We are looking to rehome a Miniature Schnauzer that we’ve found at a rescue centre. This is not a breed we’ve had experience of before and I wondered what the grooming requirements would be. Could we groom the dog ourselves, or would the coat need professional attention?
Stuart Simons advises…
Miniature Schnauzers have a thick double coat, but they don’t shed very much. Ideally, these dogs should be handstripped. In a perfect world, they would be in the groomer’s about every six weeks to get a handstrip to achieve a lovely harsh-textured rolled coat.
Handstripping is pretty expensive and isn’t correct for all dogs. You can achieve a very similar look by asking your groomer to use clippers and scissors, especially if the dog has been spayed or neutered. Spaying or neutering can change a dog’s coat, softening the hair and leaving it hard to strip.
We must always consider how a dog feels when being groomed above everything else. No one wants their dog to go through pain just to achieve a certain look. If a dog doesn’t like being stripped, as long as it’s not detrimental to his health and well-being, I say clip.
Schnauzers have a very specific breed standard haircut, which is not easy to achieve unless you are trained. I would advise you to visit www.thegroomers spotlight.com and search for your nearest qualified groomer to get some advice on your new dog’s haircut. Grooming is an incredibly skilled profession, so I am personally of the opinion that a professional groom is essential for this breed. I clean my teeth daily, but I would never call myself a dentist! All you really need to do at home is brush him or her and let the professionals do the rest.
If you are interested in becoming a groomer, visit the training page at www. thegroomersspotlight.com There are loads of accredited schools that offer incredible training in this profession.
To honour military dogs who have saved lives, a new national memorial is to be constructed in Flintshire, North Wales, with support from members of the Army, Navy and Royal Air Force.
Estimated to cost around £150,000, fundraising is currently underway so that work on the National Military Working Dog Memorial (NMWDM) – based at the Pet Cemetery in Brynford – can begin.
The mausoleum will feature four bronze statues that will guard over the plaques commemorating the work of the Armed Forces service animals who have served with distinction.
Representative from NMWDM, Emma Ward, said, “The new national memorial is well overdue and look forward to being able to commemorate the service dogs who protected our Armed Forces over many decades.
“The interest we have had from the local community has been extraordinary. But we have also seen a fantastic response from the Armed Forces who are on board with the project. We are now in the process of raising the funds needed to complete the construction of mausoleum and would be grateful for donations – no matter what their size – to help us in commemorating our service animals.”
The statues will be based on four dogs who served with distinction, including Buster, an army sniffer dog who died in 2015 aged 13. Buster served in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq searching for ordnance and booby traps, and on retirement he was made a mascot of the RAF police.
Another dog is Theo who suffered a fatal seizure just hours after his owner, Lce Cpl Liam Tasker was shot dead in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2011. Theo was just 22 months old and is said to have died from a ‘broken heart’. He was posthumously awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for bravery.
The other two statues immortalise Judy, who served on the Yangtze River in World War Two and even survived a pirate attack before becoming a Japanese POW, and Air Dog Lucky who tracked insurgents through the jungles of Malaya during Malayan Emergency. Both dogs survived their service and were awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal for bravery.
Emma adds, “The stories of Buster, Theo, Judy and Lucky demonstrate just why a national memorial is needed. These dogs were dedicated to their partners and would do anything to ensure that their Armed Forces partners were kept safe.”
Flight Sergeant Michael Barrow RAF Police said, “Many thousands of dogs have served with the Armed Forces throughout many conflicts. They are a great force multiplier and have saved lives in various guises.
“To finally have them and their contribution recognised is superb. The design and location of the memorial are both stunning and its unveiling will be a great spectacle. I am looking forward to seeing the completed design and being able to pay respect to all Military Working Dogs.”
The National Military Working Dogs Trust has now been granted charity status and you can donate towards the fund via cheque, made payable to the NMWDM, to Pet Funeral Services, Brynford, Holywell, CH8 8AD. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The charity also has the support of Rt. Hon. David Hanson MP who will be hosting a special launch event in the Houses of Parliament later today to secure further support from the UK Government.
Rt. Hon. David Hanson MP said, “When I first heard of this memorial I was struck that it has taken this long for someone with the dedication and passion to see it come into being. The work of all those making this national memorial become a reality is truly inspiring.
“I have arranged an event in Parliament and invited the Secretary of State for Defence to attend. I hope the Government will see what an excellent plan this is and support it to the fullest.
“Brynford is such a beautiful part of the country and I cannot think of a more fitting place for a new national monument to be built.”
Before purchasing or adopting a pet it is vital that potential owners do their research to ensure they understand the responsibilities of owning a dog and the specific requirements of that pet.
