Three ways to help your pet this allergy season

During the summer season, it’s not just us humans who have to deal with allergy issues. Our pets are just as much affected, often suffering from skin problems as a result of increased pollen in the atmosphere.

NAF, with their over thirty years experience in equine and pet care, have been giving us their top tips on how to spot the signs, treat, and help prevent issues arising from pollen allergies in our cats and dogs.

Signs of Pollen Allergies in Cats and Dogs

Amongst others, the most common signs of pollen allergy in pets include:

  • Scratching and shaking ears
  • Itching, biting and rubbing at areas of irritated skin
  • Licking, nibbling or biting at the paws
  • Patches of fur loss or general coat thinning
  • Grooming frequently and excessively
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Skin rashes and red, sore or broken skin
  • Scabs and crusts on the skin surface
  • Coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, runny eyes or nose
  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Lethargy or restlessness

Three Ways to Manage Pollen Allergies in Pets

  1. Treat
    When your pet is really suffering, oral and topical medicines can help. Following a good regime of parasite treatment throughout the year is also important.
  2. Avoid
    Help prevent allergy symptoms occurring in the first place by removing pollens from the home, preventing them from entering the house, and avoid pollen when outside. See NAF’s advice by clicking on the button link below on how to achieve this.
  3. Nutrition
    The right supportive nutrition can help your pet cope with allergy season. These can come in the form of a specialist skin diet or skin supplements added to a normal diet. Key ingredients to look out for include Omega 3 & 6, herbal extracts such as artichoke, natural antioxidants such as Vitamin E,  and building blocks such as Zinc, Vitamins A, B & D, Biotin and MSM. You can find out more about these in NAF’s helpful advice sheet below.

Help your pets out with NAF’s new range of Summer skin care

And for horses who suffer:

What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival 2019

What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival

Outfit Ideas for the Cheltenham Festival

How to dress the part for Cheltenham races with men's and ladies' outfits for big and small budgets!

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the more relaxed occasions in the racing calendar, partly due to the season’s unpredictable weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress to impress. There is no official dress code so many racegoers dress smartly but tend to keep the weather in mind! Think smart country tweeds with splashes of colour, warm hats, and stylish yet practical footwear.

Read our full Cheltenham Festival Dressing Guide HERE

And with Cheltenham 2019 just a few weeks away, we’ve put together some on-trend outfit suggestions for a superb, stylish day at the races.

Outfit 1: Blues & Tweed

Blue hues are very much a part of our first outfit for Cheltenham 2019. Paired with a subtle tweed, they make a statement without going over the top.

Classic country outfitters Dubarry and Barbour feature here alongside slightly newer but no less in-demand brands such as Helen MooreAnnabel Brocks and Hicks & Brown for some suitably stylish accessories. A tall boot such as Ariat’s slim-fitting waterproof Alora will be sure to see you through the day in both comfort and style.

What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival

Outfit 2: Deep Reds

Be the queen of style with on-trend oxblood colourings. This gorgeous deep colour has definitely been a favourite this season finding it’s way into footwear and accessories such as the Fairfax & Favor collection and into tweeds such as this elegant Musto Fairford jacket. Pair with a few paler items and you’ll be on to a winner.

What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival 2019

Outfit 3: What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival on a Budget!

We can’t splash out all the time, so if you’re looking for a wardrobe update without spending the earth look no further. We love these Tilley & Grace reversible wraps. They’re super soft and cosy so perfect for an early spring day and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. We’ve paired them with our brand new Wadswick Paris skirt and v-neck jumper for a smart classic country look and finished off the outfit with an on-trend fedora.

What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival on a Budget

Outfit 4: Men's Cheltenham Festival Outfit

What should men wear to the Cheltenham Festival? Well, you can’t go wrong with bringing out a bit of classic tweed at the races. Choose from traditional greens or go for a more modern look with blues and greys such as this tailored jacket from Magee. Top tip: Tweed is slightly warmer than your average material so great for keeping the March chill at bay! Keep it stylish by pairing with tailored shirts and trousers.

Waterproof waxed, quilted or tweed jackets will all keep you warm and dry while still looking the part.

