In This Issue:
- HELLO FROM ABBA
- QUEENS BIRTHDAY WEEKEND
- WINTER VIP MEMBER SPECIAL
- ABBA FACEBOOK CELEBRITY
- PARIS THE FRENCH BULL DOG
- DOGGY DAYCARE AT ABBA
- IN MEMORY OF KIM & BUDDY
- THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PET INSURANCE
- ABBA SPONSORED SHITBOX RALLY 2015
- 7 RAINY DAY GAMES TO PLAY WITH YOUR DOG
- KEEP YOUR PETS WARM THIS WINTER
- PET RECIPE
- JUST FOR A GIGGLE
To all of our special friends (furry or otherwise).
We at Abba Kennels and Cattery hope you enjoyed Christmas and New Years!
Many Melbournians are now planning their Easter and Labour day weekend holidays and we look forward to the fun and playtimes we'll be having taking care of your furry friends whilst you're away. Book Now because spaces are filling fast!
Doggy Daycare: Now that everyone is back at work our pets get bored, lonely and into mischief if not occupied. Keep you (and your pets!) happy by dropping them off at ABBA during work hours. They'll enjoy socialising with other dogs, exercising and spending time with their friends and our experienced carers.
From the team at ABBA
Many Melbournians are now planning their Queen’s Birthday weekend holiday and we look forward to the fun and play times we'll be having taking care of your furry friends whilst you're away. Please give us a call as soon as possible to book in your pet.
Remember to check and make sure all vaccinations are up to date well before your check in date.
Book now because spaces are filling fast!
When booking your pet in for a stay at ABBA, mention your VIP status or check in at ABBA on Facebook and refer to one of the specials below!
DOGGY SPECIAL - Receive a FREE playtime (30 mins 1:1) for your dog, until the 31st August, 2015
FELINE SPECIAL - Receive a "One on One" play session FREE for your cat, until the 31st August, 2015
VIP SENIORS & AGED PENSION CARD HOLDERS -
Receive a 20% discount off all boarding for dogs and cats (excluding public holidays) until the 31st August.
And the winner is...
Noel and Cheryl Lake! (Sooty)
Congratulations Noel and Cheryl, our Winter Facebook Celebrity prize is a FREE 2 night sleepover for Sooty at a time of your choosing.
A BIT ABOUT SOOTY
Q. What is your name?
A. Hi my name is Sooty.
Q. How old are you and what is your breed?
A. I am 8 years old and a Pomeranian.
Q. What's your favourite food?
A. I love raw chicken necks.
Q. What about treats? Any favourites?
A. I love Jerhigh chicken sticks and my favourite is Beef Crisps from our Vet.
Q. What's your favourite hobby/pastime?
A. My favourite hobby is playing with my dad and giving him lots of kisses.
Q. Do you like to play? What's your favourite toys?
A. Yes l like to play ball and with my rope and stuffed dog.
Q. Do you have any friends or sworn enemies?
A. I have a lot of human friends and my brother Barry who doesn't live with me anymore.
Q. What's the naughtiest thing you've ever done?
A. I like to chew buttons off clothes.
Q. What's the funniest thing you've ever done?
A. Knocking the washing down off the chair while making my bed.
Q. Do you do any tricks for your human? What are your best ones?
A. Not eating my food so they have to hand feed me.
Do you want to be a winner?
We love reading the feedback and comments on our Facebook page. To say thank you for your valued contribution to our online community we will be choosing one loyal follower each season as the winner of our Facebook celebrity award.
All of the staff at ABBA would like to express our condolences to Blair and Rewa Feenaghty on the sad passing of Digger.
Blair and Rewa have been bringing Digger to stay with us at ABBA since 1997. We all enjoyed looking after Digger when he was with us and he will be very sadly missed!
Paris, a male French bulldog has been coming to Abba since 2006 and has been very sick. Abba and all the staff send our best wishes to Danielle and Paris. We miss you at ABBA!
