The purpose-built complex cost £100,000 and forms part of an overall £1.3m revamp at PetPlace in Abergele.
As well as a cinema screen there will be a health store, play park and coffee bar selling nutritional food and drink for dogs. Pooches can drink canine tea and coffee or enjoy a bowl of the aptly-titled Pawsecco or doggie beer, Bottom Sniffer.
They can also scoff healthy snacks and watch a selection of movies, from Beethoven to 101 Dalmatians and more. Managing director Sion Pritchard says the unveiling comes after months of hard work by the PetPlace team, who have managed to keep it a secret while refurbishing the 4,000 square foot site in time for the red-carpet launch.
“The entire Abergele store has had a complete rebrand in the last year, and this is the icing on the cake,” said Sion, who joined the firm in 2000 before taking the helm five years ago.
“We looked at several options for the space before deciding to do something unique, something no other pet store in the UK has ever done before.
“They are years ahead of the UK in terms of the service they provide in-store, from vets to kennels and dog groomers,” said the 38 year-old.
“That said, the quality here is far superior, we have taken it to a whole new level and included a social aspect that will attract pets and their owners.”
He added: “The focus is on health and nutrition, but also the fun aspect in being able to watch movies or play in the park. It’s unlike anything else in the country and we are delighted with how it looks and functions.”
Employing more than 90 workers at its five stores in Llangefni, Chirk, Mold, Ruthin and Abergele, and head office in Mochdre, PetPlace is winning new business and impressing long-standing customers with a fresh approach to the industry.
The health and happiness of the animals is the number one priority, ensuring they and their owners have a great experience rather than just shopping for items and leaving.
“We are focused on the pet, not the amount of stock we hold or sales targets,” said Sion.
“The cinema and coffee bar are testament to that, and the product lines we are selling – including the Pawsecco and doggie beers – are all healthy and nutritious, as well as being fun and creating a buzz."
As we all know dogs love to run around outside having their own little adventures. And with winter coming to an end, both pets and owners will be spending more time outside. During this time it is important to be aware of the possible dangers in your garden. Here is a list of 13 potential dangers for you to keep an eye out for:
Many Brits might be surprised to learn that the stones and pits in apricots, cherries, plums and peaches contain deadly cyanide.
These fruits could therefore be very dangerous if they’re crushed before they’re consumed and larger stones could be a choking hazard too, whilst the stems and leaves might also be poisonous.
2. Slugs and snails
Dogs can catch a dangerous lungworm infection if they accidentally eat a slug or snail that carries the larvae of the parasite.
Though your dog won’t usually want to consume slugs or snails, they should still be cleared away urgently, particularly any that are near toys or sources of water.
Tomatoes, potatoes, azaleas and lilies are just some of the common vegetables and flowers that can be deadly to dogs.
Unripe, green or raw potatoes can be severely dangerous to dogs, whilst tomato leaves, azaleas and every part of a lily could be poisonous to dogs and cause vomiting, diarrhoea or even death.
If you must grow any of the above, make sure your dog can’t get to them while you’re not looking.
Garden compost heaps will usually be packed full of mouldy food and waste, which can produce dangerous mycotoxins which are extremely dangerous to dogs.
A dog might be quite tempted compost that still contains the remnants of tasty dinners though, so it’s important to make sure a proper bin or barriers are used to prevent your pet smelling and then raiding the pile in search of a snack.
5. Cocoa Mulch
All dog owners should be well aware that eating chocolate could poison their pet, but garden bedding mulch made from cocoa beans can be dangerous too.
It’s wise to avoid using cocoa mulch in your backyard if you have a dog because it contains theobromine – the same hazardous ingredient that’s in chocolate – which acts like caffeine and can cause vomiting, diarrhoea and muscle or heart problems.
6. Fertilisers, insecticides and pesticides
Many typical insecticides and pesticides contain chemicals such as metaldehyde and disulfoton which are a significant threat to dogs, so read the packaging closely and don’t buy the product if there’s a potential risk.
Lots of high street fertilisers will also contain anti-pest additives and consequently dangerous chemical, so caution is highly recommended with those too.
Many mushrooms are perfectly edible but others can be highly toxic – to both dogs and their human owners.
Symptoms of a curious canine who’s ate a backyard mushroom can range from sickness and hallucinations to kidney or liver failure, so unless you’re an expert that can tell the difference between varieties, it’s best to remove all backyard fungi before it’s too late.
If you’re lucky enough to have a lovely pond in your back garden, it’s wise to make sure it’s exterior is properly barriered with fencing, gravel or plants.
An exposed pond with vulnerable slopes could mean your dog slips, trips or jumps into the water when unattended and lead to all sorts of difficulties.
Some weeds are barbed and meant to burrow into the ground to germinate – but this also means they could penetrate a dog’s body too and cause internal damage.
