New skincare & beauty products for pets


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

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

New web stream goes viral at the Lost Gardens of Heligan


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.

“ 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 or even better visit Heligan and see them with your own eyes.

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

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


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.

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

Survey reports double the number of overweight horses 


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 <

  • 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  To download a copy of the NEHS results please visit and to register for next year’s survey please visit

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

Dogged determination gets guide dog Buntie back on her feet

Buntie, a six-year-old black Labrador guide dog, has returned to work following successful treatment at the UK’s leading veterinary charity, the Animal Health Trust, after losing the use of her legs.

The complete loss of physical strength had made it impossible for Buntie to carry out any of her usual duties as a guide dog and had reverted her back to early ‘puppy-hood’, making it difficult to eat, drink and go to the toilet.

On arrival at the AHT, Buntie was barely able to walk, stumbling on her front legs and having to shift her weight from side to side in order to remain balanced. Anita Shea, Clinician in Neurology and Neurosurgery at the AHT, performed a neurological examination and noticed Buntie’s biggest abnormality was weakness on all four of her limbs. Buntie also had decreased reactions to basic reflex tests, demonstrating multiple nerves had stopped functioning properly.

Anita explained: “As with all neurological cases referred to the AHT, several initial tests were performed to ensure that there was no obvious cause for Buntie’s weakness elsewhere in her body. In Buntie’s case, we then performed further tests, under general anaesthesia, where little needles were placed in her muscles and nerves to measure electrical activity. This showed the nerves were not properly stimulating the muscles, so biopsy samples of muscle and nerve were submitted to a large neuromuscular laboratory in San Diego for analysis to try to determine the cause of the problem.”

The results of the investigations did not suggest any signs of disease, leading the AHT team to suspect an unknown kind of toxin exposure, (either poisoning or an allergic reaction), as the cause of Buntie’s sudden loss in muscle and nerve function. Unfortunately, this could not be cured by a form of medication.

Physiotherapy was chosen as the best treatment option to give Buntie the very best chance of recovery, enabling her to rebuild her strength through muscle and nerve stimulation.

During her stay at the AHT’s Small Animal Clinic, Buntie underwent intense daily physiotherapy with AHT nurses, which was later complemented by a course of hydrotherapy treatment at the AHT’s award-winning Hydrotherapy Centre. Initially unable to support her own weight, this treatment allowed Buntie to gain the necessary therapy in a weightless environment – the hydrotherapy pool.

Following three weeks of pool sessions twice a week, Buntie progressed onto the underwater treadmill to build muscle and improve the co-ordination and placement of her feet. Less than a month later Buntie’s strength rapidly increased. Soon she was able to stand up unaided and take small steps around the pool house.

With her resolved determination and support from both AHT hydrotherapists and her owners, Buntie’s health continued to improve and eight weeks after being referred to the AHT, Buntie resumed her role as a working guide dog, providing her delighted owner with the daily support that she needs.

Anita added: “During her time at the AHT, Buntie became a firm favourite with all the staff involved in her care and recovery. She is such a lovely dog, even in the early stages when she had difficulty in standing, Buntie was always positive and motivated with her tail constantly wagging! She was so inspiring, with her dogged determination to get back to the duties she was trained to do.”

On Buntie’s recovery, Samantha Gould, Hydrotherapist at the AHT, said: “I’m over the moon with how far Buntie has come in such a short time, she is a true fighter. Giving in to her illness was never an option for her. Buntie remained a happy and determined lady, which in no doubt stems from the remarkable way in which she was trained by Guide Dogs.”

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

Stunning image of stallion wins world photo contest


Portuguese photographer Filipa Scarpa has won the top prize in the FEI Solidarity World Photo Grand Prix for her stunning image of the Lusitano stallion Xisto.

The FEI Solidarity World Photo Grand Prix competition, aimed at uncovering photographic talent around the world in 2014, the Chinese Year of the Horse, was launched in May by the Fédération Equestre Internationale with Action Images/Thomson Reuters, asking amateur and professional photographers to submit images that capture an aspect of equestrian sport and lifestyles in a memorable and eye-catching way.

