Tails Blog

Care for your pets while your away

Steve Coppell - Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pets are an ongoing responsibility so when we do need to go away for any period of time and can't take our pets with us, we need to know there are options available to allow this.

Kennels and Catteries
This is commonly the first option looked at with pet owners. You must be prepared to book early for this service especially over the big holiday periods such as Christmas, Easter and school holidays. So this isn't the best option when the break is last minute, unless it's off peak. A lot of pets do well with this option if they get used to it early, the more timid pets can be taken for a night earlier to get used to it, so you and they know it can be a good option.

Neighbours friends and family
Depending on how well you know your neighbours, this can be a good option especially if they also have animals. This also gives you added security for your home as they can clear your mailbox and check on your house, even closing curtains and turning on and off lights so to make the house appear to be occupied and not a target for burglars. Your pets might be familiar with the people doing the caring while you are away and that can be reassuring to them. 

House Sitters
This is another house based option which means there is someone living in your house while you are away taking care of your house and pet, mail, plants etc.


Pet Feeding Services
Feeding services are becoming more popular because we don't always know our neighbours well enough to ask them to feed our pets. Some people don't want to impose on neighbours. So a paid option is preferred. Services often include having your mail collected and plants watered and all the needs of your pet can be asked for and met. Pets generally feel happier in their home environment and their daily routines don't need to change too much.

Bees and bee keeping

Steve Coppell - Friday, July 06, 2012

Bees probably evolved at the same time as flowering plants. This means that there have been bees for at least 135 million years.

Bees that we see working among the summer flowers are collecting nectar and pollen.The bee will land on a flower and push it's long tube shaped jaws down inside it. Then the bee extracts sweet nectar using its proboscis or tongue. The nectar is carried in a honey sac inside the bees body.

Bees collect pollen almost without trying. While it is extracting nectar, grains of pollen from the anther of the flower stick to its furry body and legs. The bee will comb the pollen off its body and press it into pollen baskets on its legs.

As the bee moves from one flower to the next, any grains of pollen still clinging to its body rub off on to the stigma of the new flower and pollination occurs.The bee will visit hundreds of flowers to fill its honey sac and the contents of sixty honey sac's produce only a thimbleful of honey.

When the bee gets back to the hive with its load of pollen and nectar, it is met by a hive worker bee. The forager bee regurgitates the nectar and the worker bee swallows it. Digestive enzymes inside the worker bee's stomach change the nectar into watery honey. The bee then regurgitates tiny drops of this watery honey on to the tip of its tongue. The warmth of the hive will evaporates it. The end result is honey which we all know and love.

The modern hive has several layers. Frames are provided for the bee's to make combs in. Often the frames in the top section are where h
oney is harvested from. The bottom section is the brood chamber, where combs are made for the hives eggs, that later become larve. The queen lives in this chamber. A grid above the brood chamber prevents the queen from entering and laying her eggs in the top chamber. 

Thanks to www.tokresourse for the above picture.

Harvest time

Harvest usually happens at the end of summer when the honey combs are at their fullest. The bee's use stored honey during the winter months for food when there are no flowers to collect nectar from. Centrifugal force is required to easily extract the honey from the combs.

So it's not hard to appreciate all the effort that goes into producing one of our favourite foods. Harvesting honey is an ancient pastime. Evidence of organised bee keeping exists on rocks paintings of mesolithic cave dwellers. Our connection with the humble bee is understated. The honey we spread on our toast in the morning is just the beginning.


Everything you need to know about ...

Steve Coppell - Friday, February 24, 2012

Keeping Horses

Keeping Chickens

Keeping Kunekune Pigs

Keeping Fresh Water Crayfish

Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle

Keeping an Axolotl

Treating worms in dogs

How to take great photos of your pets

Steve Coppell - Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taking photos of your pets can be fun and rewarding, but unless you are a professional, luck often plays a part in getting great shots. However, with patience and preparation, you should be able to achieve some really pleasing results.

