Harold the Hamster Dumped on Doorstep in Harrods Carrier Bag

Harold the Hamster

A man had quite the surprise when he found a hamster dumped on his doorstep in Cambridge – with no sign of how he’d got there or who had left him behind.

The little hamster had been left in a small plastic cage wrapped in a Harrods carrier bag before being dumped outside the house in Vinery Road, in the Romsey area of the city, on Thursday evening (21 September).

The man, unsure of what to do with the rodent, called the RSPCA and animal welfare officer (AWO) Jane Folly went along to collect him.

“The little hammy must have been terribly frightened and confused after being removed from his home, placed inside a tiny cage and wrapped up in a plastic bag,” she said.

“The sun was going down when the gentleman found him so it was getting dark and cold. The poor thing wouldn’t have survived long on his own if he’d not been found.

“Thankfully the man who found him did the right thing and took him inside to keep him safe before calling us.

“To abandon such a small, vulnerable animal – one which relies on us for everything – is despicable and could have had awful consequences. I’d urge anyone who knows where the little hamster has come from or who is responsible for abandoning him to contact our appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave me a message.”

The adult, male Syrian hamster is now being cared for by staff at the RSPCA’s Block Fen Animal Centre. Staff say Harold, as he’s been named, is “lovely” and is doing well. If he is not claimed then he will be rehomed by the charity.

AWO Folly added: “Sadly, thousands of pets are cruelly abandoned every year and charities like the RSPCA are left to pick up the pieces.

“I would urge anyone thinking of getting a pet – whether it’s a hamster or a horse – to do their research first and ensure they can care for that animal for the rest of its life. And anyone who is struggling to care properly for a pet should contact their local vet or animal charity for advice and support.”

To rehome an RSPCA animal please visit Find A Pet to browse the different animals we have looking for fresh starts.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming dogs like these, please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

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Want a Unique Pet? Here Are 3 Reasons to Consider Getting a Bird

When people think of pets, they usually go straight to the two main ones: dogs and cats. There are many breeds of these two common household pets, they’re usually quite friendly and playful, and they’re also relatively easy to maintain. However, if you’re looking for something a little different and a bit more exotic, then why not consider getting a bird? To help you make that decision and take the plunge, here are three reasons that will help convince you to get a bird as your next pet.

Birds don’t require much maintenance

Unlike your dog that requires lots of care, attention and walks, a bird doesn’t require much attention at all. Compared to other pets, birds are relatively easy to take care of. They can simply be put inside of a cage and they don’t require walks, petting or frequent feeding. If you want to give your birds a bit more space to flap their wings, then a walk-in bird habitat is the best option. It requires a little more cleaning but gives your bird more freedom and you can get inside the cage to clean it and interact with your flying pet. It’s far more convenient to wash a birdcage than having to constantly having to scoop up poop or clean a litter box.

Birds aren’t expensive to keep

You can give your bird a high-quality diet, but even then the cost of feeding your bird is lower than other animals. This is because birds are fine eating whatever fresh fruits and vegetables you serve them in addition to the pellets that you can buy from a pet store. This provides them with plenty of good nutrients to help them grow and stay healthy, and it allows you to spend less money on actual bird feed. This makes birds significantly cheaper to maintain. In addition, you don’t need to purchase too many things to keep them entertained. Birds also don’t require much grooming unlike other fluffier and larger pets. Birds often keep themselves clean so they don’t need shampoo or expensive haircuts. It’s a good idea to give their nails a trim to prevent them from accidentally scratching you when you handle the bird, and a quick wash with clean water is acceptable for keeping your bird fresh.

Birds are social creatures

Birds are comfortable around their owners and aren’t likely to fly off or do their own thing even when let out of their cage. Birds can even be trained to do little tricks if you’re patient enough. You can spend hours watching and playing with your bird and depending on the breed, they may even develop a habit of tweeting and singing when you’re in the vicinity. Despite their small size, they are affectionate creatures much like a cat or dog, and you can even take them out for walks if you want them to see the outside world a little.

As you can see, birds make fantastic pets as long as you’re willing to give them a chance. If you want a unique pet, give them a try the next time you’re at a pet store!

