How much research do we do before adopting a dog?

Something which may surprise a lot of dog owners recently emerged in the news, as the results of a survey from Legal & General revealed that one in every three dog owners did little to no research before deciding on which breed of dog to adopt.

This may feel like a high number, but as some of us know it’s sometimes the dog who chooses the owner rather than the other way around.

adopting a dog?

Out of those surveyed who did their research before adopting, common considerations for settling on a specific breed was size at 43%, followed by temperament at 41% and 34% who considered their breed based on their lifestyle. 11% of people surveyed thought about how much adopting a dog would cost, and just 7% looking into the price of insurance policies.

Considering the numbers, it isn’t much of a shock that 14% of owners said that they had five or more visits to the vet in the past year. 45% of owners also revealed that at some point they have also had to pay a visit to an emergency vet, which can come with astronomical costs.

adopting a dog

Worryingly, 36% of owners revealed that they don’t have pet insurance, with 46% saying that there is no need for it. Thankfully, 48% of owners said that pet insurance is a life safer (and will surely be made up of those who had to visit the emergency vet!)

Sadly 6% of those surveyed said they were unsatisfied with their chosen breed, so to help lower this number Legal and General have released the Breed Selector, an tool which, instead of allowing you to choose the ideal dog for you, allows a dog to choose you as their ideal human.

It’s a fun tool that asks about you, your home and your lifestyle, and matches you with a breed which fits in with what you’re looking for.

adopting a dog

As we all know, owning a dog can be hard work, but it is also rewarding and can bring love and joy to our lives. Whilst research is important before deciding who we want to bring home, we can’t always decide who we fall in love with and want to join the family.

For more information on pet insurance from Legal and General, more information is available on their website.

Oak Tree Cottage: A Hidden Gem on a Welsh Nature Reserve Where Your Dog is Always Welcome

Off the beaten track, nestled in the heart of the beautiful Welsh Wildlife Centre & Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve in North Pembrokeshire, visitors both human and canine will find a recently refurbished getaway called Oak Tree Cottage – or the ‘Cwtch’ as it’s known to the locals.

Dog Friendly

A self-catering holiday cottage that’s perfect for those wanting to relax in comfort whilst surrounded by our amazing Welsh wildlife, and surprisingly, despite the vast and changeable spectrum of creatures that inhabit the beautiful Teifi Marshes, the reserve remains infinitely accessible to dog owners. The cottage itself is small and perfectly formed, and perfect for a small family or a couple, and is the ideal holiday retreat for those who are looking to disconnect from the rush of the world, and get back to nature.

There are no distractions to be had at Oak Tree Cottage. Itself set in the immediate compounds of the impressive Welsh Wildlife Centre, once the park is closed to visitors, the inhabitants of the cottage are given unique and unfettered access to the entire reserve and all it has to offer.

Watch otters at dawn, badgers and deer at dusk, kingfishers on the river and a wealth of flora and fauna during the daytime. Lulled to sleep by nature on the edge of a wood, in the heart of the nature reserve, you will have it all to yourself once the visitors have gone home. And with all of this fantastic, natural resource as your playground, comes winding walks through paths and walkways that your dog will love as much as you will.

Dog Friendly

The Cilgerran site is part of the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, a regional section of the UK’s overall Wildlife Trust network, and a large part of the South and West Wales Trust’s ongoing commitment is to encourage a ‘dogs permitted’ policy. Whilst the Trust encourages diligence in order to help minimise distress and disturbance to local wildlife, it is quintessentially a welcome hub in North Pembrokeshire for families and visitors who want to take their dogs with them to this unique and captivating space.

The cottage is run and managed by on-site volunteers and trustees, and bookings at Oak Tree are handled by FBM Holidays, a well-known local holiday letting agency. A welcome hamper is provided with each booking, as are fresh brown eggs from the hens that live next to the cottage when available.

