Monday, 29 December 2008

The dog lovers guide to a Happy New Year

If you are getting ready to see 2008 out in fashion this year with a special house party celebration make sure you don’t expose your four-legged friend to any homely hazards. Preparing yourself for the 31st can reduce the chances of an unnecessary emergency vet visit in 2009.

Take me for example, this time last year, Milo managed to hoover up an excessive amount of left overs and god knows what else from under the table as well as winning over family members to give him a few extra treats here and there. On the 2nd January I found myself walking out of the vet £250 out of pocket and a very poorly pup under my arms. Turned out that my mini Milo had suffered a mild bout of pancreatitis caused by over-eating.

So to help you avoid a similar situation, here are some tips to keep you extra vigilant during your house party so that you don’t have to start the New Year with a poorly pooch or poorly pocket!

Stick to your routine - If you're having a house party try not to interrupt your daily routine with your dog, stick to his/her normal feeding and walking habits, dogs love routine. You might want to walk him/her slightly earlier to avoid any late night activity like fireworks. For more information about your dog and fireworks have a read of our 5th November blog.

Good guests - Make sure that any friends or new guests are well aware that you have a dog in the house so that he/she doesn't slip out the door in all of the confusion. Remind your guests not to give your dog any alcohol, or feed him anything other than dog treats you allow him to eat. Most human foods like chocolate, onions and even berries can be highly toxic for your pooch and cause upset sensitive stomachs or diarrhea.

New visitors - Even if your dog is particularly friendly with most people he/she may not be familiar with new faces and may act differently towards them. Watch out for children they are most vulnerable because they may not understand how to treat or act towards a dog. If you are not sure how to introduce a guest to your dog correctly check this page out.

Homely hazards - Watch out for objects which can easily fall on the floor during a party or gathering such as toothpicks, plastic food packaging or foil. These items can smell or taste of food and can be very tempting for your pet, but if they get swallowed up they can damage his/her intestines and could even be fatal.

Decorations - Burning candles, Christmas trees, decorations and lights can attract curious puppies or playful dogs. Make sure that you pet proof your home during the holidays. If you think your dog will cause himself or others harm it's best to put him in a the safety of a closed room with a cosy bed, food, water, toys and some soft music to drown out the noises.

Home sweet home - If you will be going out for New Years Eve make sure that you prepare a safe and calming environment for your dog. It may be a good idea to leave some classical music playing for him/her and make sure there is plenty of water and that any dangerous objects are well out of reach. Keep your dog inside in case of fireworks or other noisy celebrations by your neighbours at midnight and don’t forget to check that his/her I.D. tag is up to date and on his collar in case he is frightened and escapes out of your yard or during a walk. Check here to see if your dog is wearing the correct information.

Have a safe and Happy New Year! And we will see you all in 2009 where we will continue to feed you with more tips and tricks to get you out of those canine conundrums.

Be the first winner in 2009 – enter our prize draw to win a bag of Pooch & Mutt’s Bionic Biotic! Click here.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Could your Pooch turn into a green-eyed Mutt?

Until recently scientists thought that dogs could only experience simple emotions such as anger, anxiety and surprise.

However recent tests have proved what we, as dog owners, have always known. That our pooches are very self-aware and capable of emotions such as embarrassment, jealousy, empathy and guilt. You can read more about the tests that took place in Vienna here.

As responsible dog owners the key emotion to look out for is jealousy. Jealousy usually manifests itself when a new person enters a household and spends more time with the dog's owner.

Common examples are new partners and the arrival of a new baby. These new 'intruders' can be seen to invade a dog’s territory and take away that precious ‘alone’ time the dog had with its owner. Subsequently they can feel neglected.

So how do you cure a jealous pooch? Here are some tips to make sure that the only thing that’s green this Christmas is the tree!

· If you do have a new ‘intruder’ in your life it is important to spend extra time with your dog. Give the dog extra healthy treats extra petting and maybe some extra exercise to take away that pent up energy. Don’t forget that routine is extremely important for a dog: walking, playing and feeding at the same time each day is important to your dog’s wellbeing.

· If your dog is jealous of a new boyfriend or girlfriend then (under your supervision) begin making your partner interact with the dog by giving a treat or playing fetch. Include the dog in your normal daily couple activities. If you're watching TV together, call the dog over and pet him/her while the new person is present. This should break down barriers between them and the dog.

