Taking your dog on holiday? Here’s 8 tips…

They say that a dog is man’s best friend and if you are one of the estimated 8 million households that own a canine companion you’ll know exactly why this is so true.

Dogs really do become part of the family so it’s no wonder that more of us than ever are choosing to bring our pooch on holiday. While you can (thanks to pet passports) take them abroad we still think that renting a UK holiday cottage is the best way to go as there is usually plenty of outside space and no worries about a tricky flight.
Foxglove Cottage – North York Moors

pet friendly holiodays

Prepare in advance
Lesley Houghton regularly travels with her dog (a new addition to the family in the past year) and recently stayed at the School House in Sandsend. She says ‘preparation is key really, make sure you have as much information on the cottage and surrounding area before you set-off and make a list of everything you will need’.
Sandsend

We think that is pretty sound advice and a bit of forward planning should ensure your holiday goes smoothly and your pet stays happy and healthy. Here are 8 top tips:

Check the cottage is suitable for your pet
It really goes without saying that you will need to select a dog-friendly holiday cottage but you should also check the size of the property is suitable for your pet and there is enough outside space for your particular breed.

It is a good idea to check if there are any restrictions such as areas that are off-limits for pets (you don’t want an award winning flower border to get trampled or cream carpets to be ruined) or a limit on the numbers if you have more than one.

Plan your journey in advance
Remember that if you are making a long car journey that you take a bowl and some water with you and have plenty of stops (particularly if it is a hot day). Make sure your dog can stretch their legs and get some fresh air at regular intervals. If your dog is not used to travelling it is a good idea to try them on some shorter car journeys beforehand.

dog friendly holiodays

 

Don’t run out of supplies
Try and make a checklist of everything your dog might need before you set-off and make sure you have enough food, treats, any medication and the all-important poo bags. You’ll also need to take your dog’s lead and collar which should have a tag containing your contact information.

If you don’t want to take too much stuff with you it’s a good idea to check where you can purchase dog food locally (particularly if you stick to particular brands) and what items the cottage will have available.

Make the cottage a home from home for your dog
Your dog may be unsettled when they first arrive so it is a good idea to take as many of their things as possible. Familiar items such as your pet’s own bed, blankets and toys can make a big difference as the last thing you want is for them to feel worried and upset.

Show them their new surroundings and let them explore (where appropriate) so they start to feel at home as soon as possible.  Dogs tend to be creatures of habit so stick to their routine of feed and walk times where possible.

Get the contact details of a local vet
Hopefully you won’t need to contact a vet on holiday but if your pet does fall ill or get hurt while you are away it is good to be prepared. Research some vets that are close to your cottage and keep their details handy throughout your stay.

It is also worth taking your pet to your own vet before travelling as well just to make sure they have a clean bill of health and are fully up-to-date with vaccinations and other treatments such as worming.

Plan your trips around your pet
We are pretty sure your holiday will involve getting out and about so make sure any places you plan to visit are also dog friendly. Lots of Yorkshire attractions are happy to allow dogs though you will probably have to keep them on a lead. Check out The Good Dog Guide for more information.

Quite a few pubs will also allow dogs offering drinking water (and occasionally even doggy beer!) but it is a good idea to find out which ones will do this before your holiday.

If you plan to venture out without your pet, ensure it is OK to leave them alone in the property and that you aren’t gone for too long. You don’t want to come back to any nasty surprises! If you do plan to be out for the day you may be able to find a local dog-sitter to help out but again it is best to organise this before you set off.

Accredited to Jonathan McGee photos

Make sure your dog is well trained
You should probably ask yourself how well behaved your dog is before taking them to any cottage. Spending some time on dog training before your holiday (whether you do this by yourself or a local class) is a good idea.

Try and ensure your pet can obey some basic commands – even if this is just Sit and Stay.

Keep your dog safe
The last thing you want is for anything to happen to your precious pet so make sure the cottage and garden are secure and there is nowhere for them to escape (it is a good idea to have them micro-chipped though in case they do go missing).

Going for a walk with your dog through beautiful countryside is just one of the perks of taking them with you but it is important to be vigilant. If you take them off the lead make sure there are no dangers about such as cliff edges, streams or wild animals.

With these tips you should have a great holiday with your pet.

Check out the dog-friendly cottages available or call the team on 0844 736 6276.

