As we begin the New Year we join the rest of the world in our feeling of despair over the current ecocide in Australia. This magnitude of desolation can leave us feeling helpless and hopeless, and we find ourselves asking ourselves where do I begin? How can I make any difference? The destruction is so large and I am so far away.
We felt the same way too. However, we are reminded that every journey begins with a small step. That even the tiniest action of the butterflies wing can have world-wide affects.
In that spirit, we have named The Australian Red Cross as our charity of choice for 2020 with a January pledge of £400. Our donations will continue throughout the year and we will keep you updated.
Please join us in giving. You can learn more at: The Australian Red Cross
Because there is hope in the world, there are many other transparent organisations that are helping with this eco-crisis. We encourage you to donate to whichever charity feels right to you and your family. Whether it is in Australia or our own backyard - you can make a difference.
All the best,
Danielle Cunningham, owner
What to feed…
Superfoods are what Soopa is all about! Soopa food provides a high value food often best given in a raw or lightly cooked state to grab all of the wonderful enzymes and phytonutrients these wonderful foods offer.
We decided to make a list of the top 7 superfoods you can safely feed your pet at home.
Shop Superfood Treats
Originally posted: JUN 17, 2019 by Soopa Pets
Smooches Pooches is honoured to support Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home as our Charity of Choice for 2019. A portion of our sales together with donations we receive from our clients, go to support furbabies finding their furever home. Below is an excerpt from EDCH's website. Please read to find out about the amazing work these folks do and how to help:
Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home has been part of the fabric of our Edinburgh since 1883, working in partnership with the Council and Police services by welcoming lost or abandoned pets from all corners of Edinburgh and the Lothians.
On arrival with us dogs and cats are health checked, bathed if required, vaccinated and fed. They are scanned for a microchip and where present, we attempt to reach their owners. All available information about animal and their ownership is logged on our database, which ultimately helps us in the rehoming process, should an owner not be found.
Our success rate in reuniting lost animals with their owners is 55% meaning that happy endings are common at Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home. When an owner cannot be found after 7 days, our rehoming process kicks in – a structured programme that aims to make the best possible match between pet and human.
Staff and Facilities
Since 1957, Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home's rescue centre has been sitatuated at Seafield on the Forth Estuary, where we have purpose-built kennels and catteries with under-floor heating throughout.
Our organisation benefits from skills and experience of our 50-strong staff, comprised of long-serving kennel and cattery experts and enthusiastic new talent. Our small team is united by the love and dedication towards the animals in our care, and the belief that any dog or cat that comes to our door, whatever the reason, should be safe, warm and well-fed.
Every single dog and cat in our care is treated with great respect and kindness, and our excellent facilities are matched by the services of Edinburgh University’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies which provides on-going treatment and advice. We will never put a healthy dog or cat down, and work tirelessly to bring our animals back to good health so that they may have the best possible chance of finding a new home.
We believe strongly that an effective neutering programme is one way to try and control the problem of unwanted animals – all animals rehomed by Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home will be spayed or neutered before leaving us.
Did you know that we also run a boarding kennel and cattery to subsidise the work of the Home? Book your dog or cat in next time you go on holiday and not only will your pet enjoy a comfortable stay in our heated facilities with our fantastic staff, you’ll also be supporting the vital work of our charity.
The Home has two charity shops, one in Morningside and one in Stockbridge. We also receive support from the Friends of Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, who run a shop in Portobello, Edinburgh. Clothing and bric-a-brac donations are welcome at any of these locations.
Helping our Work
Our policy of never turning a dog or cat away can only continue with your help. We rely on the generosity of the public and our loyal supporters to fund the high quality care we give Edinburgh’s unwanted animals. Visit our Fundraising pages to find out how you can support us.
What to Learn More and Get Involved? Click here
by Pack Leader Dog Care Services 25 April, 2019
This is such a big one not only for dogs but in life as well. I see so commonly people blaming their dogs, saying the dog has problems, etc.
Most of the people saying that are coming from a perspective of thinking a dog should give the human things the human wants yet don't give the dog things a dog wants.
When dogs get frustrated, pent up, put in leadership positions they don't want, claim their owners and start exhibiting unwanted behaviors, people blame their dogs.
This may sound harsh but it's the truth and people need to hear it. If you say you love your dog but do not fulfill their instinctual needs and then blame them for unwanted behaviors, you're lying to yourself and your dog.
