August 2020 Edition

The place to stay connected with the people, topics and current affairs shaping the pet industry today.

Navigating the new normal with our dogs

Anna Webb – Broadcaster, Author, has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). She lives in London and is owned by Prudence a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. As we all begin to navigate a new normal where the foreseeable future is very uncertain, it’s no wonder anxiety is still running high in both us and in our dogs. For many of use we’re still in ‘lockdown limbo’. With an uncertain economic forecast and the worries of Covid 19 being here to stay, affecting our lives and our dogs on many levels. The RCVS is in the process of studying the impact of Lockdown on dogs not only in the UK, but also in Spain and Italy. Initial findings reveal that 37% dogs are more ‘nervous’ and barking a lot more whilst conversely over 60% of pet parents concur that their dog has been and continues to be a massive emotional support. It’s important to remember that our dogs still don’t know that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. My concern is that communication could be getting lost in translation. Dogs know how to ‘talk’ to other canines using eye contact and body signals, and they transfer this skill to reading us like a book too.   Plus they bring in their extraordinary sense of smell to literally know when we’re happy, sad or really stressed out by sniffing the fluctuations in our cortisol levels through our breath and our sweat. It’s impossible to lie to a dog not least as with over 300 million scent receptors in their noses (compared to our humble 5,000), dogs can sniff out a teaspoon of sugar diluted by two Olympic swimming pools! In a way they’re born bi-lingual! But sometimes we don’t understand what our dog is saying back as we’ve not learnt to speak ‘dog’. Prudence my Miniature Bull terrier is like a stress barometer and tells me to ‘calm down’.  She does this in no uncertain terms using exaggerated head turns and huge yawns that are both examples of ‘calming signals’. In fact Prudence has been known to leave the room when I’ve huffed and puffed at the laptop for too long! Checking our behaviour by observing our dog’s reactions means we can save a situation that could otherwise make a dog anxious by unwittingly rewarding it. Taking a pre-emptive and proactive approach with acclimatisation and training to navigate the new challenges like social distancing and wearing face coverings now mandatory on public transport and in shops, By ‘disguising’ our faces dogs aren’t able to understand the full ‘picture’, causing confusion and misunderstanding.  Too much eye
They call it puppy love?

Anna Webb – Broadcaster, Author, has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). She lives in London and is owned by Prudence a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. As we ease out of lockdown, it’s not loo roll, eggs or pasta that’s in short supply, but it’s puppies! Dog owners have been the lucky ones through lockdown being supported physically, emotionally and mentally by their four legged friends. But the unprecedented demand for puppies has outstripped Britain’s supply, and inquiries to buy a dog are up 180% on this time last year! Creating a massive market for unscrupulous breeders, ruthlessly exploiting innocent dogs and people by maximising our ‘one-click’ impulse purchasing online. The worry is that as many of us won’t be able to continue working from home, or those furloughed will be returning to the office and others might find it financially difficult to afford a dog long term. Some may have underestimated the hard work and commitment a dog really is and there’s concern that hundreds of young dogs might be abandoned to rescues, already bursting at the seams. It’s also forecast that cases of separation anxiety will be soaring in Britain’s dogs as we adjust to a new normal.   The RCVS is conducting a study not only in the UK, but also in Italy and Spain about Lockdown’s effects on our dogs, which reveals that around 37% show increased nervousness and barking. Even if many ‘lockdown puppies’ have found their forever homes, there’s an omnipresent risk that they may face homelessness as private landlords continue to discriminate against pet tenants. We’re lucky that Government has recently been championing animal welfare on a number of levels, not least with Lucy’s Law, which will ban third party puppy sales, and became legislation in April.  And Finns Law which protects service animals in the line of duty, along with the much anticipated FinnsLawPart2 which is set to increase sentencing for all animal cruelty and neglect cases. In a bid to protect tenants and encourage pets for lets, Government changed its clause about pets in its ‘model tenancy agreement’ in favour of tenants with well-behaved pets in 2016. Despite the Government’s statutory pet clause, Landlords still either misinterpret or simply issue a blanket ‘no pets’ policy. Shockingly the National Landlords Association concurs that 55% of landlords exclude pets and a recent online survey of 985 private landlords by Cats Protection revealed that 58% excluded pets. The devastating impact on pets losing their forever homes due to Landlords’ illogical perception is at odds with the Model tenancy agreement, which clearly states that written consent should not be delayed

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31 Runs for half Century, in aid of StreetVet

