PetLife Blog @ Pet & Country
Catch up with our latest news, advice and events right here at our very own blog page. Happy reading!
Catch up with our latest news, advice and events right here at our very own blog page. Happy reading!
Welcoming a puppy or new dog into your family is exciting but before rehoming a dog it’s important to consider your living space, your lifestyle and working hours and how your pet will fit with your family. All of this will help you choose the right breed and pet for you.
Once you have found the right dog, it’s time for home safety and arrival preparations. Here are some of our tips and essential purchases to make life easier for you, and to make sure your new arrival is happy in his new home.
New puppies should be vaccinated to help protect against highly infectious diseases - chat to your local vet about your options. It is also a good idea to speak to them about pet insurance to see which they recommend. Pet insurance could save you money in the long run, should your dog ever need treatment.
Just like us your dog will need a carefully balanced diet, packed with high quality ingredients which maintain healthy skin and coat, keep eyes bright, and keep energy levels high.
When making your choice consider your dog’s age and breed, as well as their level of activity and any health issues. Our team at Pet & Country are happy to advise on the best food for your dog from top ranges such as Royal Canin, James Wellbeloved, Greenhill Farm and Orijen Dog Food.
Invest in some ceramic or stainless-steel water and food bowls – these will be durable and also less easy to tip. Check out our range of ceramic, and stainless steel and bamboo bowls here.
Exercising your dog in the evening will tire them out, so hopefully they’ll sleep, and you’ll have a peaceful night. Dogs can be pretty resilient when it comes to where they sleep, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like to be comfy. We have a range of quality beds from among others, Trixie, Happy Pet and Republic of Pet. If you rehome a puppy it’s worth considering a bed that is waterproof or at least washable!
Your dog will love to get outside. It’s a chance to socialise with others and explore as well as to get much needed exercise! Although you can’t take new puppies out for walks until they’ve had their injections, you can help them get used to wearing a collar and lead as they explore your house and garden – just make sure both are puppy-proof and secure! An adjustable collar is great for growing puppies, but small dogs may feel more comfortable in a harness as it protects their delicate necks. You can purchase an ID tag to identify your dog but by 8 weeks all dogs in Northern Ireland must be microchipped. Contact your local Dog’s Trust for details of their free microchipping events.
Toys are more than just playthings for your dog, they can help them develop new skills and improve their ability to learn. Toys also promote natural behaviours such as foraging and exploring. On top of this, toys but can also be part of their dental care. Like babies, puppies’ teeth and gums get sore during teething, so providing a toy which keeps their interest and give them something to bite is a great idea. Check out these great Kong Puppy chew toys! Perfect and extra durable for your new puppy chewing and teething!
It’s important to introduce your dog to grooming at a young age so they become used to the smells and sounds of the salon and the sensation of being groomed. Work with your local groomer to get your pet off to the best start and your dog will quickly learn to love it. Furrish has a great range of grooming products for new pups.
One of the biggest challenges with a new puppy is toilet training. Generally, puppies need to urinate 5 minutes after food and defecate within 30 mins. By having consistent mealtimes, you can judge when your puppy will need to go outside. As puppies’ bladder control is weak make sure you are taking them out every 1-2 hours during the day. Avoid common errors such as overfeeding and punishing indoor accidents which can make the puppy scared to go to the toilet in front of you – even outside, and don’t leave your pup alone for too long. Allow time, have patience, be disciplined, and offer lots for praise, and before you know it your puppy will be house trained! But for those inevitable little accidents, remember we have a range of cleaning products.
Our store on Main Street in Ballymoney is open Mon – Sat 9am - 5:30pm. Tel: 028 2766 0753.
How to be a Responsible Dog Owner
Our dogs give us so much affection and joy and show us so much loyalty and love that we owe it to our four legged friends to understand what they need to keep healthy and happy but also to understand our responsibility as pet owners in our communities.
LEGAL & MORAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Make sure your dog is microchipped and always wears a collar and ID tag. The Dog’s Trust run free microchipping events, alternatively, some vets and some groomers may offer this service. You will find an excellent selection of collars to suit all sizes and types of dogs in Pet & Country, we also offer an engraving service for your dog tags. After all if your dog every goes astray, you should feel happier knowing that you can be contacted easily.