Most people will go on and on about how much they love their dog yet their dog is frustrated, pent up, stressed, leading when they don't to be and overall unhappy.
What that person is really saying is, I love having my dog around so I can pet it to make me feel good and I'm not concerned with his/her needs. He/she should just behave for me.
Imagine being in a relationship like that where the other person only cared about their needs and didn't give a shit about your needs. At least as humans we have the choice to end that relationship. Dogs, not so much.
Awareness followed by taking action is when everything changes. If people can understand this and flip the script by putting the dogs instinctual needs 1st before their emotional needs, everything will change for the better.
The problem is, that's the harder way. The easy way is to dump affection on the dog, pet it, buy it a million toys and outfits and falsely feel like you are making the dog happy. Thats for the human to cover up the guilt of not fulfilling their dog. The harder way is when true happiness and fulfillment happens, just like in life.
Start with a MINIMUM of 2 hrs of structured exercise with your dog daily before we even begin to discuss behavior problems. Hold yourself accountable with your dog and in life. Stop blaming externally and start blaming internally. This may be tough to hear but taking action on this will change the relationship with your dog and change your life for the better!
To learn and read more from Pack Leader Dogs: https://packleaderdogs.com
Though it may not seem like an essential cat accessory at first, you will soon see why a cat scratching post is an indispensable item for feline owners.A cat scratching post may seem like an innocuous enough piece of furniture. It is, after all, simply a post or board covered in carpeting or roping. Yet this simple item can help reduce so many of the headaches of cat ownership by helping you to redirect your cat’s natural tendencies, thus improving your cat’s health. Here are some of the things a cat scratching post is helpful for:
For more info, please visit: www.hartz.com
by Danielle Cunningham 31 March 2019
We hated leaving Daisy behind during bike rides, so we
searched, bought, and tossed countless “popular” pet
carriers. They just didn’t fit Daisy or our lifestyle.
She wiggled out, got motion sick, whined, scratched at
the sides, threw off our balance, or got needlessly
jostled around. So, we created one ourselves and
called it the K9 Sport Sack™. And Daisy has been along
for the ride ever since. - Inventor Joseph & Daisy
WHY OWN A K9 SPORT SACK DOG CARRIER BACKPACK?
So you don't ever have to leave your dog behind
Extremely convenient for everyday use and travel
The most safe, comfortable, easy and fun dog carrier on the market
Do anything, anywhere with your dog
Now enjoy bike rides, motorcycling, hiking, shopping etc. with your dog.
Go on new adventures
The possibilities are endless
How Smooches Pooches Found K9 Sport Sack
Our sweet Chelsea was always going to be young at heart. Chasing squirrels up trees and always asking for walkies, her mind and spirit were far more active than her aging limbs and muscles.
We rescued Chelsea when she was 9 years old. Based on x-rays, her rapid recall and response to commands and her love of the outdoors made us think that she was probably a retired gun dog. That left her with severe arthritis resulting in hip surgery, laser therapy and acupuncture treatments. But she still had a love of the great outdoors that we wanted to still provide her.
As a pet boutique owner, I have great access to carriers: purse-style, airline, strollers and front-pack carriers similar to baby carriers. Although these are great options, it wasn't what Chelsea needed for respites on long hikes or daily travel. Being a Sprocker (Cocker Spaniel and Springer Spaniel Mix) presented us with challenges: she outweighed most carriers and most couldn't accommodate her long limbs.
We then had a breakthrough: K9 Sport Sack! It looked great online! The dimensions and weight capacity lined up, but would it work for Chelsea? We ordered two: one for her and one for her brother Curly.
It worked! Although not pleased at first that she was being held (Miss Independent), she realised that she was still outdoors - sniffing for pups, birds and those pesky squirrels. We didn't have to go home after a 20 min. walk. To a pup who would rather live outdoors than in her cosy bed(s) inside, this was heaven.
And it was heaven for us! We could give her time. More time to sniff. More time to recuperate after a good run. More time for her inflammation to go down but still have the hobbies she loved so much.
Only for Aging Pups?
Not at all. In fact, K9 Sport Sacks were designed for healthy and active pups who could really go anywhere with their humans - down a dirt bike road or simply catch the bus. This was just how we found them and why we bring them to you.
Regardless of your reason for choosing K9 Sport Sack, we know that you will love the freedom of adventure that it will bring to you and your furbaby. We believe that anything that fosters more time spent together is a great thing.
