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‘But they’re just a dog’

Some days can just be the absolute worst. Your boss shouted at you, you had a row with your partner and your car broke down. Things can often pile up and by days end it can all boil to the surface and you want the earth to swallow you whole. But then you get home and your dog attacks you with love and licks. They don’t know how your day’s been, they’re just happy you’re home. Then for a few moments you forget the day and a smile creeps in.

Later on in the evening you might start to feel a little upset and tears run down your face. It won’t be long before a furry face is licking away your tears and throwing themselves at you. Because that’s the beauty of dogs. They’re capable of empathy which is a beautiful and powerful emotion. They love deeply and feel sadness and grief deeply too. People talk about dogs having a sixth sense, that they can sense your emotions and they definitely do react when you’re ill or upset. They hate it and they often get upset too. They might drive you insane one day, but be the only thing that keep you sane the next. They have annoying traits, cute traits, funny traits and just generally their own way of living. The vast complexities of dog personalities is just amazing. They all have their own little unique quirks which make them special and the little habits that slowly mould with ours.

My Sprocker is strange, adorable and rather cunning times. Here’s a few examples of what he’s like.

He has mad half hours when he’s had a wet walk or being given food he really likes. He’ll run all over the house barely stopping for breath.

He’s fiercely loyal. I haven’t lived at home for 4 years now but he still patiently waits outside my door to come sleep beside me most nights.

Certain times of the year an invisible barrier will appear in the kitchen apparently. One week he’ll enter the kitchen no problem. The next? He’ll slowly edge forward then back away as if there’s something in his way. He’ll do this for a good few minutes before he scrambles his legs and dashes into the kitchen crossing the invisible border.

He’s a bit cheeky when it comes to coming back in from the garden. He will sometimes refuse to come back in when the person who let him out calls him back. But the moment someone else calls him in, he’s in like a shot. It’s not dependent on the person either, he does it to everyone equally.

When I come home after a few months away he often ignores me when I enter the house. Almost as if he’s mad at me for leaving him. It’s not long before he’s batting his paw at me when I stop cuddling him for more than 3 seconds. It can start to get quite annoying but it’s still always nice to have that unconditional love. It’s the little things like this when their routines and habits become so deeply embedded into our daily lives that makes being a dog owner a joy.

Which is what brings me to the terrible phrase in question ‘But they’re just a dog’ A phrase that dog lovers detest. A phrase which belittles the beauty and wonder of dogs. I get it, some people aren’t owners or dog lovers but it’s such a redundant thing to say. People usually say this when someone expresses their love for their dog. As a way of saying you shouldn’t care this much for something which isn’t human. There’s also that painful sting when someone uses it after your best friend has died. Dog’s aren’t forever, we only get them for a short time but when they are here, they leave such an everlasting impression. When they go they leave a gaping hole. After all, they’re always there. You hear them at night, they welcome you home they make you go outside. They are a massive part of your life. Then they go and the house just feels lifeless, quiet and incomplete. No-one launches themselves at you when you come through the door. No sounds at night or rustling on your bed and an empty basket where they used to lay. It gets to dinner and walk time and you find yourself going through the motions before you realise. It’s just quiet and a little less mad. It is absolutely heart breaking to lose a pet and it’s a type of grief that is too often dismissed by people. For you, they may just be a ‘dog’ one of billions who cares but for the owner they have just lost a member of their family.

Then comes the decision of what to do next because this always feels horrible and wrong whichever way you try and slice it. Do I get another dog? Because when you do that you always have that niggling feeling of guilt. As if you’re replacing them. That this newer dog will serve as a distraction and you’ll slowly forget your previous dog. Or do you end your dog days? It’s a perfectly normal feeling to have and it’s important to take your time to grieve and process the death of a pet. As depressing as it is you have to adapt to the new state of the house, it doesn’t mean you forget them. I lost my cocker spaniel 10 years ago and whenever I see other cocker spaniels I’m always reminded of him. His floppy ears bounding up and down the stairs barking and patrolling the house, the way he stuck to my mum like a shadow and his love of football. The memories feel like they might fade but they’ll always be up there and the love you gave them will never disappear.

So when someone says you to ‘but they’re just a dog’ make your passions heard. Proudly exclaim that ‘just a dog’ is such a bland perspective to have on life. Tell them about some of the times your dog’s made you laugh, smile and cry. The stories of them being crazy or funny to keep them alive. They’re members of the family and the amount of joy and fun they bring to life makes the phrase ‘just a dog’ seem laughable.