It’s pretty much impossible to avoid this common weed, but your dog’s body should be checked regularly (especially entry points like the ears, nose, mouth and eyes) and any weeds you spot in the garden should be uprooted (not mown) as soon as possible.
10. Weed killer
Swallowing or even licking many common domestic weed killers could be really risky for dogs and cause breathing or heart problems if enough is consumed.
This is because many weed killers contain glyphosate, so it’s vital to shut your dog inside if you’re planning to use such a product.
11. Unsecured tools and equipment
All sharp, mechanical and potentially dangerous garden tools or equipment should be securely stored in a shed.
This is even more important if there’s a dog at home, which could easily injure itself on items left lying around if it knows no better.
12. Lawn feed
Widely available lawn feeds often include ferrous sulphate which has the potential to harm dogs’ skin and cause gastrointestinal problems or iron poisoning.
The safest way for green-fingered Brits who own dogs to grow garden grass is the natural way – with sunlight, water and organic enrichment.
13. Poorly maintained boundaries
A broken backyard fence or collapsed garden wall is not only a hazard that could fall on to and hurt and explorer dog.
Curious canines that see a large enough gap in your property’s boundaries might be tempted by sights, smells or sounds to investigate what’s beyond and find themselves on the loose in public before you know it.
However, data reveals that 54% of the same group do not think there are enough dog-friendly locations in the UK
A recent study of UK dog owners has revealed that 85% would rather have a staycation in the UK with their beloved pooches than have a holiday abroad without them.
The research by Away Resorts, UK holiday park operator, discovered that over two thirds (67%) of those asked have gone as far as to sacrifice a holiday altogether because they could not bear to leave their dogs behind. However, when asked if they thought there were enough dog-friendly locations in the UK, the majority (54%) said no. For the 79% choosing to take UK holidays with their dogs, Away Resorts have analysed data on the friendliest UK regions for dogs, with the South East coming out on top.
The South East is the UK’s most dog-friendly region
The three friendliest regions for dogs are the South East, the South West and the East of England. This is based on the number of dog-friendly pubs in each region, the number of walks listed and the number of vets in those areas.
Jayne Tilsley, manager of the Fox and Hounds pub in the South East, which is renowned for its dog-friendliness, said: “I feel the South East has the strongest dog-friendliest places…The team truly believe that allowing dogs into the business creates a whole different ambience.
“We believe that fur babies are just as important as our human guests. We have opened, created and maintained a whole new footfall and pawfall of guests.”
The pub offers pawsecco and dog beer, as well as towels to dry wet muddy paws, a selection of dog beds, dog-friendly ice-cream and in the summer even offer a dog exclusive paddling pool.
The participants of the study said they would like to see more dog-friendly; holiday parks (27%), hotels (27%), pubs (16%), beaches (15%) and restaurants (14%).
Rosie-Ellis Brothwood, Guest Experience Manager of Away Resorts’ Sandy Balls Holiday Park, said: “We are passionate about making memories with the whole family, and that includes with your beloved canine companions. This is why all accommodation grades across five of the Away Resorts parks are dog-friendly.”
Away Resorts even include dog biscuits in welcome packs going out to guests visiting with their dog.
You can view the Away Resorts Pawsome Getaway data page here: https://awayresorts.co.uk/pawsome-dog-holiday/
Away Resorts asked 1000 UK dog owners, ages 18+ ten questions about the dog-friendliness of the UK, their holiday habits with their dogs and more.
The data can be provided upon request.
Friendliest dog regions data was collected from various websites and included pubs, walks and vets in each region. Final numbers were based upon averages where multiple sites were used.
Dog trackers are technology that allow you to see where your dog is via an in-phone app which connects to a tracking device on your dog’s collar. With a tracker fitted you shouldn’t have any concerns about losing your dog. However, there are many different types available and it can be difficult choosing the best one for your needs.
We asked six of our DogFriendly Members to trial a few of the trackers on the market and share their experiences with us. We found that the experiences were very different depending on the tracker, the dog, the area and the location of use. We haven’t reached any great conclusions on which tracker is best, if any. But certainly it’s interesting reading.
If you have a tracker we’d love to hear your feedback at our new dedicated tracker page. Here you can just score your tracker out of 5. www.dogfriendlybooks.com/ratetracker.
Our thanks to David Brant and Dazy, Karen Smith and Theo, Rachel West and Libby, Anthony Hagger and Finn, Tony Stockman and Ralph, Sue and Douglas Fowler and Zara for being involved in the trial.
1.THE MISHIKO TRACKER WITH DAZY
Breed: Beagle – Tri colour
Age: 3 years
Mobile Network: Virgin
Reviewer: David G Brant
Dazy is a friendly dog who loves any type of walk, but especially those where her doggy friends are present. She dislikes any water over 1” (after trying to jump a dyke as a puppy and only got half way).
