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A third of owners clean their dog's teeth regularly - these tips can help
How often do you clean your dog’s teeth? Every day? Every week?

Or are you part of the 66% of dog owners who don’t brush them at all?
March 20th is World Oral Health Day and a reminder that it’s as important to maintain our dog’s oral hygiene as it is our own.
Along with the vet team at Animed Direct, I carried out a survey into the hygiene habits of pet owners and the results were alarming.

  • Two-fifths said their dog had smelly breath
  • Of those who did brush, only nine per cent said they did it every day
  • 11 per cent brushed weekly, and four per cent each month
  • Yet 65 per cent said they thought it was important to clean their teeth
  • Worryingly 31 per cent of dogs didn’t have yearly dental check ups
  • Only one in seven dogs had their teeth professionally cleaned
The message from vet Shona Scott is that this must change

She said: “Dog owners don’t realise what a tremendous problem poor oral hygiene is. A very high percentage of dogs have problems by the age of three.
“As a vet I have seen some awful teeth and I have urged owners to take greater care of their dog’s oral hygiene and found they simply shrug and say, ‘Well they’re eating so there’s nothing wrong.’
“But having dirty, decayed, infected or broken teeth is painful for dogs. They can’t tell us they’re in pain and they will continue to eat, often using one side of the mouth to avoid tender areas.
“It can lead to infection in other parts of the body, as well as infection in the mouth, in the soft tissue around the teeth and the bone supporting the teeth in the jaw.
“Dogs who suffer this need extensive, painful and often costly surgery, and in the case of a senior dog, this could meet putting them under anaesthetic which can bring other risks too.”

As a nation of dog lovers, I believe we DO want to be responsible for keeping pets healthy

For many owners, not knowing why it’s important to clean teeth, or knowing what to do is what stands in the way.
It’s never too late to start caring for their teeth, so here, Shona explains the steps owners can take, and highlights some products that have been approved by vets that can help.

Start your dog’s dental regime straight away

“If your dog comes to you as a puppy, they will be learning all kinds of new things so it’s an ideal time to start.
“With a rescue dog, again, if you start when they arrive, it’s something that you can build into their new routine.
“Whatever their age, start slowly. First, use your finger to rub the paste around the dog’s mouth. Then move to a finger brush, then to a toothbrush.
“I have seen an owner use an electric toothbrush on a dog who was familiarised with it.
“Stop if they become agitated and give them a reward and make a fuss of them so they view teeth cleaning as a positive experience.”

Have their teeth checked by your vet

“Dogs should have their teeth examined when they go for their annual vaccinations,” explains Shona.
“If your dog has had a dental procedure or a problem with their teeth, it should be every six months.”
If your vet hasn’t checked your dog’s teeth ensure you ask for this at your next visit.

Brush their teeth as often as you can

Owners who are meticulous about their pet’s health can brush their teeth every day.
Shona said: “In an ideal world, every dog owner would do this. But most owners feel they don’t have the time so my advice is to try to do it as often as possible.”
A wide range of toothbrushes from finger brushes to start with to regular brushes are available and cost as little as £3.
The video below shows just how easy it is to clean a dog's teeth once they are familiar with the process.

How to brush your dogs teeth - YouTube

Find a toothpaste or gel that protects agains tartar

There are lots of toothpastes on the market, many of which are flavoured with meat to make them more appealing to dogs.
Shona says: “The most important thing is the action of brushing the teeth and taking the plaque away, leaving the mouth feeling clean and fresh.
“I would advise owners use a gel or paste that protects against tartar like Dentisept which gives 24 hour protection.
“Look for a product that is approved by the Veterinary Oral Health Council and you can see a list at www.vohc.org 
“There is also the British Veterinary Dental Association so look out for this on labels if you’re out shopping for products.”
Dentisept toothpaste can be used for dogs and cats and binds to the enamel of their teeth, releasing antiseptic properties over 24 hours.
This protects hypersensitive gums from irritations and stimulates recovery. It has a vanilla aroma, meaning pets find it more palatable.

Use treats and/or food to protect teeth

“Dental chews and food have a place in your pet’s hygiene routine and can work well alongside brushing but I would urge owners not to use them as an alternative,” says Shona.
Hills Prescription Diet Dental T/D is VOHC approved and can help maintain oral health.
If you're concerned about your pet, then ask vet if they think it might be helpful.
They also offer the same prescription diet for cats, which reduces the build up of tartar, stains and plaque and maintains oral health.
VeggieDent Chews cost from £4.70 for a pack of 15 and are approved by the VOHC. Regular use can help keep teeth and gums healthy.
A study last year found a 40% reduction in plaque and a 38% reduction in tartar in dogs who used ProDen PlaqueOff Bites, which are VOHC approved.

Getting your dog used to having their teeth cleaned can help make it a positive experience for you both
Try additives in your pet’s water

Aquadent is an anti plaque solution that can be added to your pet’s water to limit the build up of plaque and tartar.

Use a toy that helps clean teeth

I don’t think I’ve ever met a dog that doesn’t like a Kong and they have a choice of a dental stick, floss rope and a dental Kong.
The Kong Stick has ridges on it that clean your dog’s back teeth, scraping plaque away from the teeth and gumline as they chew.
The Kong Floss Rope is a toy with chew clean grooves that clean the teeth and comes on a tug rope. You can also put toothpaste in the grooves.
The Kong Dental Toy has chew clean grooves which clean teeth and gums as your dog chews and, like a regular Kong, there’s a hollow centre that can be filled with treats.

And finally, put yourself in your dog’s shoes…

It’s frustrating for vets when they try to explain the importance of cleaning pet’s teeth, only for their advice to be dismissed.
Our dogs are more humanised than ever. We buy them clothes, invest in pet sitters, feed them human grade food and shower them with love and affection.
But something so simple as taking a few moments each day to clean their teeth feels like a chore and it shouldn’t.
“Having a broken tooth for a dog is like having a broken leg,” says Shona. “It needs surgery, an anaesthetic and time for the dog to recover.
“I’d urge owners to think about how they feel when they have toothache and realise their dog can feel the same but can't tell them.
“Think about how horrid it feels if you don’t brush your teeth for a day. Some dogs don’t have theirs done for years!
“It might feel like a hassle, but cleaning your teeth is about being kind and showing your dog you truly care about their health.”

  • This post is sponsored by Animed Direct, an online retailer providing discounted medication, food, treats and accessories. All the products mentioned in this post can be found at www.animeddirect.co.uk

If you found the advice in this article helpful, you might like Canine Arthritis, six things owners need to know or Five ways to help your dog lose weight - and keep yourself trim too! 

The post World Oral Health Day – How to protect your dog’s teeth appeared first on The Paw Post.

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Alabama Rot is a mysterious and deadly disease that has sadly already claimed the lives of 22 dogs this year.