Lisbon-born Scarpa, who fell in love with photography 10 years ago, has won over 90 national and international competitons, with her images being showcased this year at the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition and on NASA’s Earth Observatory website.

Normandy Twist

She shot her FEI Solidarity World Photo Grand Prix-winning image on location at the wine producer Quinta da Lagoalva de Cima, in Portugal’s Tejo region, which also runs a stud for Lusitano horses.

“I love horses more than wine, and instead of photographing the spectacular vineyards, I headed to the stables where I saw this beautiful horse,” she explained. “The light was fantastic, the horse was perfectly positioned in the middle of the window, and I took the shot in a split second. If he had moved an inch, this image would not have been possible. It was an amazing and lucky moment.”

Unbeknown to Scarpa at the time, Xisto is a successful Driving horse and has been nominated to compete with Portugal’s Manuel Campilho Holstein at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy, which start in just nine days. Scarpa’s prize is an all-expenses-paid assignment with Thomson Reuters at the Games.

“This is an amazing twist of fate, and I really hope I meet Xisto again, this time in Normandy! I have four sons, and my fifth is my camera. Photography is my life, and winning this competition is my biggest achievement so far”, she said.

“The entries across each category were of an extremely high calibre, which meant the judges had a tough time coming up with the short-list and overall winner”, Alan Whiter, Vice President of Action Images said. “The winning image captures the imagination of the viewer as it almost looks like a painting. The layers of depth, light and symmetry make for a really striking image.”

Scarpa also won the Horse Portrait category of the FEI Solidarity World Photo Grand Prix, one of nine categories for which over 3,500 images were entered.

The category winners (listed below) each receive a tablet, personalised leather photography portfolio and an Action Images/Thomson Reuters master class. All winning and shortlisted entries can be viewed on Flickr here, with videos on Instagramhere:

The international judging panel, chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya, included Deirdre Lyons, Co-Founder and Director of Corporate Image and Design at Alltech, title sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy; Mark Adams, Director of Communications at the International Olympic Committee; Bob Rosato, legendary sports photographer and COO of USA Today Sports Images; Melissa Farlow, award-winning National Geographic photographer; Giuseppe Della Chiesa, Chair of the FEI Eventing Committee and international course designer; Alan Whiter, Vice President of Action Images; Ingrid Klimke, two-time Olympic Eventing team gold medallist; Arnd Bronkhorst, internationally renowned equestrian photographer; and Dustin Vaughn-Luma, mobile photography and visual design specialist.

“I was struck by the diversity, beauty and genuine inventiveness of all the images entered in the competition,” FEI President HRH Princess Haya said.

“The category winners, and all the shortlisted images for that matter, really left an impression on me and I am grateful to have seen the sport and horse world through so many different lenses. Needless to say it was refreshing and eye-opening!”

The winning FEI Solidarity World Photo Grand Prix entries will be exhibited in the FEI Pavilion in the heart of the Games Village for the duration of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 from 23 August – 7 September in Normandy.

The images will also be published in FEI Focus, the official magazine of the Fédération Equestre Internationale, which is available as a free iPad application from the Apple Newsstand and online at

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

More cats are being abandoned than ever before, RSPCA reveals 


Following news that the RSPCA is struggling to re-home black cats, the charity reveals that this year its inspectors have been called to help 20,000 cats.

The charity has taken in 14 per cent more abandoned, neglected or sick cats compared with the same time last year.

RSPCA centres are already fit to bursting point with many cats now being looked after in costly private boarding. 

This year so far, the RSPCA says it has already rescued 3,306 abandoned cats or 14 per cent more than last year. It has also helped 7,914 sick or injured cats – up from 6,389 last year.

Over the summer, the RSPCA do expect to take in more young cats as this is the time when cats breed. However this year has seen more than ever with 32 per cent more than in 2013. 

Overall the RSPCA has 1,720 cats in our 16 national centres and private boarding as of August 1 compared with 1,397 on July 1. This figure does not take into account the RSPCA’s 164 branches. 

Last year, the charity’s inspectors helped a total of 33,293 cats up from 31,556 in 2012 and the figures for this year are expected to be even higher with 20,099 having already been rescued. It has twice as many cats in our care as we do dogs and this is a growing problem. 