Dog friendly cottages

 

 

Keep Your Pets Safe and Cool This Summer

Support Adoption For Pets kicked of their Summer Fundraiser www.supportadoptionforpets.co.uk/summer-fundraising. This year there appeal centres around those pets in rescue that won’t get to enjoy a summers walk on a beach with a family, paddle in a local stream, sunbathe on a patio or bunny flop in a garden.

We are therefore encouraging people to donate to this crucial appeal at any local Pets at Home store, online via this link – www.supportadoptionforpets.co.uk/summer-fundraising or by texting COOL20 £3 to 70070.

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keep pets cool

Five Top Tips: Reading Your Dog’s Body Language

They say dogs are a man’s best friend and incredibly loyal animals, but do you know what’s really going on with your dog?
In theory, it can be hard to know what an animal is feeling or thinking, as they can’t communicate with speech, but in fact dogs reveal their emotions a lot more than you may think. As with humans, we can tell a lot from their body language.
Here, we put together a helpful list of signs that your dog may be using to show you just how they are feeling. When you know what your beloved pet is trying to say, it becomes a whole lot easier to ensure they remain happy and healthy.

Dogs

If Your Dog Is Happy
Happiness is probably one of the easiest emotions to decipher, and as we want our dogs to be as happy as possible, it’s one we’re sure you’ll endeavour to maintain. Once you know what makes your dog happy, it’ll be easier for you to replicate this feeling and keep your pooch content. It’s especially important to understand when your dog is happy because if you confuse this with another, less positive emotion, you could be causing more problems for your pup.

Some signs to look out for
– Happy expression
– Relaxed body
– Panting
– Lying with one paw tucked under
– Enthusiastic tail wag
– Playful bow
– Rolling over
– Inviting belly rubs

If Your Dog Is Aggressive
Behaviours associated with aggression are easily misconstrued, but as it’s one of the most difficult emotions to understand and explain, it’s important to keep your eyes peeled for if your dog begins to turn aggressive. This can help you keep them under control and stop aggression leading to any kind of physical attack.

Signs include
– Freezes, suddenly becomes stiff
– Stands up with front legs splayed
– Head low
– Curls lip
– Shows teeth
– Gnarls
– Aggressive barking
– Biting
– Raised tail

If Your Dog Is Fearful or Stressed
Whilst stress is part and parcel of life, it’s not an emotion that any of us particularly enjoy experiencing, dogs included. Our canine friends can show stress and fear in a multitude of ways but it’s usually environmental influences that cause your dog to be afraid. When you understand how your dog is feeling, you can look to remove some of the factors causing this and alleviate the negative emotions.

Signs to look out for
– Barking or whimpering
– Running around or pacing
– Crouching
– Shaking
– Change in appetite
– Pinned ears
– Avoidance

If Your Dog Is Excited
Seeing a dog run around full of glee is a joy to watch and ensuring that your dog stays positive and enthusiastic is part of fostering their playful personality. Once you identify what makes them excited, it’s easier for you to ascertain that if they’re running around, wagging their tail and barking, it’s not in a negative or intimidating way.

Signs include
– Playful behaviour
– Ears forward
– Mouth open
– Tail high
– Fast tail wag

If Your Dog Is Sad
This is an emotion we’re sure you’d never want your dog to feel as most dog owners go out of their way to ensure their canine companion is as happy as can be. However, dogs can experience feeling down in the dumps just as humans can. It’s vital for you, as a dog owner, to recognise these signs in order for you to help your pooch feel happier again.

Signs to look out for
– Loss of appetite
– Lethargy
– Avoidance
– Changes in sleeping habits

Good communication can show a mutual sign of love, respect and trust, so keep your eyes peeled for the different types of body language your dog is showing – chances are they are trying to tell you something.

Created by Time for Paws, an online pet store for dogs and cats.

time for paws

Is your Staffie’s name more common than you thought?

We’ve just got our paws on the list of Britain’s favourite Staffordshire Bull Terrier names.

The list, compiled by insurance company Bought By Many, was created by analysing tons of data from their fans on Facebook, and there are some rather surprising names in there.

Staffie’s name

You may want to use the list for inspiration if you’re planning on owning a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or if you want to avoid your dog having the same name as other pets in the park.

So, let’s cut to the chase, here are the top five names for male and females Staffies:

Top 5 female Staffie names
1. Bella
2. Tia
3. Ruby
4. Molly
5. Poppy

Top 5 male Staffie names
1. Buster
2. Diesel
3. Alfie
4. Charlie
5. Reggie

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How Daisy The Dog Saved The Doctor And Her Dream

Dogs have been our heroes and protectors dating back to almost the beginning of time. From pre-historic cave drawings to some of the first recorded examples of canine companions, these ancient tales have shared some shining examples of our beloved four-legged friends.