It’s natural to worry as an owner as these figures are alarming, and the highest since it was first detected in the UK in 2012.
This weekend I shared a photo on Instagram of Daisy enjoying a woodland walk at Delamere Forest near our home in Cheshire.
Almost straight away Cate who owns Doug the Pug Therapy Dog and Marianne, who owns pet model Lilliput, shared their concerns about Alabama Rot.
It’s what inspired me to write a guide which I hope owners will find useful, without sensationalising this worrying disease.
There are 8.5 million dogs in the UK according to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association and while the disease has affected a very small number, it’s vital to know how to protect our pets.
We spoke to three experts on the disease on their advice for owners.

What is Alabama Rot?

Alabama Rot is clinically known as idiopathic cutaneous and renal glomerular vasculopathy (CRGV) and originated in America in the 1980s and initially only affected Greyhounds.
The first case in the UK was in 2012 and there has been 143 confirmed cases since, in 37 counties. (figure correct at time of writing)
In 2012, there was six cases but by 2017 this figure had risen to 38.
It affects dogs of all breeds and causes damage to the blood vessels of the skin and kidneys causing blood clots to form. The first sign is lesions on the skin.
They appear like bites or sores and if the clots form in the kidneys, they can cause kidney failure which leads to death.

What are the symptoms?

David Walker of Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists is the UK’s leading expert on the condition and explains what to look out for.
He said: “The first sign that is normally seen is a skin sore not caused by any known injury. Most commonly, these sores are found below the elbow or knee and appear as a distinct swelling, a patch of red skin, or are open and ulcer-like.”
Below are some photos provided by Anderson Moores so you can recognise what the sores look like - I know they're graphic but they could save a dog's life and they can also appear on the face or stomach.
Between two days to a week later, dogs show outward signs of sudden kidney failure which can include vomiting, reduced hunger and being unusually tired.

How Alabama Rot can appear on a paw. Image credit: Anderson Moores
How Alabama Rot lesions can appear on the legs. Image credit: Anderson Moores
What should I do if I’m worried about my dog?

Go straight to your vet. Treatment has been successful in around 20 per cent of cases.
Dr Huw Stacey from Vets4Pets said: “We’re encouraging all dog owners to use the online interactive guide to help them understand the clinical signs and confirmed locations of the condition. 
“If a dog becomes affected, the best chance of recovery lies with early and intensive veterinary care at a specialist facility such as Anderson Moores. 
“Any dog owners who are worried that their pet might have Alabama Rot should contact their veterinary practice immediately.
“This will help build knowledge about the disease and also give a dog the best chance of survival.”
You can view the online interactive guide by following this link www.vets4pets.com/stop-alabama-rot

This graphic from the Vets4Pets website shows the signs to look out for
How can I protect my dog?

It’s understandable that owners are very worried, particularly those living in counties where there have been a lot of reported cases.
Where I live, there has been 22. There is no known way to prevent a dog getting the disease.
It’s thought the disease is picked up on the paws and legs while out on muddy walks, so  the advice from Vets4Pets is to wash off woodland mud after walks.
Check their legs, paws, face and tummy for sores and lesions and if in doubt, see your vet immediately.
Dr Stacey urges owners to continue allowing their dogs to enjoy walks, and to be aware of the signs.
He said: “It’s understandable that dog owners will be worried by this increase in confirmed cases but Alabama Rot is still a very rare disease and we’d encourage owners to continue exercising their pet.
“It’s encouraging to see so many people from different organisations and fields of science coming together to find out more about it, and hopefully find the cause.”

How do I know if there have been cases where I walk my dog?

You can use the interactive map above - simply click on the image and it will take you to the site and you can search by postcode.
It will tell you how many cases there have been in your area. If you’re going to a place you haven’t been before, search Alabama Rot and the location as many cases have been reported in the media too.

What is being done to tackle Alabama Rot?

The Alabama Rot conference took place in May 2017 to plan the first stage of research, and was funded by the New Forest Dog Owner’s Group and charity Stop Alabama Rot.
Dr Kim Stevens of the Royal Veterinary College is leading the study and hopes to have the results published this month - we will update as soon as this happens.
She said: “This research will not identify the specific cause of the disease, but is designed to look for geographical patterns, as well as environmental and climatic risk factors.
“An obvious pattern that we can see is linked to seasons, with the vast majority of cases occurring between November and March, and limited cases over the summer.
We hope our ongoing research with Anderson Moores and the work that Vets4Pets are doing will take us closer to finding the cause of this nasty disease.”

What can I do to help prevent more dogs falling ill?

Thankfully, there is a lot of research being carried out in the UK so vets can learn more about the condition and how to treat it.
But funds are needed to support this and a Stop Alabama Rot charity has been set up to help.
If you’d like to donate, you can visit the Alabama Rot Research Foundation website at www.arrf.co.uk 

You can also sign a petition HERE requesting that DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) fund research into the causes of Alabama Rot. Once 100,000 people sign, it triggers a debate in Parliament.

If you found this post helpful, you may want to read Raising money for Alabama Rot Research in memory of Cocker Spaniel Maggie.

The post Expert advice on how to protect your dog against Alabama Rot appeared first on The Paw Post.

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Have you ever thought ‘Ooh, I could learn a lot from my dog?’

They've got mindfulness nailed!
Living in the moment. Only caring about snoozing, chasing balls, belly rubs and where the next meal is coming from.
Dog mum Theresa Smith, 41, felt the same and one day when she was out for a walk with her dog Cooper, she decided to do something about it!
She created a Facebook page called The Barklife Way: Life Lessons From A Dog just 18 months ago and it’s been such a success she is about to publish her second book.
It’s no surprise that Theresa has built up a cult following with her relatable illustrations and observations - her page is like Hurrah For Gin for dog parents.
Theresa is an instructional designer and lives in Reading with Beagles Cooper, five, and his sister Lucy, 18 months and has helped thousands of people understand mindfulness through the eyes of our dogs.
She explained: “The idea came one day when I was walking Cooper one morning and texting, checking e mails and Facebook and so on and his friend Charlie, a Greyhound, came over.
“Cooper adores Charlie and loves chasing him, even though he’s a greyhound and he runs for his career. Cooper doesn’t care, he just goes for it.
“I thought about how I approach running. I time it, enter races, try to beat my friends and I’m not built to run at all. It’s all about being competitive and wanting to be the best.
“I looked at Cooper and his friend and thought ‘Wow, boy do I overcomplicate my life.’ And it was at that moment I thought, ‘Maybe he’s quite smart?’ He’s happy, he doesn’t worry about anything. There’s a story in that!”

Theresa and her mindfulness experts Cooper and Lucy!
And The Barklife Way was born!

