Monday, 29 June 2009

Celebrities & Dogs at the Macmillan dog show

Tomorrow is the Macmillian Dog Show - in aid of Macmillian Cancer Support

The show takes place tomorrow (30th June 2009) at the Royal Hospital Chelsea

Pooch & Mutt will have a stall there selling Bionic Biotic & Mobile Bones - with a percentage of the takings going to charity.

Previous celebs spotted at the Macmillan Dog Day include:

Trinny Woodall - who caused controversy last year by being pictured without her wedding ring.

Bruce Fogle, TV star and son of best selling author and top vet Bruce Fogle

Hollywood super star, Liz Hurley

Friday, 26 June 2009

Petiquette for the office

Yesterday was ‘Take Your Dog To Work Day’ in the US and no doubt offices were filled with excited non-dog owners relishing in the idea of being distracted by some cold wet noses.

Not only is it terribly exciting to be able to show off your best furry friend to your work mates but perhaps by spending the day with your pooch you might be able to encourage some to adopt a dog for themselves. I think everyone should try and convince their bosses to adopt a dog as an office mascot.

Whether your dog spends the day sleeping by your feet or entertaining your colleagues by bouncing across the office, bringing your dog to work will ensure a few laughs for everyone and can help to lower stress levels and create a more productive work force, something your boss might appreciate.

That’s certainly my experience of it. Last year Milo spent the day at work with me for the day to see how he would cope with all those new faces.

The morning started off well as he proudly introduced himself to my boss and co-workers, however after his regular morning nap interrupted by the odd phone ringing, he did manage to sneak into the boardroom half way through a meeting I had with an important client. Thankfully he managed to cheer her up and much to my relief she was a dog lover.

After contributing a few waggy greets here and there Milo left the boardroom and wondered into the office kitchen to check if anyone had accidentally dropped any bread crumbs in the process of making lunch.

That afternoon after having our lunch and getting lots of attention from more colleagues who were intrigued to hear about Milo’s latest misadventures, I took my little mutt out to do his business. The rest of the afternoon, I must admit, was very distracting. Milo was eager to continue exploring every shredder and photocopier in sight as well as making a point to anyone entering the office that he was there and of course seeing any new comers out of the door. I found it very difficult to concentrate however it was worth it.

Despite everything my dog made a great work mate, although he couldn’t take any minutes at the meeting or answer any calls for me, he did accompanied me on my lunch break and he distracted me (in a good way) from my work, shame I can only do this once a year!

This year The Blue Cross is organising its annual ‘take your dog to work day’ on Wednesday 16 September. All you need to do is persuade your boss, set up a just giving page online and get your friends and colleagues to sponsor you to help raise money for the charity.

If you can’t convince your boss to take your dog to work share your thoughts with Drs Pooch and Mutt here.

In the meantime you have plenty of time to teach your dogs some cute tricks, in the meantime here are some petiquette tips from the Blue Cross website to prepare for a pooch day at work.

1. The first and most important thing to remember when you enter work with your dog for the first time is that he/she will need time to settle down

2. Let your dog have a good sniff around and explore its new environment

3. Next, be sure to introduce him/her to your colleagues properly making sure that they introduce themselves in the correct way too

4. If your dog will be spending all day with you may want to set up a pen or dog crate as a sanctuary and rest area especially if he/she tends to be energetic or particularly mischievous

5. Last but not least, don’t forget to come equipped with bedding, water bowl and some of your dogs favourite toys - Treats can also be good to break the ice with some of your more nervous colleagues

Have you ever taken your dog to work? Any other smart tips are welcome.

And if you want to win a bag of Bionic Biotic, enter this month’s Pooch & Mutt prize draw.

Can you help?

Can you help?

Above is a picture of a dog rescued by

As you can see, he is not in great shape. we have sent him a few bags of Bionic Biotic to help build him back up again.

If you can help in any way with any donations please contact


Friday, 19 June 2009

Doing the doggy paddle

Much to my delight and with a small crowd of onlookers, last Sunday Milo had his first real encounter with open water and swam!

