Friday, 29 May 2009

Life's a beach

The sun has finally decided to put his hat on and with rumours of a hot summer many of us will be planning a trip to the coast with our four legged friends this year.

Milo and I took an early trip to Southend – on –sea at the end of April and I have to say there is something quite liberating about letting your furry friend run freely on an open shore. Milo didn’t quite appreciate sliding into the huge pebbles under his miniature paw pads but he still enjoyed discovering a new coastal territory even if I couldn’t persuade him to take a dip!

Taking your dog to the beach for the first time requires a bit of planning. The most important thing to remember is that cool ocean water will be tempting to your dog on a hot sunny day so don’t allow your dog to drink any sea water. The result will be a sick dog. If this happens you can try introducing Bionic Biotic to his daily diet to ease any upset stomachs. Make sure you carry some fresh clean water in a portable water bottle and if they have never had contact with open water before read here about how to introduce your dog to the water.

We managed to get onto Southend beach before it closed to dogs for the summer and the harsh reality is that many more beaches will now be closed to dogs between May and October. The good news however, is that many will also stay open for the season.

We have plucked out just a few of the fabulous and scenic hotspots you should be considering for a great seaside walk this spring and summer.

Thurlestone/South Milton Sands, South Devon

Owned by the National Trust and within what’s known as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” this beach has plenty of rock pools to sniff out during low tide. The area is the famous for the Thurlestone Rock which was painted by Turner and is best seen at high tide. Dogs are welcome all year round here so no need to worry about restrictions. Visit www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk for more dog friendly beaches in South Devon.


Holkham Beach, Norfolk

Known as one of England’s most unspoilt stretches of sand, Holkham Beach is part of one of the largest Nature Reserves in the UK. The Holkham National Nature Reserve is home to many rare species of flora and fauna to make it more exciting for your dog. Holkham beach is also where a team of Huskies fed on Mobile Bones set the 100m Guinness World Record for the fastest 100m dog sled. Dogs on leads are welcome on Holkham Beach but there are some restrictions for dogs on Wells Beach. Visit www.holkham.co.uk for more information.


Filey, Yorkshire

A five mile stretch of soft sandy (paw friendly) beaches set in a wide bay makes a great patch for quick and easy beach treks with your dog. Filey also offers a historical promenade and plenty of facilities. Although there are some 'dog restrictions' during the summer there is still a huge amount of beach ground available to walk dogs on. Scarborough and Whitby are also close-by and offer similar splendid beaches for dog walks. Check out www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com.


Holywell Bay, Cornwall

Without a doubt Cornwall offers some of the UK’s most breathtaking beach locations. Holywell is a huge sandy beach with extensive sand dunes to run amongst. The area is popular with families and surfers making it a nice spot for a holiday with the kids. The list of dog friendly beaches in the South West coast is endless but don’t forget to check the tides. Look up www.cornwall-beaches.co.uk for a full list of dog friendly beaches many welcome mutts all year round.

Three Cliffs Bay, Wales

Enjoy the beautiful golden sands of this welsh beach offering some 52 acres of cliff-land ideal for exercising more active dogs. The Three Cliffs Bay also offers a stunning campsite ideal for longer weekend breaks. Beyond Three Cliffs Bay, you have Tor Bay and Crawley Woods, also, the sandy beach of Oxwich Bay all allowing access to dogs 365 days a year. A place attracting many water sports and nature enthusiasts will appreciate Three Cliff’s 540 acre National Nature reserve. Visit www.visitswanseabay.com.

For more information on the best coastal spots to visit with your dogs this year check out the Marine Conservation Society’s website www.goodbeachguide.co.uk or sign yourself up to the Dog Friendly Britain Forum and talk to other dog owners about the best beaches to visit.

In the meantime click here to get you into the mood for some surfing dogs.

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

Friday, 22 May 2009

Learning to become bow-lingual


Postmen, kids, prams and balls, what do these things have in common? Your dog may be inclined to bark at them! But why do dogs like to bark? What are they trying to tell us?

One thing is sure you cannot stop a dog from barking altogether, its natural for them to do this it is their way of communicating with the world. In the same way that we speak, dogs bark.

By law, a barking dog can be seen to be a noise nuisance, and the owner can be taken to court if they do nothing to stop it causing a disturbance. For example a couple from Cheshire had to pay a £1,000 fine recently for their noisy dog.

Apparently another dog in the US has become a world record holder for barking for the longest time. The loud West Highland Terrier, which goes by the name of Onion, has supposedly been barking non-stop for 6 years pausing only to sleep and eat!

Thankfully Onion is not a real life story, but to prep for reality, we have looked at some common reasons why dogs bark to help you understand our canine friends better.

The territorial hound – dogs have been barking for centuries. For them it serves as a territorial warning to other dogs and pack members. Dogs will bark when separated from a pack or during times of fear or frustration. Many dogs bark to alert their owners to strangers viewed as intruders i.e. the postman or other dogs walking by. Breeds such as German Shepherds and Dobermans make naturally good guard dogs because they bark at the right time.

