Cat comfort Diffuser from Beaphar, RRP £18.00:
Following on from my review of the Beaphar dog calming collar, I am now trying out several other calming aids, as part of an on-going series of reviews and updates. This time I’m trying out the Cat Comfort diffuser by Beaphar, as the perfect opportunity presented itself.
So, on Christmas eve I moved house, I know, I’m a sucker for punishment! Thankfully my cat FoxFairy was able to stay behind with my dad who she likes, so we could get everything sorted; without having the extra worry of whether she was climbing up the walls or escaping out the front door as we brought in the furniture.
She has also never lived with my dogs, although she has met one of them before. FoxFairy is generally hostile towards new and unknown things, She usually hides when she hears someone new in the house and growls when someone knocks at the front door.
So as per the instructions, I’ve set up the plug in an un obstructed area. Of course, it needs to be in the area that your cat spends most of their time. Like the branded leader, CatComfort uses a synthetic pheromone. This is a marker that cats leave on things when rub their faces on it. It tells them that this thing is familiar and safe, which promotes a feeling of reassurance, reducing anxiety and therefore associated behaviours.
The kit comes with the plugin and a bottle which should last around 30 days and is effective in an area of up to 70m2. I’ve plugged in the diffuser about 2 days before we will be moving FoxFairy, this should give it time to fill the room. You won’t be able to smell or taste the diffuser, so do don’t worry about that and as I said when I tried out the Feliway Friends plug in, you must leave the plug switched on.
I’ll do 3 more updates to let you know how well (or not) this works.
So come back to find out how it has gone! You can also watch my short video updates on my YouTube channel.
And of course, I wish you a very happy New year!
Let’s talk about travel with pets.
This is a subject that comes up often with my customers and on social media, and for some pet owners it can be a part of everyday life. Unfortunately, some owners not securing their pets correctly is still an issue that needs discussing. So, I thought it be useful to talk about what the legal requirements specifically are and why securing your pets when traveling is not about you as an owner, or whether your dog is well behaved, it’s about preventing accidents and injuries, including to your pet.
Rule 57 of the highway code states “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly”. 6th Nov 2017 direct.gov.
So, what’s the big deal?
You are, by not restraining your dog when traveling, putting not only their life at risk but also yourself and others in the event of an accident. You should also know that not securing your dog could land you with a hefty fine of up to £5,000 and it may even void your car insurance!
Perhaps part of the problem is the use of the word ‘restrain’ which may sound unpleasant to some. Instead let us use the term ‘secure’. In the same way you secure a baby in a car seat to protect them, you should secure your dog as well. There are several different ways you can do this and there is something to suit every car and family.
You may use a dog crate, but if you do, make sure it is an appropriate size for your dog. I would also recommend a non-slip mat rather than a blanket or towel so they don’t slide around all over the place.
If you are using a car guard to keep your dog in the boot, make sure it is fitted properly! You don’t want it popping out as you’re driving and for your dog to hop into the front seat, I know more than one person that this has happened to!
I use a seat belt adapter for both my dogs. This clips on to their harness and plugs into the seat belt buckle. We leave the adapter in the car so it’s there whenever we need it. I wouldn’t advise you use these on a collar as in the event of a sudden brake, you risk pulling them tightly around the neck.
When it comes to very young pups it can be very tempting to have them sit in the lap of a passenger, after all they’re so small and sleepy, but the fact is; if there is an accident there’s really nothing to stop them going flying. It’s far better for them if you put them in a pet carrier that you can secure to the seat with the seat belt, in the same way you do with a baby seat.
This is the same for cats, rabbit and guinea pigs. In a pinch you could use a ventilated cardboard box, but make sure it has a secure lid! If you have a cat, rabbit, guinea pig or small pet you should really have a suitable size carrier, I use ones that have an opening top as well as a door.
At the end of any length journey, whether it’s a trip to the vets or moving house the most important thing is that you and your pet have a made it safely.
Palm oil pollution – toxic waste to dogs
Derived from the fruit of the oil palm, palm oil is an edible vegetable oil; grown mainly in Africa and south America. It is often used as a simple cooking oil but can be also be found in food snacks, cosmetics, soaps and bio-fuels, this is the case in particular with palm kernel oil, aka palm nut oil. It is also used by big ships as a cleaning agent for fuel tanks.
So how does it end up on the beach? Well under the current international law vessels are allowed to dump up to 100 litres of palm oil contaminated water into the sea, for each and every chemical tank on board! This can have a huge impact on the marine environment: depleting water of oxygen, killing fish, coating sea bird’s wings and washing up on the beaches with potentially serious consequences for our canine companions.
Whilst palm oil alone is not poisonous to dogs, it does have a laxative effect and when eaten can cause diarrhoea, vomiting and therefore dehydration. In extreme cases pancreatitis can develop.
Due to the semi solid state that it washes up in, it can also form blockages in the intestines. Some dogs have become seriously ill after ingesting palm oil and have required veterinary treatment.
It is important to remember that palm oil that has washed up on the beach is most likely contaminated with other toxic material such as diesel oil from the ships that dumped it (completely legally) as little as 12 miles off shore.
So, what does palm oil look like after it has scrubbed a chemical fuel tank, been dumped over board and washed up on the beach that you and your pooch like to stroll down?
Well unlike a petroleum oil slick, palm oil forms what looks like waxy blobs or boulders. They will often smell like diesel which dogs seem to love and are typically white, yellow or orange.
Whilst there is no evidence that palm oil has caused any fatalities in dogs; a study of 60 dogs who had ingested palm oil found that less than half displayed diarrhoea and vomiting and a minority of the dogs developed serious health complications as a result.
If you think your dog has ingested palm oil out on a walk, call you vet for advice straight away!
In all likely hood your dog will be fine, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and the symptoms as dehydration from diarrhoea and vomiting can be serious.
If you notice palm oil on your beach, inform your local authority and snap a pic to share with your fellow dog owners.
Washed up palm oil can often spring up after rough, stormy weather, so if you think that there may be risk of encountering it on your walk, keep your dog on a lead.
Here are a couple of links to interesting current articles about palm oil pollution in the UK: