Vaccinating your dog is important

by Vivien Richardson on July 31, 2010

Dog vaccinationsA puppy has to have a set number of vaccinations over a period of several weeks in order to help his immune system recognise and ward off infections that could cause him to have a serious illness. A new puppy is not allowed out in a park, or anywhere outside their new home, until he has had his full set of injections.

Many of the infections that a puppy or an adult dog can contract are run of the mill and are easily treatable. However, a pet who has received all his vaccines stands a much better chance of fighting off these diseases.

When a puppy is six weeks old, vaccine is administered, and then repeated two weeks later. A booster vaccine is required once a year to keep a dog’s immune system in good order.

Some of the worst diseases that can be contracted by a dog are (more…)

The hounds are away!

by Mark James on July 30, 2010

Dream Dogs recently spent a very enjoyable night of dog racing at Belle Vue Stadium in Manchester. Money was won, and shirts were lost. Our pet theory that the dog who went to the toilet just before a race was bound to win was both proved totally right and completely wrong, leaving us none the wiser.

However, after the night’s racing had finished and the stadium was clearing out, there was a nagging doubt about the sport that remained. Like any professional athlete or footballer, a greyhound only has so long to enjoy its sporting career. What happens to a dog when it is considered too old to race? A quick flick through the night’s racing guide yielded an advert for the Retired Greyhound Trust, so we decided to investigate.

According to the British Greyhound Racing Board, the average racing career for a dog usually lasts until it is five years old. Occasionally it can last longer, but it can be cut short if the dog is injured. There are many conflicting stories about what happens to a dog when it retires. Some are unsavoury and claim that dogs are destroyed, but the BGRB states on its website that many owners keep the dog as a pet, and suggests that people who want to enter the sport need to plan for the dog’s post-racing future.

What is apparent is that many owners give their dog up for adoption. An adoption agency will (more…)

Essential feeding tips for a puppy

by Vivien Richardson on July 29, 2010

A new puppy is an excitable little pet that bobs about on the floor in your kitchen or living room until his little legs are strong enough for him to run. Feeding him puppy food full of quality ingredients, with a mix of essential amino acids and other valuable minerals, will see him quickly grow into an adult dog with strong bones, lean muscles, a pair of bright inquisitive eyes and a shiny coat.

Right from the time your puppy makes himself at home, a well loved member of your family, it is important to set in place a daily routine. Meals should be given in small portions, at regular intervals, taking time to let him out of the house to a small allocated area in the garden for him to relieve himself.

Good food, daily exercise and regular playtime are (more…)

What causes diarrhoea in a dog?

by Vivien Richardson on July 28, 2010

It can be difficult to pinpoint the original cause of diarrhoea in a dog, which is brought on by an upset digestive system. One well known cause of diarrhoea in a dog is a change of pet food; it is not advisable to suddenly give your dog new pet food.

Easing him into his new pet diet over a couple of days will help his digestive system to accept new ingredients in the food. You should do this by mixing his new food with his old food, gradually increasing the mix so that the levels of new food increase.

Sometimes a dog that is out in the park or running through woodland will stop and chew on a twig or pick up a stone, thinking it is food. If he swallows it (as dogs often do) this can cause him to have a problem until it passes through his system.

A serious condition, and cause of diarrhoea, is your pet having a parasite, a roundworm or maybe a whip worm, if this is the case your vet will be able to assist.

Also if you allow a dog to play with an empty container that has held certain chemicals, he may have an allergic reaction.

More often than not, a dog that has diarrhoea will still play with his toys and eat and drink, if he is listless then you should take him to a vet. The main symptom of diarrhoea is a soft watery stool, although this should clear up within 24 hours. If your dog continues to have this problem, along with a rumbling stomach and ‘gas’, it is important you take him to his local vet straight away.

Doggie tip: boil some chicken or rice, feed him some of the meat with a little of the boiled water and reduce the size of his portions of biscuits to half for a couple of days, this action will calm his digestive system.

‘Gastropup’ Pub Lunches for Dogs

by Darren Jamieson on July 27, 2010

A chain of pubs in the UK, including the Five Alls in Gloucestershire, is launching a set menu for dogs. While many pubs in the UK, particularly those that serve food, are turning dogs and dog owners away, some pubs are cashing in on the fact that people want to take their dogs to the pub with them by offering meals specifically for dogs.

The special Gastropup pubs are in conjunction with Butcher’s Pet Care and Brakspear. Together the two have come up with a varied selection of pub lunches for dogs.

According to Caroline Coombs, the brand manager for Butcher’s Pet Care:

“A family walk is a great way to strengthen that special emotional connection with your dog and stopping off at a country pub to enjoy a drink and bite to eat is a great British summer institution.”

“Now dog owners can sit down to lunch happy in the knowledge their (more…)

Even a healthy puppy needs vaccinations

by Vivien Richardson on July 26, 2010

Sometimes a new owner of a puppy will ask why their pet has to have a set of vaccinations when the dog is obviously fit and healthy.

