Dogs and anxiety – spotting the signs

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders 💙

One of the hardest things we face in our relationships with our furries is that when something is bothering them, they cannot tell us. Most of us know our dogs pretty well, and so will notice when sometimes behaviours change that can indicate that something is wrong, but anxiety is one of those things that can manifest in various different ways which can not always be obvious to us that this is the issue. 

As dog lovers and owners, we all wish for our dogs to be happy and healthy, and to enjoy their time with us as much as they possibly can, and so today we wanted to share with you some of the common and most subtle signs that your dog may be suffering with anxiety, so that you can help them through their difficult time.

There are different types of anxiety, such as separation anxiety – the fear of being left alone, fear of loud noises, changes in environments – such as going in the car, to the vet or simple things like a change in working hours for the hoomans.

The most common signs of anxiety tend to be:

  • barking or howling, especially when owners are not home
  • panting
  • pacing
  • shivering
  • cowering
  • digging
  • excessive licking
  • being off food
  • destructive behaviour
  • aggression
  • drooling
  • restlessness
  • repetitive or compulsive behaviour

But the more subtle signs include:

  • lip licking
  • showing the paw
  • looking away
  • showing the whites of the eyes
  • urinating or defecating in the house

Lots of these behaviours can sometimes lead us to think our dogs are being naughty, when really they’re just anxious, and it’s simply that we just misunderstand their communication. That’s why it’s so important to be able to recognise when you’re dog needs your help to give them the support they need to feel at ease, so that you can be prepared for them and for you too.

If you think your dog may be suffering from anxiety, there are lots of steps you can take to help them. The first thing would be to speak to your vet to firstly determine the seriousness of the anxiety; if the anxiety is a minor reaction to a certain situation it can be most effectively dealt with at home with little intrusion. If the anxiety gets worse or continues over a long period of time, that’s when a more serious intervention may be needed to help your furry friend feel settled once again.

A few methods available for helping with anxiety in dogs are:

  • Training and counter conditioning
  • Desensitisation training
  • Canine Behaviourists
  • Holistic Therapy
  • Medication
  • CBD Oil

The best way to threat any anxiety that may be in your four legged friend is to use a combination of techniques, and to first identify what might be the causes and triggers of the behaviour.

One thing that is for certain is that the problem won’t go away over night, it takes time, patience, perseverance and consistency.

Along with the methods used to help treat anxiety in dogs, there are also essential steps you can take to try and prevent anxiety from arising in the first place:

  • Make sure they receive regular exercise and good nutrition – this will help them feel health and stay stimulated
  • Obedience training – making sure you and your dog have a trusting relationship is key to preventing anxiety
  • Socialisation – socialising with other dogs helps your dog adjust easily to new situations
  • Learning how to read your dogs body language – being able to recognise when your dog may be feeling anxious allows you to intervene and turn negative situations into positive ones
  • Avoiding situations where your dog usually becomes anxious – if you know when your dog is likely to become anxious, avoiding certain situations can help to keep them calm.

Anxiety is something all of us and our dogs will feel at some point in life, and by learning how to spot when your dog is feeling anxious, and knowing what to change or integrate into their routine can seriously help prevent your dog from developing an anxiety disorder that has a huge impact on their life.

If you think your dog may be suffering from anxiety, act now. Our fur babies are only with us for so long and it is our responsibility to provide them with the life they deserve.

 

Being More Green – raising our environmental consciousness

The proper use of science is not to conquer nature, but to live in it 💚

Deciding to be environmentally conscious is not something you just decide to do one day, it is a choice on the first day, and every day thereafter. Consistency is what makes it successful.

At Pawfect Nature we pride ourselves in how eco-conscious we are. Being green is a fundamental root of our business, and it is one of the main reasons we set out on our adventure. 

We ensure we are eco-friendly by using only organic ingredients in our holistic health care products and packaging them with sustainable materials, and by using 100% cotton rope for our handmade toys. Our treats are 100% natural and come delivered to you in 100% recycled and recyclable packaging, and ourselves recycle and reuse wherever we can. 