Of course I was the proudest dog owner in Hyde Park but I still couldn’t figure out if he did it to cool himself down or for the sheer fun of it. Whatever the reason I was overly impressed and one thing that amazed me was that it looked like he had always known how to do it.

Although his back legs were a little on the floaty side and most of the work was being done by the front legs, he managed to doggy paddle over to the stick I’d thrown into the water and back again several times.

If you're looking for a great exercise for your pooch, I definitely recommend teaching your dog how to swim, what a fantastic idea. For conditions such as osteo-arthritis and hip dysplasia swimming provides a weightless exercise to improve joint movement, increase circulation and build muscles.

There are three simple steps to helping your dog get comfortable in water and its all down to praise at the right times.

  1. First, Find a nice pond or pool (not too deep) and let your dog explore the area thoroughly.
  2. Then when your dog makes contact with the water and looks comfortable, praise him persistently.
  3. Next when your dog has all for paws and belly in the water throw a toy into the water (not too far from him) and when he goes to retrieve it praise him even more.

Keep repeating these steps until your pooch is happy to swim without too much praise.

Not only is swimming enjoyable for you both but in the same way it helps humans, it will help work on your dog’s heart and the lungs, as well as all of your dog's muscles giving him a good workout. It can also give an overweight dog sufficient exercise on land without over-stressing the bones and joints.

Just as I discovered last weekend, taking your dog for a swim can be heaps of fun and a great bonding exercise between you and pooch. Here are a few more tips to keep your dog safe - have fun!

Swimming pools – Never leave your dog unattended around a pool. Once in, a dog may not be able get out without help and may panic and drown. Make sure your dog has a clear entrance and exit to the pool. Dogs cannot touch the bottom like humans can, so their legs will get tired quickly and must get out to rest. If you have a pool invest in a special pool ramp or steps designed for dogs to get in and out easily.

No drinking - Do not worry of your dog drinks some chlorinated pool water or pond water, inevitably this will happen but take care that he does not overdo it. If you are going to the beach try not to let your dog drink any sea water, the high mineral and salt content can be very bad for his/her stomach. Always carry some fresh water with you in a portable water bottle especially if you are going on long walks.

Safety first – You are the best lifeguard you can ever be to your dog, If any problems arise you need to know what to do. Start by learn some basic pet CPR. Check this link out. Make sure that you supervise you dog at all times especially in choppy waters or when a tide is about to rise. You can even buy a dog a life jacket if he/she is still learning the basics.

Water toys - If your dog needs a bit of persuading to get into the water and the traditional stick won’t work, try throwing him a bright coloured floating water toy. There are many to choose from, but remember never to throw anything too far especially if you don’t have a confident swimmer .

If you want to read some more tips on how to introduce your dog to water click here. If you are feeling lucky then try entering our prize draw for a bag of Bionic Biotic. Click here to enter.

Friday, 12 June 2009

P&M’s best of the best working dogs

It’s a well known fact that our dogs give us unconditional love but it's also obvious to us that they lead a life of leisure. That’s probably why they talk about ‘a dog’s life’. Our pets only ‘job’ in life is to make us happy, however what most of us don’t appreciate is that there is a large population of hard working super pooches out there who are happy to put a full day's work into a day just like the rest of us.

Man’s best friend can be trained to carry out the most incredible working and life saving tasks most of them using their powerful noses. Some dogs are even used a therapists for autistic children and elderly people who respond well to a furry cuddle and the joyful presence of a dog.

We have looked at some examples of the most popular pooch professions and amazing stories.

The GI fido - Police dogs can be trained to carry out a variety of death defying tasks and can even be trained to charge at criminals on command. A police dog must make it through endurance and agility training. This includes rigorous tests to prove he can jump over walls, climb stairs and is fully accustomed to busy situations where there are lots of people around. A well trained police dog can also sniff out anything from firearms and pirate dvds to drugs and bombs in situations where an officer would spend hours searching and putting themselves and their team at great risk. Click here to watch this amazing police dog training video to see what some dogs can do!

