New report by UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, highlights that responsible owners could be penalised by increasingly tough restrictions on dogs
- Dog owners and assistance dog users can be unfairly penalised or even criminalised by overly restrictive Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
- Dogs are banned from over 2,200 public spaces in England and Wales and must be kept on leads at all times in 1,100 public spaces
- Kennel Club calls for improved guidance from the Home Office to local authorities regarding PSPOs and for appropriate exemptions for assistance dog users
Dog owners and assistance dog users are being unfairly penalised and in some cases, criminalised, by overly-zealous restrictions on where people can walk their dogs, a new report by the UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, has found.
Public Space Protection Orders, introduced under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, give power to local authorities to ban dogs from public areas, such as parks and beaches, or to require dog owners to keep their dogs on leads at all times in these areas.
With around 8.5 million dogs in the UK and an estimated one in four households owning a dog, the impact on responsible, law-abiding citizens could be huge if local authorities increase their use of Public Space Protection Orders to restrict dog walking.
The Kennel Club estimates that dogs are currently banned from over 2,200 public spaces in England and Wales and must be kept on leads at all times in 1,100 public spaces. There is likely to be a substantial increase in restrictions in the next year, as all local authorities in England and Wales must replace existing Dog Control Orders (introduced under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005) with PSPOs by 20th October 2017.
The Kennel Club recognises there are scenarios where restrictions on dog walkers are required and justified; however it believes that many do not meet this criteria and are causing unreasonable hardship for responsible dog owners and assistance dog users, making it hard for them to provide appropriate exercise for their dogs, and in some cases are criminalising responsible law-abiding citizens.
As well as having an impact on the quality of people’s daily lives by restricting where they can walk their pets, these types of restrictions can have a significant negative impact on the welfare of dogs. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 there is a legal requirement for those responsible for dogs to provide them with ‘suitable exercise’, which means regular opportunities to walk and run off lead. The Kennel Club is concerned that responsible dog owners trying to give their pets the exercise they need may find it increasingly difficult to find places to do so.
Those in society who rely on assistance dogs can often be the most severely impacted by restrictions on dog walkers and have faced significant difficulties as a result of Dog Control Orders and continue to do so under Public Space Protection Orders.
Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 the Government included clear requirements that a registered blind person; a deaf person using a hearing dog; and those with a disability who relied on an assistance dog, could not be subject to a dog exclusion order. The Government also included a similar exemption for assistance dog users from dog fouling orders, if their disability affected their ability to pick up after their dog.
These exemptions were common-sense measures to ensure that disabled people were not discriminated against from accessing public spaces. While these were welcomed, a considerable issue was created when no specific provision was provided to exempt assistance dogs from restrictions requiring dogs to be kept on a lead. This remains a problem with PSPOs. In local authority areas with extensive on-lead restrictions in place, it can be very difficult for assistance dog users – especially those who are unable to drive or have mobility impairment – to provide their dogs with opportunities to get proper exercise and exhibit normal behaviour patterns as required under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
When PSPOs replaced DCOs there was no specific provision within the legislation to exempt those who rely on assistance dogs from any of the restrictions within a PSPO. Instead there was merely a recommendation in the guidance that states local authorities ‘may wish to consider exempting those with an assistance dog’.
The Kennel Club is greatly concerned about the number of local authorities that appear to be creating additional hurdles for assistance dog users, either by not providing exemptions at all or by not providing appropriate exemptions, which could be a breach of the Equality Act 2010.
Furthermore, due to the manner in which they are drafting PSPOs, a number of local authorities implementing exemptions for assistance dogs are failing to include deaf people who rely on hearing dogs within their exemptions.
These councils are typically copying verbatim the prescribed Dog Control Orders assistance dog exemption as drafted for dog fouling offences, which exempt all assistance dogs apart from hearing dogs, whose owners are considered physically able to pick up after their dogs. These councils are then using the same wording but for dog exclusion orders, which is resulting in all other assistance dog users being exempted from dog exclusion orders apart from those with hearing dogs. The Kennel Club hopes that common sense would be applied on the ground, however the current wording can result in hearing dog users being singled out and legally barred from accessing certain public spaces.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “It is crucial that any restrictions on dogs and their owners are fair and proportionate, and we believe it is important for local authorities to be able to present evidence that there is a genuine problem that cannot be dealt with in other ways before they attempt to introduce restrictions.
