Taking your dog on holiday abroad? Take preventative action!

Taking your dog on holiday abroad? Take preventative action!

Finding someone to look after your dog or arranging kennels can be a real hassle at holiday times. Relaxation of pet travel regulations in Europe has seen a growing trend in taking the family pet along to enjoy the summer break. But a pet passport, microchip and rabies jab may not be all that you need to consider when taking your dog abroad. Vet and Journalist, Pete Wedderburn, tells a cautionary tale based on his experience with Ted, a young Beagle who contracted a life-threatening, exotic illness soon after returning to the UK. The first sign of a problem happened two days after landing on these shores: his owner noticed a large tick on his back. She carefully removed it and threw it into a fire, aware that ticks can carry nasty illnesses in dogs and humans. The tick had not been bothering Ted, and he seemed as healthy as ever. The following day, Ted stopped eating and refused to get out of his bed. A visit to the vet revealed that he had a high temperature, and he had pale gums. The most common cause of these two signs is a disease called Auto Immune Haemolytic Anaemia, when the immune system starts to destroy the dog’s own blood cells. But alarm bells were ringing in the back of my mind: Ted’s recent arrival from Poland and the fact that a tick had been feeding on him suggested that something else might be going on. A blood sample sent to the laboratory confirmed what I suspected: the large tick had infected Ted with a microscopic parasite called Babesia Canis. Thousands of tiny Babesia...
Can owning a pet improve your social life?

Can owning a pet improve your social life?

As well as providing lots of enjoyment and affection, acquiring a pet, especially a dog, can also help you keep in good health both physically and mentally. Most pet parents will tell you that they love their pet like a member of the family, but owning a pet can have other benefits for the members of your household too. There have been many studies that conclude pet ownership is good for your health in ways of exercise, boosting immunity and stress and depression reduction.  But a recent study by Harvard University, University of Western Australia and Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition (UK) found that pets can also help build social relationships and support networks. Overall, the study found that pet owners are significantly more likely to meet new people in their neighbourhoods than non-pet owners. Around a quarter of those who met people through their pet said that this resulted in at least one new friendship rather than a mere acquaintance. Dog owners fare even better as they are five times more likely to get to know people in their neighbourhoods compared with other pet owners, with dog walking being one of the top five ways for people to meet new people. Read more at Man’s Best Friend Helps Owners Build New Friendships and Pets can help their humans create friendships, find social support   How many friends has your pet introduced you...
What does your dog know about your feelings?

What does your dog know about your feelings?

As a dog owner, you probably already understand that your pet can sense either when things are “hunky-dory” in your household or everything is not quite as it should be with you. But now this gut feeling has been backed up by veterinary researchers in Austria. Their tests have shown that dogs not only sense the feelings of their owners, but can quickly learn to recognise the facial expressions of humans, even strangers. In the new study, the researchers trained dogs to tell the difference between photos of 15 people making either a happy or angry face. The pups were so good at it, that they were able to tell whether someone was happy or angry when looking at only half their face. After training, they could even work out the difference in expressions when they looked at photos of people they’d never seen before. Dogs know that smile on your face – Science Daily Image: Anjuli Barber, Messerli Research Institute   And previous research in the UK has suggested that dogs have developed a similar technique to us when looking at a human face. Your dog really might be “man’s best...
Are you walking your dog the right way?

Are you walking your dog the right way?

Do you take your dog for a walk or does he take you? How many times have you seen (or experienced) a dog straining at the leash and the owner (maybe you) continually battling to keep him under control? Everyone knows that walking your dog is a great way to get exercise for both the owner and the dog. But how many people know how to are walk their dog the right way? An article I came across by Nancy Barber at PawNation has key tips for making your dog walks more enjoyable: It may seem like the easiest task in the world, but there’s actually a lot that goes into walking a dog. Because dogs are travelers by nature, daily walks of 30 to 60 minutes are highly recommended for canine owners. They can be a great way to expend a dog’s energy and give you a chance to decompress while bonding with your furry friend, but only if you are doing it right. Keep reading to learn more about the best way to walk your dog. ᔥ How to walk your dog – PawNation   Applying a few simple techniques can make all the difference to the behaviour of your dog when you take him for a walk.  For example, this video shows you how to simply train your dog for walking on a leash....

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