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Pancake Day with your dog!

Happy pancake day! It’s time to confess your love for them and then forget they exist for the rest of the year. Such is tradition. but can your dog also enjoy pancake day? Well yes but be mindful of what you’re giving them. Pancakes aren’t healthy so moderation is key so treat this as a one off (You probably won’t make them till next year anyway) and be careful of their allergies such as wheat allergies

Okay… So what can I give my dog?

Apple, Banana, Cucumber, dog biscuits- Perhaps not the first choices for pancake toppings but these are safe ones and healthiest ones too.

Do not give your dog these toppings:

Chocolate– This is sort of biblical for dog owners at this point. Chocolate is toxic to dogs and can be fatal. Do not feed them it. If they’ve had chocolate in the past and been fine they were lucky. Don’t risk their lives for chocolate.

Grapes and Raisins-  Again, toxic. Eating these can lead to kidney failure in your dog. Keep their paws off them.

Anything with Xylitol (Peanut butter)- No, don’t ask me how you pronounce it. Just know it’s very toxic for dogs. Chewing gum, toothpaste and mouth wash contain it but I highly doubt that’s a popular pancake topping. Peanut butter however does contain it so stay away from that.

Golden or maple syrup/ Sugar- No syrup?! But that’s a staple part of a pancake! Sorry. While not toxic, it’s very unhealthy to your dog due to it being mainly sugar. You should always avoid anything with high sugar content.

So why not get creative this pancake day? Flex that creative bone of yours shape it like a bone or a paw. Sprinkle a few of their favourite treats on it. Go for that triple pancake flip and just generally have fun. But always remember to keep their pancakes free of toxins and make sure not to over indulge them. 1 or 2 is fine but 3+ is when you should really stop. Fight the puppy eyes and stand your ground.

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Dog of the month- January 2020 Yogi!

Congratulations to Yogi for being named dog of the month.

Yogi is one of our longest standing clients being with us for over 8 years!

He’s a funny old dog and always likes to keep moving. He’ll let you know this too because if you stop walking he will bark at you. He’s also a homing missile for treats and will gravitate towards anyone with them pretending to be their best friend. Sneaky.

He’s a bit strange when it comes to playing too. We’ll throw a ball and he’ll get really excited but won’t fetch it. We think he just likes the concept of playing but not taking part.

We love you Yogi with your unique little traits.

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So what is this ‘Natural Instinct’ we keep going on about?

Natural instinct is perhaps the best and healthiest food for your dog or cat. Natural instinct’s mantra is to feed your pet just as nature intended. But what does that mean? Dogs and cats are carnivores and have that instinct within them to hunt. Living with us though, well they’re not exactly seasoned hunters anymore. Most of the hunting they do is hunting for cuddles but that’s completely fine.

Natural instinct is a way for them to receive the healthy goodness they did before domestication. Natural instinct is raw meat which provides your pooch or kitty with all the vital goodness to make them super animals. It boosts their energy, makes their coats shine and sparkle, freshens up their breath, healthier skin, bones and digestion, the ability to fly. Maybe not that last part but all the others yes.

That’s all well and good, but surely with all those benefits I will have to re- mortgage the house and cut out takeaway meals? Surprisingly no, no you don’t. Switching to a raw diet means an all in one meal. Kibble is not required therefore the price isn’t too big of a difference if at all!

Things to know

  • Raw food is taken on it’s own without the need for kibble
  • Shelf life is 3 days after defrosted.
  • 500g will last a medium sized dog 3-4 meals
  • 1kg is more suited for bigger dogs and lasts around 1-2 meals
  • Portion sizes differ depending on breed and size of dog
  • Price range from £2.85-£4.35 depending on choice of meat or £4-£5.95 for lamb.
  • It is a healthier diet for your pet.

But how much will my pet actually need? Dog comes in all shapes and sizes. Some can fit in the palm of your hand, others are 50 feet tall but luckily the natural instinct website has a handy calculator so you don’t need to ponder. Simply put in your dog’s weight and it will give an estimate of how much your dog will need per day. Follow the link below and scroll down to find it on the left side of the page.

If you’re considering starting your pet on a natural instinct swing by our shop today!

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A Christmas Busy B Poem

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Busy B,

Every dog was stirring with uncontrollable glee.

