Travelling abroad with your dog

by Vivien Richardson on September 30, 2010

Dog on a boatDifferent countries allow pets to travel in and out of them without having to stay in quarantine, under the ruling of the Pet Travel Scheme for dogs.

However, to be able to take your dog abroad you need to apply for a dog passport. This can be time consuming, so preparations should begin at least 6 or 7 months ahead of your planned journey.

The main requirements for a dog passport are:

1. Micro-chipping your pet. This gives him his own unique identity number. His personal number will be used on all relevant travel papers; a vet will provide this service.

2. A local vet will give your dog a blood test to check that his antibodies are high enough to protect him against (more…)

What is the difference between a greyhound and a whippet?

by Mark James on September 29, 2010

To the untrained eye, Greyhounds and Whippets look very similar. They are both tall and slender and are as fast as greased lightening, which are typical characteristics for sighthounds. This means that they specialise in chasing down prey such as rabbits, hare or deer, keeping it within their field of vision. Both Greyhounds and Whippets are very flexible; this, along with long legs, makes for a very long stride, aiding their speed. They both have deep chests, which support a large heart and incredibly efficient lungs.

Both breeds have a distinctively shaped head, commonly referred to as dolichocephalic; that is, a skull which is longer than it is wide. It’s a characteristic shared by some other breeds such as Afghan hounds, Borzois, and even wolves – it’s related to the need for the stereoscopic vision required for (more…)

Top 3 Dog accessories

by Mark James on September 28, 2010

It’s easy to fall into the trap of treating your dog as if it was a step up from the Barbie dolls or an Action Man figures you had as a child. Part of the appeal of such toys was the chance to own lots of different accessories to go with them. As a boy I would drool over things such as the German motorbike with side car, the Scorpion Tank or the Holy Grail for collectors: the Palitoy Action Man Helicopter with realistic rotor action and working winch! The funny thing is that I never owned an Action Man – I just liked the idea of all the cool accessories you could get.

For some people, their dog is an ideal opportunity to indulge the same instinct to collect things. It’s common to see many dog owners ‘pimping’ their pet nowadays. This may be in the shape of a bandana, a velour tracksuit or even a fancy dress costume. If you’re willing to rob your pet of any dignity by dressing it up as Yoda from Star Wars, then you may be interested in Dream Dogs’ top three accessories for your pooch:

Dog_GogglesDog Goggles

In our never-ending quest to anthropomorphise our pets, we’re predisposed to dressing them up in caps or sunglasses. The only time you were likely to see a dog in goggles, however, would be if it was a passenger on a motorbike as part of a segment of ‘That’s Life’. However, you no longer need to (more…)

Dogs are good for kids’ health

by Darren Jamieson on September 27, 2010

Most parents have, at some stage, been asked by their children if they can have a dog. The standard answer to that, and an answer that I myself received many times when I was about six years of age, is “we’ll see” – which is parent speak for ‘no’.

However, like me many children keep on about having a dog and try to wear their parents down. I was successful, and we got a Yorkshire terrier named Sadie. Had I known then what I know now however, my quest for a dog may have been much quicker – as it appears that dogs are great for the health of children, and obesity in children (which is a major problem, especially in the UK) is lower when the children own a dog.

Child Obesity in the USA is also a major problem, and according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an incredible 17% of children aged between 2 and 19 are clinically obese. The obesity rate among children aged between 6 and 19 has (more…)

Tear stains on white dogs

by Vivien Richardson on September 26, 2010

tear-stainsWhen you have puppy that has a beautiful white fur coat, the water from their eyes can show up as a pink or red stain on their fur, usually more noticeable just under the eye area.

Tear stains’, as it is referred, is more noticeable when a dog has wet fur; it looks unsightly and can also cause a degree of irritation to your dog.

If a puppy show early signs of tear staining it is essential that you take him to his vet, a vet will check him over for stains and give more information on ways to treat visible tear stains.

A balanced diet and regular checks on a dog’s tear pigment, and watching out for any signs of ear infection, will keep your pet in good health. A dog’s diet can at times be the cause of the problem; food colourings and certain additives, such as corn, wheat and soya, are known to increase any symptoms of allergies. One of the symptoms of allergies is (more…)

Recall dog training

by Vivien Richardson on September 25, 2010

Recall is a lesson for dogs that gives your dog freedom; you have control over your pet with a simple vocal command so that they can roam around in the parks and woodland free of a lead (in some parks and woodland at least, not all allow it).

