We fall in love with our canine companions for their lovable quirks. Let’s face it – wagging tails, affectionate licks and the entertaining ability to ravage a new toy in seconds, can make us smile. You also instinctively know when all is not well – a limp tail, trembles and excessive sneezing can all be cause for concern.
Dogs have their own special ways of communicating, whether it’s showing joy or making us aware if they don’t feel well. Pinpointing exactly how your pet feels can be difficult.
If you’ve always wondered why your dog behaves in a certain way, or are worrying something just isn’t right, we’re here to answer the common question: “Why does my dog….?”
After a long walk or day away from your pet, you may receive slobbery licks. Dogs lick members of their pack (and themselves) for various reasons. Here’s a few:
…EAT GRASS AND ROCKS?
Our expert, veterinarian Henry Dove, offers insight into this unusual habit:
“This is called Pica, a condition also seen in humans when there is a desire to eat non-food objects. This could be caused by boredom, pain or possible nutritional deficiencies. Great care must be taken with dogs eating stones, as these can not only damage teeth but also cause serious problems with the digestive system. Both grass and stones can cause blockages in the intestines which will sometimes need major surgery to correct, so care must be taken if your dog is prone to eating both grass and stones.”
Pet owners opting for staycations in the UK have been offered guidance on some of the best dog walks in the country.
Pet experts from Pure Pet Food have revealed nine of the most picturesque, dog-friendly walks covering all corners of the UK.
Living on an island means Brits, and their dogs, have the luxury of being able to make the most of the numerous beaches – giving dogs the perfect opportunity to let off plenty of steam.
But country parks such as Erdigg in Wrexham also feature on the list, giving both dogs and their owners the chance to explore new places.
A spokesperson for Pure Pet Food said: “When the sun’s shining there’s nothing better than going for a walk and seeing your dog enjoy the fresh air and open spaces.
“Different locations can give different challenges, whether it be the incline or length of the walk, helping to shake up the daily dog walks.
“Exploring new places on foot with your furry friend means you may find hidden places and beautiful views, helping you make the most of your holiday too.”
This is Pure Pet Food’s list of the nine best dog walks in the UK:
1. Birling Gap, East Sussex
From Belle Tout to Lookout Hill, the two-mile route follows the cliff edge, with dogs allowed off lead so long as there isn’t any livestock nearby. The walk lets you follow in the footsteps of old customs officers who checked the shoreline below for smugglers.
2. Green Chain Walk, London
At just over five miles long the TfL approved walk starts at Crystal Palace, before winding through Dulwich Wood and enjoying the gardens of the Convent of the Sacred Heart before walking through Camberwell New Cemetery and Nunhead Cemetery.
3. Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland
You can walk the whole length of the 84-mile path alongside Hadrian’s Wall, but there are also circular routes taking you along parts of the dividing wall. Dogs need to be kept on leads, however, due to the fields adjacent to the path being full of sheep and livestock.
4. Derwentwater, Lake District
A stroll around this mass of water surrounded by mountains gives you some fantastic scenery to enjoy whilst stretching both your furry friends and your legs. The whole route is nine miles long, or you can enjoy any of the other routes around the area. Starting in the market town of Keswick, shallow inlets mean that your dog can even enjoy a little swim.
5. Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire
The country park boasts 3,800 acres of parkland, heath and woods which you are free to explore. The house the estate once belonged to was demolished in 1938 as a tax-saving measure. When exploring the park, you can find lines of trenches which Churchill visited as the War Department trialled a new trench digging machine.
6. Erddig Country Park, Wrexham
Made for doggies, strolling around the country park you will find plenty of water bowls and dog bins. Dogs are allowed off their leads to stretch their legs so long as livestock isn’t present. The vast open area means you can take a leisurely walk whilst four-legged friends bundle through the park.
7. The Port Path, County Derry
The stretch of coastline linking Portstewart and Portrush features dust paths, grass tracks and long beaches. Dogs are allowed off the lead for the majority of the path, with some restrictions applying.
8. Cawsand to Whitsand Bay, Cornwall
Dogs are welcome all year round on this walk linking the idyllic village of Cawsand to the bay of Whitsand. Following the rugged coastline of Cornwall, the 5-mile walk in the South East of the country can allow you to enjoy some breath-taking views.
9. Hayling Billy Trail, Hampshire
A coastal path following the tracks of an old railway line, travelling between Havant and Hayling Island. The wide flat route means you’re sure to be joined by other dog walkers, along with horse riders.
