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What is a Snuffle Mat?

Snuffle MatsWhat is a Snuffle Mat?

  • A Snuffle Mat is a mental enrichment puzzle for your dog.
  • Snuffling or foraging is a normal instinct that all dogs have. Your dog (or cat) will have to use their nose to ‘sniff out’ where you have left the food.
  • Mental exercise is equally important for you dog as physical exercise.

How do they work?

  • Snuffle mats work best if you give them a good shake before use, allowing the fleece to stand up on end.
  • You simply sprinkle your dog’s dry food or dry treats over the mat.
  • Wave your hand over the top to allow the treats to sink into the fleece. And then let your dog snuffle!

Shake Snuffle Mats allowing the fleece to stand up on endWhy is it good for my dog?

  • It is a fantastic way to provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom and destructive behaviours.
  • Sniffing is also a calming action for dogs. This can be a great tool to help provide a calm and positive environment for excitable dogs.
  • It is also an effective way of slowing down fast eaters, which is much healthier for your dog!
  • They are great for dogs on restricted physical exercise due to illness, injury or age.
  • Also, they are very handy on those rainy days, when play is restricted to inside.

Why choose a PittaPatta Snuffle Mat?

  • Each of our mats are handmade and fully customizable.
  • They are made with high quality rubber mats and top-grade fleece.
  • Each piece of fleece is cut to the perfect length and hand tied with a double knot to maximise the perfect snuffling environment which is safe for your dog.
  • Mats cannot be machined washed. Best method is to hand wash fleece, rinsing well and leave out to dry.
  • As always, your dog should be supervised when using any enrichment toy. Do not allow your dog to chew the fleece or mat. 

​Get your Snuffle Mat Today!

Snuffle MatsSnuffle Mats

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Top Tips for Dog Safety during Halloween

Read entire post: Top Tips for Dog Safety during Halloween

1. Trick-or-Treat candies are NOT for dogs!

Chocolate can be highly dangerous and potentially fatal to dogs. Even a little piece can do damage. Chocolate poisoning can cause vomiting and diarrhea, increased thirst, panting or restlessness, excessive urination, a racing heart rate, muscle spasms (tremors), and occasionally seizures.No Chocolate

Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, is also a common ingredient in lollies. Even small amounts can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, leading to a loss of co-ordination and even seizures.

Best to avoid all human food for your dog during this celebration.

Try having a bowl set aside of dog appropriate treats!

If you suspect your dog may have ingested something poisonous please contact your closest vet immediately. Better to be safe than sorry!

2. Keep your dogs’ away from the front door area!

With the increased traffic to your front door with Trick-or-treaters, it is important to keep your dog safe. The last thing you want is for your dog to run out the door and get lost, or worse! It will also ensure the safety of the young children that will be coming to your door. If you do wish to have a well-controlled dog greet people at the door, please ensure you always use a lead and be aware that people will be dressed in unusual costumes and be shouting for candy which can appear to be threatening to our furry friends. Use your best judgement and ensure everyone’s safety!

3. Keep Halloween pumpkin and corn away from your dog!

Even though these items are relatively non-toxic to dogs, in large amounts they can cause gastrointestinal upset when consumed in large quantities. And speaking of pumpkins…Keep all pets away from lit pumpkins

4. Keep all pets away from lit pumpkins and candles!

The last thing you want is for your dog to get too close and burn themselves, or knock over a candle that might start a fire. Best to keep them well away. Same applies to an extra lighting or decorations. Chewing of wires etc. can lead to unwanted accidents and bowel blockages.

5. Try your pets with their costumes prior to Halloween!

If you wish to have your pets dressed up for the occasion, please make sure you maintain your pets’ comfort. If they are not used to wearing clothing, prepare them by putting the costume on a couple of times prior to Halloween so they can get used to the idea. Keep an eye on your pets for excessive panting or other signs of stress, which may indicate it is time to take the costume off. If your dog won’t tolerate a costume, consider a bandana or bow-tie which feels more like a collar to your dog!

6. Finally, label your pets and go have fun!

It is important to make sure your pet is wearing a collar with a suitable ID tag in case the unthinkable happens and you are separated from your pet. It is also a good time to make sure your council registration and microchip details are up to date and working!

Skeleton CostumeLittle Devil CostumeSuper Girl Costume

With all of these tips in mind, the PittaPatta Crew wish you and your furry friends a very Happy Halloween! We can’t wait to see some of the pictures of our happy customers in their new costumes and bandanas!

If you wish to shop for costumes, please follow the link below!

http://www.pittapattaboutique.com.au/Dog-Clothing/Dog-Costume

http://www.pittapattaboutique.com.au/Dog-Clothing/Dog-Bandanas

http://www.pittapattaboutique.com.au/Dog-Clothing/Accessories

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Pamper Your Pooch with PittaPatta

Read entire post: Pamper Your Pooch with PittaPatta

There are different reasons for dressing your dog up. The number one reason in the colder months will be for practical reasons; a thin coat or maturity can mean your pup feels the cold as keenly as you do. Know that horrible feeling of bare feet on an icy cold floor, your dog’s paws are not immune.  Dog socks protect his paws in certain terrain, on difficult surfaces, or provide support for dogs with dysplasia or arthritis. A good water-proof coat means you don’t have to sacrifice your favourite morning walks.