Adopting these processes help us to be kind to our planet, our home. It is something we truly believe in as for it is the only place we have to live, and so should be treated with the respect it deserves. 

Nature has so many wonderful things to offer us, with so much beauty and kindness, it is wrong for us as humans to take advantage of our planet and destroy that what we have been blessed with. 

And so, we have been looking at ways in which we can increase our environmental consciousness to make further small steps to creating change. 

Throughout the month we will be making small changes to our business to give that little bit more back to our world, to say thank you for all it has to give. 

By the end of July we aim to:

🌿 Swap from biodegradable poop bags to compostable poop bags – although biodegradable products do break down into nothing, this does not necessarily mean the materials give back to nature, whereas compostable products, when broken down in the correct environment, enrich the soil with nutrients that can be used to grow more plants. 

🌿 Offer eco-refill bottles for all of our sprays – our new refill bottles will come with an aluminium lid so that spray tops can be re-used rather than thrown into landfill

🌿 Plant trees – we already donate 50p from every handmade product we sell to animal charities, but now we are also going to integrate donating to onetreeplanted.org to help plant trees around the world to help increase biodiversity and reforestation 

If each of us takes small steps, we can make a big difference, after all, the Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for 💚

BEEF TENDON – Treat of the week! 

Treat of the week is now one of our weekly blog posts dedicated to bringing you information about the nutritional values of the tasty natural treats we sell.

First up we have the Meaty Beef Tendon! 

So…what is a beef tendon? 

Well, Beef tendons are the fibrous brands of connective tissue that connect muscle to bone designed to withstand tension, and as they are beef – they come from cows & bulls in this case. The tendons are essentially made up from cartilage, they are air dried from their raw state to remove the moisture and turn them into wonderful, tasty long lasting chews for your dog. 

But why are Beef Tendons good for my dog?

Beef tendons are great for your dog as they are 100% natural – and made from 100% beef. They are high protein and only 1% fat with no carbohydrates or saturated fats. There are no additives, preservatives or artificial flavourings in these chews and what’s more is that they are completely grain and gluten free.

Their chewy texture is soft enough to give and satisfy the natural chewing instinct and tough enough to keep jaw muscles well exercised and teeth clean. They are a wonderful addition the diet as they are easily digestible so are great for dogs with sensitive tummies.

Beef tendons also contain collagen, glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate and elastin which are all beneficial in keeping your dog healthy and happy. 

Why are these beneficial for my dogs health? 

Collagen

Collagen is a protein found in the digestive tract, bones, muscles, skin, blood vessels and tendons and is a key component of holding the body together in one piece AND is also the primary component of the dogs skin! 

Collagen is an essential building block for your dogs bones, joints, tendons and cartilage and as dogs age faster than humans, collagen can be a great additive to their diet to help optimise bone and joint health and also aid in the prevention and recovery of mobility & arthritic conditions. 

Glucosamine

Glucosamine is also a cartilage building block that helps to maintain strength, flexibility and elasticity of connective tissues. As dogs age it is depleted by the body faster than it can be produced. By feeding natural treats that contain glucosamine, depleting levels can be replenished to provide relief from aches, pains & arthritis. 

Chondroitin Sulphate

Chondroitin Sulphate is an important structural component of connective tissue and cartilage between the joints and helps give them the elasticity that they need to maintain mobility. It also stimulates collagen synthesis which is important for maintaining structural support of the connective tissues. 

If your dog gets glucosamine and chondroitin in their diet together it has been shown to help reduce inflammation should any injuries occur and therefore offer protective qualities for your dogs bones and joints. 

Elastin 

Elastin is also another crucial protein that keeps the skin, tendons and ligaments supple and able to bounce back when stretched, and it’s what gives them their resistance to injury.