The lone howler - dogs suffering from separation anxiety will often start barking the minute you walk out the door and continue all day long until you come home. This type of barking can be very annoying to neighbours and can also lead to other health problems such as diarrhoea. If your dog is at home alone for several hours a day you might want to consider sending him to a doggie crèche during the week to help him burn off some of his energy.

The attention seekersome dogs bark to get attention. This can often be reinforced by owners giving in to their dog’s demands. Allowing a dog to bark indoors, patting, praising, playing or even just approaching a barking dog to try and quiet it down, are a few examples of how an owner may unintentionally reinforce barking. The rule to remember here is to never reward a barking dog with any type of attention!

The poorly mutt – persistent barking can be caused by a dog experiencing severe pain due to a medical condition. This is often the case with older dogs whose barks can turn into howls. In the case of older dogs the cause of discomfort can often be joint problems these can be easily treated with natural joint supplements, like Mobile Bones.

The boredom barker - a dog’s bark can also be an outlet for its energy. Owners who have boredom barkers can find other ways in which they can channel their energies i.e. going on longer walks, leaving lots of interesting toys out for them to play with and generally giving them the attention they crave.

Once you understand why your dog is barking, getting it under control, with time and patience, can be done. Here are some quick tips on how to curb your dog’s barking habits click here. If all fails you might like to invest in a Bow-lingual, a device which translates your dog’s bark, whatever next?

Arley Horse Trial and Country Fair

If you are at the Arley Horse Trial and Country Fair (http://www.arleyhallandgardens.com/events_subpages/horse_trials.html) this weekend look out for Wilmslow Pet Supplies, who will be selling The Pooch & Mutt dog supplements.


Look out for a 20ft Green and White Marquee -if you can't find it call Sarah on 0785 937 2233

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Pooch and Mutt on City Talk





To listen to Pooch & Mutt MD, Guy Blaskey, on City Talk 105.9 Click here or copy and paste the link below into your web browser

http://www.poochandmutt.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/guy.mp3

Saturday, 16 May 2009

The truth about dogs


This week the world’s oldest dog, Chanel, celebrated her 21st birthday! The dachshund-cross turned 147 in doggy years. But how do we actually count a dog’s real age? does 1 year actually equal 7?

Contrary to popular belief most inherited myths and superstitions about our dogs, including age, are not necessarily true and sometimes by acting upon these so called facts we can be harming our favourite four legged friends.

The PDSA recently revealed some of the most common myths about our pets so if you think a dog with a cold wet nose is healthier and a wagging tail means a happy dog then you might need to think again!

We have tracked down and busted five more of the most common dog myths around so that you can eliminate any silly ideas about your precious pooch.

Multiplying a dog's age by 7 will give you its real age in dog years – Wrong. A dog is able to reproduce at 1 year and has reached full growth by 2 years. To calculate a dog's age in human terms, count the first year at 15, the second year as 10, and each year after that as 5. Click here to check the human age of your dog with this rough guide or here to see how old your dog really is according to his lifestyle and health.

Give a dog a bone! - The most common symbol associated with the dog is the bone. However a bone can be very dangerous for a dog so the most common misconception for any dog owner is to believe that you should ‘give a dog a bone’ Your dog’s dental care is as important as it is for you. If you give them bones to chew their teeth can wear down fast and could even break. Cooked bones especially, cannot be chewed or ingested properly thus splintering in the stomach and causing bad indigestion, but worse of all can be fatal for smaller breeds. There are several options to give your dog the chewing exercise he/she needs and loves; these include nylon bones and soft and tough chewable toys.

Dogs only see the world in black and white – Computer says no! People who think dogs only see in black and white have been misinformed. Here is the scientific part, "Dogs see in color, but not the way we do," wrote Dr. Christine Wilford, D.V.M "Veterinary ophthalmologists have determined that dogs are like people with red/green colour blindness: They only have receptors for bluish and greenish shades, not for reddish ones. So, when a person with normal vision sees an orange ball on a grassy lawn, a dog sees only a greenish ball in greenish grass." I think that sets the record straight for most of us doesn’t it?

A dog with a waggy tail is a happy dog - Not always true. A wagging tail could mean one of many things. Your dog is either, happy, anxious, tense, ready to rumble or just plain annoyed. Approach a wagging tail with caution next time you go in for pet or stroke.

A wet nose is a healthy nose - Not necessarily the case. The "warm nose myth" has many pet owners feeling that their pet has a fever however you’ll be glad to know that it’s perfectly normal for a dog's nose to be very wet and cold one moment then be warmer and not-so-moist the next. Changes in texture and colour of a dog’s nose should be looked at more carefully.

To enter this month’s prize just click here – no myths involved just a prize!