Experts warn pet owners about risk of flea infestations as central heating is turned on.

As the central heating dial is turned up across the UK, experts are warning pet owners about the increased risk of fleas in warm households.

New research, carried out by Bayer Animal Health for its ‘Home Invaders’ campaign, has shown that a third of pet owners are unaware that switching on the heating in the autumn and winter months can lead to an increase in flea infestations.

Parasitologist Ian Wright from the European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP) UK and Ireland says: “As long as the humidity remains over 75 per cent and temperatures don’t exceed 30°C then for fleas, the warmer the better. Fleas can complete their life cycle in less than 3 weeks at 29 °C so the warmer the house is, the faster they will reproduce up to that point. It should also be said, that fleas can still breed at 17 °C, just at a slower rate.”

According to the research, more than a third of pet owners turn up their heating in the autumn and winter months to between 21°C and 25°C, providing an optimum temperature for fleas to breed in. The study also revealed that one in 10 pet owners have noticed fleas on their pet and in the house during autumn and winter months, indicating they are not seeking preventative treatment at this key time of year.

It is estimated that 95 per cent of the flea population in a home can be found within carpets and soft furnishings, which is perhaps no surprise when almost half of owners admit sharing a bed with their pet and three quarters allow their cats to sleep on their sofa.

Furthermore, 27 per cent of pet owners seek parasite treatment advice online before going to their vet and 10 per cent only ever treat their pets when they see fleas. Worryingly, half of pet owners were completely unaware their pet had fleas until they were shown by a vet. Pet owners are reminded that while the web is a useful resource for gaining background information it should in no circumstances replace the role of a vet.

Paul Manktelow, Veterinary Surgeon, founder of Vital Pet Health and co-presenter of the Home Invaders documentary, says:  “There is a high probability your dog or cat will have had fleas or worms at some point in their life but depending on the degree of the infestation you may not have realised how many live hidden away in your home. It is important to speak to your vet about receiving the right preventative treatment to stop these infestations.”

Richard Wall, Professor of Zoology at Bristol University, says: “Only 1-5 per cent of the flea population is actually represented by the adults on the pet and is really just the tip of the iceberg. The remaining 95 per cent is hidden in the environment. They may be found in a wide variety of locations within the domestic environment, including wooden flooring and car upholstery.”

‘Home Invaders’ is a national campaign which is shining a light on the fleas and intestinal worms that live on our pets and in our homes, and is part of Bayer Animal Health’s wider ‘It’s a Jungle Out There’ parasite protection initiative. You can help spread the word and find out if your pet and family could be at risk, by following the conversation at or by following ‘JungleForPets’ on Twitter. You can also watch the Home Invaders documentary at

The Beginners Guide to Owning a Rehomed Dog

If you’re deciding to buy a dog, a popular option is to consider a rehomed dog. These are dogs that for whatever reason are no longer with their original owners and as such are in need of a new loving family to welcome them into their home.

Owning and caring for a dog is extremely fun and rewarding, but it is also a big responsibility. Owning a rehomed dog can come with more complications than buying a newborn pup, so it’s important to have a good understanding of what you need to do.

Rehomed Dog

There is no perfect way to raise a rehomed dog, but in the following paragraphs we’ll guide you through the key elements that you need to understand and ensure that you are as well equipped as possible.

Understanding your dog’s needs
A rehomed dog may have different needs to one that you select from a breeder. It’s possible they may have formed habits and behaviours that they need support to solve.

A key part of understanding your dog’s needs is being aware of these habits as well as any other requirements that the dog may have, your choice of shelter will be able to tell you more.

Once you have a good understanding of your dog’s needs you’ll then have a far better idea of the type of training and general care it requires.

Training your dog
As we have already touched on, rehomed dogs tend to pick up some bad habits. Therefore you’re going to need to get to grips with training to eliminate some of those innocent but irksome tendencies.

If you ask around you’ll get all kinds of different dog training advice. Ultimately, whichever approach you decide to take, dog training boils down to two things.

1. Reward behaviours you like
2. Make sure unwanted behaviours aren’t rewarded

As you get used to understanding how your dog learns you’ll be able to refine your training techniques and become a lot more effective as a result.

Grooming your dog
You may not realise it but dog grooming plays an essential part in the health and safety of your feline friend – it’s so much more than just making them look ‘pretty.’

You’ll need to trim their coats, clip their nails and ensure that they are as clean as possible. The truth is that if you go to a professional dog groomer for all these jobs you could easily see the bills wracking up, but the good news is you can do everything yourself.