So as you can see, the nutritional benefits available from this simple chew make it a good choice for any dog! 

Summary:

  • 100% Natural
  • 100% Beef
  • Contain Collagen, Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulphate and Elastin which are great for bones, joints & structural support
  • Good for arthritis 
  • Good for teeth & gums
  • Satisfy natural chewing instinct
  • High protein, very low fat
  • Easily digestible
  • Great for sensitive tummies
  • No additives or preservatives 
  • Grain & gluten free
  • Suitable for puppies 3 months and over

Any questions? 🐶

*Photo credit to @dash_the_dachshund19 [IG]

What being Eco-friendly means to us!

We love nature! And we know its Pawfect!

The protection of the environment is important to us, we have a responsibility as a business, and as a community, to reduce the carbon footprint and the impact on the earths ecosystems.

Being eco-friendly changes the purpose of how you live, it is being conscious of your impact and an organic intent to prevent harm to our environment. It is a way of life.

Green living is a choice for many people, and definitely a choice for us. 

We operate as an eco-friendly business to promote a better world for our pets, us and future generations. And we take pride in our eco-friendly attitude.

We know how much being thoughtful towards our world means to our customers, so we just wanted to let you know what steps we take to keep our promise of being eco-friendly – so that you can maintain trust in your brand.

How we do it:

  • All of our packaging (including our labels) are made from recycled materials and are biodegradable or recyclable, we encourage customers to re-use glass bottles or pop items in compost and recycling bins where appropriate. 
  • We can safely say we don’t use any plastic!! All of our sprays and balms are packaged in glass bottles and jars with aluminium lids, all of our toys are unpackaged and all of our treats are packed in brown paper bags. 
  • Our ingredients for our grooming products are certified organic by the Soil Association therefore are sustainably and ethically sourced, making them safer and more effective for your pets whilst protecting wildlife and biodiversity in the process. 
  • All of our treats products and ingredients are delivered in cardboard boxes, so that we can reuse and recycle them too. 
  • Our toys are handmade from natural rope fibres that are untreated, unbleached and chemical free. Our rope toys are also 100% biodegradable and can be added to your compost heap when no longer used.
  • By using our hands instead of machinery to produce our products we reduce our carbon footprint substantially, we ensure they are made with love, for your pet, you and the environment!
  • Our Organic Shampoo Bars are made using the cold process, which conserves water and electricity as the heat required for saponification comes directly from the reaction between the ingredients. 
  • Our products are 100% cruelty free. Our ingredients are organic and do not contain chemicals, GMO’s, parabens, pthalates or artificial colours and fragrances that are handmade and tested on us!
  • Our suppliers for all our materials for our products are based in the UK, we shop small to support local businesses throughout our whole operation and in doing so reduce our carbon footprint.

We love dogs, ours and yours! And we love our world! Being eco-friendly forms the foundations of our business, we believe in a pawfect world, we believe nature is pawfect! 

At Pawfect Nature we choose LIFE! Life for your pet, life for us, and life for the environment.

How to store your Natural Products safely to extend shelf life

Natural products offer so many more benefits than those that contain synthetic ingredients, but one downfall is that they just don’t last as long. This is because no nasty chemicals are used to fight off bacteria or prevent rancidity, as most of these chemical additives compromise the natural goodness of the products.

As our products are 100% natural, that means we only use natural antioxidants such as vitamin e, benzoin and honey to preserve them. This unfortunately means the shelf life is reduced compared to those that contain synthetic additives.

But, have no fear! There are ways YOU can help preserve the life of your natural goodies to make sure you get the most out of them, for longer.

By following these easy steps – your products will last for at least another 6 months meaning you can enjoy them to their full capacity.

1 – Store them in a cool dark place, away from sunlight. 

Exposure to heat and light causes oils to oxidise – this is a chemical reaction that degrades the quality of the oil and causes rancidity. We use amber glass bottles and jars in order to prevent oxidation as the colour of the glass makes it harder for light to penetrate. 