Now Theresa posts every week, tackling all kinds of subjects through the eyes of a dog, from Jennifer Aniston’s recent break up with Justin Theroux to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding!
With almost 6,000 followers on Facebook, Theresa and Cooper’s messages resonate with a lot of people and she says the most important thing we can learn is to live in the moment.
She said: “Cooper simply wanders around in his life just being. I can’t imagine that. I have to plan things, so it’s nice to watch him and learn to just be.
“It’s such a good lesson for me. I’m always thinking of the future and making goals and targets. He’s happy with a tummy rub.
“I’ve even tried a mindfulness course but couldn’t concentrate on it so I actually use Barklife as my mindfulness. Create a story each week is like therapy.
“We know all the answers, we know to slow down and not to look back, so he’s made me chill. I’m not perfect, but I’m certainly better!”
Barklife comes out every Friday and Theresa is currently working on Season Two, Cooper and Friends, which charts their adventures.
Season Three begins in the summer and is called Sibling Love about Cooper and Lucy and will feature their take on the Royal Wedding of Harry and Megan (We can’t wait!)
These were our favourite life lessons from Season One.

1. Wag with your whole body
What can you learn from your dog?

What makes you as happy as just the mere mention of a walk does for a dog?
Your boss has just offered you that promotion you’ve been gunning for. You are so totally stoked.
It has been months of hard work and you totally deserved it. You demurely say thank you… but they pause and seem to be waiting for something more than that.
Can you drop the cool act and just let people know? It’s ok to show you’re happy - seriously, seriously happy.
You may find yourself connecting with more people.
WOOHOO PROMOTION! Shake that body!

2. Obey, but on your terms
What can you learn from your dog?

Do you get told what to do all the time? Whether you’re a student or working a job with a manager who constantly gives you instructions, there may be some times when you just don’t agree with what you’re being told to do.
Your dog comes up against the same problem. Now, it may not be worth actually pushing back and challenging some of the smaller things, so take a small cheeky win and go along with what they have asked… but in a way where you haven’t totally followed the spirit of their request. Malicious compliance.
You’ll feel a little bit of glee and they’ll be none the wiser.

3. Beware of the rectangles
What can you learn from your dog?

There’s a place for our rectangles, our phones, computers and TVs, but they can quickly take over our lives.
Sometimes we are reading about the latest celeb news, when, right in front of us,t here’s a dog who loves us wagging his tail, longing for a cheeky play.
Put down the rectangle, turn off the one on the wall. Engage with life in front of you.

4. Love your best friend
What can you learn from your dog?

Do you have someone who you can hang out with and it’s just easy to be with them? You know when you’ve found them because being with them is effortless.
You don’t have to be something you’re not or have hoovered the lounge, be looking your best or pretend to be on top of life. They become a part of you and mustn’t be taken for granted. They like you for you.
And you know what, you like them for them too.

5. Get on with it!
What can you learn from your dog?

Whether it’s preparing to go out, or sitting at a desk spinning a pen around in your fingers as you ponder beginning that big report, there is an argument to be made for just getting on with it.
Procrastination and wasting time before you do the thing you need to do is just pointless filler time.
Take a leaf out of your dog’s book: decide and then immediately do.

6. Enjoy your exercise
What can you learn from your dog?

We know our health is important and we know we should be exercising. But sometimes we get caught up in our exercise routines that we just have to do, and it’s not fun anymore.
Forget all the ‘shoulds’, do you feel like getting out there and moving? You don’t need the perfect wicking top, an app to tell you your lap time or loud tunes to pump you up and distract you.
Your ears might not flap in the breeze, but run through nature for the simple pleasure of felling your heart pumping faster and seeing what your body can do.

7. Find your happy place
What can you learn from your dog?

Do you have somewhere you just fit? A wonderfully happy place where you feel safe and protected?
Whether it’s being curled up on your window seat (book and hot chocolate optional but welcomed) at your parent’s house, or sitting on your favourite bar stool in your local, surrounded by familiar faces.
It’s nice to have a spot where you can relax and feel safe and cosy.

8. Get help
What can you learn from your dog?

Of course you could do everything yourself. But are you 100% excellent at everything you do? No. Is anyone?
So if you suck at dusting, get that cleaner in to help. If you can do your expenses at work but you just hate it, get a colleague to help in exchange for a week of making her tea. 
It's ok, even your dog with his self-assuredness is aware that it's fine to ask for help. And the helper probably enjoys helping too.

9. Take comfort in routine
What can you learn from your dog?

When every day is the same we can feel stuck in a rut. Get up, eat the same breakfast, do to work, do the same tasks day in day out, come home, dinner, TV, bed.
Look to your dog. He loves his routine. He is so happy to have that same, comforting breakfast and know when that walk is happening. He makes the choice to love his routine.
Can you take comfort in the predicable?

10. Always be hopeful
What can you learn from your dog?

Hope is a beautiful thing. It’s about expecting a positive experience or outcome, maybe even in the face of it being unlikely. Disappointment can be painful, but take a leaf out of your dog’s book - he just gets over being mildly let down and moves on. If there isn’t a walk when he thought there would be, no big deal, but he hopes there will be next time.

You can see more illustrations and words of wisdom on Theresa's Facebook page.

She also has a website where you can buy the book RRP £12.99 www.thebarklifeway.com.
If you enjoyed reading about how Theresa was inspired by her dog, you might like to read about how Labrador Bertie inspired Katie to set up her dream pet business.

And if you're interested in Mindfulness then you might like to read how my friend Helen at Relax Yaself To Health got on at her Wellness Retreat at Chilton Park Hotel.

The post The Barklife Way – 10 Mindfulness lessons we can learn from our dogs! appeared first on The Paw Post.

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This month we’ve been trying out Guru trip bones, Furbo pet camera, Pet Teezer dog brush, Eco Dog Designs accessories and Hownd paw wipes and we have some exciting news from Pets Pyjamas.
We love trying out new toys, treats and gizmos for dog owners, so if you have a product you’d like us to review, please get in touch!

Guru trip bones

These kept popping up on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, so it was rude not to order a couple for Daisy to try!
I’ve never heard of a trip bone before, but the idea behind them is that it’s a compact meal that you can take if you’re on a day out with your dog.
Or, you can use them as a treat and let your dog munch away. This is what we did and it proved the perfect distraction for Daisy while I was on the phone, doing my work and ignoring her, how dare I?!
We went for the chicken ones and she thoroughly enjoyed them. They last a few days and don’t make too much mess when buried in the sofa - phew.
As they’re cold pressed, the food is mixed at low temperatures, meaning more natural nutrients are retained and Guru say their food is as close to your dog’s natural diet as you can get.
We love that they contain green lipped mussel extract and lots of other oils too - great for supporting the joints of senior dogs like Daisy.

£1.99 for two small bones at www.gurupetfood.com 

Daisy tries out her Trip Bone
Furbo pet camera

Furbo sent us a camera to review for a feature for a piece I wrote for the Independent - 7 best cameras for pets 
They were kind enough to let us keep it and we are so pleased, so thought we would review on the blog too.
Furbo has a sleek design and is quite small so doesn’t take up too much space - ideal in a tiny house like mine.
The wooden lid on top of the treat store fits in with my interiors too.
It has a treat dispenser, so you can feed your dog when their home alone.
You log into the app which is really simple to use. It has a two way speaker, so you can hear them and they can hear you too if you use the microphone button to speak to them (I don’t as I'd rather not confuse Daisy) then, you can toss them a treat.
It has night vision, so you can check on your dog while you’re in bed, or when you first wake in the morning - Daisy loves a lie in.
Another good feature is the bark detector which only alerts if your dog woofs - ideal for when the window cleaner turns up so you can dash home.
There’s lots of pet cams on the market but this is our fave - and we said this before they agreed to gift one!

