Pet Advice Guides for Pet Owners

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Coping with problem pets can be daunting without good pet advice. If you have encountered aggressive behaviour in dogs, cats who refuse to use their litter trays, overweight pets, nervous behaviour and fear of loud noises, excitability, skin ailments and general poor health, help is at hand. Our Pet advice pages are based on years of work with all sorts of animals. Through our dog adoption services, we have seen all sorts of behavioural problems. Sadly, this usually results in owners getting rid of the problem, often due to many months (even years) of trying to cope. Our aim is to educate, rehabilitate and create harmony between owners and their pets. We provide assistance, help, maybe just a shoulder to lean on, so you can enjoy a balanced, healthy relationship with your pet.

If you have a specific pet problem and would like some advice, let us know.
All our pet advice pages are provided as a free service for you to enjoy. If you find them useful, a small donation is always appreciated.

Little Billy doing better

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It’s early days but there is already an improvement in Little Billy’s condition.  He isn’t howling or shaking or looking so doped.  Being off the medication will help his system to heal and him to recover.   He’s beginning to be a happy little chap, we’ve had smiles and fuss from him, he loves attention and although he is still sleeping a lot, when he’s awake, he’s a sweetie.   Little Billy likes food and has ate everything we’ve put him front of him, so appetite isn’t a problem.  We’re feeding him natural food only and with lots of herbs.

His eyes were pits of blood when he first came in, now the inflammation is going and they are beginning to heal.   This little dog is as good as gold to treat, he lets us put his Aloe Vera gel on the sore places, without a murmur.   It’s soothing and will feel good.

We’ve even been for several small walks today and he’s enjoyed the fresh air and sun – not too far though.   Most of all he likes the love and attention we’re giving him.   And when he’s ready for a nap he puts himself to bed!

Where’s Billy?   When it’s bedtime this is all you can see!

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A poorly little dog

dogs - little billy 4In dogs, as well as humans, health is everything.  We take it for granted until it breaks down.   This is Little Billy, an elderly and poorly Jack Russell, who has been brought in to us because his owners, who have their own health problems, can’t cope with him any more.   He’s been unwell for a long time and has been treated with tranquilizers (diazapam) and steroids.   He’s been getting worse and becoming more distressed, he’s started to howl for long periods and has become incontinent.

Little Billy has Lupus which is a disease of the immune system.  His body has broken down and the skin around his eyes is raw and looks horrific.  When he first came in he looked very miserable.  Lupus can cause the nose and skin in other areas to be raw too.   Little Billly’s condition is challenging but he is such a sweet little chap and we have seen other dogs improve dramatically with a holistic approach.  The other option was for his owners to have him put to sleep, the howling especially was a big difficulty and a sign of extreme unhappiness.   They have another dog and the two of them do not get on.  This may have been making Little Billy worse.  Feeling unhappy can be a cause of ill health.   We’ll make him comfortable (one of our specially cosy duvet beds) and put him on an organic diet.  We’ve stopped the tranquilizers, they aren’t doing him any good anyway.  He’s having lots of love and holistic treatment – it may not work but we’ll give it a try.dogs - little billy 2

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Get well Little Billy ……..recovery prayers please …….

Laddie is doing well

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Laddie was nervous when he first came in – what a difference now!   He’s not put a paw wrong and is loving it here.  A calm routine and lots of exercise, fuss and good food is obviously suiting him.   He is a well behaved dog who is friends with everyone he meets now.   Laddie is a large handsome boy and rapidly becoming a laid back character who is enjoying life.   Good boy!


Horse and pony rescue and retirement

ponies - sundance 2Horses and ponies are under pressure.  We get calls every week telling us about problems and asking us to help.  We’ve taken two more ponies in recently, one small, the other medium sized.   The main difficulty people find is being able to afford to keep their pony.  Unless you have your own land you have to pay for livery which is rent for a stable and buying in of feed.   Sometimes we go out to see ponies who are in a terrible condition, it might be lack of knowledge and ignorance of correct horse care.  Horses and ponies need a lot of room to walk around and have natural exercise.  Keeping them in a tiny ‘play-pen’ paddock will only lead to long term problems.