Just one recent example of what RSPCA workers face took place during the terrible storms on Friday August 8. 

Five black and white kittens were found by inspector Marie Hammerton dumped in a cardboard box. They were found in an alleyway behind Gernons in Basildon, Essex at around 3pm and had been dumped sometime after 9am on that day. 

The poor kittens are only around one-month old and are probably the result of an unwanted litter. 

The RSPCA urges all pet owners to get their cats neutered from four months to try to combat this problem. 

Inspector Hammerton said: “If these kittens had not been found they would have had to endure a horrific storm all alone in a cardboard box.

“They were all very scared and nervous when first taken in but are doing well now they are in a safe environment. 

“How someone could do that to them is just unbelievable. They are such sweet gorgeous little things and will make brilliant pets.”

The kittens were taken to Crofters Rescue based in Rayleigh, Essex and are now being looked after by fosterers. 

Inspector Hammerton added: “Sadly this is something we are seeing more and more of. 

“Our centres are fit to bursting point with cats and at this time of year we see some who have been abandoned through being left behind when owners go on holiday or move house. 

“As it is also kitten season this can mean we have uncontrollable levels of cats being brought in.”

For more information, and to re-home a cat, visit:

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

Paws and relax on BA long-haul


Anxious passengers on British Airways’ long-haul flights will soon be able to unwind by watching cute dogs and cats at play.

The airline is launching an in-flight entertainment channel called Paws & Relax, which will feature videos of pets as well as cartoons.

As well as providing entertaining footage for all the family to enjoy, it can also benefit travellers overall wellbeing and relaxation, as well as improving levels of concentration*. 

For a preview of the channel, please visit:

British Airways’ in-flight entertainment manager, Richard D’Cruze, said: “It might sound barking, but there’s lots of research to suggest that watching pets can enhance overall wellbeing. We have sniffed out some fantastic content that is cute, comforting and sure to appeal to travellers of all ages.”

Paws & Relax features a number of popular programmes, curated by the airline’s in-flight specialists Spafax including; internet sensation Simon’s Cat <>  – a series of animated funny stories of a man and his cat, The Secret Life of Cats – the popular BBC documentary where cats are fitted with cat-cams and GPS collars to follow their daily movements, and America’s Cutest Dog… adorable footage of dogs at play.

British Airways has teamed up with experts at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home for insight into the benefits of pet ownership. The airline featured some of its pets looking for rehousing to launch the channel, including; Alfie the Pug, Sky the Siberian Husky, Angelica the Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross and kittens Karma, Knight and Karis.

Laura Lambert responsible for Rehoming & Welfare at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home said: “We know that people love watching dogs and cats. They can make you laugh, smile, and cry. They are wonderful companions when you’re feeling anxious or just need a lift, and we believe that British Airways’ Paws & Relax channel will be the perfect way for passengers to sit back and relax.”

Fluffy Facts

  • There are 17 million cat and dog owners in the UK (The Pet Food Manufacturers Association.) 
  • One in 50 travellers would prefer to be greeted by their pet at the airport, rather than a family member (OnePoll survey of 2,000 people)
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home cares for almost 10,000 dogs and cats each year.
  •  *In his book ’59 Seconds’, psychologist Richard Wiseman suggests that just watching a video of a cute animal can reduce heart rate and blood pressure in under a minute. A paper published by Hiroshima University titled ‘Power of Kawaii’ (meaning the power of cute), showed that people who looked at pictures of puppies or kittens in their study had higher levels of concentration afterwards
  • Paws & Relax can be found in the entertainment section of the airline’s in-flight library from September.

Last month the airline launched a new genre of ‘Slow TV’ on board flights, including an unedited seven hour train journey from Oslo to Bergen!

For more information follow the airline on Twitter @british_airways. To find out more about Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and to view the animals in its care, please visit 

Posted in Uncategorised | 1 Comment

The new way to meet your perfect pet match


An innovative new website has been launched to matchmake rescue pets all over the UK with their perfect owners.

The not-for-profit Find a Pet service allows members of the public to find new pets quickly and easily – and helps shelter pets find the loving homes they deserve.