£239 www.furbo.com Keep an eye on their social media though as they do have offers on!

The Furbo is great for keeping tabs on your pooch when you're apart
Pet Teezer brush

We interviewed Shaun Pulfrey about why he created the Tangle Teezer for dogs earlier this month and his PR very kindly gave us two following their launch - thanks Alex at Bark and Beyond!
A lot of thought has gone into creating this product, and I’m already a big fan of the human Tangle Teezers - they have been a lifesaver when I’ve been looking after my god-daughters and Daisy’s human sisters Hannah and Millie!
There are two types, the purple and black De-Shedding and the pink and yellow De-Tangling. As Daisy has a coarse coat, the purple one works best for her.
We’ve used other brushes to strip her loose hair - she moults a LOT - but they always feel quite harsh on her skin as the combs are made of metal.
With the Pet Teezer, it feels more of a tickle and she is much more receptive to being brushed - plus Hannah and Millie loved it so they enjoyed giving her a groom.
The real test for this will be as summer approaches and she really starts to moult, so I’ll update this then!

£10 at Pets at Home (soon to be going to up to £12)

Daisy with her new Pet Teezer and Hownd paw wipes!
Yup You Stink Hownd Paw Wipes

These were sent for us to try out along with the Pet Teezer brush and my eyes lit up when I read the packet because…. they wipe off fox poo.
Daisy loves rolling in fox poo but as she’s not been very well recently, she’s not been off the lead so much, and hasn’t been able to indulge in her fave pastime. I feel quite guilty about this now.
So instead we put them to the test after a run around on a muddy field and they did a great job of cleaning her up.
They’re cruelty free, alcohol and paraben free and are orange and bergamot scented and contain aloe and essential oils, so totally dog friendly.
The pack is small enough to put in your bag and an essential for all terrier pawrents - far better than trying to use baby wipes to wipe poo off your dog before you put them back in the car.
It’s a huge paws up from us!

£2.95 for five large wipes - one is all that is needed www.dogslovehownd.com

Eco Dog Design collar, lead, bandana and poo bag holder

We met Paula at NE dog fest over the summer and fell in love with her designs and you will have seen us share photos of Daisy’s Hearts lead and collar for Valentine’s Day.
Paula hand makes all of her accessories in Gateshead, just round the corner from Daisy’s dad’s (which is far too convenient!)
Her creations are just gorgeous and the attention to detail really finishes them off and as well as the hearts we have the comic print too.
Each collar has a little handmade tag on and the leads have a lovely charm with ‘love my dog’ on one side and a paw print on the other as well as a padded handle for comfort.
The poo bag holders come with a clip on so you can attach them to the D ring on the dog’s lead, or take it off and put it on your handbag if you’re using an extender lead.
Paula is doing flowers to attach to collars as well as bandanas which are just gorgeous so I’m sure you’ll be spotting one on Daisy soon!

Daisy wears a small. Bandana £6, Flower £12, Lead £15, Collar £12, Carrier £7.50 www.ecodogdesigns.com 

Check out the cute charm and padding on Daisy's Eco Dog Design lead
Pets Pyjamas Travel Edit

We LOVE a dog friendly break and as 2018 is the Year of the Dog, pet travel experts at Pets Pyjamas have created a special Pet Travel Edit magazine.
Not surprisingly, 70% of pet owners say they want to holiday with their furry friend and the website offers more than 2,000 properties, from fancy 5 star hotels to Shepherd huts.
Free pet places come as standard and each furry guest receives a £20 travel kit filled with essentials, treats and a bandana so they can smarten up for dinner!
The Pet Travel Edit is a 16 page magazine packed with essential information for owners on what to take when you holiday with their pet.
Even if you’ve packed for your pooch endless times like us, it’s a handy checklist and details all you need to know about the pet passport scheme and travelling by train, plane, ferry, bus and the Eurotunnel.
Plus there’s lots of lovely pet friendly places to check out and an interview with I’m A Celeb’s Laura Whitmore and her Maltipoo Mick.

You can download it here Pets Pyjamas Travel Edit and browse for your next petaway at www.petspyjamas.com

Wilson, one of the Pets Pyjamas hotel inspectors, with his travel kit!

Finally, thank you Pets Pyjamas for Daisy’s gift box.
She was thrilled with it - you can see her before photos on her Instagram - best not to share the afters...

If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read Why Harriet decided to invent TROUSERS for dogs, or if you're looking for staycation inspiration, check out Our trip to Britain's most dog friendly holiday homes - Letheringham Water Mill in Suffolk.

The post Pet friendly products we’ve tried and tested in February appeared first on The Paw Post.

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The girls have a combined age of 168 and RSPCA staff are desperate to keep them together
They were handed in to the charity in January as their owners sadly could no longer care for them

So the RSCPA is looking for a very special home so the three girls don’t need to be separated.
Mitzy is ten, Lucy is 11 and Winnie is nine, giving them a combined age of 30, or 168 in dog years.
The girls love fuss and attention while out on walks and having been a trio most of their lives they’re the best of friends.
Sadly, dogs over the age of seven take three times as long to rehome – 48 days – compared to just 15 days for younger dogs.
It’s also difficult to find adopters who are happy to take three dogs.
But Zoe Barrett from the RSPCA Suffolk East and Ipswich branch who is caring for them says she is determined to find a home for the gorgeous golden oldies.

“We want to get them into a home and out of kennels,” she said.

“We know it will be difficult to find a home prepared to take on all three elderly dogs – but we don’t have the heart to separate them. However, we know we will be able to rehome them really easily individually so it may come to that eventually as we don’t want them stuck in kennels.
“They are absolutely lovely, affectionate girls who have been together most of their lives. They’re playful and loving so we’d like them to go to a retirement home where they can play with each other before cuddling up for a nap together.”

Could they be any more cute?
Ideally their new home would be with no cats and they could live with older children

They all walk nicely on the lead and enjoy getting out and about to explore but their favourite thing is getting fuss and attention from people.
As a senior dog mum – Daisy is 13 this year so older than all these lovely girls – I can assure you that older dogs still have so much to give.
Daisy doesn’t run off for hours on end like she used to but is lively and fun, and loves a cuddle.
I can’t imagine the heartbreak the owner of these lovely girls must have been through having to give them up. So I really hope they can stay together.
“We know a lot of people are put off by adopting older dogs but these cheeky little terriers are still full of life and would be ideal for some families,” Zoe added.
“They are the best of friends so if we can find someone who is willing to take on all three then that would be wonderful!”

The gorgeous girls are best friends and would love to stay together
Do you have space in your home – and heart – for these three lovable friends?