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Dogs Left Home Alone Getting Hooked On TV and Radio

Thousands of dog owners admit to leaving the TV or radio on, leaving out extra food – and even getting a neighbour to call in when their dog is home alone, a study has found.

Many also treat their beloved pooch to a new toy or bone as they walk out of the door, install a dog flap and use a web cam to check up on them.

More than one in 10 have even arranged for a dog sitter to go to their home to keep their mutt company, while 24 per cent have asked a friend to drop in to spend time with their pet.

It also emerged the average pooch will spend two hours and 47 minutes at home alone every day, and half of all dog owners admit they feel guilty about the amount of time their pet is left alone.

A spokesman for manufacturer of  pet supplement brand YuCALM from Lintbells, which commissioned the research, said: “They say a dog is a man’s best friend, and it seems that really is the case.

“No dog owner wants to leave their dog home alone but sometimes this is unavoidable.

“But as a result, it seems many owners are finding different ways to try and make sure their dog doesn’t end up feeling lonely while they are out and treating them when they get back home.

“It just goes to show how much we love our pets.”

The study of 2,000 dog owners found 86 per cent leave their dogs at home alone, with 46 per cent admitting they feel sadness when they close the door to their pet pooch.

A third say they have considered taking their pet to work to avoid them being at home on their own for too long.

Almost one in 10 have even taken time off work or dodged social events to keep their dog company.

But when they do have to leave them home alone, more than four in 10 turn the radio on for them, while another 32 per cent keep the TV turned on.

A third will present their four-legged friend with a new treat just as they are walking out of the front door to keep them busy, with 18 per cent coming home with something special to make it up to them.

Others have left them more or better-quality food than they are used to or have installed a dog flap to give them free rein of the garden.

One in 20 even pay for their pets to go to ‘doggy day care’ to avoid them being left at home alone altogether.

But the survey, carried out through OnePoll.com also found that two thirds of owners admit they feel so guilty about leaving their dog unattended for even short periods of time that they end up lavishing them with treats or attention when they walk through the door.

More than one in five have allowed their dog to sleep next to them in bed to make up for not being around while more than one in 10 have even given them a steak dinner.

Others spend longer than usual grooming or walking them when they get home while 16 per cent have cooked their dog’s favourite meal to make it up to them.

The average dog owner will even spend £11.30 – more than £135 a year – buying things to make it up to their dog after leaving them home alone.

Researchers also found 54 per cent of people would like to reduce the amount of time their pet spends at home without them.

Dog behavioural expert Dr. Emily Blackwell PhD, CCAB, Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Welfare who works closely with YuCALM and Lintbells, said: “Leaving dogs alone should be a normal experience for both the owner and their pet and shouldn’t be something dog owners worry about.

“It is vital to introduce this time alone for your dog from a very young age, so that this becomes a normal part of life and their routine.

“Preparing dogs to become comfortable with being alone is crucial for any puppy owner, however this can sometimes get overlooked.

“There is lots of useful advice and information out there to help owners teach their puppy that being home alone is a nothing to worry about.

“Giving dogs a special treat when they are left alone can be a great way of making time alone fun, however if the dog doesn’t eat the treat this can be a sign that it is anxious.

“Leaving nice toys and treats can also help owners feel less worried about leaving their pet.”

Top 10 things dog owners do when they leave their dog at home alone:
1. Leave the radio on for them
2. Buy them a new treat/bone/chew
3. Leave the TV on for them
4. Ask a neighbour or relative to pop in and see them
5. Come home with a special treat to make up for being out
6. Leave them more food than usual
7. Leave them better quality food than usual
8. Install a dog flap
9. Buy a web cam to check on them
10. Use a doggy monitor

Top ten ways owners make it up to their dogs after leaving them home alone:
1. Take them outside for an extra-long walk
2. Give them extra back/belly rubs
3. Let them onto the sofa for a cuddle
4. Buy them special treats
5. Buy them a new toy
6. Take them out straight away to play with them
7. Let them sleep in the bed
8. Cook their favourite meal
9. Groom them
10. Not scold them for something they usually get told off for

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Shocking Research Reveals that Puppy ‘Impulse Buying’ is Rife

A dog may be for life, but shockingly many people spend more time choosing a pair of shoes or their weekly supermarket shop than they do a puppy with devastating consequences.

