WIN a bespoke pendant of your pet by portrait artist Frances Federer – worth over £200!

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Follow us and RT this competition on Twitter OR ‘like’ Pets magazine or share this competition on Facebook to enter our fabulous competition for your chance to win a bespoke pendant of your pet – worth over £200.

Your pendant will be beautifully crafted by leading British artist and gilder Frances Federer. Frances gilds, engraves and paints small glass panes that are set into silver, to produce a rare collection of jewellery that includes pendants, earrings, necklaces and cufflinks.

Portraits of a favourite pet are an integral part of her creative work. These are miniature works of art that can be worn. The jewellery settings are by the goldsmith Justin Richardson, a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths. Their joint work was featured in ‘Who’s Who in Silver and Gold’, Goldmiths’ Hall 2013.

Entries will be counted until Friday November 7 at 12 midnight.
 
Each person who follows us @pets_mag and re-tweets or ‘likes’ us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/petsmag.co.uk) will be entered only once.
 
One winner will be notified via social media.
 
No correspondence will be entered into.

The prize must be claimed before 11pm on Friday December 19 2014.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/petsmag.co.uk

Twitter: pets_mag


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Top ten celebrity dog adopters revealed

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FROM Robert Pattinson to George Clooney, the Top 10 celebrity dog adopters list has been revealed.

To mark the launch of National Dog Adoption Month, the Top 10 celebrities who have welcomed a rescue dog into their home has been revealed. National Dog Adoption Month, sponsored by DogsBlog.com and Co-operative Insurance, aims to raise awareness of rescue dogs and help with finding them new homes. 

1.      George Clooney – Einstein

New wife Amal has some competition for Clooney’s affections in the form of rescue dog Einstein. Having spotted the Cocker Spaniel pup being advertised for adoption online, Clooney went to great lengths to ensure the pair hit it off when they first met, by rubbing meatballs on his shoes.

2.      Lily Allen – Mabel

Urging others to do the same, Lily adopted Mabel (originally named Honey) from Battersea Dogs home in 2008. It hasn’t been a completely smooth time for Mabel, having been the victim of two dog attacks, but at least she has a protective celebrity by her side.

3.      Jennifer Aniston – Sophie

After her beloved rescue dog Norman passed away in 2011, Jennifer was keen to bring another rescue puppy into her home. In 2012 she adopted Pit Bull-mix puppy, Sophie, as a happy companion to White German Shepherd-mix, Dolly.

4.      Jake Gyllenhaal – Atticus and Boo

Gyllenhaal’s two adopted dogs are named after Atticus Finch and Boo Radley, both characters from Jake’s favourite novel To Kill A Mockingbird.  German Shepherd mix Atticus was actually adopted whilst Jake was still with ex-girlfriend Kirsten Dunst, and whilst Jake now has custody of Atticus it is rumoured that Dunst retained ‘visitation rights’.

5.      Hilary Swank – Kai and Rumi

As an ambassador for animal adoption, Hollywood actress Hilary Swank is the proud owner of two rescue pups, Retriever-mix Rumi and Beagle-Terrier cross Kai. Giving both dogs the true rags to riches lifestyle, Hilary is even known to take them on holiday with her.

6.      Orlando Bloom – Sidi

Orlando is often spotted with his canine companion Sidi. Bloom adopted the black Saluki mix while filming Kingdom of Heaven in Africa, and recognised his origins by giving his beloved dog a Moroccan name. Sidi translates as Lord in Moroccan.

7.      Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber – Baylor

Adopted as a puppy in 2011, Baylor came home to one of the top celeb couples in the US. Surely the pet pooch must be very happy following recent rumours that his mum and dad are back together again.

8.      John Legend and Chrissy Teigen – Penny

The singer and model adopted Penny in June after hearing that the three legged French Bulldog was a victim of abuse and needed a new home. Poppy now frequently stars on her owners Instagram accounts.

9.      Ryan Reynolds – Baxter

Ryan met Baxter when searching for a pet dog as a companion for a friend. When he saw Baxter the Retriever whilst searching, he couldn’t resist adopting a dog for himself too, ensuring that two happy hounds went to good homes.

10.  Robert Pattinson – Bear

When Twilight star Robert adopted Bear with then girlfriend Kristen Stewart, he was days from being put down by a New Orleans Dog Shelter. Though life is much sweeter for Bear now, he has had some turbulent times having been caught up in a custody battle when Stewart and Pattinson broke up in 2012.

