Dogs in the News Fetching you all the latest canine headlines
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    October 29th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    As Bonfire Night approaches, people will be busy buying sparklers and fireworks but may forget about the traumatic effects the noisy evening can have on dogs and other pets.

    In the run up to Halloween and 5th November, 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.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said:  “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 that we don’t forget Halloween as this can be a very frightening time for dogs too. Make sure to walk your 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.

    “Speaking to a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor 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.”

    The Kennel Club has put together some steps that can be taken to minimise a dog’s levels of stress:

    Do:

    • 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 are likely to make the situation worse. Kennel Club Accredited Instructors are experienced in different aspects of dog training and behavior
    • 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 doggie treats or playing with toys of interest.
    • Check where and when displays are being held in your local area.  Also ask your neighbours to let you know if they are planning anything.
    • 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 manufacturers’ 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.

    Don’t:

    • 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.
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    October 29th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    By Laura P – editor

    Is your dog stressed out by fireworks? Ours is. Around this time every year my family have to watch the poor Terrier pace, pant and panic at the noises and flashy explosions which come from the sky. We’ve tried everything we can to reduce his fear, from acting calm ourselves, to DAP diffusers and Thundershirts. We close the curtains and leave the TV on, as advised, and we try to provide ‘den’ areas where he can retreat, but nothing seems to really help.

    Our main frustration is that we can’t predict when the fireworks are going to go off. In our society where Christmas lasts from August until the Easter Eggs hit the shelves, Bonfire Night is actually Bonfire Fortnight, which runs together with Diwali and what seems like a six week period covering Halloween. Random bangs go off almost every night from mid-October until 2nd January, and our dog remains on edge for at least an hour after each of these occurrences.

    Now, personally, I’d like to see an all-out ban on firework sales to the public, with only professional displays permitted, but historically petitions calling for these have not been well embraced. Therefore I am toying with the idea of submitting a petition to call for a ban on the use of fireworks except on special occasions. At least then we’d know which nights our pets would need to be wary of, and we could relax in between.

    Below is my proposed wording:

    Private fireworks displays can cause distress to pets (and wild animals).Every year, countless animals across Britain suffer due to the human whim to celebrate in a way that they don’t understand. Vets face increases in cases where medication is required, rescue centers are inundated with runways who have escaped after being spooked, and pet owners have to endure being witness their animals’ discomfort.

    Under the present legislation, anyone can set off a firework any day of the year, between 7am and 11pm, if they wish. (On Bonfire Night these can go to midnight, and on New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year they can go as late as 1am.)

    This petition would like to see the dates which fireworks can be launched restricted, specifically so that pet owners can make provisions for their animals during these times. It is all very well and good to issue advice as to how to prepare your pets for fireworks season, but when they can go off randomly at any time this is very difficult to apply in practice

    Personally, a ban on all fireworks except professional displays would be preferable, but previous petitions have demonstrated that this is not an option which appeals to the current government. We therefore propose that you restrict their use to only the dates and times below:

    31 Dec/1 Jan – 9pm to 1am
    Chinese New Year – 9pm to 1am
    Halloween and the weekends either side – 7pm to 11pm
    Bonfire Night and the weekends either side – 7pm to 11pm
    Diwali – 9pm to 1am
    Christmas period (24 to 26 Dec) – 7pm to 11pm

    This would allow people to celebrate special occasions as they see fit, but would reduce the occasions of potential stress for our animal companions.

    I’d love to know your thoughts on this subject – every year our Twitter feed is full of people expressing exasperation at the constant fireworks, but maybe together we can actually make a difference!

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    October 26th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Insurance pioneer Bought By Many have analysed a ton of internet search data to find the UK’s most popular puppies of 2014. The surprising results show that the Cockapoo is the new favourite puppy of UK internet users, while last year’s champion, the Cocker Spaniel has dropped three places to 4th.

    Bought By Many InfographicGerman Shepherd puppies have seen a surge in popularity in 2014, rising six places to 5th, with Husky, Golden Retriever, and Boxer puppies also making gains. Meanwhile, Chihuahua, Pug and Shih Tzu puppies have all seen a decrease in popularity.