The Sniffer - Without a doubt the most powerful tool a dog possesses is its nose so it comes to no surprise that ‘sniffing’ is a dog’s gifted talent. Trained sniffer dogs can work in many different fields from police dogs who help during drugs raids to customs and export search dogs who sniff out parcels and packages for anything suspicious. Springer Spaniels are one of the most recognised sniffer dogs as well as Border collies and Labradors. Dobermanns, Weimeraners and German Pointers are also used in other police work. A police force in Fife, Scotland recently recruited a new member to its team, an 18 month old cocker spaniel called Rocco who has the amazing ability to sniff out cash! The dog's super-sensitive nose is able to seek out the Euro and Sterling notes which may be linked to crime. He has also been trained to detect drugs and firearms.

The Rescuer - Dogs used in search and rescue work are trained for specific tasks. Air scenting dogs are used to search for missing walkers or climbers, even missing people. Depending upon the conditions, these dogs can pick up a scent in the air over a quarter-mile away. Tracking dogs can follow the tracks of a human by following where they went. These dogs are used to find suspects for criminal investigations and are named Mantrackers. Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service’s newest recruit is a 10 month old black Labrador called Hooky who will be helping fire fighters sniff out danger in rescue situations. Hooky is being trained to find people trapped in collapsed buildings or transport accidents and help the Urban Search and Rescue Team (USAR) with other rescue work. Read more about this amazing dog here.

The guider – These dogs are bred and trained to assist disabled owners (often blind or deaf) in everyday activities from walking them and taking them to places by foot or on public transport to picking up the phone, turning on the lights or opening doors. Every year Guide Dogs for the Blind breed over 1,000 guide dog puppies. The most widely used breed for guiding is a Labrador/retriever cross, but other breeds like the German shepherd are used. Guide Dogs also works with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Dogs for the Disabled to train 'dual purpose' dogs. One superstar Labrador Retriever in Hampshire helps his owner withdraw money from ATM machines and was nominated for Lifetime Achievement Award by Dogs Trust Honours 2007.

The therapist – Dogs have the magical ability to make us feel happy, in fact Pooch & Mutt’s recent studies show that 59% of people share their problems with their dogs by talking to them. National charity, Pets As Therapy provides therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, care homes, special needs schools by volunteers with their own friendly, temperament tested and vaccinated dogs and cats. Every week these calm friendly pets give more than 126,000 people, both young and old, the pleasure and chance to cuddle and talk to them. Therapy dogs were also used in the US during the World Trade Center tragedy in 2001. The Delta Society brought therapy dogs to the Red Cross respite centers so workers and volunteers could have a friendly (and furry!) face to help relieve some of the stress of the rescue efforts. Read more about this amazing story here. And if you want to unload your worries try talking to Drs Pooch and Mutt they are great listeners.

Do you have any amazing dog stories? Tell us about them and dont forget to enter Pooch & Mutt’s monthly prize draw.

Friday, 5 June 2009

P&M checks in and checks out best hotels for dogs

If you are one of those people who find it hard to part with your favourite four-legged friend you will definitely appreciate this week’s blog.

Some food for thought. The cost of a dog sitter or dog kennel can often amount to anything up to £30 a day depending on location and service. That’s a lot of money to pay to miss your dog.

My theory is that if you are going down the route of wanting to take some well deserved time off why not simply save yourself all that heartache and take your dog with you!

Many hotels and cottages will welcome dogs on a pre-arranged basis, some will ask you to pay a supplement of between £5-£30 per dog depending on what they offer and many will just let them stay for free.

We know how hard it is to part with your pooch so we have cherry picked 6 of the UK’s best dog friendly hotels where you and your mutt can enjoy an indulging mini-break without having to call any kennels.