Smart accessories and footwear will finish off any outfit in style. Take a peek at the Wingfield Digby range to find a suitable silk tie or pair of cufflinks and the ever-stylish Fairfax & Favor collection for a range of great footwear such as our chosen Bedingfeld shoe in the outfit below. If the weather isn’t looking great, try a smart boot such as the Fairfax & Favor Chelsea to see you through the day in both comfort and style.

Don’t be afraid to let individuality shine at the races even if it’s just in the accessories.

Men's Outfit for Cheltenham Races

Inspired? Shop our full men’s and ladies’ collections.

You can also check out our five top #WadswickPicks for Cheltenham 2020 on our homepage

We have plenty more options on offer in our bricks and mortar store so do pay us a visit!

How to Attract Wild Birds to Your Garden

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Attracting wild birds to your garden can be an extremely rewarding process as you sit back and watch the nimble creatures flit around between the trees and bushes. The good news is that attracting them is an easy task no matter where you live and at all times of the year. You’ll also be helping wildlife conservation by protecting species that have been on the decline in recent years.

Our gardens are fast becoming one of the most attractive habitats for wild birds as woodland, hedgerows and suitable farmland disappears. Any garden will attract a number of birds but with a few easy additions, your outside space can become a haven!
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Scroll through our slideshow and you will soon be attracting the likes of sparrows, chaffinches and starlings
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How to attract wild birds to your garden - RSPB Bird Watch - Wadswick Country Store
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The RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch

Each year at the end of January the RSPB launches the Big Garden Bird Watch. Over the course of three days, you can take part by counting the number of birds you spot in your garden. It’s an initiative that monitors trends and helps wildlife conservationists understand and improve life for wild birds. You can take part in 2019 between 26–28th January.
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Giving the environment a helping hand…

Did you know that in-store at Wadswick we sell bird feed in recycled four-pint milk cartons?

We have a number of cartons that we have recycled on the shelves ready to pick up but customers can also bring in their own used cartons and we will fill them with all the lovely feed birds will enjoy.

How to attract wild birds to your card - RSPB Bird Watch - Wadswick Country Store
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A few products to get you started…

We sell a larger range in-store so if you can’t find what you are looking for, do give us a call on 01225 810700.
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Winter Feeding Tips for Horses

Winter feeding tips for Horses from Wadswick Country Store

Feeding horses during winter can be a tricky business! To help ensure they are getting all their nutritional needs, try these top tips from our in-house nutritional advisor Nikki McGee.

Stabled Horses

The winter months can increase the time horses spend in the stable. To help encourage foraging behaviours and reduce the risk of stable vices such as wind sucking and weaving, try providing some additional fibre sources.

As well as hay and haylage, provide some alternatives such as chaff, soaked beet pulp and high fibre cubes. Spread these around the stable in separate buckets to encourage more natural foraging.

Water

Horses tend to drink less water during cold weather (don’t we all!) but the equestrian digestive system requires a lot of water to help it work. Dehydration can lead to impaction colic. To help them along their way to getting the right hydration, try these top tips.

  • Ensure all water sources are clean and unfrozen
  • Water consumption will increase if warm water is provided (around 50°c)
  • Add table salt to feed to increase thirst response
  • Both stabled and grazing horses should have access to salt blocks
  • Add water to your feed and try feeding soaked beet pulp or soaked fibre cubes

Forage

Forage should form the foundation of horses’ daily requirements. During the winter months when the grass stops growing, diets should be supplemented with good quality hay or haylage. Fibre ferments in the hind gut providing warmth for the horse.

  • Work on a guideline of 1.5% to 2% of body weight (7–10kg for a 500kg horse) depending on metabolism/workload.
  • When horses are grazing in herds, it is a good idea to spread hay piles out, twice as many as the number of horses, to ensure that they all get their fair share and to prevent “fighting”.
  • “Woolly” coats can disguise thin horses, as can rugs so check regularly!
  • Don’t assume that horses are full if hay is left regularly. Make sure that the hay is not full of weeds or mouldy.

Hard Feed

The formula for winter is the same. Feed little and often and no more than 2kg hard feed per meal (1.5kg for a pony). Hay and winter grazing will not provide the same amount of nutrients as spring/summer grass.

