March 3, 2014 By NarpsUK
Hiring a dog walker is the ideal solution for your dog while you are out at work all day
Do you work full time?
Is your dog left home alone all day?
The stresses and strains suffered by pets when they are left alone all day
The idea of getting a dog can be difficult to resist; after all, who wouldn't want to be greeted by a friendly face when returning home at the end of a long day?
But when you choose your pet it's important to consider how they will feel when you are away from home for many hours at a stretch. Some types of pet manage perfectly well but otherwise suffer when they are left on their own all day.
We take a closer look at the stresses and strains suffered by pets when they are left alone all day.
The concept of time
It can be easy to dismiss the stress that can be caused by leaving pets alone all day, after all when did you last see your Labrador wearing a watch?
However, both dogs and cats have an internal body-clock and even though they may not measure hours and minutes in the same way as humans, they are aware of the passage of time.
Pets can struggle living on their own.
Scientists have suggested that animals use a variety of clues to help them to determine what is expected to happen and when. Some of these indicators may not be immediately obvious to humans but play a part in the way in which pets recognise time.
What this means is that if you don't return home when expected, your dog or cat is likely to experience significant anxiety, even if they have plenty of toys, food and water. They may not be in immediate danger but they will be craving the most simple of things: your companionship.
Of course, being late home is not the only time that your pet may feel agitated. Being away from them for long periods on a regular basis, such as going to work all day, can also create stress and strains.
Of course it's essential for all animals to be provided with the right kind of companionship and social interaction, but for many dogs, their primary input may come from their cage mates rather than you.
A quarter of the eight million pets dogs in the UK are estimated to be suffering from depression, caused by being left alone for long stretches at a time.
It's far easier to spot problems in a dog that is destructive, chews furniture, defecates, barks or howls for long periods during your absence. All of these can be indicators that your pet pooch is struggling to cope when you are away for several hours.
However, just because there is no obvious behaviour an outburst doesn’t mean that your dog is dealing well with your absence.
Hidden cameras have picked up previously unseen behaviours such as relentless pacing, circling by the door, constant quiet whining or even self-mutilation such as chewing their paws.
You might imagine that your dog enjoys the chance to kick back and relax without you there but far from spending the day chewing on their toys, napping and generally savouring their freedom all the signs suggest that your pet will feel distressed until your return.
In fact, a recent study suggests that leaving a dog at home alone all day can result in an animal so traumatised that it is comparable to a child who has been abandoned by its parents.
Coming home to find the house torn to pieces, accidents waiting for you on the living room carpet or even neighbours complaining about your dog barking all day may be the last thing you want to deal with after a long day at work. However, it's worth stopping to think about what might be causing those behaviours and whether your pet could be trying to show you just how much they are suffering.
Even if your pet's behaviour seems immaculate, you might still want to consider how they are feeling when they are left alone during the day. A rapturous welcome home every evening might be lovely but is it really fair to leave your pet pining all day long?
There are many resolves to this problem for example using a doggie day care service especially if you have an active puppy or hire a dog walker, a dog walker will come to your home usually in the middle of the day and take your dog for an hour long walk returning your dog tired out and ready to sleep during the afternoon.
If you do opt for a dog walker be sure to check that they are insured, have had a criminal record check carried out and check out references to give you peace of mind.
You can find a local professional, registered pet sitter or dog walker by inserting your postcode at www.narpsuk.co.uk
January 30, 2014 By NarpsUK
Responsible Dog Walking
NarpsUK have terms and conditions in place for its dog walking and pet sitting members, two of these conditions is that no more than 4 dogs should be walked at one time and that only dogs where you can guarantee their recall should be let off leads.
These terms and requests of cooperation are not there to annoy or to be ignored; they have a significant purpose in terms of safety and fun for you, the dogs and other people.
As you’ll know, parks and recreational grounds are available for everyone to use, including those without pets, and those who don’t like or who are scared of dogs. They’re often used by young children and families as well as pet people and equally passionate other dog walkers. Because of this it is vital that all dog walkers stick to the high standards and terms set out by NarpsUK.