With over 6,000 dogs now waiting to be re-homed in rescue centres* across the UK, The Co-operative Insurance is sponsoring Dog Adoption website DogsBlog.com for the second year running. Since the partnership launched in 2013, the sponsorship has supported the rehoming of over 6,700 dogs saving the animal welfare industry £9.25million**.

Dog Adoption Month runs until October 31st and is aimed at raising the profile of dog adoption by increasing the awareness of the many rescue dogs across the UK in need of a home.

Speaking of the partnership, Andrew Nevitt, Pet Insurance Product Manager at The Co-operative Insurance said: “We see time and time again from our customers that dogs truly are man’s best friend and bringing any pet into your home is a big decision that should never be taken without great consideration. As the trend for celebrity pet adoptions proves, there are thousands of dogs already out there in desperate need of a good home with the potential to be truly fantastic companions for you and your family.”

Kim O’Meara, co-founder of the adoption site DogsBlog.com said: “Throughout National Dog Adoption Month we hope to debunk the myths about dogs in rescues being all damaged goods. Most dogs end up in care through no fault of their own and there are thousands up and down the country sitting, waiting and hoping for a home to call their own.”

*Figures based on approximately 400 rescue centres, all of which advertise the animals they house via DogsBlog.com

**Based on the average costs involved in caring for dogs in rescue centres at £1,380 per dog.


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Show your support for National Black Cat Day!

PictureAbandoned: Duke is now seeking his forever home

The UK’s leading feline welfare charity, Cats Protection, is urging people to ‘paws’ for thought and show their support for National Black Cat Day on Thursday 30 October.

Now in its fourth year, National Black Cat Day aims to raise awareness of the many unwanted black and black-and-white moggies in Cats Protection’s care, most of which wait around a week longer to be adopted than their more colourful counterparts.

To help raise awareness of the many black cats in need, the charity is encouraging people to enter its National Black Cat Day competition to win a professional photoshoot, which starts on Monday 6 October.

“Black and black-and-white cats make up around half of all the cats in our care – and sadly they wait much longer to find their forever home than the average cat,” said Gemma Smith, Cats Protection’s Digital Communications Officer.

“They are just as loving and fun as torties and tabbies and will make the perfect addition to any home so now it’s time for us to stand up and show our support for them. If you love cats just as much as we do, why not consider adopting a black cat, entering our competition or taking part in our campaign.”

To enter the competition cat lovers are being asked to take a photo of their beloved black rescue cat and upload it to Cats Protection’s Facebook page, alongside their adoption story.

The charity will shortlist its favourites and will be asking Facebook fans to get voting by liking their preferred selfie and story.

The photo with the most votes will be crowned National Black Cat Day Champion and will win a professional photoshoot, as well as the honour of becoming the ‘poster cat’ for future rehoming appeals.

The fun doesn’t stop there, however, and there are many different ways to take part on and around the day. More information can be found on Cats Protection’s website, blog and social profiles and by following the #CPBlackCats and #BlackCatSelfie hashtags.

Those interested in adopting a black or black-and-white cat can log on to www.cats.org.uk/black-cats or call the charity’s helpline on 03000 12 12 12.

Duke (with Cats Protection’s Taunton and Wellington Branch)

Found injured in a hedge following a road traffic accident, the future seemed very bleak for Duke. He was taken to the vet by a kind member of the public, which is when we were asked to take him in. He has such a lovely personality that we couldn’t refuse, although we knew that his recovery would be long and expensive.

Duke was referred for specialist surgery to a veterinary practice in Exeter, where he was found to have three fractures to his pelvis. The top of his femur was also smashed and has been removed. Duke’s recovery has been trouble free and he has borne the restrictions of his cage rest with great patience. He has regained full use of his leg and can now climb and jump but the pen which kept him safe for three months is now starting to feel like a prison to him.

Cats Protection’s Taunton and Wellington Branch is therefore seeking a very special home for this lovely two-year-old boy. He is very affectionate, loves cuddles and playing with his toys, loves to investigate what you are doing, and would make a wonderful companion, especially for someone who is at home for at least part of the day, as he likes lots of interaction. He has also made it clear that he would not take to being an indoor cat, so a nice garden would be lovely, with no other pets, and it is most important that he should be as far as possible from a busy road. Life with a mature family would also suit him, although not for anyone with mobility problems as he is very quick on his feet.

Duke has been neutered, microchipped and vaccinated and is in very good health. He is a slim cat with green eyes and an oriental appearance. Please call 08452 602 397 or email [email protected] if you would like to learn more about him.