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John Lewis has announced it is allowing all customers to bring dogs into their shops.
Sports fans and pet lovers from around the world will be able to tune in to the first tennis tournament for dogs this year.
Pet food specialists PurePetFood.co.uk are set to host the first Woofbledon Chompionships, with the competition to be top dog and scoop up the tasty treats and trophy taking place next week on social media.
Eight adorable pooches will compete in their own doggy version of the annual major tennis championships at Wimbledon over the coming days, and excited tails are already wagging.
Woofbledon matches begin on the 9th of July at plush canine venue The Barkyard in Halifax, West Yorkshire.
Any available tickets have been snapped up by eager fans anticipating a week of top-quality sport, but each match can be watched on Pure Pet Food's social channels.
They’ll be played on an artificial grass surface, similar to the human tennis major, and under the official Chompionships logo, which features a small paw print to keep cats away.
Two tennis balls will be released with a swing of the umpire’s racquet for two competing dogs to fetch – whoever returns their ball first is declared the winner and advances to the next round.
Competition rules state that if neither dog returns with a ball, the first to reach theirs and then come back to the umpire wins by default.
The winning dog will receive the coveted Woofbledon trophy, as well as a selection of meaty treats and bragging rights in the canine world.
British dog owners have been warned of the potential dangers warmer weather could bring to four-legged friends this summer, including heatstroke, dehydration, and even bee stings.
Pet experts at BellaandDuke.com are urging dog owners to be vigilant about keeping their pets safe and protected from the sun’s heat and UV rays, as well as insects and wildlife.
Long walks and picnics in the sun are welcomed by all family members throughout summer, but the season can also be a nightmare for pet owners who have to keep their clumsy dogs away from potential danger.
Back gardens alone can present a number of dangerous hazards, so Brits have been urged to be vigilant in keeping their canine companions out of harm’s way.
Dangers to be aware of include blistering temperatures in vehicles, bee stings, and even burning paws on the pavement.
A spokesperson for BellaandDuke.com explained: “It’s vital to ensure your pets are safe and protected from the sun and various other summer dangers outdoors. Leave cool mats around for your dog to use, and consider investing in a dedicated doggy paddling pool to help them cool down outside. Also watch out for signs of overheating. Excessive panting and drooling, unsteadiness, and vomiting during exercise or on walks all indicate that your pup is suffering heatstroke, which can kill"
“If you’re worried your dog is overheating, phone your vet for advice and help immediately.”
Below is a list of potential dangers to your pooch in the warm summer weather:
Cheese, onions, and nuts are among the potentially harmful human foods that should never be fed to dogs, according to experts.
Dog food specialists from PurePetFood.co.uk have revealed the snacks and ingredients that could prove dangerous if eaten by a dog and explained why each should be kept out of four legged friends’ reach.
Some human food could cause health problems in dogs which can range from toilet issues and vomiting to heart disease, liver failure and even death, depending on the contents.
Many Brits know not to give their pet dog chocolate, but other foods to avoid include tea, garlic, and grapes.
A spokesperson for PurePetFood.co.uk said: “Many pet owners like to give their dog leftovers, a chance to lick their plate, or a bit of human food as a treat every so often. But many of our favourite snacks can have dangerous consequences for our four-legged friends, due to some of the chemicals and ingredients they contain."
If your dog starts to display symptoms of eating something they shouldn’t have, visit the Pure Pet Food Health Hub for advice and further information or consult your local veterinarian.
To help dog lovers avoid causing harm to pups and canines, we’ve revealed twelve things they shouldn’t be allowed to eat and why:
No matter what type of work you do, jobs these days tend to be pretty intense, with short deadlines and high expectations contributing to higher stress levels and unhappiness among employees. One great way to counter the negative effects of job stress is to allow dogs in the workplace.
Dog-Friendly Workplaces have Happier Employees. New research from consumer group NimbleFins shows that employees in companies that allow dogs are in fact happier versus dog-free workplaces. Specifically, employees in dog-friendly workplaces rate their companies 0.5 point higher on a scale of 1 to 5, according to data gathered from Glassdoor.
Stress is not only bad for your health, but it can also reduce productivity at work. This is because brains don’t work well when they’re stressed – brains are most productive when they’re energized but calm.