    Surprisingly Rottweiler puppies are the only new breed to enter the top 15 and have displaced Border Terrier Puppies who previously occupied the 15th Spot in 2013. Evergreen favourites like the Labrador, Jack Russell Terrier, and the Bulldog have all held their positions, along with
    Beagles and French Bulldogs.

     

     

    What’s behind the year­ on ­year movements?

    Could the decline in the Cocker Spaniel’s fortunes be Royalty­related? Perhaps the birth of Prince George, Duke of Cambridge, on 22nd July 2013 took attention away from Kate’s Cocker puppy Lupo? Could recent media coverage of the Tulisa Drug trial be a factor in the renewed interest in Rottweiler puppies? Or could is be showering Youtube sensation Lena the Rottweiler? How does demand for puppies correspond to supply?

    Interestingly, there is actually very little correlation. At the time of writing, there are 2,064 Chihuahua puppies (15th most popular) listed for sale on Pes4Homes, but only 195 Beagle puppies (7th most popular). Similarly there are significantly more pug puppies for sale (1,005) than there are Cockapoo puppies (536). This could mean the price of Cockapoo puppies and Beagle puppies is set to increase, while prices for Chihuahua and Pug puppies fall.

    At Bought By Many, we spend a lot of time pawing over statistics about dogs. This kind of data is enormously helpful to us in providing useful information to our members, and in matching the right breeds to the right insurers.

    One of the most common things we find ourselves searching for is information about how the popularity of different breeds is changing over time. The Kennel Club produces a very interesting report about new breed registrations each quarter. But that data leaves a couple of gaps. Firstly, it only covers puppies and breeders who are Kennel Club registered. Second, there is inevitably something of a lag between a puppy being registered, and the publication of the data.

    With Trending Puppies, we hope to be able to provide a leading indicator of the changing popularity of puppies, nearer to real­time.

    How is Trending Puppies compiled?

    We license a tool called Hitwise from Experian. Among other things, Hitwise enables you to research anonymised internet search data for millions of UK internet users.
    For this research, we looked at searches containing the term “puppy” in the 12 weeks to 28th June 2014, and compared them to searches for puppies in the 12 weeks to 13th July 2013. We got rid of the searches that weren’t relevant (such as those for Hush Puppies) and then summed up different variations on the same search (for example, “cockapoo puppies” and “cockapoo puppies for sale”). Finally we sorted the data set by the volume of searches to create these results.

    A note about Huskies

    One the interesting aspects of analysing internet search data is the terminology people use which does not necessarily correspond to what an expert or insider would say. Searches for “Husky” are a case in point: these occur over 100 times more than searches for actual Husky breeds (such as Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute).

    About Bought By Many

    Our goal in life is to help people who share something in common (for example, the puppy they own) get a better deal on insurance. We do that by enabling people to club together in groups; and then using collective buying power in negotiation with insurance companies.

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    October 26th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    The UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, the Kennel Club, is calling for the owners of Britain’s 9 million dogs to keep their dogs safe this Halloween by following a few simple steps.

    Halloween poses a number of health and welfare risks to dogs, from eating foods that can be toxic to man’s best friend, such as chocolate and some sweets, to being scared by trick or treaters and children in costumes.

    Taking a few simple precautions can ensure that Halloween is a happy and healthy time for dogs:

    • Keep chocolate out of reach of dogs.  Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs.  Eating chocolate can initially cause vomiting and diarrhoea, but is a stimulant and so can cause your dog to become excitable, as well as develop muscle twitching, tremors, fitting and life threatening problems with their heart.
    • Hide the sweets.  If dogs get hold of a large quantity of sweets, such as those being stored for trick or treaters, they can develop an inflammation of the pancreas due to a sizeable ingestion of sugar.  Sugar free sweets can contain ingredients such as Xylitol which can be poisonous to dogs, so it is important to keep these out of reach of your dog too.
    • Be careful of lit pumpkins.  Many people enjoy putting candles inside carved pumpkins, and dogs may inadvertently cause a fire or burn themselves if they knock it over with an overzealous nose or wagging tail.  Never leave your dog unattended with a lit candle, even when it is inside a pumpkin.
    • Beware of trick or treaters.  Take extra care to ensure your dog is kept calm and happy.  At Halloween it is not uncommon for strangers to knock at the door more frequently than usual, and in costume, so be aware that this can be stressful for the dog and ensure that he is kept in a quiet and safe place.  For advice on how to keep your dog safe in unfamiliar situations, seek advice from a Kennel Club Accredited Instructor (KCAI) who is an expert in dog behaviour and training.
    • Be aware of choke hazards.  At Halloween there are often more objects around that could obstruct a dog’s airway if swallowed, such as sweet wrappers, small parts of costumes or decorations and hard sweets, which could require surgical intervention. Signs of an obstruction could include your dog going off his food, vomiting, lethargy and finding it difficult to defecate or not defecating at all.
    • Have the number of your dog’s vet to hand.  If your dog has eaten chocolate, lots of sweets or items which may obstruct its airway, contact your vet immediately for advice. They will need to know what was eaten, when and how much.  If your dog eats something he shouldn’t, do not attempt to make him sick unless your vet advises this, as this could cause further problems.
    • Consider walking your dog at a different time.  If your dog is usually walked in the early evening, consider changing the time of the walk on Halloween to make it a bit earlier or a bit later to avoid the rush of trick or treaters, who may scare your dog or cause unnecessary stress.  Also be aware that fireworks are available before Halloween and loud bangs and sudden bright lights may spook your dog.
    • Be aware of children.  Your dog is likely to come into contact with lots of children – probably more than usual – on Halloween so it is important that you are aware of your dog’s reaction to children and can prepare accordingly.  Equally it is important to be prepared for children wanting to touch your dog, which can cause extra stress, particularly if the children are in costume and excitable.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said:  “Halloween can be lots of fun for humans but can be frightening for dogs or even fatal if the proper precautions are not taken.  Actions as simple as keeping sweets and chocolate out of your pet’s reach could be lifesaving and will ensure that Halloween doesn’t turn into a nightmare for you or your dog.

    “There are lots of added stresses for dogs on Halloween, with so many people dressed up in costume and various noises that your dog may not be used to.  Dogs are a part of the family, with around nine million in the UK, and as such are likely to be very much included in Halloween celebrations, so it is important that dog owners do their best to keep their pets healthy, happy and safe and can use the Kennel Club’s advice to help ensure this.”

    Visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/dogs-at-halloween for more information on how to keep your dog safe at Halloween.  Use the hashtags #DogsAtHalloween and #AllHallowsDogs on social media to encourage others to make Halloween a treat not a trick for dogs.

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    October 26th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    What could make a better Christmas gift for the dog lover in your life than a book about the comfort and joy offered by man’s best friend?

    “My Dog, My Friend: heart-warming tales of canine companionship from celebrities and other extraordinary people” contains first person accounts, ranging from the poignant to the entertaining, by celebrities and well-known public figures such as David Blunkett MP, Alan Titchmarsh, Simon Callow, Esther Rantzen, William McIlvanney, Jackie Kay and Brix Smith-Start.

    Their stories are further brought to life with personal photographs of them with their dogs.

    The book is supported by the Samaritans 1, and all author royalties will be donated to the charity, which aims to reduce suicide. The book was compiled by mental health researcher, author and dog lover Jacki Gordon 2

    “My Dog, my Friend: heart-warming tales of canine companionship from celebrities and other extraordinary people” (Hubble & Hattie) is published 4 September, £14.99, available from Amazon, bookshops and www.hubbleandhattie.com

    Chef Antony Worrall Thompson and radio broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray are among over 40 celebrities writing about the support they have received from their dogs during tough times, and how their lives are improved through dog companionship.

    Antony Worrall Thompson writes: ‘It is well documented that in 2012 I had what can only be described as a mental breakdown. During that time I was grateful for the support of my family. And classed as family are my two faithful dogs. I found strength and solace when walking both of them in what was a pretty turbulent time.’