To enquire further or to book your dog-friendly break in the absolute heart of North Pembrokeshire’s most enchanting and inviting natural area, please visit https://www.fbmholidays.co.uk/cwtch

How to keep your dog comfortable while travelling in winter

Even though our furry friends are just that – furry – even the poofiest pooches can get a bit chilly in the UK’s icy winter temperatures. Yes, dogs were originally wild animals (and some still are), but a few thousand years of domestication has led to a love of pampering. And who can blame them?!

With that in mind, here are a few ways to help your dog keep comfy while travelling in winter.

  • Find dog-friendly accommodation

This might seem like an obvious point, but when you’re planning your holiday with your canine friend(s), it’s definitely the most important!

The words ‘dog-friendly accommodation’ are like music to a dog owner’s ears, as the vast majority of accommodation is human-only. Finding the perfect hotel, self-catering cottage or bed and breakfast can often feel like stumbling upon gold dust. It’s not often that you find all your preferred amenities and luxuries in a property, with the addition of it being dog-friendly.

When it comes to finding the right accommodation for you and your dog in winter, comfort is key. Is there a safe, warm place for your dog to sleep? Is there a roaring fire to up the cosy factor? Is there an enclosed garden, so that you don’t have to walk around in the cold with your dog while they do their business? All of these elements make a holiday much easier and more enjoyable for you and your pup, so make sure you’re armed with your tick list before you browse!

Woodfarm Barns has all of these features, and more. We don’t just tolerate dogs – we encourage them! And that’s why our beautiful, luxury, dog-friendly holiday cottages are a perfect choice for holidays all throughout the year, and also why we’ve built our reputation in this market.

  • Take blankets in your suitcase

If your dog loves to snuggle, ensure you bring a couple of their favourite blankets with you in your suitcase.

Often, we care about our own comforts and forget that our pets enjoy theirs too. Bringing a couple of blankets along on your trip will not only keep your dog warm, but will provide them with a familiar scent of home. This is often very handy when a dog is in an unknown place, as it is likely to help them settle into their surroundings.

  • Wipe paws after playing in snow

Although we are usually blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) with only a couple of days’ worth of snow per year in the UK, it often settles quickly during those cold January and February months, creating a super fun situation for our dogs.

It’s a real pleasure to watch your pet playing in the snow, however, it’s very important that their fur and paws are cleared of snow once they’re finished. Firstly, snow can become contaminated with chemical-containing products such as anti-freeze and de-icer. If your dog licks their paws after paying in snow, they could ingest those same products and become ill. Also, snow can dry out your dog’s paw pads and cause them to crack, making it painful for your dog to walk.

When they come back inside from playing in the snow, simply wipe down your dog’s fur and paws with a towel to clear away the snow or ice.

  • Avoid leaving your dog in the car

Of course we all know that dogs should not be left in hot cars, but did you know that cold cars can be deadly too?

Car interiors lose heat very quickly in cold weather, meaning that anything left inside will become cold, including your dog. It’s most likely that they’ll just be uncomfortable, however in particularly cold climates or if your dog is exposed to low temperatures for a long time, they could develop hypothermia.

If you’re going to be travelling with your dog in the car, try planning ahead to make sure the places you’re visiting allow dogs. That way, your dog will be safe and happy knowing that they are with you, and you can rest assured that they are comfortable. For Suffolk-based holidays, the Woodfarm Barns-owned website whered www.wheredowe.co.uk owe.co.uk has lots of info on dog-friendly restaurants, shopping facilities and, of course, walks.

We at Woodfarm Barns and Barges hope you have a waggly tail of a time, wherever you plan to go on your winter holiday. We hope our top tips for dog-friendly winter travel come in handy, and help you and you dog keep safe and comfortable, and have lots of fun!