Interacting with a dog can actually reduce stress levels and facilitate a calmer, more productive state of mind from a neurological point of view. According to a report from Harvard Medical School interacting with a dog reduces mental stress, which researchers attribute to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. And petting a dog releases serotonin, which can help boost creativity.
With Bring Your Dog to Work Day coming up on 21 June, NimbleFins wanted to find companies that are dog friendly all year long. After scouring job sites and rating companies, they identified over 70 companies that are dog friendly in the UK. From this batch, they selected the companies that both allow employees to bring dogs and have the best employee ratings:
When dogs are allowed at work, they often become a highlight of the office. For example:
- Mother London and Land Insight feature office dogs in videos
- Netitude, Twinkl and Fidel have created Instagram accounts for their office dogs
- Venture Stream has blogged about their dogs
- Impero uses their office dogs to raise money for charity
- Mother London even designed a company badge around the founders’ dogs.
- In addition, Twinkl even takes care to ensure office dogs are healthy, allowing employees to bring pets as long as they’re “pawthorised” by checking they’re insured and up to date with their jabs.
Even Large Employers are Dog Friendly
UKFast, a hosting provider than employs more than 200 people, is one of the larger dog friendly companies. CEO Lawrence Jones said: “A year or two ago, we noticed a number of dogs joining us in the office from day to day. They were no trouble, and we quickly realised how much of an energy boost they brought. People light up when they see a pet sleeping under someone’s desk! Whilst it would be easy to assume that dogs become a huge distraction from the work that needs to be done, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that having them around improves people’s moods and boosts productivity.”
If your employer is wary about allowing dogs into the workplace, just ask if they’d like less stressed, more creative employees.
Seaview Holiday Village in Cornwall has launched a new dog friendly bar complete with a special drinks’ menu designed to cater for their canine guests.
Four legged visitors can enjoy a nice refreshing pint of dog beer or a posh Pawsecco whilst lounging on comfy cushions complete with water bowls and treats.
The new doggy den is a special area within the main entertainments and bar venue on the Bridge Leisure park located between Polperro and Looe. Visitors can enjoy an extensive range of human friendly food and drinks whilst their dogs enjoy their own bespoke catering.
To make sure the doggy clientele feels right at home, the bar has been decorated with lots of doggy pictures and if they are celebrating a birthday, a special dog celebration cake can be provided.
An initiative which aims to help children with literacy and confidence issues through reading dogs is set to launch across south Wales following a successful pilot across four Welsh counties.
The Burns by Your Side scheme involves volunteers and their trained companion dogs visiting schools to sit with children who could benefit from improved reading and communication skills. There, the child will sit and read to the dog while the volunteer ensures the child’s and dog’s safety at all times.
Burns by Your Side, a charity scheme operated by leading natural pet food provider and Kidwelly based firm, Burns Pet Nutrition.
The tried and tested method helps children gain confidence in building their vocabulary and fluency by reading to a dog. Specially trained volunteers and their companions act as therapy dogs, alleviating anxiety and stress often experienced by children that struggle in certain educational settings.
Research conducted at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) to measure the impact of bringing dogs into the classroom has revealed that children respond positively to the presence of dogs, looking forward to reading sessions, and feeling more motivated and enthusiastic about engaging with learning.
The news follows Sir Anthony Seldon’s announcement at the Ultimate Wellbeing in Education Conference at Birmingham University where he said that every school should have a wellbeing dog. The leading educationalist spoke about how a classroom pet can reduce anxiety among young people and could be key to improving mental health in schools.
With treats available on-board and a guide on travelling with your pets, this train line is leading the way in dog-friendly transport.
A train operator is rolling out “pup-friendly provisions” to make it easier for dog owners to travel with their pets.
East Midlands Trains will provide drinking bowls at a range of stations and canine treats aboard some trains, as well as putting together a guide to taking your dog on a train.
The managing director of East Midlands Trains, said: “We welcome well-behaved pets on board and know there are plenty of advantages to travelling by train with your pet."
Furthermore they have created "a handy guide and are launching brand new doggy provisions on selected routes so that your dog, you and all other passengers are as comfortable as possible when using our services.”
The guide includes advice about how to prepare a dog for a train journey, where they should sit on board and tips on interacting with other passengers.
Dog treats – special canine doughnuts are available on all East Midlands Trains services to and from London St Pancras, while drinking bowls are available at 14 stations including Sheffield, Derby, Leicester, Nottingham and Chesterfield.