Walking shoes for dog walkers

The number one accessory for a dog walker is a good pair of walking shoes or boots.

Walking shoes should be comfortable, warm in winter and waterproof in all seasons, and I mean really waterproof! Continue reading

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Dog GPS tracker – Can a GPS tracker be used on any dog?

Dog GPS tracker – Can a GPS tracker be used on any dog? Continue reading

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Microchipping dog law – Will it affect dog walkers?

The Microchipping dog law has come into effect in the UK on 6th of April 2016.

All dog owners are now legally required to have their dogs microchipped. They must have their details registered on databases such as Petlog, Anibase or Pettrac. Dog owners are also required to keep their details up to date. Failure to have a dog microchipped could now lead to fines of up to £500 for non compliance.

What does the Microchipping Dog Law however mean for professional dog walkers? Could professional dog walkers be liable and be fined if they were found to be walking dogs that have not been microchipped?

We asked the question to a leading authority in Dog Law, Trevor cooper (Doglaw Ltd) what the impact of the Microchipping Dog Law is on professional dog walkers: “The person who is responsible for having a dog microchipped will be the keeper, which in the circumstances you’ve outlined would be the person with whom the dog ‘normally’ resides. So, unless you are boarding the dog for more than a few weeks, you would have no obligation to get the dog microchipped.  However, you do of course have an obligation to comply with the collar & tag law”. “The dog walker would only be in breach of the regulations if they are the keeper of the dog ie. the person with whom the dog normally resides”.

So the situation is clear as far as professional dog walkers are concerned.

It might be useful, however, for professional dog walkers to know if all the dogs they walk are microchipped. Microchip scanners or readers are available from various on line shops. They are easy to use and fit in a coat pocket.

Professional dog walkers can use a microchip scanner to check if the dogs they walk are microchipped or if their microchip is still in place. They can also use a microchip scanner if they find a stray dog. They must then report the dog and microchip number to the local dog warden. Some microchip scanners will alert if the dog has been reported missing, for example the Halo Microchip Scanner. This greatly helps the dog, the owner and the warden, and ensures a swift and positive outcome.

Dog owners who travel to Europe with their dogs can use a microchip scanner to check that their dog’s microchip is still in place and can be easily scanned prior to travelling abroad. A microchip can sometimes “migrate” within a dog’s body from its original position. It is therefore useful to check that it can easily be scanned and avoid stressing situations at passport control.

If their dog is fitted with a temperature sensing chip, dog owners can also check their dog’s temperature with some of these microchip scanners.

There are different types of microchip scanners:

The Halo microchip scanner white

The pet travel microchip scanner

Product Details

The Detecta Chip scanner


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New Dog Legislation – Will it work?

Is the new “Dogbo” dog legislation really going to address the dangerous dogs problem?

Highly unlikely, as the kind of people who own dangerous dogs which attack other dogs in parks and public places rarely hang around to face the consequences of their pet’s actions. Besides, most dog on human attacks take place in homes, not in public places So the £100 on-the-spot-fine is futile.

Worryingly though, it seems that Dogbos are to be handed out to owners who let their animals run loose in the park, scare policemen, or even chase cats.  As a cat, as well as a dog owner, I completely disapprove of cat-chasing dogs, but I think that most responsible dog owners already actively discourage their dogs from chasing any prey, including the Old Bill, I hasten to add!

But seriously, the bit about not running loose in the park is even more worrying – what exactly does this mean? Are dogs not going to be allowed to run around and exercise freely from now on? For instance, a person who doesn’t like dogs may feel that a dog sniffing around their feet is a threat and potentially “dangerous”.  Will that person be able to summon the police and get said canine impounded and branded as dangerous?

This is yet another knee-jerk reaction by our legislators – much like the Dangerous Dogs Act which has caused major problems and misery to perfectly respectable and responsible owners of so-called “fighting dogs”. As usual, the whole thing hasn’t been thought through properly and now we’re stuck with it.

Interestingly enough, the coalition government is planning on axing human ASBOs.  Some people clearly thought the scheme would work better on hapless dogs than nasty people…….