You probably won't get the shot your after if your pet is stressed. So the best time to photograph your pet is when it is relaxed and happy. More often than not, this is when it is in it's natural environment.  Our dogs love the beach, and this environment often makes for an excellent backdrop.

The Backdrop
When setting up for a shot, minimise the clutter. Sometimes a photo is too busy and the viewers attention is drawn away from the intended  shot. So think about enticing your pet into a nice spot with a simple backdrop. 
As a rule light coloured pets photograph better against a dark background, and conversely dark pets show up better against a light background.

Eye contact
Try getting down to your pets level and centre your shot on your pets eyes. Animals show their expression and personality through their eyes so you will get a more intimate photo. Get close to the subject and fill the viewfinder with your subject- emphasise what is important and exclude the rest. Fortunately most modern cameras have zoom lenses that give you a tight crop without having to get too close.

Good lighting
Exposure wise the easiest photos are taken outside in natural light. Diffused light on cloudy days is actually better than bright sunlight, which can create unwanted contrast and shadows in your pictures. Some of the best lighting for taking photos inside is side light from a natural light source like a large window.
Using a flash as your main source of light creates it's own problems. The flash can startle your subject. It also often creates a very flat over exposed look and red eye.

It's a good idea to have some treats ready to entice your subject if perhaps they are not willing subjects for your photo shoot. When photographing cats, hold a feather wand right on top of the camera to get optimum eye contact. It makes the pupils of their eyes really big and you can get great reflections in their eyes.

Little Critters
It's not only large pets that star in front of the camera. When taking shots of cage bound pets like rabbits, birds and guinea pigs one option is to photograph them being held in someone's hand to keep them still and allow you to get as close as you need to. If you want to take a photo of them in their cage, put your camera right up against the cage to put the bars out of focus, likewise when taking shots of fish, put your camera lens right against the tank or at an angle to eliminate reflection, turn off the flash and use the natural light, or the light the tank  provides.


Heavy Drinking

Steve Coppell - Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Drink lots of water! 

It's a fact, drinking plenty of fresh clean water is good for your health. 

We drink water because:
It transports oxygen to our bodies cells.
Water regulates our body temperature.
Water provides means for nutrients to travel to all our organs.
Water is used by the body to remove toxins and waste.
Water is a lubricant for our bodies and so provides protection for our joints and organs.
Water leads to increased energy levels, the most common cause of day time fatigue is actually dehydration.  

So we know how important fresh clean water is to us.
Water is equally important to your pet, regardless of what pets you have. Unless of course you have fish.
To combat an infection and ward off future ones, be certain that your pet has fresh clean water to drink.

How can I check if I'm concerned about my dogs hydration?

To check for dehydration in dogs, grab a piece of skin at the back of your dogs neck. Stretch it out, then let it go. A properly hydrated dogs skin will snap quickly back into place, while the dehydrated dogs skin will return slowly and form a "tent" in the process.

Dry Food verses Canned Food

If you feed your pet canned food, try cutting back on the canned stuff while increasing his portion of dried food. Canned food contains enough water to reduce your pets normal thirst, causing him to drink less than he actually needs for a healthy urinary tract. By contrast, dry food will make him thirsty, and encourage him to drink water.

Tails special offer
If you don't already buy food from us here at tails, we are willing to offer you and all your friends a complementary voucher. 
E mail tails at info@tails.co.nz if you want us to send you one. 
The voucher is valid for a month and is valid for Royal Canin Dog and Cat food only. 

Are you are looking for a hassle free, spill proof, hygienic, way to provide fresh clean water for your dog outside 24/7?
Check this picture out! 

Tails have Lixit Automatic Dog Waterers at very affordable prices with free delivery. This is an option for your dog outside.
It is quick to set up and easy to train your dog to use these. We recommend these waterers and of course they are fully guaranteed. 