For more information about these sweet dogs, please visit their online profile or contact Martlesham Animal Centre by calling 0300 999 7321 or emailing martlesham.rspca@btconnect.com.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like Can you help Liz and her Bull Terriers find a new home? or if you have a senior dog, then Canine Arthritis – six things owners need to know may be helpful too.

The post Can you offer a home to Golden Oldies Mitzy, Lucy and Winnie? appeared first on The Paw Post.

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Valentine’s Day - for many years those two words filled me with dread
Having spent most of my 20s and 30s single, it was a day of horror!

The gushing Facebook updates, the endless photos of flowers and teddy bears, I hated it.
Despite having a boyfriend now, I’m still not a huge fan. But I think our pets can play a part in helping us find love.
And that’s why I’m writing this because Daisy really did help in choosing the man for me – her human dad Tommy who has been in our lives for three and a half years.

So can our pets sniff out Mr or Ms Right? I spoke to Hilda Burke, a psychotherapist and couples counsellor to find out

Hilda has a rescue Greyhound, Madra, and said: “You want your dog to be comfortable with them and if they are, there’s more chance your relationship will develop.
“If someone gets on with your dog and your dog is precious to you then that person is going to be more attractive than someone who doesn’t.
“As dog owners, your pet is such a huge part of your life so if your partner doesn’t have time for them, that’s a difficult situation to manage.
“You can’t compartmentalise your relationship with your partner and pet into separate boxes because they are such an integral part of our lives.
“There has to at the very least be a tolerance for a relationship to develop. If a dog is generally friendly and warm around people and isn’t towards a new partner, that is going to make you wary.”

Hilda and her rescue Greyhound Madra
Having Daisy certainly helped me choose which guys I didn’t want to date including…..
The one who FAWNED over my friend’s Cockerpoo puppy but ignored Daisy.

I’d been seeing this guy when Daisy first came to live with me and was dog sitting my friend’s Cockerpoo. He made a huge fuss of him and didn’t pay Daisy the teeniest bit of attention!
I figured if he was going to favour a trendy dog over my scruffy little princess he wasn’t for me so stopped taking his calls.

The one dashed off at the mere sight of a poo bag!

I met one guy on a dating site and as part of the date I took Daisy and her old housemate Tommy out for a walk.
Of course, they both went for a poo and there was no way I could leave it but as soon as I went to pick it up, he looked at his phone, said he had a family emergency and vanished, never to be seen again!

The one who was allergic to dogs.

This was never going to end well. He came back after our date for a coffee and insisted Daisy stayed in the utility room. She woofed her head off and I told him it was best he left.

Daisy and Tommy - he has sadly passed over the Rainbow bridge and was the love of her life
Being single as friends settled down and had families was hard

I wondered what was wrong and if I’d ever find happiness.
Luckily I had Daisy to keep me sane – and more self help books than you could shake a stick at – I’d highly recommend Dr Karin Anderson book, Single Is The New Black on Amazon.
Looking back now I realise the emotional resilience having a dog gave me. Hilda said: “Dog owners have a lot to offer. They’re kind, selfless and attuned to the needs of others.
“Life changes dramatically when you have a dog and you make sacrifices but you know they are worthwhile as your dog gives so much love back to you.
“It’s like having a child. The dog is there for life and if a partner isn’t committed to that then it’s most likely the relationship isn’t going to work.
“You can choose your partner but the dog is non-negotiable, so if it comes down to them or the dog, you choose the dependant being as they’re the one you’re responsible for.
“But the right partner will recognise these qualities and see them as a positive.”

Daisy and my boyfriend Tommy - he adores her and she does him!
Thankfully, that happened in the end

When Tommy came along he couldn’t have been more adoring of Daisy.
She snuggles up between us on the sofa and every time we go out he makes sure it’s somewhere dog friendly so she can join us.
He doesn’t think twice of putting us to bed together and sleeping in the spare room – Daisy doesn’t snore anywhere near as much as he does.
I remember coming home from work one day and seeing them walking down the road together, looking adoringly at each other and thinking ‘that’s my pawfect match!’
Research released by The Company of Animals this week found 63% of us love our dog as much as our partner which sure means this kind of behaviour is perfectly normal?
Now Daisy’s getting older and has her senior moments he’s so patient and gentle with her.
He comes with me to the vets and indulges me when I suggest crazy things in my bid to make her live forever and she absolutely adores him too.
So if you’re a pet pawrent and muddling through the dating world, put your trust in your furry friend as they might just help you find a match.

Daisy, Tommy and me on my birthday weekend!
There’s a proverb, ’Love me, love my dog,’ which was said by St Bernard of Clairvaux, a French Monk, back in the 12th century

It means if you love someone you will love all that belong to them and accept them unconditionally despite their flaws.
So if your dog takes a shine to your date, and they give them the same unconditional love back, then they’re a keeper.

Thanks to Hilda for collaborating with me on this slightly wacky post. Find out more about her work at www.hildaburke.co.uk and you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram too.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like 11 Valentine’s Day gift ideas for dog owners.

The post Can our dogs be the key to us finding the perfect partner? appeared first on The Paw Post.

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If you love your Tangle Teezer we have some great news - your dog can have one too!
You might remember Shaun Pulfrey from his appearance on Dragon’s Den with his Tangle Teezer hairbrush

Amazingly, he was told to get knotted and has since created a £200 million (yes you read that right!) business following his BBC2 appearance back in 2007 (you can watch it here on YouTube)
Now 11 years on, he’s having the last laugh about the detangling brush they called ‘hair brained’ as 20 a minute are sold to 60 countries worldwide.
They run gently through messed up hair have been a godsend to parents all over the world. And now, he’s done the same for dogs!
So if you have a shaggy dog and struggle to get a brush through their coat, or worry about hurting them by battling through their fur, the Pet Teezer could be the solution.
We had a chat with Shaun about his pawsome new invention!

How gorgeous does this doggy look after his Pet Teezer makeover?
How did the idea for a doggy Tangle Teezer come about?

We were inundated on social media with images and cute videos of people brushing their dog with The Original and showing how well it worked on fluffy coats.
We then started trialling and testing different styles of teeth and brushes to perfect the Pet Teezer.
We wanted to make sure that Pet Teezer was effective and tackled coats on all breeds of dogs. After 3 years of research we finally came to launch Pet Teezer.  

Are you a dog owner yourself?

Yes, I have a Boston Terrier called Lucy.
She’s only a year old and is already my reason for living! She has more energy than any other dog I’ve ever met so she certainly keeps me on my toes!

Proud dog dad Shaun with lively and lovely Lucy!
How did you develop the products?

We worked very closely with the grooming team at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.
We tried and tested on numerous dogs there.
This is why they’ve given us their seal of approval and we’re recommended by them.

That’s fantastic and a lovely charity to work with. Did you get to try them on lots of different dogs?

Yes, we tried them on as many as we could.
As we worked with Battersea obviously we had access to a real depth in selection of dogs.
We also used a panel that had a range of dogs from those with short coats, to others with thick, double coats!