    Dame Jenni Murray writes: ‘I had gone through the worst time of my life by the end of 2006. Both my parents had died within a few months of each other. It soon became obvious that what was necessary to cheer things up was a dog. Butch changed my life and is my constant companion.’

    Professor Stephen Platt, a Samaritans trustee and researcher on suicidal behaviour and mental health, has written the book’s foreword. He says: ‘There is considerable evidence that dogs are an important source of social support, and enhance the emotional wellbeing of their owners.

    ‘We believe My Dog, my Friend will increase awareness about the important role that animals – and dogs in particular – can play in reducing emotional distress and symptoms of physical and mental ill-health.

    ‘Samaritans will use the money generated through sales of the book to increase our capacity to help people. Samaritans would especially like to encourage people in distress or despair to make contact before they reach crisis point.’

    The book, which is published on 4 September 2014, also includes personal accounts about the positive impact dogs have had on those experiencing mental illness, homelessness, chronic illness, such as multiple sclerosis, and young people needing support to develop their social skills.

    Marion Janner OBE has Borderline Personality Disorder. She runs Star Wards, which helps mental health wards provide therapeutic care. Her contribution to the book is written in the voice of her dog, Buddy: ‘Marion does have regular meltdowns when we’re out and about but she somehow manages to get me across streets and back home safely. By that time, she’s feeling calmer and can ring the Samaritans or one of her therapists.’

    Steve Trigg is a former executive turned Big Issue seller, who writes: ‘I had a fantastic job with Npower, and a brand new BMW. I lost everything and ended up in a night shelter. To be honest, I wanted a dog to help me make money. Now that’s not the case. I think the world of Charlie. My dog turned my life around. I would probably be dead by now if it wasn’t for her. Charlie saved my life.’

    1. Samaritans is a confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland, which aims to alleviate emotional distress and reduce suicidal feelings and behaviour. As well as providing a 24-hour source of support (by phone, email, letter and face-to-face), Samaritans works in the local community, visiting schools, prisons and workplaces.
    2. Jacki Gordon resigned from the Scottish Government to be at home and satisfy her yearning for a dog, and – six years on – still marvels at the positive impact that her scruffy Lurcher, Looka, has had on her life. Trading her long career within the public sector forthat of a self-employed consultant, Jacki has continued to specialise in deepening the understanding of mental health and wellbeing, including how people can be helped to flourish, and feel more positive and happier in themselves. Jacki’s book successfully and delightfully combines her passion for dogs and her long-standing interest and expertise in mental health.
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    October 26th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Dash, a four year old former racing Greyhound, has finally found his forever home after being overlooked for a year because of his size and boisterous personality.

    DashTaken in by the Greyhound and Lurcher Welfare and Rescue in August 2013, Dash was in a good condition when he was dropped off at the rescue centre but unfortunately had to wait over a year to be rehomed. However, thanks to the charity, which has recently benefitted from a £2,000 grant from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, Dash has found his new family.

    The Greyhound and Lurcher Welfare and Rescue is based in North Wiltshire, but they take in dogs from all over the country. Carol Jenkins from the charity commented: “Dash was co-owned and lucky enough to have a trainer that cared about his future. Unfortunately for Dash, he stayed in kennels for nearly a year and was overlooked time and time again; I think this was mainly his size and the fact that he was quite boisterous.”

    Dash’s chance of happiness came when his new family attended the charity’s annual reunion day.

    Carol continues: “Along came Bjorn and Nadine, who had just lost their dog Duke, and their Greyhound girl, Lola, was pining. The ending is very happy though, with Dash and Lola becoming firm friends, and Nadine’s parents have a small farm where Dash and Lola and all their doggy friends have a marvellous time racing around the fields.”

    The Kennel Club Charitable Trust recently gave Greyhound and Lurcher Welfare and Rescue a grant of £2,000 to assist with its work helping Greyhounds and Lurchers.

    Carol added: “It really does go without saying that, without the grants we receive from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, we couldn’t continue the work we do and help the many dogs we care for.”