So if your glass is half fill, don't be wet behind the ears, you'll be like a fish out of water.
Stay hydrated. feed your pets dry food,  and provide plenty of fresh clean water for your pets.

Keeping a horse for a pet

Steve Coppell - Thursday, December 02, 2010

Keeping a horse for a pet


To live with horses on your own little piece of land is undeniably a most beautiful gift. Yet we have to be aware of the nature of these magnificent animals, and consider their needs carefully in order to create an invironment in which they feel comfortable.In the wild horses form herds and lead a nomadic lifestyle. They have evolved highly specialised behavior and strategies to survive. Once we keep them in a confined space, it is our task to provide them with everything they would otherwise find in nature.


Create a Herd

It is of utmost importance for a horse to have company. Horses are herd animals and become deeply depressed if left on their own. To be happy they need social interaction. The stimulation and excercise horses naturaly provide for each other through play and grooming one another cannot be subtituted.
However, it cannot be denied that horses are costly. So why not try and collaberate with a neighbour, who has horses as well? You could but your horses together and alternate the grazing on each others properties, or you could offer grazing for someone elses horse/s at your place, and subsidise your own horse related costs.


There are a few things to keep in mind when introducing a new horse to your property, or letting your horse join another group, to minimise the risk of injury.
Horses have a strict hierarchy and will need to sort out where each and every individual stands in the pecking order. A good precaution is to take their shoes off, if they arent barefoot, so that the impact of any kicking is lessened.
Put the horses into paddocks next to each other, so they can smell one another and slowly get used to each other for a few days, before putting them together. Safe and highly visible fencing is essential for horses at all times, but especially  for new members.
Its also a good idea to create spaces for horses to evade each other when being chased, so one horse cant be cornered by another. Any objects like trees, barrels and such in the middle of the paddock will do.

A Horses Home Range

Another significant issue for horses is some sort of shelter. It could be trees and shrubs, or a three sided run in shelter.
People argue that it is costly to put a shelter in every paddock, yet in the long run this actually saves you money. Since your horse is not exposed to extreme weather conditions like strong rain and harsh winds, its metabolism experiences less stress so he/she is less likely to fall ill, which in turn means less costly vet bills.
Its easier for your horse to stay warm, which means it will need less food to do so. Additionally, in summer your horse will be most grateful for the shade to save it from being scorched by the sun, it will get less sunburned, and wont be prone to dehydration as it would be in a bare paddock.

Paddock Care

Generally it pays to look after your paddock well as you will be rewarded with more productivity. Rotational grazing is a good way to give your grass time to regenerate.
Since horses are comparatively picky eaters, you should consider letting other animals like sheep, goats or cattle into the paddock after the horses have moved on to the next one. Sheep, goats and cattle will eat many weeds that horses will not touch, thereby keeping the overall weed population down.
Managing the droppings of your horses is also part of good pasture management. You can pick the droppings up and use them to make compost. Your garden will love you for it. If you dont have time to do this, at least try and break the droppings up by kicking and spreading them. In this way they wont burn the grass underneath so much, and you help prevent a parasitic worm infestation because you minimise their breeding grounds.
Its sensible to do regular faecal testing to make sure you keep the risk of parasites compromising a horses health as low as possible.

Treatment of Parasites found inside your horse

You can access a variety of ready made worming pastes through your vet. There is a wide range of products on offer, and its up to you to decide if you are happy with a chemical based product, or if you prefer natural products. The chemical version after going through your horses system and ending up in the droppings, may have negative effects on the non parasitic worms in your paddocks, possibly degrading the good worm life. However it may also be the only thing that can deal with a heavy parasite burden.
Faecal egg count reduction tests are important in preventing the overuse of chemical drenches so you can avoid populations of drench resistant parasites buiding up in pasture. By testing samples of your horses faeces your vet can tell with some accuracy whether drenching is actually required; for many years horse owners have been told to drench every 8 to 12 weeks but, properly managed, drenching can be put off for much longer.
There are a number of herbs and seeds  that when blended together, are claimed to assist in expelling parasites. Since some herbs can be toxic it is advisable to consult a qualified herbalist or vet doing alternative practise to determine what products can be administered. For example garlic is a natural antibiotic, anti microbial, anti fungal and anti bacterial, but the research is still out on its effectiveness as a vermifuge (drugs that expel parasitic worms from the body).