Entrepreneur Shaun Pulfrey wowed the hair world with his Tangle Teezer after being mocked on Dragon's Den - now he's doing the same for dogs!
What sets the doggy Tangle Teezer apart from other grooming brushes on the market?

Most other grooming brushes on the market are made with metal teeth.
Our brushes are made with soft, flexible polymers that makes them ultra-safe for at home every day grooming as well as being confident to detangle and de-shed easily.

How has the feedback been?

The feedback has been great, from both dogs and owners!
The dogs seem to be very relaxed and love being brushed by our Pet Teezer and the owners find it easy and effective! It’s got the thumbs and paws up from everyone!

We tried the Pet Teezer on Daisy. She liked the gentler bristles and it helped strip her loose hair too!
Being recommended by Battersea is fantastic, how did that come about?

We worked with Battersea when researching the different teeth and styles of brushes for Pet Teezer.
It was a natural fit for us to be involved on a deeper level when we launched the product.
They’re a fantastic charity and we’re proud to have that affinity with them!

Do you think you will have any more doggie inventions in the future?

Never say never – I’m an inventor, my mind never stops!

If you like this post, you might enjoy Pawdicures, Pawfume and Powder for your Pooch, or How her three Pugs inspired Christine to create Three Pugs Gin!

The post The Paw Post meets Shaun Pulfrey – inventor of the Pet Tangle Teezer appeared first on The Paw Post.

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We’re super excited to be speaking to Cate Archer - AKA Doug The Pug Therapy Dog’s human.

Kimberley from City Dog Expert very kindly introduced us via Instagram.
Doug, eight, lives with Chocolate Lab Molly, 13, and cats Tiger, 21, and Archie, 14, in Buckinghamshire and works as a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog.
He visits people in a care home, a hospice for adults with life limiting conditions, aids children read in a primary and junior school, helps at hostel for children between permanent homes, and comforts people suffering with mental illness.
With almost 20,000 followers on Instagram and his own children’s book, Doug has warmed hearts all over the world.
So we were thrilled to learn all about his work when we chatted to his owner, Cate.

Doug The Pug Therapy Dog shows off his very own book!
Have you always had dogs?

I grew up on a farm in Northumberland so we had dogs as a child but as an adult I was without a dog for 20 years. 
Finally I said to my husband, ‘We’re definitely getting a dog now,’ and Molly, our gorgeous Chocolate Lab came along. 
She’s 13 now but still leaps around like Bambi so she’s not suited to be a PAT dog.
But Doug is the perfect PAT dog because he’s so quiet, gentle and discreet and they’re great pals. 

How did Doug come into your lives?

We had dear family member who was very poorly and it was thought having a dog would reduce the awful feelings of loneliness and isolation that come with long term chronic illness.
At first I was reluctant to get a dog as we had Molly, but she was very big, strong and bony and it was felt a little dog would bring more comfort.
Doug was everything we could have wished for. When this very special family member got better, we felt he had so much love to share and that’s how he came to be a PAT dog.

Doug and his big sister Molly
So you started volunteering together?

After giving up full time work to be a carer, for seven whole years, I’d reached a stage in my life where I didn’t want to return to conventional employment – so, we now work voluntarily. 
Because Doug had made such a massive difference to our family, we saw how special the human animal bond was. 
It made me truly believe in companion animal therapy and I knew that was the route I wanted to go down. 
I used to work as a special needs teacher and that has given me a little more patience, empathy and understanding – but people without my background are every bit as effective in the partnership with their dog.
Every day, whether it’s someone he sees in real life, or someone virtual who we speak to online, I know he’s making a positive difference.

How does the process of becoming a PAT dog work?

I knew he was a gentle family dog and learned PAT needed dogs who were predictable, trustworthy and wouldn’t react negatively to any sounds, actions or behaviours.
Size or breed is of no consequence.  We applied as a duo, myself and Doug, so I had to give references, and Doug had scrupulous temperament assessments.
Once that was complete, I could choose somewhere dear to my heart to visit or they could find places close to me.
Their support is fantastic, and our visits are fully insured too so we have peace of mind.
Sometimes people get in touch via Instagram or my website and ask if we can come along and give them a boost.

What would you say is the most rewarding part of your work?

I love all of it. With the reading programme, it’s so rewarding to think that he can help them have a better experience of childhood and school life.
A little boy at a school who lost his dad shared his grief with Doug, opening up to him and burying his head in his fluffy neck to cry. He’d rub Doug’s ears over his top lip to comfort himself.
Then I may go in a care home and feel we have really lifted an older person’s day and stopped them from feeling so lonely and isolated.
With the elderly, if they have had a stroke and struggle with speech they can withdraw, and while they may be unclear to us, Doug is happy to listen.
With people with mental health challenges, it may be they don’t have a permanent home or access to a dentist or be able to go for a haircut and have their clothes laundered.
Doug greets that person more warmly than another human being could. Dogs are totally without judgement and stigma.
If someone has a limb missing or they are so scarred or disfigured they don’t feel confident going out, Doug doesn’t notice as it is of no consequence.
We all try to show that we aren’t uncomfortable or taken aback by things but with a dog it genuinely isn’t on their radar at all.

Doug has a cuddle from one of the youngsters he visits
It must be emotional for you too?

Yes, and inevitably we have friends who pass away. When people are ill, we go to see them in hospital as often their family may be far away so they don’t have many visitors.
When their lives end, we go to funerals and we went to one and at the end the niece came over to me. We’d been seeing her aunt for about five years.
She said when they emptied her room they found so many letters and cards from Doug and photos that they knew he was very special to her. They’d buried her with a picture of him by her side in her coffin.
To lose the lady was very sad for us but it was so lovely her family had understood the bond with her and Doug.

A lot of your work is simply about kindness isn’t it?

Yes, the message in Doug’s book is about loving who and what we are and understanding that we all have something wonderful to offer.
If we could all think like a dog, the world would be a happier place. We try to spread kindness where we go and do what we can to make people’s lives better.
Aesop said: “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted,” and I think that is our ethos.

Doug celebrates inclusion as well doesn't he?

Yes, we once had a silly comment online about Doug being ‘gay’ and we shared a very tongue in cheek photo of him reading a book titled ‘Is your dog gay?’ to illustrate our views that gender preference is of no consequence whatsoever to who and what you are - and that we must be true to ourselves in order to be happy confident beings.
We work very hard to promote inclusion - Doug and all dogs show no judgement and have no stigma.
We want to celebrate what different people bring to our lives and I love being able to share that in what we do. 
I feel that merely tolerating differences is just putting up with people – actually celebrating diversity is what illustrates real true inclusion.

Doug likes to show off his sense of humour
And you did a sleepout last October to help the homeless?

Yes, with a group called Glass Door – they take in rough sleepers that many organisations turn away.  We raised over £2,400 which we split between Glass Door (www.glassdoor.org.uk) and Dogs On The Streets (www.dotslondon.co.uk)  DOTS London support the health and welfare of the dogs living with their homeless owners.
We wanted to raise awareness that their dogs may be the only true loyal beings in their lives and should be valued.
We wanted to show that being homeless is not a lifestyle choice and people are genuinely there through circumstance. 
None of us are beyond finding ourselves without a permanent home, however secure and confident we feel.
It was an honour to meet both teams, and something that would never have happened had it not been for Instagram.

