Friday, 27 March 2009

Give a dog a home

Could you help a homeless dog?

Last year a painful number of dogs were abandoned. Part of this sad fact was blamed on the sudden clawing effect of the credit crunch which has forced thousands to give up on their faithful four legged friends whilst other cold hearted pet owners claimed that their pets didn’t match their furniture!

As the British attempt to save money during the recession, their pets could even be heading straight for the pot as, shockingly, self-sufficient Britons target animal sanctuaries for food!

Fortunately for every irresponsible pet owner and petivore out there there is a handful of people prepared to take on a new furry friend. In January alone this year the Dogs Trust re-homed a record 1,384 dogs – way up on 170 last year. It seems that in spite of tough times many of us can still find the room and spare cash to give a dog a forever home.

The web has really lent a paw at helping rehome thousands of dogs all over the world. Read about Dogs Trust adoptee, Yogi the Boxer, who astonishingly found a home in Merseyside via a Twitter.

Here are some tips on where to look and, if you adopt, what to look out for in your new paw friend.

Rehoming a dog can be a tough ordeal so before you take the plunge ask yourself are you ready? Are you strong willed? And are you patient? Understanding a dog which may have had a hard past is a hard task and can often leave people shocked or disappointed. If you are not prepared to take this risk rethink.

Where to go - Check out Battersea Dogs Home and Dogs Trust Rehoming websites for updated profiles of dogs needing a new family.

Step by step - Choose a quiet time to bring your dog to its new home and introduce each family member slowly. If you already have a dog, introduce them in neutral territory like a park or field. You may want to keep both dogs on leashes at first to avoid problems with protective instinct.

Get a schedule - Dogs love routine, so make sure that you begin introducing a regular schedule for your new mutt this will help him/her get used to a new environment better. Feed, walk and play at the same times every day.

Pawly dogs - It’s easy to figure out if your dog is feeling unwell however this may be harder to notice in a new dog whose personality may still unpredictable. Although most dogs are checked and vetted before being rehomed many can bring with them common health problems such as prolonged gradual weight loss or stress induced vomiting & diarrhoea. If you notice these problems you can introduce a daily natural supplement like Bionic Biotic, which can help improve the dog’s overall condition and help boost the immune system. Take Ivy, the German Shepherd who was treated with a daily dose of Bionic Biotic in conjunction with her treatment. After a few months Ivy’s health had improved ten-fold and she now lives a healthy life. Benson is another lucky dog read here about his story.

Train, play and love - Give your dog your undivided attention, this can be hard at the best of times but it’s important to give your new friend as much love and affection as possible. This quality time is fundamental to your rapport and will help you gain more confidence in each other. Make sure you balance training and exercise with down time such as grooming and playing.

Dog Walking - Daily exercise is very important to your dog’s wellbeing. If you work during the day or don’t have extra time to walk your dog then employ a local dog walker. A tired out dog is a happy and healthy dog.

For more advice on rehoming a pet download the RSPCA’s guide online here.

It's getting towards the end of the month now, so time for our next monthly prize draw. If you haven't entered already click here.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Things Dogs Shouldn’t Eat, but Do!

Don’t dogs eat the funniest things? This week a woman from North Carolina found fragments of her $400 savings in her dog’s excrements (read the story from the Metro here). Imagine having your savings swallowed up by your pet? Not a good time to suffer from any sort of financial loss. Another dog from Bath ate a stash of Cannibis plants held as drugs evidence at a police station.

Besides making me spend lots, Milo hasn’t eaten any money, but he has had his fair share of sock remains and, brace yourself, plastic bags during his puppyhood. I think he actually threw up an entire sandwich bag when he was a few months old. If that wasn’t enough Guy’s chocolate Labrador, Cookie (pictured above), used to chew car bumpers when she was a pup.

So what are the most mouth watering things dogs shouldn’t eat but they do? We’ve munched our way through the web and found some canine crunching favourites that you can try and avoid any costly and heartbreaking visits to Mr Vet.

Bones - Although larger breeds can hack a bit of bone action now and again, chicken bones can be particularly dangerous for any dog. Take care of smaller breeds like chihuahuas and dachshunds that can get sharp bone splinters stuck in their stomachs or intestines. The best rule? No bones at all.

Stones and Sticks – Whether it’s one or more, stones can really clog up in an intestine. The good news is that, like bones and balls, these are easily spotted on x-rays and can be removed with a small operation. Sticks on the other hand are one of the most obvious outdoor snacks. They splinter, poke and tear up a gut at times so be careful next time you play fetch with one!

Grass - Some dogs enjoy a light grazing now and again to clean themselves out but if your dog eats grass on a regular basis, this could suggest dietary imbalance and a craving for greens. You may want to consider giving your dog some veg if they appear to want “something green.” Cooking the vegetables first may make them more digestible, resulting in less vomiting. Read more about why dogs eat grass here.