Pups are more likely to get ill and their owners suffer financial and emotional hardship if chosen hastily, as people fall victim to puppy scams.

Almost a quarter (23 percent) of people will spend 5 minutes or less researching where to buy a puppy, but a similar percentage (22 per cent) will invest half an hour or more when choosing a new pair of shoes. Choosing a puppy will take 36 percent of people 20 minutes or less, compared to just 16 percent who are prepared to be so reckless with the time spent on their weekly supermarket shop.

And one in five (20 per cent) of people admit that they spent no time researching where to buy their puppy at all, compared to just 8 per cent who decide which shoes to buy on impulse, or 13 per cent who spontaneously decide what to watch on Netflix.

Our hasty and impulsive puppy buying habits are having dramatic consequences. Almost a sixth (15%) of pups got sick in the first six months, with some needing ongoing veterinary treatment or dying, if their owner had chosen them than 20 minutes or less. This is three times higher than those pups who experienced ill health, ongoing health problems or death if their owners had spent an hour or more researching where to buy.

Similarly, more than one fifth (21 per cent) of people claim to have suffered emotional hardship, and the same (21 per cent) claim financial hardship after buying a puppy if they spent between 20 minutes or less researching where to buy their puppy, compared to 7 per cent suffering emotional hardship and 8 per cent suffering financial hardship for those who spent an hour or more finding out where they should buy their puppy.

In total almost a quarter (22 per cent) who bought their puppy in 20 minutes or less think that they bought from a puppy farm, compared to just 7 percent who spent more than an hour researching where to buy.

Despite being prepared to buy their puppy with minimal research, one third (33 per cent) agree that they do not feel confident about how to spot the signs of a responsible breeder, with slightly more (34 per cent) agreeing they would not know how to find one.

The shocking portrait about the lack of consumer awareness when buying a puppy, and its implications, has been released by the Kennel Club for its Puppy Awareness Week, which aims to make people aware of the importance of buying a puppy from a responsible source.

Caroline Kisko, Secretary of the Kennel Club, which runs Puppy Awareness Week, said: “This research is a wake-up call for anybody who cares about dog welfare as a rather terrifying picture is emerging of a nation of people who are careless when it comes to choosing where and how to buy a dog, and who feel clueless about where they would begin, if they were to attempt to do this responsibly.

“The result is puppies with all manner of health and behavioural problems being sold via the internet, pet shops or social media to people who don’t know the true background of the pups and who pay the price in veterinary bills and heartache, as they watch their beloved pet suffer.

“There is a massive gap in consumer knowledge and we need to help people understand what a good dog breeder looks like. The research shows that just under three quarters (73 per cent) of people would like a scheme where breeders are already checked and approved for them by a UKAS approved body, which is why the Kennel Club developed its Assured Breeder Scheme. At the very least we urge people to make themselves aware of the scams and tricks of the trade, so that they can spot the people who are putting puppy welfare at risk.”

One of the most obvious signs of a puppy farmer is that they will not show the pup in its home environment or with its real mum. More than 2 in 5 (41 per cent) of those who suspect that they did not see the puppy with its real mum say that their pup suffered from serious health problems in the first six months, including problems that resulted in ongoing veterinary treatment or death, compared to 9 per cent overall. Similarly, 43 per cent experience financial or emotional hardship if they don’t see the mum, compared to 16 per cent overall.

Another signal of a bad breeder is to use words in adverts that are well known to be marketing scams, to increase interest in a puppy, when it is hiding something more sinister. Examples include the use of the word ‘guard dog’ or ‘security dog’ – which 12 per cent said would make them more likely to be interested in the dog – but which may be a disguise for a dog bred to be aggressive, or the use of the word ‘rare colour’ – which are often avoided by responsible breeders for health and welfare reasons – but which would make almost one in five (18 per cent) more likely to buy.

The Kennel Club has compiled the dos and don’ts of buying a puppy for its Puppy Awareness Week, which can be downloaded from the website www.thekennelclub.org.uk/paw.

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Extending your Wedding Guest List to Include Your Best Four-legged Friend

Animal charity Blue Cross has today revealed that one in 10 Brits have given pets a key role in their wedding ceremony.