Explanations for the standards and their enforcement are expanded below:
Groups of dogs can be intimidating to other dogs. They can encourage aggression, fear and/or unwanted attention, potentially leading to fights, bites and dogs becoming frightened to walk in the area. Any more than 4 at one time is deemed unsafe for one person to control. You cannot always judge and rely on a dog’s temperament; even the most placid and friendliest of dogs can switch their behaviour very quickly should they feel threatened or overwhelmed.
Some people and children are not ‘pet’ people and can feel uncomfortable, panic-stricken and scared around dogs. It can’t be assumed that others using parks enjoy dogs or enjoy being around them, nor is it fair to do so. Everyone has the right and freedom to use parks and recreational grounds for their personal or sporting use. Dog walkers should not spoil and ruin this time for other people, children and their parents.
To a person or family who are not used to or are scared of dogs, it is truly frightening and intimidating to be approached by dogs, particularly if the walker does not understand.
A group of dogs running towards children and or any person can be seen as unsafe and threatening. The person or people are unsure what to do, where to go, how to behave or react. Screaming, shouting and/or running away is often a reaction of a scared person or child, but this will alert the dog or dogs who can switch into protective or fear mode… cue more potential aggression, bites or dogs becoming frightened themselves.
The physical effects on children, adults and the elderly results in an increased heart rate and an increased breathing rate, and fainting can occur at its extreme level. They do not know if these dogs will attack them, bite, growl or knock them over, and it is unacceptable to place a fellow person in this position. You understand the dogs you’re working with, but they can see things very differently.
The elderly and children are particularly vulnerable. A single incident with a dog can leave a child with a lifelong fear of dogs, making a significant impact of their lives now, and in the future. Those of us who enjoy the company of dogs would not wish this on anyone. Dogs who are circling, running around, charging and jumping up is immense fun for the dogs and you as walkers. For the elderly and children (and parents) however, it can be terrifying - not to mention dangerous; they are easily knocked over, leading to injuries such as bruising, scratches, cuts, dislocations and broken bones. (As you’ll be aware, bones and joints of children and the elderly are not as robust as adults and are easily damaged.)
Joining with other dog walkers dramatically increases these problems. Attention must be on your own dogs at all times. If you are distracted by, for example, talking to other dog walkers and their group of dogs, your own group in question may be causing frights, stress and chaos with other people and families. Being unaware of your group’s behaviour and whereabouts increases the likelihood of them defecating in unsuitable areas and you not picking up their faeces. The potential for you to miss cries for help or requests to recall your dogs is huge.
Dogs must only be let off their leads if you are 100% CERTAIN you have complete control and faith in their recall ability. The consequences of not having this self-assurance results in accidents, injuries (dog and human), fights, lost dogs, defecating in unsuitable areas, zoonotic diseases infecting the public, and people being intimidated or scare. Some will avoid the park or areas completely.
As a professional dog walker you’ll understand that walking dogs on behalf of their owners is a responsibility and honour they have entrusted you with. Taking the same relaxed approach as you might perhaps with your own animals is not sensible or safe. There are numerous further incidents which can also occur, the majority of which are preventable and containable by staying within the guidelines set by NARPS UK.
It is possible that in the future separate walking areas within parks and recreational grounds may be created. Until such time, NARPS UK wishes everyone safe, fun and professional dog walking. If you have any questions or concerns about this information, please contact www.narpsuk.co.uk or call our customer service team on: 01322 683 564.
October 26, 2013 By NarpsUK
A trademark is a way to legally protect a brand or symbol and it shows that the item has exclusive properties and it belongs to the owner. This means it cannot be copied in the same form, at least not legally. The symbol used to indicate ownership of the item is ™, and if this has been officially registered it is a Registered Trademark which then has the symbol ®. The difference between these two forms of protection is that a ‘TM’ is a simple trademark, and while this can be registered with local authorities or be in the process of being officially registered, it does not offer as much protection as a Registered Trademark which has been officially registered – and accepted – by the national patent office.