Treatment of Parasites found on the Outside of your horse 

 There are a number of easy to make natural fly sprays that can be used for external use, one of them being citronella oil diluted in water. If your horse is afraid of the sound of the spray bottle simply use a piece of cloth or a sponge to wipe the citronella water over them.
If using this mix on the face make sure it doesnt get anywhere near the sensitive skin around the eyes, mouth and nose.

Your Horses Diet

The diet of your horse is another vital component of its well being. Preferably a horse should be fed 2% of its bodyweight per day in fibrous feeds such as pasture, hay chaff, sugarbeet pulp, copra meal (be careful though, as its high oil levels and protein are fattening), soybean hulls, lupin hulls, oat hulls and sunflower seed hulls.
You should also consider adding some supplements into your horses hard feed. Many soils around New Zealand lack selenium, and it might be good to add some to the food. Then again, too much selenium is toxic and just as harmful as selenium deficiency- get your vet to take a blood test and determine on the bases of the results how much selenium you need to add if any.
Some other suppliments to inquire about are kelp, zink, magnesium and vegetable oils like linseed oil for example. Salt licks or mineral licks are another option for providing your horse with crucial vitamins and minerals if it is only in light work.
In spring, when the amount of mycotoxins in the grass increases, it might be sensible to include a toxin binder in the food.

Feet On The Ground

Last but not least, hoof care. In the wild, horses would naterally keep their hooves trimmed as they traveled over diverse ground. Nowdays, for a horse spending most its time on a block, the hooves need attention by a barefoot trimmer or farrier to stay in the right shape.
There are some interesting arguements against shoeing horses. One of the hooves main functions is to expand and contract, thereby pumping the blood back up the horses leg. This action supports the entire blood circulation in the horses body, and in this way has an influence on all of the horses organs. A shoe compromises the hoofs ability to expand and contract.
The wieght of the shoe is another concern. One shoe actually wieghs more than the whole hoof capsule, creating a cosiderable extra strain on the horses limbs. Yet if a horse does alot of road riding its hooves can wear down too quickly when left barefoot; in this case the barefoot horse can wear hoof boots.

Tips For The New Horse Owner

Wire fencing can be very dangerous for horses- barbed wire fences, in particular should be avoided.
When feeding out hay it is advisable to make several piles in different places, and not too close to each other. If a horse is driven away from its pile, it can simply find another pile to feed from.
Should a horse become sick, it becomes more vulnerable - it may be useful to seperate him/her from the herd for a short period of time so they can have a proper rest.
Horses do not gain immunity to parasites as they age, so care must be taken to monitor parasites using faecal egg counts, so you only drench as and when required. Good management means almost never having to drench.
Research has shown that removing dung reduces worm larve numbers to only 10-20% of the levels shown in pastures where dung was not removed. Infective larvae can develope in less than a week, so dung should be removed from paddocks at least twice a week if infection is to be prevented.