BREXIT – Your travel questions answered

Simon Calder, Independent Travel Expert, Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association (AA) and Jae Hopkins from Eurotunnel set the record straight

Show date: Friday 9th November

Show time: 1:00pm

With less than 6 months to go until March 29th, there has been continued speculation amongst politicians and commentators as to what Brexit will mean for travelling to the EU from the UK.

The outcome of this is a nation confused. That confusion spreads across areas such as Passports, both human and pet, EHIC cards and their validity, whether the need for an internal driving permit, a visa to travel, and even on to what this means for duty-free goods.

With much confusion, and with no sight yet of a deal or no deal position, who should we be listening to and where should be going for known information and fact.

Joining us to answer these questions and more live in the studio are Simon Calder, Independent Travel Expert, Edmund King, President of the Automobile Association (AA) and Jae Hopkins from Eurotunnel, the single biggest carrier of people to mainland Europe

https://www.eurotunnel.com/brexit

brexit pet passport

Grooming your Puppy for the First Time

All good dog owners know that grooming isn’t just about primping your pet to look cute; it’s also about maintaining good health.

The first time you groom your puppy is an important occasion that requires careful preparation and dedication. Don’t be put off by your inexperience; it’s easy to do once you know how. If you approach the situation armed with good advice and confidence, all will go smoothly for you and your furry friend.

Puppies are obviously going to be more challenging to groom than an older dog, and the first grooming experience is much like a child’s first haircut, i.e. expect some tears and tantrums!

Grooming Preparation:
In the weeks before grooming, concentrate on building a positive relationship with your puppy and ensure he is as comfortable as possible with touch and being handled in anyway. This is probably the most important thing you can do to prepare for grooming. Your aim is to make each session a calming, bonding experience.

You can practice this with positive reinforcement whenever you feed your puppy from your hand; stroke your puppy as it is lying down and gradually teach that being held by you is not dangerous.

Create a friendly environment so that your puppy immediately knows that whatever is about to happen is safe and enjoyable. Show affection with petting and soothing words so that the puppy is relaxed.

Keep your first groom session short, that way the puppy won’t misbehave and when you are ready for a second session, your puppy will be more used to the process and you can gradually go for longer each time.

Keep your puppy loosely restrained so that you can maintain your control without frightening him is also important.

Bath Time
Begin with a nice, relaxing bath using puppy shampoo and conditioner. Take care not to get soap in the puppy’s eyes. To really put your dog at ease, you can give it a massage as you work your way lathering down the back towards the tail and back legs.

Brushing
For the first session keep the brushing to a minimum. Be aware that any brushes, clippers and tools might alarm the puppy so show each brush or comb to the pup first before giving a treat as a reward. Do this a few times before then giving the puppy a few short strokes with the item. Be mindful of sensitive areas at first like inner legs and tail.

Clipping
Remember that clipping your dog’s claws is not the same as trimming your own nails. Cut at a 45-degree angle so as to avoid trimming the blood vessel that runs into the nail (which will be a painful experience for your dog if it gets cut by mistake!). You need to only cut the part of the nail that extends beyond this blood vessel known as a ‘quick.’

If unsure about clipping claws you should seek advice from a vet beforehand.

Grooming sessions at first should be short but done fairly often so that your puppy becomes accustomed to them and learns to associate them as just another fun activity to share with you.

A doggie day out at West Dorset Leisure Holidays!

James and James in Marketing spent the day working with our newest Marketing recruits our two four-legged friends named Harry and Daisy and here is our write up from their eyes!    Woof Woof says Harry! We would like to welcome you to one of the WDLH parks this Autumn. Although they are all dog friendly, Daisy and I spent the day today at Highlands End Holiday Park. We can’t believe how many new friends we met today (A quick woof to Milo and Millie) and we would love to meet more. Here is our special guide to a perfect doggy day at Highlands End!