“Certain PSPOs, such as the one that makes it a legal requirement to pick up after your dog, are sensible and promote responsible ownership. However some, such as blanket restrictions, do little to address underlying problems and instead simply displace them to other sites, which can cause further problems elsewhere.
“Some local authorities seem to be waging a war on dogs and their owners and singling them out from the rest of the population with no real reason for doing so. Those involved in proposing dog restrictions of course have to take into consideration all users of public spaces, not just those with dogs, but when they seem to be actively trying to criminalise dog owners simply for wanting to give their pets proper exercise it greatly concerns us which is why it is important to oppose unnecessary restrictions and encourage a more evidence based approach.
“It is important to note that owners need to give their dogs proper exercise, which includes exercise off lead, to make sure they are complying with the Animal Welfare Act. If they are being prevented from doing so by another piece of legislation then decision makers need to look at what can be done to avoid this happening, both to protect dog welfare and to ensure that law abiding citizens aren’t being unfairly singled out.
“The UK has long been known as a nation of dog lovers and we would not want to see this undermined through unnecessary restrictions that cause dog owners to feel that going about their daily lives could result in a fine or unfair penalisation. Dog walkers provide many benefits to society as they often act as the eyes and ears of communities and are a continuing presence in public places, which could deter genuine anti-social behaviours.”
The Kennel Club is the only organisation which monitors and responds to individual PSPO proposals to restrict dog access, through its KC Dog group which alerts dog owners across the country to potential restrictions in their area and works with local authorities to find suitable, more effective, solutions to dog-related issues.
Local authorities have significant targeted powers to address individual irresponsible owners, such as Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and Community Protection Notices. These have the advantage of allowing authorities to require problem dog owners to attend training courses and deal directly with the underlying problem behaviour, but it is rare for authorities to use them and they tend to implement blanket restrictions instead, which penalises the responsible majority when it may be just one or two irresponsible owners who are not doing what they should.
The Kennel Club wants to see improved guidance from the Home Office to local authorities regarding PSPOs; appropriate exemptions for assistance dog users from PSPOs; and better consultation with its KC Dog group from local authorities.
Tags: KC Press Release
Download the full report here.
Staff at Dogs Trust Shrewsbury are hoping this Hallowe’en weekend will see a litter of seven puppies work their magic on dog lovers.
The four brothers Pumpkin, Boo, Ghost and Cobweb along with their sisters Candy, Cinammon and Spice are all looking for ‘spook-tacular’ homes and are already learning a few simple tricks in return for their favourite treats to enchant their potential owners.
The Lurcher pups, now seven weeks old, were born just days after their mum, 18-month-old Sadie, was handed in to the centre after her owner could no longer take care of her.
Louise Campbell, Dogs Trust Shrewsbury Rehoming Centre Manager says:
“Like all puppies they are absolutely adorable but we are looking for homes with owners who have the time and patience to give them everything they need.
“We have already started to do basic training with them and they are very quick learners, especially if their favourite foodie treat or toy is on offer as a reward! Now we’ve just got our fingers crossed that they will head off to magical homes soon.”
To find out more, contact Dogs Trust Shrewsbury on 0300 303 0292.
Dogs Trust Shrewsbury is holding a free Hallowe’en event for children aged 7-11 on Thursday 27th October, 1.30pm-3pm. There will be ghoulish games and spooky snacks. Places must be booked in advance by calling 01952 771405 or emailing, here.Tags: Dogs Trust Press Release
There are some creepy goings on at Dogs Trust Bridgend this Howl-o-ween as the rehoming centre is playing host to an adorable resident whose teeth make him look like a vampire.
The seven-year-old Lhasa Apso called Milo has two noticeable ‘fangs’ protruding from his bottom jaw. He has been the talk of the rehoming centre since his arrival last week, especially since coming in during the month of Halloween.
Despite his appearance, Milo couldn’t be further from a vampire and is actually an extremely sweet natured, gentle character. He is a friendly chap who gets on well with other dogs. He walks well on his lead and loves an afternoon nap.