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PDSA vets warn dog owners after cases of deadly parasite treble

PictureGreyhound Blackie has recovered from lungworm

PDSA vets today issued a warning to dog owners after revealing that confirmed cases of a killer parasite have trebled in just five years.

The UK’s leading veterinary charity said there had been a worrying increase in reported cases of lungworm among pets at its 51 pet hospitals. 

The parasitic worm can cause weight loss, difficulty breathing, a chronic cough and difficulty exercising and even be fatal. The hot spots used to be Wales and southern England, but experts say the problem is now far more widespread.

PDSA senior vet Elaine Pendlebury said that, since 2009, there has been a threefold increase in the number of pets affected by lungworm diagnosed at PDSA pet hospitals

The larvae of the lungworm parasite are carried by slugs and snails. The problem arises when dogs purposefully or accidentally eat these common garden pests when rummaging through undergrowth, eating grass, drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or pick them up from their toys. Foxes can become infected with lungworm, and have been implicated in the spread of the parasite across the country. Frogs can also carry the larvae, presenting a risk to dogs.

Lungworm is often transmitted by infected slugs or snails that carry the parasite and can even be contracted by a dog drinking from puddles or using toys or bowls that have been left outside. It can also be caught by eating infected fox or dog faeces.

PDSA’s data reflects the findings of a recent study by researchers at the Royal Veterinary College, which found that one in five veterinary practices in the UK have reported at least one clinical case of lungworm in a dog.

In a survey* of 150 veterinary practices across the UK a total of 952 suspected cases were reported (157 laboratory confirmed), with 81 deaths thought to have been caused by the parasite.

Elaine said: “PDSA is alerting dog owners to the danger of lungworm as there has been a significant increase in suspected and confirmed cases of lungworm over the past five years. 

“Although it has been present in parts of the UK for a long time, the parasite seems to be spreading and there have been outbreaks in previously unaffected areas. But we believe that this is just the tip of the iceberg and the problem could be more widespread.”

Elaine warned the parasite may have become more prevalent due to our warmer and more humid summers, which has caused the slug and snail population to increase. 

Elaine added: “It’s important to ensure your pets receive regular preventive worming treatment, including specific products for lungworm in affected areas, so they do not become ill. Your vet will able to advise what’s best for your dog and remember to clean up after your dog to help avoid spreading the parasite.  

“If an owner suspects that their dog could be infected, they should take their pet along to see their vet as soon as possible, as early treatment is always best.”

Case study

Greyhound Blackie, from London, was left fighting for his life after becoming infected with lungworm.

The four-year-old ex-racing dog spent three days at PDSA’s Thamesmead pet hospital receiving emergency treatment from vets and nurses as they battled to save the beloved family pet.

His owner, Pam Falconer (68) of Black Heath, said: “We initially thought Blackie had hurt himself because he had fallen over. But he was displaying other symptoms and looked really unwell.

“We took him to PDSA where they diagnosed him with lungworm. I couldn’t believe it as I’d lived in Scotland for many years and I’d never even heard of it before.”

Blackie was admitted to the charity’s pet hospital at Thamesmead, where he received emergency treatment. 

Pam said: “They told me they didn’t know whether he would survive and I was absolutely terrified at the thought of losing him. I think it’s so important for other pet owners to be aware of the dangers. A few worming tablets every few months could be the difference between life and death. Thankfully, the PDSA vets performed a miracle and managed to save him. I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done – they are my heroes.”

Pam said she now ensures Blackie receives frequent worming treatment and urges other owners to take heed and ensure they keep on top of their pet’s preventive health.

PDSA is on a mission to educate the nation on pet wellbeing and is delighted that funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery is helping the charity to continue this vital work. So far PDSA has been awarded an incredible £600,000 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. For further pet health advice, please visit www.pdsa.org.uk/pethealth  


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UK’s most popular pet names revealed

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When it comes to pet names, it’s a case of Top of the Pop(py)s, according to data from John Lewis Pet Insurance. Poppy remains the most popular pet name for both cats and dogs for the fourth year running, with Misty (up 15 places) and Cleo (up 9 places) proving to be high climbers for cats in 2013.

A study of more than 90,000 pet names by John Lewis Pet Insurance has revealed that traditional cat names such as Tigger (down 11 places) are falling out of fashion and making way for names more commonly associated with people; Molly and Bella also appear in the top five names for both cats and dogs this year.