Pet rescues list the pets in their care, and potential pet owners use a powerful search tool to pinpoint just the right pet for them. They can search by pet type, breed, location, age, sex and even temperament.

So, whether someone is looking for a dog that’s good with children, a rabbit that’s happy to live indoors, or the perfect lap cat – Find a Pet is an excellent place to meet a new best friend.

Animal welfare journalist and presenter Serena Cowdy developed Find a Pet primarily to address some of the most serious pet welfare problems that exist in the UK: Irresponsible breeding, and pets being sold like household goods online.

Figures from the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH) indicate that some 250,000 pets come into rescue centres every year. The Find a Pet project wants to get the ‘adopt don’t shop’ message out to as many people as possible – and to become the standard destination for anyone looking for a new pet online.

However, Find a Pet is also a fun, engaging, family-friendly experience. A user can share the pets they find on social media, build their own ‘favourites’ pinboard as they search for their perfect companion, and even sign up for email alerts, so they’re told as soon as their perfect type or breed of pet is listed on the site.

Serena explained why the project is so important to her: “In my work with pet charities, I’ve seen and heard some heartbreaking things. When you come across yet another kitten that’s been dumped in a bin because no one wants it – or yet another dog that’s been used in an illegal dog fight, you realise just how big the pet welfare problem is in the UK.

“I believe that Britain is still a nation of animal lovers – and with so many wonderful pets waiting patiently in rescues, I would encourage any potential pet owner to adopt, rather than to breed or buy.

“If you take on a rescue pet, you really are helping to save a life. Find a Pet just makes it as easy as possible to be a hero!” 

TV vet and PupAid founder Marc Abraham said: “There’s currently a huge animal welfare problem in UK around the cruel puppy farming industry over-producing poorly pets sold in pet shops, garden centres, and online. Meanwhile, thousands of healthy pets are simply abandoned, dumped in rescue, or worse put to sleep, because they’re no longer wanted.

“Why would anyone buy a sick puppy from a pet shop when there are so many fantastic animals waiting in shelters for their loving forever homes? This groundbreaking Find a Pet website is a brilliant new resource to help tackle this serious problem, and I support it wholeheartedly.”

Find a Pet – – is a not-for-profit project developed by animal welfare journalist and presenter Serena Cowdy. Find out more about Find a Pet email alerts:

More information about Serena can be found on her website:

More information about Marc Abraham can be found on his website:

More information about PupAid can be found here:

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment

“Restrain pets in cars to prevent accidents”: RAC


RAC urges drivers to ensure safety of cats and dogs on the move

More than one in four (27%) dog-owning motorists unwittingly break the law when it comes to transporting their pets by not keeping them restrained when their vehicles are on the road, new research has found*.

The RAC Pet Insurance study also revealed that 4% of pet (2% dog and 2% cat) owners have had an accident, or a near miss, as a result of a cat or dog being loose in their car.

According to the Highway Code dogs or other animals** should be suitably restrained in a vehicle so that they don’t distract the driver or injure them if the vehicle stops quickly. Official advice from the RSPCA is that dogs are both secure and comfortable during transport.

While the majority agree that it is a hazard to allow a dog to be loose in a vehicle, 28% said they would let their dog move freely, even in a vehicle full of luggage. Also of concern is that 21% usually leave their dogs unsecured on car seats while 6% let them travel in passenger footwells.

Of those who do secure their dogs in transit on the road, a third (34%) restrict their animals to the boot, less than a quarter (24%) use a pet seatbelt or harness, and just 15% transport their dogs in a cage or carrier.

As many as 78% of dog owners travel with their dogs in the car whereas cat owners do not tend to drive with their cats as much, with only 50% saying they ride with them.

Cat-owning motorists, however, are seemingly more safety conscious as 92% of those surveyed said their felines were kept in a secure carrier when travelling by car. And, 96% said they would never consider letting their cat loose in the vehicle.

RAC Pet Insurance spokesman Simon Williams said: “As a nation of dog and cat lovers it is surprising that we seem to give so little consideration to their safety when they are transported in vehicles. Unsecured pets in moving vehicles are a real danger, not only to the driver and passengers, but to themselves in the event of an accident or if the driver has to brake suddenly.