Did you know that your furry friend(s) could have fun every week at ABBA?
In the warmer months many dog owners want to catch up with friends and have some much needed "time out". Our pets also want to have fun, enjoy doggie company and play outside. Your friends at ABBA love spending time with your pet and will make sure they are happy and fully occupied.
Book your dog in to spend a day or two a week at ABBA - drop your pet off before 9 and pickup at 5 (or arrange pickups), your dog will thank you for the playtimes and extra attention during the day. Don't feel guilty when you go out or leave for work! Call us to book!
05/06/1985 – 03/12/1992
In remembrance of Kim and Buddy. This was written by one of my best friends with whom we started our journey into the dog world back in 1986.
It’s been nearly one year since you walked by my side
The tears still come creeping, and I try hard to hide
The pain of your loss, a little easier though
Time heals, they say, but I still miss you so
Your face, so endearing, so cheeky, so sweet
No comparison at all, to dogs you may meet
Your soft eyes, so loving, so brown and so warm
Your love shine right through them and surrounded us all
Your smile melted my heart, and filled it with joy
God’s gift to our family, my husband and boys
They miss you too, Kim, but not like I do
I know what I’ve lost and Buddy does too
We walk, Buddy and I, through the parks and on the beaches
We remember our mate and her loving features
For I see Kim running, and breath a deep sigh
She is running beside me, not just in god’s sky
1. Am I looking for a pet health discount plan or a comprehensive insurance plan?
These can differ. With discount fee plans one would pay an annual fee and get discounted veterinarian and related pet services. A pet health insurance plan would look similar to health insurance for people.
2. Will I get to choose my veterinarian?
Again, since pet health insurance plans are similar to the one's you and I utilize, different plans have different rules. Check to see if your vet is included as a provider for the pet insurance you are interested in.
3. What are the waiting periods?
Like all insurance, there may be a waiting period in order for the policy to take effect and it is important to be aware of exactly when your policy starts and ends.
4. What is excluded?
Pet insurance exclusions can vary depending on the policy chosen. Common exclusions are pre-existing conditions and hereditary defects. Coverages for common exclusions can usually be covered at an additional cost.
5. Will routine wellness care be covered?
If you are looking for a comprehensive policy then you will want to find one that covers routine visits such as immunizations, dental care, and heartworm testing.
6. How about neutering and spaying?
Making sure you are able to control the pet population is important for you and everyone around you. Spaying and neutering coverage is great to have since almost all pet owners utilize this service.
7. Does it include prescription coverage?
Prescription coverage is just as important since technology and care for pets is increasing, the possibility your pet will need a prescription medication is probable, and like all prescriptions, they can sometimes be costly.
8. Do I have to pay a deductible?
Just like human insurance, different plans require different deductibles. The deductible is what you pay first before services are rendered so you will want to find a plan that carries a deductible that is affordable to you. Remember though, that the smaller the deductible the higher the premium.
9. Are there any illness and incident caps?
Usually in pet insurance, there will be variety of "caps" or limits on how much the insurance company will pay for a specific incident. A broken leg may have a different cap than spaying so be aware of policy limits.
10. Is the company reputable and providing me with all my answers?
Make sure you feel comfortable with the company you are interested in. Since they will be handling your claims, it is important you are choosing a company that is willing to answer your questions thoroughly, as this will give you insight on how they will handle your future policy. Also, make sure the company is reputable.
Our customer's Gordon and Alistair, owners of Bailey the staffie, participated in their 3rd Shitbox Rally, recently travelling from Canberra to Townsville in a car worth less than $1000. Gordon and Alistair were raising money for the Cancer Council. They cracked the $10,000 mark this year which was a fantastic effort. Abba has sponsored them for the last 2 years and we’d like to congratulate Gordon and Alistair on their efforts and support of such a great cause!
When it's too nasty outside to get exercise, these games will keep your dog's mind and body engaged.