The team at PAAW House do love a run.  Bibi and Barry’s human Dads get up at ridiculous o’clock every morning to run for the hills, and I’ve cheered my Dad on from the sidelines for many a marathon over the years, he just runs to work these days!  We have much admiration for Brian and his 31 day marathon of marathons, in aid of StreetVet.  Good luck Brian from all at PAAW House and Happy Birthday for 31st August, we hope you get lots of donations to celebrate. Big Woofs, Vinnie x Former Petplan Vet of the Year Brian Faulkner will be running no fewer than 31 marathons in 31 days throughout August – in aid of the remarkable charity StreetVet, which offers free veterinary care for animals of the homeless.  He will run the length of the country, from John O’Groats to Land’s End, ending up there on Monday 31st, his 50th birthday. Brian, who was born in Cookstown, Northern Ireland, but now lives in Hacheston, Suffolk, had never run more than 10 kilometres until four years ago.  However, after being challenged to run the London Marathon during a lively 4am drinks conversation at a veterinary conference, he took the race in his stride.  He went on, the next year, to run 10 marathons in 10 days.  But StreetVet’s amazing work has inspired him to push himself further and embark on this even more gruelling journey. Well-wishers can check his progress and donate at:* StreetVet is a multi-award winning veterinary practice, with a difference.  Its 500+ vets and veterinary nurses are volunteers – and its consulting rooms are the streets of Britain. Established in 2016, it has performed over 4,500 free consultations for pets of people of ‘no fixed abode’.  It currently operates in 16 towns, cities and regions around the UK, but has plans to roll out to many more, such is the scale of the homelessness epidemic. Brian had seen StreetVet’s work and was desperate to do something to help it raise much-needed funds, especially given the shocking plight of rough sleepers with dogs during Covid-19. Only 10 per cent of homeless hostels and shelters allow pets. Most homeless people feel they’ve lost everything else; they simply won’t give up their beloved dog too, in order to secure a bed. So they stay on the streets. Therefore, in addition to its veterinary care, prior to lockdown StreetVet had been researching and piloting aspects of a new ‘accredited hostels’ scheme.  It gives these establishments practical help and advice on how homeless dog owners can be housed together WITH their pets.  But during the pandemic the offer has also had to stretch to encompass those hotels and
Dog Stories 2020: Apple the Rescue

We are delighted to feature the story of a clever rescue pup in our Dog Stories series this week. Apple recently found a very special home having been rescued from Foal Farm. This pup only went and wooed humans who, wait for it… make tasty and nutritious human grade food for dogs. David Nolan co-founder of Butternut Box tells us all about becoming a foster pawrent to little Apple. They say nothing can prepare you for becoming a parent. The worry, the stress, the pee everywhere (the child not you… hopefully). Knowing that every little decision you make now could have a huge impact down the line – it’s the biggest responsibility you’ll ever have. As a new parent, I can absolutely attest to this. Recently, we welcomed a new addition to our family – a rescue puppy named Apple – and already our lives have been turned upside down. Apple came to us from Foal Farm, a wonderful charity that Butternut has supported since 2016. The Head of Animal Welfare reached out to us to say that they had some puppies who desperately needed homes so we decided to go and meet them, not realising that we would be walking out that day as foster parents. As soon as we saw those big brown eyes looking up at us our hearts melted. There were three puppies in total so we took Apple, our friends took her brother Marshall, and my sister took the other female, Noodle. We aren’t too sure what Apple’s story is prior to Foal Farm, but we know that she didn’t have the best start. When we brought her home, she was visibly malnourished and her fur was terribly thin as a result of mange. She was also very timid, and we knew we had a long road ahead of us to build her trust and confidence. Shock number one – puppies need a lot of stuff. We stopped at Pet’s Corner to pick up the ‘essentials’ and came out with significantly heavier bags and lighter wallets. The shopping list included toys, blankets, accessories (lead, collar, identity tag etc.), bowls, cleaning products, a crate, and of course poo bags. With Pet’s Corner successfully emptied, Apple arrived at her new home – a one-bedroom flat which is now 80% dog supplies. There was only one thing missing – food. Previously, Apple had been eating dry food, but we were keen to get her straight on Butternut meals. There’s usually a transition period for the first few days (where the dog has a small amount of Butternut mixed in with their current food), but Apple is a natural Butternutter and she gobbled up the whole thing in one go. We’re over the

All the parties, events and pupperazi pics, including red carpet coverage from our very own celebrity ambassador Mr Burly Bear.