Dogs Trust Bridgend have been inundated with questions about his teeth but staff have put it down to an unexplained phenomenon and whilst he wouldn’t look out of place in Transylvania, staff are hoping that a local dog lover can embrace his quirky looks and offer him a loving new home.
Angela Wetherall, Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre Manager for Bridgend says: “We are amazed by how much Milo’s teeth resemble vampire fangs – they have certainly become a topic of conversation with staff and visitors! He may bear an uncanny resemblance to Count Dracula but he is no bloodhound!
“Milo is missing his home comforts and is looking for a fairly quiet home. He could live with other animals or children over the age of 14 who will give him time on his own when he needs it.”
If Milo has cast a spell on you and you think you could give him, or any of the other dogs a loving new home, please call Dogs Trust Bridgend on 0300 303 0292.Tags: Dogs Trust Press Release
He became known as Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s unluckiest dog – but Greyhound cross Bud’s story has finally had a fairy-tale ending thanks to Paul O’Grady.
Bud had been looking for a home for nearly three years, but his luck finally changed for the better when he was rehomed by the Corns family, who spotted him on Battersea’s ITV series Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs.
Ian Corns and his family, who live in Kingswinford in the West Midlands, answered Paul’s personal appeal on the programme for a home for Bud, who is Battersea’s longest-stay dog.
Whenever a Battersea dog has appeared on the programme still needing a home, the show’s millions of UK viewers have always responded in their droves.
Ian said: “When I saw Bud on the Battersea programme I couldn’t stop looking at him. His character shone through and he reminded me so much of our old Collie-cross Rune. We called Battersea Old Windsor and they arranged for us to come and meet him. Now we’ve got Bud we can’t believe he’s been looking for a home for so long. He fits in so well already. He loves being involved in whatever the family is doing and we’ve all fallen in love with him.”
The series finale of Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs is on this Thursday at 8:30pm and the show’s famous host said he is thrilled to hear Bud had been rehomed.
Paul O’Grady said: “I can’t think of a better way to end the series then with knowing Bud has found a family. It broke my heart to think that he might spend a fourth Christmas without a home, so I’m over-the-moon to hear he’ll be surrounded by love this festive season. Bud is such an amazing dog and he deserves to have a happy ending to his story.”
Bud came into Battersea in November 2013, because his owners’ circumstances changed and they were no longer able to take care of him.
He spent years in kennels before going out on foster with two of Battersea’s volunteers, to give him some stability while he waited for his forever-home.
Battersea Old Windsor Centre Manager Kaye Mughal said: “Since Bud arrived at Battersea the charity has rehomed over 5500 dogs, yet Bud was constantly being overlooked and we were at a loss to understand why. He’s such a wonderful dog with a great personality. But as soon as Bud appeared in Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs the phone started ringing off the hook. When we spoke to Ian and his family everything seemed to click into place- they’re a great match for him.”
Fans of Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs will be able to see more of Bud’s rehoming story on the show’s Christmas special on ITV.Tags: Battersea Press Release
October 21st, 2016Articles
After huge international success with the most recent Kennel Club Dog Photographer of the Year competition, the annual canine photography contest returns this month.
The prestigious competition is open to both budding and experienced photographers, who are encouraged to submit their photos to be in with a chance of receiving international exposure for their work as well as winning a selection of prizes.
The competition, which opens today, is free to enter and will be accepting submissions until 15th March 2017.
This year’s competition received almost 13,000 entries from more than 90 countries, making it the biggest and most popular canine photography competition in the world.
The competition comprises ten categories, including two which are new this year: Young Pup Photographer (for the under 12s) and Rescue Dogs, another charity category to complement Assistance Dogs.
- Dogs at Play
- Dogs at Work
- Man’s Best Friend
- Young Pup Photographer (for entrants aged 11 and under)
- ‘I Love Dogs Because …’ (for entrants aged between 12 and 17)
- Assistance Dogs
- Rescue Dogs
An overall winner will then be chosen from the winning ten images.