“Overall this tracker didn’t achieve expectations. On a local walk it’s tracking detail was ok, but once out in more rural areas it tracking and mapping of a walk become extremely poor and unusable. While to note mobile signal strength was relatively strong. On occasion it would show Dazy some 3 miles away when she was 50 yards from me. And failed to track whole of walks often showing a straight line between top and start.
There were a number of overall issues relating to battery charging which couldn’t be done on collar and any slight movement while charge would prevent it charging and start syncing to the phone. The support for the Mishiko was only available via an App and took up to 5 days for a response. Geo-fence (creating an alarm perimeter) faired no better and once created it remained static and could not be changed. Causing numerous alarms to go off once a new walk was progressing.
Sorry Mishiko not impressed. 1 star“
READ MORE FOR SIX DIFFERENT TRACKER REVIEWS
By definition, an island should be a land form surrounded by water. The Isle of Purbeck in South East Dorset is not entirely cut off from the rest of Dorset but it does have a number of characteristics which set it apart from the rest of the county.
The location of ‘The Lookout’ is incomparable. A very steep and winding road takes you from Corfe Castle to the village of Kingston. The cottage is three quarters of a mile further on towards Worth Matravers, on the escarpment with outstanding views in every direction. A well maintained path could take you in one direction back down the valley to Corfe Castle or follow the path adjacent to the cottage to Chapman’s Pool to pick up the Coast Path.
The cottage is a perfect dog-friendly escape for two people. The best features of the cottage are its lounge area with comfy soft furnishings and a fire for cold months and the enclosed garden with garden furniture for outdoor dining in the summer and a well-placed stone bench for admiring the setting sun over the hills in early autumn.
We stayed at Weybourne Hall Park in Norfolk in a pet friendly bungalow,it was a wonderful experience,the pub shop and beach all within walking distance.I would highly recommend.
We (two adults and two dogs) stayed at Annie's Cottage organised by Sykes Cottages just outside Bodmin, Cornwall. The great thing was the enclosed garden and tiled flooring in the downstairs of the property, there was also a safe enclosed paddock area for the dogs to roam freely. We could only visit dog-friendly places during our holiday and these included Healey's Cyder Farm, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, The Courtroom Experience, Bodmin Jail, Jamaica Inn, The Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle and the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. All of these attractions were very dog-friendly and it was lovely to see my dog's curiosity with the different animals she saw at these places and how well behaved she and all the other dogs were.
We (2 people, 3 dalmatians and 1 IRWS) recently rented a holiday cottage through 'East Ruston Cottages', based in Norfolk. The accommodation was lovely, the enclosed garden was dog-safe, and there were plenty of dog-friendly pubs and cafes nearby. The beaches were fantastic for the dogs to run off lead and we all had a great holiday.
The cottage (Badger's Retreat) was clean, warm, comfortable and homely; there were fresh flowers and home-made cake, along with eggs and milk, to welcome us, and treats for the dogs. Throws were provided for the furniture (although we'd brought our own) and as well as TV and free WiFi there was a good selection of books, games and DVDs for wet-day entertainment. Very highly recommended!
We had a truly spectacular holiday touring Scotland with our lovely dog, Barney, in September. We stayed in a fabulous dog friendly holiday cottage, Caol Ithe at Fionnphort on the west side of Mull, for a week and explored the whole island. A scenic ferry crossing from Oban, which allowed dogs inside and out and provides dog water bowls. The highlight was our amazing boat tour with Staffa Trips to Staffa Island, also very dog friendly, we saw a pod of dolphins and had an hour to explore this beautiful unspoilt island with hexagonal pillars and the famous Fingals Cave. The ferry to Iona was also dog friendly and the walks and beaches are stunning. We found pubs that allowed dogs and everyone was friendly. Mull is a walkers and scenery lovers paradise with waterfalls, lochs, sandy beaches, mountains, castles and wildlife, and wall to wall scenery, a perfect dog friendly holiday.
Finding dog friendly accommodation that accepts more than two dogs can be a challenge. As a three-dog family (two whippets Misty and Sparky and a blind lurcher, Scout) we do struggle but in July 2018 we spent a glorious week in a 17th Century stone cottage in North Wales. Y Bwthyn is nestled amongst the hills of Cwm Bach Valley near Harlech and forms part of a working farm. For that reason, dgogs must be on a lead and under control at all times. The cottage was everything we could have hoped for and more. As you enter the property there is a useful ultility room, ideal for storing muddy boots and all manner of dog paraphernalia . A stable-type door leads into a spacious kitchen where we were welcomed by the sight of a huge Victoria sponge cake and a dozen fresh farm eggs. Bottled water was also left for us in case we did not want to drink from the tap as the water for the cottage was filtered from a spring and could sometimes be a little discoloured, something that didnt bother us at all. Stairs led off from a comfortable lounge area, with a log burner to two well proportioned bedrooms and a large bathroom.