Larry, Downing Street’s Chief Mouser, To Keep His Job!

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After a whirlwind week, new PM Theresa May  can look forward to having a bundle of fur curled up on her lap in the form of Larry, the Downing Street Cat.

It’s been confirmed that Larry will be staying at Number 10 when Mrs May moves in this week, and will retain his role as ‘Chief Mouser’.

Larry, who is the latest in a long line of distinguished Whitehall cats, was brought to No 10 from Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in 2011.

Here are five things ‘Larry the Downing Street cat’ should expect upon Mrs May’s arrival:

1. Loyalty:

As Downing Street is Larry’s territory, Mrs May will need to tread carefully in the first couple of weeks and months. Larry will set a good example for Mrs May’s new Cabinet and potentially bitter Conservative colleagues. She may think that Larry is Conservative, but he couldn’t possibly comment.

2. Travelling:

While cats can be left to entertain themselves more easily than say dogs, Larry will expect that Mrs May does not spend too much time across the country or abroad; cats require love and playtime too. Larry may be keen to remind Mrs May that Brexit may have implications for pet passports, so this will need to be a red line in the negotiations in Brussels.

3. Day-to-day politics:

While Larry is likely to listen to the likes of the World at One or walk into ministerial meetings or sackings, believe it or not, cats aren’t particularly interested in Westminster politics except, of course, the fisheries policy. Mrs May should therefore leave her red briefcase downstairs when she comes to see Larry at the end of the day.

4. Food and drink:

The beer and sandwich of the 1970s or the champagne supernova days of New Labour may be remnants of the past; but Larry will expect quality food to keep him happy and healthy if he’s going to keep Number 10’s mice and rebels under control.

5. Sleep:

All that hot air from Whitehall can make everyone a little tired. Mrs Thatcher may have only needed four hours’ kip a night, but cats tend to doze on and off for up to 16 hours a day. Larry may remind Mrs May that after this upheaval, he won’t be welcoming of any future General Elections any time soon.

Andrew Bucher, co-founder and Chief Veterinary Officer at MedicAnimal, commented:

“Cats are exceptionally territorial animals and Mrs May will need to be aware she will have to toe the line to make sure Larry continues to feel at home. Like most pets, Larry will expect Mrs May to take time out of her busy diary to provide play, provide a balanced diet and naturally loyalty.”

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Nemo The Goldfish Survives Tumour Op

A beloved goldfish was taken on a 200-mile round trip to the vets to have a huge tumour removed.

Nemo, the five-year-old goldfish, underwent an intricate 45-minute operation on his head and shoulders.

He was operated on out of the water and at one stage his heart stopped but vets managed to revive him.

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Veterinary surgeon Sonya Miles and exotics nurse Millie Gardiner in Bristol carried out the operation, which cost £200 – and Nemo was sent back home. The surgery took around 45 minutes and Nemo was ready to return home to his owners after a couple of hours.

Sonya said: “Nemo was initially a referral, a little fish sent from Buckinghamshire to come and see us as another practice who did not want to do the surgery.

“We accepted it and the owners saw my colleague for a consult and decided to go ahead with it.

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“Nemo is doing really well – he had a massive lump on the side of where the neck would be and it was looking the same size as the fish itself.”

Despite the success there was a moment of panic during the operation.

Sonya said: “It was difficult keeping him asleep and alive – there was a hairy moment when his heart stopped but we managed to revive him.

“We kept Nemo asleep by putting a syringe into his mouth and gills. We had to keep oxygen in system.”

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But Nemo is now back to normal and enjoying life.

Sonia added: “He is just a little gold fish – five years old we believe – taken on by owners.

“The owner phoned up and said he was completely back to normal and doing really well.”

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Thousands Remember Beloved Departed Pets On National Pet Remembrance Day

THIS WEEK thousands of people across the UK and overseas remembered beloved departed dogs, cats and other pets on the second national Pet Remembrance Day.

Pet Remembrance Day was launched last year on July 5 by 3D pet sculpture specialists Arty Lobster and Pets Magazine to provide a national day for people to remember pets people had loved and lost.

A Twitter and Facebook competition to win a 3D memorial of a beloved pet attracted many poignant stories of pet loss and grief, and hundreds shared photos of their pets (see gallery photos).

The day also generated major support across social media, including from celebrities such as Peter Egan and Morgan Fairchild alongside Big Brother and Strictly Come Dancing celebs. Using the hashtag #PetRemembranceDay, several hundred people shared their stories in a national outpouring of grief over pet loss.

Pet Remembrance Day supported The Oldies Club, which re-homes dogs aged seven and over, as its charity of choice this year.