Anastasia Vetkovskaya from Moscow, Russia was selected as the overall winner of this year’s competition with her winning image of an English Springer Spaniel wading into water at dawn. Upon winning the biggest canine photography competition in the world, Anastasia said: “I have loved animals from an early age, which is why I went to Moscow Veterinary Academy and became a veterinary surgeon in 2007. Around this period of time, my husband gave me my first SLR camera and since then I have devoted all of my free time to photography.”
Many previous winners go on to achieve great things in the world of photography. Jade Hudson, the most recent young photographer to win the ‘I Love Dogs Because…’ category, has since been offered a three year photography apprenticeship and plans to build a career in pet and landscape photography. Jade’s mum Joanne credits winning the competition for giving her daughter the confidence to pursue photography professionally.
The overall winner will receive an original oil painting of their image by artist Sara Abbott and a VIP mentorship day with international dog photographer and competition alumni Andy Biggar.
All category winners will have their images on display at the Kennel Club in Mayfair, and will win a SmugMug business account to showcase their work online and a one day course at the prestigious Nikon School in London, as well as a trophy and exhibition print presented during an award ceremony.
The Assistance Dog and Rescue Dog category winners will also receive a £500 donation from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust to their chosen dog charity.
Michael Higginson, winner of 2015’s Assistance Dog category, chose the Dogs for Good charity as the recipient of his prize, saying at the time: “It’s an honour to be able to show the world what a difference a dog can make to someone else’s life.”
To officially register and enter, please visit www.dogphotographeroftheyear.org.uk. The deadline to enter is 17.00 (GMT) on 15th March 2017.Tags: KC Press Release
A nationwide search has begun to find the UK’s top dog hero, to be crowned the 2017 winner of the annual Eukanuba Friends for Life competition, celebrating a lifetime of friendship and the heart-warming stories of how humans and dogs transform and enrich each other’s lives.
The Kennel Club, the UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, in partnership with Eukanuba, the experts in super premium pet nutrition, is searching for inspiring stories from across the country that showcase just how much dogs do for humans throughout their lives, and is calling for the public to nominate a canine companion that deserves to be recognised for what they do.
The winner of the Eukanuba Friends for Life competition will be revealed at Crufts 2017, at the NEC, Birmingham on Sunday 12 March, and will win £3,000 for a dog charity of their choice. Runners up will receive £750 for their chosen dog charity.
The public are being asked to nominate dogs in the following categories:
- Extraordinary Life of a Working Dog – for dogs who have shown extraordinary qualities through working, including in the army, police force, RAF, airport, search and rescue
- Giving Longevity Through Assistance – for assistance dogs that support their owners throughout the years
- A Life of Friendship – celebrating man’s best friend throughout the years, a partner that has seen their owner through the hardest times as well as the happiest
- Giving the Best Start in Life – recognising dogs that support and impact the lives of children
Nominations are open until 12 December 2016 and four finalists will be chosen to go forward to the final at Crufts 2017, where the overall winner, selected by public vote, will be announced before the grand finale of the Crufts Best in Show award.
Previous winners of the competition include 2016 winner Boo the Lurcher, who is credited with transforming the life of owner Rosie Reid following complications in pregnancy that left her unable to have children and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; Miracle, a rescue dog who was to be cruelly slaughtered for meat but who is now changing the life of his owner six year-old Kyle who has cerebral palsy; and Haatchi, an Anatolian Shepherd who had his leg and tail amputated after being deliberately tied to a railway line and struck by a train, only to be rescued and rehomed with seven year-old Owen Howkins, who has a rare genetic condition which causes his muscles to be permanently tense, and his family.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “Dogs play a significant role in our lives. Every day there are dogs out there saving lives in war zones, giving confidence and independence to those with disabilities, and showing remarkable bravery and loyalty as pets.
“Eukanuba Friends for Life is an opportunity to celebrate these dogs, who quietly go about changing people’s lives in their own unique and special way. We are looking forward to hearing from anybody who has a heart-warming tale about how their dog has changed their life for the better or how a friend has had their life transformed by their dog.
“As a fitting tribute, the winner will take centre stage at the Genting Arena during Crufts 2017, an event which is dedicated to celebrating the diverse role that dogs play in society and the way that they enrich our lives.