This is a very contentious issue and one in which many towns and council areas including Ballymoney are trying to eradicate. The law allows our Environmental Crime Enforcement Officers to give anyone seen not clearing up after their dog an on-the-spot fine called a fixed penalty notice (FPN). If you are prosecuted in court for dog fouling you could receive a maximum fine of £1,000. This is a serious issue and is both annoying and a danger to health. Therefore it always pays to have your poo bags to hand and to know where the relevant bins are. After all nobody likes to have to clean poo off their shoes.
HEALTH & HAPPINESS OF YOUR DOG
A big part of keeping your dog healthy will be grooming, looking after his coat, caring for ears and eyes, maintaining oral hygiene and regularly clipping nails. The most obvious reason to have your dog groomed professionally is that they will be returned to you looking and smelling better than they went in, but the benefits of grooming do not stop there.
Regular grooming will ensure excess hair, matts and tangles, dirt and bacteria are removed from the dog’s coat. Removing excess hair will allow more air to flow through the coat and allow your pet to regulate its temperature better.
While we recommend visiting a professional groomer there are a number of home grooming activities you can carry out to maintain your dog’s coat between visits. Furrish is a fantastic new brand targeted at pet owners. This range includes everything you might need to look after your dog’s coat, and each product is developed for quality and effectiveness. Furrish use a full proof key to identify the products suitable for each coat type which covers, puppies, long straight coats, short coats, sensitive coats, curly and wavy and not forgetting the excessive shedders.
Furrish have a range of shampoos suitable for all coat types. All Furrish shampoos are free from alcohol, silicones, SLES and parabens meaning they will be gentle on your dog’s skin & coat, add moisture and prevent static. The shampoos also contain natural wheat which will nourish, prevent breakage and strength, and plump the coat. There are 6 shampoos in the range. However if your dog has any skin issues or allergies there are a number of products stocked instore that can help with this.
Brushing helps stimulate hair growth and distributes natural oils throughout the coat to keep it healthy and shiny as well as removing dead hair and debris from the coat. This prevents matting which can cause irritated skin, redness and sores.
There are a number of detangling sprays depending on your dogs coat and this is the perfect companion when brushing.
If you can hear your pup’s paws clicking on floors – it is time to trim! If you want to tackle them at home use small plier style nail clippers and shine a torch under the nail to show the transparent area where it is safe to cut.
Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears and eyes is good practice and will reduce irritation and the risk of infection. Furrish have made this easy to you, with handy ear wipes. For quick touch ups Furrish also have paw and body wipes in 3 scents. These are great to keep in the car or by the back door to use after walks.
For all your dog care needs please call into Pet & Country or contact us through our website or on social media where our helpful and knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist.
The sun is peeking out and it seems that Summer is finally around the corner! As a devoted dog mum or dad, you will most likely have traversed trails, fetched in forests and braved the beaches in all weathers but now is the time to embrace the longer days and enjoy the great outdoors with your doggo!
We are so fortunate in Northern Ireland to have such an amazing choice of beautiful beaches and captivating countryside to choose from, right on our doorstep. With the recent upsurge in dog-friendly activities, we thought we would showcase our top walks for you, your family and your pooch this Summer.
Why not make a day of it? Pack up a picnic for you all to enjoy! Pet & Country stock handy travel water bowls, convenient collapsible food bowls and some healthy, yummy doggy snacks to include for your pooch pal too.
If bounding along the beach sounds like fun, why not try Portstewart Stand? Now we don’t suggest you explore all 33 miles of beach at once (from Portstewart to Ballycastle via The Causeway Coast) but there is a more feasible 2-mile circular route in the dunes with plenty of opportunities for dashing and digging. Neighbouring Benone Strand was also voted ‘Northern Ireland’s Favourite place to walk your Dog’ in the 2018 WalkNI awards so it is well worth a look.