Here are six ideas for active games you can play that will tire out your dog, engaging him (and you!) physically and mentally so that being inside is every bit as fun as being outside.
1. Scent work with hidden treats
Teaching your dog to discover prizes using only his nose is a great game for the body and mind. While all dogs have a great sense of smell, sometimes they have to be reminded to use it, and this exercise can get your dog excited about solving the problem of the hidden prize. Set up a lot of boxes or opaque containers (start with at least four or five) upside-down next to each other and, without your dog seeing you hide it, place a prize (a favourite toy, a bone, a treat, whatever works) under one of the containers.
Next, encourage your dog to smell the boxes and as he (hopefully) pauses at the one with the prize, lift up the box and enthusiastically congratulate him on his discovery. Let him eat the treat, fetch the toy, or indulge in whatever prize your dog found. Soon, your dog will know what's expected during this game and be excited to sniff out the prize. Keep adding more boxes and space them at further intervals to increase the challenge as your dog's scent work improves.
2. Hide and go seek
If your dog knows that "find it" or a similar command means to go look for something hidden, then hide and go seek is a great indoor game to have fun with that command. To play, just show your dog what it is you're going to hide — like a favourite toy, or even a person! — and then put him somewhere he can't see you. Hide the item, then go get your dog and tell him to find it. Give him vocal clues if he needs help, like "gooooood" when she gets closer or "uh ooohhh" when he gets farther afield. Give hints if needed, by pointing or walking toward the hiding place, until your dog really has a grasp of what this game is all about. When he finds the hidden object, make a really big deal out of how brilliant he is. Make the praise worth all the effort he put into tracking down that object. Eventually, he'll catch on to what the game is about and get faster and faster about looking and finding.
My dog loves this game and has become an expert. I put him in the bathroom and close the door while I hide an object, stomping all around the apartment to throw him off the track of where I went. Because he often checks over each location where he has found a toy previously, I have to get creative about where I hide stuff. Sometimes a toy is hidden on a bookshelf well above his head, in a drawer, at the bottom of the laundry basket, or sometimes it is in plain sight on his bed. As your dog improves, be sure to challenge him by getting creative with where you hide the toy and keeping his brain and body engaged.
3. Under, over and through
Training your dog to perform new tricks like high-fives or lying down is great mental exercise. When my dog and I are stuck indoors, we work on things like perfecting his handstands, balancing on tiny or wobbly objects for a long time, going up and down step ladders and other tricks that will have him panting and laying down to rest after awhile. One of the things you can do with your dog to get started is training him to go under, over, and through objects.
Set up an item like a kitchen chair, a step stool, or some other sturdy object on legs. Next, teach your dog how to crawl under the object and stay there, crawl all the way through the object, walk around the object, and how to jump over it entirely. Clicker training is especially effective for this since your dog has to work out what you're asking of him, using your click-n-treats as a guide. Once he knows how to go over, under and through, you can ask him to do combinations before he earns his reward.
After the basics of learning how to go over, under and through are set, you can keep the game rolling. My favourite method for increasing the challenge and fun is letting my dog figure out what it is he should do with this object for himself, and he earns rewards (a click-n-treat) for creative behaviours. We call it "new trick" and we do it with all sorts of commands, but when the wooden stool is set up, he knows to use that as his prop. Each time he does a "new trick" like putting one paw on it, both paws, jumping on it, crawling under it, crawling under then backing out from under it and so on, he earns a reward — but is only rewarded for something new. If he repeats a trick, I say "you already did that" and he tries something else. It's a great way to keep the fun going!
4. Stairway dash
If you have a stairwell, make it a game to run up it and burn some serious energy. To get the most exercise from this game with the least risk to your dog's joints, start at the bottom of the stairs. Put your dog in a sit-stay and throw the toy up to the top landing. Make it more exciting by keeping your dog in a stay while creating a build up, such as saying "Reeeady…. ready….. GO!" and let your dog dash up the stairs as fast as he can to retrieve the toy. Let your dog come back down the stairs at his own pace, encouraging a slower return since it's the downhill climb that risks injury. After 10 or so repetitions of this, most dogs will be totally tuckered out.