A trademark shows a product belongs to one source, and a good trademark makes the company easily distinguishable, (think of McDonald’s big ‘M’).
Any new logo, name or symbol designed and developed by a person or company can have the ‘TM’ symbol, but unless it is officially registered a competitor can and may produce something similar, (or even the same), and while the ‘TM’ article was the first on the market, this is not always easy to prove without the further proof of registering it.
Once registered, another company cannot produce the same item using the same name and logo, so it protects the manufacturer or inventor much more than the unregistered TM.
Basically ‘TM’ suggests the item belongs to someone, while ® shows it to be legally the property of another, that is the reason registering your Trademark is a good idea. You are legally protected and your brand is as safe from imitations as you can make it. If someone does set out to copy your Registered Trademark, you can legally prove this is a copy and potentially damaging to your business.
In the members area is the full version of this Information Sheet which covers:
- Trademarks, Patents and Copyright
- What can Trademarks be applied to
- Before Applying for a Trademark
- Costs and the Application Process
- Trademark Scams
- What we Recommend
Login to the NarpsUK members area today to download the latest Information Sheet
October 9, 2013 By NarpsUK
Are you looking for a -Dog Walking Job?
Dog walking can be a great career and a lucrative one too, if the idea of having a dog walking job excites you and you have a genuine love of dogs then you will love every minute of it.
There could be many reasons why you are looking for dog walking jobs but the main one is usually when people are looking to earn some extra money, and why not, dog walking jobs can be very lucrative - try out our pet sitters and dog walkers income calculator to estimate how much you could earn from dog walking: https://www.narpsuk.co.uk/calculator/calculator.html
Do you need to have experience in dog walking? - the simple answer to that question is YES, no one is going to give their beloved dog to a stranger without doing thorough checks first and they are going to want to know what experience you have and how trustworthy you are.
If you don't have any experience in dog walking then before offering a dog walking service you need to get yourself some first, you can do this by offering a free service to friends and family or by getting in touch with your local boarding kennels and offering your services for free. You should also seek out some 'dog walking' books or take a dog walking course - having a qualification behind you is a great way of showing credibility.
So now you have some experience - what's next?
If you don't want the responsibility of running your own dog walking service and would prefer to work for a company then you need to seek out the dog walking businesses in your area via Google or by popping into your local vets and looking on the notice boards, contact them and ask if they are looking for help and tell them what you can offer.
Next you need to get yourself a basic disclosure criminal record check because for dog walking you will probably be holding the owners keys to collect their dog while they are at work, you can apply for this yourself via Disclosures Scotland via their online link at a cost of £25.00 http://www.disclosurescotland.co.uk/apply-online/ you will need to hold this whether you are working for yourself or if you have a dog walking job.
OK, so now you have some experience and you have your criminal record check, lastly you need insurance, there are many insurers who offer dog walking business insurance and if you join NarpsUK you can get this for just £71.55. If you take a dog walking job via a company then they will already have insurance that covers you too.
So now you are ready to go, you now need to market your services and sell yourself to potential customers. Get some flyers made up (these are free to NarpsUK members), put the flyers in local pet shops, dog groomers and vets, in fact put them up where ever you can. Get your details on pet related websites that offer free listings, if you join NarpsUK you will get extra work from there.
Most dog walkers charge between £8.00 - £15.00 per hour depending on which part of the country you live in. You should Google the term 'dog walker' with your town name next to it to look at other dog walker's websites to find out how much they are charging or you could use the NarpsUK post code search facility to find a local dog walker and check rates. Most dog walkers do not walk more than four dogs at a time, once or twice a day, be sure to pair them up so that the two dogs walking together are compatible. We do not recommend that you let dogs off leads and remember you will need to take dog mess bags with you to clean up dog mess.
You can get all of the forms and contracts you will need by joining NarpsUK too
Now if you are serious about a dog walking job then now is the time to start
October 8, 2013 By NarpsUK
The Essential Guide to Creating a First Aid kit for Your Pet
Many households have a furry, feathered or even scaly member of the family but have you ever considered what you would do if they got hurt?