When asked why, over a quarter (26%) said they did so because it helps them remain calm and overcome anxiety on the big day. Brits also said they involved their pets because they are such an important part of the family (20%) and some said they had to come along simply because they are so cute (12%).

When asked what important role their pets would be playing on the big day, a massive 92% of those in favour of pets’ involvement said they wanted to walk down the aisle with their pet as maid of honour. Over half wanted their pets to have a starring role in wedding photos and video (56%) and, although their dinner speeches may leave a lot to be desired, they’re clearly doing something right as a close third came best man (54%).

Ryan Neile, Senior Animal Behaviourist from Blue Cross said: “Whether they are, companions, our best friends, or our comforters, pets play a huge role in our lives and it isn’t surprising to see how many Brits want to involve them in such an important moment.

“Even without weather worries, dress disasters, late caterers or missing rings to worry about, your wedding day can be an incredibly nerve-wracking experience and having your pet by your side might just help settle some of those jitters, as long as you take steps to ensure that your pet is comfortable too.

“At Blue Cross we recognise that every pet we receive, rescue, rehabilitate and rehome is a pet that can enrich its new family’s life in return. Pets are just as much as part of the family as mums, dads and siblings and this is why Brits love them to be involved in important events like this.”

When Katia and her husband John got married on Valentine’s Day two years ago, their beautiful English springer spaniel cross Bingo, who was rehomed from a Blue Cross centre, played a special role on the big day when he ‘gave the bride away’ at the altar.

Katia said: “Bingo has become such an important part of our lives that there was never any doubt he would have to come to our wedding. He helped to make our big day even more special and he looked very handsome in his bow-tie! We’re so happy to have Bingo in our lives that we asked our guests to make a donation to Blue Cross instead of giving us gifts – it was lovely to be able to say thank you to them for helping us find Bingo and to make a difference for more pets like him.”

While it is great that pets are finding roles in their owner’s big days, it is important to remember that beyond the cute photos and special moments, their happiness and comfort is the most important thing whilst they’re there. Anyone considering involving a pet in their wedding day should follow the below tips to make sure that a stress-free day is had by all:

  • Your pet’s personality – when thinking about the role you want your pet to play, consider their personality. For example, you might want your dog to be maid of honour, but do they get stressed in crowds? Be sure not to put your pet through anything that will make them uncomfortable or scared;
  • Check the venue is pet friendly in advance – you would be incredibly disappointed if you turned up on the big day only to find out your beloved pet isn’t allowed inside – and yet, just under a third (32%) of Brits said they would not think to check to see if the venue was pet friendly;
  • Be treat conscious – although weddings are typically a time for you to overindulge on multiple courses of food, you should make sure that your pet isn’t doing the same. Give guests a heads up that treating your pet isn’t a good idea as they may not be aware what foods are safe for animal consumption;
  • Notify the photographer (and your pet!) – make sure your photographer/ videographer knows in advance that your pet will be involved in any shoots so they can think of some creative ideas of how to get them involved. Get your pet used to the camera too; give them a treat every time the camera makes a noise so they associate the sound with something positive and practice poses if you can;
  • Book a pet sitter – a wedding is tiring enough for a human and possibly even more so for your pet. Have someone familiar on hand that can take your pet home and away from the festivities after a couple of hours. The majority of those surveyed (62%) only allowed their pet at the wedding for two hours or less; this is a good rule of thumb.

Whether you are getting married or not, pets can make an exceptional addition to the family. If you would like to give a loving home to a homeless Blue Cross pet, visit bluecross.org.uk for more information.

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Fat Cats & Top Hats: Is Your Pretty Kitty Healthy?

Pets in the home are some of the best cures for stress and sadness. Having your cat curl on your lap for a snuggle and stroking them as their purr can bring your stress hormones right down and make you feel content.

However, owning a pet isn’t just about your health. You have to ensure that when you adopt an animal, you have their best interests and health at heart. Keeping your kitty well fed is as important as regular grooming, and you must keep on top of both of these things whether your cat is a spoiled house cat or an exploring outdoor one.