Daisy and I started the morning off with a fabulous run in the parks dog exercising field, which looks over Eype Beach and all the way out to sea. We had great fun running around and playing fetch as the field is enclosed and we didn’t have to have our leads on like we do in the park. We had a rest and a drink back at the motorhome before heading up to the park shop. Although we aren’t allowed in the shop we can sneak into the Cowshed where the views are outstanding and we got to hear the news while our owners sipped a cup of Dorset Tea.

Daisy loved the smell of the breakfasts coming from Martin’s Bar & Restaurant, but being the older more sensible dog, I persuaded her that we should go home for breakfast and save our visit until later when the football was on and we will get more treats! I will push for breakfast on our departure day or late in the week if it rains at some point!

Breakfast was long and we began to get a bit restless so after a few teasing barks we were off for a walk down to Eype Beach with a small picnic and day out swimming and rock pooling under Thorncombe Beacon. It is embarrassing to say but it took me ages to build the courage up to go swimming. Daisy, the silly billy, jumped right in but I preferred chilling on the pebbles. Once I was in though, wow it was nice to cool off. I was so pleased we took our ball and we swam for hours (doggy paddle) out to get the ball to bring it back to the beach. I won of course!

Once we had a drink and our owners had their picnic, we began the walk back up to Highlands End. I didn’t think about the walk back up as we went down to the beach from the cliff top park, but we stopped at a bench halfway up to take in the view. Being a bit sandy we had a quick wash in the new doggy shower by the toilet block and then we had a nap and dried outside the Motorhome on the grass.

Mid-afternoon we were off again. I don’t understand sports unless dogs are involved and all Daisy does is pop the ball, but we went up to Martin’s Bar & Restaurant, where so much of the building is dog friendly. We understand some of the building has to be non-doggy and we were just pleased to be allowed in with our lovely owners. We weren’t allowed a pint but the doggy bowl gave us a quick pit stop before settling in for a nap.

We had dinner in the bar, well we didn’t as the food was so good everything was eaten by our owners but they really enjoyed the Ranch Burger and the Fish and Chips! As night fell we managed a quick walk back in the dog field before settling down for a kip. I was so pleased I even managed to say goodnight to Jack and Matt the park wardens who were doing their checks. They were a great help when we arrived after our journey and showed us where we could have a run while we checked in!

We managed to do all of this within walking distance of the park so we are excited for tomorrow when we are heading off to explore the local area in our little pink Fiat 500. According to the Visitor Information area on the park, the local market is on a Wednesday and Saturday, plenty of pubs welcome us for lunch and we can enjoy an ice cream while walking along the pier at West Bay!!

Some must know info for your owners when you come and say hi, we found out there are a maximum of 2 doggies per booking, you must be on a lead and stick with your owner’s while in the park and we also can’t be left alone which is great as we want to be with them having a great holiday! During November, dogs are only £1 each per night with touring bookings. Hopefully we will see you on the park soon! Woof!

Ruff Guide to a Dog Friendly Home

The silly grin and gentle tail wag from our furry friends never fail to brighten our day. Not only do dogs make excellent house pets, but they are also proven to make our lives happier. After all, all they do is makes us laugh and smile (except of course if they get a poop or pee accident!).

However, it’s not all about them making us happy, because we, as responsible dog owners should also bring back the favor to them. There are lots of ways you can do that, one of which is by making your home as dog-friendly as possible.

Let them roam freely and safely inside your house and backyard and giving them quick access to essentials like food and water goes a long way for your canine buddies. You can also give them toys to play on so that they won’t get bored and be destructive.

It’s all about ensuring that they stay healthy, both physically and emotionally. And take note, dogs have feelings too!

Well, some of you might think that having a dog is a walk-in-the-park — but it’s not.

It’s just like raising a child, except for the fact that it’s harder! But then again, it’s not a big problem because we’re going to help you become a responsible dog owner. As long as you love what you’re doing and you know what to do, then you’re on your way to raising your “super dog”.

Want to know more? If so, then scroll down to check out this creatively informative graphic from AXA. It’s a life saver!

