Enter a pic of your ‘Pooch Passenger’ and win

Pooch passenger

If your dog loves a road trip, gets excited every time they see you’re heading for the driveway and simply can’t wait to hop on in to the car, then you’re definitely going to want to give the brand new competition from The Car Buying Service a go.

Enter a picture of your eager ‘Pooch Passenger’ and you could win a £50 Pets at Home voucher so you can spoil your furry travel companion with a treat or two.

Take part in the competition and you’ll not only be in with a chance of winning this top prize, but you’ll also be doing your bit for charity too, because The Car Buying Service will donate £1 to Manchester Dogs’ Home for every pic they receive.
Entering’s easy: just take a quick snap of your dog in the car – the more creative the better (nothing dangerous, though, of course) – then share the picture publicly on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #poochpassenger.

Want some inspiration when it comes to creating your pic? Then take a look at the special #poochpassenger page where you can see all the entries that have been submitted so far; once you’ve sent in your image, it’ll be displayed there too.

To find out more and read the full terms and conditions, head on over to www.thecarbuyingservice.co.uk/pooch-passenger/

Can You Guess the Most Searched Puppy in 2014?

Financial service startup Bought By Many recently created a research report listing the most searched puppies in the UK in 2014. Can you guess what’s number one? We couldn’t… The results will surprise you.

Trending Puppies
This year there is a brand new puppy in first place. The brilliantly named Cockapoo has grabbed the nations attention this year and has been named the UK’s most searched puppy.A mixture between the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle, these pups have knocked the Cocker Spaniel off the top spot to number four.

German Shepherd puppies have seen a surge in popularity in 2014, rising six places to 5th, with Husky, Golden Retriever, and Boxer puppies also making gains. Meanwhile, Chihuahua, Pug and Shih Tzu puppies have all seen a decrease in popularity.

Surprisingly Rottweiler puppies are the only new breed to enter the top 15 and have displaced Border Terrier Puppies who previously occupied the 15th Spot in 2013. Evergreen favourites like the Labrador, Jack Russell Terrier, and the Bulldog have all held their positions, along with Beagles and French Bulldogs.

To find out more about how the report was created please visit the Bought by Many Blog https://boughtbymany.com/news/article/trending-puppies-q2-2014/

Bought by Many is a new online organisation that anyone who owns a dog should check out. Their goal is to help people who share something in common (for example a puppy) get a better deal on insurance. They do it by clubbing people together in groups, they then use collective buyer power in negotiation with insurance companies giving you a better deal. Visit them here… www.boughtbymany.com



This year Pedigree is celebrating its 50th birthday and did you know that it’s the biggest Petcare brand in the world, with sales of over $1billion? Pedigree’s success has been built on a love of dogs and a commitment to putting nutrition at the heart of the brand. Ever since the first Pedigree can was produced, our products have been underpinned by the science of the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition, the world leading authority on dog nutrition.


At Pedigree everything we do is for the love of dogs and we are constantly innovating to meet their needs and those of their owners. It is why we were the first to create truly effective oral care products, it is why all our main meal products are 100% complete and balanced and it is why we create products that help owners get the most out of their relationship with their dog. From cans to pouches, treats to oral care – Pedigree has led the way!

This innovation and drive to improve continues today and, as we celebrate our 50th birthday, we are proud to bring three new products to the market that highlight our understanding of the needs of dogs, their owners and the special relationship between them both, which include:

Four out of five dogs over the age of three have gum disease. With our Pedigree® DentaStix products we created the oral care category, but we recognised some owners wanted a product that their dog could really get into and would look after their teeth. Launched in July 2014, after five years in development, Pedigree® DentaFlex® is a longer lasting, tasty chew that reduces the build up of plaque and tartar close to the gum line when fed twice weekly.

It was developed by oral care science and technology experts at Pedigree®, with significant input from leading veterinary dentists, and is a completely new dental chew. The combination of active ingredients and its revolutionary spongy texture that flexes around the tooth enable it to clean close to the gum line.


Treats play a hugely important role in helping to build a bond between owner and dog. They give owners an opportunity to interact, treat and reward their pet. Pedigree recognises that owners want to have lots of treating moments with their dogs, but in a responsible way.

New Pedigree Tasty Bites™ launched in August 2014 are delicious treats in a bite-size format perfect for treating at any time, in a calorie controlled way. The whole range is packed full of essential omega 3 vitamins and minerals that will help keep dogs happy and healthy, as well as providing a selection of tastes and textures that owners tell us they are looking for.

