Thursday, 30 April 2009

Pooch & Mutt’s guide to The Ultimate Pet Show

This bank holiday weekend (2-4 May 2009) the Birmingham NEC which will be rejoicing the wonderful world of pets with the opening of ‘The Ultimate Pet Show'.

Showcasing ‘all creatures great and small’ ‘The Ultimate Pet Show' can be described as a gigantic pet shop filled with absolutely everything for everyone who loves pets. From accessories, services, information for pets of all kinds including cats, ponies, fish, birds, reptiles and of course our favourite canine companions, the show is a true haven for animal aficionados from all over the nation.

Pooch & Mutt will be welcoming visitors on stand D24 where you will be able to find out more about unique and natural dog supplements, Bionic Biotic and Mobile Bones. They will also be awarding the prize to the "Favourite Pet Friendly Pub or Restaurant" in awards.

Here are five things you should be doing if you plan to visit the Ultimate Pet Show this weekend:

Talented Pets Competition – Check out the fabulous finalists in the search for Britain’s Most Talented Pets. The grand finale will be presented on the Jollyes Lifestage on Saturday 2 May by a celebrity panel of judges including TV vet and founder of, Marc Abraham, Carolyn Menteith, dog trainer and judge on Living TV’s The Underdog, and Stuart Winter, Sunday Express award-winning Environment Editor.

Pet seminars – Get stuck into a variety of educational and fun sessions to find out more about your favourite animals or decide which pet is best for you. Seminars include ‘Myths About Cats and Dogs’ by Debbie Connolly, star of BBC’s Dog Borstal, Man’s Best Friend, an inspirational seminar, presented by Peter Gorbing, Chief Executive, Dogs for the Disabled, with examples demonstrating the unique bond between man and dog. Click here to see the full schedule of seminars running at the show.

Adopt a petThe Blue Cross will be offering free advice on the facts of adopting or sponsoring a pet. Ever thought about introducing a new member to your family? You could be helping thousands of homeless pets in need. Pop along to stand E22 and check out if you are cut out to be a pet foster parent.

Animal action – If you are looking for more action get yourself along to the Petplan Animal Action area. From rescue dog agility displays organised by Dogs Trust to duck herding with the Quack Pack, ferret racing to horse stunt displays and fun dog training demos - there plenty to watch and clap about. For more show highlights click here for a daily schedule of events.

Meet the Medics – The shows very own pet clinic for those who have any medical queries about their pets, but didn’t want to bother the vet? Pet owners can openly discuss any tricky problems with PDSA vets and nurses who will be able to advise on those little pet problems and answer your pet health queries. PDSA will also be running A Day in the Life of an Animal Medic on Saturday 2nd May.

Pooch & Mutt is now on Twitter so don’t forget to follow us! Click here to tweet with us.

Friday, 24 April 2009

The Pooch and Mutt guide to Park Etiquette

There is something irresistible about the smell of freshly cut grass and what better way to experience it than to hit the park with your pooch!

It’s that time of year that you and your dog begin to explore new green spaces and enjoy warmer and longer afternoon strolls in the sunshine. There is a certain feeling of joy when you reach down to unleash your best friend out onto the green where he/she can roam freely.

However, it goes without saying that where humans and dogs come together accidents can also occur. Every year hundreds of people in the UK are involved in unnecessary dog biting incidents.

A study in the US showed that dog bites tend to peak during warmer weather. This is typically due to the fact that there are more children out during summertime and hot weather can cause some dogs to be more irritable.

The combination of playing children, tasty picnics and mutts chasing Frisbees can often become a both terribly exciting and equally frustrating environment for a dog to be in.

And unfortunately, not every Park is filled with responsible dog owners, so to make sure you're not one of these people here are some basic etiquette rules which you should consider when taking pooch out to play in the sun.

Moody mutts – Like us when the temperature rises dogs too can feel hot and bothered. To ease your dog’s irritability try walking your dog at cooler times of the day like mornings and late afternoons where there is a bit more shade. Make sure he/she has plenty of water to drink during the walk especially if your outing involves a cloggy car journey. If your dog is long haired don’t forget to book that seasonal appointment to the grooming salon.

Hay fever – Like us humans, dogs too can suffer from allergies like Hay Fever. Pooch and Mutt’s Bionic Biotic has a special ingredient called Methionine, which things it controls histamine release histamine is what triggers allergic reactions, such as hay fever. Bionic Biotic will also boost your dog’s immune system, which is important when they are out and about more, seeing, touching and eating new things.