Eat out to help out X socialise your pup

Anna Webb – Broadcaster, Author, has studied natural nutrition and therapies with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). She lives in London and is owned by Prudence a Miniature Bull Terrier and Mr Binks, a re-homed English Toy Terrier. As we acclimatise to a new normal, ‘Lockdown’ puppies and their parents are chomping at the bit to experience the outside world’s sights, sounds and smells. The ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme with up to 50% off your meal is a ticket to get out, support your local dog friendly eateries and socialise your pup. It’s morally mandatory to train your puppy the ground rules for model ‘doggy dining’ and pub culture etiquette. Socialisation is essential to a puppy’s life skills. But just as important is setting the ground rules that can be adapted to different situations. When you turn your dog’s world into a game, based on rules and teamwork you’ve hit the jackpot.  Games can be everything from travelling in the car, on a bus, train or tube. Walking in the park or joining you in the pub, visiting friends – the sky is the limit! The unspoken rule in situations where food is being served, your pup must fly the ‘good’ dog flag as not everyone around you is dog friendly. There’s two key behaviours to train: the ‘settle’ and ‘meet and greets’. Creating the game that’s settle ‘on the mat’ / blanket or lightweight bed until you’re advised otherwise is key to doggy pub culture etiquette. It’s also useful for budding ‘office’ dogs and for those who’ll be working from home. Only ever reward when your pup is ‘on the mat’. Encourage him onto ‘the mat’ with a treat to go down.  Praise this calmly and reward in position on the mat. Repeat. Repeat. Gradually move a step away, asking him back into position every time he moves. Build so you can leave the room, return and he’s on the mat!  ‘On the Mat’ needs a release command – like all done – so your pup knows when to get off ‘the mat’. Never feed your pup from the table as that won’t help as puppy will expect titbits and likely cause a scene when he doesn’t get what he wants. The other unspoken rule is for your pup to practice polite ‘meet and greets’ with new people (and dogs!). It’s such a bad look when your pup has imprinted muddy paws on a clean pair of white pressed jeans. Simply ignore any ‘jumping up’ everywhere and use a long line indoors to pre-empt any over excitable behaviour with visitors in line with social distancing rules. Encourage four feet on the ground rewarding this
Paw’s Up for Dogstival

DOGSTIVAL – The utterly brilliant festival dedicated to a Dog’s enjoyment is all paws GO this September, 5th & 6th at Burley Park, New Forest. We are so excited Dogstival is back on. The PAAW team are looking forward to meeting friends, old and new, for a fun dogcentric weekend next month. Drop us a note in the comments if you are going to be there so we can arrange to say, HEY…WOOF… After a rollercoaster few months crossing paws, top doggy festival Dogstival sponsored by Purely Pets, is preparing to go ahead this September. It will be ultimate treat for all the Very Important Pets, who have been working hard to provide companionship and exercise for their humans during these unprecedented times. Following the easing of Government Covid-19 guidelines, this two-day extravaganza of four-legged fun will once again take place in the heart of doggy paradise, the New Forest, on the new dates of Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September and in the new location of Burley Park. For everyone’s safety and reassurance, Dogstival’s organisers are working closely with New Forest District Council and Hampshire Police on plans, risk assessments and guidelines. Burley Park itself offer acres of space to explore, allowing easy social distancing and there will be plenty of extra hygiene measures in place including multiple hand sanitiser stations throughout and on-site cleaning teams across both days. Additionally, tickets are only being sold in-advance to comply with ‘track and trace’ and help manage capacity to ensure social distancing guidelines are met. For everyone’s enjoyment, Dogstival will once again host the canine activities, shows and demonstrations that made their inaugural event such a hit thousands of dogs and their owners in May last year! The best day out that dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes could wish for, Dogstival will give pets a much-deserved ‘play-rise’ over one pawsome weekend with features such as: Ultimate doggy thrills in the K9 Aqua Sports Pool where dogs will be encouraged to launch themselves into water with wild abandonment and joy! There will also be ‘SUP with Pup’, otherwise known as stand-up paddle boarding with your dog for guests who wish to try this increasingly popular sport – advance bookings only via Engaging or high-energy, dry land fun in the Have-A-Go area including scent work, agility, flyball and working dog scurries with a difference that takes into account Government guidelines on handling dogs. The Happy Hound Den hosted by TV’s Vet on The Hill and resident vet for This Morning Scott Miller, who will share his bountiful knowledge on all manner of pet care subjects such as looking after a puppy, senior dog care, first aid and tips for certain