But despite constant warnings from animals welfare charities, the PDSA’s recent PAW Report revealed that one in four pet owners still do no research before buying.
Now in its eighth year, the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report is the most rigorous and in-depth assessment of the wellbeing of the nation’s pets and has surveyed over 68,000 veterinary professionals, pet owners and young people since its launch in 2011.
The 2018 Report, created in conjunction with YouGov, revealed that 5.2 million UK pet owners undertook no research at all before taking on their pet, showing no improvement since 2016. Only five per cent sought advice from a veterinary professional despite 71 per cent of practices offering pre-purchase advice.
Interestingly, the report also showed that less than a quarter of owners feel very informed about the five Welfare Needs, but only 13% could correctly guess all five. Awareness of the companionship welfare need was the lowest, only identified by 18% of owners and many owners also wrongly believed human companionship was more important to our pets than appropriate interaction with their own species.
Owners who didn’t feel informed were more likely to do no research (28%) than those that did (23%), and those that didn’t feel informed were also less likely to view the pet with their parents and check that the breeder would complete a contract.
The PDSA said that increasing awareness of the Animal Welfare Acts and 5 Welfare Needs could potentially have a positive impact on future results.
Commenting on the PAW Report findings, PDSA Senior Vet Rebecca Ashman, said, “This year’s PAW Report highlights that impulse-buying of pets, with varying knowledge of their long terms needs, is a continuing trend that is unfortunately showing no signs of improving. Lack of pre-purchase research leaves owners ill-prepared for pet ownership. Sadly this is inadvertently leading to pet’s 5 Welfare Needs not being properly met and by extension is causing an array of welfare issues from behaviour problems and chronic stress to inappropriate housing and obesity for the UK’s dogs, cats and rabbits.”
The two main sources owners cited for pre-purchase research were looking on the internet (27%) or relying on having previous experience of the breed (32%).
Rebecca continued, “It is vital that we elevate the importance of pre-purchase research in potential owners’ minds. Most people wouldn’t consider buying a new car of booking a holiday without doing extensive research, yet pets are often bought on a whim. With just over a quarter of owners doing their pre-purchase research online, it’s vital that the information available to them is accurate and easily accessible.”
One of the charity’s biggest concerns is owners purchasing pets from inappropriate sources. The report found 3.4 million owners (16%) would consider getting a puppy from a puppy farm and 4.3 million (21%) from a seller who approached them. Almost all (98%) of vets agreed that online advertising of pets for sale should be regulated.
Once choosing a pet, a worrying 17% of dog owners, 39% of cat owners and 46% of rabbit owners did nothing before bringing their pet home – such as visiting them on more than one occasion or undergoing a home visit.
Rebecca adds, “With so many owners seemingly willing to get a pet from a potentially unsuitable source, it can be difficult for them to know their pets’ true origins and their health care history. Pets from these sources are unfortunately sold with little or no regard for their future welfare and often without screening health checks or accurate advice from the seller.
“The best chance we, as a profession, have of helping people understand where to responsibly source a pet from, the lifetime costs of pet ownership and the 5 Welfare Needs of pets is to engage with prospective owners before they take on their new pet. This way they will be empowered to make informed choices and be equipped with the knowledge to ensure a lifetime of wellbeing for their new pet.”
We’re NOT going on a summer holiday it would appear as recent research shows a third (33%) of Brits have missed out on going on holiday because of their pet, and the reason is mainly down to guilt.
The results come as author Jilly Cooper revealed that she has not taken a holiday for 22 years because she can’t bear to leave her beloved Greyhound, Bluebell, behind.
And she’s not alone. Forty-one per cent of owners said they felt guilty when they do travel away from their pets and as a result, the British travel industry is estimated to be losing £324 million a year by not catering to the needs of pet owners.
But pet-friendly hotels and accommodation are on the rise across Europe so more and more owners are able to take their pets away with them. If you’re planning a pet-friendly getaway this year, Eukanuba’s Veterinary Training Manager Kellie Ceccarelli has some useful advice for keeping your dog happy and healthy on holiday.
Stick to a routine
First and foremost, it’s important to keep your dog as settled as possible by ensuring minimum disruption to their usual routine. Remember to keep to your dog’s regular feeding times and try to walk them at the same time you would each day. To make sure they settle as quickly as possible in a new environment don’t forget to bring along their favourite blanket or toy to help them relax once you arrive at your destination.