By storing your products away from direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations in places such as cupboards, cool rooms or even the fridge, you will slow down the oxidation process and maintain the quality of the ingredients.

2 – Keep lids firmly tight

By making sure the lids are firmly on the jars & bottles you are helping reduce the time the products are exposed to oxygen – this also slows down oxidation and keeps the products fresh.

3 – Keep it clean

As silly as this sounds it’s essential to keep the products clean from contamination. Always using a cotton bud to remove balm from the jars (or washing your hands before removing the balm and after touching the dog) helps to keep bacteria out of the jars keeping them fresh from bacterial invasion.

It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

🐶

12 Reasons you should adopt an old dog 🐶

When choosing a new dog for our family its natural to want to pick a cute puppy, but that means a lot of old doggies get left behind at the shelters and this means senior dogs have higher euthanasia rates than their younger counterparts. When choosing a new dog, think about these reasons why helping an old dog will enhance your life in more ways than one.

  1. They will treat you like a hero for taking them in 
  2. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks
  3. They have so much love and compassion to share
  4. Senior pets are often the last to be adopted from shelters, putting them at increased risk of euthanasia
  5. Senior dogs learn household rules faster because of their patience and they are good at performing commands.
  6. They are ideal for households with children because of their low key nature
  7. They are house trained
  8. They can bond quicker because they already know how to get along with people
  9. There is no guesswork about their personalities because what you see is what you get
  10. They make the most amazing companions
  11. They won’t chew your shoes because they don’t have any teeth left
  12. They are great for elderly people because they have less energy and don’t need constant monitoring

So next time you’re at the shelter looking at those big old puppy dog eyes, go on…give the old guy a chance! He will love you even more ❤️

How to make Natural Ear cleaner for your Dog – Pawfect Nature Homemade Remedies

Dogs ears come in lots of different shapes and sizes, and unlike humans, they are prominent features of the head and face. Dogs can hear up to four times the distance of a human, and identify a sounds location much faster with more precision.

There are 18 muscles in a dogs ear that tilt, rotate, raise and lower their ears depending on the task, and the position of a dogs ears can tell you how much they’re paying attention or what mood they are in!

Fascinating to say the least…but what a lot of people don’t realise is that ear infections are one of the most common reasons for a trip to the vet! 

A dogs ear canal is L-shaped, and has lots of nooks and crannies compared to human ears, which is why they take a little extra effort to clean than just a casual swab with a q-tip. But what do you use and how do you do it without causing damage? 

Cleaning your dogs ears can be quite unsettling for them, so we need to find a way to do it that will help keep them calm to make sure no accidents happen…easier said than done right?

One thing you should never do is stick something directly into the dogs ear canal – this can cause long-term or even permanent hearing damage to the poor pup. A soaked cotton ball or ear wash syringe should be used to make sure you only put as much pressure on as needed to keep the ears clean and Fido safe.

It’s important to clean your dogs ears regularly, but not too often as this can cause problems – too much rubbing on a dogs inner ear can cause inflammation and irritation because the skin is tender and vulnerable to damage.

Checking for problems is also a must – be on the lookout for common signs of problems such as discharge from the ears, bad smells, hair loss, redness or swelling, or darkly coloured ear wax. Ear problems can be a major source of discomfort and pain to our four legged friends so it’s only fair to keep up with a simple routine that can avoid a trip to the vet.

But why do they get problems? 

Well…dogs ear problems are usually caused by food-based or environmental sensitivities or allergies. In most cases, dogs that are prone to ear infections usually have hot spots or itchy skin, they can also be caused by unbalanced bacteria due to a change in dietary or environmental factors. 

So what should you do? 

First, clean your dogs ears regularly. Regularly can mean different things for different breeds, coat type, level of activity, age and ear wax, but usually it’s around once a month. If your dog swims or gets their ears wet frequently you may need to increase how often you clean their ears – we’ll let you be the judge. 