If you have a pony you can’t look after or have an old-stager who needs a comforable retirement please get in touch, we’ll try to help if we can.  A donation is required, which helps with the care of our many horses.

Holly is scared of everything

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Holly is a sweet little terruer who was brought in this week  – she is a scared little youngster who cowers and cringes whenever anyone goes near her – mostly she is terrified of men.  We don’t know what has happened to her in the past but it hasn’t been good.  She is also very thin.   When she is on her own in her room she burrows down into her bed or runs and hides in a corner.   We’ve given her a den so she can feel safe but it will be a slow process to get her to feel confident and happy.

She is beginning to be a bit more confident with us and when we cuddle her she is starting to  relax, it’s just a question of gaining her trust.  She’s such a pretty little dog and when she realizes that she isn’t going to be hurt you can see her tail start to wag.  It is distressing to see a dog cower and cringe so much though.

Going out for a walk is fine unless she sees a sudden movement and then she hits the floor and puts her head and her tail down.   She has such a sad face.   She did a lot of shivering at first so we’ve put her a coat on and that is comforting for her.  Dogs like to be wrapped up warm when they are stressed.

If Holly doesn’t know what  something is she won’t go near it – even the feed dishes were a worry for her at first.  Now she’s eating well although it will take a while to get her weight up to normal.

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This is Holly when she first came in.

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They are making lots of fuss of me here ….. but I’m still not sure …..

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I’m cosy in my nice pink coat …..

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Lots of fuss – just what I need …..

Beautiful Tallulah

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Tallulah is a gorgeous Main Coone cat who came in to us at the beginning of the year.   She was just under a year old  and a skinny and very stressed young lady.  Maine Coone’s need special care and like their freedom most of all.  We thought she had been cooped up and no matter how carefully we cared for her, she was a bit feisty and it was elastoplasts at the ready!   Nothing would do for this Miss but to be able to roam in the great outdoors and it’s been the making of her  We have some safe ‘wild wood’ areas where cats can be cats , still come in to the barn at night and be safely away from cars and traffic.   This suits Talullah perfectly.   She now has her own room and likes to snuggle up secure in the knowledge that she can be off on the hunt whenever she likes.

Talullah has become friendly and affectionate and there are no longer any of the bad tempered swipes we saw when she first came to stay.  She is a lovely cat who likes to be picked up and cuddled – not for long though, there is always another field mouse to stalk through the undergrowth.   She’s a large cat now she’s mature and with a magnificent coat – a real beauty.

Finding the right lifestyle for each cat is the key to feline happiness.   Some of the cats we have here would cringe at the thought of wild wooding – for others, like Tallulah, it’s the only thing that makes life worth living.  Every cat is different.

Friendly Rabbits for Adoption

rabbits - mabel & betty 2These friendly and very tame rabbits are best friends and need a loving home where they will be together.   They eat together, sleep together and hop around without moving far from each other.  Mabel and Betty are a charming duo, we don’t know whether they are sisters but have been told that they are around three years old.  They are dwarf rabbits and very dainty.   Mabel has more grey splodges, Betty is mostly white.   They are both very lovable.  If you can give them a good home please come and meet them.  They need a large hutch with sleeping quarters and a big run or to be free some of the time in a well fenced garden.  Rabbits also like to come in the house and can be trained to use a litter tray.

Mabel and Betty have had a load of brambles for breakfast today, they chew the thick stems and this helps to keep their teeth short.   Rabbits also need good quality hay ad lib and lots of dandelions, clover and grass.  Willow twigs are liked and provide something to nibble on, also small branches from fruit trees.  Half a slice of brown bread toast is good in the morning or a small handful of cereal.   Carrots and apples are good too but hay is the most important item in their diet.

Masbel and Betty love to be stroked and petted, they are real sweeties – if you’d like to come and meet them please get in touch.

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Mabel is very pretty.

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Betty is smaller and very dainty.