    The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has donated more than £8 million to help improve the lives of dogs since it was established in 1987. The Trust awards grants to welfare organisations which make a difference to dogs’ lives, such as the Greyhound and Lurcher Welfare and Rescue, and also provides financial support to canine scientific research and support charities.

    Greyhound and Lurcher Welfare and Rescue is a small centre entirely run by volunteers. This non-profit centre relies heavily on donations from the public, fundraisers and publicity in order to meet all of their expenses.

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    October 17th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    The Kennel Club has welcomed the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act (2014), which gives new powers to local authorities and the police to deal with irresponsible dog owners, but it has concerns that it leaves responsible owners open to being unjustly penalised by potentially over-zealous local authorities.

    The new law comes into effect on Monday (20 October) and includes a number of preventative measures which will improve many of the inadequacies of previous dog control legislation.  One of these measures, Community Protection Notices, is intended to reduce the number of irresponsible owners that allow their dogs to be out of control in public, by targeting them at the first signs of anti-social behaviour.

    However, the Kennel Club is concerned that Public Space Protection Orders, the new measure which replaces previously used Dog Control Orders and enables local authorities to place restrictions on dog walking, no longer requires local authorities to advertise their public consultation in the local paper before the orders are introduced. This is included as a recommendation within the guidance produced to accompany the Act, but it is not a mandatory requirement, meaning that dog owners may not be aware of potential restrictions that may be introduced in their area.

    Similarly, the Kennel Club has concerns about the current lack of resources and mandatory training for enforcers, who are tasked with dealing with anti-social behaviour, which could prevent the Act from being properly implemented and enforced.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We are glad that this new law reflects what the Kennel Club has believed in for a long time – that irresponsible owners should be held to account for the behaviour of their pets and that anti-social behaviour should be tackled in the early stages, which will help to prevent more serious incidents from occurring. The measures introduced send a clear message to owners regarding their responsibility to train and socialise their pets and rightly shifts legislative focus to the correct end of the lead – at dog owners themselves.

    “Whilst we are pleased that the government has included in the Act’s accompanying guidance that local authorities should consult with the Kennel Club and other relevant authorities on certain issues, we are disappointed that this is not a mandatory requirement.   As it stands local authorities can choose to ignore the views of organisations that represent dog owners, such as the Kennel Club, meaning that dog owners could potentially lose their voice and dogs across the country could suffer.”

    The announcement follows the introduction of amendments made to the Dangerous Dogs Act earlier in the year, which were welcomed by the Kennel Club, and extended the law to cover private property and increased maximum sentences for those who fail to properly control their dogs.

    For more information on the Kennel Club’s campaign work on dangerous dogs and responsible dog ownership, visitwww.thekennelclub.org.uk/dangerousdogs.

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    October 8th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    Talented Young Kennel Club members can combine their love of dogs with their passion for art as the annual Young Kennel Club Art Competition returns for the seventh year.

    This year, whether their dogs are great companions, love to run and chase or work hard, YKC members will need to create a piece of artwork that reflects their dog’s personality or breed as the theme is ‘What was your dog born to do?’.

    The competition has three age categories: 6-11 years, 12-16 years and 17-24 years. The entries in each category will be judged by a Young Kennel Club Panel and the winning pictures will be exhibited at Crufts 2015. Winners will also receive prize money and art supplies to help them develop their passion, and one overall winner will receive a year’s free membership of the Young Kennel Club.

    Some of the previous themes for the annual competition have included Dogs From Around The World (2010), 120 Years of Crufts (2011), My Best Friend (2012) and Dogs on Holiday (2013). Last year members were encouraged to use their imagination and draw on their experiences to come up with the theme for this year’s competition.

    Last year’s overall winner of the competition was 12-year old Charlotte Westerman from Sadberge near Darlington, who entered a simple but endearing painting of her Miniature Pinscher, Rita ‘braving the German Alps’, which really captured the sense of the competition.

    Lucy Smith, Young Kennel Club Manager said: “I am always amazed by the imagination and creativity of the aspiring artists that enter. I can’t wait to see what inspires them for 2015.”