Getting to grips with DIY dog grooming can take time but not only will it save you money, you’ll get that extra quality time with your new family member. DIY Dog Grooming Help is a fantastic resource to help you understand what you need to do and what equipment you will require.

Insuring your dog
If you are new to dog ownership you’ll definitely want to learn more about insurance. As with all types of insurance, there are different levels of cover, but in a nutshell, amongst other things, dog insurance will cover you in the case that your dog conducts a serious illness that requires extensive visits to the vet.

You’ll be covered for costs like loss of holiday money, veterinary fees and third party liability.

Being aware of dog related law
There are a number of laws that are designed to protect the wellbeing of dogs and those who come into contact with them. It’s well worth familiarising yourself with the various dog laws, for example did you know that certain breeds are prohibited in the UK?

The rewards of rehoming a dog are numerous; from the satisfaction of helping a dog in need, to a sense of fulfillment as you watch your new friend flourish in your care. Choosing to take in a dog from a shelter can result in a new family member that provides you with joy and unconditional love each and every day.

10 Puppies Trending in 2015

In August 2014, Bought By Many revealed the UK’s favourite puppy by analysing internet search data from Google.

But which puppies’ popularity has increased the most in the last 12 months? Bought By Many looked at the latest data to find out.
Trending Puppies: Biggest change in number of internet searches since June 2014

1, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
2, St Bernard
3, Shih Tzu
4, German Shepherd
5, Dachshund
6, Lhasa Apso
7, Papillon
8, Caucasian Shepherd
9, Pomeranian
10, Newfoundland

Trending now: BIG dogs

Perhaps the most unfamiliar name in this Top 10 – to UK dog lovers at least – is the Caucasian Shepherd Dog (also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka).

Hailing from the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbijan, Caucasian Shepherds were originally bred to hunt bears and kill wolves – skills which are unlikely to be needed in most parts of the UK.

Caucasian Shepherds can grow up to ten stone in weight, sometimes dwarfing their owners.

Also trending are two other sizeable breeds: the water-loving Newfoundland, and the original moutain rescue dog the St Bernard.

As well as physical strength and discipline, new owners of these giants breeds will need deep pockets. Big dogs have big appetites, and the cost of pet insurance can be 4x higher than it is for smaller dogs.

Toy Dogs: The Next Generation

At the other end of the size spectrum, interest in Toy Dogs is also evolving. While French Bulldogs and Pugs are now firmly established in the Top 10 most searched-for puppies, it is other small breeds who are now making the running – literally in the case of Papillon-cross Konjo, recently crowned the world’s fastest dog on two paws.

Meanwhile, another diminutive member of the spaniel family, the Cavalier, is the top trending puppy of 2015.

Other toy dogs to win new fans in 2015 inlcude the Dachshund, the Pomeranian, and the oft-confused Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso.
Preferred Pooches: The UK’s Favourite Puppies by Total Volume of Internet Searches

Change in position vs 2014 is shown in brackets

1, Cockapoo
2, Labrador
3, French Bulldog
4, German Shepherd (+1)
5, Cocker Spaniel (-1)
6, Husky
7, Bulldog
8, Beagle
9, Pug
10, Golden Retriever


Cats vs Dogs: Which Pet Is The Best?

The age-old debate concerning which animal is the best, cats or dogs, was brought back into the limelight recently as scientists proclaimed that cats are better at surviving.

Although this is good news for one proportion of the nation, dog lovers, including us, will no doubt cover their ears and refuse to take the news lightly.

So as the debate continues to divide opinion, we’re taking a look at what the main differences are between these two popular animals and stating why we think that dogs come out on top!

A Man’s Best Friend
Did you know that dogs are the third most popular pet to own in the UK? Our four-legged friends are sitting comfortably behind tank and pond fish, who take first and second place respectively.

Where’s the fluffy feline we hear you ask, well they take the fourth spot after dogs. That means that if this was a podium finish, the cat wouldn’t even appear victorious on the stand.

Statistics also highlight that between 2012 and 2014 there were nine million dog owners and 8 million cat owners in the UK, leading us to believe it’s the dog who is man’s true best friend.

The Differences – Cats Vs Dogs
There are a number of distinct differences between these two animals and, of course, siding with dogs, some of these include:

– Dogs instinctively protect their own territory, whereas cats won’t defend your home
– Dogs are more loyal to their owners compared to their feline opposition
– Dogs can be trained quickly to react to commands, whilst cats are harder to train

Protective, loyal, and easier to train, these three differences alone reflect some of the reasons as to why dogs make for great pets and why they should win the battle once and for all.