Whilst you may plan on heading straight to the vet, there are some injuries which can be easily treated at home, and others which require immediate treatment in order to avert a tragedy.
It's therefore highly advisable to have a comprehensive First Aid kit for your animals ready to use in case the worst happens. But the types of items you need are very different than what you might have in your own medicine cupboard and if you try to use human treatments, you could end up making the situation worse.
We've put together a step by step guide to creating your own pet First Aid kit along with some extra measures you can take to make sure you are prepared.
Pet first aid kit
Image Source: http://www.pettravelcenter.com/img/products/Pet_First_Aid_Kit.jpg
Some basic tools
No matter what pet you have, there are some basic implements which could come in handy if you need to administer First Aid. The following should be part of any kit:
Eye-dropper (or large syringe): Not just for administering eye or ear drops, this can also be used to give oral fluids or flush out a wound.
Scissors: Useful for a myriad of purposes, they are perfect for snipping out chunks of matted fur as well as cutting bandages, gauze and so on. Special bandage scissors can be a helpful addition; these have a blunted edge which allows the scissors to slip between the bandage and skin without cutting or grazing your pet.
Tweezers: To clear foreign bodies from wounds or to pull out splinters or thorns. Less likely than fingers to snap off part of the offending object, leaving part stuck deep inside a paw etc.
Tick removal implement: Not an essential, but if you live in an area with lots of tics or you enjoy hiking or countryside activities with your pooch, it could be a good investment. Makes tick removal simple plus reduces the risk of nasty pathogens being released into your pet's bloodstream.
Image Source: http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4050/4711443255_839ec2d90c.jpg
Toenail clippers and styptic pencil: Even a relatively small injury such as a torn nail can get infected if not treated. A styptic pencil will stem the blood flow whilst clippers help you tidy up the damage.
Your pet First Aid kit should be suitable for dealing with a range of emergencies. To do this, the following supplies should be on hand:
Blanket/towel: Although you might have plenty in your house, it's a good idea to keep one in your pet First Aid box. This saves you trying to find a clean one in the event of an emergency. Use to wrap your pet to combat shock or as a stretcher to lift an immobile animal.
Gloves: You may not be worried about getting your hands dirty but with open wounds you could introduce bacteria or easily spread infection. A box of latex disposable gloves will protect your pet from cross contamination.
Muzzle: The idea may seem silly right now but if your pet is in the throes of pain, they could lash out without realising. As well as inflicting injury, it could also make it difficult to treat even the simplest of problems.
Plastic bags: The easiest way to deal with a foot injury en route to the vet. Simply tape over the foot, it will keep the injured part sterile and also stop blood seeping onto furniture, carpets or your vehicle.
Roll gauze: By purchasing in a roll rather than short strips, you can use gauze to staunch a wound, bandage an injury or even padding for a splint.
Tape: Easy to tear with a strong adhesive, it sticks well to your pet's skin. The best type is micropore tape, designed for this purpose. As an emergency temporary measure, duct tape can be used.
Telfa pads: You may not have known their name, but these are the non-stick pads which are used over a wound. If you run out, a nappy or a sanitary pad can act as a make-shift.
Thermometer: For most pets this means a rectal reading so don't forget a gentle water-based lubricant too. Research the normal vital signs for your pet in advance and tape the temperature range to the thermometer box, or the inside of your First Aid kit, so you don't have to rack your brains when faced with an unwell animal.
Vet wrap: A type of self-cling gauze, this is an approved bandage wrap which offers a degree of water protection. Perfect for animals as it doesn't rip off fur when removed, it should be applied with a slight degree of pressure. Do not apply too tightly as it can cut off circulation.