Marie Carter, Editor of Pets Magazine, said: “I am delighted at the success of national Pet Remembrance Day this year. It is both heartwarming and very poignant to hear all the stories of real and genuine grief at the loss of a beloved pet.

 “There is still a real need for relatives, friends and employers to take into account the real, and often overwhelming, sense of loss upon the death of a pet.”

Lars Andersen, Managing Director of Arty Lobster, said: “Pets are increasingly regarded as members of our family, and basically we do not remember them as we should. Pet Remembrance Day fills a real gap for people to do just that.”

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Arthritic Dogs To Benefit From Home Therapy

Hannah Capon treats a client

Hannah Capon treats a client

Dogs suffering from the pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis are set to benefit from a new home service, founded and run by an experienced veterinary surgeon.

After 14 years in small animal practice, Sussex-based vet and registered myotherapist Hannah Capon feels earlier identification and intervention is needed for dogs coping with the pain of osteoarthritis – so is launching Canine Arthritis Management (CAM).

“During a very bad week in practice I put two dogs to sleep in quick succession who had both gone off their back legs. They were mentally there but their bodies had given up. I suddenly realised that osteoarthritis needed to be approached much more thoroughly and at a much earlier stage in a dog’s life,” said Miss Capon.

CAM offers a home-visiting service throughout Sussex, allowing arthritic dogs to be assessed in the calm and comfort of their own surroundings. Combining diet, exercise and house management recommendations with owner awareness and Galen Myotherapy – a specialised massage technique that assesses and improves muscle health and function, CAM offers tailored solutions to help control pain and slow the progression of what can be a very debilitating disease for dogs.

“In a veterinary consultation, it can be very difficult to get all the information across to an owner whose dog has just been diagnosed with arthritis. CAM is a unique service that fills the gap. It aims to go into a dog’s home and make adjustments that will be good for that individual long-term.”

The aim of CAM is to improve a dog’s posture and movement, support their ability to exercise and give owners the tools they need to make life easier for an arthritic companion.

CAM works alongside an owner’s vet, tailoring treatment to the individual and ensuring manual techniques, practical lifestyle changes and conventional medicine can unite to achieve optimal pain control.

“Arthritis is a household name, its massively prevalent in humans and there are huge support services for people dealing with the chronic pain associated with the condition. Dogs with arthritis suffer the same pain – it’s time we had a service for them too. CAM is that service – a tailored, multimodal approach to help successfully manage these patients.”

For more information, call 07929 673355 Address: 68, Middle Road, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. BN43 6GA Email: [email protected]

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Almost Half Of Pet Owners Take ‘Peternity’ Leave

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With the summer holidays nearly upon us, a new study* by Pets at Home has revealed that it is not only childcare that British workers are having to consider.

Nearly half (48%) of British pet owners admit to taking time off work – or ‘peternity’ leave – to look after their pet.

And proving that our furry friends are just as important as children to many owners, a parent is more likely to take time off work to look after their pet (50%), opposed to non-parents (44%). Men (52%) are more likely than women (44%) to take time off to look after their pet, proving that a dog really is a man’s best friend.

On average, British adults take off three days annually to look after their pet, compared to an average of seven days taken to look after their child. The most common reason given is that their pet was unwell (35%) or recovering from an operation (28%).

Nearly a quarter (24%) will use their holiday leave to stay at home with a pet, with 13 percent of those surveyed planning to take time off over the summer to be with their pet – four days (3.7) on average. However, a fifth of pet owners admitted calling in sick to care for their pet.

Mark Smith, Pet Operations Manager at Pets at Home, said: “There is no denying that our pets are part of the family, but it’s important to understand that pet care requires a lot of responsibility and a certain amount of flexibility when it comes to taking time off from work look after pet. It’s reassuring that 71% of pet owners said that the decision to take time off of work for their pet was an easy one.

“At Pets at Home, one of our goals is to educate the next generation of pet owners about the huge responsibility of owning a pet. Our My Pet Pals summer workshops will take place in stores across the UK over the summer holidays, and both parents, children and their pets are welcome!”

My Pet Pals Summer workshops will run at more than 425 Pets at Home stores across the UK using fun, interactive activities to educate the next generation of pet owners on how to care for small furry animals, reptiles and fish responsibly.

After completing the workshops, each child will receive a workbook, certificate and stickers, along with a pet promise card where they make a pledge to look after any pet they have according to the five welfare needs, covering habitat, health, wellbeing, diet and behaviour.