Have Your Say
So where do you stand? Do you agree with what we have to say, or have you always preferred cats over dogs from a young age?

Before you cast your vote, take a look at this scrolling cats vs dogs interactive Infographic to help you decide.

Once you’ve clicked on the cat or dog, you can view the results calculator at the end to see what the nation has to say.

cats vs dogs

Dogs and cats


From Jewkles to ‘Orses, we’ve got you covered

Chances are if you understand the above, you’re a Cumbrian. And if there’s one thing us Cumbrian folk love, it’s our pets! In fact, Cumbria is home to the country’s most dog friendly town, Keswick, and is famed for its dog friendly establishments and dog friendly attitudes.

As you’d expect from a county of die-hard pet lovers, there’s a whole host of local pet businesses – so many in fact that it can be hard knowing where to begin! This is where we come in, Pets in Cumbria is a dedicated pets website, helping fellow Cumbrians with all of their pet related needs.


Our pages contain everything from local pet news and advice articles, to pets for sale, pets for rehoming, pet services & supplies and recommended veterinary practices. We also hold regular competitions where you can win LOTS of pet prizes; we believe every pet deserves to be pampered now and again.

So, what’re you waiting for? Head to or join us on Twitter at @petsincumbria or on Facebook at

Ps. For the non-Cumbrians among us, a jewkle is a dog and a ‘orse is a horse!


Dogs Trust launches Get A Dog campaign

• Dogs Trust team up with BAFTA award-winning creative agency Don’t Panic to create comedic video to highlight the benefits of adopting a pet dog during the summer holidays

• The film coincides with the launch of the Get A Dog campaign to inspire families to adopt a dog and make the most of their summer.

Today our nation’s children are spending more time on technology than ever before, resulting in less family bonding and an impact on physical health. The UK’s largest dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust is making the issue a top priority by highlighting the benefits of dog ownership for the whole family.

Get a dog

A survey by Dogs Trust found that parents cite the family dog as a distraction for children that are ordinarily glued to tech. 42% say the family take more exercise thanks to the pet and nearly half view their dog is their child’s best friend. The survey also asked parents about their own childhoods and found that, overwhelmingly, growing up with a dog is seen as a positive part of their childhood.

The survey also asked current parents about their own childhoods and found that overwhelmingly growing up with a dog is seen as a positive part of their childhood:

• 69% of parents surveyed grew up with a dog and of those, 93% believe their family pet enriched their own childhood.

• Of those surveyed who felt their family dog enriched their childhood, 39% said it taught them responsibility.

• Now that they are parents themselves, over half (54%) of those polled who had a pet dog when they were younger now have one for their own children

• 43% of those who have dogs now have sentimentally chosen the same breed they had when they were growing up.

Dogs Trust launches their Get A Dog campaign to inspire families to start making technology-free memories this summer by adopting a dog. The charity has created a comedic video with Don’t Panic that demonstrates the humorous inadequacy of an iPhone or Xbox, compared to the genuine fun that can be had with a pet, and encourages parents to consider getting a family dog.

Owning a dog as a family can be extremely rewarding as dogs can act as companions and support for children. They provide them with a sense of responsibility as they get involved with their daily care and understand the commitment, and children with dogs are often more physically active, playing with the dog and taking them for walks, which can help with health related issues.

Dogs Trust Chief Executive, Adrian Burder, comments: “The summer holidays are a fantastic time to introduce a new dog to your family because the kids are around to enjoy those special first months together. It’s time to put down the iPad and walk away from the Xbox and… get a dog. Dogs Trust has 20 Rehoming Centres across the UK, full of rescue dogs ready and waiting to start making memories with you and your family.”

Hashtag: #GetADog

Need some tips on how to prepare your pets for the summer months?

Watch our video with Steve Backshall and vet Paul Manketelow to get clued up

Just what do we need to know to make sure our pets are happy and healthy in the summer months? All too often it’s obvious things that get forgotten, from hydration to parasite protection to heat stroke.

Hydration is absolutely key in the warmer months and it’s advisable to make sure that you not only keep their usual bowl topped up, but also consider having other water bowls accessible to encourage your animals to keep hydrated.

Try to walk when it’s cooler so before 11am, or after 3pm.  Make sure you pick up a travelling water bottle, so you can give them a quick drink to stop your dog from overheating.  Most important, make sure you check the ground isn’t too hot for your pet’s paws. Parasites thrive in warm conditions therefore it’s important to keep your pets protected from parasites all year round and particularly in the summer months. Your pet can be subjected to parasites more frequently in the warmer conditions, and they can easily be picked up in whilst enjoying a walk in the countryside or visiting your local park.