Tasty bites

Pedigree® Pouches
Wet dog food has a macro-nutrient profile very similar to what dogs would eat in the wild and all Pedigree® wet products are 100% complete and balanced providing the 40 essential nutrients that dogs need. We know dogs love this product and so wanted to provide it to owners in a fuss-free, easy to use format. Launched in September 2014, new 100g Pedigree® Pouches are single serve pouches that offer owners an easy and practical feeding format for their pets. We understand both owners and dogs and this new product provides a solution that we know owners want.

Pedigree® Adoption Drive

Pedigree® Adoption Drive
Through the Pedigree Adoption Drive, we have been supporting rescue homes since 2008 and we are proud to have donated over £1.5 million. Last year, Pedigree donated over 2 million meals as part of the Buy One, Feed One campaign. This year we are continuing with this effort and will, again, award almost £100,000 in funding grants to rescue homes to improve their facilities.

Autumn Vet Clinic for dog owners with Chris Packham and vet Paul Sands

Log on to our live and interactive web TV show to for tips and advice on how to make sure your dog stays healthy and happy this autumn

Show date: Tuesday 23rd September
Show time: 13.00

Keeping our precious pooches healthy is the number one priority for responsible pet owners, yet how many of us only take our dogs to the vet when they get sick, or they are in pain?

Preventative health care is a key aspect of responsible dog ownership, and moving from the summer months into autumn and eventually winter can be a challenging time.

On the back of long, dry summer and mild autumn, we can expect to see a much higher prevalence of ticks.

And as we move into the cooler winter months and turn on our central heating, we need to be aware of the potential for fleas to multiply in our warm homes. So what do we need to look out for, to ensure our pets are not subjected to unwanted passengers and the diseases they can bring.


Log on to our web TV show where Chris Packham and leading vet, Paul Sands, will talk through what you can do to ensure your dogs remain parasite and disease free.

Advent calendars for dogs.


The doggie advent calendars have been created to educate the general public on the best ways to avoid the pitfalls when looking for a new pet, spreading awareness of Pup Aid and to fundraise for animal rescues across the country. The biscuits and chews within the advent calendar are all made with human-grade ingredients and are fit for human consumption. They contain no salt, no sugar, no additives and no preservatives to ensure they are the healthy choice. Order your advent calendar today and we’ll deliver it to your door in the last 10 days of November.

At least 50p from each sale goes to Pup Aid to help them lobby the government to change the welfare laws surrounding the sale of puppies and kittens. Another 50p from each sale will go to the UK animal rescue of choice of the purchaser. Details about the biscuits and chews, including manufacturer, ingredients, analytical content are listed on the calendar, so owners that have a dog with allergies can check before giving their pet the daily treats.


Getting Cosy — How to Choose Bedding For Your Dog

Your dog spends, on average, ten hours a day sleeping. As he dreams of chasing the postman, fetching you the world’s best stick and finally catching up with that rabbit, is he doing it comfortably? When buying your best friend a new bed, you can’t exactly climb inside and curl up to check how comfortable it is. So what should you be looking for? There are all kinds of different designs and styles when it comes to dog beds. Read on to find the best match for your little companion.

For smaller, less independent breeds
If you have a small, companion or lap dog breed, they can get quite prone to separation anxiety. This doesn’t mean that they should be allowed to sleep in your bed all the time! Instead, buy them their own, snuggly little nest bed that they can feel safe and protected in. Whether it’s a more open, basket style boudoir or a more enclosed den, a high sided bed is great for any anxious little hound that just needs to burrow under the covers.

For the older customer
As a wise old hound once remarked, every dog has its day. All dogs can suffer from the joint pain and arthritis associated with getting on in years. If your dog shifts around uncomfortably in bed, rearranging limbs and struggling to settle, it’s probably time to invest in an orthopaedic dog bed for him. Look for one enhanced with a memory foam layer; it will take the pressure off joints, and can even help prevent nasty, expensive problems like hip dysplasia from developing.

For chilly households
Since heat rises, the area your dog occupies in the house — i.e. floor height — is likely the coldest. You can move his bed into a warm corner, like by the fire, or place it by a radiator, but in winter this might not be enough. Heated dog beds are a great solution for cooler homes, and designed to radiate your dog’s body heat back to him! Alternatively, there are always plug in bed mats that work just like electric blankets!
Even if you do occasionally let Misty or Boris snuggle at the bottom of your own bed, a dog bed is essential. Remember, from time to time we all need our own personal space in which to lie down and escape from it all. Let your dog have theirs.

