The Omlet Blog Category Archives: Pets

What To Put In Your Pet First Aid Kit

Thankfully, animal ill health is very much the exception rather than the norm. Many pets go for years suffering nothing worse than the occasional tick, flea or minor wound.

However, if illness or injury strike you can cut the stress by making sure your pet first aid kit is well-stocked and ready to go. Many illnesses will require diagnosis and treatment from a vet, but there are minor problems and non-medical issues that you can easily address yourself.

What you need very much depends on the type of pet you have. But let’s start with some general med-kit classics.

No First Aid Kit Is Complete Without…

  • Bandages – self-adhesive or crepe, 2.5 and 5cm width
  • Non-adhesive absorbent dressing pads (5cm x 5cm, or smaller for guinea pigs, rabbits, etc)
  • Sterile absorbent gauze
  • Sterile wipes
  • Antiseptic ointment and antibacterial spray
  • Surgical tape
  • Cotton wool rolls, pads, balls and buds
  • Tough scissors – a blunt-ended pair, and a small curve-bladed pair
  • A thick towel or blanket
  • Disposable gloves
  • Tick-remover tweezers
  • Iodine, for treating small wounds (including tick wounds)
  • Flea and lice comb
  • Nail clippers
  • Sterile eye wash – for clearing dust, dirt or smoke from the eyes
  • A full water container – for washing cuts and dirt, and for hydration
  • A mild detergent – for use with the water
  • Styptic powder – this stops bleeding from broken nails
  • Cornflour (cornstarch) – for staunching minor cuts and abrasions
  • Diphenhydramine (or Benadryl) – an antihistamine for mild allergic reactions
  • A pet thermometer
  • A card with your vet’s phone number, and other useful emergency numbers
  • Treats – very useful for rewarding and reassuring a pet who has just been bandaged, tweezered or manhandled in some other undignified manner!
  • You should also keep a supply of species-specific flea and mite powders and worming tablets
  • For smaller pets, an oral syringe is useful for giving water or liquidised food to an animal that refuses to, or is unable to drink
  • A magnifying glass can be useful too, for examining wounds or infestations on rodents, rabbits and cage birds.

Cats and Dogs

Additional items useful for cats and dogs include Elizabethan collars, to prevent your furry friend biting at wounds or dressings. The collar size will vary depending on the size of your pet.

A muzzle is also a very useful inclusion in any dog first aid kit, as even the most placid pet can become afraid and defensive when in pain. You can buy face masks for cats too, with a similar purpose.

First Aid For Birds

Many of the items in the general list above are useful for treating birds. Additional items for avian first aid include a bird net, specifically made for capturing frightened or untamed pet birds in cages and aviaries.

A styptic pencil is an essential tool for staunching wounds resulting from broken feathers or claws. Unlike mammals, birds do not have efficient clotting agents in their blood, and what may appear to be a relatively minor wound can result in death, simply through bleeding. The styptic will swiftly staunch the flow.

A cage sanitizer will help minimise the risk of contagious disease spreading, should one of your birds fall ill. There are various brands available in stores, and your vet will be able to advise you on the most suitable preparation for your particular species of bird.

It is also possible to buy Ivermectin drops from your vet. This medicine kills internal and external parasites, along with the mites responsible for scaly face and scaly leg. It is also used for fur, ear and mange mites and lice in small mammals such as hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs.

It’s a good idea to keep some wire-cutters in your med-kit too, as birds can sometimes become entangled in loose wires or hangings intended for suspending toys or treats.

Crop needles and blood-feather tweezers can also be useful, but these are precision tools that require expertise to use. Ask a vet or bird breeder for more advice.

DIY is Not Always Best

Pet first aid is fine for minor problems, but in emergencies it is only a stop-gap solution before consulting a vet. Any pet illness needs proper medical care.

A well-stocked first aid kit will, however, save you a lot of time and worry when confronted with pet parasites, small wounds and other conditions that can be tackled with a swift and effective DIY approach.

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Top Ten Benefits of Owning A Pet

Studies have shown that having a pet can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, relieve stress, increase fitness levels and boost overall happiness and wellbeing.

