Tips for keeping pets happy and healthy over the festive season

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

While most of us love the festive season, for pet owners it can throw up some unique challenges and pitfalls.

Routines such as walking and feeding times, and many of the things we do regularly with our pets at certain times can go out the window when the festive season hits, which can be unsettling for pets.

There are also plenty of new ‘toys’ around the house that can actually be dangerous to our pets such as Christmas trees, Christmas tree decorations and even pine needles.

And that’s not to mention all the tasty Christmas treats which can be toxic to pets. And while many pet owners may be vigilant when it comes to what they feed their pets, many of our guests could end up feeding our pets things we don’t want them to have.

So how can you keep your pets happy and healthy over the festive season? To find out more, watch our video for key advice from Steve Backshall and vet Paul Manktelow.



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?  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!

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


Battersea Dogs & Cats Home wants to end backstreet breeding – and you can help.

Shockingly, there’s an unseen world of backstreet breeders that cruelly force dogs to breed repeatedly. These mother dogs have no quality of life and their puppies are sold indiscriminately for profit. Anyone who cares for animals can see that this practice is wrong and must be stopped as soon as possible.

In response to this terrible situation, Battersea Dogs and Cats home have started a campaign to end backstreet breeding and you can help end this cruel practice.

Across the country, female dogs are being viciously exploited to make money for unlicensed breeders again, and again, and again. This has to stop.

Take action now

Not only are the dogs abused during their time as forced mothers, often they are abandoned when they’re no longer of use. The products of backstreet breeding, the puppies, are also frequently neglected and sold with behavioural and health problems already present.

This cruel and malicious practice has to stop. With your help, it can. Let’s end backstreet breeding.

Click here for more information on backstreet breeding.

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

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.

Win a range of fabulous neoprene products from Dicky Bag

This month we have teamed up with Duck Soup Company, the inventors of the Dicky Bag, who now offer a full range of other fabulous neoprene products, to make life that little bit easier! They are very generously offering one lucky Good Dog Guide winner a set of their ingenious products, there’s something for every member of the family, from the pooch to the new born baby!

The material Neoprene, they use to make their products is also used to make wetsuits, it’s durable, lightweight, waterproof and washable, airtight and leak proof, making it perfect for a full range of products that can be used for dog owners and everyday family use.

dicky bag

For Dog Owners
The Dicky Bag – A carrier, with odour prevention devices, to put those awkward plastic bags containing dog’s poop in until you get to an appropriate disposal point – leaving your hands free and prevents inappropriate dumping of plastic bags of dog waste in the town or countryside.
Dicky Treat Bag – Ideal for storing clean pick up bags and dog treats. It is easily attached to your dogs lead and saves having every coat pocket stuffed with plastic bags and biscuits.

For the Family
Hugo and Barney – Two different sized bags which include a shoulder strap, as well as two loops cleverly positioned for you to be able to attach in a multitude of ways such as to your buggy, bicycle, bag and rucksack. The flexible, lightweight and slimline designs will be invaluable for on the go mums, packing picnics, lunches and beverages, with it’s thermal properties are advantageous for keeping food and drinks at an ideal temperature. Also perfect for swimming gear, sports kits, muddy shoes and even nappies.

dicky bag
Butler – The lightweight and slimline design is invaluable to pack your growing child’s drinks for school, a healthy snack lunch of juice and fruit for a trip to the park and so much more.

Matt – The non-slip mat is warm, hygienic, durable and quirky – perfect for changing your baby’s nappy, keeping dry on a wet floor or as use for a shower mat at the gym.

For your chance to win the full set of these amazing products just complete the form from this linkThis competition finishes at midnight on August 31st 2013

Good luck!

The Realities of Taking Your Dog on Holiday

I’ve been planning on taking my dog away. He’s a Glen of Imaal terrier called Jeff and I really don’t want to leave him in the hands of a kennel or pet hotel. The pet passport has meant that it’s so much easier to keep your pooch with you at all times. There is nothing worse than getting home from a holiday to a stroppy dog who is moping around because he thinks you’ve abandoned him.
It’s not as easy as just hopping on a plane with your dog and hoping for the best. It took a fair amount of planning to get everything arranged for the trip. I decided to take Jeff to Lanzarote, so did some research into which of the hotels on the island would allow pets, deciding in the end on the hotel Iberostar Papagayo in Lanzarote. It took me a while, so do ring around to find a hotel at your chosen destination that allows pets in the rooms.