Ruff Guide to a Dog Friendly Home

Waggy Tails in Untouched Wales

It’s exhausting fetching sticks, being a loyal friend and companion, running after balls, day in day out! So Menai Holidays is offering your best doggy friend a FREE holiday! Now that is something to wag a tail about surely? And not only that but we can show you all the dog-friendly places where you and your best friend can go together.

  See our full range of Dog-Friendly Cottages here: https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/cottages/types/dog-friendly-cottages/

However, it doesn’t stop there. Once your cottage is sorted we have your rest and play covered too. With our newly launched website not only can you find the perfect dog-friendly cottage but you can research and find …

Dog-friendly beaches https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/see-do/beaches/dog-friendly/

Dog-friendly cafes. https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/eat-drink/cafes/dog-friendly-cafes/

And… dog-friendly walks and attractions. https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/see-do/attractions/dog-friendly-attractions/

https://www.menaiholidays.co.uk/explore/see-do/walks/dog-friendly-walks/

So that wherever you go, your dog can come too! We look forward to seeing you and your furry friends very soon.

See our blogs on dog-friendly cafes in Anglesey, Snowdonia and the Llŷn and on dog-friendly beaches.

There is some small print to our “dogs go free” offer, so read on!

Bookings must be made between midnight 1st October & 31st October 2018 but you can stay between 1st October and 15th December 2018
The maximum we’ll pay towards dogs is £50. If there is a higher dog charge (staying for multiple weeks, or having more dogs than this amount covers) you’ll need to pay the difference.

Only one discount per customer
Dog owners can take full advantage of this offer by entering ‘WOOF18’ in the notes when making a booking online and hey presto, Menai Holidays will pay for the cost of up to two of your dogs to go with you for free, up to a maximum of £50.

Is pet hair bad for your health?

Pet allergies explained
People with pet allergies are allergic to certain proteins found in dander, urine, feces, and saliva in common household animals, such as dogs and cats. The compromised immune system of those people leads to the release of IgE antigens (a type of protein) that attaches to the lining of the respiratory tract, skin, and eyes.

Furthermore, this will produce chemical reactions that result in inflammation and common allergy symptoms, including: wheezing, coughing, constricted airways, runny or congested nose, itchy throat, and watery and itchy eyes.

Pet allergiesAre pet allergies linked to asthma?
There is still a wide breadth of unexplained phenomenon between allergies and asthma in general. Not everything is known but it is assumed that chronic inflammation (from pet allergies, for example) can potentially lead to the development of asthma later on.

However, it is not a clean-cut piece of information and remains as a possible theory amongst a batch of contradicting information.

Can pets prevent allergies?
It is thought that early exposure to pet allergens can help reduce the risk of pet allergies in the future. Having a pet cat before the age of 18 can help decrease cat allergies while exposure before the age of one (in boys) to a pet dog can also do the same.

The possibility is there but further research is necessary to firmly confirm preliminary studies. Most will agree though that a bit of germs (and allergens) to boost immune systems may be quite helpful in the long run.

Can pets prevent allergies

How do I know if I have pet allergies?
You may start suspecting pet allergies if you suffer from any of the previously mentioned symptoms while being around animals. You may also notice that those symptoms are gone or find relief soon after avoiding contact from pets.

The only real medical way of knowing what you are allergic to is by having an allergy test done. It is recommended that this test be done as soon as symptoms are bothersome in order to prevent chronic inflammation (and thereby, asthma or asthma attacks).

Treatment plan for pet allergies
The best treatment plan for pet allergies is removing the pet and avoiding them in future situations. If you are a big animal lover and insist on having a pet in the house, ignoring your allergies, then you can take other precautionary steps to help ease symptoms.

The most important is not allowing pets to sleep in your bedroom, and especially not in your bed. Keep the bedroom door closed at all times to avoid their unwanted proteins from contaminating your area.