Keep in mind to:

  • Feed according to workload and body condition.
  • Consider a feed balancer for good doers.
  • Consider feeding concentrate feeds high in fibre and oil to provide slow release energy, which will help to hold condition and to not accentuate excitable behaviour.

Nikki McGee is the in-house horse feed nutritional adviser at Wadswick Country Store. If you would like to discuss any of Nikki’s tips further, please call her via the shop on 01225 810700 or use our website contact form here.

Nikki can offer feed consultations and advice in-store or over the phone, or if you have more than 5 horses she can arrange a yard visit with you.

Practical Tips to Aid Colic Prevention

Tips to help prevent colic

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The word “Colic” brings fear to every horse owner and it can occur in even the best-managed horses. Here are some practical tips to help prevent colic in horses from Wadswick’s in-house nutritional advisor Nikki McGee.
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What is Colic?

Colic is abdominal pain in horses. It can indicate problems with the gut or other organs in the abdomen and can range from mild indigestion to severe problems such as a twisted gut.

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How to spot the signs of colic?

There are various signs of colic but the most prevalent include:

  • Rolling
  • Restlessness
  • Pawing at the ground
  • Kicking at stomach
  • Stretching as if trying to urinate
  • Lying down for long periods of time
  • Failing to pass droppings for more than 24hrs

It is always worth looking out for any general changes in behaviour which may indicate illness.

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Why would my horse get colic?

Many factors can be linked to colic. For example, a change of routine, feed, stress, lack of exercise in stabled horses, travelling, pregnancy and gastric ulcers. Of all of these, feeding changes seem to be the most significant. This is probably due to the sensitivity of the horse’s digestive tract.

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So, how can you help to prevent colic?

  1. Establish a routine and stick to it, avoiding sudden changes: Feeding / Stabling / Exercise / Turnout.
  2. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Keep water troughs clean and free from algae.
  3. Feed a high-quality diet consisting mainly of fibre, split into several hay nets to encourage foraging.
  4. Avoid excessive hard feed. Divide into >2 feeds daily.
  5. Feed a plain chaff 30 minutes before exercise – 1 round bowl stubbs scoop.
  6. Follow an appropriate parasite control program (regular faecal worm eggs counts and worming when appropriate).
  7. Exercise and/or turn out daily. The risk of colic increases with time spent in the stable.
  8. Travelling is stressful so make sure you water regularly and provide plenty of forage.

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Nikki McGee is the in-house horse feed adviser at Wadswick. If you would like to discuss any of Nikki’s tips further, please call her via the shop on 01225 810700.

Nikki can offer feed consultations and advice in-store or over the phone, or if you have more than 5 horses she can arrange a yard visit with you.
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Bonfire Night – Top Tips to Keep Your Horse and Animals Safe!

Top Tips for Looking After Horses and Animals on Bonfire Night and During Fireworks

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Top Tips to Keep Your Horse and Animals Safe on Bonfire Night

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Loud, sudden bangs from fireworks can cause significant distress in some animals and with Bonfire Night just around the corner, it’s worth bearing in mind some best practices for helping to keep your horses and pets calm and safe.
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Advice for Horses

  • Keep horses in a familiar environment as any sudden changes to routine could cause added stress.
  • If kept in a stable, check for anything that could cause injury and ensure items such as haynets are secure.
  • If in a field, check fencing is secure and there are no foreign objects around.
  • Distract them by giving plenty of hay. If stabled, put on a radio to mask the noise (but make sure it’s positioned out of reach!).
  • Do some research to see when local events are taking place and let neighbours know that you have horses so you can be prepared.

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Advice for Cats & Dogs

  • Close windows and curtains to muffle sound and put on some music or the tv.
  • Create hiding places or a quiet space in your home where your pet can feel secure and in control.
  • Keep cats inside and walk dogs during daylight hours to avoid likely times when fireworks could be set off.

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Advice for Small Animals

  • Partly cover outside cages and pens with blankets so the area is soundproofed. Leave at least a small area for the animals to look out of.
  • Provide enough bedding for them to burrow in.

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Bonfires

  • Don’t forget to check bonfires for any animals and disturb them before lighting to allow any animals to escape. Hedgehogs, in particular, like to nest at the bottom.
  • Position bonfires well away from any wooden structures such as stables and always have a fire extinguisher handy!