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Bluey a fine rabbit for adoption

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Bluey was found wandering around in the road – another rabbit who was dumped we think as no one in the neighbourhood had lost him.  He’s a handsome boy, quite small with little ears, he has quite a personality and is interested in everything you do and likes you to talk to him.   He’s friendly and well behaved and will make someone a lovely pet.   Please bear in mind that rabbits need plenty of room, large spaces to hop about in and lots of companionship.  Feeding them fresh hay every is essential, the more natural food the better.  It’s very easy to give them a bowl of rabbit food but this isn’t best for them.   A small amount is fine though.  Our rabbits like dandelions and clover, fresh grass and most of all, they love brambles.  Blackberry leaves are delicious rabbit food and the thick stems are good for them to gnaw on and keep their teeth short.

Rabbits should be kept in pairs for company, either the same sex or neutered as otherwise there would be a rabbit population explosion!   Make sure your rabbits are used to each other before putting them together.  Adjacent pens with wire mesh in between gives an idea of compatability.   Letting them run about together in a large space is a good trial.   If rabbits don’t like each other they will fight and be unhappy.

If you’d like to come and meet Bluey please get in touch.

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Talullah walks on the wild side

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Some cats just aren’t meant to be indoors.  This is Talullah who came in to us as a stray and we soon found out why!   She was stressed by life inside and was very difficult to handle.  Even in a house-sized environment she was tempoeramental – watch those claws!   There was no chance of re-homing her and all we want is for her to be happy.  Would a life with complete freedom be the answer?  We gave Tallulah enough time to get used to us and to her surroundings and then opened the door.  We are quite safe and away from traffic so there was no chance of her getting knocked down.  She could come back for a feed or go into the barn, where there is always a supply of biscuits, whenever she liked.

The wide open spaces beckoned and she was off straight away – would she come back though?  The first couple of days were tense and we didn’t see anything of her.  Yesterday she turned up, purring and happy – a diferent cat in fact.  She wanted a fuss (instead of to attack!) and enjoyed a meal and followed us round while we checked the horses.   She looks very well and full of life and energy, Tallulah is a natural hunter and there are plenty of small rodents to keep her busy.  She went round the fields with us and came back to the barn, a snack on some biscuits and she was off again.   Some cats are pets and like to be indoor cats, others can’t bear to be kept confined – Tallulah, the wild hunter, is one of those.

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Enjoying her dinner al fresco!

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Maybe she is a proper wild cat – she does look like one!

Pets who comfort eat


Dogs and cats don’t need to eat as much when the weather is warmer.  They’ll usually go on munching away and loving their food even though it’s comfort eating, ;they are not hungry any more and its much more than they need.  Just like us humans, pets who overeat are prone to health problems – heart conditions, diabetes and joint pains. The amount of energy they use to keep their bodies warm in summer is less so their nutritional needs are too.

Research done recently at Liverpool University has proved that cats and dogs need more food in cold weather (well, that’s common sense isn’t it?).  It’s just as necessary to adjust their food when it’s hot.  We don’t use set amounts as every dog and cat is different.  Feeding by condition is best.  A dog’s skin should be glossy and supply, their bones well covered but without any overlying fat.

Cat’s soon develop a fat tummy so cutting back their rations and encouraging more exercise, perhaps through play, is helpful.  It’s easy to give a dog more walks but with cats you have to be a bit more subtle.  Try putting small amounts of food in different locations, a few biscuits in a dish upstairs or outside or on a high shelf is good.  Our cats like to climb on roof spars and the top of pens etc.   If you want to know where they are just look upwards – you’ll see cheshire cat faces looking down at you!   It’s a pity when cats don’t have the chance to do this – in most homes they wouldn’t be allowed to do this because the ornaments would be knocked down.  Isn’t it odd how cats tip over the best china and rarely break  a chipped saucer?

We’ve seen specially adapted houses where cat is priority and they have shelves nearly at ceiling height and branch climbing frames running up the walls.  Cat’s love them!  If you cat goes outside he’ll find lots of climbing, up trees and over walls and fences, and will exercise quite naturally.  As they eat a bit less they will get fitter and more adventurous – that’s the theory anyway!

Don’t forget, it’s just as important to increase the rations when winter comes, it;’s quite disturbing to note how many really hungry and thin dogs we see, even though they are in a ‘good’ home situation.   It’s all down to following instructions on bags maybe – instead of looking at the dog’s size, metabolism and condition?