Read our top ten benefits of owning a pet

  1. They keep you fit
    Dogs need regular, daily walks in order to stay happy and healthy, and so do we. On an average 30 minute dog walk you can burn between 100 and 200 calories!
  2. They lower your stress levels
    Life can be stressful and high levels of anxiety can lead to numerous health problems. Pets can help us to relax. Stroking your cat or simply watching your chickens in the garden can make your worries melt away
  3. They make sure you’re never lonely
    If you live alone, or your partner works different shift patterns to you, it can get very lonely at home – unless you have a pet! They make great companions – they’ll always be waiting for you to come home.
  4. They can lower your cholesterol Levels
    Reports have shown that people who own pets–and men, in particular–have significantly lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those who don’t have pets.
  5. They can lower your blood pressure
    It has been suggested that owning a pet decreases your blood pressure. The reduction in blood pressure could, in turn, lower risk of stroke and heart disease.
  6. They can help you make friends
    The pet owner community is incredibly friendly – you’ll often find that people will stop to talk to you about your dog during a walk. Having a pet is a great way to meet new people.
  7. They can teach children responsibilities
    Having a pet in the home is a great way for children to learn valuable life lessons in a fun, rewarding way. They get to take on the daily responsibility of feeding, exercising and caring for their animal.
  8. They can boost your mental wellbeing.
    Studies have found that pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets and ownership can reduce stress and anxiety levels. Playing with your pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  9. They help you establish a daily routine
    The responsibilities that come with owning a pet can give your day purpose, reward and a sense of achievement. Regular routines are said to help forge discipline, help energy management and support mental space.
  10. And last but not least, they will give you unconditional love
    However bad your day’s been, you’ll have someone who depends on you to shower you with affection. The British Medical Journal believes the emotional bond between owner and pet can be as intense as that in many human relationships.

Sources: PetMd, PawCulture, WomansDay

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New Year Resolutions For You And Your Pet

January is historically the month to set yourself some achievable goals for the year ahead. We’ve put together some ideas for creating New Year Resolutions for you and your pet!

Get Fit
No more quick walks around the block after dinner. 2019 is all about getting fit with your pet. Both you and your pet will reap the rewards both physically and mentally. On an average 30 minute dog walk you can burn between 100 and 200 calories.

Try a new activity with your pet
From hiking to kayaking, hitting the waves to joining a pet exercise class, it’s easier than ever for people to incorporate their pet into a new pastime. These new activities will help you burn lots of calories! A 30 minute walk on the beach will burn approximately 150 calories and you could expect to burn 220 calories on a 30 minute hike.

Incorporate More Playtime into Your Routine
Dogs love to play games and Cats love the thrill of chasing a toy; let’s just not tell them it’s exercise! Enjoy spending more time playing with your pets this year. A fun 20 minute tug of war would see you burn 50 calories.

Groom Your Pet Every Day
Brushing your pet helps to remove excess fur from their coat which reduces the amount you find on your clothes and furniture. It also helps distribute oils from the skin to the fur, to keep their coat healthy and shiny. Grooming an average sized dog burns 200 calories.

Teach an Old Dog a New Trick
Studies show that mental stimulation can help reduce cognitive deterioration in older animals. By keeping your senior pet’s brain active, it can actually make it healthier.

Update your Pet’s ID Info
Over the course of a year, a lot can change — people move, get new phone numbers, and forget to update their pet’s tags. Don’t wait — update their tags and microchips now.

Make new Friends
Visit your park and get to know other pet owners! It’s easier that you think!

Maintain a healthy diet
Lead a healthy life with a balanced diet and not too many treats.

Most of all; enjoy spending time with your wonderful pets!

Sources: BravoTv, Petmd, PetSit

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Does my pet need a buddy?

An animal that exhibits a high degree of sociality is called a social animal. This means they need contact with their own kind. Being kept on their own causes these animals to experience boredom, frustration and fear. Unless you have plenty of time to socialise with them, it is recommended these pets have a buddy.

Solitary animals on the other hand spend a majority of their lives without others of their species, with possible exceptions for mating and raising their young. They are often territorial and do not like the company of another animal, especially an animal of their own kind. Some solitary animals will even start fighting when kept together, which can harm or even kill one or both animals.

 

Rabbits
Wild rabbits spend their lives as part of a large group, known as a warren. Rabbits are very sociable animals and need to be kept with at least one other rabbit. It is easiest if rabbits are kept together from birth, but rabbits less than 3 months old will usually live together happily. The best combination is a neutered male and a neutered female. Two litter brothers or two litter sisters will also get on well, but to prevent fighting it is important that they are both neutered.

Guinea pigs
In the wild guinea pigs live in groups of 10 or more, they are social creatures, and like company. As pets they are usually kept in pairs; two females (sows) will live happily together, as will two males (boars), particularly if they are brothers. Two boars of different ages will usually live together, as long as there are no females around. If a female and male live together the male should be castrated.

Dogs
Dogs love nothing more than attention and affection, whether it be from you (their owner) or their fellow dog friends. They can be perfectly happy with just the attention from their owner and family, which means getting another dog is not essential. It is often thought that adopting another dog will instantly solve all problems associated with your first dog’s separation anxiety, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. When adopting a second dog you must consider a number of different variables, including gender, temperament, energy requirements and size.