How Long Do Dogs Stay Pregnant & Dog Pregnancy

Dog Pregnancy

Is your dog expecting a litter of puppies? If so, you might want to prepare yourself to ease this experience for your pooch and her puppies. Dogs usually stay pregnant for approximately nine weeks. Generally, your dog’s pregnancy symptoms will be virtually unnoticeable until they reach three weeks of gestation. Some of the early signs include appetite loss and nausea, which is the equivalent to morning sickness for humans. Around five weeks, her waist and rib cage will appear wider, and her nipples will be much darker in color.
The absolute best way to confirm your dog’s pregnancy is with an ultrasound, which can be performed around day 21. When she reaches 45 days, a radiograph can be taken to determine how many puppies she is carrying. Once you have confirmed their pregnancy, this is what you should expect when your dog is expecting.

The Pregnant Dog: Your dog will be undergoing a lot of physical and mental changes during pregnancy. As previously mentioned, the first two-thirds of their pregnancy will feature little to no change in their activity level, appearance and appetite. It isn’t until three to four weeks of pregnancy that they begin to gain weight and mammary glands begin to develop. This is the time where puppies are rapidly developing, and clear vaginal discharge can be seen and will likely continue until birth.

Diet: The diet that you feed future mom is crucial to her health as well as the developing puppies. They require an extremely high-quality diet, but no major changes should be made during the first five weeks of gestation. At four weeks of pregnancy, you should begin increasing the amount of food that she consumes on a daily basis by at least 25 percent. This is the time where puppies begin to demand more nutrition, and satisfying the demand will ensure that all of them stay healthy and strong.

Contrary to popular belief, you should not incorporate any vitamins or supplements into their diet, especially calcium. Feeding them extra amounts of calcium increases their risk of eclampsia, also known as milk fever, which is a dangerous health issue that is often fatal. Furthermore, many supplements have the potential to cause a variety of birth defects. Try to keep your pooch away from them during pregnancy unless recommended by veterinarian.


How Long Do Dogs Stay Pregnant

Featured photo of an adorable puppy by Simson Petrol via Flickr.com

Exercise: A pregnant female dog needs daily activity to keep the muscles exercised, especially her uterine muscles. Short daily walks are the best option; do not overexert her as it will stress out the puppies. Exercise is important because it prepares her for the physical aspect of birth, and will prevent her from becoming obese from additional food intake. During the last three weeks of pregnancy, no more walking is needed.

Prepping for puppies: When the time comes, you will need to set up a private, warm and clean whelping box where your dog can deliver and rear all of her puppies. Large cardboard boxes and children’s playpens are excellent options, but if not sufficient in size, use hard plastic panels or wood to block off a section of your home that is far from drafts. Determine the height of the walls by the breed of the dog that will be giving birth. They should be short enough so the mother can easily enter and exit the area but tall enough to prevent the newborn puppies from escaping. Fill it with plenty of blankets or towels to ensure that she remains comfortable and warm. Her whelping box should be set up several weeks before she is expected to give birth. This gives your canine enough time to nest and get comfortable within the area. Keep her food and water close by for convenience.

Pre-birth: 6 to 24 hours before going into labor, you may notice excessive panting, vomiting, restlessness and a decrease in the dog’s appetite. If she does not eat for more than a day without delivering, contact your veterinarian immediately. It is important to keep your home quiet during the moment before birth and to keep her inside away from other dogs as added protection from disease and stress. Her normal temperature will be 100 to 102 degrees, but will drop to 99 degrees 12 to 24 hours before labor.

Labor: You don’t need a veterinarian for your dog to deliver her puppies; most of the time, she will know exactly what to do. Once the mom begins to give birth to her puppies, hard labor should not last longer than an hour. If it does last longer than this, then it might be good to contact your vet over the phone and follow their directions. Once they are done whelping it is best to take her as well as the puppies in for any exam to rule out any problems and to make sure that everyone is healthy. Do so either on the same day or the day after that, but don’t wait longer than 48 hours.

Calls for hero dogs to join forces on International Dog Day


This Tuesday 26th August is International Dog Day and to celebrate, Dogs Unite, a Guide Dogs initiative, is calling on all dogs to become heroes for the day, by taking part in a sponsored dog walk to raise vital funds for Guide Dogs.