But there could also be no practical reason at all for playing dress ups – it can simply be a fun bonding experience for you both!

Dress-up Costumes for Dogs

If your dog is happy to wear a costume and be the centre of attention, then you are going to love the range of outfits that are now available at PittaPatta. Even if you are not convinced that a costume is the right thing for your pooch, it’s worth checking out what’s available from our boutique. Who can fail to smile at the sight of a dog dressed up as a bumble bee with bright yellow and black stripes, wings and antennae to boot? 

Outfits for All Occasions

Choose a skeleton or zombie costume for Halloween frights, or how about a cute superhero, butterfly, or frog? Perhaps you would prefer the simple, sophisticated addition of a doggy bow-tie for a special occasion or dinner. It’s a sure fire way to impress your date. Bandanas are also available with your choice of cute picture or slogan to keep them looking hip. A fun accessory is a great way to show your pet you care. That’s why we were thrilled to be included in Bupa Pet Insurance’s recent article featuring fabulous boutiques and fashion for your pet, 'Pet Fashion: How to Pamper Dogs and Cats in Style'. 

Practical Accessories for Dogs 

Dog owners that are looking for something a little more special than a traditional collar can instead opt for a harness when they walk their dog or take them out in the car. Harnesses of all shapes and sizes are available from PittaPatta Dog Boutique, as well as leads, dog toys, feeding bowls, dog treats, and much more. If you are planning on taking your dog out on a boat, consider a high-visibility life jacket to keep him safe in the water. 

Pet clothes can be chosen to pamper and spoil, or for functional purposes – either way, the result is the same, a stylish and happy pet!

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Rogz - New Colours

Read entire post: Rogz - New Colours

Rogz! The worlds coolest pet gear and most enjoyed pet brand on planet earth and beyond. Now have available in Australia wonderful new colours in the Fancy Dress range.

The Pink Paws range is a fabulously bright pink paw design, it comes with a matching CollarLead & Harness

The Black Bones range is very stylish design and comes with a matching Collar, Lead & Rogz Black Bones H-Harness.  The Red Bones range will be hitting the PittaPatta Boutique store in the very near future.

Pink_PawsStylish_Black_Bones

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Kyjen Toy lovers - Big changes in the wind!

Read entire post: Kyjen Toy lovers - Big changes in the wind!

Kylie and I visited the warehouse yesterday to check out what's new and to pick up more Kyjen and Hunter products.

The news for everyone is there are big changes happening with Kyjen dog toys, they are changing their branding to Outward Hound.

What does that mean for us? All Kyjen branded toys will be phased out and be replaced with Outward Hound. Some toys will get a new look and there will be some games which will be discontinued :-(

The upside, there will be wonderful new toys coming in the future. You can check out the new Outward Hound Website to see what is coming in the future to Australia.

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Food aggression and Resource Guarding - What you can do!

Read entire post: Food aggression and Resource Guarding - What you can do!

Food aggression is a form of resource guarding in which a dog becomes very defensive when eating and will use threats to force others away. It can be directed towards other animals, humans, or both. The behaviour can also extend to treats and for food that isn’t even intended for the dog.

Food aggression can become very dangerous for all members of the household. My foster dog Shiloh came with terrible food aggression and used to attack my other dog and my partner if food was being prepared and he thought he would miss out. Below are some suggestions to try to improve the behaviours in your own dog.

Signs of food related aggression

In order to treat this problem, you first need to know what you are looking for. Typically a dog who is food aggressive will show very obvious body postures and behaviours that will alert you to the problem in or around food. Your dog’s body will stiffen, especially around the head and shoulders. The pupils will dilate and you may be able to see more of the white in the dog’s eyes. Piloerection (or visible heckles) may occur as the threat becomes larger. The ears will tuck back and depending on the breed, the tail will stiffen and fall to a down or tucked position.

You may also get verbal cues from your dog. These include snaring, growling, snapping or biting. It is important to understand your dog’s cues and learn to stay away when unsafe. Having said that, there are things you can do to lower the risk for you and your dog.

Suggested Treatment Ideas

Avoidance

By avoiding situations where your dog gets so stressed it feels it needs to react in an aggressive manor, you avoid all of the unwanted behaviour coming to the surface. This is by far the best thing you can do for your food aggressive dog. This may be something that you will have to do for several weeks in a dog showing mild behaviours, or for a lifetime for a dog that has severe food aggression, like Shiloh. But remember whatever you decide to implement, you must remain fair and consistent.

You can achieve this by:

1. Keep things tidy – by this I mean reduce the amount of opportunity your dog has to react. Pick bowls, kongs etc. Immediately after your dog has finished eating. This removes their chance of coming back and becoming possessive over the object.