Your cat’s health matters a lot and not just to save you money on the vet bills! The needs of an outdoor cat compared to an indoor cat will vary, but not hugely. The biggest difference between the two is exercise, and there is actually indoor exercise equipment you can get for your exclusively indoor cat! You can find out more here about that and know that you are keeping your cat healthy, even if they do refuse to go outside and hunt.

Cats of all breeds have basic needs: clean water, the right food, litter box and the right bowls. Entertainment is also important as they need to stay active and alert. So, what specifics do you need to know to keep an eye on the health of your cat?

  • Appetite. The healthy cats always have a good appetite and feel healthy in their weight. Loss of appetite is always the first sign of illness in a pet and ideally, you will always be on the lookout for that. Some loss of appetite in pets is normal – especially if their regular food has changed or the ingredients have differed. If your cat starts putting on weight and becoming overweight, this is not healthy for them and you need to adjust their diet.
  • Eyes, Ears, Nose. You’ll be looking at your cat every day, so you should notice if their eyes have dulled in their sparkle. Any eye discharge should be looked into and if their eyes are no longer as clear as before, a visit to the vet is in order! If you notice your cat batting their ears or vigorously shaking its head, you need to search for mites.
  • Fur Coat. You may have noticed how meticulous your cat is about their coat, self-grooming and keeping it clean. Noticing flaking skin can indicate illness and if you have a long-haired cat, you should regular groom them to give them a helping hand in the long hair. Doing a check-up with your vet on a regular basis should help you tell the difference between a mild skin condition or a full-on issue.

The health of your animal at home is your responsibility and you should always endeavour to get them the best possible care from the right sources. Spend enough time with your cat to recognise their little perks and get to know their personality. They’re a part of the family now and should be treated as such.


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New Innovation to Help Dog Owners

Truckman, the UK’s largest manufacturer of 4×4 accessories and hardtops, has come up with a new innovation, which takes the hard work out of opening and closing the tailgate of a pick-up truck.

Ideal for dog owners as well as families and commercial users, the Tailgate Pro-Lift reduces the weight of a vehicle’s tailgate by 95 percent.

Using gas struts and a specially-designed spring system for easy operation, the Pro-Lift enables the tailgate to be opened and closed with one hand, letting you lift your dog into the boot or make sure he gets in more safely.

Quick and simple to install, Pro-Lift is available for and can be fitted to all UK pick-up truck models from Fiat, Ford, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen.

Pro-Lift is also available through Isuzu dealerships, having recently secured Approved Accessory status from the pick-up truck manufacturer.

Mike Wheeler, Executive Chairman of Truckman, said: “This is a great innovation that can make a huge difference to pick-up truck owners, particularly dog owners and families who will benefit from the controlled, gentle opening of the tailgate.

“As well as significantly reducing the effort required to open and close the tailgate, through the use of gas struts and springs, Pro-Lift’s operation offers additional safety benefits protecting the operator from the weight of the tailgate.”

The Tailgate Pro-Lift retails at £198 (including VAT), and is available to order by calling Truckman on 01384 485405 or emailing them on [email protected].

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Felines Needing Forever Homes on International Cat Day

Whether pouncing on their favourite toy or curling up on your lap and purring – we are a nation of cat lovers with over 10 million pet cats in the UK.

To celebrate International Cat Day (August 8) the RSPCA takes a look into the world of cats and kittens to help their rescue moggies find purr-fect homes.

Miriam (5).JPG

The RSPCA receives a call about cats on average every three minutes and answers more calls about cats than any other animal.

This means there are currently hundreds of cats in RSPCA centres – more than the number of dogs and rabbits combined – and a cat overpopulation crisis facing the UK in general.

Aneel Odhwani, animal care assistant at the RSPCA Southall Cattery in London said: “We are a nation of cat lovers and the huge numbers of us who have cats in our homes tells this story. On International Cat Day it’s a brilliant opportunity to showcase the unique and brilliant personalities of our cats who are looking for homes.”

Miriam, a one year old black cat, was found under a garden shed in Sutton with her three newly born kittens in April.

The member of the public who lived in the property brought them straight to the RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital where they were treated for conjunctivitis.

Her kittens were named Moses, Samson and Delilah and at four months old they each found their forever homes but mum, Miriam, is still patiently waiting for hers.