Horse Whispering

Simple and non violent codes of behavior and body language help us to attain the role as the leading animal and gain our horses trust and respect. This is essencial if we want to interact safley with our horse.
Horses have a strict hierarchy, with precisely defined roles and rules. Their pecking order shows the rank of each and every horse very clearly. In the wild there is usually an older more experienced mare at the top of the pecking order, (not a stallion as most people tend to think)
The job of the stallion is basically confined to reproduction, and to fending off other stallions. It is the mare who is the boss, and she defines the social life of the herd: where and when they graze, drink and rest.
It is also the leading mare who will rebuke a youngster who breaches the rules. She does that by driving the offender out of the herd using body language. She will square up to him and keep her eye locked on him for the period of time she wants him out of the herd. Generally a youngster is keenly aware of his vulnerability. He seems to know he is safe in the herd, and that on his own he is likely to fall victim to predators. This fact normally causes the youngster to start communicating to the mare that he has changed his mind. Through certain signals, like chewing and licking for instance, he will ask the mare if he can join the herd again. When the mare has accepted his inquiry, she will invite him back into the group by turning away from him.

How to Be A Leader

A very simple way of establishing clear boundries is consistancy and awareness. A horse that is higher in rank will move a horse that is lower in rank. The subordinate horse will always yield to the dominant one.
For us humans that translates into being concious when around horses and standing your ground. A very effective method is to only move if you really intend to move, and not as a result of a move your horse makes. It sounds easy, but it is easy to become distracted while talking to someone else or the like and just as easily and unconciously do the opposite.
The horse might be very subtle and gradule in its proceeding too. It might take only one step, then another and so on, until we often instinctly take a step back or to the side in order to avoid getting our toes stood on.
No big deal, and at the time it might even go completly unnoticed by us. However the message to your horse will be you are lower in rank than me. This in turn might tempt the horse to try more and more often to achieve the status of leading animal, and at some point to challange you in a more pushy manner.
It is advisable to prevent this sort of confrentation through clarity and proper demeanour. Make it a habit to calmly, but immediately ask your horse to step back every time it comes into your personal space uninvited. In this way you will establish natural dominance through competence.

Are You Accidentally Threatening Your Horse

There are some signals a horse may interpret as threatening because they remind the horse of typical predator behavior. For instance looking a horse in the eye, facing it square on with your shoulders and holding your hands open will potentially cause a horse to move away due to its similarity to the behavior shown by predators getting ready to hunt it, or one that is already chasing it.
Consequently it is advisable to look to the ground, on the chest of the horse or its forelegs when catching it, not in the eye.

Moving House with your Pets

Steve Coppell - Sunday, November 07, 2010

Moving house is usually stressful for everyone involved, and that includes your pet. In all the upheaval, imagine what its like for your animal friends, with their normal routine gone and everyone preoccupied with different things. Your pets familiar world, smells, favourite sleeping spots and household objects has changed dramatically, and it may find it hard to cope. Heres how to make the moving experience less stressful for your pets.

General Tips
Keep your pet away from the moving activity by confining it to a room where it will feel safe and cant escape. Tell the movers where your pet is so they dont inadvertently let it out.
Alternatively, put your pet in a boarding kennel or cattery for the duration of the move. Remember to make sure its vaccinations, worming and flea treatments are up to date.
Unpack and get organised before turning your pet loose in your new home. Initially, keep the doors to extra rooms closed and slowly give access to them as it becomes accustomed to its new home.
During the transition from an old home to the new home, pets can sometimes escape or become stressed. Try to remain calm and provide as much routine, comfort and security as you can for them.

Possibly the pet that will take the longest time to adjust is your cat! Its a good idea to have your cat microchipped and registered with New Zealand Companion Animal Register. A lost cat can be scanned for a microchip by any vet or animal rescue organisation and their owners notified.
If your cat is already registered, make sure your contact details are updated with the registry. Organise a new tag for your cats collar with the cats name, the new home phone number and your mobile number so that it is ready for the big move.
Use a sturdy, comfortable pet carrier large enough for your cat to stand up, turn around and lie down in. This will provide a safe, escape proof haven while travelling.
Remove food and water a few hours before you leave as your cat may become nervous and vomit, urinate or deficate when stressed. Take a supply of water from home if you plan to travel a long distance.
When you get to your new home, designate a spare room that you can close off and set up with food, a litter tray, bed and toys.
Once the movers have left and your settled for the evening, let your cat explore the rest of the house, remember to keep external doors and windows shut. Its best to keep your cat indoors for one or two weeks to get used to their new home.
When your cat goes outside for the first time, monitor its progress as it explores its new surroundings.