Watch our video for hints and tips on how to keep your pet happy and healthy this summer

How to Deal with Dog Odour this Summer

Summer has arrived with a serious heatwave, so we need to get cracking with making sure we keep on top of the smells that bacteria can cause and is often brought about from our furry friends. It can be a surprise to some that odour is caused by bacteria, so it is essential that we spread the word to keep things clean in the home environment if we want to enjoy a summer of fresh flower and barbecue smells, and not the sweaty, poopy type smells. So here is a few tips to keep your dogs free from bacteria and therefore odour.


Baby wipes are great for wiping down your dog’s fur and will work to gently cleanse, condition and deodorise. They’re also a bonus to have around when your pooch’s paws are a tad muddy after that long walk in the forest.

Use baking soda or corn-starch as a dry shampoo for your dog – it works to remove the sweat in the summertime. Corn starch or baby powder work well and can stop an itch associated with hot spots and dry skin. Lavender is another natural deodoriser that works to keep the fur friendly. Try mixing with some water, in a spray bottle to make a lightly scented doggie deodorising spray for on the go.

Add some fruits and vegetables to your dog’s diet as this can help with bad breath. Try mixing with some dry dog food.

And for the obvious, everyday issue of dealing with their dog poo, The dooup Complete Pet Waste Clearer is the best choice for the garden. It clears and sprays the affected area, keeping it free from bacteria and parasites, and also stores around a weeks’ worth of waste before the bag inside automatically seals it away upon removal. If you have kids, it’s ‘a must’ as it will protect them from the 23 million bacteria that is contained in dog waste.

tilting back

5 essential items when dog walking in the summer!

Well, the longest day has been and gone but hopefully there’s still a lot more summer weather to enjoy!


It’s only when you stop and really think about it that you realise that there isn’t much that can match the magic and enjoyment of a lovely evening’s stroll, out and about with your beloved dog. With this in mind, listed below are 5 essential items of a sensible ‘dog walking kit’ to help prepare you for whatever the summer elements might throw at you!

1. Waterproof Jackets

A ‘mac in a sac’ is an essential garment when out dog walking. They pack away small enough to fit into your pocket or even clip on to your belt but do be sure to get a ‘breathable’ mac – or perhaps one with a mesh lining – otherwise when it’s raining, your own body heat will make the mac wetter inside than it will be outside! Plus, make sure its nice and bright so you are easily spotted when walking home at dusk. A clear advantage of a waterproof jacket is that it is easy to wash and even ‘re-proof’, if necessary!

2. Footwear

Leather walking boots or shoes can be heavy and perhaps make your feet too warm in the summer. So lightweight, yet sturdy, boots or shoes really are the answer. Waterproof and breathable walking boots or shoes are recommended as, at some point, you are likely to encounter puddles and streams which your trusted dog will just love to play and splash in! Nowadays, many walking boots and shoes are designed to incorporate waterproof and breathable membranes that are easy to maintain with just a quick clean and re-proof straight after your walk. However, Grisport boots are designed and manufactured in Italy and there is a selection of quality, sturdy, lightweight boots and shoes that are comfortable straight from the box. No (or very little) ‘breaking-in’ will be needed!

Alternatively, if you enjoy walking through forests or muddy grounds, you may prefer a pair of wellington boots. Neoprene lined wellies, equipped with a Vibram sole will give you comfort, support and grip – which is just what you need when walking on rough and tough terrain, helping you keep full control of your excited four legged companion!

3. Hats

Wearing a hat in the summer has many benefits:

a wide brim hat will help to prevent sun stroke by protecting the top of your head and neck
a baseball cap will help to prevent heat from escaping from the top of head when, for example, on top of a breezy mountain playing with your dog
a wide brim sun hat can be used to host a ‘midge net’, when walking through damp forests or alongside rivers
a wooly hat will protect your ears and prevent ear ache when walking in those very windy areas – even if ‘doggy’ is enjoying it more than you!
a flat cap can be comfortably worn but can also be used to ‘shoo’ away sheep or cattle from paths and gates – out of the way of playful and inquisitive pooches!
a waterproof wax hat has the dual purpose of being used to scoop up water from a river supplying a refreshing drink for your thirsty hound ,when all else fails!

As you can see, having a hat in your pocket or rucksack is very handy and, in some cases, may even be a life saver!