For example, during ancient days around 300 BC, there was a tale of the mighty King Pyrrhus of Epirus that used dogs to identify killers by using their advanced sense of smell. Fast forward to the middle ages and in the fourteenth century, King Louis the XI, used his dogs as a tool for recognizing potential threats to his empire that would notify him of “stranger danger” well in advance of their approach.

Dogs sniffing out cancer

But much has changed over the many hundreds of years since the days of those kings and their dogs. Now canines being used to enhance the lives of disabled people, aid our military and police forces, even save lives by spotting potential health risks in humans. While dogs themselves are susceptible to many different types of cancer, they are using their advanced and unique sense of smell to detect this deadly disease.

Meet The Doctor & Her Dog Daisy
Dr. Claire Guest had a dream of working with dogs and training them to sniff out different types of cancer either through skin, urine or other bodily fluids. Although her research and results seemed promising, she had hit an impasse with the rest of the medical community who dismissed her beliefs as poppycock.

One cloudy evening in February of 2009, Claire took her pet Daisy out for a ride in the car and when she opened the boot to let her dog out, the animal wouldn’t budge. While two other dogs along for the ride happily exited the vehicle and headed for the park to play, Daisy stood her ground in the back of the automobile.

Acting Unusual
“Daisy seemed to be pawing at my chest,” recalled Dr. Guest in an interview with The Daily Mall. “She bumped against my body repeatedly – I pushed her away, but she nuzzled against me again [she was] clearly upset.” Apparently her usually docile dog had pushed so hard against her it left a bruise and Claire couldn’t help feeling something was either wrong with her dog or there could be a problem inside of her own chest.

Feeling the area where Daisy had repeatedly struck her, Dr. Guest found the tiniest lump and had it examined by a fellow physician. “The bump was a perfectly harmless cyst,” shared Claire, “But further in the breast tissue was a deep-seated cancer.”

dogs help the fight against cancer

Daisy Saves The Day
Since it was caught early, she had a simple lumpectomy, some of her lymph nodes removed and following six months of radiotherapy, Dr. Guest is now cancer free. “I was 46, and the specialist told me that by the time a lump had become noticeable, this cancer would already have spread and my prognosis could have been very different.”

Just as Claire began to doubt her own research and dash her dreams of dogs that could detect cancer, her own labrador not only saved her life, but also reignited her passion. Seven years later, Daisy has sniffed around 6,000 urine samples, detecting over 550 cases of cancer and has a 93% accuracy rate.

Dr. Guest continues her work through her charitable organization, Medical Detection Dogs, where she’s working with over a dozen other dogs to perform the same type of miracles that Daisy does.

Dogs, depression and what you can do to help your pet

The conversation surrounding mental health has picked up in recent months, with high profile entertainers such as Ruby Wax and Stephen Fry sharing their personal experiences with mental illness.

However, according to Bought By Many, many people don’t realise, that dogs also suffer from mental health issues too.

A recent study by the vet charity PDSA found that more than 2.3 million dogs are regularly left on their own for five hours or more. Worryingly, 28% of the 31,500 pet owners surveyed believe it is acceptable to leave their dog alone in the house for 6 to 10 hours.

This is in stark contrast to advice from vets, who say dogs should not be left alone for more than four hours a day, because the loneliness and boredom can cause destructive behaviour.

Dogs need exercise
The survey also found that as many as 465,000 dogs are never taken for a walk. Daily walks are crucial to the well-being of most dog breeds. Some, like Pugs, Pekingese and some older dogs, can get by with a run around the backyard or even indoor playtime, though they would still benefit from regular walks outside.

For more energetic dog breeds, a lack of exercise can be devastating. It can affect both their mental and physical health and cause them to act out. The problem is so severe that over 50% of UK vets report behavioural issues have caused an increase in pet euthanasia in the past two years.

Of course this doesn’t mean you should quit your job so that you can take your dog for long daily walks – Dog Walkers are available to hire to do it for you. You can even hire a Dog Sitter to look after your dog while you’re at work.

It’s important to remember, however, that ultimately, your dog is devoted to you and it is crucial you spend time giving it the love and attention in craves.