Essential medicines and treatments
Whilst it's not usually a good idea to give your pet medicine without the thumbs up from your vet, there are occasions when it is appropriate – or even vital – that you administer treatment. A lot of human medicines are lethal if given to dogs so keeping a supply of the following pet supplies could come in handy:
Antibiotic ointment: Available over the counter, it's suitable for applying to external grazes and cuts and helps prevent infection. Take care about putting in on animals that can lick it off! Absorbed topically, it is not suitable for use on every occasion so use with discretion.
Antiseptic wipes: The simplest way to cleanse a wound; opt for a non-sting formula such as betadine or chlorhexidine.
Diphenhydramine: Commonly known as Benadryl, a handy drug to have in the case of allergic reactions or stings. Check with your vet first about what dose is appropriate.
Haemostatic agent (such as QuikClot): To stop blood flow quickly. Useful to carry while you are out and about.
Sterile eye wash: To wash out the eyes in case of foreign bodies or contact with harmful substances.
Sterile saline wash: Useful for many situations including flushing wounds or foreign bodies from eyes. Also helpful in the case of smoke getting in the eyes and causing stinging and discomfort.
Washing up liquid: This is one of the easiest ways to quickly wash toxins from a pet's skin or fur. If used, make sure it is thoroughly washed off afterwards.
Water: Whilst you might not need to store this in a First Aid kit you plan on keeping at home, it's a good idea to have some bottled water in a mobile pack. Useful for rehydration, cooling down to prevent heat stroke, soaking an injured paw and washing off toxins.
Exotic animals and special needs
Any First Aid kit which you put together will obviously vary depending on the type of pet you have. Whilst many of the above items will be useful for the vast majority of animals, some more unusual species may need a few extra additions. This is also true for any pet with special medical needs. Here are some more ideas about what you might want to include:
Diluted tea tree oil: Many small animals such as rats suffer from skin complaints; diluted tea tree oil (containing at least 5% tea tree) can help clear up a wide range of conditions. This is useful for humans too!
Electrical tape: For temporary emergency shell repairs for tortoises.
Epi-pen: Only to be used in life or death situations on animals who are known to have a fatal allergy.
Honey or glucose: Kept as an emergency supply for diabetic animals. Consider also keeping corn syrup as this can be rubbed on the gums if the animal is not able to swallow.
Mini ICU tank: Spiders and small reptiles often suffer from dehydration which can be fatal if left unchecked. A special tank which can be used with a heat pad helps to get fluids in quickly. Spider tanks often have a 'mound' in the centre where moistened pads/towels can be placed.
Superglue: Invaluable for spiders with broken/damaged legs. Often also used on parrots who have damaged blood feathers.
Wire cutters: Small animals can easily get caught in the cage, or trapped in toys such as igloos which have come apart. Wire cutters help you release them quickly before serious injury occurs.
In any First Aid kit, it's a good idea to keep a list of essentials so you aren't left scrabbling around in the event of an emergency.
This could include your vet's telephone number, the out of hour’s emergency number, contact details for the relevant poison helpline and a copy of your pet's medical history. It can also be a good idea to have these numbers programmed ready into your mobile phone.
Make sure you know exactly how to reach your vet's surgery, including the emergency practice as this might be in a different location to your regular appointments.
Whilst a First Aid kit for your pet should be seen as an essential part of their care, there's a few simple steps you can take to maximise its effectiveness.
A pet first aid course is a great idea
Image Source: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7099/7151777553_51d0a6b7e2.jpg
Educate yourself by reading pet First Aid books or watching tutorials online. YouTube is a great resource which is free to use.
Consider attending a pet First Aid course, specifically designed for your type of animal. A reptile will have very different needs for example than a cat or a dog.
Yes even vets like to get badges too!
Image Source: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7276/7712891140_755bbc3f41.jpg
It doesn't take long, or cost much, to put together a comprehensive First Aid kit; the vast majority of the items can be found either on the high street or from your local veterinary practice. You may not be able to deal with every emergency without medical assistance but by having these items on standby, you will be giving your pet the best chance of making it, as well as cutting down on the discomfort and pain they have to suffer.
Image Credits: Pet Travel Centre, 807MDSC, USAG-Humphreys