“We encourage anybody whose dog has earned the title of Eukanuba Friend for Life to put them forward for recognition in this competition.”
Annaliese Reekie, Managing Director for Eukanuba UK said: “Eukanuba Friends for Life celebrates the unique relationship we have with our dogs and the important role they play throughout our life and their own. At Eukanuba, we want to help extraordinary dogs everywhere to live a long, happy and healthy life with our high quality nutrition together with appropriate care. I have always had dogs in my life so know the joy, comfort and loyalty they bring; ultimately they will never let you down. I can’t wait to hear this year’s incredible stories of how dogs give us a lifetime of love, care and support.”
For further information and to nominate a dog, visit www.crufts.org.uk/content/Tags: Crufts, Crufts 2017, Friends For Life, KC Press Release
October 20th, 2016Articles
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home dog Ethel stars in ITV’s Paul O’Grady: For the Love of Dogs tonight (20th October, 8:30pm), where the TV personality falls in love with her unusual habit of clambering to the highest point of the room.
In tonight’s episode, as well as helping the four-year-old Cavachon – who is finding life in kennels rather overwhelming – find the perfect vantage point by installing her favourite chair in her kennels so she can watch the world go by, Paul meets Max the Setter cross, who is struggling to make any friends – either human or canine – because he is Battersea’s smelliest dog. Can the vets get to the bottom of his off-putting body odour? This episode also features Milo the one-year-old Labrador, who likes nothing more than charging around after tennis balls. However, his knee ligament is damaged, meaning he has to undergo major surgery. Tune in at 8:30pm to see how they all get on; or you can watch a preview of tonight’s episode here.
While Ethel’s love of heights captured Paul’s heart, she’s not the only Battersea dog whose quirks are one-of-a-kind.
Battersea Rehoming and Welfare Manager, Becky Fisher, said: “All our Battersea dogs have their own unique personalities, but sometimes we get some especially unconventional canine characters that really stand out. At the moment we’ve got some one-of-a-kind dogs at Battersea and we’re hoping someone out there will embrace their individuality and give these a-paw-able pooches the home they deserve.”
Battersea’s quirkiest canines:
Coco: the giant lap dog
Weighing over 27 kilos, Coco could hardly be described as one of Battersea’s smaller dogs. However, this gentle giant is convinced he’s a lapdog. Coco was brought in because his owners’ circumstances changed and they were no longer able to look after him. This lovely old gentleman is an affectionate boy and if you sit down near him for more than a few seconds, you’re likely to find yourself with a lap full of this nine-year-old mongrel. Coco is desperate to find a home, having been at Battersea for over 80 days. Whoever takes this gorgeous cuddle-monster home will have a life-long, loving companion.
Mo: the dog who likes to be tucked in at night
Mo captured the hearts of Battersea staff as soon as he arrived thanks to his pronounced overbite, which certainly gives him a unique look. This four-year-old Jack Russell is an adorable but shy boy who likes nothing more than cuddles and his blanket. Mo enjoys snuggling down to sleep under a special brown blanket. He’s an affectionate boy who is feeling a bit overwhelmed in the kennels and is hoping someone will come forward and give him a forever home soon.
