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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Top ten dog friendly beaches in the UK by manonabeach®

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About manonabeach®…

I started manonabeach® tentatively via YouTube in September, 2011 and put the website up in December of that year, as it started to become popular. From its origins in Cornwall, the project has now become national, featuring additional beach visits to Norfolk, Suffolk, Dorset, Sussex, East Lothian, Fife, Moray, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, The Highlands of Scotland, the Isles of Skye, Mull and the Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and The Gower, as well as Northumberland, Yorkshire and North Wales, including Anglesey. Through the seasons, manonabeach® returns to each region, building a picture of beach life through the year. There are now over 2,000 films on the website and manonabeach.com has developed into a fully fledged e-book, out of its beginnings as a daily blog. The website is a place where you can enjoy beach visits and a flavour of the beach when you’re not there, all built around beach goers’ answers to the question

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What does the beach mean to you…?”

The series celebrates the elemental power of the beach and its profound effect on people who enjoy being where the air, land and sea meet.  The beach means different things to different people, whether enhancing creativity, decisiveness and energy, being restorative and settling, part of a routine, a reference point through generations, freedom or just fun.

In the narrative interviews on the site, you can see and hear people re-present their emotions, perceptions and recollections, all drawn out by the enhancing effect of the beach.  manonabeach® is a construct, a passive Everyman, whose role is to bring qualitative findings directly to you, letting you draw your own conclusions from them.

Each beach page, accessed via a national or eleven regional maps, has details of facilities and features, a dog-friendly button, a Google map and bathing information.

The project has a well-being focus, as most viewers are urban and familiar with the beaches that I feature, but are missing the enhancing effect of these places. Through the website, viewers are reminded and often surprised by the wide range of stimuli on offer, where the air, land and sea meet. It’s a tonic, a pick me up at the end of a working day for some. 24% of the site’s visitors are in London and manonabeach® is watched in 138 countries. manonabeach®’s anonymity means that viewers aren’t troubled or distracted by the presence of a personality or celebrity. It’s almost as if the beach goer is talking directly to the viewer.

So what answers have I had to the question “What does the beach mean to you…?” There have been 635 different responses, in 1.080 interviews. Every answer has been meticulously recorded. Overall, the top five responses are:

  1. Childhood
  2. Beauty
  3. Family
  4. Dog walking
  5. Peace / calm.

I’ve divided the findings into six categories, with each category’s top five below:

Emotional and spiritual

  1. Memories
  2. Everything
  3. I love it
  4. Escape
  5. Being near the water / the sea.

Livelihoods and occupations

  1. Livelihood
  2. Routine
  3. History
  4. Economic pressure
  5. Economic benefit

Friends and family

  1. Childhood
  2. Family
  3. Holiday
  4. All generations
  5. Home

Sensory

  1. Beauty
  2. Peaceful / calm
  3. Relaxing / chilled out
  4. Freedom
  5. Wide open spaces

Nature

  1. The sea
  2. Ever changing
  3. Wildlife
  4. Seasonal changes
  5. Nature

Occupations and activities

  1. Dog walking
  2. Fishing
  3. Walking
  4. Swimming
  5. Play.

It’s clear from the viewing figures that people prefer the unspoilt, undeveloped beaches and there’s clearly a link through the generations that’s important to people. The most popular beaches on the site are not necessarily those that you might expect or that are best known and the subject of the heaviest marketing by tourism agencies. With due deference to the non-Cornish regions, who have only featured since October 2012 or even more recently, here are the top ten most viewed beaches at manonabeach.com:

1. Rinsey Cove, Cornwall, here
2. Holywell Bay, Cornwall, here
3. Polly Joke, Cornwall, here
4. Kynance Cove, Cornwall, here
5. Cley-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk, here
6. Covehithe, Suffolk, here
7. Southwold, Suffolk, here
8. Aldeburgh, Suffolk, here
9. Porthilly, Cornwall, here
10. Crantock, Cornwall, here.

There are regional characteristics that distinguish beaches and may inform the attraction in each place. Long granite headlands feature in Cornwall and West Wales, with the sea often viewed close up from the side, whereas big skies and bird life, including migratory, have a resonant impact in Norfolk and Suffolk. Man’s relationship with nature is starkly visible through the string of lighthouses up the North East coast of Scotland, while the picturesque golf links of East Lothian and Fife, along with North East Scotland, Suffolk, Sussex and Cornwall’s inshore fishing communities and Cornwall’s surfers and wild swimmers highlight the wide diversity of beach use.

The beach is a wonderful place for us all to enjoy. Its ever changing nature, whether on a daily or tidal basis or through the seasons, guarantees an element of anticipation and excitement in any beach visit. You just don’t know what and who you’ll meet there when you go to the beach, meaning that you’ll always have a different answer to the manonabeach question “What does the beach mean to you…?”

www.manonabeach.com/

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Pet Microchipping Essentials

As of April 2016, it’s now a legal requirement for all dogs over 8-weeks to be microchipped in the UK. Failing to do so could land you with a fine of up to £500.

How does it work?
The ID chip is as small as a grain of rice and no more painful than a standard vaccination. The procedure only takes a few minutes, but the benefits last for life. The only thing that you need to remember is to keep your contact details up-to-date.

Why is it important?
ID chips are a worthwhile precaution for your four-legged friend as a microchipped pet is more likely to be returned to its owner if lost or stolen. Microchipping will also help cut down on the numbers of stray animals, helping to reduce the strain on local authorities and charities.

Is it expensive?
Costs for ID chips vary from £15.00 and £20.00 at private clinics while some charities offer them for free.

For more useful information on how ID chips work and why it’s important to use them, take a look at this helpful guide from Sainsbury’s Bank:

www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/money-matters/pet-microchipping.shtml

Pet Microchipping Essentials