For some, regular brushing to get rid of dead hair will be enough, but others need to have their coat properly trimmed for summer. 

Don’t be tempted to grab the trimmers and give your dog a buzz cut; the sudden lack of insulation can shock the dog and damage the quality of the coat, as well as make him or her feel very self-conscious! Take them to the groomers and ask what they recommend for your dog’s type of fur. 

4. Go For a Dip

Having water around to cool themselves down with will be highly appreciated by most dogs. You can put a shallow paddling pool in a shaded area of the backyard, turn the sprinklers on and watch your dog run through them, or let him or her play with the garden hose.

If you live close to the sea or another body of water and your dog is used to swimming you can take them there to lower their body temperature in the evening. Remember that swimming can be tough exercise though, so call them back up when you’re happy they’ve cooled themselves down.

5. Keep Cool Inside

When it’s too hot to be outside, your dog will probably spend most of their time indoors, so it’s important to try and keep your house as cool as possible. It might be nice to open windows on different sides of the house to create drafts, or find other ways of letting cool air circulate. Drawing the curtains or blinds will help stop the sun from heating up bedrooms during the day. 

6. Avoid The Car

If possible, try to avoid going in the car with your dog when it’s hot. We all know that you should never, ever leave a dog in a car in warm weather, it doesn’t matter if the car is parked in the shade, you’ve got the windows open and it’s only for a few minutes. A stationary car will quickly get very, very hot, and it can kill your dog.

If you can choose not to go in the car on very hot days, try to avoid it, especially if your dog is not a big fan to start with. 

7. Get a Cooling Mat

On a hot day, your dog will love relaxing on something cooling. The Omlet Cooling Mat doesn’t require refrigeration or electricity, but works by absorbing heat from your dog’s body while at the same time cooling your pooch down. The memory foam mat is foldable and super comfortable, so you can take it with you wherever you go in summer, assuring your dog will always have a place to rest that will also minimise the risk of heatstroke. 

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This entry was posted in Dogs on January 6th, 2021 by linnearask


Help, my chicken keeps flying away!

It’s nice to have chickens in your garden but they need to stay there! Seeing them fly away and attempting to catch them again is not necessarily the easiest of tasks. It’s stressful for everyone and sometimes even dangerous for your chickens! So what is the solution? Cut off their wings? Obviously not, but here are a number of flap busting techniques that may help to keep your feathery friends on the ground.

Why does my chicken want to fly away?

If you are dealing with a runaway chicken it could be for several reasons. Each chicken’s character is different from one bird to another. While some like to lounge under a tree or in their chicken run, others prefer to frolic in search of freedom. This traveling and sometimes adventurous spirit can be associated with certain breeds of chickens. So, it’s not uncommon to find breeds such as the Leghorn or the Gauloise, for example, perched on a branch to rest. This is mainly due to their lighter weight in comparison to other breeds. Evolved with a fairly developed herd instinct, it only takes one chicken to take flight for the rest to follow suit.

However, sometimes your chickens may fly away, or even jump, not to rest but to escape a situation. A sudden or unusual situation can induce panic. A visit from a dog, the presence of a wild predator such as a fox, or the triggering of an unexpected high pitched noise can stress your hens and cause them to flee. They then have two options: run or try to fly. Under stress, fear and panic they can easily surprise you and fly higher than you think. They may even injure themselves in a panic to get away. So how do you avoid this kind of situation?

How can I prevent my chicken from flying away?

There are three main precautions that can be taken when you have a flight-happy chicken:

  • Choose a quiet but well placed area in your garden to set up your chicken coop. If you have space, keep the chicken coop away from potential dangers: roads, parking areas, children’s toys. Here, your chickens should feel safe. Their chicken coop is their home, they need to be able to eat, peck and sleep in peace.

  • Invest in a fairly large enclosure. Having a high enough fence can deter them from trying to fly and protect them from potential animal attacks and external dangers.
    An enclosed space, like the Walk in Chicken Run, is ideal for giving chickens a safe area to exercise and stretch their wings, without escape.

  • The third precaution is often known to chicken owners, but it is not often applied. However, this is an elementary precaution when bringing a bird into a chicken coop. It regards cutting the feathers of a single wing in order to unbalance your chicken and stop them from being able to take flight.

    But how to do it? Take a pair of clippers and cut the flight feathers, that is, the larger feathers. You can also cut the primary and secondary flight feathers. The feathers must be cut halfway for it to be effective. Rest assured, we only cut Keratin (what our hair and nails are made of). It’s like going to the hairdressers!

Find the tutorial video “How to Clip your Chickens Wings (Safe and painless) (Easy to do)” by here.

Providing a comfortable living space, and large, safe enclosure will keep your hens happy and healthy in their home. And if necessary, wing clipping can be an effective solution for particularly determined escapees.

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This entry was posted in Chickens on January 4th, 2021 by emmaibadioune