2.Murlough National Nature Reserve
Or explore the 6000 year old sand dunes at the Murlough National Nature Reserve in Co. Down. With a network of paths and boardwalks winding their way through the dunes, woodland and heath you’re sure to see an array of butterflies, wild flowers, and stunning views of the Mourne Mountains and Dundrum Castle.
We have lots of beach toys in-store at Pet & Country for you to enjoy on your walk with floating toys that dogs can swim with to help them cool down on hot summer days!
Don’t worry, we also have super absorbent towels to help dry and clean them before they go back in the car!
3. Summit Trail at Divis Black Mountain
Fancy going further afield, why not challenge yourself to the Summit Trail at Divis Black Mountain? Stretching over 3 miles, the trail takes you through open heath and bog following a marked trail to the highest peak in the Belfast Hills with stunning views of Belfast City below as well as the beautiful Lough Neagh, Mourne Mountains and Strangford Lough.
4.Glenariff Forest Park
If you’d prefer to not be panting under the strong summer sunshine, then Glenariff Forest Park could be perfect! There are several walking trails through the shaded forest which give spectacular views of the waterfalls and glimpses of wildlife.
5.Crawfordsburn Country Park
Looking for a combination of beach and woodland? Crawfordsburn Country Park on the southern shore of Belfast Lough, is your answer with 2 excellent beaches, stunning views across Belfast Lough, miles of tranquil scenic walks and a stunning waterfall. There are even some designated areas where your pooch can explore without his lead!
If you’re travelling, don’t forget, we sell seatbelts, blankets and travel bags to help your pooch cope with some of the longer car journeys and to keep them safe.
6.Castle Ward Boundary Trail
Canine quests abound at the Castle Ward Boundary Trail! Starting at the shores of Strangford Lough following the 8-mile trail up to Audley’s Castle, you’ll cross magical mature woodland and farmland, though the historic grounds of Windmill Plantation and across the deer park before finishing in the old farmyard. Head up to the courtyard tea-room afterwards for some well-earned refreshments and rewards.
7.Rowallane Gardens, Co. Down
There are lots of trails to keep both dog and walker intrigued at Rowallane Gardens. The trails pass through the 19th century garden, famous today for its colourful plants and rugged landscape. Although all dogs must be kept on a lead, there is an outdoor exercise area where dogs are allowed to chase after their tennis ball or roam free from their leads.
8.Peatlands Park, Co. Tyrone
A wonderful wilderness close to the southern shores of Lough Neagh, Peatlands Park boasts over 10 miles of paths, wooden walkways and flora and fauna not found anywhere else in NI. The park is rich in butterflies, moths and dragonflies as well as many woodland and wetland birds and several species of waterfowl.
9. Slieve Gullion, Co. Armagh
The mountain of mystery presents a challenging walk for keen walkers and their favourite four-legged friends, although it has to be said that the views from the top are worth the climb! Rising to 573m, the 9.5 mile walk at Slieve Gullion is the centrepiece of the volcanic landscape in the Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Beauty. Dogs are allowed and should be kept on a lead.
Remember! some locations may have signs to indicate restricted dog access or that you must keep your dog on a lead, so be sure to look out for these or call ahead to check access. Also be a responsible dog owner and clean up after your pooch.
With so many great destinations to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring with your dog this Summer.
Spring has sprung! With warmer days ahead, it’s important that we take extra care of our furry friends to make sure they have a pawesome summer.
Although most of our dogs go to the groomer, there are a few aspects that we can keep on top of at home to keep them in tip-top condition between grooms. As warmer days approach, it is likely that your dog will be spending a lot more time enjoying the outdoors and therefore may need bathed more often!
We stock a large range of fantastic shampoos from various brands in-store. Bathing your dog is so important all year round, but especially during spring and summer. Bathing removes dead skin cells, dandruff, dust and loose hairs as well as breaking down excess oils.
This ensures there is nothing clogging the skin, allowing it to breathe. Failure to remove these layers of debris may cause your pet to overheat and struggle to regulate their body temperature. It is essential that you use a pet shampoo as regular shampoo is designed to suit the pH balance of a human and is therefore a lot harsher and will strip away natural oils from the skin and coat.