The answer to this question is that although he may look fit and healthy at the moment, bacteria and other diseases can attack his vulnerable immune system causing illness, which in some cases could lead to death. A puppy that has had his vaccines has an immune system that is better prepared for any infections, in some cases preventing and blocking them altogether.

Also, a puppy’s health can break down. However a puppy that has had his vaccinations will have had a good start after being fed on its mother’s milk.

The schedule of puppy vaccinations should start within a couple of days of bringing your puppy home. He should not be allowed out until after he has had (more…)

Dog takes communion in Toronto church

by Leanne Thompson on July 25, 2010

It has often been said that a church is always open to all-comers, but one church in Toronto, Canada, was a little too open for the likes of one of its parishioners. St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Toronto recently welcomed a newcomer to its fold, and the newcomer brought their dog along with them. In an attempt to make both the newcomer, and the dog, feel welcome – Rev. Marguerite Rea allowed both of them to take communion, even placing a wafer on the dog’s tongue.

However, the actions of the ‘interim’ priest have caused controversy, with one parishioner even filing a complaint with Toronto’s Anglican Diocese, and with the reverend herself. The parishioner believed that by allowing the dog to ‘take communion’ in such a manner was an affront to the Anglican Church’s rules and regulations.

The parishioner has also left the church following his complaint.

Bishop Patrick Yu, the bishop responsible for the church, stated that he wrote to the parishioner after receiving the complaint letter:

“I wrote back to the parishioner that it is not the policy of the Anglican Church to give communion to animals.

“I can see why people would be offended. It is a strange and shocking thing, and I have never heard of it happening before.”

“I think the reverend was overcome by what I consider a misguided gesture of welcoming.”

Rev. Marguerite Rea, despite being asked to comment by the media in Canada, has so far (more…)

How to safely cut your dog’s nails

by Vivien Richardson on July 24, 2010

If you are a dog owner and you’ve noticed that his nails are catching on the carpet in the living room and you are worried about trimming them, here is some helpful information on taking care of him and cutting his nails.

When looking to cut your dog’s nails, the length of nails can vary according to his lifestyle. For instance, a dog that has plenty of exercise walking on a hard surface (such as a road or pavement) may not need his nails cutting very often as they will be worn down naturally by stone or cemented pathways.

If you take your dog to the beach, walk them on grass, in a park or nearby waste land then it becomes important to have a dog groomer or a vet clip his nails as they can start to curl, causing him much discomfort.

Why not ask your vet to show you the procedure of (more…)

Greyhound chases real hare during greyhound race

by Darren Jamieson on July 23, 2010

Anyone who’s ever been to the dog track will know just how fast some greyhounds can be, especially when they’re chasing that little, furry, yet fake, hare. But what would happen if the greyhounds spotted a real hare during the race? Surely there would be chaos?

Yes there would. That’s just what happened at a dog track in Australia this week when prize greyhound ‘Ginny Lou’ caught sight of a rather brave, yet stupid, hare that wandered on to the greyhound track just as the dogs were passing, chasing the fake hare. Ginny Lou was in third place at the time, and just about to make her move on the leaders, when spotted a rather tasty looking alternative hare bounce across in front of her.

Naturally, she set off after it, abandoning the race in favour of what looked like a much tastier meal.

Ginny Lou spies a real hare, and she's off!

The dog track in question was a track in Shepperton, Victoria, and the race was the Finer Fruit Stakes.

The owner of Ginny Lou, Scott Stefanos, commented that he: “didn’t know whether to laugh or cry” when his dog, with a chance of winning, fled the race to go after her supper. Luckily for Scott he didn’t lose out too badly as the race was declared null and void, and all bets (over £18,000 worth) were returned to punters.

So what happened to the hare? There was no sign of it after the race – although Ginny Lou looked mighty pleased with herself. Watch the incident here from Australian TV.


Snub-nosed dogs at risk on aeroplanes

by Leanne Thompson on July 22, 2010

Anyone thinking of flying with their dogs should take note of recent data released by the Transportation Department in the United States of America. Last week, the Transportation Department released figures that showed that dogs with snub-noses, such as Pugs, Pekingese and English Bulldogs, are more at risk of death when travelling on planes. The figures released showed that over 50% of dogs that died on board aircraft in the last five years were dogs with smaller, pushed back faces.

A total of 122 dogs have been reported as having died on American flights since 2005, with 25 of those dogs being classed as English Bulldogs. 11 of the dogs that died were Pugs, with Pomeranians, Pekingese and Boxers also suffering as a result of being placed in aeroplane cargo holds.

The reason that short nosed dogs (Brachycephalic) are more at risk of death on board aircraft is due to their inability to breathe easily and cool themselves down in an otherwise warm environment, as cargo holds are (more…)

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