Seaside escape – The Headland Hotel is a splendid AA 4 star status hotel perched in view of Cornwall's rugged north coast - A British beachside hotel at its very best. Most bedrooms have stunning ocean, beach or coastal views. A great spot for long beach walks with your dog along Fistral beach, Holywell Bay, Crantock Beach and Newquay’s town beaches, Lusty Glaze and Watergate Bay all at a stone’s throw from the hotel. If you are looking for buzzing surf town culture Newquay is on your doorstep. The perfect place for you and pooch to get away from it all and recharge your batteries.

Price per pooch per night - £12 including a special dinner, dog bed and welcome pack

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City slickers - For a 1st class break in the capital the Milestone Hotel, Kensington, welcomes posh paws for the ultimate pampering break. Located close to Hyde Park and Kensington Park and Gardens the hotel is a great excuse to visit London with your dog. On arrival you will receive a pet welcome pack including a toy, a treat, a tag and clean-up bags. Your room will be kitted out with a pet bed, cushions and duvets, floor mats, “Do Not Disturb/Pet Sleeping” card, Turndown Treat, water bowl and in-house Pet Menu for midnight snacks. The hotel’s concierge will also attend to any grooming, walking or pet sitting requests but they will ask you to leave a deposit in case of any accidents.

Price per pooch per night – free with a complimentary welcome pack

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Forest fidosAshdown Park Hotel & Country Club is the idyllic place to stay if you and rover want to explore 200 acres of forestland and fields. This country house hotel is set in the heart of the Ashdown Forest in East Sussex offering luxurious accommodation, excellent food, extensive gardens and parkland, and superb leisure facilities. The hotel’s Fairway junior suites and studios welcome dogs and offer patio doors which open onto a spacious green golf course. For a high priced supplement your pooch gets a basket, blanket, bowl and optional dinner prepared by chef and a chewy toy for the evenings.

Price per pooch per night - £30 including special welcome pack

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Country lifeThe Combe Manor hotel, in Devon, is a blissful setting for dogs lovers and offers a Dogs welcome policy. A Grade 1 Elizabethan Manor set in 3,500 acres of one of Devon's finest country estates, close to the sea for long coastal walks, an idyllic setting for dog lovers. Combe Manor welcomes well-behaved dogs in the sitting room, bar and in the great hall, where they can lounge in front of the open fire as you enjoy a relaxing drink or afternoon tea. The hotel is happy to provide anything from doggy beds to food and water bowls just for your dog. The hotel website even lists dog days/ shows in the surrounding area so that you time your holiday nicely and enjoy one of the local events.

Check in at -

Price per pooch per night - £8 with a welcome pack

Highland hoppersThe Four Seasons in Perthshire, Scotland is one of the best places you can take an active or larger dog. Pets are welcome at this Lochside Hotel in both the chalets or loch view Bedrooms. You can both unleash yourselves to a fantastic experience and go on some of the best dog walks amongst some of Scotland's finest scenery. Pampered pets are welcomed to The Four Seasons with a complimentary treat and if you forget your own bed the hotel will offer you one of theirs. The hotel also offers a new Pet Concierge Service with dog grooming, walking, sitting and special cuisine for guest dogs. Dogs are welcomed by the Four Season’s resident pooches, Sham and Pagne.

Price per pooch per night – from £8 with a welcome pack

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King of the CastleThe Castle Inn is a traditional family-run 16th Century thatched pub and hotel located in West Lulworth, Dorest and surrounded by the beautiful Isle of Purbeck countryside. The pub and hotel has gained a great reputation for its level of care for guests visiting with dogs. Dogs are allowed into the bedrooms, and of course throughout the public areas (except in dining areas). Dogs are more than welcome throughout the Castle Inn pub on leads and for breakfast staff will lay your table in the Lounge Bar so that you can eat with your dog. The Castle Inn recently landed a place in the final for's Awards 2009 for Best Hotel/B&B in the UK! Sponsored by Pooch & Mutt.

Price per pooch per night – free of charge

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Lets us know if you know of any other good dog friendly hotels and any good walks near the ones here

Enter Pooch and Mutt’s monthly prize draw here to win a bag of Bionic Biotic.