Cats
It is thought that cats don’t actually crave companionship from one of their own. Often they are perfectly happy being the only cat in the house. Cats are indeed a solitary species but they can and do live in groups. But an extra cat friend (or partner in crime) does provides extra mental and physical stimulation. The major benefit to getting two cats is that they will keep each other company whilst you are away. Getting kittens from the same litter of cats is always the best choice.

Chickens
Free-ranging chickens are social animals. Hens and chicks are the core, while roosters live independently. Because they are social animals they prefer to live in a flock. A chicken without a buddy will get lonely and stressed out. When you have a group of chickens or add new chickens to your existing flock, they will have to establish the pecking order and you might start to wonder if they are social animals after all. Read the guide on our website for more information on how to introduce chickens to an existing flock.

 

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How to take better photos of your pet

Patience. The first thing to remember is that pet photography requires patience. It doesn’t matter if you want a posed photo of your rabbit or a action shot of your dog, you’re probably going to get rather frustrated when your models are not behaving in the way you want them to. So arm yourself with patience, and never force your pet into doing something the don’t feel comfortable doing.

Get help. If you have a family member or a friend at hand, it’s always useful to ask them to assist you. They can use toys or treats to get the attention of the pet and direct their gaze while you focus on getting a great photo. If you’re by yourself you’re going to have to find other ways. Sometimes making a sudden noise can get the attention of the pet, but probably only for a second or two, so make sure you’re ready. Depending on the type of photo you’re after it might be easier to have the photo session after you’re played together for a while and the pet is less excited and bouncy.

Use natural light. If you’re not a professional photographer with access to different lenses and flashes, you’re probably going to want to take advantage of the natural light. Try starting outdoors, or if you’re indoors, by a window. The light will make the photo look better, and will give you more freedom to experiment. We would suggest going somewhere where both you and your pet feel comfortable, maybe a place that means a lot to you and where you have created lots of memories together. Try to choose a place with a relatively clear backdrop, like a while wall or a grassy field, as a messy background can be distracting.

Try to focus on the eyes. If the eyes are blurry or out of focus the photo will look slightly off. The camera will automatically focus on what is closest to the lens, which in most cases will be the nose of your pet rather than the eyes. This is especially important when you’re taking close ups.

Get down to their level. This might mean you have to crouch down in the mud or crawl on the floor, but in return your photos will be significantly more unique and interesting. Try taking photos from different angles: from above, below, in front of your pet, behind it. You’ll get to see your pet from all sides, and sometimes the photos from the weirdest of angles are the ones you will love the most.

Have their personalities in mind. The whole point of taking photographs of your pets is to try and capture their personalities, so try to make sure that their characters are showing in the photo. If you cat is the lazy ruler of the house you probably want to capture it yawning in their favourite spot on the sofa, and if you have a dog that bounces around the house and is impossible to tire, you probably want to capture its liveliness in the middle of a jump or running towards you in the park.

Quantity is key. The more photos you take, at different times and locations, the more likely you are to get that one amazing shot. This will also mean that you get loads of photos of your pet in different places, moods and positions. Get used to taking photos when you’re out on walks, playing in the garden, or just relaxing at home, and try to spy on your pet to catch what they’re doing when you’re not around. And remember to always take 20 photos instead of just one.

Use treats. If you’re trying to have a properly arranged photo shoot, try using treats. Depending on what pet you have, and their personalities, offering treats can make them sit still and look at the camera. Others will just walk up to you to get the treat, or ignore the treat completely, but it’s worth trying. Make sure that you reward your model throughout the shoot.

Add humans to the photo. Having family members in the photos with your pet makes the pictures even more special, and they are the ones that you will come back to and look at. A photo of your child playing with your dog or feeding the chickens will capture their characters in a way that a posed photo very rarely do.

Have a go at these tips, and make sure to tag your photos on social media with #OmletPets – we love to see what you’re up to!

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A Quacking Rescue Story

A few weeks ago the Springfield Sanctuary in Banbury gained a few extra guests.  Two broods of ducklings arrived at the sanctuary a week apart. We’ve spoken to Joanne, the owner of the sanctuary to find out more about them and to see how they are getting on in their new Omlet Walk In Run!

When did the ducklings arrive?
The first group of 12 came in on 26th April from a village near Witney. The residents had been keeping an eye on them all day as there was no parent in sight. Apparently they were knocked about in the road, went in and out of the brook and got waterlogged, and then ended up in a garden! To keep them out of trouble one of the residents popped them in a recycling box in her garden, hoping mum would come for them. By evening they were cold and limp and there was still no sign of mum so they were brought all the way to Banbury for us to care for.
Less than a week later, on 1st May, we got a call from a house not far from us. This mum duck had laid her eggs under some decking (unbeknown to the homeowner!) and they all appeared one morning! The garden had no exit for the ducklings and so mum could not lead them to water. Mum left them and by evening hadn’t returned. So the ten little humbugs came to us too. So we then had 22 ducklings!