Poppy was the 7th most popular baby name for girls for 2013, according to ONS data. Oscar and Charlie also appear in the top 10 names for both babies and pets this year, suggesting that the trend towards people giving their pets human names is showing no signs of abating.

Keith Bibby, spokesperson for John Lewis Pet Insurance, commented: “It is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish between popular pet and top baby names – those such as Poppy, Molly, Alfie and Charlie could as easily be heard being called by a dog owner as they could a parent. It would appear that the days of Rover and Whiskers are now firmly behind us.”

It’s elementary: Pet owners take inspiration from cult TV shows

Cult television programmes such as Sherlock, Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad have all offered inspiration to those looking to name their cat or dog, John Lewis Pet Insurance has also revealed.

Crime drama series Sherlock has influenced some pet owners, with Sherlock, Holmes, Watson, Mycroft, Moriarty and even heart-throb actor and the show’s star Benedict (Cumberbatch) appearing on the list of pet names.

Game of Thrones characters Arya, Khaleesi, Sansa, Tyrion, Stark and Daenerys also feature, as do Skyler, Jesse, Hank, Walter and Heisenberg, all made famous in the award-winning Breaking Bad.

Pet owners also appear to be celebrity-obsessed, with well-known names from stage and screen proving to be a source of inspiration. (George) Clooney, Madonna, (Lady) Gaga, Halle Berry, Miley (Cyrus) and even this year’s Eurovision winner Conchita all feature on the list. Current affairs and politics also offer motivation, with Nelson (Mandela) and Barack Obama making an appearance.


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Taking the dog along made my holiday!

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By Kate Bendix

I discovered how taking your dog on holiday can really make a break.

Last week I decamped to Cornwall with five friends and my dog, Nikita. We booked a fabulous cottage near Wadebridge, packed the car with way too much stuff and headed out west.  

It was the first time I’d taken Nikita on holiday and my only worry was that it would be restrictive in the places we could go and stuff we could do, with a dog in tow. Using this fabulous pet-friendly map, I discovered that nothing could have been further from the truth.

Now, I’m the sort of person who packs light, generally speaking, though it’s changed slightly the older I’ve got. When you get into your 40s you kinda want what you want: your own bathroom, your own bed, no more dorms or other peoples toenails, urgh!  Hence I packed my lovely pillow and my radio, but I’m still proud to say I can get everything I need into a small suitcase.

Then I took the dog with me, and travelling light is no longer an option. I still have my small suitcase, but the dog? It’s like packing for a high maintenance friend! I filled a box with everything she would need for the week, or so I thought.

Food, harness, two leads – one flexi, one short (lots of paces insist on short ledas), a coat in case it rained, her supplements – fleas, worms, teeth, food and water bowls, towels and – the most important thing – her bed.  I also took half a dozen blankets to drape over furniture in the rented cottage so she could curl up and wouldn’t leave mud or hair behind. Of course, she chose the chair without any blankets at all. Dizzy dog.

Then she threw up. And I realised I hadn’t come prepared for third party damage, so there I was at 8am on the second morning, in a massive supermarket, staring at an aisle of cleaning products so dazzling in its complexity and colour I couldn’t make a decision (I had yet to get a cuppa inside me).  Armed with a scrubbing brush, carpet cleaner and a new set of Marigolds I got to work on the carpet. Came up like new, I’m relieved to say.

After breakfast Nikita and I set about the business of having a thoroughly good time, doggie style! We all set off to Rock, which has an amazing beach, sitting along the Camel estuary, just across from Padstow. The tide was receding and we tramped over the sand through to Daymer Bay just around the headland. The weather was glorious and, because it was March, the beach was practically empty, save for other dogs and their owners.

At Daymer Bay we discovered the sand dunes, and Nikita realised that a half-decent dune was the only thing missing in her life. She proceeded to race around, and up and down the dunes, for ages until she was exhausted. She’s only little, and I think sand is a very comfortable surface for her wee paws to run about on.

As she stood on top of the dune, happy, her little chest heaving with exertion, I realised that having her there, with me, on that beach, in that moment was what it was all about. She shows me how to have a good time when we’re out. Instead of sticking my headphones on and listening to music or (worse) talking on the phone, I play with her, listen to the birds and the wind, watch the boats and smell the seaweed. As a group of friends she brings us together, by democratically fetching her stick to each person in turn.

During our walk, other dog owners stop for a chat, small children ask ‘what’s your dog?’ and by the time you amble back up to the road you’ve been told where to find the best dog friendly place for lunch.

