Christmas is a wonderful time of year, and we are all looking forward to celebrating together with our loved ones, including our pets! It’s therefore important to think about what effect all the festive fun is having on our furry little friends, and make sure they’re also having a nice time. Here are some of our top tips for keeping your pets safe and happy this Christmas:
We know it’s much more difficult to resist feeding scraps to your pets over Christmas, but in most cases it really is not good for them. In some cases it can actually be harmful. Instead we suggest that you, if you’ve got a few days off from work, spend some extra time with your pets. They will without a doubt prefer that to treats or presents!
Try to stick to the normal schedule as much as possible over the holidays, especially when it comes to meal times. Let your chickens out at the same time as usual, walk your dog as you would normally and give your cat its daily play time. They might not understand that you have got lots to do, and a disruption of their routines will add to a possibly already stressful time.
Give your pets a safe space
Christmas can get hectic, so make sure your pet have somewhere to go to get away from all hustle and bustle, preferably in a different, quieter, room. If you’ve got guests coming over, let them know what to do, and what not to do, around your pets. It’s important that everyone knows what doors, windows and gates need to be kept closed, what the pets are allowed to do and eat, and when they are to be left alone.
If you’re spending Christmas somewhere else, you need to take your pets into consideration. Don’t leave them alone for longer than they are used to, and make sure they’ve got what they need while you’re away. If you’re taking them with you, bring something that will remind them of home, like a blanket or a toy, or even their crate or cage. If you can’t take them with you, you will need to find another solution.
Make sure you plan the journey and be aware of the fact that traffic can be busy around Christmas. Your pet must have access to food and water at all times, and depending on your what pet you’ve got, there might be a need for toilet breaks.
Christmas Trees and Plants
Make sure your Christmas tree if safely secured, as cats tend to try and climb them. It might also be a good idea to hang especially intriguing and tantalising decorations higher up in the tree where pets can’t reach them as easily. This minimises the risk of cats getting tangled and the tree falling over.
Hoover under and around the tree regularly to get rid of fallen pine needles. The needles can get stuck in mouths or between toes, which can be very painful.
Lots of our most common Christmas plants, including poinsettias, mistletoe and amaryllis, are poisonous to a lot of pets, so make sure you stay clear of them, or keep them out of reach.
Decorations and presents
If possible, choose non-toxic Christmas decorations. Keep cables from lights and other decorations out of reach, or your pets might try to nibble through them, which can cause damage to both cable and pet.
Don’t leave presents containing eatable things (chocolate in particular!) under the tree. It will soon be sniffed out, and it won’t take a couple of greedy paws long to get into a wrapped present.
Once the gifts have been opened, clear away the wrapping paper straight away. Not only will you avoid having paper all over the room once your pets get to it, but coloured paper and string should also not be ingested by pets.
This entry was posted in Pets
Patience. The first thing to remember is that pet photography requires patience. It doesn’t matter if you want a posed photo of your rabbit or a action shot of your dog, you’re probably going to get rather frustrated when your models are not behaving in the way you want them to. So arm yourself with patience, and never force your pet into doing something the don’t feel comfortable doing.
Get help. If you have a family member or a friend at hand, it’s always useful to ask them to assist you. They can use toys or treats to get the attention of the pet and direct their gaze while you focus on getting a great photo. If you’re by yourself you’re going to have to find other ways. Sometimes making a sudden noise can get the attention of the pet, but probably only for a second or two, so make sure you’re ready. Depending on the type of photo you’re after it might be easier to have the photo session after you’re played together for a while and the pet is less excited and bouncy.
Use natural light. If you’re not a professional photographer with access to different lenses and flashes, you’re probably going to want to take advantage of the natural light. Try starting outdoors, or if you’re indoors, by a window. The light will make the photo look better, and will give you more freedom to experiment. We would suggest going somewhere where both you and your pet feel comfortable, maybe a place that means a lot to you and where you have created lots of memories together. Try to choose a place with a relatively clear backdrop, like a while wall or a grassy field, as a messy background can be distracting.
Try to focus on the eyes. If the eyes are blurry or out of focus the photo will look slightly off. The camera will automatically focus on what is closest to the lens, which in most cases will be the nose of your pet rather than the eyes. This is especially important when you’re taking close ups.
Get down to their level. This might mean you have to crouch down in the mud or crawl on the floor, but in return your photos will be significantly more unique and interesting. Try taking photos from different angles: from above, below, in front of your pet, behind it. You’ll get to see your pet from all sides, and sometimes the photos from the weirdest of angles are the ones you will love the most.
Have their personalities in mind. The whole point of taking photographs of your pets is to try and capture their personalities, so try to make sure that their characters are showing in the photo. If you cat is the lazy ruler of the house you probably want to capture it yawning in their favourite spot on the sofa, and if you have a dog that bounces around the house and is impossible to tire, you probably want to capture its liveliness in the middle of a jump or running towards you in the park.
Quantity is key. The more photos you take, at different times and locations, the more likely you are to get that one amazing shot. This will also mean that you get loads of photos of your pet in different places, moods and positions. Get used to taking photos when you’re out on walks, playing in the garden, or just relaxing at home, and try to spy on your pet to catch what they’re doing when you’re not around. And remember to always take 20 photos instead of just one.