The young mum was only a kitten herself when she had her litter and was very confused and scared when brought into the hospital. Her kittens were also very small which could be because some growing kittens may struggle to get adequate nutrition to support both their own growth and that of a litter of kittens.


Miriam is now at the Southall Cattery in London where the beautiful ex-mum has really come out of her shell and showed her affectionate nature.

She has become very trusting and loves nothing more than receiving lots of love and fuss.

Aneel continued: “Neutering cats from four months old could help solve the cat overpopulation crisis facing the UK today.

“Cats become sexually mature at a relatively young age and unless neutered can have a litter when they are really only kittens themselves, just like Miriam.”

Many people believe that a cat needs to have a first litter to be happy and healthy but this a common myth.WP_20170622_12_05_31_Pro.jpgWP_20170622_12_05_53_Pro.jpg

The reality of looking after and the cost of caring for kittens may not be what some owners’ expect and this is why so many unplanned litters end up in RSPCA centres.

These kittens [pictured] were found in a garden shed in Norpeth in Northumberland in June. They were just eight weeks old and without their mum.

Inspector Rowena Proctor collected them and brought them to safety. It is not known how they had got there but the kittens desperately needed care.

They were brought into the RSPCA Newcastle and North Northumberland branch where staff and volunteers have been working hard to look after and socialise the kittens.

They feared their rough start in life would mean they would not be able to learn to trust humans but over time the kittens have become much more friendly.

They were named Dusty, Annie and Lulu and are doing very well. When they are a bit older they will be available for rehoming.

Mark Lynn, rehoming manager at the Newcastle and North Northumberland branch, added: “Our centres are currently at breaking point with the influx of cats and kittens and a decline in adoptions. For the love of cats, why not adopt one of our rescue moggies.”

To help mark International Cat Day please consider rehoming a rescue moggy. To see the cats looking for homes today visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

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Pub Landlords Raise a Glass to the ‘Pooch Pound’

A survey across the UK’s hospitality industry has found that a staggering 98 per cent of pub managers with a dog friendly policy believe that allowing canine customers on to their premises has led to improved business.

When the pool of respondents was expanded to also include café and restaurant managers, 97 per cent of dog friendly establishments believed that welcoming dogs improves their business. These new figures have been released by the Kennel Club to mark the beginning of this year’s Be Dog Friendly Week, which runs from today (Monday 24th July) until Friday 28th July and aims to encourage more businesses to trial a dog friendly policy

Figures from CAMRA, which campaigns for quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community, show that 21 pubs in the UK are forced to close each week. With competition being so fierce across the pub and wider hospitality sector, allowing the nation’s 8.5 million dog owners to bring their companions with them for a pint or a bite to eat could now make all the difference to a venue’s survival, and the Kennel Club is urging landlords and pub owners to trial a dog friendly policy to see the positive effects it could have on their business.

The Kennel Club survey found that 82 per cent of all pub managers questioned stated that they noticed an increased level of social interaction between guests when dogs were on the premises, and 79 per cent also attributed an improved overall atmosphere to the presence of dogs. These are two key factors that may well encourage customers to stay longer and spend more per visit and therefore support their local pubs and cafes – possibly saving countless places from closure.

Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman says: “CAMRA welcomes the Kennel Club’s research into the positive impact of dog-friendly pubs across the UK. Pubs play a vital part in many people’s lives, providing a place to meet and socialise and feel part of their community. It therefore makes sense that in many cases a dog-friendly policy will help attract footfall to a local, particularly when paired with some great walking routes nearby.

“There are a number of different factors forcing British pubs to close, ranging from high business rates to competition from supermarkets. We support any measures that help publicans remain in business, which can sometimes be achieved by diversifying a pub’s offering so that more people visit. There is, however, no simple solution to solving Britain’s pub crisis, and it is up to the individual publican to decide what the right business decision is for their pub.”