Tyler: the dog who does the Mexican wave
As far as we know, eight-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier Tyler has never been to Mexico – but this quirky Staffordshire Bull Terrier certainly loves to do the Mexican wave. Whenever he is happy or excited Tyler likes to sit on his back legs and throw his paws up in the air over his head. Tyler’s quirky habit has made this eight-year-old a firm favourite among the staff at Battersea and he’s hoping his special trick will help him to win over a potential new owner.Tags: Battersea Press Release
Canine Health Schemes scrutineers honoured for outstanding contributions to the veterinary profession0October 17th, 2016Articles
Four Canine Health Schemes (CHS) scrutineers have been made Fellows of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), awarded for outstanding contributions to the veterinary profession.The fellowships recognise veterinary surgeons who have made meritorious contributions to clinical practice, veterinary knowledge or the veterinary profession, by showing leadership and advancing knowledge and public understanding of veterinary science.Showing the strength of the British Veterinary Association (BVA)/Kennel Club CHS scrutineer teams – who work across four programmes screening dogs for hereditary conditions so that breeders can make informed decisions about which dogs to include in their breeding programmes – the four scrutineers who will be made fellows at the RCVS Fellowship Day on 19 October are:
BVA President Gudrun Ravetz said:“We send our warmest congratulations to our CHS colleagues on the award of these fellowships that reflect the professionalism, expertise and excellence of their work. Our scrutineers do invaluable work in helping to breed healthier dogs and improve the health of breeds susceptible to life-limiting conditions. We are proud to have these FRCVS scrutineers as part of our CHS team.”Tags: BVA Press Release
- Dr Angus Anderson, CHS Hip & Elbow Schemes Scrutineer, recognised for meritorious contributions to clinical practice
- Dr Ruth Dennis, Chief Scrutineer for the CHS Hip & Elbow Schemes and CHS Chiari-malformation/
Syringomyelia Scheme Scrutineer, recognised for meritorious contributions to clinical practice
- Dr Clare Rusbridge, CHS Chiari-malformation/
Syringomyelia Scheme Scrutineer, recognised for meritorious contributions to knowledge
- Professor Michael Herrtage, Chief Scrutineer for the CHS Chiari-malformation/
Syringomyelia Scheme and CHS Hip & Elbow Schemes Scrutineer, recognised for meritorious contributions to the profession
October 15th, 2016Articles
Kennel Club warns dog owners to keep their pets safe and happy as ‘firework season’ approaches.
As Halloween and Bonfire Night approach, the Kennel Club is warning dog owners about how traumatic this time of year can be for dogs and other pets.
The UK Parliament considered an e-petition relating to restricting the use of fireworks on 6 June 2016. You can find more information here.
In the run up to Halloween and 5th November, two of the noisiest times of year, the Kennel Club is urging dog owners across the country not to ignore their four-legged friends. Halloween costumes and the loud bangs and flashes created by fireworks can be exciting for humans but very frightening for dogs, and owners will need to plan ahead to keep their dog safe and avoid negative incidents, such as a dog running away or acting aggressively out of fear.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “Dogs can react very badly to the unfamiliar sights and sounds that are common around Halloween and Bonfire Night.
“Fireworks, people in costumes knocking on the door, flashes of light and other things that dogs would not normally experience can be terrifying for dogs and could result in them behaving unpredictably which could put their safety, or the safety of people, at risk.
“In the run up to Bonfire Night, try playing a sound CD with firework noises or firework sound videos on Youtube at a low level to let your dog get used to the sound in the background. On Bonfire Night itself, it’s best to close the curtains and turn the television or radio up and try to behave as normally as possible to encourage your dog to do the same.
“It’s also important to remember that Halloween can be a very frightening time for dogs too. We would advise dog owners to walk their dog before trick or treaters start their rounds and keep a firm grip on the lead as many dogs are frightened by people in costumes and could potentially react aggressively through fear.
“Speaking to a dog behaviourist in your area about any potential behavioural issues that may arise around this time of year is recommended, as they are experts in the field and can offer invaluable advice which will help to safeguard the health and happiness of your dog. People can visit the Kennel Club website to find one of these in their area and can contact them ahead of time to make sure their dog’s experience of Halloween and Bonfire Night is as positive as possible.”
The Kennel Club has put together some steps that can be taken to minimise a dog’s levels of stress:
- Acclimatise your dog to noises prior to the big night. There are many noise CDs on the market which give you the opportunity to introduce your dog to a variety of potentially disturbing noises in a controlled manner.
- Seek help from an experienced animal behaviourist. If your pet is severely noise phobic, sound CDs may make the situation worse. Kennel Club Accredited Instructors are experienced in different aspects of dog training and behaviour.
- Make a safe den for your dog to retreat to if he or she feels scared. Alternatively, let your dog take refuge under furniture and include an old, unwashed piece of clothing like a woolly jumper so that your dog can smell your scent and feel comfortable.
- Distract your dog from the noise by having the TV or the radio switched on.
- Try to act and behave as normal, as your dog will pick up on any odd behaviour. Remain calm, happy and cheerful as this will send positive signals to your dog. Reward calm behaviour with dog treats or playing with toys of interest.