Foodie scraps – Did you know that most human foods like chocolate, onions and even berries can be highly toxic for your pooch and cause upset sensitive stomachs or diarrhoea. So next time you look under the table at those huge pleading eyes think again! Many dogs have sensitive stomachs and suffer from diarrhoea. To help prevent these problems and treat common problems such as indigestion, vomiting and runny stools try introducing a daily probiotic like Bionic Biotic to your dogs diet. This natural supplement includes minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium and methionine which all help aid better digestion and immune system.

Faeces - There are several theories for this mysterious and not so cute doggie habit, one is attention seeking and the other is simply that well, let’s face it dogs eat about everything don’t they? If you want to stop your dog eating his excrement read more here. That solves the cause of bad breath then!

Dog toys - A sad fact of life but more often than not, our pooches can end up ingesting parts of their favourite toys. This is unfortunate because these are made for dogs to enjoy. Watch out for cheap rope toys where strings easily loosen up and can be swallowed or the plastic squeaker mechanisms inside soft dog toys.

Underwear and socks – I have distinct memories of chasing Milo around the bedroom trying to retrieve a pair of my undies from him. He also has a habit of sitting near the washing machine in case a sock accidentally pops out. So next time you throw those panties on the bedroom floor make sure you aim for the laundry basket first.

LEAVE IT! - Now that you know what’s bad for your mutt, if he accidentally gets hold of a sock, stick or chicken leg you can master the ‘leave it command and catch him in time . Check out here.

Take care... dogs and especially puppies will chew on almost anything remotely interesting.

Take part in our online poll on the right of this blog and don’t forget to try your luck in our prize draw.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Who let the dogs out?

As Milo and I took a walk in the park the other day it suddenly dawned on me that winter was finally in its last stages. There is something special about breathing in the smell of freshly cut grass seeing first carpet of spring flowers emerging from the ground - Signs that Spring has well and truly sprung!

After the long winter sleep spring is the season in which nature wakes up and everything blossoms and with that immense feeling returns one of the greatest joys of being a dog owner; walking with your favourite four pawed friend on a sunny spring day, there really is nothing better in my books.

At long last Spring is here and it really is the season to celebrate dogs! Last week The Kennel Club awarded its best in show at Crufts (which received more than 22,000 dogs) and the cinemas are going dog crazy with the release of the long awaited blockbuster Marley & Me as well as showing Hotel for Dogs, Beverley Hills Chihuahua and Disney’s Bolt. But if you want to step out of the cinema and take a breath of fresh air with your pooch we thought we would give you a few fresh tips on how to make the most out of Spring.

Warmer weather = more walkies - You and your dog can now begin to enjoy the outdoors much more. Wave goodbye to those dreaded winter walks and make the most of those blossoming parklands and fresh country air. Check out Enjoy England’s top dog walks for a selection of great routes.

A probiotic a day keeps the vets at bay – The arrival of springtime also means the arrival of pollen. Believe it or not, like us, many dogs suffer from grass and pollen related allergies. You can prevent these occurring by introducing a natural probiotic like Pooch & Mutt’s Bionic Biotic which includes an essential amino acid called Methionine. This powerful antioxidant helps promote healthy skin, glossy coat and healthy nails. It can help maintain a dog’s defences against agents such as lead and other heavy metals found in airborne pollutants. Methionine is essential for the absorption, transportation and bioavailability of selenium and zinc in the body. Amongst other things it controls histamine release, most relevant to dogs with allergies.

Springtime means playtime – now that you can play outside more why not treat your pooch to a new springtime teddy from the Animal Rescue Site, a percentage of the proceeds goes to a rescue charity.

Adopt a dog – Now that the weather is better are you feeling like bringing a new pet into your life? is the dog adoption portal for anyone interested in re-homing a cute rescue pooch.

E-walks – Find new walking buddies, join a local dog club or just make new friends. Online communities like Petstreet and Meetup are great for learning about local dog events and new clubs so you can get out and about this spring.

Who let the dogs out? – Get your leash and collar and head out for some fun. There are plenty of doggy events taking place in April. If you fancy some Easter fun, Dog Friendly Britain lists all the latest dog shows and events for 2009. If you are in London why not visit the Cabbages and Frocks Dog Day Afternoon which will be held on 25th April in Marylebone.

Huge thanks to everyone who visited the Pooch & Mutt stand at Crufts last week. If you are feeling lucky don’t forget our monthly prize draw to win a bag of Bionic Biotic.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Pooch & Mutt at Crufts 2009

Pooch & Mutt is enjoying its first appearance at Crufts this week.

Founder, Guy Blaskey was interviewed by Dog World at the show. See the video clip online by clicking here Dog World blogs.

Dog World readers who visit the Pooch & Mutt stand this weekend can benefit from the exclusive £2 off reader offer featured inside the magazine's 'breeder notes' pages in the latest issue of Dog World.

Pooch & Mutt will also be conducting a poll on its stand in hall 4, stand 80 at Crufts, to find out how much we are splashing out on ourselves and our dogs as we enter the credit crunch.

We want to hear if you have cut back on spending in 2009. You can also take part in our poll online on our blog (the questions are on the right hand side column of this page).

For the latest news and updates on the largest dog affair in the world visit

And dont forget the Pooch & Mutt monthly prize draw!