Use treats. If you’re trying to have a properly arranged photo shoot, try using treats. Depending on what pet you have, and their personalities, offering treats can make them sit still and look at the camera. Others will just walk up to you to get the treat, or ignore the treat completely, but it’s worth trying. Make sure that you reward your model throughout the shoot.
Add humans to the photo. Having family members in the photos with your pet makes the pictures even more special, and they are the ones that you will come back to and look at. A photo of your child playing with your dog or feeding the chickens will capture their characters in a way that a posed photo very rarely do.
Have a go at these tips, and make sure to tag your photos on social media with #OmletPets – we love to see what you’re up to!
This entry was posted in Pets
Keep it fair and fun
Avoid arguments between children by color coding the hunt, give each child one color that they need to search for. Alternatively if you have a broad range of ages playing, why not color code the hunt based on ages, younger children can look for the large gold eggs whereas the older children need to look for the pink eggs which you will have made harder to find.
Provide alternatives to chocolate
Think ahead about who will be participating in your Easter Egg Hunt? Are any of the children diabetic? Are they allergic to dairy, gluten, cocoa or nuts? You could always use plastic decorative eggs for them to find then have prizes such as coloring books or toys instead of the sugary treats.
Remember the baskets!
The children will need something to carry their eggs in, lots of craft stores have cute baskets you can use or alternatively you make them as an activity before the hunt. See here for a guide on how to weave your own basket.
Think of fun clues
If you want to add another fun element to your hunt, you could think about providing the kids with clues as to where the eggs are hidden, such as “Somewhere that’s cold (fridge)” “What shall we have for breakfast? (cereal box)”, “It’s raining outside, what shall we take with us? (umbrella stand).
Keep track of your hiding places
It’s worth making a note of the hiding places and the number of eggs hidden for your own reference.
Check the weather forecast
Firstly so you’re not planning to commence the hunt when it’s due to rain, also if you are hiding chocolate, double check the temperature forecasted as you might need to make sure they’re all hidden in shaded areas, or you don’t put them out too early before it kicks off. Noone wants a melted Easter egg! If the weather is going to be stormy, plan a backup hunt for inside the house.
Let the kids know where the searching area is, it’s important to make sure everyone has fun but in a safe environment. Show the children where the start and end of the hunting zone is.
This entry was posted in Pets
Running your own course is a fulfilling and rewarding way for you to share your hobby. Whether you keep chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs or another type of animal in your Eglu you can apply to set up your own course.
We like to encourage the best duty of care for animals therefore we encourage our more experienced customers to share their knowledge with new starters. Particularly when it comes to keeping chickens. In recent years backyard chicken keeping has massively increased in popularity although lots of people still don’t know how to get started or they’ve put off getting their own flock as they’re not too sure how much care and upkeep it entails. Whilst you can easily watch a Youtube clip or read blogs to get a better idea, nothing beats face to face and hands on teaching.
How much you charge for your course is entirely up to you, you need to analyse and value what you think your course is worth, for a 2 hour beginners guide to chicken keeping we would recommend charging $30 per attendee depending on what you provide the attendees with (refreshments, pamphlets, guidebooks, printouts.) Courses are booked through the Omlet website and you must have an Eglu to qualify to host a course.
The courses you host don’t have to be very long they could simply be an afternoon or evening, designed to appeal to a range of ages. We recommend offering a form of refreshments for your course attendees when they arrive, a really nice touch is to perhaps bake something using your farm fresh eggs to demonstrate how great they taste. We would then suggest telling your attendees a bit about your background story and how you got into chicken keeping and how it has affected your lives. Ideally the weather will be good so you can take your guests out to your Eglu coop to demonstrate how to use it.
You will then want explain the needs of chickens, their daily, weekly and monthly needs. How to care for chickens, what to look for if you think a chicken is poorly, different weather conditions and how to alter your chicken care, supplements, cleaning, how to store eggs etc.
Perhaps offer them the opportunity to ‘hug a hen’ and see what nice and friendly animals they are. A good way to round off your course is a Q and A session so people have the opportunity to ask you the questions the internet has not been able to answer for them. You don’t need to know the answer for all of them, it can become a discussion and all you can do is offer them your best advice from you experience and wisdom.
To apply to become a course host and receive more information either login or create an Omlet account here and then click on the Courses section of the portal.
This entry was posted in Pets
This entry was posted in Dogs
We just wanted to say a very Merry Christmas to all of our Omlet customers across the world. We hope Santa is good to you this year and that you and your pets get everything you were hoping for. If you have purchased any products from us this past year, we would like to thank you and if you are thinking about joining the Omlet community then we look forward to helping you find the perfect house or accessory for you and your pet. Keep your eyes and ears peeled in the New Year as we have some very exciting products launching, make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to be the first ones to find out when these new products are released. In the meantime, as the January temperatures continue to drop it might be a good idea to invest in one of our Extreme Temperature Jackets to ensure your pets are extra toasty this Winter. All that’s left to say from us is EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY. Many thanks, Barbara & The Omlet Team.
This entry was posted in Pets