By Zach Wener-Fligner April 17, 2015
Dog owners already know in their bones that they and their pets love one another. Now, a new study has confirmed it, finding that love is chemically apparent after dogs and their owners gaze into one another’s eyes.
The study, conducted by researchers at several Japanese universities and published in the journal Science, consisted of two parts. In the first, the researchers watched 30 dog owners interact with their dogs for half an hour, and then measured both human and dog levels of oxytocin. (Oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “love hormone” or the “bonding hormone,” is fundamental to human intimacy; it is released during sex and creates attachment between couples, and also plays a role in mother-child bonding.)
The researchers found that the owners whose dogs stared at them the longest had the highest oxytocin levels. Moreover, the oxytocin levels of owners and dogs were correlated: If an owner had high levels after they interacted, the dog likely did too.
As a control group, the researchers repeated the same process with wolves who were raised by humans, paired with someone who raised them. There was no evidence of any effect on oxytocin levels.
The second part of the study tried to tease out whether the oxytocin actually caused the lengthened gaze. To do this, the researchers administered oxytocin to a new group of dogs, and the watched them interact with their owners. Strangely, oxytocin administered to female dogs led to much higher levels in both the dogs and their owners. But that effect wasn’t present in male dogs, and researchers weren’t sure why.
Overall, the results suggest that as dogs became domesticated, they might have developed a mutually beneficial ability to bond with humans the same way that we bond with each other. In an essay on the study published in Science, Evan MacLean and Brian Hare, both cognitive scientists at Duke, write, “dogs have taken advantage of our parental sensitivities—using behaviours such as staring into our eyes—to generate feelings of social reward and caretaking behaviour.” In other words, dogs learned to evoke the same love that parents feel for their children.
by Pack Leader Dog Care Services | Nov 11, 2015 | Training Tips
Dog Training, everyone has heard of it. Dog Psychology, not so much. Somewhere in history, society’s notion of achieving a well behaved dog became based on obedience (sit, stay, down, come, heel, etc.) Dog Psychology is something that most people, including many “dog trainers,” don’t know about or really understand which, in my opinion, is why so many people are not finding success in achieving a balanced and well behaved dog.
For me, Dog Training today is based more on the human’s needs than the dog’s needs. It’s something that has been created by humans that teaches a dog to listen to commands that suit our needs but doesn’t take into account the needs of a dog.
Don’t get me wrong, I think obedience, commands and Dog Training in general are great but I think that so many “dog trainers” are dropping the ball by not educating humans on Dog Psychology before moving into Dog Training. What good is it to have a dog that can sit on command but lunges aggressively at other dogs on the street? How about the dog knows to lay down on command but tries to bite guests entering the home?
The question you’re probably asking is, Steve, what the hell is Dog Psychology? I feel Dog Psychology is something that was created by Mother Nature. It’s learning about the instincts of a dog and working with them, not against them. It’s learning about energy, being able to assess it in both a dog and yourself. It’s about fulfilling your dog mentally and physically through structured exercise. It’s about providing discipline through rules, boundaries and limitations that give a dog a crystal clear understanding of what is expected of them. It’s about understanding that dogs are indeed pack animals with distinct positions within the pack. It’s about understanding leadership through calm assertive energy, techniques and so much more.
Just recently, I did an in-home private training session for someone who owned an “aggressive dog” that had worked with numerous dog trainers, most recently a trainer they had been working with for over 6 months. In those 6 months, they constantly practiced obedience, commands, using food as a distraction and so on. The owners were seeing little to no results and in 6 months the trainer never touched the dog (out of fear). Eventually the trainer recommended a last resort of medicating the dog which is so common in this day and age. This was a dog that was lunging at other dogs and people on the street, biting people in the home and overall creating a miserable home life for his dedicated owners. Owner effort and commitment was not the issue here. The issue was they had learned everything about “Dog Training” but nothing about “Dog Psychology.”
I can’t tell you how many dogs and owners I’ve worked with that have been through similar situations. Within the 1st session with this dog we were able to have the dog calmly walking on leash, not reacting, relaxing in the home and ended with him sitting on an outdoor staircase next to me with my arm around him licking my face. How did we accomplish in such a short time what so many others couldn’t in many months of work? We used Dog Psychology! We weren’t doing training based on our needs and only what we wanted. The 1st thing I did when I walked in was assessed the dog’s energy to understand what he was going through. “Dog Training” labeled him as aggressive. Dog Psychology, told me he was an insecure, highly excited dog who felt the need to fulfill a void in leadership of his pack. By taking back the leadership position, we took a huge weight off this dog’s shoulders. He no longer felt the pressure of being leader, something he had no idea how to do. In turn, this has helped him gain confidence. We corrected any forward behaviors towards dogs and people (growling or lunging) which taught him that when he became unsure, attacking was not an option. We worked on slowing his brain down to lower his excitement levels by waiting to do things and only getting things when he was calm. His owners let us know that he’s made tremendous progress and it’s been life changing. He is currently part of our Structured Dog Walking Program where he happily walks with other dogs on a daily basis.