The leads were hung up with care

In hopes Dogmas would soon be there

The dogs would not settle into their beds,

With visions of treats swirling in their heads.

Charlie was bouncing, while Doug sat in Hollie’s lap,

And Suki, Boon, Freddie D and Richard let out a yap.

Wilbur, Lola and Bagel heard an unusual pitter patter,

They all erupted with barking to see what was the matter

Away to the door, Hannah bounded like dash,

She flung open the gate and saw a blinding flash.

She looked out at the impossible Portsmouth snow

To see Jaimie in the van, a sleigh in tow.

Her eyes adjusted to what appeared to be reindeer?

Until she saw little tails wagging from the rear!

Jaimie leapt from the van so lively and quick!

She’d dressed up the dogs was she taking the mick?

More rapid than greyhounds, Connie, Jasmine and Cath entered the frame

They whistled and shouted and called the reindogs by name:

Now Bears! Now Daisy!

Forward Max and Yogi!

Spaghetti and Rosie!

Go Donna P and Ted!

Make haste Bruce, Molly, Smith and Clarke!

To the top of Portsmouth! To the top of spinnaker!

Now Dash away!…… Dash Away!

But Dash did not stir

None of the dogs would stir and they definitely could not fly.

The walkers were in dismay; they should be in the sky!

They decided to regroup and figure this out as a crew

They needed to deliver all the gifts, this couldn’t be true.

Briony swooped in, ready to save the day

But they just would not fly, there was just no way.

And then, with a twinkling, Kamila jumped down from the roof

With a flick of her brush, the dogs transformed with a poof!

The dogs all sparkled, clean and anew,

Their fur darkened and from their heads antlers grew.

A rumbling emerged from inside, it seemed the others caught word

They had all become reindogs and wanted to join the herd!

Henry, Freddie and Nelly waddled in the back

The others stormed forward ready to join the pack.

Their tails wagged in circles, Tongues all out,

The girls jumped in the sleigh and let out a shout!

Quick! grab the leads! Or we will surely crash!

Panting and wagging, their legs began to thrash

Up, up and away! Oh what a sight!

By some bizzare miracle these dogs took flight!

The winter air filled with barks and howls

Lucky for us they had already evacuated their bowels.

They delivered the gifts for every girl and boy,

And ended their night snuggled with their favourite toy.

Thank you to all of our customers old and new,

And a huge Merry Christmas from all our crew.

We hope your dog’s spread some festive cheer

Because they’ve certainly made our entire year.

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Wintertime with your dog

Winter is well and truly here and we’re all feeling the cold and wet weather. Your dogs are probably feeling it too. While it can be tempting to hibernate with your dog on the sofa 24/7 in a vegetated state, they do still need stimulation. While we offer daytime walks, late evenings and night walks are up to you and can seem daunting in the wet and cold conditions. So make sure that both you and your dog are well equipped, dress up warm and brave the weather. Some breeds are more suited to the warm with a thick comfy coat like Labradors, German Shepard’s and of course Huskies (These Ice wolves are essentially built for this). Smaller dogs like Chihuahua’s and Short coated breeds such as Greyhounds, Whippets and Staffordshire Bull Terriers may struggle in the weather. It might be worth investing in a winter coat to help them combat the cold. If you want to really get in sync with your pet you could get matching jumpers and be the coolest pet owner combo around.

It also gets dark around 4pm now which isn’t fun at all and can make the outside world seem all that scarier. Make sure both you and your pooch are safe in these darker months and stick to well-lit areas and routes you know. Consider bringing a torch or dressing you or your dog up in reflective clothing so you’re more visible while close to roads. For exercising your dog outside with a ball for example, look into grabbing a flashing ball so it’s easier to keep track of your dog for re-call and the ball itself. If in the unlikely event we do have snow in Portsmouth very soon make sure you take care of your pooches paws. Remove any packed snow or ice balls that may be trapped In their paw pads. Is the snow or ice bad for your dog though? Because quite often they will try to lick or eat it. It is not poisonous to them but sharp ice and large pieces may be difficult for them to chew and cause dental issues.

But hey we get it, the weather’s dark and depressing and the mere thought of leaving your palace of comfort might upset you both. Maybe it’s too dangerous and we get an unusual amount of snow again. That’s okay just make sure that your dog gets some indoor exercise for days like these. Play fetch with them or tug of war or make up a little game with them get creative with it but make sure they are safe, happy and fulfilled indoors.