Children and dogs – Kids can get very excited around dogs and often lose control of boundaries. Remember children should never be left unsupervised with a dog. They should also be taught dog safety just as they are taught how to cross a road. This type of doggy etiquette includes the fundamental rule of not petting a dog until it sees you and is able to sniff your hand. The Kennel Club offers sound advice on children and dogs including the Good Citizens dog scheme.

Clean Up: Many places threaten to fine you if your dog makes a mess and you fail to dispose of it correctly buy allowing a dog to leave behind any nasty surprises in public spaces is purely down right disgusting. To prevent the unintentional spreading of disease and intestinal parasites, pick up after your dog. Don’t forget to stay green and use biodegradable poop bags. Read our green blog for more tips on staying green.

Feasting ground - Dogs and food equals disaster especially when the food doesn’t belong to you. Between now and September parks and fields will be filled with sausage rolls, scones and many more human treats which will be a huge temptation for your greedy friend. Make sure you keep that leash nice and tight when entering picnic territory.

Social pups – If you have recently re-homed a dog or feel that your pooch hides away from too much action and excitement he may need to be socialised more. Socialising a dog is a huge part of making your dog a better pet for people to be around and should begin as soon as it can leave the house.

Join a local dog club or take your dog to busy areas like parks, town centres and beaches so they have plenty of interaction with humans.

Help us understand just how close you are to your dog by entering the following Pooch & Mutt survey online.

If you want to meet Pooch and Mutt visit the East Anglia Game Fair this weekend next to the dog crèche!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Rarest dog breeds in the UK

Bo, the Portuguese Water Dog

Bo, the fluffy new member of the Whitehouse family has officially settled into his presidential pooch quarters. However what many of us may not know is that Bo is a Portuguese Water Dog, and a fairly rare breed at that.

Underneath all those soft black curls lies a strong swimmer with the ability to dive underwater. Dogs like Bo were a fisherman’s best buddy and would be taken out on fishing boats to assist and retrieve any tackle that fell over-board or rescue men that were washed out to sea.

Whilst only some of us may have come across a Portuguese Water Dog, there are many other dogs out there we rarely hear about. For example the Glen of Imaal Terrier claims to be the rarest breed of domesticated dog in the world. There are only about 35 registered in the U.K. In fact, there are now more giant pandas in the world than this Irish-bred canine.

Whilst only some of us may have come across a Portuguese Water Dog, there are many other dogs out there we rarely hear about. For example the Glen of Imaal Terrier claims to be the rarest breed of domesticated dog in the world. There are only about 35 registered in the U.K. In fact, there are now more giant pandas in the world than this Irish-bred canine.

The Kennel Club have published a list of what they call ‘most vulnerable breeds’ in other words dogs which are of British origin and considered to be declining in numbers and whose status has diminished over a number of years.

Here is a list of the top five rarest native breeds (recorded in 2005).

Skye Terrier

5. Skye Terrier - Skyes can be active dogs or couch potatoes. They will take all the exercise you can give them or they are just as happy curled up on your lap. They make loyal companions and good family pets. There were only 30 Skye Terriers recorded in the UK in 2005. Here is more about active dogs.

Welsh Corgi

4. Welsh Corgi – There are two types of Corgi Cardigan and Pembroke. Both are among the healthiest and longest-lived dogs in the Herding Group. Queen Elizabeth keeps five Corgis and four Dorgis (Corgi/Dachshund cross) in the Royal household. A group of star corgis were named "Best Historical Hounds" and "Best in World" at awards at the BFI Southbank in 2007. There are only 77 Corgis in the UK.


3. Greyhounds – This dog was originally used to hunt and later used as a racer! Many greyhounds have become great pets and show dogs. Because of their fast legs, Greyhounds have been subject to a life as race slaves and many are left without a loving home after their life as a dog racer has ended. Read more about this on the PETA blog.

Sealyman Terrier

2. Sealyham Terrier – The Sealyham was once one of the more popular terriers and one of the best known Welsh breeds. Today it’s listed as one of the most endangered breeds. Much to everyone’s amazement, Efbe's Hidalgo at Goodspice the Sealyman Terrier, still managed to scoop Best In Show at Crufts in 2009.

Sussex Spaniel

1. Sussex Spaniel – These active and energetic dogs make the best working breeds and are used for field work and hunting. The Sussex originates from the county of the same name in southeast England, where it was bred to be a companion and field worker for a hunter seeking small game. With its short legs, the dog is perfectly shaped to explore the underbrush, to either flush out or retrieve game. Watch news about a Sussex that recently won a Best in Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Enter this month’s Pooch & Mutt prize draw to win a bag of Bionic Biotic.