Taking Nikita away with us made the holiday better, she opened up our world. So, while it can be a problem getting into places with a dog, though this is getting better (the Lost Gardens of Heligan allow dogs, bravo, and thank you) I can’t imagine a holiday without her now.

So take your dog with you, if you can, because he or she will bring far more to your holiday than a bone and a blanket.


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New skincare & beauty products for pets

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Businesswoman Fiona Ives has been running a hugely successful business based on the distribution of a wide range of products to improve general health and care for the skin, all of which derive from Aloe Vera, a plant packed with nutrients and goodness. Products are suitable for both men and women, but Fiona also works with customers of the four legged variety.

Fiona said: “The Aloe Plant contains 75 vitamins, minerals, sugars, enzymes and essential amino acids that are great for humans as drinking gels, supplements, skincare and personal care products. Once Aloe Vera plant products have been tried, many of my customers go on to use them as part of their daily routine as the benefits speak for themselves.

Although there are records of it being used throughout history, it is only within the last few decades that the full extent of the aloe plant’s properties have been recognised. Popularity has increased over the years with many big brands beginning to include it as an addition to their moisturisers and shampoos. I already use Aloe Vera on my pets, and was fully aware of the benefits when I met with Heike Kopac from a Peels Veterinary surgery in Beverley and Hornsea in East Yorkshire.”

Heike Kopac from Peels Veterinary Surgery in East Yorkshire uses alternative therapies like homeopathy and acupuncture and uses Aloe Vera products in her surgery and for herself and her family.

She said: “I absolutely believe in the power and benefits of Aloe Vera for animals. For some time I have used the Aloe Vera Gelly. I always have a tube on-hand for my animal patients.”
 
“I also use the Bee Pollen tablets for myself and my children. When the pollen count is high, I am prepared to try anything and Fiona recently recommended I try the lip balm under my nose and eyes. This has made long walks out in the countryside with my dogs much more enjoyable during the warm summer months.”

The Aloe Company provides a specially blended product which is cold stabilised within an hour of harvesting to maintain all of the nutrients and goodness of the plant  thus guaranteeing the quality. Having researched the product thoroughly Fiona Ives is an expert in its uses.
 
She explained: “I apply Aloe to my dog’s skin on a regular basis and both my dog and cat consume a small amount of the gel as it is full of vital nutrients. Having researched the benefits of the plant, I have found documented evidence of it helping animals from goats to lizards and birds. The benefits of  Aloe Vera are truly amazing, it’s so much more than your average house plant.”

For more information please contact Fiona Ives via her website www.fionaives.co.uk.


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New web stream goes viral at the Lost Gardens of Heligan

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A new live ‘Piglet-Cam’, streaming the antics of ten rare Tamworth Piglets, has become a worldwide web hit.

The webcam which in the past has been used to show native Barn Owls hatching their chicks was moved to the pig ark when one of Heligan’s Tamworth sows gave birth.

The “Piglet-Cam” has become hugely popular and has more than doubled the number of visits to the Heligan website as viewers tune in to see the piglets in all their glory.

“Heliganwild.com gives people a front row seat on Cornish nature in all its spectacular diversity” commented Heligan Estate Manager, Jim Briggs. “These piglets have been a huge hit with website visitors and become stars in their own right, with some visitors to the gardens specifically coming to see  them”.

The new additions reinforce the historic estate’s focus on rare breeds. The Tamworth breed is classed as “at risk” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust but the Heligan team hope to help change this.

Throughout September whilst Cornwall’s celebrated theatre company Kneehigh Theatre present their new production Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) within the grounds the gardens will remain open until 7:30pm Tuesday to Sunday, offering visitors the chance to soak up the magical atmosphere of the gardens at dusk. Visitors who arrive after 4:30pm can enjoy half price entry. Last admissions to the gardens will be at 6.30pm and the gardens will close at 7:30pm. Visitors can also experience the taste of Heligan as the Heligan kitchens serve up locally sourced meat and vegetables in a special two course evening meal.

To see the Heligan Tamworth Pigs, visit www.heliganwild.com or even better visit Heligan and see them with your own eyes.


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Record-breaking dog is first reveal from Guinness World Records™ 60th Anniversary Edition

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Guinness World Records, the global authority on record-breaking achievement, has announced that a super talented dog called Jiff has made it into the record books for achieving two new world records: the Fastest 10m on hind legs (6.56 seconds) and Fastest 5m on front paws (7.76 seconds). 