Ear cleaning solution can be costly, especially if you’re staring up a new routine clean! But… all it takes is a few simple ingredients combined together and voila! Fido’s ears are as clean as a whistle!

Two recipes that are great for keeping dogs ears clean and relieving irritation are an Apple Cider Vinegar & Witch Hazel Ear Wash and plain and simple Olive oil,  the best part is… you will probably have these ingredients hanging around in your kitchen cupboard.

#1 – Apple Cider Vinegar & Witch Hazel Ear Cleaner

  • Put 1 portion of organic apple cider vinegar and 1 portion of organic witch hazel into a small bottle and shake well
  • Using an ear syringe, flush and clean the dogs ear
  • Dab dry with a cotton swab

The witch hazel works well to clean the ear, while the vinegar helps to restore the ear’s natural balance.

#2 – Olive Oil – Relief for irritated ears

  • Warm some olive oil and put about 1/2 teaspoon of oil into each of your dogs ear 

This will provide relief for any irritation your pup may be experiencing.

If you do notice a severe problem with your dogs ears, be sure to consult your vet for medical advice.

Some possible symptoms of an ear infection include:

  • Head shaking & excessive scratching of the ears
  • Tilting the head or holding the head at an unusual angle
  • Odour coming from the ear
  • Dark-reddish substance around the ear folds & deeper in the ear canal

10 Fun Facts about Dogs!

Everyone loves fun facts about their furry friends, and we don’t just want to be too serious with our blog posts…so here’s a few for you to enjoy!

1 – The Doberman Pinscher was first bred by Louis Doberman, a tax collector. He apparently bred the dog to scare people into paying their taxes!

2 – The Golden Retriever originated in Scotland.

3 – The Newfoundland was originally bred to help fishermen drag their nets in and rescue people from drowning.

4 – Dachshund means ‘badger dog’.

5 – Three dogs survived the Titanic sinking. 

6 – Your dog is as smart as a 2 year old toddler.

7 – Dogs don’t like rain because the amplified sound hurts their sensitive ears.

8 – A dog’s shoulder blades are detached from their skeleton to allow for greater flexibility when running.

9 – Puppies are born deaf – and are until about 1 weeks old.

10 – Dogs don’t wag their tails when they’re alone – only when other animals or humans are present! 

So there you go, now you’re a little smarter in the world of Dogs 🐾

What are Essential Oils and why are they good for my Dog?

So what are essential oils? 

Well…essential oils are concentrated plant extracts from the roots, stems, flowers, leaves or fruit of certain plants that contain naturally occurring chemical compounds. 

These are extracted from the plants using different methods such as steam distillation of the leaves or cold pressing of the peel to ensure all the natural benefits remain within the oil, and although they are described as ‘oils’ they are not in fact oily substances. 

Essential oils are elements produced by Mother Nature that hold more active agents than synthetically produced oils, therefore are less likely to cause adverse reactions as they are 1oo% natural.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of centuries for relaxation, medicine, cleansing, beauty and spiritual values, providing multiple benefits for humans, but only some are safe to use on dogs.

Many people are weary about using essential oils on their dogs and rightly so, they can be harmful if not diluted enough for your dog to be able to cope with due to their potency. Thats why it’s important to make sure only small amounts are used to keep your dog safe from harm…when used safely they have outstanding health benefits that far outweigh synthetic products.

But how do they work?

The skin is the body’s largest organ playing a vital role in internal and external secretions that contribute your dogs overall health. It is both strong and elastic, protecting internal organs from external attacks. It provides protection form germs and viruses, and rejects toxins from the body.

Essential oils work through their absorption through the skin, first working their way through the fatty parts of the skin, then through to the blood stream. The time taken for this to happen is between 20 – 70 minutes, meaning using products containing essential oils offer instantaneous effects for all kinds of conditions, internal and external.