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Hotterdog- Dog Fleece Jumper

I am lucky enough to share my life with a gorgeous Working Cocker Spaniel named Billie. OK, I admit she doesn’t exactly “work”, not in the sense of chasing things out of bushes or retrieving dead things, but nevertheless she’s a damned active little dog who has perfected the art of diving to the bottom of rivers & lakes to retrieve whatever she can find. Over the years she has brought up enough old bricks and stones to construct a sizeable wall as well as the keys to a Mercedes Benz!  Sadly, I never located the car itself, but I’m still hoping that one day she’ll retrieve a medieval chalice or some other priceless artefact.

She’s 5 years old now and is my constant companion, 24/7. I never thought I’d consider a “coat” for her.  Coats were for wimps, for poodles, for dogs whose natural coats have been genetically bred out to no longer be water-resistant. But then I discovered the fabulous Hotterdog Fleece Dog Jumper, and what a find that proved to be.

The company who manufactures the Hotterdog started off making warm fleece coats for horses, but have since expanded into all sorts of ancillary products. The dog coat is amazing. I’m a professional dog walker and I was concerned that Billie, who loves nothing better than being wet all the time, would start feeling cold over the couple of hours she spends in the car between walks. I’d heard that Hotterdog coats are widely used to keep working dogs warm & dry in between shoots, so I thought I’d give one a try this past winter.

The coat is amazing – it somehow manages to wick out moisture from the dog’s coat and essentially dry it out over the course of an hour or so.  Amazingly, when you remove the fleece it’s never wet or soggy, just slightly moist on the inside where it’s been in contact with the dog’s coat. I haven’t tried it out in the summer yet, but I gather it can be used to keep dogs cool in hot weather by simply soaking it before use.

The fleece fabric is excellent quality Polartec, beautifully manufactured and comes in a range of colours to cater for both the extrovert and the more reserved hound.  It washes well and what’s more, it’s made in the UK, which is unusual these days. I’m a great believer in supporting British-made goods and I can wholeheartedly recommend the Hotterdog fleece coat.

2013-11-27 14.38.51-1-1

PS: My lovely Bille sporting the coat in red.  This model covers only front legs, but snug four-legged versions are available too. Bill seems to actually enjoy wearing the coat and eagerly shoves her head through the polo collar!

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Tapeworm Treatment for dogs

Taking your dog abroad – Tapeworm treatment for dogs when travelling abroad

(Extract from https://www.gov.uk/take-pet-abroad/tapeworm-treatment-dogs)

“Your vet must treat your dog for tapeworm and record it in the pet passport or third country official veterinary certificate every time you want to enter the UK.

The tapeworm treatment must be given between 1 and 5 days (24 to 120 hours) before you are scheduled to arrive in the UK.

Your vet must record the following details in your dog’s pet passport or certificate:

  • the name and manufacturer of the product used to treat your dog
  • the date and time they treated your dog
  • their stamp and signature

The treatment must have praziquantel or equivalent as its active ingredient.

You don’t need to treat your dog for tapeworm if you’re coming directly to the UK from Finland, Ireland, Malta or Norway.”

Drontal Plus Worming Tablets for dogs.

Drontal Plus XL Worming Tablet (1 Tablet)

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Dogs – Protect your home from dogs’ hair.

There are a few products that are a must in a dog owner’s home in order to protect it from dogs’ hair, on top of the usual brushes and dog grooming products.The PetWear Wash Bag is one of them. Ideal to protect your washing machine and your clothes from unwanted dog hair. Wash all your dog towels, beddings, leads, collars and even soft toys, using the bag and you will be sure not to wear hairy clothes! Make sure you shake all towels and beddings beforehand and shake the Wash Bag, turning it inside out, after each wash.

Petwear Wash Bag Jumbo 75x80cm



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Adders – Do we have an irrational fear of them?

Categorically, yes, we do. Irrational because adder bites are very rare. There have been just 14 reported human deaths from adder bites since 1896, the last recorded one was in 1975. Nevertheless, human beings seem to have an in-built fear of snakes which is almost primaeval, regardless of whether or not we were born or live in a snake-infested country.