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CALMERS

Calmers are a useful way to help reduce stress in animals on occasions such as Bonfire Night. We stock a good selection of them in-store and on our website. Take a look on the link below.
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We’ve compiled this advice from the likes of the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare and British Horse Society. Follow the links to their respective pages if you would like to find out more.

Nettex has also produced this useful article on the best ways to keep your horse safe, which is definitely worth a read!


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What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival

What to Wear to the Races - What to Wear to Cheltenham Festival

Cheltenham Festival is a highlight of the National Hunt season but let’s face it, the festival isn’t just about the races. If you’re wondering what to wear, we’ve put together a quick guide to stylish and appropriate Cheltenham Festival dressing with a few outfit ideas for inspiration.

The official Cheltenham Festival Dress Code

In short, there isn’t one but the Jockey Club suggests “comfort and class or dress to impress!” They also advise dressing accordingly with regard to the weather: “At the festival, many ladies wear hats but with the weather rather than high fashion in mind. Gentlemen usually wear suits or similar in the enclosure, restaurant and hospitality facilities.”

Dress for the weather!

Cheltenham Festival is the first big racing festival of the spring and it is wise to remember that March weather is rather unpredictable. When putting together an outfit, it’s best to consider that you might be walking through a few mud patches or stuck out in the rain so practical choices are key. You won’t have fun if you’re wet and shivering!

Practical Footwear

Cheltenham Festival isn’t really the place for glamorous high heels so a smart boot is a great option. Our picks include the super stylish Fairfax & Favor range – we’ve gone for the Amira in our outfits but you could also choose either the flat or heeled Regina which will give you elegance without sacrificing comfort. The classic Dubarry is also a good choice as it’s smart, comfortable and perfect for wet weather.

Smart Tailored Top Layers

It’s a rare day at Cheltenham when one can take off their coat and bask in glorious warm sunshine so if you’re going to pick just one key item of clothing, make it a smart top layer. Tailored silhouettes are a strong look and perfect for a day at the races. Tweed is a classic choice and it’s one that isn’t going out of style amongst the country set anytime soon.

Hats

A great hat will really finish off your Cheltenham outfit. You could go all out with a dramatic hat or fascinator and really grab your fellow racegoers attention but as the semi-official Cheltenham dress code states hats are generally worn with the weather in mind. Our top picks include on-trend Fedoras such as the Hicks & Brown Suffolk range, which comes in an array of stylish colours, or the Barbour Tack Fedora in grey or olive. You could also go down the equally on-trend faux fur route and choose a Helen Moore Faux Fur Pill Box Hat or Pom Pom Beret.

Accessorise

With practicality being key to Cheltenham Festival dressing, you can really make your outfit sing with a few well-chosen accessories. A feather brooch from the likes of Hicks & Brown will add some colour as will a patterned scarf. Faux fur is most definitely in style and will add some country chic to your look as well as keeping you warm.

Inspiration

Outfit 1

Cheltenham Festival Outfit - What to wear to Cheltenham Festival - Ladieswear - what to wear to the races

We love the blue hues in this first Cheltenham Festival outfit. The boots match perfectly with Fairfax & Favor’s gorgeous Foxley clutch and they are a smart complement to the Pinta herringbone tweed and velvet jacket, creating an on-trend, stylish look for a day at the races.

Outfit includes:
Fairfax & Favor Foxley Clutch
Pinta Herringbone Tweed and Velvet Jacket
Helen Moore Pom Pom Keyring
Dubarry Marjoram Navy Skirt

This particular jumper is now out of stock but you could try the Dubarry Boylan Cable Knit instead.
These Joules boots are also out of stock but Fairfax & Favor’s navy Chelsea boots are a great alternative.

Outfit 2

Cheltenham Festival Outfit - What to wear to Cheltenham Festival - Hicks and Brown, Pinta, Fairfax & Favor, Joules

Classic country colours are a winner when it comes to Cheltenham Festival dressing. This Hicks & Brown camel Fedora paired with Fairfax & Favor tan Amira boots is one of our favourite looks this season. Throw in some faux fur courtesy of this Pinta cape and you’ll be the victor in the fashion stakes.