    Entrants should send their artwork to Young Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8AB before 31st January 2015. Entries should include, on the back of the artwork, a full name, address and age, telephone number and email address if applicable.

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    October 7th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    People across the UK are being urged to join a nationwide ecological experiment ‘The Big Snail Count’ as part of ‘Act on Lungworm’ campaign which is aimed at helping dog owners recognise the link between mollusc activity in their gardens and the risk of lungworm to their pet.

    The initiative will encourage families to take part in a timed snail and slug count within their gardens and local parks, recoding and submitting data on the number, location and activity.

    The Count is ahead of a wider lungworm research programme taking place throughout 2015, which hopes to create an overview of lungworm prevalence and spread across regions of the UK to date.

    Infection with the lungworm parasite (Angiostrongylus vasorum) can cause serious health problems in dogs and can even be fatal if not diagnosed and treated.

    Evidence from the Royal Veterinary College confirms the lungworm parasite has spread across the UK, from its traditional habitat in the south of England and Wales, and is now widespread in Central England, also reaching northern regions and Scotland.

    Watch the following video to find out more about lungworm and for details on how you can join ‘The Big Snail Count’.

     

     www.facebook.com/jungleforpets

    www.lungworm.co.uk

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    October 6th, 2014Laura P (Editor)Articles

    With both human and canine obesity at an all-time high, the Kennel Club has launched an online video of the top five exercises for both dog and owner.

    The exercises were developed as part of the Kennel Club’s Get Fit With Fido campaign and were devised by the creators of Wag & Tone1, an exercise programme for dogs and their owners. The exercises were designed for people of all ages and abilities as a brief introduction to improving fitness levels for both dog and owner.

    Statistics from the NHS show that over 60 percent2 of adults in the UK are overweight or obese and up to 60 per cent of all dogs in the UK are overweight3, highlighting the need for action.

    The Get Fit With Fido campaign encourages dogs and their owners to get fit together to improve both health and fitness. In addition to the education campaign, Get Fit With Fido also includes a challenge that rewards the dog and dog owner who jointly lose the most weight, and the dog owner and dog who individually lose the most weight, with the help of exercising together.

    Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “As the shocking statistics show, the growing obesity epidemic needs to be tackled, and both dogs and owners need to boost their fitness in order to improve their overall health. One of the most serious findings in obesity studies in both humans and dogs is a reduced lifespan. An overweight dog is more likely to die younger than a dog of normal weight. The UK’s dog owners have been killing their dogs with kindness by overfeeding in a lot of cases.”

    Sue Holstead from Wag & Tone commented: “Dogs can be great fitness partners for those trying to lose weight and the video was engineered as a way to inspire dog owners to find new and different ways to get fit with their dog. The exercises were designed for everyone to improve fitness levels for both dog and owner. We hope all the dog owners give it a try and see the benefits of getting fit with your four-legged friend.”

    The Kennel Club’s Get Fit With Fido Challenge runs until December and prizes on offer for the winner of the 2014 Get Fit With Fido Challenge include a one night stay at the dog friendly, 4* boutique townhouse hotel Flemings Mayfair; a luxury dog bed from Charley Chau and Champagne Afternoon Tea for Two at the Milestone Hotel in Kensington.

    As part of its Get Fit With Fido campaign, the Kennel Club provides tips and advice on activities, exercises and walks that dog and owner can enjoy together. To find out more about the Get Fit With Fido Challenge, visit www.thekennelclub.org.uk/getfitwithfido.

    1. Wag & Tone is an exercise programme for dogs and their owners, ideal for improving muscular conditioning, coordination, balance and overall fitness – for all kinds of dogs and people. Wag & Tone has been developed by dog trainers and a fitness coach. As well as improving fitness together and having fun, with Wag & Tone both dog and owner will develop an understanding and a firmer bond. All Wag & Tone exercises are approved by a fitness coach (for people) and an animal physiotherapist. Developed by Karen Laker, Ruth MacGill and Sue Holstead, these and further Wag & Tone exercises are available through their eBook
    2. Department of Health obesity statistics, April 2012
    3. http://www.bva.co.uk/activity_and_advice/Obesity.aspx
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