Behavioural cover in pet insurance
If you’re struggling to deal with your pet’s behavioural issues, Bought By Many suggest checking your pet insurance – several companies include cover for behavioural problems in their policies. You might also consider the level of cover offered for these issues before deciding which provider to go with, or switch to.

Bought By Many found that John Lewis offers a good payout for behavioural problems – £250 is included in their Essential and Plus policies, and their Premier policy comes with £500 worth of cover.

Many other pet insurance firms exclude behavioural cover or do not specify the levels of payouts. You can compare the 10 best pet insurance policies for dogs here.

Pet insurance can cover complementary therapy, which may help with a dog’s behavioural issues.

Pet owner responsibilities
As well as long working hours and technology taking over our lives, a recent article in the Independent suggests that global warming might also be to blame for owners not taking their dogs out enough.

While pet owners are happy to take their dogs for a walk in frosty conditions, rain and mud are a much less attractive proposition. But dog ownership requires some sacrifice, including getting a little muddy.

Having a dog can be a wonderful thing and the unconditional love and companionship enhances the life of any pet owner. Ironically, dog ownership is thought to be one of the most effective ways to treat depression and anxiety in humans.

However, trying to fit a dog into a hectic lifestyle is not always viable and can cause unfair damage to an innocent animal that just wants your attention and love.

PDSA Advice
PDSA vet Vicki Larkham-Jones has some important words of advice for pet owners: “PDSA is urging pet owners to re-assess life from their pet’s perspective to ensure that they are giving their animals the right level of care and attention they need to live healthy, happy lives.

“I’d encourage people thinking about getting a pet to pause first and find out about all aspects of pet ownership in order to provide for that animal’s lifetime needs.”

Pet insurance

Sharron Davies backs No Bite is Right campaign and heads around the country to help keeps pets healthy

As the weather warms up and we approach summer, pet owners are being urged to be vigilant against ticks and fleas which thrive in warmer weather. Watch our video where Sharron and the Tickbuster team of experts tell you how you can keep your furry friends happy and healthy as temperatures rise

As pet owners get set for a summer spent with their beloved furry friends in the great outdoors, Sharron Davies is urging them to make sure their animals are in tip top shape before the summer kicks in.

The former Olympic swimmer is backing the No Bite is Right campaign and is making her way around the country on the Tickbuster Tour alongside a panel of experts, to help pet owners prevent nasty bites from ticks and fleas which thrive in warmer weather.

New research shows that almost one in ten pet owners don’t do anything to prevent their pets being bitten by ticks and fleas, while only a quarter treat their pet with a preventative treatment at the recommended frequency. Furthermore, less than 60% believe they have control over their pet’s protection from parasites like ticks, fleas and lungworm.

But while nasty and in some cases potentially fatal – all of these parasites and the diseases they spread can be protected against by regular use of suitable preventative products available from vets.

Watch our video where Sharron Davies starts the Tickbuster tour at the Ayr County Fair, alongside a panel of experts, to educate pet owners on how to keep their pets healthy this summer.

www.itsajungle.com

Ar you relocating to the seaside to run a dog friendly B&B or hotel?

Pi Productions is casting for a brand new documentary series for Channel 5 that follows people as they relocate for a major lifestyle and career change.

We are looking for families or couples who are planning to ditch the 9 to 5 to be their own boss and pursue a career in something they are passionate about. You could be relocating to the seaside to run a dog friendly B&B or hotel, moving to the countryside to take the reins of a boarding kennel, or you could be setting up a pet grooming salon in a popular tourist hotspot. We want to showcase the amazing lifestyle business opportunities out there and show what it takes to make a new business a success.

We would love to feature a new pet business – the pets industry is hugely aspirational right now, and dogs are the nation’s favourite pet, so it would be fantastic to capture and represent this in our series.

We are keen to feature positive and aspirational stories. This is a brilliant opportunity for “life changers” to feature themselves and their new venture on a prime time documentary, and inspire other people in the process.

We are looking for people who are embarking on their journey this summer.

If this sounds like you, or if you would like to recommend someone you know, then we would love to hear from you.

Interested parties can email the casting team on casting@piproductions.tv or give us a call on 0203 761 4522. There is no pressure to take part at the initial enquiry stage.

Pi Productions is a TV company run by John Silver, who created Grand Designs and reinvented MasterChef. Please have a look at our website for more information about us: www.piproductions.tv/

You can also follow us on Twitter: @PiProdCasting.

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