Don’t forget, you can switch up feather and tassel accessories to add a little colour.

Outfit includes:
Hicks & Brown Camel Fedora
Fairfax & Favor Amira Boots
Pinta Edinburgh Check Cape, or why not try the Dubarry Hazelwood Tweed Poncho or the Holland Cooper Chiltern Zip Collar Tweed Cape
Africa Bovine/Springbok Clutch
Joules Monroe Skinny Jeans or try Barbour’s Essential Slim Jean

Outfit 3

Cheltenham Festival - What to wear to Cheltenham Festival - Wadswick Country Store - Dubarry, Schoffel, Musto, Bhoid, Covey Scarf, Barbour tote bag, Hicks and Brown

Outfits that are both practical and stylish are all the rage at Cheltenham. The Dubarry Galway boots and tailored Schoffel tweed jacket have country style in spades and they’ll keep you warm and dry to boot. Make the most of wearing stylish layers and team outerwear with accessories like this luxurious patterned silk scarf from Bhoid and a feather brooch from Hicks & Brown and you’ll be set.

Outfit includes:
Dubarry Galway boots
Schoffel Lilymere Tweed Jacket
Bhoid The Covey Silk Scarf
Hicks & Brown Feather Brooch/Hat Pin
Barbour Preston Leather Dark Brown Tote Bag. This is no longer available online but take a look at our other handbags.
Musto Country Shirt, now with new designs.
This purse has been discontinued but take a look at the Dubarry Dunbrody Leather Purse instead.

Want more?
We’ve put together more outfit suggestions especially for the 2019 season as well as men’s outfit ideas, and inspiration for Cheltenham Festival dressing on a budget HERE.

Start Shooting: Buying Your First Gun

Gun Room at Wadswick Country Store - Top tips for buying your first gun

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Wadswick’s top tips for first time buyers
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So, you’ve been introduced to shooting and are looking to buy your first gun. Here’s our advice for all the first time gun buyers out there.

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After your introduction to shooting, you might be thinking, right, I want to take up shooting as a new hobby or sport. Here follows the shotgun certificate application and the endless trawling of websites and forums as to what should be your first gun and how much you should spend.

Buying a first gun doesn’t always mean go for the cheapest and see how you get on with it. Personally, if I was taking up a new hobby I would want to buy the most sensible option and not the cheapest.
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For a first gun under £1,000, for me, this would have to be a tried and tested Lincoln Premier Gold, Webley & Scott or ATA as a new gun option.

These makes all offer excellent value for money. They come in all the usual gauges but if you are new to the sport then stick with 12g or 20g. They have most barrel lengths available but again I would stick to 28″ or 30″. The longer the barrel, the slower the gun moves. Some prefer a faster moving gun whereas others prefer a slower more controlled swing. Both are more than adequate for 90% of the shooting that is available in the UK.

Second-hand gun options would be Beretta, Browning or Miroku  three of the best off-the-shelf guns you can buy and quite often a bargain can be found below £1,000.
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Those with a little more to spend are now able to purchase one of the four best off-the-shelf guns available, in my opinion. The Beretta Silver Pigeon, Browning 525, Miroku Grade 1, or at the higher end of the budget the new Caesar Gerini Tempio.

These guns all have excellent build quality and come with warranties ranging from 3–10 years.

All four makes come with a standard stock measurement of 14 3/4″ with a slight RH cast but LH models are also available.

Second-hand Beretta 690s and Miroku MK60 Grade 5s can also be picked up under the £2,000 mark and are excellent value for money.

If you would prefer to be more traditional, then there is a wide selection of side by sides available ranging from £500–£2,000. If I was looking for a side by side, then I would look at buying a Spanish-made gun. They are very well made and most have 2 3/4″ chambers allowing you to use a broader selection of cartridges which can quite often restrict the older English-made box locks.

It is always best to make sure that any second-hand gun has had a full service before purchasing especially if the gun is over five years old.
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At Wadswick we can also offer a full gun fitting service to make sure that your new gun fits you perfectly. This could be altering the length of pull or the cast/drop of the gun. 

It is very important that the gun fits you properly and you will achieve better results by doing so. 

We can also offer the opportunity to try the gun in our brand new Marksmann Shooting Simulator which is on site at Wadswick.

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