“Our research suggests that a sizeable amount of people are prepared to take a risk and leave their dog unsecured, and, worryingly, that more than one in 10 (13%) do not actually consider it to be a driving hazard.

“While pet owners may feel they know how their dog behaves in the car, nobody can predict what might happen round the next corner or how a dog would react in or after an accident. The best way to ensure the safety and security of everybody in a vehicle when travelling with a pet is to make sure it is properly restrained.”

For pet owners looking to ensure the safety of their dog or cat in the car, the RAC has just launched an improved and expanded range of its popular and market-leading pet travel products.

Together with leading pet manufacturer Pet Brands, the RAC has built on the range – first launched seven years ago after identifying a gap in the market for pet travel safety products – so dog and cat owners have a wider choice of quality pet transport products to choose from.

The range, which is available through RAC Shop pet travel section and a select number of pet wholesalers and retailers, comprises 33 additional travel safety and outdoor accessories, extending the range to 57 items. Customers can choose from a Standard RAC product or pay a little extra for slightly higher quality Advanced premium products.

Paula Boyden, veterinary director at Dogs Trust, says: “It’s important that when you are taking your dog on the road in a vehicle that they are travelling in a safe and comfortable way. There are many ways in which this can be done, so that the journey is a smooth experience for both dog owner and the dog themselves.”

Below are our some Dogs Trust top tips, whatever the time of year:

  • Secure your pet – make sure your dog is secure and comfortable on a journey for their own safety and so they cannot distract you. They should be fitted with a correctly sized harness or positioned within a travelling crate or container

  • Never leave pets alone in cars – don’t leave your dog alone in the car. Even if it seems cool outside it can become very hot very quickly. Parking in the shade and/or keeping the windows down does not make it safe!

  • Keep pets cool – make sure you keep your dog as cool as possible when driving. Avoid travelling during the heat of the day, use sun blinds on the windows and consider opening a window a little to allow a cooling breeze to circulate in the vehicle

  • Stop en route to give pets a drink – make sure you have a supply of water and know where you can stop off en route for water breaks. Dogs are not able to cool down as effectively as humans so could suffer from heat stroke and dehydration very quickly

  • Allow pets to adjust to travelling – allow your dog to become familiar with car journeys by ensuring they have positive experiences over a number of short trips before embarking on a long journey

  • Plan journeys and routes carefully – plan your journey time and route carefully as you’ll need to stop at regular intervals to exercise your pet

  • Consider suitable pet destinations – consider your pet with regards to your destination. Busy environments, such as bustling city centres or loud carnivals and public events are not always suitable for dogs as they can get distressed

  • Feed your pet in advance of travel – feed your pet no sooner than two hours before a long journey to ensure that your pet does not have a full stomach when travelling

  • Always have food at the ready – take a supply of your dog’s usual food in the event that you get stuck in traffic or have a breakdown

  • Always have a harness or lead at the ready – keep the dog’s harness or lead close to hand in case you need to get out of the vehicle

  • Do not let dogs hand head outside cars – Dogs Trust advises that owners shouldn’t allow their dog to hang their head out of the window while they are moving as this could be potentially dangerous for the dog as well as distracting for the owner

  • In an emergency – if you see a distressed dog in a vehicle please call 999, or either the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999

Real life story

Pet owner Matthew Evans was involved in a multi-car accident on the motorway whilst travelling last summer on a camping holiday at the seaside with his four-year-old son and his dog.

Matthew said: “Our dog Barney is a German Short Haired Pointer. He is our prince and we worship the ground he walks on. We never really understood the importance of pets being restrained in the car with a safety harness or crate until we were involved in a pile-up on the motorway and Barney got hurt!

“Barney damaged his paw after falling forward from the back seat down into the footwell. He was sad whilst it was bandaged up as he couldn’t put any weight on it. Our vet told us we were lucky as he has seen much worse car safety accidents with pets.

“Just like we strap our four-year-old little boy into his car seat, we don’t ever set off in the car now without Barney’s travel safety harness or crate.”

Posted in Uncategorised | Leave a comment