- Check where and when firework displays are being held in your local area. Also ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning anything.
- Products such as Adaptil, a non-drug solution to comfort dogs and reduce stress, could be considered to keep your dog calm. Visit www.adaptil.com for more information.
- Consult your vet if your dog has any health problems or is taking any medication before giving remedies to help him cope with fireworks night, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Feed your dog a while before you expect any disturbances, as once the fireworks start your dog may be too anxious to eat.
- Walk your dog before dusk. It may be some time before it’s safe to venture outside again for your dog to relieve himself.
- Make sure you shut all doors and windows in your home and don’t forget to draw the curtains. This will block out any scary flashes of light and reduce the noise level of fireworks. Don’t forget to block off cat flaps to stop dogs (and cats) escaping.
- Shut your dog safely inside a room before opening the front door.
- Your dog might choose to hide under the bed; if he or she comes to you for comfort, make sure that you give it to him/her. Ignoring your dog would only make things worse as he or she wouldn’t understand your withdrawal from them.
- Keep a collar and ID tag on your dog, just in case they do accidentally escape. Make sure your dog is microchipped too, as if he or she does escape without a collar on this will ensure you are reunited as quickly as possible and is a legal requirement.
- Take your dog to a firework display, even if your dog does not bark or whimper, don’t assume he or she is happy. Excessive yawning and panting can indicate that your dog is stressed.
- Tie your dog up outside while fireworks are being let off.
- Assume your garden is escape proof. If your dog needs to go out keep him on a lead just in case.
- Leave your dog on his own or in a separate room from you.
- Try to force your dog to face his fears – he’ll just become more frightened.
- Forget to top up the water bowl. Anxious dogs pant more and get thirsty.
- Change routines more than necessary, as this can be stressful for some dogs.
- Try and tempt him out if he does retreat, as this may cause more stress.
- Tell your dog off. This will only make your pet more distressed. It is important to remember that it is natural for a dog to be scared of loud noises and unfamiliar sights and sounds.
October 11th, 2016Articles
Over 60% of vets say obesity is the biggest health and welfare concern for UK pets, according to figures released by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) this World Obesity Day.
BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey polled over 1,600 vets across the UK about the welfare issue that they were most concerned about, with almost two-thirds of companion animal vets citing obesity or overfeeding. As with humans, obesity is a very serious health issue for pets and can lead to life-long and life-threatening illnesses such as heart disease, breathing problems, diabetes and arthritis.
Not following or understanding pet food feeding guidelines, providing too many treats and snacks, and a lack of exercise are all issues contributing to the expanding paunches of our nation’s pets. Although many people believe they are being kind to their animals by providing treats and bigger food portions, they are instead, unintentionally, contributing to their pet’s poor health and limiting their lifespan. Many owners also give their pets human food as a treat, however one human biscuit can equate to a whole packet when fed to an animal due to their smaller body size.
Gudrun Ravetz, President of the British Veterinary Association, said:
“Obesity is a potential killer for pets and we know more and more practices are seeing overweight animals coming through their doors. Many owners show love for their pet through food, but often this is a case of killing with kindness – most animals would instead enjoy playing or interacting with their owner just as much as getting a treat. It’s also vital that owners understand how to correctly feed their pet and how to recognise a healthy body shape, which is something your local vet is well placed to help advise.”
Professor Susan Dawson, President of the British Small Veterinary Association (BSAVA) added:
“It really is vital that vets and pet owners work together to help animals stay healthy. All companion animals deserve a nutritionally balanced diet; in fact it is a requirement of the Animal Welfare Acts. Of course it is tempting to give too many treats and easy to forget to weigh food out, but because obesity can cause serious health and welfare problems for companion animals BSAVA strongly recommends that bodyweight and body condition are monitored regularly and diets modified to maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your vet or vet nurse – they can help.”
Any pet can become obese and it is therefore very important to understand how to feed them correctly. If owners are in any doubt about their pet’s diet or unsure of the right food or portion size for their animal, they should speak to a local vet who will be able to advise them.Tags: BVA Press Release