By signing up to their own ‘My Dogs Unite’ sponsored walk, K9 crusaders will be sent special superdog capes, to help turn the ordinary dog walk into an extraordinary one – changing the lives of those living with sight loss by raising vital funds for guide dogs and as they walk.


My Dogs Unite walks can take place either on International Dog Day or at any time this summer, and those signing up can also nominate their friends to do the same. Dogs and their owners taking part will be helping Guide Dogs to support more people who are visually impaired to lead confident, independent and active lives.

To help mark International Dog Day, Dogs Unite has also been asking the nation to name their ultimate doggy heroes. Researchers found that legendary Lassie topped the charts of the poll (40%), followed by World Trade Centre hero, Trakr (16%), with Buddy, the very first guide dog, in third place (14%).

The top 5 famous dog heroes are:

1. Lassie – The well-loved TV character Dog made famous for always saving the day

2. Trakr – The dog made famous when, together with police officer James Symington, he helped dig through 30 feet of unstable debris at the World Trade Center “ground zero” site and located the last human survivor of the attack

3. Buddy – Thought to be the first ever guide dog, Buddy was trained after WW1 to help blind veterans

4. Vidar – The army dog due to be put down due to PTSD but was rescued by the Soldier whose life she saved in Afghanistan

5. Gelert – The legendary dog wrongly thought to have killed a baby – whose life he in fact had saved by protecting the baby from an attacking wolf

To give your dog the chance to be a hero, register at: www.guidedogs.org.uk/dogs-unite

Top tips: going on holiday with your dog


Dogs are part of the family and love time away with humans on a summer holiday. Planning ahead is essential, so we’ve put together some top tips to help you make sure you all have a great time…

Taking pets abroad If you are going abroad check the pet passport requirements carefully and make sure your dog has any necessary vaccinations.

If you’re heading to Europe, travel by Eurotunnel is safest, as your pets stays with you all the time, whereas on cross channel ferries your dog will have to stay in the car without you, and without any supervision.

There are several diseases in Europe that aren’t found in the UK, often spread by ticks and biting insects.

Effective tick control is essential for travelling dogs, and in some areas you will need to protect against diseases carried by biting insects such as heartworm and leishmaniasis.

Ask your vet about specific treatment before travelling abroad.
Don’t forget to check if your pet insurance is valid overseas.
If your pet is on medication take a plentiful supply. Be vigilant for hazards like roads and rivers and careful with pets around unfamiliar dogs.

Make sure your dog’s tag has your mobile on it so they can be returned to you quickly if they get lost. It goes without saying that your dog should be microchipped and your contact details should be up to date (see below for more on ID).
It’s worth checking out local legislation before you travel too, as different countries have different laws on dogs.

In Italy, for example, dog owners are required to carry a muzzle and should put it on their pet when asked. In this case, it’s a good idea to get your dog muzzle trained before you head off so they are used to it if they have to put it on.

Some countries have breed-specific legislation and the list of which breeds and types of dogs are banned may differ from the UK. Laws banning some types of dog might not be the same in all part of a country, so check you know what the rules are in the part you are visiting.

Wherever you’re going, home or abroad – your pet will appreciate some familiar things such as their own bed and favourite toys, so don’t forget to pack these.

Staycation Check the hotel, cottage or campsite you want to visit allows dogs at the time of booking. Some holiday accommodation may charge a small fee for a dog, but this is usually cheaper than leaving them in boarding kennels at home.

Most pet friendly accommodation will have details of the nearest vet for emergencies, but it’s worth checking before you travel just in case.
Make a note of your insurance details to take with you should the worst happen.

Travelling in the car Make sure your dog is secured by a harness or barrier and that there is plenty of ventilation. You can keep the temperature inside the car as cool as possible by using sun screens on the windows to protect from direct sunlight, and by avoiding the midday heat.

To keep your dog cool you can use a misting spray, but avoid his face.
Make sure your dog has plenty of access to clean water.
Never leave your dog alone in the car – even with the windows open. Dogs can’t sweat in the same way we do and can suffer from heatstroke within minutes.

Identification Make sure your dog is microchipped and your contact details on the chip are up to date. This means if your dog does go missing, he can be returned to you when his microchip is scanned.
It is a legal requirement for dogs to wear a collar with a tag displaying the owner’s name and address.
It’s a good idea to have a separate tag made with the name and location of the accommodation you are staying at so a finder knows how to contact you if your dog gets lost while on holiday.