To find out more about My Pet Pals Summer workshops and book your place in your nearest store, please visit petsathome.com/workshops

***Based on a survey of 2,000 pet owners in May 2016

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Free ‘Goody Box’ Helps Homeless Look After Their Dogs

Homeless and other struggling dog owners in Bristol are being given some additional support from today, with an innovative new service that gives out free dog support packs to those in need.

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The Hound Haus is a subscription service that allows customers around the UK to receive a monthly box of dog goodies; the company then uses the profits to produce and distribute free boxes to struggling or homeless owners.

The free boxes contain food, blankets, leads, bowls, flea and worming products as well as treats, chews and toys.

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The Hound Haus is starting a new series of sessions at the end of July that will run monthly across the city. Free packs will be available to pick up, as well as access to vets, at the sessions for small queries, and the RSPCA for more serious treatment.

The Hound Haus is also working in conjunction with Caring in Bristol to provide advice and signposting for struggling owners to find work and housing options available to them and their dog.

The boxes are an important aid to struggling or homeless owners as it gives owners the confidence that their dogs are being cared for and lets them concentrate on their on other struggles be it employment, financial difficulties, disability or something else.

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In attendance is also a St Mungo’s outreach worker; to help with any issues owners may be experiencing. The sessions are created to be as helpful as possible on a number of levels; from meeting the needs of the dogs to ongoing support for the owner.

The aim is to support owners to prevent more dogs from ending up in shelters. With as many as 200 dogs a day being abandoned or given over to shelters around the UK, The Hound Haus aim to help the dogs, the owners and in turn reduce the demands on animal shelters.

The Hound Haus, was started last year by Verity Jones, a young Bristolian entrepreneur who has help from friends and family volunteers to get everything started.

She said: “I have always loved dogs and have been working with homeless people for a while when I decided there needed to be a service that helped struggling owners out. Dogs are so rewarding and can be so much more than a pet to many people so to be able to help people and dogs to live a better life is an important job.

“As well as being very important, dogs can become a barrier to homeless people in accessing the services that are important to helping them. With very few shelters and soup kitchens allowing dogs in around the city these people are simply not getting the help they need.

“For the dogs; it keeps them out of kennels and away from the stress that separation can cause. For the owners, dogs can be a great sense of comfort, safety and companionship for someone suffering homelessness, depressions or a stressful situation.”

All information for either the public wanting to buy boxes or homeless or struggling owners seeking free boxes is available at: www.thehoundhaus.com

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The Dog Treat Company: Delicious & Ethically Sourced Dog Treats

Sponsored Content (SP) by The Dog Treat Company

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It’s always niggled us that the phrase ‘pet treat’ is frequently deployed as a ‘time out’ from sensible thinking. You don’t have to peer too hard at some treat labels to discover that they can be riddled with synthetic colours, ‘artificial nasties’ and flavour enhancing sugar & salt which combine to create a ticking time bomb of pet misery and escalating veterinary bills.

Treats needn’t turn their backs on nutritional balance and ethically-sourced human-grade ingredients, which is why we at The Dog Treat Company insist on only mixing free-range eggs and chicken liver with our GMO-free herbs and spices to create recipes that are deliberately low in fat yet brimming with beneficial vitamins, amino acids and minerals.

This month we’d like to focus on three of our top-selling lines ‘Run Free,’ Joie De Vivre & ‘Take My Breath Away.’

Run Free: Just the right amount of pumpkin seeds, Devil’s claw and eggshell is included so your pet enjoys the benefit of strong bones and supple, well-oiled joints.

 

Joie De Vivre: Making the best of every moment means a finely-tuned immune system, which is why this particular recipe leans upon the highly prized ‘inner oomph’ associated with beetroot, echinacea and rooibos.

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Take My Breath Away: In this recipe the priority is to smother canine halitosis, which is why a liberal dash of parsley and coconut oil (nature’s breath fresheners) sits at the heart of this recipe.

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In short, The Dog Treat Company believes firmly in the notion that Nature Always Knows Best!

For more information and to buy, please visit: www.thedogtreatcompany.co.uk.

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Puppy Love…

DPOTY 2015 Dogs at Play 2nd Place (C)  Elouise Leland_The Kennel Club

Two young red Labrador brothers on their way to a lake for a swim – photo taken by US based amateur photographer Elouise Leland, which came 2nd in the Dogs at Play category of the Kennel Club’s annual Dog Photographer of the Year competition.

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Has TV Finally Gone To The Dogs?

Prototype of first-ever TV remote control for dogs is launched!