First thing first was to make sure Jeff was ok to travel. He’s only three, so in the prime of his life. Older pets may have issues with the travel and change, so go to your vets to make sure. You’ll need a record of vaccinations, plus a microchip in case your dog wanders off anywhere when you are away.

Dog friendly accomodation in the Canary Islands

Check your airlines reputation for pet travel. There have been horror stories about a certain American airline’s way of handling pets in transit. Ensure that the carrier you have for your pet is the right size. Too big or too small could cause issues. Don’t leave your pet on the lead in the carrier as they might end up choking themselves.

Food can be an issue in foreign clines, especially if you have a fussy pet like I do. Jeff refuses to eat anything apart from the best steak or Iams, so I had to pack enough for the week. You will also need to make sure that your pet can deal with the water if you go somewhere with dodgy plumbing. Take water from home and mix with the local tap water to get their stomach used to it, or just give your dog the same bottled water that you have. Bottled water is generally much cheaper in hot countries than the UK, thankfully.

If your dog has a long coat, you can get them a haircut before you go, but be prepared to get some funny looks off people if like me, your dog ends up looking like a demented tiny lion with a trim.

Dog friendly holidays

A Guide to Dog Friendly Holidays in West Cornwall

Dog Friendly Holidays in Cornwall

This is our guide for having the best time in West Cornwall with your dog, without having to leave them behind. Having a smooth time with no stress is what everybody wants on holiday and trying to find places that are dog friendly can become a hassle, particularly if you get there and find out they are not; so this is a chance to find out where the best places in West Cornwall are to go with your dog. 


Holiday Parks:
There are a number of holiday parks in West Cornwall that will accept you and your fury friends, ranging in price and location; there is plenty of choice. The choices for West Cornwall start up at Hayle and go all the way down to St. Ives with plenty of choice in between. Prices for a weeks stay generally range from £99 – £1500, which is dependent on the size of your party and budget, but there really is something for everyone.

Holiday Cottages:
Holiday cottages can be a fantastic form of accommodation that are extremely comfortable. One of the best selections of holiday cottages available to book that are dog can be found at West Cornwall Cottage Holidays – they fully understand just how important your four legged friends are to you and don’t want to see them left behind in kennels or with friends. They actively encourage their cottage owners to accept dogs.

While there may be fewer dog-friendly hotels in West Cornwall than other forms of accommodation, there are some lovely places that you can stay in. For instance, the Mullion Cove Hotel is dog friendly, and has some wonderful sea views with prices per room per night starting from £100. There are many beautiful views in West Cornwall, which can be provided by many hotels, it just depends on your preference as to where you want to stay.

Bed & Breakfasts:
Bed and Breakfasts can offer a very warm and comfortable environment where you can relax and feel like you have a home from home in a holiday destination. With your dog and family this will be the cozy holiday at the English seaside you really want. The Elysian Fields is an example of the type of bed and breakfasts that West Cornwall has to offer.

There are a lot of dog friendly campsites in West Cornwall, which can offer you everything you need when holidaying. The prices range massively from £15 to £250 so whatever you need it can be catered for. Campsites are a great place to take your dog on holiday as there are a lot of open spaces to go on walks and the campsites are often placed in a good location for easy access to local tourist attractions and also hidden coves, if you want to get away from the busier spots.

Beaches are in no short supply in West Cornwall and in the height of summer are understandably very popular destinations for locals and tourists alike. They are a great way to get some fresh sea air and relax in the sun. Some beaches do restrict access for dogs, however the main beaches that do allow dogs on in West Cornwall are:

Long Rock beach
Prussia Cove
Cape Cornwall

Although there are some smaller, tucked away beaches that wouldn’t mind dogs on them, it is always best to make sure with the local authorities before taking your dog onto them.

Cafés, Pubs and Restaurants:
Finding somewhere to have a drink or a bite to eat is a key part of your holiday and can be a place where you have some of your best memories so to have to leave your dog outside while you do so is always a shame, as you have to check they’re ok and feel rushed when inside. Therefore, thankfully, West Cornwall has a lot to offer in accommodating man’s best friend; allowing all of you to go inside and have a fantastic time together.

A big part of taking your dog on holiday with you is trying to find walks that are interesting, fun and safe, and when looking for this West Cornwall is one of the best places. The beauty of walking in Cornwall is that while going on a seemingly normal walk you can come across some wondrous forms of nature, you can see sublime cliff edges, bright blue seas or find a great secluded walkway through fields and trees. Walking in Cornwall is a real place to get in touch with nature alongside your family and pets.