A Pet & Country favourite is the range of shampoos by Furrish. This brand makes at-home dog grooming easy with their coat type colour code on each bottle. Furrish has covered everything, so whether you have a puppy, or a dog with sensitive skin, there will be a product to suit.
If you have a big ball of fluff such as a Pomeranian, a husky or a retriever, you have a double coated dog. This means that your dog has a dense undercoat and finer top coat. You may have noticed that during the summer months, your floors and clothes will be covered in your dog’s hair. This is due to shedding. You may be tempted to book your dog in at the groomers to give them a short ‘summer cut’ but this could make matters worse! Double coated breeds can regulate their body temperature with this coat and if you cut it short, you are allowing the sun’s rays to hit the skin which will increase the risk of sunburn. Most groomers will offer a de-shedding service, but if you would like to do this yourself it’s best to start with a de-shedding shampoo to help to loosen the dead hair and follow up with a de-shedding tool once your dog is dry. We have a great range in store.
Your pooch’s paws can become dry and cracked in spring and summer as pavements will heat up. You can help to protect your dogs’ paws by avoiding walking them during the hottest times of the day, when possible. The hottest point in the day is usually around 3PM. As soon as you have returned from your walks in the sun, apply a dog-friendly paw balm which will help to bring some hydration back into the paws such as the Pet Care By Groom Professional Nose & Paw Balm.
Lastly, dogs’ ears need to be kept clean, especially those dogs that love taking a dip in the sea! Damp, warm ears are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, even more so, in the summer due to warmer weather. When your furry friend has finished their doggy paddle, make sure to dry off their ears and apply a doggie ear cleaner. One product we highly recommend is the brand new Furrish Ear Wipes solution. This 100 pack wipe ear cleaner keeps dogs’ ears free from dirt and wax build up. Just wipe and dispose - the wipes are also 100% bio-degradable, so good for the environment! We also stock the Water based Clear Ears Solution version which can be applied with a cotton bud to keep your pup fresh!
Make sure to try out these helpful tips to keep your pooch happy and healthy this spring/summer. I hope you and your furry best friend have lots of summer adventures together.
Joules Clothing is a British fashion company that was founded in 1988 by the Joules family. The company is headquartered in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, and sells men's, women's, and children’s clothing along with many lines of homeware, pet accessories and their “Friends of Joules“ range of other brands sold directly though Joule’s website
The company has over 400 stores across the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany and Austria. It also has many international stockists of its products around the world. Joules Clothing’s main focus is on promoting British fashion with a fun and relaxed lifestyle feel.
Joules, a British clothing company, is a pioneer in the sustainable fashion movement.
The company has taken steps to reduce their carbon footprint and have partnered with The Carbon Trust to reduce the carbon footprint of their materials. Their website states: "We believe that we can make a difference by reducing our impact on the environment."
Their commitment to sustainability can be seen through their many initiatives such as using organic cotton, recycling old clothes into new products, and using renewable energy sources.
Joules is a British clothing company that was established in 1989. The company's designs are inspired by the sea, countryside, and coastal life. The inspiration behind the company's design can be seen in their style of clothing.
The Joules story started back in 1989 when Tom Joule had a stand selling clothes at a country show in Leicestershire. Tom knew his customers well and could see they liked clothing that was practical, yet edgy. There was a huge difference between functional, built-to-last clothing and the bright and colourful styles that could be seen in towns and cities, there was nothing for people who wanted a balance of style and practicality. Many are still staples of the business today such as the harbour range which comes out every season, the wellies (of course!) or kids applique tops!
Tom and his small team were living the life his customers were leading, so they were constantly overflowing with ideas and inspiration. They set about reinventing traditional British clothing by adding twists to classic pieces. Many of Joules’ garments had an element of surprise – a purposefully mismatched button, a contrast colour hiding underneath a collar or even a printed lining.
"All we’ve ever done at Joules is stay true to our values. Delivering fun and quality, for families enjoying time together." - Tom Joule
We are delighted to be a retailer of Joules here at Pet & Country and you can check out some of the stock here.