Don’t give into puppy dog eyes
Remember that simply because you’re on holiday and enjoying plenty of meals out and naughty treats it doesn’t mean your pet’s diet should change too. Although puppy dog eyes might be hard to resist during a family meal, feeding your dog tit bits of human food can result in an upset stomach. Instead, ensure your dog receives a 100% complete and balanced diet which will keep their digestion healthy. Look for an advanced nutrition such as EUKANUBA, which combines high quality animal protein including fresh chicken for great taste and digestibility. It’s also carefully tailored to support optimal body condition for each life stage so you and your dog can enjoy a happy and healthy life together.
Keep them hydrated
Just like us, dogs get thirsty when they’re travelling – especially in hot weather. Take a water bottle and fold up bowl with you if you’re going out for the day as although many pubs and cafes will usually have a dog bowl available this will ensure your pet remains hydrated throughout the day.
If your dog takes any medication make sure you have everything you need when you leave home and take note of the nearest vet’s contact details before you head off. Check your dog’s identification tag is also up to date as although by law they should be chipped this will quickly help in reuniting you should your dog get a little overexcited in its new surroundings and run off during a walk.
Enjoy your time together
Finally, make sure to unwind and enjoy some quality time together. Explore new areas, go for long walks on the beach and get the family involved in ball games. Lots of dogs will love being in the sea and it is great exercise for them. Just remember to check dogs are allowed in the water where you are as many beaches have restrictions during the summer months and take some quick safety precautions before you jump in. For example, are you comfortable with the tide and do you know your dog’s limitations? Once you’ve enjoyed a dip remember to give your dog a good rinse off as salt and minerals in sea water can cause damage to their coat.
My dog gives me a withering look when I take his ball away after I decide the game is over and if I tell him to move out of the doorway, although he moves, the look he gives me is one that I can only call resentment.
Sue Gilmore advises…
As humans, we are emotional and often read things into gestures, facial expressions or body language that are seen from our perspective rather than through the eyes of a dog. Dogs live in the moment, whereas we often dwell on things past or use our imagination to worry about the ‘what ifs’.
Dogs have emotions, but they only last as long as the dog is actually thinking about an action. Generally, they go off and do something else and their focus is then fixed on maybe a strong scent in the grass. We often read far more into their facial expressions than the dog intends, especially if we feel guilty that our action has caused him hurt or offence, which is generally quite unlikely.
In the June issue of Dogs Monthly Magazine, we select six of the best dog services!
This month we have UK Dog Transport, Four Legs Law, Border Collie Trust GB, On Track Rail Tours, DogBuddy and Plan Pooch.
UK Dog Transport UK
Dog Transport started in 2014 and offers safe, secure and comfortable transport for your VIP pets in temperature-controlled, airconditioned pods. We are licensed to carry both dogs and cats, and are canine first-aid trained. Today, UK Dog Transport is going from strength to strength, running door-to-door routes throughout the UK mainland, and can frequently be seen zipping up the motorway to opposite ends of the country. UK Dog Transport started running routes exclusively for charities such as Daneline International Charitable Foundation and German Shepherd breed rescues before offering the services to a wider client base.
Get expert dog law advice from Four Legs Law. Four Legs Law offers a full range of legal services for all aspects of civil and criminal matters in relation to canine law. Headed up by Elizabeth West, a qualified solicitor and avid dog lover, you can be sure that, whatever the issue, you are speaking to an expert who can offer the help you need. We are happy to discuss a range of funding options.
In 2013, plans for HS2 (high-speed railway) were published and discussions began between HS2 and Border Collie Trust GB. In 2017 the scheme was amended, significantly impacting on BCTGB, with a loss of more than a third of our land. The effect on our property and dogs means the location is no longer suitable for our work. We are seeking an advance sale of the property to HS2, but the process will incur expenses and costs to rebuild and replicate facilities at a new location that meets the needs of BCTGB.
We provide an all-inclusive service for travellers wishing either to take their pets on holiday with them, or to repatriate animals back to the UK. Unfortunately, Eurostar does not allow animals on board its trains, but there are other ways to take your pet abroad with you, either by EuroTunnel between Folkestone and Calais, or by ferry between Harwich and Hook of Holland. We are also able to book petfriendly accommodation at your destination, and provide advice on rail tickets required by your pet when travelling abroad. We look forward to hearing from you!
DogBuddy connects you with vetted and reliable dog sitters in your area. Simply search using your postcode, read reviews from other dog owners, and make your booking securely online. With handy features such as photo, video and tracked walk updates, you can relax knowing that your dog is enjoying themselves in the safety of their sitter’s care. Plus, for added peace of mind, all bookings are covered by DogBuddy’s pet and public liability insurance. So whether it’s dog boarding, day care or walking you’re looking for, you’ll never be stuck without a dog sitter again.