The truth is that adders, the only venomous snakes on the British mainland, avoid humans like the plague. They would much rather not come into contact with us at all. However, if disturbed while they are sleepy and sunning themselves on a warm summer’s day, they may strike out. Recent evidence suggests that adder venom is more potent in March and April, just after the snakes have emerged from hibernation. If you are unlucky enough to be bitten seek medical advice immediately. Don’t try to suck out the venom or apply a tourniquet, this is the stuff of cowboy films and, apparently, doesn’t work. The signs of a bite and the severity of the symptoms vary from person to person, so if you suspect you have been bitten, don’t delay, seek immediate medical attention.

Dogs are sometimes the victims of adder bites too as they tend to venture where we don’t. If your dog shows any signs of a bite, err on the side of caution and consult a vet immediately. Bites can be fatal depending on the site of the bite and the size of the dog.

Finally, please be aware that adders are a legally protected species and it is against the law to interfere with them in any way. Further information about adders and other wildlife can be obtained from www.britishwildlifecentre.co.uk

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Cows – Are they really dangerous?

The short answer is yes & no. A spate of recent articles in the press about bovine attacks could lead one to think that the UK is plagued by killer cows with a grudge against humanity. Nothing could be further from the truth; they are usually just gentle, cud-chewing bystanders. There are approximately 7.5 million cows in Britain and yet the yearly incidences of serious attacks can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Granted, the majority of the population never comes into contact with a cow except at the supermarket but, nevertheless, attacks are rare and fatal attacks even rarer. However, applying a bit of common sense will help to avoid problems.

1) Bulls are by and large safe if they are in a field with cows. On their own they can be more troublesome but they are generally not left in a field with a public right of way for this very reason. If you do find yourself sharing a field with a lone bull, skirt round it quietly and whatever you do, don’t run!
2) Cows are docile creatures and they are very curious. If approached by cows and calves, stand your ground, wave your arms around and shout. They are used to being herded by farmers so this will not upset them and they will usually move away.
3) Dogs are a different matter altogether. Cows are frightened of dogs, especially if they have calves. To them your pampered, harmless canine pal is a wolf and they will defend their young by charging and trying to trample the dog. If this happens and your dog is on a lead – LET THE DOG GO! It can run away, otherwise the herd will attack you. On average, cows weigh between 3/4 tonne to 1 tonne, so best try not to annoy them!

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Fireworks season – Prepare your dog

lightning strikes can really impact your dog

How can you prepare your dog for fireworks season?

This is what the vets at Crawford and Crawford Vet Surgeons (ukvetsonline.co.uk) say:

Top Tips To Prepare For Firework Season

You know your pet better than anybody and will often notice changes in behaviour in traumatic situations, such as Bonfire Night. During the firework season many pets become stressed and fearful. The symptoms to look out for include:

• Trembling and shaking
• Clinging to owners
• Barking excessively
• Cowering and hiding behind furniture
• Trying to run away
• Soiling the house
• Pacing and panting
• Refusing to eat

Our Top Tips to help get through the firework season:

Before the Event
• Prepare a den for your dog in their favourite place
• Plug in an Adaptil Diffuser near to the den and provide your dog with toys and treats If your dog hides in a corner or under a bed, leave him alone and do not try to coax him out. This ‘bolthole’ is where he will feel most secure and must be accessible at all times.

On the Day of the Event
• Walk your dog when it is still light outside this reduces the likelihood of any fireworks being let off while you are out
• Provide distractions such as a new chew or toy
• Close the curtains and switch on the TV or radio to mask the noise of any fireworks
• Don’t punish your dog when he is scared
Important – ignore any fearful behaviour such as panting, shaking and whining – this will only make your dog more distressed
•Try not to go out while the fireworks are going off. Seeing you acting normally will help your pet feel more settled

After the Event
Leave the Adaptil diffuser plugged in for at least a week.”

Adaptil is a synthetic copy of the natural canine appeasing pheromone proven to help support dogs in a range of stressful situations.

Adaptil DAP Spray



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