The record-breaking pooch is the first reveal from the latest Guinness World Records annual released in September, which will mark the 60th anniversary of the world’s best-selling copyright book. To watch Jiff in motion, click here.

Jiff, a Pomeranian from Los Angeles, California, practices running on his front and hind legs daily.  To set the new records he had to complete the 5 and 10 metre distances in under 10 seconds, which he did at his first attempt.   In addition to his record-breaking talent, he is also able to shake hands, bow, ride a skateboard and even stamp his own autograph!

This is the latest achievement in a whirlwind year for Jiff, who has become an internet sensation with his growing legion of fans on Facebook (1.3 Million likes), Instagram (232,000 followers), Twitter (14k+ followers) and YouTube (500,000+ views).  He has also appeared in several television advertisements and taken a starring role in a Katy Perry music video.

Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief, Craig Glenday, said: “When Jiff first walked into our offices, we weren’t even sure he was real! He looks like a living, breathing cuddly toy. He might be tiny but he’s got a huge personality, and his wealth of talents can’t be doubted. He certainly deserves his place in the new Guinness World Records book, which is particularly special this year because it marks our 60th anniversary. Jiff is just one of the many incredible new record holders in the book, and the first of many special announcements we’ll be making.”

Jiff’s owners have asked to remain anonymous, not wishing to draw attention away from their celebrity dog.   

Guinness World Records 2015 is the 60th anniversary edition of the world’s best-selling copyright book.  It’s packed full of incredible feats, facts and achievements and also features new Augmented Reality technology that enables the reader to bring record-breakers (including Jiff!) to life in stunning 3D.  The book is in stores 11th September with a RRP of £20.


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Survey reports double the number of overweight horses 

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The results of this year’s National Equine Health Survey (NEHS) have shown that the reported number of overweight horses and ponies has more than doubled this year, compared to last year’s NEHS figures. This substantial rise has prompted SPILLERS® to remind owners to keep a conscientious eye on their horses’ weight and feeding regime this winter.

NEHS is a snapshot survey run annually by Blue Cross every May, in partnership with the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) and sponsored by SPILLERS® and Zoetis. 

This year overweight horses or ponies were recorded in 16.9% of cases; more than double last year’s figure of 7.8%. The survey also showed that 59% of respondents assess their horse’s weight regularly, with 85% using a weigh tape.

“While the increase may be a result of this year’s mild winter and good grass growth it may also be attributed to the fact that owners are becoming more adept at recognising overweight horses,” said Clare Barfoot, Research and Development Manager at MARS HORSECARE UK Ltd. 

“But whatever the reason, the associated health risks are alarming. Laminitis is a serious concern but by no means the only risk. Abnormal insulin dynamics and the resulting metabolic syndrome, reduced reproductive efficiency, heat stress, extra strain on the heart and lungs, worsened signs of arthritis, lethargy and reduced athletic function are also potential concerns.”

Clare has put together some tips to help you weight-watch with confidence this winter:

  • Use a weigh tape on a weekly basis. Used correctly, a weigh tape can help identify small changes and increases in weight much more effectively than by your eye alone.

  • Get to grips with body condition scoring. Find out how to condition score by visiting the SPILLERS® website at www.spillers-feeds.com <http://www.spillers-feeds.com/

  • Increase exercise, not only to help your horse lose weight but also to help keep the metabolism healthy in the good doer.

  • Restrict grass intake. Even winter grass can be a significant contributor to excess calories. A horse or pony can consume up to three times its normal daily appetite in just 24 hours at grass. Use a grazing muzzle or restrict time out at grass.

  • Provide an alternative low calorie forage source. Access to hay, haylage or a forage replacer will help replicate natural browsing behaviour and help prevent stress-related problems such as wind sucking, crib biting and gastric ulcers.

  • Consider a short chop hay replacer as a reliable and consistent low calorie forage alternative. Remember that the calorie content of hay or haylage can vary greatly depending on the type of grass and when it was cut therefore it is advisable to have it analysed.

  • Provide daily vitamins and minerals to balance the diet. 

  • Don’t over-rug overweight horses and ponies especially if they are natives or unclipped.

For friendly feeding advice please telephone the SPILLERS® Care-Line on + 44 (0)1908 226626 or visit www.spillers-feeds.com.  To download a copy of the NEHS results please visit www.bluecross.org.uk and to register for next year’s survey please visit www.bluecross.org.uk/nehs


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