Pet hair and other substances will get transferred anywhere so it is important to remove upholstery (or clean it daily) and/or prevent pets from getting on them. Your pets will have to undergo a proper bath at least every week to keep potential allergens at bay. Another option can be the use of special air filters to reduce airborne allergens.

An easy but non-natural solution can also be prescribed medication. Certain medications will help prevent allergy symptoms or asthma attacks, such as antihistamines. If you happen to have any type of allergy, it is always wise to work with your medical physician and come up with an effective treatment plan together accordingly.

Treatment plan for pet allergies

Does ingested pet hair cause health issues?
Contrary to popular belief, ingested pet hair does not cause health issues. Pet hair actually has a similar structure to human hair, being made of mainly keratin, which cannot be digested by the human body.

Rumor has it that pet hair may travel to other organs but this is simply not true. Someone will have to ingest plenty of pet hair in order for health issues to develop and this highly unlikely.

Should I consider having a pet?
The benefits of having a pet far outweigh the possible side effects in most cases. It has been scientifically proven that pets bring comfort, help heal, and increase happiness in owners. They are a wonderful addition to any family and can contribute to a person’s overall wellbeing.

However, if you already suffer from pet allergies and your symptoms are uncontrollable, it might be best to not own any four-legged creatures. At the end of day, it is a personal decision (based on many factors, excluding health reasons) that will ultimately decide this answer.

The Safest Materials for Your Dog Bowls

dog bowls

You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to selecting a material for your dog bow. There is a variety of options in the market, including stoneware, ceramic, plastic, stainless steel, slow-feeding, nonskid and even automated portion-sized dog bowls. However, even with so many options out there, there are still some materials that are naturally safer than others. According to forthefurry.com, here are the five most common, including an exploration of whether they are safe or not.

Plastic Dog Bowls
This is by far the most commonly used material for dog bowls. However, it isn’t the safest. In fact, it can often be the worst material for a dog bowl.
To start with, young teething pups tend to chew a lot on their feeding bowl. A few minutes without you looking and your little pup can tear the bowl apart and ingest the little pieces of plastic. What follows is internal bleeding and blockage of the intestinal system.
Plastic bowls can also be highly porous and easy to scratch. The result is that they develop crevices that make for perfect homes for dangerous bacteria.

Ceramic Dog BowlCeramic Dog Bowls

Ceramic dog bowls are often a pretty good choice, assuming you’ve done your homework before going out to buy one. You should also take care of them to ensure they last longer. The greatest concern when it comes to ceramic dog bowls is that the glazes used to coat them may sometimes contain harmful chemicals like lead. You should be careful about this and go for those that have been certified for food use and are free of lead in their coating. You should also regularly inspect your dog’s ceramic bowl to check for chips and cracks that can harbor bacteria. You also shouldn’t let your dog ingest any chips from the bowl. With such bowls, maintenance is the biggest issue. They are, however, a terrific choice.

Stoneware Dog BowlsStoneware Dog Bowls

Stoneware bowls may have trace amounts of lead so you should be careful about the ones you buy. Lead is very dangerous for pets and can lead to lead poisoning. The symptoms of lead poisoning include cardiovascular problems, renal and kidney problems, skeletal problems, disorders of the muscles and joints, nerve disorders, loss of memory, intellectual impairment, mood swings, infertility and cancer. Select stoneware bowls that are free of lead. Apart from the lead issue, however, stoneware dog bowls are much safer than plastic dog bowls as they don’t chip as easily.

Silicone Dog Bowls
Silicone is a relatively recent material on the market. It is rubber-like, nonstick and nontoxic. It has high heat resistance and does not retain any odors. It can also help you save space as such dog bowls are typically collapsible.

Stainless Steel Dog BowlsStainless Steel Dog Bowls

These dog bowls are nonporous, which means you don’t have to worry about bacteria. They are also resistant to rust and very easy to clean. Steel also isn’t exposed to as many dangerous chemicals as plastic is during its manufacture.