Plan Pooch is the UK’s first free singular platform allowing owners to search geographically for hotels, vets, pubs and groomers all in one place, saving time and money. Members are able to ‘Pooch Pin’ their favourite content and take full advantage of our exclusive discounts and offers. The site showcases partnered brands alongside brand and celebrity vlog content, recipes and competitions. Our VIP area is a paid subscription, which offers exclusive content, free magazine subscription from a top UK publisher, and exclusive giveaways. The platform has attracted support from Insta-famous dogs and their owners, high-street brands and bespoke artisan start-ups.
A scheme created by animal welfare charity Mayhew has helped keep Nayan and his 12-year-old Staffie cross, Fearne, together through a critical time.
The Mayhew’s Pet Refuge scheme has helped keep pets and their owners together for the last 14 years and provides support for vulnerable pet owners facing personal crisis including hospitalisation, rehab, detox for alcohol and drug addiction, or even those sent to prison.
Mayhew Animal Welfare Officers help by providing care and finding accommodation for the pet throughout the duration of the crisis period. They also receive essential veterinary care from Mayhew’s on-site Community Vet Clinic including neutering and vaccinations.
For Nayan, who has recurring health issues, it was a vital service to help look after his beloved dog. Nayan explains, “I live with a disability that keeps me at home a lot of the time, so adopting Fearne from Mayhew just over three years ago helped me at a really crucial time of my life. I tell people that we rescued each other. She gets me up in the mornings and out the door when probably not much else would.
“After adopting Fearne from Mayhew, I’ve followed the charity ever since and that’s how I first heard about Pet Refuge. At a time where my health was particularly bad, I was getting to a point where I was struggling to get out of the house, even to give Fearne walks or the love and attention that she needs, so I really needed some help. The Pet Refuge programme sounded ideal and after speaking with the Animal Welfare Officers, they offered to look after Fearne for six weeks, which was the perfect amount of time to give me a break and a chance to get my health back to where it needed to be.
“While Fearne was with Mayhew, I was really pleased that they gave her such great care and treatment, she even had a dental procedure, which is something that she had needed for a while.
“After six very long weeks being reunited with Fearne was incredible, I don’t know who was more excited. It was very special for many reasons, for me, my health was so much better, so I had more energy to enjoy the reunion.
“Mayhew’s Pet Refuge programme has been a real lifeline for me. It was brilliant that they were able to look after Fearne at such a crucial time. I hate to think what I would have had to do without it. The thought of giving up Fearne completely is horrible because we are both so happy together.”
Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officer, Tania Mazzoni, added, “It is extremely clear to see that Nayan and Fearne have this incredible bond. They would be lost without each other and that’s why it is so important that we were able to help during this crisis period and fundamentally keep them together.”
For many vulnerable people, their pet is their best friend. Mayhew’s Head of Animal Welfare, Zoe Edwards, said, “In this job you deal with a lot of situations where the owner is going through a hard time and just needs some support and advice to help them with their animal.
“We are often referred to as ‘Animal Social Workers’ because we are able to help and support vulnerable people in need with their animals – and ultimately keep the owner and animal together.
“Mayhew aims to be proactive and innovative, working to help animals and their carers by running outreach community initiatives such as our Pet Refuge programme.”
We may be a nation of animal lovers but a recent survey has found that the behaviour of our four-legged friends is a cause for concern and may even be ruling our lives.
Of the 1,000 pet owners who were questioned, just over three quarters (77 per cent) admitted their pet behaves in a way they wish they didn’t, and 36 per cent were worried about their pet’s behaviour.
Over half of owners (52 per cent) felt their behaviour was due to their pet purely misbehaving. Sympathetically, 48 per cent put it down to their pet’s fear and anxiety.
Change of plans
This naughty behaviour can often affect the owner’s life. Over three quarters (77 per cent) admitted they frequently change their plans to accommodate their pet’s bad behaviour
Owning a dog also has a huge influence on our holiday plans, with 97 per cent of dog owners basing their bookings on dog-friendly destinations, and 82 per cent paying more for a holiday so they can take their dog with them.
The poll, commissioned by Ceva Animal Health, also revealed that 44 per cent turn to Google to find a vet to deal with their pet behavioural problems but only nine per cent turn to a pet behaviourist for advice. Many owners try to calm their pets themselves, with 42 per cent using stroking techniques to calm their pet down.
Andrew Fullerton, Technical Manager for Behaviour at Ceva Animal Health, said, “The UK’s love affair with cats and dogs is clearly stronger than ever with more and more pets becoming integrated into family life.