Are there any stories that stay in your mind of people Doug has helped?

A 35-year-old man from America contacted me on Instagram. He’d been in a mental health unit for six weeks and in a very unhappy place. 
He told me he’d been frightened and lonely and felt he was a drain on the world. Every day his girlfriend would read a page from Doug’s book.
It helped him learn he was worth something and that he was entitled to be part of this world and to have a happy life. 
It was also beautifully empowering for him to acknowledge that he wasn’t just taking strength and support from his girlfriend but, in allowing himself to open up to her, that he was giving her the gift of being the best version of her own self.
He was able to embrace Doug’s ethos from the other side of the world and he is still in touch with us, and recently shared that they had got engaged. 

Doug is a true Angel to the people he meets
What would you say to readers who are considering becoming PAT volunteers?

It’s wonderfully rewarding and something you can do as little or as much as you like and for a cause dear to your heart.
It’s a way to give a little back to something that matters to you. Not everyone can have a dog in their lives so by allowing them to share time with your pet is so special.
It is often thought that being good and kind to others is purely benevolent and altruistic, but helping others has been proven to improve health, happiness and longevity.  

We have been blown away hearing Doug and Cate’s heartwarming tales and we hope you enjoyed them too. 

You can keep up with their news or order books (all proceeds go to Pets As Therapy) on their website, www.dougthepugtherapydog.com and on Instagram , Facebook and Twitter

To find out more about Pets As Therapy, visit https://petsastherapy.org

If you enjoyed this post, you might like to read about how Olaf the Zante Stray became a Pets As Therapy Dog or how Starina became owner Saza's emotional support cat.

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Giving our furry friends a long, happy and healthy life is something us dog lovers strive to do and managing arthritis is key to making this happen.

A few weeks ago, Daisy was due to go to the vets to have her lameness checked and I came across Hannah Capon from Canine Arthritis Management on the #WoofWoofWednesday Twitter chat.
I was really pleased when she agreed to speak about how to manage arthritis and specifically, how I could help Daisy.
Daisy is now 12 - 84 in human years - and while she’s still a lively girl who loves her walks and chasing her ball, she is showing signs of slowing down.
If you’re an owner of a senior dog you’ll relate to the sadness this brings. As Hannah says, it’s a reminder that you’re in your latter years together.
You want your dog to enjoy life and not feel like you’re restricting their fun. But you’re also conscious that this might be to the detriment of their health.
Hannah, 39, from Sussex decided to raise awareness of arthritis after working in a practice in Brighton and noticing that she was repeatedly putting dogs to sleep due to the disease, and euthanased two arthritic dogs in one afternoon.
She began visiting dogs in their homes, educating owners on the signs of pain, medication, diet, how to adapt their environment, and using complementary therapy and started the #yourdogmoreyears campaign.

Hannah and her adorable senior dog Holly
Hannah now has a team of three vets and two vet nurses helping dogs and their owners

She explained: “It’s heartbreaking but arthritis is the major cause of elective euthanasia for dogs in the UK. Four out of five dogs over the age of eight are affected and there is no cure.
“A study by a vet in America found that 60% of dogs that came through their door for other problems had arthritis.
“It’s something that’s always linked to older dogs but there’s a lot of younger dogs that have early onset arthritis.
“They don’t show pain how we expect them to, and many dogs, particularly Pugs, Bulldogs and Staffies, already have a strange gait so the owners don’t realise and can wait until the dog can hardly bear weight before asking for help.”
Hannah has a senior dog, Holly, a 15-year-old Border Collie, meaning she can relate to the challenges facing the owners of gorgeous Golden Oldies.
Last year, she walked 100 miles in eight days on the South Downs Way with Holly, using a trolley when she needed a break, showing life doesn’t stop with an old dog, it simply changes.
You can read about the Big Walk on Hannah's website and these are the six things she advises owners do to help dogs live to a ripe and healthy age, just like Holly.

Learn to recognise signs of pain

Run your hands over your dog. People think when they walk away it’s because they’re ticklish but this can be a pain indicator.
They might walk on their tiptoes or pigeon toed, or arch their back. They could tremble or take longer to lie down, so circling three times rather than once.
They might walk forward when going to the loo rather than peeing/pooing in one place or you may notice the way they carry their head is very rigid and set rather than moving around.
Not stretching and yawning may be a sign of discomfort too.

Find non-slip solutions for wooden or laminate floors

Think about what it would be like for a doddery elderly person or a toddler wearing a pair of socks in your house.
Someone who is weaker with lack of balance and lack of strength is more likely to slip over. You need to think in the same way for your dog.
Put rugs down they can grip to, keep them away from stairs and steps and use easily accessible beds that are supportive and comfortable for them to lie on.
People I visited would see their dogs fall, but because they didn’t show pain in a way they expected, they didn’t realise things in their home were harming them.
As owners don’t use pain indicators, they don’t monitor deterioration or improvement which means they don’t know what is effective.

See your vet regularly

When you see your vet make sure you’re prepared with detailed observations of the changes you have seen in your dog and explain as specifically as possible why you believe they are in pain.
Find out where the problem is. Is it the hips, back, elbow? There are options, like medication, laser treatment, injections, surgery, and complementary treatments like massage, hydrotherapy and acupuncture but you need to know where the problems are.
Your vet will explain the treatments they offer, but may also refer you to a specialist. Find massage tips here.

Ensure your dog is a healthy weight

Just like it is for humans, carrying too much weight isn’t good for arthritis. As well as the actual weight of the fat making movement difficult, the compounds that live in the fat cause inflammation in the joints too.
Have one person in the house in charge of feeding and weigh your dog every week and measure with a tape measure.
It’s tempting to treat dogs with food but in the long term we are killing them with kindness.

You can read our post on ways to help your dog lose weight here.

Don’t overexercise

It makes me so annoyed when I see people using ball throwers. Dogs will chase balls until they drop.
The release of neurochemicals on seeing that ball mean that they are so happy and excited that they seem to be pain free.
But when they stop it hits them. The same goes for running on a beach. Think about what it would be like for you sprinting on a beach?
You can still play with your dog and let them have fun, but not by launching a ball for large distances as this may exacerbate the disease.

Hannah uses a trolley for Holly when she needs to take a break on walks
Know how to read your dog

Imagine being in pain and no-one listening to you? It would be awful, so know how to read your dog.
If you follow the advice here and on our website and keep a regular checklist of how they are you can add years onto your dog’s life.
The bond we have with them and the unconditional love they give us can’t be measured.
Our aim is to minimise their pain and stress and worry for owners making them free to enjoy life together.