· If you own a particularly stressed out dog try buying Natural Calming Collars. These dog collars are made with natural herbs for reducing stress and anxiety have a look

· If you have more than one dog and you are introducing a supplement, like Mobile Bones for mobility or Bionic Biotic for condition & digestion to one their diet then it can be wise to sprinkle a little on all of your dogs’ food. This will stop the others getting jealous that one of their housemates is getting something that they are not.

· Introducing your dog to a new baby in the family is a very delicate matter. Be sure to do this the right way. Don’t allow the baby to take the dog's toys or sit where the dog sits. Get a crate or kennel for your dog so that he/she has a safe space away from the baby and never leave the two of them alone. You can read more about this on

· Try consulting a professional Dog Behaviourist so that you can figure out exactly what the root of the problem is. Sometimes we may think that we are treating our dog the right way when we may be actually creating a monster! Try Talking Paws-Dog Listener or

To try our lucky draw to win a bag of Bionic Biotic this month click here.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Pooch & Mutt: Red carpet rover – 5 steps to create an A-list dog

Pooch & Mutt: Red carpet rover – 5 steps to create an A-list dog

Red carpet rover – 5 steps to create an A-list dog

Blockbuster bowsers, historical hounds and comedy canines: acting dogs all over the world are pining for a place in the next Fido Awards the doggy equivalent to the Oscars which took place this week.

Is all that glamour and razzmattazz attainable for your four legged friend? The answer is it’s not impossible. You may be sharing your home with the next Rin Tin Tin or Hooch.

If you think your dog has what it takes to become the next rover on the red carpet here are is some advice on how to prepare your pooch for lights, camera and action.

Prepare a pawtfolio – The first thing to think about if your dog is going to be successful howlywood star is to prepare plenty of stunning and wacky pictures of him/her. Take some shots inside and outside and include the whole body in the frame. It’s also a good idea to have him sitting and standing so that talent scouts have an idea of your dog’s full dimensions. If you don’t quite feel confident enough handling a camera yourself then get a pet photographer to do a photo shoot. Although it may set you back anything between £70-100 it’s a nice way to treat you and your pet to some pretty pictures which you can always blow up and keep for yourself. Check out or

Get an animal agent – The best way to get your dog into show biz is to enrol him/her into a dog acting/model agency. Animal Actors has been working with all types of exotic and domestic animals for the past 30 years. Their animals have made appearances in Tatler magazine, Indiana Jones and Clock Work Orange. Just send them a description of your dog and they will list him/her you for free or if you want more exposure then they can upload pictures onto the site for £12 a year. Contact for more information. You can also enrol with Animal Dramatics, they supply animals for stage, commercials, motion pictures, photo

Train for the basics – Make sure that your pet has the basic training skills under his belt to get into showbiz, this doesn’t just mean he has to learn how to talk but you are responsible for making sure that your dog is sociable, house trained and not camera shy. A good tip is to prepare your dog by making him/her sit in a busy corridor with many distractions. A commercial or photo shoot set will be very busy so this should give you a good indication if your dog is scared of noise and crowded places. If you can also teach fetching and carrying a product by mouth or "speaking" on command you will have an advantage over other pet personalities. Just like human showbiz the world of doggy glamour is very competitive. You will be able to stand out amongst the crowd if you own a rare breed or talented pooch.

Fit for the screen – The most important rule of dog stardom is to make sure that your dog is fit and healthy for the screen. Get him into ship shape by feeding him healthy food and losing any excess weight. You could try getting a pet treadmill or just running with him more often. To get you off on the right paw start by introducing a daily supplement to their diet. This will give them a healthy overall boost. A natural dog supplement like Bionic Biotic includes all the natural ingredients to get your dog looking fit for the screen and a joint supplement like Mobile Bones will keep them agile and mobile enough to do all the activity requested by them on a shoot.

Make your dog famous online – Why not create your dog’s very own MySpace page or Dogbook profile page on Facebook for free. That way your dog will be accessible to millions of people online 24/7. You never know when that next opportunity will come about so why not be your own dog agent. You can even try to brand your dog and create viral online campaigns.

Click here to enter this month's Pooch & Mutt draw and win a bag of Bionic Biotic.