Let’s be clear, in no way am I trying to brag or put down other trainers. In fact it’s quite the opposite. I’m hoping to bring awareness to my field of “dog training” so that more people in my profession can educate the world on Dog Psychology before Dog Training. Every year in the United States we are killing 1.2 million dogs and spending over $2 billion [American] in tax payer dollars to do so. You read it right, $2 billion! There are so many dogs and owners who need help. For so much of our history we’ve been blaming the dogs and blaming different breeds. In my opinion, as a nation we are ignorant when it comes to the behavior of dogs. We as humans are to blame, not the dogs. The only way we can change these horrible statistics is by educating the world on Dog Psychology.
By understanding Dog Psychology first, Dog Training becomes the easy part. Instead of just labeling a dog as “aggressive” and teaching them to obey human made commands with food bribery and no regard for what they are going through, let’s assess a dog’s energy and understand what they are trying to tell us. When we can understand that the “aggressive” dog is in reality a dog that is insecure, lacking structure, not receiving enough exercise and in a leadership position they didn’t choose, we now have a game plan to work together with the dog to achieve a state of balance. Instead of forcing commands on a dog, let’s listen to the dog who is desperately asking for help but has no one able to listen. By becoming educated in Dog Psychology first we can understand who the dog is and what they need to become balanced. A dog who is in the follower position, receiving sufficient mental and physical exercise and receiving clear rules, boundaries and limitations is the easiest dog to train.
As a nation, we owe it to the dogs to educate ourselves on Dog Psychology before we even attempt Dog Training.
Learn more and connect with Pack Leader Dog Care Services
by Amy Shojai
What is catnip? Does your cat like it? Cats act like drunken fools when under the influence of this herb. But is catnip safe?
Catnip belongs to the mint family and if you crush the fresh leaves you can smell the scent. In fact, it’s the scent that intoxicates cats when they smell it. That’s why cats roll and paw the dried herb. Bruising the leaves helps the volatile oil disperse into the air so your cat can get a good sniff.
But is catnip safe? What exactly is it about catnip that makes cats purr? Here are 5 things you should know about catnip:
WHAT IS CATNIP?
Nepeta cataria, or catnip, contains a strong-scented minty oil that’s easily released into the air. Cats can detect catnip oil in the air at saturations as low as one part per billion.
WHICH CATS ARE AFFECTED?
Cats must inherit the tendency to react to catnip, not all felines do. Most cats must be at least six months old before they’ll react. Even then, about 1/3rd of cats won’t react at all, and another 1/3rd are moderately affected. Only about 1/3rd of cats react strongly to catnip.
HOW DOES CATNIP AFFECT CATS?
Catnip is a mild feline hallucinogen, but it is completely nontoxic to cats. It also resembles some properties of male cat urine, which may be why some cats react to the herb as though in heat with yowling, rolling, and slobbering.
IS CATNIP SAFE?
Is Catnip safe? Absolutely, cats really enjoy this safe, non-addictive herb from the mint family. Effects only lasts 5 to 15 minutes. People used to use catnip to brew tea to soothe upset stomachs. Catnip doesn’t affect people the way it does cats, though. Other kinds of mint or honeysuckle may cause a similar reaction in sensitive cats.
CAN CATNIP BE OVER-INDULGED?
Your cat won’t want you to know this but yes, you can wear out the catnip affect by offering it too often. A catnip “high” can be great fun for your cat and you, so it’s a good idea to only provide this treat no more than about once a week.
Amy Shojai is a certified animal behaviour consultant, consultant to the pet care industry and the award winning author of 23 pet care books. Find out more.
Follow our paw prints
Smooches Pooches Ltd. Registered office 28 Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh, EH10 4HJ, United Kingdom
Contact number: 0131 478 3268; e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
© All rights reserved 2019
Contact number: 0131 478 3268; e-mail address: email@example.com
© All rights reserved 2019