From easing muscle & joint pain to healing wounds and burns; soothing dry flaky skin to aiding respiratory issues, and reducing anxiety to repelling bugs, these natural beauties are far overlooked in today’s consumer habits.

Each essential oil has its own set of benefits, but overall, they have overlapping properties that can aid in the care of your four legged friend:

  • Antioxidants – using antioxidants protects the skin as they prevent the production of free radicals that can cause reactions and damage skin cells. As the skin is the largest organ, it is important to take care of it.
  • Antimicrobials – antimicrobials are agents that kill microorganisms and stop them from growing. Essential oils include antiseptic, anti-fungal, antibacterial, disinfectant, anti-parasitic antimicrobials which all have positive benefits for infections, wounds, fleas, ticks and skin conditions in pooches. They attack germs but do not damage tissue!
  • Anti-inflammatory – properties that reduce inflammation or swelling have positive effects for skin conditions, muscle pain and stiff joints for dogs. When essential oils are absorbed through the skin they ease inflammation in areas of your dog that may be problematic providing relief.
  • Odour Elimination – essential oils are known to eliminate odours due to their bacteria fighting properties, safe to use in your home and on your pet, essential oils provide a natural way to combat doggy smells.
  • Improved Breathing and Respiration – when essential oils are inhaled they send therapeutic molecules through the nasal passage that can eliminate toxins blocking nasal passages.
  • Reduced Anxiety – Stress is known as a constant sate of tension, having both physical and psychological impacts on its beholder. Essential oils are profoundly known for their therapeutic effects on influencing the state of mind through acting on the nervous system. The effect on the brain causes relaxation and helps relieve stress and anxiety proving comfort for your pooch in times of unease.
  • Insecticidal – essential oils contain natural substances that kill and repel various forms of insects, including fleas and ticks, which means using them on your dogs coat provides a natural way to warn off unwanted guests.
  • Hair & Skin Care – essential oils are used widely in products for humans for health and beauty products, which can have the same effect for your dogs fur and skin. Dandruff, hot spots, burns, insect bites and dry skin can be soothed and eliminated to improve the overall condition of your dogs skin & coat. The antimicrobial properties also speed up the healing process to provide comfort and relief from irritating skin conditions. 

Why Natural Treats are Guilt Free Options for your Dog

This week we launched our new pic & mix natural treat range which is a fantastic addition to our handmade natural products as it gives customers the opportunity to spoil their pooches even more and reward them after bath time with pawfectly natural goodies! 

But why are natural treats better? well, here’s why…

They are what your dog would eat in the wild. Natural treats contain so much more essential nutrients and proteins that make them a far better choice for our furry companions than supermarket bought goodies. 

Unlike supermarket brands, natural treats have no artificial preservatives, additives, colours or flavours AND they remain grain-free, gluten free and mostly hypoallergenic.

Supermarket treats contain lots of additives and preservatives that dogs don’t need in their diet that can actually be bad for them. These processed treats contain disregarded bits of animals, lots of fat, and grains that dogs would never naturally choose…and usually less than 50% of actual meat content! 

Lots of dog owners now have their dogs on raw food diets (as do we) so its important that we can still treat them with scrumptious goodies from time to time that fit in with the ethos of this routine, and 100% natural treats fit the bill. 

Air dried meats and animal cuts such as tripe, tendons, chicken feet and rabbit ears come straight from the animals and into dehydrators. This preserves all the natural goodness to keep the treats fresh for when we give them to Fido. Plus, they literally are 100% made from the animal they come from…its as simple as that. 

Once the treats are air dried they become hard & chewy which also means they give our dogs an important task – to destroy the chew! This keeps them happy whilst tricking them into cleaning their teeth and gums…winner all round if you ask me.

All dogs love natural treats, and rest assured you’ll have one happy pup if you give them a good air dried ducks neck to get their teeth into! 

So, why are natural treats guilt free options for your dog? Because they are what your dog would naturally choose, they are simply 100% natural. 

*Photo Credit – Bella Mini Schnauzer*