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Tag Archives: Bev

Magical month for animals

TO the ancient Celts, the year had two ‘hinges’. These were Beltaine (the first of May) and Samhain, (the first of November), which is also the traditional Celtic New Year. These two days were the most magical, and often frightening, times of the whole year. The Irish and Scots Celts began celebrating Samhain more than 2,000 years ago. Samhain marked the time cattle were brought in from their summer grazing to their winter fold. By that stage, the harvest was done and food stored. The gods were petitioned to protect the cattle during the long, hard winter. Samhain is also the night of the Great Sabbat for the witches (Ban-Druidh, in Scots Gaelic). On Hallowmas, all the witches of Scotland gather together to celebrate, prophesy and cast their spells. Tradition has it that on this night, they can be seen flying through the air on broomsticks with black cats, ravens or horses on their wild Hallowmas Ride. Some say the …

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Protecting pets from fireworks

ALTHOUGH fireworks are illegal in Ireland, we are all too aware of them as early as October. Each year we are asked to keep our pets indoors or locked away safe, and each year the veterinary practices all over Ireland are full of dogs and cats that have become victims to fireworks, bonfires and their own terror. Our pets are terrified of the noise and can be driven to extreme behaviour. Some will go off their food, hide for days under the bed or in other small spaces. Some will bite and growl at their well-meaning owners trying to comfort them; this can result in the poor dog being thrown out into a much more terrifying environment.Some poor dogs are so frightened that they run off to get away from the noise and get lost, many ending up in the dog pound or worse, under a car. Desensitising your dog to the noise of fireworks can take months and a …

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Expelling pet myths

THERE are lots of myths that have existed around pets and these are just a few. * A wagging tail means a happy dog: Dog body language is very complex and a wagging tail is only part of a very big picture. It can mean the dog is happy but it can also indicate anxiety, fear and sometimes aggression. So look at the whole dog. * You should let the dog have one litter before you spay her: Absolutely not. Dogs don’t have the same maternal feelings that people do and the drive to have puppies only comes around when the dog is in season. Pregnancy may cause complicated health issues and can mean expensive trips to the vets. Thousands of unwanted puppies and stray dogs are killed in Ireland each year and if you let your dog have ‘just one litter’, you may be adding to the problem. * Neutering my dog will change him: The earlier it is …

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All for the birds

SPRING is finally here and our wildlife needs a bit of help as they prepare for the mating season and raising their young. Our small birds are busy at this time of year so here are a few tips to help them. Check your bird feeders condition. Feeders need replaced so they don’t injure or make the birds sick. Check them regularly to ensure the rain isn’t making the seeds mouldy; mould means death to a small bird trying to survive and care for young. There are many diseases such as  salmonella and conjunctivitis and an unclean feeder may be inadvertently doing birds more harm than good. Birds are messy things so make sure the paving and areas around their feeders is kept clean, this will prevent unwanted wildlife such as rats sharing the feast you put out for the birds. Birds like to come back to the same feeders that have the food they want. Many people buy the …

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Keeping safe around your pet

FOLLOWING on from the dog bite prevention article a few weeks ago, here are some tips for parents and dog owners to help keep children safe: THE three most important things to teach your children Some dogs don’t like hugs and kisses. Teach your children not to hug or kiss a dog on the face. Hugging the family dog or face-to-face contact are common causes of bites to the face. Instead, teach kids to scratch the dog on the chest or the side of the neck. Be a tree if a strange dog approaches. Tach children to stand still, like a tree. If children flap around, run or make squealing noises this can excite a dog even more. Trees are boring and the dog will eventually go away. This works for strange dogs and anytime the family dog gets too frisky or becomes aggressive. Never tease a dog and never disturb a dog that’s sleeping, eating or protecting something like …

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Keeping your dog mentally healthy

KEEPING your dog happy and healthy is just part of being a dog owner and keeping your dog healthy also includes his mental well-being. These are just a few of the mental problems that your dog can have and ways to help your dog with his mental health. Do dogs get depressed? Of course, dogs get depressed. They go through bouts of depression for many reasons and you will notice your dog moping about and not wanting to play, drinking small amounts of water, going off their food and losing weight. You want your dog’s mental health to be good, but how can you tell what is causing this depression? After you have ruled out a physical problem by having a check with the vet, you can then check what may be causing this change in your dog’s attitude. Grief can cause depression in dogs just as it can in us. Has your dog lost a playmate recently? Maybe a …

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Pets can help you be healthier and happier

Our pets need to be companion animals, well socialised with people and our homes to be of benefit to us. Dogs and cats kept outside don’t offer us the same companionship and quite often they themselves suffer by not being invited to live indoors with us. Being part of the family has beneficial effects on humans and animals alike. Spending quality time with a dog, cat or other animal can have a positive impact on your mood and your health. Pet owners, on average, are better off than non-pet owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets. For some active people, that includes playing games, walking and exercising with your dog. For others, who can’t get outside, just petting your dog or cat can help you feel connected. Even talking to a budgie can help. Pets can help you in other ways, too. A healthier heart: Your dog may make you less likely to get heart disease …

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Bite prevention programme

THE Be a Tree programme is an innovative and interactive dog bite prevention education programme created by the non-profit organization, Doggone Safe. Statistics show that up to half of all children are bitten by a dog by the time they are 12-years-old. Dog bites are considered to be a serious problem and a lot of the time dogs are euthanaised without question as to why the bite occurred. Most bites are by the family dog or another dog known to the child and can be prevented through education. Thanks to Doggone Safe, the Be a Tree programme is available to schools and children’s groups in Clare. Presenters in the worldwide programme include veterinary nurses, dog behaviorists and other educators. Presenters use a teacher kit that contains large format, full colour photographs showing dog body language signs. Presenter’s also teach games and activities that can be supplemented with learning materials, such as colouring books, paint sheets, story book, poster, stickers, bookmarks …

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