When training a dog, this exercise is worth taking your time over. It requires patience and hard work from both parties, dog and owner. The result is well worth the effort, walking in a wood or playing in park without the restriction of a dog lead is sheer happiness for any dog.

recall dog training

Recall your dog

Basic principle in recall dog training:

1. Think about the command word you are going to use in training, short words that can be repeated are best, such as ‘Come, come’, if preferable you can use a (more…)

Yorkshire Terrier is world’s oldest dog

by Darren Jamieson on September 24, 2010

It seems that every few months we’re crowning a new world’s oldest dog – which is perhaps a sad thing and a poison chalice that no dog really wants to claim. However, the latest dog to be labelled as the oldest in the world is a Yorkie from Halifax. Billy, the Yorkshire Terrier, is the grand old age of 22 (around 154 if you convert it to decimal) and he is about to be officially recognised as the oldest dog in the world by to the Guinness World Records.

Despite being older than most cars on the road, older than most students and older than many parents in the UK, Billy (born in the 80s) has loads of energy and loves to run around all day. Sure, he’s lacking a few teeth and his sight has failed him in one eye, but he has another eye that works perfectly fine.

Betty Holdsworth, his 71 year old owner (who was in her 50s when Billy was born) takes him for a walk twice a day, which is more than most Yorkies get when (more…)

The 20 most popular names for dogs

by Mark James on September 23, 2010

What’s in a name? So wrote William Shakespeare. He should know – his works are littered with excellent appellations such as Dogberry (Much Ado About Nothing), Launcelot Gobbo (The Merchant of Venice) and my personal favourite, Doctor Butts (Henry VIII).

Choosing a name for your pet can be a fraught experience. Do you go for something jokey, such as ‘Sir Fartsalot’? You would only regret it when you’re shouting it in a busy park and attract lots of odd looks from people who don’t get the joke. How about something macho? Nobody calls their pet ‘Ripper’ or ‘Slasher’ and avoids being laughed at. The same goes for ironic names; can you imagine calling your pet Doberman ‘Cuddles’?

dog needs a name

My name is Sargent Slaughter

If you’ve ever watched Crufts, you may be confused, amused or even impressed by the fancy monikers the dogs in the show seem to have. Contrary to what you may think, these names aren’t made up by the owner after a three day bender – they actually serve a purpose. A kennel name is an exclusive moniker associated with a breeder – a kind of breeder ‘signature’. If you breed show dogs and stud dogs, it marks out your pups from everyone else’s, and can prove lucrative. If one of your dogs is successfully showed, those seeking to buy pups from you can (more…)

50 Cent threatens his dog with a knife on Twitter

by Leanne Thompson on September 22, 2010

Rappers are known for their dogs, but usually a rapper’s dog is a big, powerful breed to enforce their masculinity, such as a Pitbull or Rottweiler. US rapper 50 Cent however likes a friendlier breed of dog, one he can turn his back on and not wonder if it’s going to ‘stick him’ – his dog however has no such assurances judging by the recent photo Fiddy uploaded to his Twitter account.

Fiddy threatens his dog with a knife on Twitter

Fiddy threatens his dog with a knife on Twitter

This picture of 50 Cent shows him brandishing a knife towards his dog, a Miniature Schnauzer, in an aggressive manner. Naturally this photo has already brought condemnation from (more…)

How to help a dog with sensitive skin

by Vivien Richardson on September 21, 2010

dog-shampooOne of the most common dog problems that owners have to watch out for with a new puppy is the onset of sensitive skin. Chemicals in certain products can often be the cause; however good grooming is way to reduce the effects.

Humans will know how awful itchy skin can be. The sensation you experience when you touch nettles springs to mind, it is the same for puppies and dogs.

To alleviate a dog’s skin becoming sore with itching you can try to groom them on a regular basis, brushing the coat gently enough to remove house dust, pollen or bits of grass, while at the same time being careful not to hurt any of the more sensitive areas of your dog’s body.

If your dog has a coat of long hair, comb through any tangles and, at the same time, talk to your dog in a gentle tone to give him some reassurance. If too knotty the longer strands of hair can be (more…)

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