Putting Hannah's advice into practice  Daisy has had arthritis since she came to live with me aged five and has been on supplements and had regular visits at the vets.
I’d never realised wooden floors could contribute to her illness and, like many owners, experienced feelings of guilt.
Now, I have a large rug covering the lounge and have moved her feeding and water bowls there.
My home has steps, so I carry her out when we go for walks, and the same goes for stairs in the house.
I’m much more aware of signs of pain, checking her regularly and take her out only when I feel she wants to walk.
My vet has prescribed anti-inflammatories and she has frequent check ups.
I use a PitPat activity monitor to ensure she doesn’t walk too much and she takes Lintbells Yu Move supplements, which Hannah recommends.
Hannah suggested canine massage and she is having her first session this week with a therapist we found through the Canine Massage Guild at www.k9-massageguild.co.uk - there's lots of information and courses for owners at www.caninetherapy.co.uk too.
Daisy is already very slight, which means less pressure on her joints, and has a low fat diet apart from the odd treat!
I hope combining treatment from her vet and Hannah’s advice will bring us many more happy years together.

You can find a wealth of resources on the Canine Arthritis Management website www.caninearthritis.co.uk

And you can follow #yourdogmoreyears on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Do you have a pet with arthritis and have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them, so please pop them in the comments below!


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Anyone who knows me in real life will be aware that Valentine’s Day isn’t my fave celebration

Before Tommy, Daisy’s human dad came along when I was 38, I spent the best part of a decade as a singleton while my friends got married and had kids.
I’m still not a huge fan, but if my pressie is something that my dog can share, I’m in!
So I rounded up my totally non-slushy round up of Valentine’s Day gift ideas for dog owners – and there’s not a flower, teddy bear or chocolate in sight!

1. A mini-break

There are so many gorgeous dog friendly holiday cottages all over the UK and inviting the dog along to a Bridget Jones inspired mini-break is sure to get you in the good books.
Letheringham Water Mill in Suffolk is our favourite – you can read about our stay here – and you can find lots of lovely places on PetsPyjamas.com

£99 per night from Sunday to Thursday and £115 at the weekend. www.letheringhammill.co.uk

Daisy in her doggy bed at Letheringham Water Mill
2. A photoshoot

Forget boring photos of babies and kids, our pooches never fail to look adorable in front of the camera and while your Smartphone may be bursting with pics, it’s lovely to have a professional shoot.
Have a look for a local lifestyle photographer to arrange a shoot and you’ll have snaps you can treasure forever. For London pawrents, try Eva Thompson of Eva and Amelia’s World.

£150 for a three hour shoot www.evagraphy.com


Eva in action on one of her pawsome doggy photoshoots!
Daisy would love this carriage!
3. Dog bicycle trailer

Pawfect for cycling fans – rather than leave your dog at home you can pop them in this cute trailer and they can ride along and enjoy the scenery.
I’m planning on doing a lot more cycling this year and Daisy is slowing down as she gets older so this Trixie Cuddly Cave trailer is on my wishlist!

£118.55 www.amazon.co.uk


4. Dinner at a dog friendly pub

What self respecting dog owner wants to sit watching couples slobber over each other on the most expensive night of the year?Instead, book a table for dinner at a dog friendly pub. Bonus points if you find one with a menu for dogs like our regular haunt, The Brandling Villa in Gosforth, Newcastle.

£4.95 for doggy meals www.brandlingvilla.com

How cute are these matching T shirts?
5. Matching tops

We LOVE this ‘Fur Mom’ and ‘Fur Baby’ top from ByMissSally on Etsy and they do a Fur Dad design too plus loads of other cool pet pawrent apparel.
Visit Sally’s shop here.

£25.69 plus postage on Etsy.com

6. T-shirt with your dog's face embroidered on

Send a photo of your dog to Hoop n Loop and get a gorgeous, hand embroidered T shirt, top, sweatshirt, cushion or jacket with their face on.
For Valentine’s they’re donating £30 from every t-shirt sold to www.wildatheartfoundation.com – helping stray dogs across the globe.
They are on the pricey side but absolutely gorgeous and you know there’s no way anyone will ever have the same piece, wherever you go!

£100 for a plain t-shirt design from www.hoopnloop.co.uk 


The likeness on this T-shirt is amazing!
7. Striped jersey for your dog

I’m a huge fan of a striped Breton top and had 12 in my wardrobe at the last count. This gorgeous navy and yellow one from Fetch and Follow would match my collection pawfectly.
Daisy’s human dad Tommy knows I HATE flowers so I’m hoping he’s reading this!

£35 www.fetchandfollow.co.uk

A girl and her dog can never have too many striped tops....
8. A collar, bandana and lead set

Ok, so it’s technically for the dog, but we all love kitting our pets out in nice things don’t we?
I was looking for something lovely for Daisy and Paula at Eco Dog Designs created this lovely collar, lead and bandana set for her which I’m thrilled with!

£33 for the set – Daisy wears a small – www.ecodesigns.com

We love our heart print collar, bandana and lead set
9. Red polka dot bag – with a super romantic poo bag carrier!

I’m laughing as I type about a poo bag carrier being a Valentine’s Day gift, but I love this combo from the Cosy Canine Company.
Big enough to fit in a waterproof coat, purse, doggy jumper, treats and a water bowl and Lottie is giving readers free shipping for all bags.

£44.95 and put in THEPAWPOST at the checkout www.etsy.com

For the price of a bunch of roses, you can have this lovely bag with a matching poo bag holder!
10. Beds for Bullies Valentine’s Day card

Regular readers will know we are huge supporters of Liz and the team at this English Bull Terrier Rescue in Norfolk – they’re currently looking for a new home – follow this link if you can help.
You can also show your appreciation by sending one of these cute cards – each design features one of the dogs currently living with Liz – she has 16!

£3.75 inc P&P www.bedsforbullies.co.uk


Make a Bullie happy this Valentine's Day!
11. Sponsor a dog with Dog’s Trust

I did this when I was single and your sponsored dog sends you a Valentine’s card plus three updates a year on their progress, a photo certificate, fridge magnet and a window sticker.
It’s a lovely gift for any dog lover, particularly those who can’t have one of their own. For just £1 a week you can help your dog and their friends too.

£52 www.dogstrust.org.uk 

If you’re still stuck for ideas lucky London dog owners can visit a fab Valentine’s market being hosted by Fetch and Follow on 11th February.

It’s from 11am-4pm at Netil Market, E8 3EL and you can see the Fetch & Follow range, plus clothes from Hoop and Loop, doggy food and treats from Neoh & Nobo, Blues Bakery, YOKO and The Artisan Pet Deli.
There’s also accessories from Growlees pet charms, Lead The Walk and Edwin UK and top pet photographer Rachel Oates (Winny The Corgi’s human) is setting up a kissing booth where owners can pucker up to their pooch for a memento of the day.
I wish we didn’t live so far away!

Do you have any quirky ideas for Valentines gifts you can share?
Or have you ever been given anything out of the ordinary?
We’d love to hear about it so pop a comment below!

The post 11 Valentine’s Day gift ideas for dog owners! appeared first on The Paw Post.

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