Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Top 7 Things You Should Be Doing to Care for an Old Dog

How do you know when to consider your dog as a senior?

Is it when they turn a certain age? Or is it when their hair starts going a little grey?

To answer the question, it really just depends.


In general, bigger dog breeds will age and show signs of ageing faster than smaller breed dogs. 

For example, a Great Dane is considered to be a senior by roughly 5-6 years old, a Golden Retriever could be considered senior by 8-10 years, and small dogs like a Chihuahua are considered a senior around the age of 10-11.

Aside from age, dogs can also show a number of signs that they are ageing. These may include:
  • Decrease in energy levels
  • Arthritis and stiffening of joints
  • Not jumping up or down surfaces like they use to e.g. the couch, stairs etc.
  • Rougher and thinner coat with bald patches and white hairs
  • Deafness, revealed by failure to respond to commands
  • Tooth and gum conditions
  • Warts, fatty lumps and even tumours may appear (ensure to check these with your vet)
  • Excessive thirst and frequent and uncontrolled urination
  • Confusion or failure to recognise surroundings
  • Decreased appetite
  • Depression, disobedience and occasional destructive behaviour
  • A hazy, bluish cast over the eyes (should not affect eyesight unless cataracts are formed)
  • A tendency to sleep more during the day but sleep less at night. Some dogs may pace around the house at night due to sore joints, senility or even loneliness
  • Weight gain

Although you don’t want it to, the day will come when you start spotting the signs of your dog ageing. However this does not mean you have to wrap your fur-friend in cotton wool and start to worry.

You may just need to make a few small adjustments to your usual routine, and take a few extra precautions. To help you out, we’ve gathered the top 7 most important things you should be doing to care for an old dog.

1. Proper Medical Care


Regular check-ups are very important for older dogs. 

Keep note of any new or unusual symptoms your dog may be showing and report them to your vet.

It's also crucial that you maintain your dog’s regular flea & tick, heartworm and worm protection, as older dogs can be more susceptible to disease.

And if your dog has been diagnosed with a certain medical condition, for example Arthritis, you really want to stay on top of their medication schedule, to ensure your fur-friend is happy and comfortable as can be.



2. Steady Exercise


Obesity and arthritis are the top two most common problems experienced by older dogs, so regular exercise is very important.

Even a brisk walk around the block, or play time in the backyard is great for keeping their joints moving.

Please note, if your dog has been diagnosed with arthritis, consult your vet before beginning an exercise routine. 



3. Daily Routine


A consistent and daily routine is something everyone can benefit from, and will help your dog’s physical, mental and emotional health.

Even if it’s as simple as feeding at the same time, regular afternoon walks, grooming at night etc.

Things for them to look forward to in a sense.



4. Healthy Skin & Coat


Ensuring a regular skin and coat routine for your older dog is not only going to help their external appearance, but it’s going to make them feel great on the inside too.

Try bathing your older dog every 2-3 weeks with a soothing shampoo such as Aloveen Oatmeal Shampoo, as this will be gentle on their skin and leave their fur smelling great and feeling silky smooth. 

And for a little extra support, a supplement such as PAW Coat, Skin & Nail Chews that contains the essential nutrients silica and zinc, along with chia and flaxseeds, will really help improve and maintain your dog’s appearance. 



5. Healthy Teeth & Gums


Older dogs are more prone to gum disease and tartar build-up, so a regular dental routine is very important. 

Dental treats are a simple and low-cost solution to keep your dog’s pearly whites shinning bright.

A product such as Greenies Dental Treats will provide your dog with complete oral care when fed daily. Plus, the treats will help discourage tartar build up and plaque, and are also a great solution for freshening your dog’s breath. 



6. Emotional Support


As your dog ages, it’s important to be sensitive to what they are going through, and understand that a lot of psychological changes are taking place. 

Daily care for your older pet may require a little more patience on your part. 

Your loving care and commitment will really help and make for a positive quality of life for your senior fur-friend.



7. Specific Nutrition


Understanding the changing nutritional needs of your senior dogs is one of the most important things for you to consider. 

Generally, dogs of seven years and older will start to take life a little easier, and as a result, their nutritional needs and requirements will need to adjust to this new way of life.

Senior dogs are less active and have a slower metabolism, so fewer calories are required.

This does not mean lesser quality, as easy-to-digest protein and nutrients now become more important than ever. 

The simplest way to ensure you are providing your dog with everything they need to thrive, is to feed them with specifically formulated senior diet dog food.



Overall, caring for your older dog is just like caring for any aged dog. Snuggle up, spend quality time together, and appreciate every moment you pup has to give. 

Do you have any tips for providing extra care for your older dog? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Beginners Guide to Taking a Picture of Your Pet

Can we all agree we’ve tried to take that perfect picture of our pet to share across social media, however failed miserably?

Fido sit, stay, don’t move ah! 

Taking a good photo of your cat or dog can be tricky; as most pets are not natural born posers… 

Not to worry, let us help you capture that Kodak moment with our 5-step guide to taking the perfect picture of your pet.

Step One: Work with Your Pet’s Personality


Some dogs are gentle, slow moving and calm; while others jump, lick and run laps of the yard. 