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Meet Jaimie

I have a long history of animal care with a family business in Basingstoke which I helped out with a lot before I went to university. Ive always had a passion for animals – growing up with cats, dogs, rabbits and guinea pigs and love to provide them with the attention and care they deserve (which is lots). At Busy B i do the daycare walks and group walks with many beautiful pups. I love being outside and spending time with animals. I also do cat visits and enjoy cuddling and playing with cute purring kitties.

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Meet Hannah

I’m Hannah and this is my lovely dog Meadow.

Growing up I just loved animals there was nothing else I wanted to work with. I started off volunteering for the RSPCA Stubbington Ark when I was 15. I carried on for 6 years. It was the best experience but also the sadest. It was so heart warming and also eye opening. I went to college and studied animal management for 3 years at Sparsholt College and passed with a distinction and this lead me to Busy B.

I’ve been working for Busy B for nearly 3 years now and my job well is just the best. Its does not feel like a job at all. The bonds I have with the dogs I walk and look after are just amazing. They are literally my babies. Even when it’s raining or snowing me and Meadow love being out and about having lots of fun with every body. They put a smile on my face and I just love every minute of every day and couldn’t think of a better job to be doing. X

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Doggy Toxins

We wouldn’t want your little furry friend to get unwell, so here’s a helping hand on what not to feed your dog or to leave lying around.

Once consumed your dog may experience vomit and diarrhea If matters get worse always book a trip to the vets as it maybe a bigger issue, especially if you dont know how much your companion has eaten.

So here’s a few examples of what not to feed your dog.

Although this might be a healthy snack for us humans, avocado shouldn’t be fed to your furry pal.

A lot of people would know not to give their dog alcohol but alcohol poisoning is more common than you think! We dont mean your dog will be going in to your fridge and grabbing a beer, it can be as simple as them getting a hold of unbaked doug for example the yeast can result in alcohol poisoning.

Caffeine can be found in anything like coffee, tea, energy drinks etc. Caffeine can actually cause death in dogs and cats. It effects all animals but dogs and cats seem to be the most reactive to it.

Chocolate seems to be the one everyone is aware about which is a good sign! The odd chocolate chip in a cookie wouldn’t be an issue. However dark chocolate is the bigger problem. Also if your dog consumes a load of chocolate then that also would be a worry.

Grapes, Raisins & currants:
All of these healthy lovely snacks for humans are very toxic to dogs! Consumption of these can result in to small kidney problems.

Mushrooms & Onions:
Both can cause diarrhea and sickness, weakness resulting in collapsing. Certain breeds are more sensitive but it effects all.

If you’re not sure if your dog can eat a certain food – google it! There’s plenty of helpful websites that can help you. You can always ask your local vet too!

BusyB x

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A few ways to cure your dogs boredom..

BusyB have collected a few ways to prevent your doggies from being bored at home, for example if you pop to the shop or head out for dinner. Here’s a few ways of keeping your pooch occupied..

1. Giving your dog a good walk before you go out always helps! (the right amount of exercise) Making your dog tired before going out is a great way of making your dog sleep through the time you are out and about.

2. Fun new toys! The old toys may be a fave of theirs but some old toys do get boring, do a clean out! Buying your dog a new toy to play with is a great idea. Not only is it fun to play with it’s great to chew on – a lot better than chewing your furniture i’d say!

3. A classic kong! – filling a kong with some tasty treats is another great way of keeping your dog occupied. Preferably treats that are good for the dog, you could try some chicken, cheese even peanut butter. Sticky foods like peanut butter seem to be a lot better because it takes the dog a lot longer to retrieve the goods.

4. Make meal time fun… you could purchase a slow feeder bowl, this is almost like a maze of food! it takes them a lot longer to eat their dinner which is always good, keeping a dogs mind busy is the cure for boredom. Keeping their brain busy is a must but keeping it busy with food.. bonus! they’d love it.

5. Do any of your family or friends own one of their best pals? why not bring them over? Dogs loooove to socialise so a play date would be perfect, playtime is great for their socialisation but also great to get them tired and ready for a snooze.

So yes, dogs do get bored just like us. You wouldn’t want to be sitting around doing absolutely nothing all day, would you? I know i certainly wouldn’t. So here’s just a few tips on how to help that.