NOTE: This is only for dogs who are more than 1 year old, or after their joints have finished developing. You can cause long-term injury playing this game with younger dogs as their joints aren't developed enough to take the impact.
5. Tag You're It
I play this game a lot with my dog as it encourages both running and practicing a lightning fast recall, since it makes coming when called a really fun game. You'll need a partner for this. Each of you gets a pocket full of treats. Start across the room from one another. One person calls the dog and rewards him with a treat, then the next person calls and rewards. Get farther back so that soon you're calling from different rooms, and then from all the way across the house or apartment. The more your dog runs around the house, the better! Since we're trying to maximise exercise and minimise food intake, once the game is going and your dog is excited, only treat every other or every third recall and use loads and loads of praise and excitement or a tug toy as a reward the rest of the time. You can increase the excitement your dog feels playing this game by calling to him and then starting to run away, so your recall is also a game of chase. This is a great game outside of the house too, so when the rain stops, keep it in mind for using it at the park or other places as well.
6. Teaching him to help you clean up
Clean-up time can be a lot of fun when your dog knows how to put things away! This game is easy — just scatter the toys all over the house and have your dog find each one and put it away in a basket to earn a reward. Start out by first training your dog to know what "put it away" means. Work on teaching your dog to pick up a toy, carry it to a basket or box, and drop it in the box. This alone will be a fun challenge for both of you if you're new to this trick. Then to play the game, scatter a bunch of toys in a small area, point to one and say "put it away" until all the toys are back in their basket. Increase the difficulty of the game as your dog gets better at it by scattering the toys farther around the room, scattering them throughout multiple rooms, or even hiding them!
7. Obstacle course
If you're going to do something, go all-in, right? Setting up an obstacle course for your dog and helping teach him how to navigate the obstacles is a lot of fun. A lot of work, sure, but you're stuck inside on a rainy day so why not! Here are some suggestions for what to use:
A sturdy milk crate, stool or other item to balance on
A kitchen chair to jump up on or run underneath
A box with two open ends that he can crawl through
A basket alongside a pile of toys he has to place in it
A pole on two stools or boxes that he can leap over
A hula hoop to jump through
A frisbee or ball to catch
Create a few obstacles and guide your dog through each, building up to go faster each time through. Make sure to reward your dog with lots of praise, tug games or other high-value rewards each time she gets through the obstacle course. Make it fun, rather than work. And you can make it as challenging as your dog needs. For example, you can work on having her pick up a toy and carry it with her as she crawls through an open-ended box or balances on a crate. Tailor the game to your dog's physical ability and the types of tricks she enjoys, and be sure to offer lots and lots of praise for her attempts at the obstacles. After all, this is all fun and games!
Don't let the fur fool you!
Dogs and cats can be somewhat insulated by their warm-feeling coats but in the face of frigid temperatures, pet owners need to take extra measures in protecting Fluffy and Fido.
Assessing how long to let pets stay outdoors should be based on numerous factors including the animal's breed, coat type, general health, and age.
Have you read the ingredient list on the store bought ones?... YIKES
Lip Smacking Chicken & Cheddar Dog Treats
1 & 1/3 cup wheat flour
1 cup shredded chedder cheese
1 /3 cup of low salt chicken broth
¼ cup of vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 180c.
Combine all ingredients in small bowl.
Mix until ingredients combined.
Add additional tablespoons of broth if dough is too dry.
Flour work surface.
Roll dough to 1/2″ thickness.
Cut into desired shapes.
Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (depending upon size).
You’ll want them firm but still a little chewy when you take them out of the oven.
Cool and store in airtight container.
Inspiration & Sources