Many businesses within the hospitality industry that currently do not allow dogs (73 per cent) said that they would consider changing their stance on man’s best friend if owners could prove that their dogs had been trained to a certain standard. One such way this could be achieved is through the Kennel Club’s Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme (GCDS) silver award. The GCDS, the UK’s largest dog training scheme offers Puppy Foundation, bronze, silver and gold awards for dogs and their owners. In order to gain silver, dogs must complete a series of exercises including being around people eating food without reacting, not jumping up at people to greet them, and calmly mixing with other dogs and humans in a group setting; all very relevant tests for a dog hoping to become a regular at their local pub.

The Kennel Club also uses the Be Dog Friendly campaign to correct misconceptions about dogs in public spaces and premises. One of the most common of these myths is that health and safety laws do not permit dogs in to venues. When pub, café and restaurant managers were asked about this, an astonishing 76 per cent of respondents were under the impression that health regulations meant animals could not enter their premises (with the exception of assistance dogs). Fortunately for dogs and their owners, this is not the case at all. Only food preparation areas are out of bounds; dog access to everywhere else including where food is served and sold is at the management’s discretion.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary said: “This new research proves just how effective a dog friendly policy can be in ensuring a business’s survival. British pubs are an integral part of our society and whilst it is important that the public should support them, it is also essential that pub owners do everything within their power to make their venue the kind of place people will want to visit time and again. Dog owners and their pets are a key part of any community and as these statistics show, they have proven themselves to be an asset to many pubs across the country by spending their time and money as well as helping to create a nicer atmosphere.

“With one in four British households owning a dog, the general public will always be in need of places where their four legged friends are also made to feel welcome. The Kennel Club strongly encourages businesses across all industries to learn more about the benefits of being dog friendly and our Be Dog Friendly Week is the perfect time to give dogs a chance to prove they can be a great addition to any client base.”

The Kennel Club’s Be Dog Friendly campaign aims to break down barriers for dogs and their owners and encourage companies to learn more about the many ways they could benefit from allowing dogs on to their premises and sites. The long-running campaign includes the annual Be Dog Friendly Week where business owners are encouraged to discover the rewards of being dog friendly and to consider trialling a dog friendly policy so they can see the positive benefits for themselves, as well as supporting the annual DogFriendly Awards.

To find out more about the Be Dog Friendly campaign, visit the website www.thekennelclub.org.uk/be-dog-friendly.


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Dog Owners are Happier and Healthier

Dog owners are happier and healthier than people without a pooch, a study has found.

A poll, of 1,000 dog owners and 1,000 adults without a pet, found 80 per cent who have a pooch are ‘very happy’ or ‘happy’ with their life overall.

But just 70 per cent of people without a four-legged friend can say the same.

It also emerged 86 per cent of dog owners believe having a pooch can help to bring stress levels down, with 28 per cent going onto say they believe their mental health and well-being is above average.

John Davies, co-founder of leading manufacturer of premium pet supplements Lintbells, which commissioned the research, said: “The results of this survey highlight the many benefits of owning a dog, from health to happiness.

“Dogs are amazing companions, offering their owners much more than just a wag of their tail in the morning.

“They are often the first to greet anyone arriving home, they inspire us to spend more time outdoors and offer unconditional love to their owners.

“That said we owe it to them to take care of their needs – even those we can’t see.

“Natural supplements can aid your dog with their mobility, skin sensitivities, digestion and anxiety, helping them to be happier for longer.”

The study, carried out by OnePoll.com, found dog owners are also likely to be happier with their career with 63 per cent saying they are satisfied with their work life.

Just 44 per cent of those without a pet say the same.

And more dog owners put their general and physical health at above average levels than those who don’t have a dog, and also exercise on one more occasion each week.

Unsurprisingly, people with a pet pooch spend an hour and 12 minutes longer outdoors each week than those without a dog.

Dog owners’ hobbies are also more likely to be active and outdoor pursuits, with them being bigger fans of cycling, going for walks and gardening.

But those without a dog are more likely to enjoy reading, listening to music and watching TV.

In fact, it was found people without a pooch watch 14 hours more TV a month, averaging an extra 3.5 hours per week, than those with a four-legged friend.

And while non-dog owners are most likely to opt for a quiet night at home alone, people with a dog prefer a more social evening in with friends or a night at the pub.

Dog owners are also the biggest social media users with 80 per cent spending some time on social media each day compared to just 71 per cent of those without a dog.

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