2. Feed your dog in a low traffic area. By choosing an area in the house or yard that is quiet and protected from other dogs and people, it will allow your dog to become calm and feel unthreatened at dinner time. This is particularly useful for those households that have young children or are multiple dog households. This way everyone who is venerable is kept a safe distance away from the reactive dog.

3. Do not allow free-feeding options to your dog. By this I mean do not leave food (kibble) out all of the time for them. Also long lasting treats such a rawhide should not be given. If your dog needs long stimulation, offer things other than food such as plastic chew toys specifically designed for chewing. Also providing other stimulation through “play” will keep your dog entertained, without including food.

4. Teach your dog the “Say Please” approach. By getting your dog to sit or drop for their food you are teaching the dog that you are the pack leader and provider, and should therefore be respected. If there is guarding against a particular member of the family this is a good way to teach the dog all people should be respected. It may not help directly with food aggression but it is a good start!

5. Teach your dog “Drop it” or “Leave it” commands. Always teach your dog new commands in a safe and fun manner. First try this command with one of their toys, or an object they see less valuable than food. Once they have mastered this, progress to trying it with treats and then eventually their meal. Remember consistency and positive rewards are the key here!

6. The very last thing you can try, although not recommended as an ongoing solution is the “Trade” cue. Ultimately you bribe your dog with something more valuable than its food to move the dog away from this present situation. This is only a temporary measure that is useful so the human can pick up the food without escalating the situation.

Desensitization and Counterconditioning

For many dogs, desensitization and counterconditioning is not necessary; avoidance is a superior long-term treatment option. Some risk is involved with desensitization and counterconditioning. A slip-up could result in aggression and injury to the owners. It is best not to attempt this treatment until avoidance strategies have been implemented successfully and at least a month has passed without confrontations over food items.

To look into desensitization please follow the links below:

http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/how-i-treat-food-related-aggression-dogs?id=&sk=&date=&%0A%09%09%09&pageID=3

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/desensitization-and-counterconditioning

http://www.training-your-dog-and-you.com/Desensitizing_and_counter-conditioning.html

Picture courtesy of www.petiquettedog.com

I hope you have found this helpful. I would love to hear peoples’ experiences with their own dogs and the techniques that worked for you! Please comment below.

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The PittaPatta Family

PittaPatta Dog Boutique was established in March, 2015 by Carolyn and Kylie. Along with their partners Rory and Steve, and their furry family members, PittaPatta hopes to enrich the lives of dogs and their owners world

The PittaPatta Family

Rory & Carolyn

Sasha’s mum Carolyn decided to open the PittaPatta business after a long battle with an RSI injury that had prevented her from work. Together with her husband Rory their dream is to build this business to fund their trip around Australia in 2017.

Sasha

Sasha was at 8 months old off a family that could no longer look after her. We were told that she is a Bichon Frise x ? Turns out we think she is more Corgi x Bichon Frise as she has beautiful thick, long hair on her tail like the Corgi along with a long body and cute little front feet that turn outwards. Sasha’s favourite things to do include sleeping in, playing with her Kyjen squeaker mats and going for a swim in the estuary.

Molly

Molly came into our family as a wee little pup at 6 weeks old! Molly is a Silky Terrier x Chihuahua. She has proven to be a very smart cookie, mostly being a therapy dog for her mum Kylie and now in agility. Her favourites include playing fetch with her miniature ball, kissing her human friends and learning new tricks and obstacles at agility. She gets most upset every time mum wraps up a squeaky toy to post as an order!

Shiloh

Shilo is out 13 year old rescue Beagle. Shiloh’s previous family left him and another aggressive dog tied to a patio pole when they moved house. They never came back for the dogs! Turns out for Shiloh this was a blessing in disguise! He has endured many surgeries and illnesses to bring him up to good health so that he can now enjoy his retirement. His favourite things to do include going down to the local park to socialise with everyone and to have a good rub on the grass.

Buddy

Buddy was rescued from a family at age 6 and came into the home as a foster dog. Luckily for Buddy we just fell in love and he never left! Buddy is a Beagle and definitely has all the traits of a beagle! He can be a bit naughty, always hunting for food and escaping out of the front door, but we love him anyway! His favourite things to do are having an afternoon snooze, running at the park and eating dinner from his Kyjen Slo-Bowl.

Kylie

Molly’s mum Kylie has gone into partnership with Carolyn to run PittaPatta Boutique. Kylie has also had a long battle with illness, prompting her to find an income via work from home. Her dream is to bring happiness to as many dogs as she can. She does a lot of work with rescues, including pet photography to help rescue dogs find the very best of homes.

Kylie's partner Steve is with her all the way! Together they run the product and distribution side of the business and hope to one day open their own pet cafe and shop!

At PittaPatta Boutique we strive to provide dogs and their owners the very best in products, advice and service.

If there is anything we can help you with please drop us a line at sales@pittapattaboutique.com.au

We are happy to discuss special orders and try to source special request products whenever we can.

 

We welcome you to the PittaPatta Family!

 

The PittaPatta Family

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