“These results are very interesting and show a level of education is still needed in assessing, interpreting and understanding our pet’s behaviour and looking at solutions and products such as pheromone based sprays, diffusers and collars, that can help handle stressful situations and prevent unwanted behaviour.”
Some behaviours can lead to destruction in the home, and just less than half (47 per cent) confirmed that items in their home had been ruined by pets. A quarter of those surveyed said damage to their home cost them in excess of £300. Five per cent said the cost to repair the damage was in excess of £1,000.
Animal Behaviourist and owner of Pet Behaviour Therapy, Ellena Hinson said, “Many of the behaviours we see in our pets are normal behaviours that serve a function.
“Some of these behaviours aren’t always appreciated in our homes. Destruction for example, dogs jumping up at guests, or urine spraying in cats.
“Stress from fear, anxiety, pain or frustration are all normal too, just as they are in humans. However, this stress can manifest in many different behaviours which can then present a problem for the owners.”
For more information on pet behaviour, visit the Adaptil and Feliway® websites.
Dogs Trust Bridgend is urging the public to consider adopting a senior dog after a number of old dogs were handed over to them.
Staff are currently trying to find suitable homes for 12 OAPs (Old Age Pets).
Almost a quarter of dogs in their care are aged eight or over. This includes Belle and Holly (main photo), a pair of ten-year-old Terrier crosses who arrived after their owner sadly became ill and could no longer care for them.
The rehoming centre wants to challenge the stereotype of an elderly dog and is encouraging dog lovers to consider the benefits of bringing an old dog into their home.
Angela Wetherall, Rehoming Centre Manager at Dogs Trust Bridgend explains, “We care for dogs of all ages, sizes and breeds but lately, we have noticed a spike in the average age of our dogs. Older dogs can sometimes be passed over in favour of their younger counterparts but there are so many benefits to owning an older dog.
“Older dogs often need less exercise, they are usually already housetrained and can make wonderful family pets. Often, we find that our golden oldies still have bags of energy so they can be just as fun as a younger dog, but they may need an extra forty winks on a cosy sofa after a busy playtime! There really are countless reasons an older dog can make a wonderful companion, so if you think you can give an elderly dog a happy home, please get in touch.”
You can contact Dogs Trust Bridgend on 0300 303 0292 for more information.
Two senior dogs who were rescued by the RSPCA, have found their forever home after spending more than 500 days in the charity’s care.
Ten-year-old Kaya, who was beaten in public by her owner, and her friend Kane, 13, will have their story told when they appear on Channel 5’s Dog Rescuers.
The pair arrived at the animal charity’s Wirral branch in October 2016 while investigations and prosecution took place over Kaya’s ordeal. They were both covered in fleas, but despite the shocking footage captured on CCTV, Kaya had no long-term damage.
They have been available for rehoming since October last year but sadly had no interest from potential adopters until recently, and have been in RSPCA’s care for a total of 534 days.
RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes, who rescued the pair, said, “Kaya and Kane are two energetic and lovely senior dogs and I’m thrilled they have finally found their forever home.
“Kaya’s case was very distressing with CCTV footage capturing the moment her owner punched her and saw her cowering in the street. Thankfully, we were able to find Kaya and rescue her and Kane who have now been given a second chance.
“They are rather senior dogs, but they are both very active, loyal, loving dogs with great personalities. Both of them love long walks and their favourite thing is playing ball – despite their ages, they are still full of beans!”
After a long wait, the pair were rehomed to Sule Denizer from Greater London in April.
Sule said, “They settled in well from the beginning, when we got home they couldn’t stop smiling.
“They are such a good match for me and when that day comes I will be lost without them but to be honest it was the fact they are older that made me want to adopt them as I wanted to give them a good quality of life in their old age.
“As soon as I saw them my heart had already decided for me that I was going to bring them home and I travelled quite a long way!”
Sule has owned Staffordshire bull terriers for years but her last dog, Vinnie, passed away 18 months ago and her house felt empty without a dog.
She continued, “I must thank RSPCA Wirral who have been absolutely fantastic. Kaya and Kane were in kennels for 534 days but they didn’t become institutionalised. They are born again actually, you can see on their faces that everything is new and exciting to them.”
According to Sule, the pair remain very close and both enjoy a ride in the car. Kane enjoys playing with his ball and will sniff it out straight away.
Sule added, “After everything Kaya in particular has been through the level of trust she has with human beings still amazes me each day.”
Kaya and Kane’s story will appear on the new series of Channel 5’s Dog Rescuers on Tuesday, June 12 at 8pm.