How old do you think they are now?
We think they were around 2 days old when they came in so the older ones are nearly 7 weeks and the younger ones are 6 weeks old now.

When are you hoping to release them?
They should be ready for release at around 8-9 weeks old, so we’re very close now! We are just waiting for their flight feathers to grow so they have the best chance at getting away from predators when they are released.
The younger ones are going to Swalcliffe School but we have not yet decided about the big kids. We will separate them into smaller groups to avoid over populating any area.

Have you named them?
We have named the groups but not individuals. The older ducks are the Big Kids and the younger are the Little Ones! There are only two we can tell apart from the others because the Little Ones are actually Hybrid and two of the ducklings are paler! Down by the canal in Banbury there are a couple of white pekin ducks which I’ve seen a few times. We think these ducklings came from this area and so are hybrid, mallard x pekin.

What do you feed them?
They are fed much like chicken chicks. They start on chick crumb for the first 3 weeks then they move onto Growers Pellets. In the last week or so we have added some duck and goose mix to the growers for variety prior to release. We will need to go and feed them for at least a week after release (gradually reducing the amount) to make sure they are finding their own food.

 

They love playing with the hose when I clean them! Ducks are ridiculously dirty and we have to clean them every 3 days. When we clean the pen it makes a lovely slurry of what we have called ‘Duck Poo Soup’ (it’s as pleasant as it sounds). The ducks have clean water in drinkers all the time but as soon as you get the hose out they start drinking. So I spend a lot of time sweeping up duck poo soup, dodging drinking ducks, and getting filthy! They also like to get in the paddling pool before it’s filled and paddle around playing in the hose spray.

Have you introduced them to the chickens or any other animals that you have at the sanctuary?
We have set up our Omlet Walk in Run as two runs which share a wall. The little ones are in one side and our rooster chicks Rodger and Mike are next door (Roger and Mike hatched at a school on 21st March and came to us with their sister as the school didn’t want them to go back to the farm to join the food chain!!). The boys were fascinated but the ducklings seemed completely oblivious. The boys have recently found their voices and crow if we are seeing to the ducks and not giving them any attention!!

We love the walk in run. We have another large run but we lost one of the big kids to a fox who managed break the ties and get under the chicken wire. The Omlet Walk in runs are much sturdier. We love that they are modular so I can add length to the run and link runs together to save space. They will be fantastic for introducing rabbits for the first time when we need to pair up lone rabbits, as they will be able to meet with a barrier between them. The size will allow the rabbits to be rabbits! Jumping, hopping, flopping and binkying with lots of space for a pair of bonded rabbits. With the amount of cleaning we have to do the height is ideal as we can stand tall while we sweep up. The stable door is great for putting feed and water in without little animals escaping! It’s also a great width so I can get in with a bucket and brooms. Having a cheaper run we can see the difference in quality and I would definitely change the large run for an Omlet one in a heartbeat! No sharp edges or chicken wire, plenty of headroom so no stooping, nice wide door and fox resistant. Everything I need for the wide variety of animals we get in.

The runs are earmarked for our pheasant chick when he is big enough to go out. His name is Pippin and he has a best friend called Hobble who is a Pekin Bantam chick with a dodgy leg! They will hopefully go out into our Omlet run once the ducks have been released.

To continue reading about the ducklings as they get ready to be released, please follow the

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25% off all Covers and Extreme Temperature Jackets

 

25% OFF All Eglu Run Covers, Walk-in Run Covers & Extreme Temperature Jackets!

 

 

 

 

 

 Terms and Conditions

25% off covers promotion is only valid from 7/4/18 – midnight of 30/4/18. Discount has already been applied to the products when you order, no promo code required. Subject to availability. Omlet ltd. reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any point. Discount is only applied to covers (Eglu Covers, Walk in Run Covers and Extreme Temperature Blankets and Jackets). Discount cannot be transferred to delivery or courses. Offer is only valid on fully priced items and cannot be used on existing discounts or in conjunction with any other offer.

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Super Pet… Up Up and Away

dog travellingLet’s start by stating the obvious… Australia a BIG place and sometimes you don’t want to drive the 10 hours to Melbourne, you want to fly, because it’s quicker, easier and much less stressful! However what about if you have a pet that you want to take with you, how do you do it?

  • Strap a pair of wings to their arms?
  • Smuggle them onto the plane in your hand luggage?
  • Dress them in human clothing and pretend they are your baby (note this is only for small pets :))

Unfortunately you aren’t allowed to do any of the above on planes… unless you have a service animal (e.g. guide dog) they need to go in the hold with the bags. There is one exception – charter a private jet (like Johnny Depp) and you can have them wherever you like! (more…)

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