Consider what makes your pet unique and work on these qualities. 

For example, photograph your playful pooch during a game of fetch, or your cat that enjoys snoozing for hours, on a cosy blanket next to the fireplace. 

And try avoid encouraging your pet into unnatural situations; as showing their true personality always looks best.



Step Two: Ensure a Relaxed Atmosphere


Getting your pet to pose in a studio is not only difficult, but they probably won’t enjoy it either. 

In fact, most pets are more likely to relax and be their best selves in a familiar environment; at home, in the garden, or even the beach. 

Try make your little photo shoot fun for everyone, and ensure there is plenty of interaction and breaks. 



Step Three: Natural Lighting Works Best


For the most desirable lighting, try photographing your pet during the day and preferably outside. 

Also avoid using a flash, as this will not look as effective and can also frighten your pet. 

In additional to good lighting, you also want to consider the surroundings. 

An adventurous dog against the backdrop of a crystal clear beach makes for a pretty amazing shot.



Step Four: Get On Your Pet’s Level


Our best tip to you, is to get on your pet’s level. 

Kneeling down when photographing animals really does make a huge difference. 

Photos taken from a low camera angle will help make your pet the central focus in the final image.

Aim for the eyes and you’ll capture your pet’s unique personality. 

And if your pet is acting calm or a little sleepy, this is a great chance to get up close and personal. 

Most importantly, experiment! Try a close-up portrait or a fun action shot.

Another great tip is to take your photos with your subject off-centre, and have something interesting in the background.

Not only will this look nicely balanced, but your friends will think you’re a pro!



Step 5: The Winning Shot


Keep things simple, stay relaxed, and just have fun with it!

Encourage plenty of action with a selection of toys and treats, as this will allow for a range of different shots.

And most importantly, aim to harness your pet’s natural spontaneity and instinct. Your dog might suddenly do something funny, so be alert and ready to capture the moment. 

Overall, your little photo shoot most likely won’t turn out quite as you imagined, but you’ll soon see that this makes for some super cute photos, and some memorable moments shared with your best friend.

Happy snapping!



We’d love to see our tips put to use. Share your perfect pet photos on our Facebook page and you could be featured in monthly newsletter that is sent out to over 26,000 pet families!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Did You Know Talking To Your Pet Is Good For Your Health?

Hands up if you talk to your pet?

And if you’re anything like us at VetShopMax, it’s each and every day, all day long.

We love telling them about our day, what we’ve been up to, and even how we feel.

Whilst this may sound a little strange to those without pets, talking to pets is actually very common.

But did you know talking to your pet is good for your health?



“The average dog can understand around 200 words”



Your Pet Knows How You’re Feeling


Here’s a fun fact, although we talk to people using words, 80% of our communication is actually via our body language. 

The average dog can understand up to 200 words, but won’t really understand spoken language.

They can however, pick up on our emotions, and are able to sense how we’re feeling. 

Kind of like a 6th sense.

Some dogs will lay their head on your lap when you’re upset for example, whilst your cat may often sit with you when you’re feeling lonely or unwell (even if they don’t sit with you normally).

So it doesn’t really matter what you say to them, but rather how you express it.

If you’re one to talk regularly to your pet, he or she is going to know you inside out, which is a really special bond to have with your fur friend.



“Your pet senses how much you love them by the way you talk to them”


Talking to Your Pet Is Good for BOTH of You


We see pets as family, and genuine friends that we can bare our souls to – secrets are always safe, and an animal will never judge us… or do they?

But did you know having a good old yarn with your fur friend is actually good for your mental health?

Taking to pet’s and interacting with them regularly can lower stress levels, increase productiveness and overall just make you feel good!

That’s why at VetShopMax, we bring our furry pals to work with us. For more information, click here.

Now as mentioned earlier, pets can sense how your feeling; and they can also sense how you feel towards them.

A lot of you and your pet’s communication is actually expressed through intonation.

For example, your dog may associate a high, happy voice with positivity and excitement, a neutral, calming voice with reassurance, and a low, deep voice with negativity or disapproval.

Next time you talk to your pet, think about your tone and body language and see how they respond.



“Your pet actually has a lot to say in return”


You Learn Your Pet’s Language Too


Although animals are good at picking up on much of what we say, they still have their own way of communication too.

Start paying greater attention, and you’ll notice that your pet has quite a lot to say in return when you talk to them.

Try immerse yourself in the body language of your cat, dog, bunny or any pet for that matter, and you’ll soon realise there’s a whole new form of communication to discover.

Overall, the more you work on understanding each other, the stronger your bond will be and the happier and healthy you both will feel!




Do you know how to break up a dog fight? Learn the skills and protect your pet here.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

How To Break Up A Dog Fight

As humans, breaking up a dog fight is something we hope to never have to do. Being a good pet owner, you may have the best behaved and trained pooch around, however not all dogs get along – even the good ones. Instinct is a very powerful thing in animals, so simply telling your dog to ‘stop’ or ‘come here’ nine times out of ten is not going to work. They no longer hear you as their loving loyal owner, but instead their only focus in that very moment is to attack – no matter who it might be at. 