Or if you prefer not to wear a hat, you could consider a headband. These lightweight fleece bands offer great protection over the ears without the bulkiness of a normal hat. Plus, they wrap up small enough to fit into a pocket!

4. Gloves

You may not have thought about wearing gloves in the summer but they are very useful to help maintain a grip when holding a very excitable dog on a lead.

Dexshell Thermfit gloves ‘fit like a glove’! (hee, hee!) Made from a fabric similar to wet suit material, they are fully waterproof and highly breathable. Plus, designed with a unique grip control on the palm and fingers, these gloves will make sure you have the right grip on the lead. These are simply great – whatever the weather!

5. Dog Coats

A dog coat is an essential piece of equipment to help keep your trusted pet cool, dry and comfortable – especially after being in that river!

Made from heavy double-thickness cotton towelling, with velcro closures, the ‘Ruffle and Tumble’ dog drying coats have many uses:

Use 1:

If your pet has been swimming in a river or lake, simply wrap the dog coat around your dog keeping him or her snug. The coat will keep your pet warm and comfortable and help dry them off quicker. Plus, the drying coat will collect up the dirt from their fur by sucking it into the material itself, preventing the back of your car from getting wet and dirty!

Use 2:

If you see that your dog is panting franticly and is over-heating, simply dip the coat in the nearest water you can find and wrap it around your dog. The wet coat will act as a body temperature regulator and will help cool your dog down.

Plus, your dog will love wearing this drying coat as it fits and feels just like a ‘big, big hug’!

So, enjoy being out and about in the summer months ahead…and perhaps more importantly, enjoy spending time out and about with your loving, grateful and excitable four legged friends!

For further ideas and guidance on what to wear when dog walking please visit


Dogs and Humans: Bridging the Gap.

Do you believe in a psychic connection between humans and dogs? Many owners will say that their dog ‘knows’ exactly what they are thinking, or what they are about to do. Some cat owners have this same belief. The question is – how much of this is about the animal picking up on our body language, after all this is how dogs – and cats – communicate with each other, and how much of it indicates a genuine connection? Dog behaviourists have known for a long time that a dog is in constant communication with its owner, even if the owner is not aware of this, and it takes the form of emotional energy. Celebrated dog psychologist Cesar Milan often speaks of the negative and positive energy which our dogs use to interpret our behaviour.

There have been loads of stories over the years about dogs which will sit patiently by the door waiting for their owner to come home from work. Now, if that owner comes home at the same time every day then that is easy to explain away – dogs are excellent timekeepers and sticklers for routine. But experiments have been conducted with the owner returning home at different times of the day to find dog waiting for them.
And here’s another thing: many pet owners will tell you that they have felt the presence of their pet after the animal has passed away. Sometimes it can be the form of a smell or the sound of the animal moving around; sometimes the form of the animal can be actually seen. There’s no doubt that an owner who was close to their pet will struggle to explain the physical sense of the animal being ‘gone but still there’.
If you are a fan of Britain’s Got Talent you’ll know that this year’s winner was an amazing dog act – Matisse the collie with Jules O’Dwyer, following in the pawprints of Ashley and Pudsey. These astonishing acts have been honed to perfection over years of intense physical training but isn’t there something else too? Pudsey and Matisse seem to have that extra unspoken connection with their owners, without which they would not achieve such levels of perfection.

some people

So how can we explain this connection in wild animals?
Big cats in rescue centres have learned to co-exist alongside their human rescuers despite being the ultimate predators. A black leopard named Diablo, which had been taken to a centre in South Africa, was a fearsome creature with an established fear and hatred of humans. Yet he seemed to develop a trusting relationship with animal communicator Anna Breytenbach. She spent time with the animal, speaking to him on a psychic level, and claimed that the cat told her about his feelings towards humans and about his situation. He told her he didn’t like the name which had been given to him – Diablo – because he didn’t like the connotations it implied. Here’s the most amazing part – she said that Diablo asked about two leopard cubs which had been with him previously; he was concerned about them.

The rescue centre owners said Anna could not possibly have known about the two cubs.
The big cat’s experience with Anna seemed to reassure and relax him to the extent that he was able to leave his cage and explore his wider enclosure for the first time. The rescue centre owner was impressed enough by the transformation of Diablo (renamed Spirit) that he decided to attend a workshop to learn more about how to communicate with his big cats.

Learn how to communicate with your dog. You may learn what he really wants!

The post has been created by a member of Derek Acorah’s team of chosen psychics and mediums at Psychic Ether, picked for their outstanding abilities within their area of expertise.