Rocky the Boxer tests a prototype of the first ever dog remote control

Rocky the Boxer tests a prototype of the first ever dog remote control

A prototype of the first ever dog TV remote with extra-large buttons for clumsy paws has been created by experts, allowing dogs to control the TV when their owner leaves the room.

Pet food brand, Wagg, has been working closely with Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, PhD Researcher in Animal Computer Interaction Design at the University of Central Lancashire, to develop the prototype which will allow canines to control the TV for the first time.

Dan Reeves, from Wagg, said: “We know that people can feel a little guilty about leaving their dogs in a room alone for a short while, whether it’s to pop to the shops or cook dinner in the kitchen, so we wanted to create something that would keep the dog entertained and reassure owners of their well-being. Dogs are a key part of family life so, why shouldn’t they get to choose what to watch on TV every now and then, just like the rest of us?”

The remote marks the next step in the growing trend of animal computer interaction (ACI), which has seen many pet-focused apps and interactive toys launch over the past few years.

Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas said: “Recent research found the average dog now watches more than nine hours of TV a week, showing that technology is already playing a huge part in our pets’ lives. A TV provides an interactive space which allows dogs to have a source of entertainment, particularly when its owner is out of the room.

“We’ve had to take into account many different factors when designing the remote. For example, although dogs generally have a 240 degree vision, they have fewer colour sensitive cones than humans, which results in them being red-green colour blind. To address this, we’ve made sure the remote is blue and yellow as dogs are most receptive to these colours.”

The prototype is used in a similar way to a normal TV remote and is made of a hard-wearing waterproof plastic. It includes:

– Large paw-friendly buttons with raised surfaces to avoid paw slippage
– Yellow and blue colours as these are preferred colours for dogs
– Squeak-like sounds that omit a lower-intense frequency and appeal to dogs
– A hole to attach a rope toy for the dog to interact with and carry the remote

The model remote is currently being trialled with a specialist panel of pooches, with experts monitoring their reactions to the buttons, sounds and colours. Following the analysis stage, Wagg will approach tech companies with a view of putting the model into mass production.

Rachael Webb, owner of Rocky the boxer (pictured), who is taking part in the trial said: “After a bit of initial sniffing and licking, Rocky really engaged with the remote. After seeing it in action, I would definitely be reassured leaving him in a room with the remote to entertain him and keep him occupied.”

Reeves added: “Recent research carried out by Wagg, looked at the extent to which television plays a part in the lives of our dogs – with a staggering 91 percent of owners admitting their pet regularly sits on the sofa and watches TV with them.

“At Wagg, we believe that dogs are integral to special relationships, particularly within the home. We know that TV brings people and pets together and we’re really pleased with the initial prototype. We hope other dogs enjoy it as much as Rocky has!”

The prototype design has been commissioned by Wagg to mark the launch of Dogglebox, a one-off spoof specially created for YouTube with a completely canine cast.

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YHA England & Wales Goes Dog-Friendly

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In a very welcome move by YHA (England and Wales), dogs are now welcome to stay with their owners at Youth Hostels that offer camping and cabins accommodation.

The move will not only enable YHA to reach new customers but also enable dog owners to take advantage of nearly 60 YHA sites that offer camping pods, cabins, tipis, bell tents and pitch up facilities in their grounds.

Dogs will be charged £5 a night, however there will be no additional charge for dogs where owners choose to bring their own tents and use the pitch up facilities available at 31 Youth Hostels throughout England and Wales.

To ensure that all guests have the best experience when staying at dog-friendly sites, YHA has developed a doggy code of conduct which requires dogs to be micro chipped and fully vaccinated to ensure the safety and wellbeing of other animals and guests. Additionally, owners must keep their pets on a lead at all times, including external areas.

Camping pods at YHA Stratford upon Avon
To make the most of the fabulous locations that many rural Youth Hostels boast, YHA has invested £1 million in camping, glamping and cabin facilities at 63 of its Youth Hostels since 2015. The decision to allow dogs to stay in the network, coupled with the investment in camping and cabin facilities, is making YHA more accessible to even more people and will enable the youth hostelling charity to capitalise further on the increase in staycations in the UK.

Explaining the decision to allow dogs to stay in the YHA network, Caroline White, Chief Executive of YHA (England and Wales) said: “We identified that a barrier to many people staying with us is the fact they can’t also bring their pooches. We have invested heavily in our camping and cabins accommodation provision within the network over the last 12 months so this has enabled YHA to relax its policy on dogs. It’s a move that I know will be welcomed by many people who want to stay with YHA. Now the whole family can enjoy a stay with us.”

For further details of all Youth Hostels in England and Wales, or to make a booking, visit www.yha.org.uk.

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