It cannot be stressed enough that you should never, ever reach into the chaos and grab your dog away. This manoeuvre is rather going to leave you injured than breaking up the clash. Instead, there are a two effective techniques that will ensure everyone involved walks away serious-injury free. 

Technique 1: Two-person breakup

This technique will be effective if you have two people who are able to break the fight up together.
  1. At the same time each grab a dog’s back legs
  2. Raise them up, similar to how you would lift a wheelbarrow
  3. Back both dogs away slowly, continuing to hold their legs in the air (this will prevent them from reaching around and biting you)
  4. Once the dogs are safely separated, try hold them securely until they are calm and face them away from the other dog if possible


Technique 2: One-person breakup

This technique can be used if you are alone, however proceed with caution. 

  1. Grab a free leash or a piece of rope
  2. Slowly approach the more aggressive dog
  3. Once you are close enough, loop the leash around their middle section, you want to catch them just in front of their back legs
  4. Slip the free end of the leash through its looped handle and pull tight
  5. Once fastened, slowly pull the dog backward until you find something to fasten them to, such as a telephone pole or fence post
  6. Now shift your focus to the second dog and grab them from behind using the “wheelbarrow” technique described above
  7. Again, pull them away at least 5 metres and restrain until the dogs are calm or help arrives


Whether it’s big dogs or small dogs, these techniques will work the same. Try not to scream or yell unless it’s calling for help, and most importantly, be quick, stay mindfully aware, and remain calm and assertive.

Want the longest lasting flea and tick protection for your pet? Click here to learn more.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Take Your Dog to Work Day - June 24th 2016

Here at VetShopMax, every day is bring your pet to work day. However, did you know there is an annual day recognized worldwide for bringing your pet to work? How cool!

VetShopMax Staffy Staff Members

Take Your Dog to Work Day will take place this Friday the 24th of June 2016 in America and all around the world.

A little history on how this day all came about, it was first celebrated in 1996 in the United Kingdom and became popular in the United States in 1999. Take Your Dog to Work Day not only lets pet owners celebrate the bond and companionship they share with their pets, but also brings greater awareness to adopting from local shelters and rescue groups.

Studies have proved that bringing your dog, or cat to work can provide a number of physical and mental health benefits, increase activity and staff productiveness, and overall create a positive and fun work environment. 

To ensure your Take Your Dog to Work Day runs smoothly this Friday, Dr Mark has given his Top 5 Tips for Bringing Pets to Work.

Tip One: Training

Ensure your pet is suitably trained and well socialised before bringing into work. Set aside time during the day for toilet breaks, however it’s recommended to also provide training pads to avoid accidents. Use positive reinforcement when your pet shows good behaviour, including whenever they do the toilet in the correct place. This will help reduce the likelihood of your pet playing up or toileting in the wrong area.  

Tip Two: Comfort

Allow your pet some free time when you arrive in the morning. This will give them time to get to know their surroundings and say hello to other co-workers. Bring along your pet’s favourite blanket, bed, and toys to help them feel comfortable in the new environment. Keep these items by your desk to encourage your pet to stay by your side and avoid causing disruption to other workers. 

Tip Three: Environment

Consider if your workplace is a safe environment before bringing your pet in. Is there any hazardous machinery, substances or open flames? If so maybe your workplace is not suitable for bringing in your pet. Also be aware of security and if your pet could escape easily, and if so is there a busy road outside. Above all, your pet’s safety is what matters most. 

Tip Four: Cleaning

If you or other staff members are regularly bringing your pets to work, ensure the office is equip with relevant cleaning products, such as paper towels and disinfectant. If your pet does toilet in the office, it’s always best to display no reaction. Clean the area thoroughly to remove any scent, as this will reduce the likelihood of the pet doing it in that spot again.

Tip Five: Vaccinated

Before bringing your pet to work, it’s important to ensure their vaccinations are up to date and that they are free from any diseases or illnesses that could spread to other animals. Also consider the risk of any hidden parasites that may be residing at your workplace and administer protection accordingly. This will allow for a happy and healthy environment for all.

Click here for MUST know hacks that will make every cat owners life easier.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Introducing Seresto - The Longest Lasting Protection From Fleas And Ticks


Seresto isn't like other flea collars. The innovative patented collar matrix in each easy to apply, non-greasy odour free collar, provides 8 months of effective protection against fleas (in cats and dogs) and 4 months protection against all ticks (in dogs only). 9/10 pet parents recommend Seresto as it's effective, fast and easy to use.


Seresto works for your pet:

Fleas don't have to bite to die. Seresto works through contact, killing fleas that can cause painful bites.

Protection against ticks (dogs only). Seresto kills and repels ticks.

Water resistant*. Bath time and swimming aren't off limits.

Seresto works for you:

Less hassle, no mess. Seresto is non-greasy and odor free and helps avoid the hassle of applying monthly topicals.

Easy-to-use. Application of collar is easy. The collar should be worn continuously for the full protection period.

Protection Plus. 8 months against fleas (cats and dogs), 4 months against ticks (dogs only).