If possible check out the new property for potential problems ahead of the move. Are the perimeter fences secure enough to stop your dog escaping into an unfamiliar neighbourhood?
If your moving to a new city, cancel your current dog registration and re register with your new council. Make sure your contact details are updated with the microchip registry and organise a new tag with your dogs name, the new home phone number and your mobile number.
Most councils provide directions to off leash parks and beaches. Find out where these are in your new neighbourhood before you move.
Dogs can get car sick too, so dont feed or water your pet a few hours before you leave your old home.
Depending on the size of your dog you may want to use a pet carrier. Choose a sturdy one, that is comfortable and roomy enough for your dog to move around in.
If your traveling a long distance, make frequent stops to water and excercise your dog, and keep it on a leash for its own protection.
If your car doesnt have air conditioning, keep the windows down low enough for air to circulate but high enough to ensure your dog stays in the car.
When you arrive at your new home, designate a secure area/room for your dog while you unpack. Provide water, a bed and some toys.
Your dog will need excercise at some point during the day, so take it for a walk on its leash around the new neighbourhood. At the end of the day, take a walk around the house and garden with the dog at your side, so you can explore your new surroundings together without your pet becoming overwhelmed.

Bee Keeping

Steve Coppell - Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bees might not be the most popular creatures, but for some people out there they are both a passion and a pet.
According to Greek mythology, bees were given the gift of their sting by the gods. They were told we will give you something to guard your hives, but they were also warned once you use it, you will die. Therefore today if a honey bee stings you it dies. Understandably, bees are very selective about using their sole defence mechanism and only do so if they are protecting their colony from attack. Bees are defenders not attackers.
Beekeeping can be a fun and rewarding experience. Whether you want to do it commercially or simply for your own enjoyment. Either way, there are a number of things to think about first.
Do your research and gather as much information about the subject as possible.
Find out whether your local council permits beekeeping. Most have bylaws that allow the practice, provided they dont become a nuisance.
Consider whether your property is suitable, for example is it dry, sheltered, and well away from areas such as schools? High hedges are ideal, though not essential. Get a fellow beekeeper to look at your garden and advise you on the best location for a hive.

Make a list of clothing you will need. Purchasing a full body suits opposed to single pieces is the easiest option for beginners. However as these can be expensive, consider purchasing one second hand from another beekeeper.
Look into different options for purchasing bees. The most common way is through another keeper. Some may even give you free ones to start you off. Alternatively, contact one of the countries many beekeeping clubs or check out the National Beekeepers magazine. These sources may also offer hives.
Keep in mind October is the best time to start beekeeping.

Interesting Facts
A honey bee can have up to 100,000 members.
Each honeybee colony has its own unique oder so that its members can identify it.
Honeybees can fly up to 24kph and beat their wings 12,000 times a minute.
Honeybees are capable of seeing ultra violet light which is invisible to the human eye.
Honeybees indicate when they have located a food source by using two distinct patterns of movement, often refered to as bee dances. A curcular dance indicates a source without specific reference to its distance or direction, while a tail wagging dance indicates a sources exact distance and direction in relation to the sun.
During its lifetime, the average honeybee will produce just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey.
To make 1kg of honey, honeybees must visit almost 5 million flowers!
Honeybees secrete beeswax from glands on the underside of its abdomen.
The queen bee lays between 1500 and 2000 eggs a day. A prolific lay can be up to 3000 eggs.

The term busy bee might have come from the fact that within 5 to 10 minutes of being alive the bees start to work. They begin their life by cleaning and incubating. They then feed the larve, make wax and build cells. They also feed the queen and the male bees (drones) Guard bees protect the hive from incoming threats such as wasps, while undertaker bees take away the dead bees.
After a while some get promoted to field bee and go out to collect nectar and pollen or propolis. When flowers are in bloom, bees are very busy.
Bees are responsible for about 80 % of the pollination of flowers

Staying Sting Free
To avoid stings when checking hives beekeepers wear white clothing to differentiate from the colonies predators which are usually brown and furry.
Bees usually warn you before they sting, so if a bee flies close to your face, you should move away. If the bee keeps following you walk off and avoid swinging your arms or other objects in the air.
If you do get stung, it is important to scrape the sting away as quickly as possible and never squeeze it, as this will make the venom spread. Fortunately stings only hurt for about a minute and then the pain decreases- with the exception of any allergic reactions of course. The first indication of an allergic reaction is that you become itchy all over, and develope a rash. If this happens seek medical assistance immediately.

Bees Back in Time
Beekeeping is a time honoured tradition. Collecting honey from wild bee colonies is one of the most ancient human activities and is still practised by aboringinal societies in parts of Africe, Asia, Austalia and South America. Some of the ealiest evidence of gathering honey from wild bee colonies is from rock paintings, dating back to around 13,000 BC. Famous beekeepers throughout have included Alexander the Great, Aristole, Phythagorous,, Napolean, Leo Tolstoy, Maria Von Trapp, and our very own Sir Edmond Hillary, who used the profits to help fund his early climbing expeditions.

Cleaning up after your pet

Steve Coppell - Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sometimes things dont go according to plan and your pet does leave its mark on your house but it is possible to oust those bad odours without too much drama or chemicals. Heres how.

1/Make a bucket containing Napisan and water.
2/Soak a cloth in the bucket and then sponge the area throughly with  the wet cloth.
3/Sprinkle some napisan powder over the area once all colour has disappeared from the stain.
4/Vacum the area when it is fully dry
5/If an odour still remains, spray the area with a spray pack containing a few drops of oil of lavender and water.

If an extra detterant is required, Tails have sprays designed to assist with this problem.

Sleeping with your best friend

Steve Coppell - Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lots of people sleep with their pets. In fact its estimated that as many as one in three of us share pillow space with our pet. For many, it is the secret deal we quite literally keep under cover. But by inviting our companion into the bedroom so they can sleep soundly, have we made ourselves too easy? No matter whether your mates sleep inside, outside or even between the sheets, look at what those arrangemments mean to the relationship between you and your pet.

Starting out
Young puppies and kittens are small, fragile and feel lonley when they arrive at their new home. So many of us feel we have to treat them to the full bed and breakfast experience. But is this comfy start neccessary or even smart? Well, it depends on two things:

The weather: Puppies and kittens not only lack body fat to keep warm, they also lack friends to cuddle up to. So if your area gets cold at night in winter,then bring them in from the cold. But where they go once they are inside is up to you.
And whether... this is what you want for life. Some people do enjoy letting their dog sleep in the bedroom (or bed). And thats fine. But realise that what they learn as a puppy will be hard to shake. If you cant be there for them all day,every day then letting them sleep in your room while theyre a puppy only delays the inevitable heartbreak. Plus they are alot louder and more destructive when they go through seperation anxiety in their adolescence! So decide how you want your adult dog or cat to live, and start providing that lifestyle to your puppy or kitten from the start. It will be easier in the long run.

Smart alternative
A puppy or kitten pad in the laundry, bathroom or spare bedroom often makes the most sense. You keep the youngsters out of the cold draughts, out of the bedroom and most importantly out of hearing range during those early few first few nights. If your intention is for them to sleep outdoors as they grow older, extended periods of seperation or tough love at sleep time will make the eventual transition outside easier.
To try to make things more homely, try:
A bed: anything from a folded blanket they can push and shape into a comfortable nesting spot or an old duvee will do. Just make sure its up off the ground.
Food and water bowls: keep nearby.
Toys: keep nearby.